Until Fountain Bridge - Page 16/18

I turned my head in shock at the sound of the familiar voice, and watched with a pounding heart as Adam strode into the flat toward me. He looked like hell with dark circles under his bloodshot eyes, and it looked like he hadn’t shaved in a couple of days.

He was still absolutely beautiful, and the way he was gazing at me, like I was something precious just dancing out of his arm’s reach, was absolutely beautiful.

When he stopped before me he took my hand and raised it to his mouth, squeezing his eyes closed as he pressed a kiss against it. My breath caught as he opened his eyes and I saw the tears from yesterday were back again, shimmering in their depths. I also knew from the determined fire blazing in his eyes that he had really meant it when he said he’d only waste a little more time for me. As in less than twenty four hours.

That’s why when he tugged me by the hand and drew me into the kitchen as he faced up to Braden, I let him. Because in a few hours I’d discover whether or not I had the biggest fight of my life on my hands, and even after everything, the only person I wanted fighting by my side was Adam Gerard Sutherland. We had a history, and I wanted to keep adding years to that history.

“I need to tell you something,” Adam faced Braden and I could feel the tension vibrating from his body.

He was doing it. He was really willing to risk it for me. I squeezed his hand tighter.

Braden crossed his arms over his chest, his eyes moving from Adam to me and then back to Adam again and I knew he knew but he wasn’t going to make it easy. “Go on.”

“You’re like a brother to me. I would never do anything to hurt you. And I know I haven’t been what a brother would consider good material for his wee sister, but I love Ellie, Braden.

I have for a long time now, and I can’t not be with her. I’ve wasted too much time as it is.”

I don’t think either of us took a breath as we waited for Braden’s response. After a minute’s contemplation he finally turned to me, his gaze softening. “Do you love him?”

Adam looked back at me and I was surprised to find a glint of insecurity in his eyes. Silly man. I gripped his arm tighter to reassure him and then smiled at my brother. “Yes.”

And then quite casually, as if Adam and I weren’t tied up in knots over his possible reaction, Braden just shrugged and leaned over to switch on the kettle. “About bloody time.

You two were giving me a headache.”

My muscles tensed in reaction. All this time he’d known? Adam and I had put ourselves through pain and heartbreak these last few months and Braden had known all along how we felt about one another.

“You really are a know-it-all pain in the ass,” Joss said for us all. She pushed past him in annoyance and stopped to say more softly, “I’m happy for you,” to me and Adam before she flounced down the hall to the bathroom.

Braden laughed softly. “She loves me really.”

The bathroom door slammed at that and Braden laughed again. Adam narrowed his eyes on him. “I hope she puts you through hell, you cocky bastard.”

Braden smirked and shifted his gaze to me. “I had to make sure you were willing to fight for her. She’s worth the fight.”

Adam sighed and put his arm around my shoulder, drawing me into his side so he could kiss the top of my head. “I know that better than anyone.”

I closed my eyes and inhaled him, thanking whatever divine being out there that had added another blast of light into my darkness.

*** For a moment I just lay there, my smile pressed into my pillow. Not only had I awoken to the heat of Adam curled into my back, his forehead pressed against my nape in sleep, his heavy arm draped across my waist and his right leg caught in between mine, but I’d awoken to the lightness of remembered relief. I’d awoken feeling stronger than I had done in what had felt like a very long time.

Yesterday, although I knew from the look on his face he wanted to come with me, Adam had, along with Braden, Joss, Hannah and Dec, quietly remained at my flat while Mum and Clark accompanied me to my appointment with the neurosurgeon. Dr. Dunham was a pleasant man in his early forties who shunted the fear of God out of me and my parents with five words, “There’s nothing to worry about.” He assured us that the cause of the physical symptoms was actually a large cist attached to two very small tumors, and the cist was causing pressure. He told us it had to be removed and because of its placement—on the surface of my brain—there was very little risk to the surgery. Like two percent risk. He’d also told us that there was little chance of the tumors proving to be cancerous but that they’d be sent off for biopsy to make sure. He’d scheduled me in for surgery in two weeks’ time, and although now that I had time to think about it I was scared as all hell about going under the knife, the relief of knowing that there was a massive chance I was fighting a small fight and not one for my life was overwhelming and draining.

