I held tight to his straining biceps while he sunk slowly into me. Now that I was used to his size, I loved the way it made me feel. Incredibly at his mercy. His.

I arched against him, squeezing my eyes closed and exposing my neck. He dampened my throat with wet kisses and began fucking me harder. Each time he thrust into me, I lifted to meet him. Soon his grunts mingled with mine and we lost ourselves entirely.

He wasn’t overly vocal during sex, but I loved the sound of his heavy breathing and soft grunts near my ear. “I’m going to come,” he whispered, clutching my hips tightly as he thrust a final few times until his warm semen spilled inside me.

He kissed my mouth gently and lay down beside me. “You are amazing.” He smiled.

“So are you,” I whispered. I nestled into Logan’s arms with my back against his front. He cuddled around me. I’d never felt so happy and alive. Logan, with no memory of his own life was teaching me how to live in the moment and enjoy mine.

Chapter Eleven

When I woke a few hours later, groggy from the wine and the uncomfortable position I’d fallen asleep in, it took me a moment to recall what had happened earlier. As the memories of making love to Logan danced through my memory, a smile pulled at my lips. Despite the fact that going on a date with one man and making love to another within the span of a few hours was sort of sleazy, it was a great night. And if the little bit of soreness deep within my body was any indication, he’d probably enjoyed it too.

I rolled over to cuddle with Logan, but I realized I was in the bed alone. I’d thought that last night’s sex has brought us closer and revealed a new side of him to me, but he was gone.

I was still naked, so I pulled on a tank top and a pair of panties and wandered out of the bedroom to find him.

He was sitting at the dining room table, shirtless and hunched over a nearly-finished painting.

I ran my hand along his back, not expecting him to startle at my touch.

“Hey.” He glanced up quickly, but then continued to work, the brush moving quickly in his hand.

Hurt over his less than warm greeting after just fucking me and leaving me in bed alone, I gazed down at the painting that was capturing his attention.

It was a beautiful woman with dark flowing hair. Her hair was swept over one shoulder, with the smallest hint of a grin on her full lips. Her eyes were chocolate brown, and her skin had the hint of an olive complexion. She looked exotic and alluring and even more than that, Logan had captured her sensual essence. Instead of admiring what a talented artist he was, I felt jealous. Who was the woman in the painting?

I went to the kitchen to get a glass of water and allowed Logan to finish his painting. When I returned to the dining room, he was rinsing his brushes.

“Why’d you get up? Did you have a nightmare?”

He shook his head. “I didn’t fall asleep.”

Oh. I felt embarrassed that after our lovemaking I’d passed out, exhausted.

“I remembered something.”

“That’s great, Logan,” I tried to sound encouraging.

“I don’t think you’re going to like it.”

“Why not? What was it?” I mentally braced myself.

“A woman.”

“Her?” I motioned to the painting.

He nodded. “When I was inside you…I remembered a woman from my past. I’m sorry, I know it sounds… crazy, but I had to paint her to see if I could remember anything else.”

My stomach twisted into a painful knot. While he was inside of me? I felt faint. Breathe, Ashlyn. “And did you?”

“No.” He shook his head. “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to upset you.” His eyes held mine, looking concerned.

“Logan, it’s okay. I know you had a life before me and that you want to piece it all together.”

“I’m beginning to doubt I’ll ever remember.”

“You will,” I said confidently. He’d already made such great progress already and it had only been a couple of weeks. I’m just scared what’s going to happen to us when you remember it, I added silently.

Chapter Twelve

By the morning there were three more paintings of the woman. I toured the dining room, observing his new artwork. In one, the mysterious woman was sipping a glass of red wine, in another she wore a yellow sun dress and the third painting just pissed me off. She was lying in bed with only a white sheet covering her. Logan had perfectly captured the dips and curves of her enviable body. It took great restraint not to throw that painting through the open window.

I’d been so set on helping him to remember his former life, but now I only wanted him to forget his past and build a future with me. I knew it was a dangerous way to think and would only lead to heartbreak, but I couldn’t help that I was falling for Logan.

