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He was talking but saying nothing. Finally, five minutes or so into his well-rehearsed speech, I barged into the glop flowing out of his mouth.
“You’re saying nothing but lies. Every word out of you is bullshit.”
He blinked. “No, what I’m saying is—”
I lifted a hand, palm out, and he fell silent but there was fire in his gaze now. Finally the real Sam was wiggling out from under the crap.
“What you’re saying is what someone has laid out for you to say. I want Sam McAllister to talk to me, not Henry McAllister.”
“Do not go there.” Ah, now I had some real passion bubbling up out of him. Good. I leaned back in my chair, the old recliner rocking slightly as my weight settled onto the back, and I merely crossed my arms over my chest and lifted an eyebrow. “I’m fucking serious, Elo, do not ever accuse me of sounding like my father.”
“Then stop talking like him. That’s easy, right?” Maybe I shouldn’t be pushing and prodding at him so, but the air was building slowly, the crackle of anger and emotion was thickening like a storm front building intensity as it rolled across the plains. “Or are you so in his pocket now that you do not know who’s who?”
“Fuck you, Elo!” He shot to his feet, the fire dancing in his beautiful eyes now. “You have no damn idea what all is riding on me saying two simple words to a girl I care about.”
I pushed to my feet as well, the only thing separating us my coffee table. “I might know what’s riding on it if you would fucking tell me! Is this because I’m not out? If so, I will come out tomorrow. I’ll come out all over the place then it will be there for the world and we can move past it.”
He huffed in exasperation. “It’s not just that, there’s so much more.”
“Then tell me!” I shouted, and the storm winds began to pick up and spin around us. “We used to tell each other everything, Sam. Now you won’t even speak simple truths to me. Do you truly hate me so much now that you can’t even be honest with me?”
“Hate you?!” The thin tether keeping him grounded snapped, and I was thrilled to see my passionate artist emerge. He threw his hands around wildly. “For Christ’s sake, I’m doing this because I love you, you big stupid Finn! Why else would I agree to marry a woman who’s like a sister to me?!”
I threw a foot over the coffee table, then the other, putting me less than an inch from an irate, heaving Sam. His aura sparked, his eyes glowed, and his lips beckoned. I reached for him. He slapped my hands from his head.
“Come to me,” I said, slowly, firmly.
He shook his head, desire leaping from his supercharged skin to mine. “Say it in Finnish.”
Oh. Hell. “Tule luokseni.” I whispered and as soon as his lashes fluttered a bit I knew I had Sam back. My Sam. The one who loved and laughed and painted with wild abandon.
He took the small step that was needed for his chest to brush mine. I curled my hand around the back of his neck, our gazes now locked. I tugged firmly, settling him tightly against me, the long ridge of his hard cock bumping mine. A tremor ran through me at the contact.
“Elo,” he murmured, his hands on my hips. Fingers digging into the back of his neck, I covered his mouth with mine. It was Sam who licked into my mouth first. And it was Sam who jerked on me as his tongue slid over mine. It was Sam who tumbled backward onto the sofa, his fingertips bruising as they held onto my sides. And, it was Sam who suckled on my tongue when I was lying on him. All of that was Sam. He dug and clawed like a wildcat, teeth and nails and long, hot mewls every time I rocked my hips into him. His passion was out of control, a wild spin wind that sucked us both up. Grinding into each other, mouths sealed, he came violently, gasping into my mouth, grabbing at skin and clothing as he bucked under me.
I canted my hips, taking his lower lip between my teeth, giving him freedom to suck in all the air he needed. He hooked a leg over my lower back, moaning thickly, as I punched my pelvis forward, humping him, until I blew apart as well.
“God we shouldn’t have…done that,” Sam panted before sweeping into my mouth, his tongue gliding over my teeth then my lips then licking a hot path over my stubbly chin to my ear. He bit down on the lobe. I shuddered wickedly. He knew me. Knew what I loved, what I craved, what made me whimper. “Mm, sweet…”
“Yes, sweet, so sweet.” I let my weight settle on the smaller man. He sighed in pleasure, pushing his heels into my ass, suckling madly on my neck. “Come to bed. I want to be inside you.”
“I can’t. I…this shouldn’t have happened. I’m engaged to Beth.”
“Fuck Beth,” I growled, the chaotic atmosphere now dwindling, I felt him beginning to pull away, to regret.
“Don’t talk like that about her. She’s got as much to lose in this as we do.” He began to stiffen, to pull away. I had no clue how to stop his retreat.
“I’m sorry, I just…” I pressed a soft kiss to the corner of his mouth. “I’m so confused. I want you back, Sam. I need you back. Please, just tell me what to do.”
“Stop loving me.”
“That’s impossible.” I peppered his eyes and cheeks with kisses. He whimpered and sighed, his muscles loosening again, his fingers dancing over the bumps of my spine under my shirt. “Can you say you don’t love me?”
I lifted my head. He gazed up at me. I read the defeat in his eyes. “No, I can’t. But there’s more at risk here than you and me. Beth’s father…”
He shifted under me, so I pushed my weight to the side, hoping he would cuddle here on the couch, maybe talk more, free himself of the burden he carried. Hell maybe even give me some of the weight. I’d gladly share the yoke with him if I just knew what that burden was. Sadly, he sat up, slowly, his bearings more than a little off. He gave me an over-the-shoulder look that tore me into bits.
“Elo, please, just stop harassing Beth. This whole thing…” He glanced at the oil hanging over the TV. “I wish we were there now.”
“Yeah me too.” I reached up to rub between his shoulder blades.
“Would you go back to Finland with me in a year if we were free?” He asked, his sight riveted to the cabin beside the river.
“I’d go back to Finland with you right now.”
His back expanded with an enormous sigh. “You’re not making this any easier.”
“Good. I don’t want to make your wedding to a person you don’t love easy. I want to make it hard because it’s a sham and a lie. You should be marrying me.”
He stood, grabbed his coat, and made his way to the door. I buried my face into the couch cushion as the hinges on the front door creaked with cold.
“Ask me to marry you in three hundred and sixty-five days, Elo. Until then, no mention of that or us or what could or should have been. Give me a year. Please?”
“No, I can’t. I’m not waiting a year for you.”
“Somehow I knew you’d say that.”
The door clicked shut.
“Fuck,” I groaned before giving the cushion the pounding I wanted to give Henry and Beth’s father. I needed to get to the bottom of this. I needed to call someone, somewhere, and somehow get the facts uncovered so Sam, Beth, and I could do something. Later. Right now I needed a shower, some food, and the bottle of Koskenkorva sitting in the cupboard. Not necessarily in that order either.
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