Read Tempting Rowan (Trace + Olivia #3) Online

Authors: Micalea Smeltzer

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Coming of Age, #Romance, #Contemporary

Tempting Rowan (Trace + Olivia #3) (22 page)

I don’t know if it was the fact that we couldn’t keep our hands off each other, or what, but I was hungry all the time.

I closed the dressing room door behind me and reached around to undo the zipper. It started to fall off my shoulders and I gasped when I looked into the mirror and found Trenton standing behind me.

“Trent, what are you doing?”

He didn’t use words to answer me. He picked me up and my legs automatically wound around his lean waist. He backed me against the wall, using it to support me as his lips ravished mine. “You look fucking gorgeous in this dress and I wanted to be the one to get you out of it,” he growled against my lips. He sucked on my neck and a gasp escaped me.

“Trent,” I breathed, pushing against his shoulders, “we can’t do this here.”

“Yes, we can,” he kissed his way over my collarbone and to the other side of my neck, “but you’ll have to be really quiet.”

“What if someone finds us?” I protested.

“So what?” He countered, covering my lips with his and effectively cutting off any further protests.

He undid his belt buckle and pushed his jeans down, careful to hold me up.

“This is going to be hard and fast,” he warned. “Are you okay with this?” He cupped my cheek tenderly in his hand.

I knew if I told him to stop, that this wasn’t okay, he would, but I didn’t say that. I nodded, giving him permission, unable to ignore the rush of adrenaline coursing through my veins. I knew we could get caught at any moment, but that only added to the excitement.

“Hold on tight,” he chuckled, pushing the dress up and ripping off my panties. Like, he literally
ripped
them off. I didn’t know guys did that in real life. It was kind of hot.

Once he had fixed a condom on, he
was inside me in one smooth hard stroke and I gasped. I reached up, covering my mouth with my hand to stifle any sounds I made.

He hadn’t been kidding when he warned that this was going to be hard and fast. I kept one hand over my mouth, and clung to him with the other.

Knowing that we could be caught at any moment had my excitement building.

I held my breath as my orgasm grew closer, it was so hard not to make any sounds, but there was something
intoxicating about it too.

Trent’s gaze found mine and I knew he was close too. Looking into his eyes, I let myself fall off the edge, knowing he’d be there to catch me.

He came too, his fingers digging into my hips to keep me from falling. Slowly, he brought his head up, kissing me deeply, and braced one hand beside my head. “You’re the only one I want,” he whispered, nibbling on my chin.

My eyes closed as I swallowed thickly.

And the only one you can never have.

c
hapter fourteen

Kisses were tenderly pressed against the skin of my neck, down over my breasts, and then a hand eased my shirt up and even more kisses were pressed against my stomach.

“Trenton,” I groaned, trying to roll away, clinging to the soft pillows. I had been sleeping so well and I didn’t want to wake up, even with such sweet kisses. “I’m tired.”

He pinched my waist and pulled my body back over to the edge of the bed. “We need to go,” he whispered in my ear. “We’re going to miss our flight.”

Flight.

Shit.

I’d completely forgotten we were heading home today. My heart stopped in my chest for a second before resuming its beat at a frantic pace. If we were going home, that meant tonight was the New Year’s Eve party, and tomorrow I’d have to tell him that this was over between us. I couldn’t keep doing do this to him—to myself—the longer we were together, the more it created a false hope for a future we could never have.

I suddenly never wanted to leave New York, because as long as we stayed, I could pretend the outside world no longer existed.

“I don’t want to go home,” I mumbled, burying my face in the pillow.

I didn’t see how I could force myself out of this bed to get ready and have to act normal. I had less than twenty-four hours with him, and I knew I needed to make every moment count, but I wasn’t sure I could do it. It would be easier to re
sort to how I had always been in the past when things bothered me. Withdrawn. Emotionless. Broken.

I took a deep breath and rolled onto my back, cracking my eyes open.

Trent was smiling above me. “We have an hour to get packed and to the airport.”

An hour was plenty of time for me. I wasn’t one of those girls who had to do her hair and pile on gobs of makeup. I didn’t care what I looked like.

Trenton headed out of the room and I was left alone. I forced myself to stand, reluctant to leave behind the comfy bed, and I hated to shed the borrowed t-shirt of Trent’s that I was wearing.

I yawned, stretching my arms above my head.

