Saving forever, p.27
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       Saving Forever, p.27

         Part #3 of The Ever Trilogy series by Jasinda Wilder
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  I shuffled envelopes and letters, Cade sitting still and watching. I could sense his thoughts, feel him parsing through things.

  I chose another letter and read it. When I got to the end, I hesitated, and then read the last line again. "No matter what, I love you. I'll never stop loving you. I don't know if you'll love me when you wake up. If you'll be able to. But even if you don't, I'll love you. Forever, and after forever. Even if I don't deserve your love back." I pushed the letters aside, moved to my knees on the bed in front of him, took his hands in mine. "What you deserve is up to me, not you. Me loving you back? It's never been a question. The only question was, can I forgive you? Can I understand what happened and still be with you? I've never stopped being your wife. You needed comfort, Cade, and you found it in someone else--"

  "Because it felt like you were dead!" he yelled.

  "I WAS dead!" I shouted back. "I was dead, Cade. That's how it feels to me. There's almost two years of my life that are just gone. And...there are two me's. Before, and after. Two you's. Two us's. I was dead. My body may have been technically alive, but...that which made me me, that was gone. Dead. For me, and for you. For Eden. That's how I can accept what happened and still love you. Some people may say you cheated on me. They may not understand how I can take you back. But...there's no back. I was dead, and I came back to life. You were in hell, and you needed comfort. You needed something to keep you from going crazy. And as much as it hurts to know that it wasn't me who gave it to you, I' a way, I'm glad you found it. And I'm glad you found it with someone who understood what you were going through. Who knew me. Who knew us. And I don't care what other people think, Cade. I don't. All I care about is that you and I find each other again, and that Eden and I find each other again. Because right now, I feel like we're all lost."

  I fished out the letters he'd kept from our teenage years, the ones I'd written to him before we were together. I flipped through envelopes, skimming letters until I found the one I wanted. I unfolded it, and winced at the childish, girly handwriting, the scented stationery, the younger me. I skimmed until I found the part I wanted to read: "Regarding your feelings for me, god, that really complicates things. I felt the same way. You were so different from everyone I'd ever met, ever seen. You're handsome, but that's not the right word. It's not enough. You're...god, rugged is the only word I can think of. Is that stupid? It's better than cute, which just doesn't apply, in a good sort of way. And I really did have a crush on you. When you came out to the dock right at the end of camp, the way you put your arm around me and just held me, I've never felt so comforted in all my life. I know I said I wouldn't talk about Will, but he's a part of this discussion. He and I are dating. It's just a fact. But then I have this relationship with you. I feel like I know you, like we're connected in some way, like our souls are cut from the same cloth. Does that make sense? So it almost feels like cheating to have this with you, but it's not. We're pen pals. Maybe that's all we'll ever be. I don't know. If we met IRL (in real life, in case you're not familiar with the term) what would happen? What would we be? And just FYI, the term you used, a literary love? It was beautiful. So beautiful. That term means something, between us now. We are literary loves. Lovers? I do love you, in some strange way. Knowing about you, in these letters, knowing your hurt and your joys, it means something so important to me that I just can't describe." I looked up at him. "Remember? Literary lovers?"

  "God, every time you talked about Will, I wanted to puke. I was so jealous, but I knew I didn't have any right to be."

  I set the letter aside and scooted closer to Cade. He shifted backward toward the headboard and drew his knees up, let them fall apart. I moved between his knees, hugged my arms around his legs. "But you did have a reason to be jealous. I think we were meant to always be together, even then. I think we're made for each other. The years between camp and when we met again, that was...time to grow up. Time to learn to value what we have together."

  Slowly, as if clawing toward the surface from a drowning deep, Cade reached for me. His hands slid over my shoulders, his fingers dug into my flesh and muscle, and his eyes fixed on me. I watched a light spark in the depths of his amber gaze.

  "While you were talking to Ever, Carter told me something." He scratched my back with his fingers. "He said...he said that it took a lot of courage and strength for you forgive me, and who the fuck was I to refuse what you were offering."

  "Sounds like a smart man."

  He nodded. "Yeah." Caden paused, and then started again, slowly. "You have other choices. You know that, right? You can do anything, go anywhere, be with anyone. You don't have to be here with me."

