When we got home, she wrapped her arms around me and whispered, “thank you” against my neck, before disappearing inside.
Now, I sat alone in my room, my body aching for my girl.
A sudden ping against the window made me look up. I stopped writing and waited. Ping. It was a sound I hadn’t heard in years. I put down my journal and went to the window, and there she was standing in the moonlight. Indy. Still dressed in her jeans and boots, her arm paused in mid throw as she prepared to throw another stone at my window. I leaned down on the windowpane and couldn’t hold back the smile.
“You know, you can use the door. I’m pretty sure your mama ain’t gonna holler at you for being out after dark.”
She smiled and shrugged. “Now where would the fun be in that?”
I grinned. I was so pleased she was back. “Want to come up?”
Her smile faded and something in her body language changed. She nodded. “Just for a bit.”
She hoisted herself up, and I guided her through the window like I had a thousand times when we were kids.
“You okay?” I asked. I could see in her face that she wasn’t. Her eyes were sad and there was a vulnerability to her that I hadn’t seen before.
“Thank you for today,” she said. “I’m pleased I went and saw him. It was good to get things off my chest.”
She smiled awkwardly and wrapped her arms around her chest as if she didn’t know what to do.
“You feeling okay about it?” I asked, refusing to acknowledge how beautiful she looked. Or how her tank top and tight jeans clung to her perfect body.
“I just want to forget for one night, you know. About what he did. What he became. The things he said. But I constantly bounce between missing the man he was and hating the man he became… and I’m tired, Cade. I’m tired of hating him. He was a good dad. A good husband. And then he wasn’t.” She tried to act like it was no big deal, but she could barely keep her tears back. I stood up and took her in my arms and held her tightly as she finally stopped fighting her emotions and sobbed into my chest. “I miss the man he was. Before he beat her. Before he cheated on her. Before he gave up on me—”
She trembled in my arms. And I longed to take the pain from her.
“He never gave up on you,” I said. “He gave up on himself because he was broken hearted.”
I smoothed down her hair and savored the warmth of her, closing my eyes as her scent engulfed me.
She pulled away and looked up at me.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I should go.”
She turned to leave, but I reached out to stop her.
“Don’t go,” I said, my voice rough with desperation. “Stay.”
She looked unsure and glanced around the room as if the answer was hidden there somewhere.
“Nothing weird,” I said, trying to reassure her. “Like you said, let’s just forget for one night how fucked up it all is.”
She hesitated but then relaxed. She looked exhausted. “Okay.”
It was weird having her in my room again. But at the same time, there was something so right about it.
It was like we were kids again.
She curled up on my bed and I sat a safe distance from her at the desk. I’m a grown man, and let’s face it, I’m a fucking mountain of a human being. Not the type of guy who did sleepovers like a teenage girl. But having Indy in my room was like the old days. Before life fucked with us.
We talked for hours. About everything. Well, almost everything. Nothing about our breakup. And we laughed as we remembered all the good things, and nothing about the bad things.
Sometime after midnight, we found ourselves on the bed together. Close, but not touching. Our eyes heavy; our words muffled and sleepy.
She yawned and relaxed farther into the mattress. When she finally fell asleep, I didn’t wake her. It felt good. Right. And I can’t lie; I had a raging boner that would be pretty hard to hide. But I had no intention of getting close enough for her to notice. Too close and I didn’t trust myself. If I touched her, it wouldn’t be enough. I would kiss her. Undress her. And plunge so deep into her she would have no choice but to moan my name.
No. I wasn’t going to fucking touch her.
Because the ice beneath us was thin, and I didn’t want to risk it breaking and lose her forever. Today had been good and I wasn’t going to fuck it up.
Feeling content just to have her close, I fell asleep listening to her soft breaths, but wishing more than anything that my girl would come back to me.