This had been the greatest week of my life, but also the worst. This had given me a taste at what life with Trent would be like, and I liked it a bit too much. Being with him was so easy. He was well aware of my flaws and he could see past them. He brought out the best in me, something no one else had ever been able to do. Without him in my life, I’d become a drone, simply going through the motions on a daily basis—just like I had done before he came back into my life for a second time.

I padded into the bathroom, brushing my teeth and hair,
and packing things into my toiletry bag. I pulled my hair into a bun on top of my head and secured it with a hair tie. I took a quick shower, washing my body with the sugar scented body wash.

I dropped the shirt of Trent’s that I’d been wearing on top of his bag.

I dressed casually for the plane ride in leggings and sweater. I slipped my feet into a pair of flats and checked the bedroom to make sure I’d packed everything before zipping the suitcase closed.

Since Trenton hadn’t returned
I took the time to pack his bag too and wheeled them both out to the foyer.

Trent was in the kitchen making us breakfast.

I smiled, taking a seat at one of the barstools. “You know,” I smiled, taking a sip of freshly squeezed orange juice from the glass he’d had waiting, “a girl could get used to this.”

“Well,” he smiled, handing me a plate with scrambled eggs and toast, “if I had my way, you would.”

Guilt threatened to suffocate me. Here I was, smiling and joking with him about a future I was well aware I was about to extinguish.

After that thought hit me, I found it nearly impossible to eat my breakfast.

“Hey,” Trent bumped my shoulder with his, “are you okay?”

I felt like he was always asking me
if I was okay, and I almost never was.

“Just tired,” I replied, using my fork to push the scrambled eggs around the plate.

“I guess that’s my fault,” he winked, taking a bite of toast.

Besides the near constant sex, Trent had shown me different places around the city nearly every day. He was familiar with the city, so he didn’t waste much time on the touristy things, instead showing me the heart. He’d also taken me to one or two different restaurants every day. I was sure I had probably gained ten pounds in the last week, but I didn’t care. I had enjoyed myself too much to regret even a single moment.

Trent finished eating, and when he saw that I wasn’t going to force anymore down my throat he cleaned my plate as well.

“I want to warn you,” he said, his words instantly making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, “that this party can be a bit…stuffy…if you know what I mean. Just stick with me, okay?”

I nodded, too relieved to know his warning had been about the party and not anything else.

“Trace and Olivia will be there with Dean, so of course you know them,” he shrugged, bracing his hands on the counters. I couldn’t keep my eyes from the way the muscles in his arms flexed with the motion. “But if it gets to be too much, you can tell me, Row.”

Row. I loved it when he called me by my nickname, treasuring the way it sounded leaving his lips.

“I know,” I answered, sliding from the barstool. I don’t know what made me do it, but I found myself wrapping my arms around his middle and hugging him. He seemed shocked at first but his arms eventually wound around me as well. I felt his lips press tenderly against the top of my head.

He grasped my arms so I couldn’t pull away, and looked down at me, studying my face like he was searching for something. Finally, he said, “I feel like there’s something you’re not telling me.”

There was
everything
that I wasn’t telling him.

“You must be imagining things,” I laughed, schooling my features into a mask that even he couldn’t see through.

I hated lying to him, I really did, but I didn’t have a choice. One day, I hoped he’d see that.

Trent nodded, and it was obvious he didn’t believe me, but he wanted to.

He looked at the shiny silver watch adorning his wrist and muttered, “We have to leave or we’ll miss our flight.”

“Can you actually miss a flight when you own the plane?” I joked, hoping to distract him.

“Good point,” he chuckled, heading for the foyer, and running his hands nervously through his dark hair. “We’ll simply be
delayed
then.”

He wheeled our suitcases into the elevator and I looked around the penthouse one last time.

I wouldn’t be returning, I knew that, and I wanted to take this moment to remember everything.

“Row, come on,” Trent called, his arm keeping the elevator door from sliding closed.

I took a deep breath and stepped in beside him.

The doors closed and I was overcome by sadness as the penthouse disappeared from my sight. I had created some really great memories in that place—memories that would last a lifetime.

When the doors opened, the lower garage appeared, and the same car and driver that had dropped us off waited.

The driver
opened the car door for us and then deposited our suitcases in the trunk. I leaned my head against the leather seat, wishing I didn’t
feel
everything. I wasn’t talking about physical touch. No, I was referring to the emotions I felt at the moment. I had so many emotions rolling through my body that I felt dizzy. It seemed impossible to feel so happy, sad, angry, and a billion other things all at one time.

“Are you getting sick?” Trenton asked and I turned to look at him. I knew I needed to get my act together or he wouldn’t leave this alone.