  He still doubted. "Yes. I know. But I want to be here. I want to be with you. I want to forget the past two years. I want to pretend there's only ever been you and me." I moved closer still, as close as I could get to him while still sitting on my knees between his legs. "I want us, Cade. I'm choosing you, intentionally."

  "Why?" His eyes slid closed, pained. "I'm such a fucking mess. I'm...broken. I'm lost. I'm...god, I'm just fucked up."

  I pulled him to me, my hand around the back of his head. "I know you are. But I knew you when you weren't. I've known you since we were fourteen."

  "Fifteen," he mumbled.

  I laughed. "Okay, fine. Fifteen. Almost ten years, regardless. I've seen all of you. I know your talent, I know your strength. I know your sweetness. I know your humor. I know your faults and I know your brokenness. I love it all." I held his face against my chest. He shifted forward, and we moved together so I was sitting with my back to the bed and he was lying with his head in my lap. "I didn't vow to love you only when things were great. I vowed to love you through everything."

  "So did I."

  "Do you feel like you broke those vows?"

  He shrugged. "Sometimes. And sometimes I think maybe I didn't, really."

  "I'm the same way." I ran my palm on the stubble of his cheek. "And I'm making a choice, right here, right now, to say that it doesn't matter. Not anymore. No more blame. No more guilt. Let's just try to move forward, as us. As Ever and Cade. We had forever, and it was taken from us." He spun around, and his eyes met mine. I smiled at him, putting every hint, every last shred of love and forgiveness into my gaze and my smile. "Let's save our forever, Cade. Please. Let's take it back."

  His eyes held mine, searching, I suppose, for any hint of doubt. I let him see that I had none. Nothing came easy. I knew that. There would be pain still, and arguments, and late-night fears and doubts. But then, in that moment, there was none of that. Only us.

  Cade's hand slid up my neck, cupped my nape, held on. He tugged me down to him. His lips were cool and chapped, and I leaned into him, bent over him, kissed him slowly and tentatively, seeking to know the emotions of this kiss. And I realized, as his mouth moved gently but hungrily against mine, that he had been giving in, all those months.

  He'd been giving me a part of himself each time he kissed me. Giving me something he didn't think he deserved to get back, giving what I needed, what I wanted, all with the knowledge that it would be gone eventually. That's when I found out. I'd be gone, and he would be alone. It took a strange kind of selflessness to do that, I thought. He was a guy, and guys lived for sex. So some people may have thought that he was taking something he didn't deserve. But even if that was true, to give me the pretense of happiness when he was consumed by guilt? I couldn't have gone through therapy without him, wouldn't have had the determination and strength to get better and to reclaim my life if I hadn't had him, if I hadn't had his love and the illusion of happiness. Maybe that's fucked up. Maybe I was only justifying what he did so I could keep him in my life. But I was okay with that. Cade was my best friend and my husband and my lover, and I needed him. More than needed, I wanted him. Need was in my body and my blood and my soul. Wanting was in my head and my heart. The choice to forgive him and put the past behind us belonged to me alone, and no one could dare judge me for that. No one could make the cho
ice for me, or tell me it was wrong. I loved him and that's all that mattered.

  I opened up then, as these realizations rocked through me. I opened my mouth and kissed him harder, curled my hand under his head and rested my other hand on his chest, slid it up his shoulder to his throat, his jaw, cupped his cheek. I pulled him to me, and he pulled me to him. We met, and our hunger expanded.

  I shifted my legs out from beneath him, letting his head fall to the bed. Threw one thigh over his stomach and straddled him, cradled his face in both hands and crushed my chest to his and kissed him breathless. Kissed us both dizzy. Kissed us both frantic with need and burgeoning fires of passion. He let his hands wrap around my waist as we lay horizontally across the bed, our feet hanging off the side. My T-shirt rucked up as I moved on him with the rhythm of our kiss, and his fingers sought my flesh. Found it, warm and waiting. Up my spine, caressing in slow circles. I sighed into his mouth as he palmed my shoulder blades.

  I backed away from the kiss, stared down at him. "Don't give, this time. Take."

  I knew he was finding his way back, because he nodded as if he knew exactly what I meant.

