Home > Holding His Forever(7)

Holding His Forever(7)
Author: Alexa Riley

I pull her hand off my chest and kiss her palm, feeling the warmth of her skin spread to my lips and through my body. Her touch does wild things to me. Smiling, I help her into the cab and give the driver the station address.

Then I stare at her, with the goofiest grin on my face, the whole way there.

7

Fia

“This place is really nice,” I say, looking over and up at Derek. He looks like a warrior towering over me, the top of my head barely meeting his shoulder. His dark hair is cut short. His facial features are all hard lines, but when a small smile pulls at his lips, his face completely changes, making his dark brown eyes seem soft. The ring of green on the outside of his irises seem to come to life. It makes me want to do something to make him smile again.

When I’d come stumbling out of my apartment, he was just standing there, looking like my savior. I thought for a moment he wasn’t real. Everything seemed to happen in a fog.

The only reason I’d woken up was because the sounds of the sirens had jolted me awake. Then I’d smelt the smoke, and everything became a fog. Literally and figuratively. There was only him, and everything went black until he was there again. Every time I opened my eyes, he was there, and I’d felt like everything was going to be okay in that moment. That I didn’t have to worry. As long as I kept hold of him, I’d be fine.

He’d kept me safe. A feeling I hadn’t had in a long time, one that left when my mother left this world. But the reality of it is, he isn’t mine, and I’m not sure I want to wake up from that fog and face the world again. Or take stock of what pieces of the world I used to have are now left.

“Ah, yeah, I guess.” He turns from looking at me to look around the apartment like he’s never seen it before. I’m not sure it’s even an apartment. It’s more of a townhome. It’s better than any place I’ve ever stayed before.

It’s modern but clean. It has an open living area with a giant TV mounted on the wall, and a dining room and kitchen flow into each other. Everything matches and has a place. You could easily fit my little place into this four times over.

The furnishings are all in deep wood colors, making it look masculine. It almost looks unlived in, as if it’s one of those houses to show people the home’s potential.

I don’t want to touch anything in case I mess it up. It makes me feel a little out of place, like I shouldn’t be in here. “Are you sure this is okay? I can really just”

“No, it’s fine,” he says, cutting me off and pulling me further into the home. “Kitchen, dining room, and living room.” He points to each area, then starts to pull me down the hall.

“An office here and spare bathroom here.” He points to two closed doors, but keeps pulling me down the hall. “This room is just empty.” He points to another closed door, not bothering to open it. We get to the last door in the hallway. He pushes to the door open, pulling me in with him.

I don’t know why I’m not scared. I should be freaking out, letting a man I don’t know drag me around an unfamiliar home. We are completely alone, but all I feel is safe.

“The bedroom,” he says, releasing my hand and walking over to the bed.

The bedroom looks just like the rest of the house. Pretty but simple.

I look down at myself, thinking about crawling into the perfectly made bed. The hospital gave me some tie pants and a baggy shirt that reads Mercy West Hospital across the chest, but it was a pointless endeavor because I’ve made them smell like smoke.

The reminder makes me want to cry. I have no freaking clothes, and the ones I do have, smell. I push down the lump rising in my throat. I’ll make the bed smell just as bad if I crawl into it, and right now that’s all I want to do.

Sleep, if only for a few hours, before I need to get to my first job of the day.

When I look back up, Derek is standing right in front of me.

“You want a shower, angel?” His words are soft and sweet, such a contrast to his giant size.

“I smell like smoke. I don’t want to get it on the bed.” I think about the leather sofa in the living room. Maybe I could shower and sleep on that. It feels wrong to sleep in someone else’s bed. Intimate.

“Alright. Take a shower.” He nods to a door, which I’m guessing leads to the bathroom. “And I’ll find you something to wear. I’ll put it on the bed. Towels should be in there.”

“Thank you for everything. I promise I’ll be out of your hair in no time.”

“No rush.” His hand comes up and cups my cheek for just a second as he brushes a thumb across it. He leaves the room and shuts the door behind him.

I turn, going into the bathroom and looking at myself in the mirror. The sight makes me cringe. I normally don’t care what I look like, but I look a freaking hot mess. My eyes are red underneath, and smudges of smoke mar my face and arms. My blonde hair almost looks a shade darker than its usual color.

I turn away and flip on the shower, dropping my clothes to the floor, wanting them and the smoke removed from my body as fast as possible. I don’t know how many times I wash my hair, trying to make sure the smell is gone, but when exhaustion finally catches up to me, I give in. I turn off the water and pull myself from the bathroom.

I see the clothes sitting on the side of the bed, and the bedroom door is closed once again. I let myself fall into bed. I just want to rest my eyes for a second before I get dressed and pull myself to the living room.

But before I know it, sleep takes me.

   
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