I worked on cleaning up my thesis all morning and late that afternoon, I heard Logan finally arrive home from work. He’d been planning out and sketching his mural before the actual painting was set to begin in a week or so.

He found me sitting at the table, laptop forgotten, lost in thought as I stared at the much hated painting of the woman lying in bed. He came up behind me and kneaded my shoulders. “Hey there. You need a break?”

“Hm?” I mumbled, looking up into his beautiful hazel eyes. “What’d you have in mind?”

He bent down and kissed my temple. I couldn’t help but wonder if he was being sweet to me to make up for turning me away last night to paint another woman. I reminded myself that it wasn’t his fault and let myself enjoy the moment, the sensation of his strong hands massaging my shoulders, and the feel of his warm breath on the back of my neck.

“That feels nice,” I murmured, reaching around behind me to grip his waist.

I hauled him against me and could feel that he was already hard.

He continued the massage for a few minutes more and then lifted me from the chair, holding me against his chest and carried me to the bedroom. Once we reached my room, with Tom right on our heels, he set my feet on the floor and maneuvered Tom outside, shutting the door.

He stood there, grinning at me.

“What?” I asked, reaching for him.

“I missed you today.” He nuzzled against my neck and left a trail of soft, damp kisses.

His admission shocked me. I had assumed I was alone in the feelings I was developing for him. When he met my mouth, our kiss turned frantic. Our lips connected, our tongues desperately stroking each other’s.

I groaned. “Logan. I need you.”

He unbuttoned my jeans, thrust them down to my ankles and helped me pull them off. Then he unbuckled his belt, backing me up against the wall. He pushed my back against the wall, holding me in place while he assaulted my mouth with kisses. His hand snaked between us and stroked me until I was wet and ready. Before I had to beg, he pulled his jeans and boxers down just enough to free himself, and then lifted me up, using the wall as leverage to hold me in place.

“Yes,” I whispered when I felt him nudging at my entrance.

His chest rumbled with a deep growl when he met my wetness.

“Are you still sore from last night?” he whispered.

I shook my head and he began moving again. I could feel how tight I was around him as he inched his way in. He pressed his face into the crook of my neck and groaned, then pushed himself all the way inside. I gasped at the pressure, and dug my nails into his back.

“Is this okay?” He pulled back to meet my eyes.

I moaned in response and he smiled and began moving again.

“You. Feel. So. Fucking. Good,” he said, peppering my mouth with kisses in between each thrust.

Our breathing and groans got louder as we built quickly towards orgasm together.

I didn’t know what had possessed him, but he was fucking me hard, pounding me against the wall and I loved this unleashed side of him. “Logan,” I called, arching my back against as the wall as I came. He wasn’t far behind me, a few more deep drives and he uttered something unintelligible and came inside me.

He lowered me to my feet and kissed me softly while gazing into my eyes lovingly. “Was that okay?”

“Of course. Why wouldn’t it be?”

“I’m sorry if I was too rough with you.” He smoothed my hair away from my face, tucking it behind my ears.

“Well, in case there was any doubt, I liked it very much.”

“Good.” He smiled, looking relieved. “Come lay down with me.” He tugged my hand towards the bed.

“Just let me clean up first.” I ducked inside the bathroom, chuckling at my image in the mirror. I was still dressed from the waist up, but was naked from the waist down. I wiped myself clean and washed my hands, then returned to my room to find him lying in my bed. He pulled the blankets aside invitingly. “Come here, beautiful.”

I cuddled in beside him, resting my head on his chest. I liked the way my soft curves fit against the hard length of his body. I listened to the steady thumping of his heartbeat and wondered again what was going to happen to us when he remembered who he was.

“Logan?” I glanced up and noticed his eyes were closed. I couldn’t help myself for being such a girl, but I felt like we needed to talk about our relationship.

“Hm?” He cracked open one eye. “What sweetheart?”