  He lifted up to capture my lips, and his hands descended my spine, slid between denim and satin to cup my ass. I rocked my core against him, leaning down once more to bury myself in his kiss, and I felt my heart blossoming and exploding with need so fierce it hurt. He withdrew his palms from my backside and slid them back up my torso, pushing my shirt with it. I broke the kiss long enough to let him tug the shirt off my head and then attacked his mouth once more, devouring his lips, sucking his tongue into my mouth. As his fingers fumbled with the clasps of my bra, I pushed his shirt up and away, frantic, smoothed my hands over his bare torso, his firm muscles, his hard warm flesh. A lift of my torso, and my bra was gone, and then in a matter of seconds both of us had helped each other shed our pants and underwear. Naked together, I moaned into his mouth, savoring the sweep of his tongue against my lips and gums, against my teeth and tangling with my tongue. I slid my core against his erection, gasping at the hot silky steel of him brushing my sensitive flesh.

  He took.

  I felt my hips lifted in his hands, felt him nudging, searching for my entrance. I planted my palms on his chest and gathered my knees beneath my hips, leaned over and reached between our bodies to grasp his cock in my hands, lined the broad soft head up to my damp nether lips, sat poised thus, waiting.

  His eyes burned into mine, heated, hooded amber, his mouth parted to pant for breath, his pulse throbbing in his throat, his chest expanding. The tips of my breasts brushed his chest, my thick, erect nipples scraping the dusting of hair on his chest and sending slow bolts of heat through me.

  "I love you, Cade," I whispered.

  He smiled up at me, released one of my hips and brushed his palm up my ribs, cupped my breast and slid his touch over it, his rough hand scratching my nipple, eliciting a sharp inhalation from me. Up to my face, holding my cheek. "I love you, Ever."

  "Forever and always?" I said, not caring how desperate I sounded, how completely I was begging him.

  "For forever, and after forever."

  When I heard the words I'd been waiting to hear, I sank down on him. We both moaned, and our foreheads touched as bliss shot through us. When hipbones met, his length sheathed totally within me, I leaned onto him and wrapped my arms beneath his neck, every inch of our bodies pressed together, flesh merged, breath joined, souls spiraling up and out to weave together, meeting once more, broken parts matched, jagged edges smoothed.

  And then he gripped my hips in his and lifted me, pulling himself out of me, and then, after slight hesitation, drove up into me, bringing my hips down at the same moment. I cried out as his hot hardness filled me, as his body completed mine.

  His lips brushed the shell of my ear. "Talk to me, Ev. Dirty. The way you used to."

  I was weak from the overwhelming bliss of his driving hips as he set a slow, gentle rhythm, but I lifted up onto my hands, my fists in the comforter on either side of his head. I held still and let him move, let him do the work, let the force of our joining make my tits sway, and remembered how much he loved that, how much he loved watching my tits bounce. Soon I'd sit up and give him that, but not yet. First, I had to draw him out. He was still holding back.

  I let my eyes fall closed as his cock slid in and out of my wet folds, slipping and sliding slow and smooth. "You want me to talk dirty?"

  "Uh-huh," he murmured.

  "You like that, don't you?" I demanded.

  "So much. I love the things you say. Hearing how much you like what I'm doing."

  "Well, I need more, Cade. If you want me to talk dirty, you have to fuck me harder. It's been so long since we've made love like this, and I need it so bad. I need more. I need you to fuck me like you've never fucked me, baby."

  He sighed and his hands clawed into my hips. "God, yes. You want me to fuck you harder?"

  I nodded, unable to hold back from meeting his rhythm with my own counter-thrusts now. "Yeah, Cade. I need it harder. I need to feel your cock slamming into me. Take me, Cade. Take me however you want me. Fuck me any way you want me. I can ride you just like this, if you want. Or I can go onto my hands and knees, and you can fuck me doggy-style. I know you like that. Looking at my ass as you fuck me." I curled backward, grinding my core against him. "I just need to know how much you want it."

  "I don't want it," Cade gasped. "I need it. Sit up for me, Ev. Let me see your tits bounce. Ride me until you come."