“Like I said, I’m just tired.” I rested my head against the cold glass window as the driver pulled out of the garage and into the busy traffic.

Trent and I didn’t speak on the way to the airport. I pretended to be sleeping and he read something on his phone.

The flight back was almost as quiet. I knew I should make use of every moment I had left with him, but it would only remind me further that our end was near.

Once midnight struck, and the New Year began, I’d have to say goodbye.

Damn.

I really was like Cinderella.

Only, instead of two wicked stepsisters, I had the kindest, sweetest, kids waiting for me back home. They’d hold me together through my grief, they wouldn’t understand what had upset me, but they’d be there to offer their quiet comfort.

Wh
en we got off the plane one of the crewmembers loaded our bags into Trent’s car. I couldn’t quite get used to the fact that Trent had other people to do such simple tasks. I felt like I should help the man with my suitcase, but I knew that would only offend him, and I didn’t want that.

“Something’s wrong with you,” Trent
stated once we were driving home. His jaw was stiff and his knuckles had turned white where he gripped the steering wheel.

I opened my mouth to assure him that I was fine, but he spoke over me.

“Don’t you fucking
dare
say you’re okay,” he reached up, adjusting his sunglasses. “I know you, and you can’t lie to me. You’re hiding something from me. I wish you could see that you can trust me. I’d never betray you, Row,
never
,” he beat his fist against the steering wheel. “I can feel you pulling away from me again, and I fought so hard to get you back. Don’t fucking do this to me again,” he pleaded.

I didn’t know what to say as he ranted. I didn’t think there was anything I
could
say. If I opened my mouth, only lies would spill out, and there was already an ocean of them between us.

“I know you don’t want
me to say it, Rowan, but I love you. Do you hear me?” He glanced at me. “I love you! I love you! I. Love.
You
. Whatever is going on with you, you can tell me and we’ll work through it together.
Nothing
could ever change my feelings for you.”

I swallowed thickly, choking on the sudden lump that had lodged itself in my throat. “I know you think that now, but there are some truths about me that you don’t want know.” Tears filled my eyes, but they didn’t spill over. Trent’s mouth fell open in shock as he noted the shimmering in my eyes. He knew me well enough to know that I never cried, and rarely came even close to it.

“I want to know everything about you, damn it!” He slammed his hand against the steering wheel. “The good, the bad,
everything
. None of it will change how I feel about you.”

“That’s where you’re wrong,” I whispered, looking down at my shaking hands.

He thrust his fingers through his hair, making it stick up in uncontrollable directions.

“Just tell me
. Whatever it is, just tell me,” he pleaded with me, but it was to no avail.

“I
can’t
!” I screamed. “Do you understand what I’m saying? I
can’t
! I didn’t say I
won’t
, I said I
can’t
,” my voice lowered to a softer tone, but my breathing was accelerated, my loud breaths currently the only sound in the car.

“What…” He paused. “What does that mean?”

“It means,” I crossed my arms over my chest, glaring at the side of his face as he drove, “that I was a naïve child and I put my trust in the wrong fucking person,” I growled, and he stiffened at my use of foul language. I wasn’t one to cuss, at least out loud, and I never spoke this passionately. “I signed my fucking life away, Trenton!” My lower lip trembled with the threat of tears, tears I had refused to cry for five years. “I gave up
everything
for no reason! I’m legally bound to my silence! I gave up my entire
life
for
nothing!
” My breath was coming out in short shallow gasps. “Pull over,” I gripped the door handle tightly in my fist. “Pull over!”

He did, watching me with shock on his face as I broke down.

As soon as the car was stopped I was out, pacing the side of the busy road.

I couldn’t believe I’d told him all of that.

I should’ve never opened my mouth.

Oh. My. God.

I sunk to my knees, gravel digging into the thin cotton of my leggings, and let my head fall forward into my hands. None of my tears fell, even though I willed them too.

I clutched my stomach, letting my head fall forward as a scream tore through my throat.

I couldn’t do this.

This lie was suffocating me.

It was going to kill me.

And I was going to let it, because I had no choice.

Everybody thinks they have a choice in life.

Not me.

All my choices were taken from me at sixteen years old.

I wished I had been strong enough to stop it, to stand up for myself, but I hadn’t. The one person I should’ve been able to trust, took my powers and my choices away from me. I wished I had done things differently, but I hadn’t, and now I’d have to spend my whole life suffering for one wrong decision.

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