“What’s going to happen when you remember? To us, I mean.”

He stayed quiet for several minutes, but he found my hand and intertwined his fingers between mine. “You deserve more than what I can give you.”

I wanted to protest. He was kind and loving and smart, but I knew there was some truth to his words too. “What does that mean?”

“I want to be ready for more, but I’m not yet.”

He was only half a man, how could I expect him to be ready for a relationship? “Okay,” I said somberly.

“But when I am ready, I know I would be lucky to have you as mine.”

There was nothing else to say, so I closed my eyes and listened to the thumping of his heart and tried not to focus on how bad it might hurt when Logan left.

***

Logan’s nightmares continued each night, but now that he slept in the bed with me, I knew to wake him up and hold him until the trembling went away. Sometimes he would strip me naked and kiss me all over until I was screaming his name, lost in his caresses, other times he’d just lay there and let me hold him, but we hadn’t made love again.

He also still stayed up late to paint. Painting was the only way he could express the memories trapped in his mind. I now had several new paintings decorating my apartment, most prominently featured were several versions of a white two-story house, a few of the warehouse he was found in, and a street sign called Mercy Avenue with a park in the distance, but none of them helped us piece his story together any more than the last. It turned out there wasn’t even a Mercy Avenue in Chicago, leading us to wonder where that particular memory was from.

I wish I could say the act of painting brought him peace at least, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. He was tense and on edge until he finished one and then disappointed when it didn’t turn out to reveal anything useful. His pain hung thick in the air, turning my apartment into a strange experience. I’d tried to comfort him, and rub his shoulders, but nothing seemed to help. The only time he truly seemed comfortable and at peace was when he was in bed with me at night, holding me and bringing me pleasure.

Chapter Thirteen

As a solution to ease Logan’s recent edginess, I suggested we go out to dinner. Logan and I hadn’t spent any time together in public and I didn’t like thinking that I was keeping him hidden away in my apartment, like he was someone to be ashamed of.

I talked Logan into trying the Thai restaurant near my apartment, the one with the golden elephant on the sign that I’d wondered about bringing him to. Logan wasn’t sure if he liked Thai food, but I explained that introducing him to different sensory experiences could help to provoke a memory.

We were seated at a cozy table in the back where a single votive candle flickered. I couldn’t help of thinking of this as a date. I ordered several different dishes for us to try, ginger stir-fry, pad Thai, and chicken satay with curry and peanut sauce. When the food came, Logan tried everything and liked it, but said he wasn’t reminded of anything.

At the end of the meal, he insisted on paying, only fueling my belief that this was a date. Delusional, I know.

After dinner we strolled down the street, occasionally stopping to look in shop windows. Things were feeling peaceful and domestic between us. Which should have been my first notion that everything was about to change.

We stopped in Grant Park and strolled around the perimeter as the sun was beginning its descent, turning the sky brilliant hues of pink and orange.

Logan stopped suddenly, his eyes trained across the park. I turned to see what had captured his attention. It was a beat up silver sedan stopped at the light. A man was standing near the driver’s door passing something in through the open window to a guy in the driver’s seat. I couldn’t tell what had changed hands, but figured it was a drug deal.

My heart rate picked up. Had this captured Logan’s attention because of the oddness of the situation, or because this is part of a memory from his past?

With the transaction complete, the man on foot wandered away, stuffing a wad of cash into his pocket.

The guy driving glanced around to ensure he hadn’t been spotted, but when he saw Logan, he smiled.

“Hey man!” The guy waved excitedly. “Where’ve you been hiding?” He looked straight at Logan.

Logan’s mouth dropped open. He knew this guy?

The light changed to green and the car began to pull away, but the guy stuck his hand out the window and waved. “Hit me up soon!” he yelled out the window as the car pulled away.

Logan took off, chasing after the car before I had the chance to respond. I jogged behind him, trying to keep up.

The car sped up and was soon lost in the maze of traffic on the busy city street. Logan stopped and bent over, resting his hands on his knees, breathing hard.

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