  I sat up and balanced on my shins, sitting back so his cock was stretched away, and he had to lift up off the bed to get deep into me. I rocked on him, lifting up and sliding down, my hands on my thighs.

  His fingers danced up my stomach to my ribs, and I leaned forward slightly so he could reach me, gasping as he found my nipple and tweaked it, rolled it. His thrusts grew harder, our bodies merging with a jarring clash, and my boobs shook and swayed, and I watched his gaze follow their motion.

  I felt a burgeoning heat inside me, made hotter by every powerful thrust of Cade's huge hot cock. I moved with him, leaned forward with my hands on his chest, and rolled my hips to meet his strokes. My tits swayed and swayed, and I couldn't look away from Cade, watching the passion take over, the pleasure hood his eyes.

  Words poured and tumbled from my lips, no longer calculated to inflame but merely drawn from me by the perfection of our union. "Oh, god, Cade...oh, god. Oh, fuck. You feel so good, baby. I can feel you inside me. You're so big, so hard. So thick and perfect." I fell forward and bit his lip, whispered against his face. "I love the way you fuck me. I've missed this so much. You don't even know how much I've missed this with you. It hasn't been the same, but now it's what I need. I'm getting close, Cade. I'm gonna come soon, and I'm gonna come hard."

  "Please, Ev. Come for me. Let me watch you come." He held my hips and shoved me down into his thrusts, smashing deep and striking every nerve, pushing me toward the edge. "Come for me, baby."

  The "baby" thing was new for us, but I liked it. I felt myself nearing the edge, felt the heat billowing through me, felt the pressure expanding and the need deepening. I rocked with him, gasping and unable to speak except to swear and cry his name.

  So that's what I did.

  And then he brought my tit to his mouth and sucked my nipple so hard it sent a twinge of almost-pain and all pleasure through me, pushing me over the edge.

  I came with a hoarse scream. "Fuck, Cade! I'm coming...oh, shit, I'm coming. God, yes, fuck me, god, don't stop...don't stop."

  "I'll never stop. Never stop." He spoke around my skin, and the heat of his breath made me whimper.

  I exploded and my muscles contracted and I clung to him, grinding my core against his hard length.

  And then he slowed, and stopped. I was shivering, wracked with post-orgasm tremors. "Why'd you stop?" I gasped.

  He grinned at me. "My turn."

  My eyes widened as he sat up with me, moving me off him, and then rolled me to my
stomach. He gently guided my hips back to him, so I had to shift my knees beneath me. He'd held back. I groaned deep in my throat as I felt him take my ass in his hands and caress it, his length nestled between my cheeks, thick and iron-hard. I breathed and waited, watching over my shoulder as he smoothed my skin under his hands, and then pulled me back, spread me apart, gripped his cock in his hands, and probed my soft wet entrance.

  I twitched forward as he penetrated my core, sliding deep into me. Shoved back against him, my ass to his hipbones. "Now fuck me, Cade. Fuck me until you come."

  He pulled back, his eyes on mine, and then he grinned. "Hard?"

  "So hard."

  He slammed home, and I whimpered. Pulling out, poised with just the thick head inside my pussy, he hesitated again, watching me. And then drove in hard, deep. I shrieked at the fullness, the perfection of his stroking cock sliding deep where it belonged. I'd already come, but he'd make me come again, I knew. Not until he'd come, though.

  He withdrew and thrust hard again, and I rocked back to meet him. He groaned, a rumble in his chest, and his hands held my hips in a crushing grip, jerking me back against him. Hard, and hard, and hard, he fucked me. And I loved every single driving slide, let my voice go loud and fill the small room, encouraging him to fuck me harder, fuck me harder. And harder he did, our flesh slapping together as he began to lose himself, his moans coming nonstop now as he neared his release.

  Except, he faltered, and then stopped. Pulled me backward until I felt the bed sliding up beneath my body, felt the carpet touch my toes. I groaned, needing friction and needing him to start again, needing to feel him come, needing the second climax I felt approaching.

  Now he was standing up behind me, driving up and in so deep and so hard I felt him through every inch of my body, and I loved him for bringing me to this position. And then, when he leaned forward and put his lips to my ear, I loved him even more. I pushed up to rest my weight on my hand, bending at the waist to keep the delicious angle.

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