When I’d returned home to give everyone the optimistic news, Adam had surprised me by kissing me right there in front of my parents. I was even more surprised to discover they weren’t the least bit surprised. Afterward we’d all gone next door to the pub to gather our thoughts and try to unwind from what had been the most horrendous twenty fours I’d ever remembered experiencing. I sat in the pub with Adam on one side and Hannah curled into me on the other, and, despite everything, I felt incredibly lucky as I gazed around at my friends and family.

Mum and Clark eventually took Hannah and Dec home, Braden reluctantly left to give Joss some space and Joss disappeared into her room to give me and Adam some space. We ordered take away, which I ravenously ate since I hadn’t eaten anything for what felt like forever, and hung out on my bed. We talked for a little while, but there was so much to talk about it and I was too exhausted to give us the focus we needed. It seemed Adam was too because he disappeared with our leftovers and returned only to cuddle up to me in the bed and reach out to switch off the light.

Now I was awake with soft morning sun pouring in through my curtains, I was feeling strong and ready to take on anything, and Adam Sutherland was spooning me.

It was kind of beautiful.

I felt his hair tickle my neck as he moved and his arm tightened across my waist. “You awake, baby?” he murmured, sleep making his voice extra sexy.

My grin got bigger. “Yeah.” I lightly caressed his forearm. “You know in all the years I’ve known you I’ve never slept near you. You make noises.”

I felt his chest move behind me in laughter. “Noises?”

Twisting now, so I could look into his eyes, I grinned up into his face as he leaned over me. “You make ‘mmm’ noises.”

Adam grinned back at me. “What are ‘mmm’ noises?”

“You know ‘mmm’ noises. ‘Mmm’… when something tastes or sounds good.”

He grimaced. “Like ‘yum’ noises?”

“Exactly but you know, ‘mmm’…”

“I think I just took a hit to my masculinity.”

I burst out laughing and turned around so we were face to face, my hands reaching up to stroke his jaw. “Don’t worry. I liked it. I just imagined the ‘mmm’s’ were for me.”

Wrapping his arms tighter around me and pulling my leg over his hip so we were crushed together, Adam’s eyes grew drowsy and heated as he stared at my mouth. “They were for you.”

“How could they be for me if you didn’t even know you make them?”

“Because I dream about you,” he answered instantly and I stilled in surprise. He felt it and gave me a squeeze. “I’ve been having these dreams about you for a few years now.”

“What am I doing in them?” I asked somewhat breathlessly. There was a rising tide of warmth in my chest, and an even hotter heat tingling between my legs at his confession.

His hand slid down my waist to caress my bum and then he pulled my lower body against his and I could feel his morning erection pressing against me. I felt my nipples tighten in reaction, and drew in a shuddery breath. “Sometimes we’re making love, other times we’re fucking.”

I lifted my eyes to his, my smile dimming. “I don’t like that word.”

His mouth twitched. “You think it’s unromantic.”

He knew me too well. I shrugged unsurely.

“Els, wanting to fuck you doesn’t mean I don’t love you.”

Needing more clarification, I slid my hands down from his face and settled them lightly on his chest. “What does it mean?”

His voice was hoarse now, “When I want to fuck you it means I’m in the mood for rough and hard.”

To my utter shock his words were turning me on. I squirmed a little against him and felt my cheeks flush. “I don’t think I’ve ever been…” I still wasn’t sure if I could say the word.

I’d admonished Joss so many times for using it because it was so tawdry sounding but when Adam put it like that… “Say it,” he whispered across my mouth. “I want to hear it from your sweet mouth, baby.”

I gulped and bravely met his eyes. “I’ve… I’ve never been fucked,” I whispered.

If it was possible he grew even harder against me and when his hand slipped between our bodies and under my pants, his fingers thrusting gently but easily into me, Adam groaned.

“Baby…” he leaned into me, his mouth brushing mine, his tongue just touching the tip of mine. “I think you like the thought of me fucking you.”

In response I kissed him. It was a deep kiss, one I meant to encourage the whole “f-word”

thing but instead it turned soulful and desperate.

Adam rolled me onto my back, pressing my legs apart so he could settle between them, and when he broke our kiss it was to look into my eyes with such adoration I couldn’t breathe. “I’m not going to fuck you this morning, baby. This morning I’m going to make love to you. We’ll leave the rest until you’re recovered and at full strength.” His eyes darkened with promise. “You’re going to need it.”