Conquer Your Love(Surrender Your Love 02)

By: J.C. Reed

Chapter 27





One Week later in New York City



WE WERE LYING on the soft rug in the living room of Jett’s amazing apartment. My head rested on his chest, his arms wrapped around me, the warmth from the fireplace engulfing us like a cocoon, taking us to a place where love could light up the sky and nothing was broken. Jett’s fingers caressed my back as I listened to his strong heartbeat. In the midst of the stillness, his breathing returned to normal. I moved closer to him and my hands trailed down the almost faded scars on his body telling so many stories I didn’t know. Stories that reminded him of the many dark places he had seen and the many dark things he had done—just like the scars in my heart that reminded me how risky it was to love.

“Having you around me all day long is tempting,” Jett whispered.

I laughed and shook my head in confusion. “Why? What would you do?”

“For starters, I would chain you to my bed and do all the things I’ve always wanted to do. I’d kiss you in every kind of way I know and in all the possible places I could find. And I wouldn’t let you go because you belong here, with me.”

“You’re crazy.” I lifted my head to look at him and ran my fingertips over the tiny stubble covering his chin. Since returning from Italy, we had been so wrapped up in our world, enjoying every second we had together, that we barely managed to leave the house. That he wanted more of if delighted me. “I wouldn’t want you to tie me to your bed because you don’t play fair. I’d rather you be at my mercy.”

“You’d have to learn to cook because I couldn’t possibly live off cereals and takeaways,” he pointed out. “And you’d have to stop smiling like this because it gets me every single time and I can’t stop lusting after you. Every time you smile, I want more.”

The flames leapt at the logs hungrily, casting a golden glow on our naked bodies. In the soft light his green eyes were so deep I could drown in them.

My smile widened. His gaze lingered on me, as if he could see something I couldn’t. What did he see in my smile that other people didn’t?

“I enjoy taking care of you because, honestly, I kind of like the idea of you needing me,” he whispered. “I’m my true self when I’m with you. I feel like I don’t have to hide.”

“Why’s that?” Sensing the serious direction the conversation was taking, I propped up on my elbow so I could regard him. His fingers intertwined with mine and he lifted our hands, watching the slow dance of the flames’s shadows on our skin.

“I don’t know.” He shrugged. “It’s not just that I’m attracted to you on a physical and mental level, it’s also the fact that I love being with you, around you, inside of you. Everything you do makes me want to kiss you like there’s no tomorrow.”

His lips sealed mine and desire swept through me, making me high, so high, reminding me how far I could fall, and he still didn’t know I was pregnant. The first pregnancy test had been positive, and the next, and the one after that. There was no denying, no matter how many times I tried. I had postponed telling him for a week. It had been one poor excuse after another.

“Jett?” I broke off contact with his lips, my voice shaky. The sudden silence hung heavy in the air.

“Mmh?”

A few seconds ticked by. His beautiful green eyes were probing, waiting. I felt like I was trapped in his spell—unable to escape. I swallowed hard as I considered my words. I wanted to be what he wanted because I knew I was what he needed. But sometimes what we need isn’t what we want.

Sylvie was right. I needed to know if what we had was the real deal and whether we had a future together. I had to know if I was wasting my time. I was ready to get hurt—if that was the only way to find out. There was a chance it wouldn’t work out because love means falling and overcoming the fear of height. And God knows, I couldn’t even climb up a rope without feeling scared, without feeling tiny and helpless when looking down. My love for him made me feel that way: scared, powerless, vulnerable.

Jett’s eyes narrowed on me as though he could sense my struggle to gather my courage.

“We have to talk,” I began.

His worry lines deepened. “You’re not going to quit on us again, are you?”

“No, that’s not it.” I moistened my lips.

“That’s great to hear because I think we have a good thing going.” He seemed relieved. Of course he couldn’t possibly imagine the magnitude of the situation, which made what I had to say the more difficult.

“Are you happy?” I asked, unable to hide the tremble in my voice. “What if things were more complicated than this?”

“Why are you asking?” He looked at me, listening. “Did anything happen?”

Biding for time, I stood and put on his shirt, then walked across the room to the couch. I could feel his gaze on my back, his confusion palpable in the air. I retrieved the white box I had hidden inside my bag and walked back to him, then sat back down on the rug, facing him. In spite of the warm temperature, I was trembling from the icy fear gripping my heart.

“What’s this?” Jett asked, starring at the box in my hands. I pushed it toward him. In the soft light, the white wrapping paper shimmered in a million facets and built a beautiful contrast to the blue ribbon tied around it.

“A gift.” My throat constricted. “Open it.”

The bubble holding my emotions in check was beginning to burst. As much as I tried, I couldn’t stop the first tear trickling down my cheek. I wiped it away with the back of my hand and watched him open the box.

“You don’t have to keep it,” I whispered, just in case he felt obliged to.

Jett inhaled a sharp breath and his eyes widened. And then, ever so slowly, he pulled out the two tiny pink baby socks and held them up, his eyes searching mine. I could see his emotions on his usually unreadable face. Surprise. Shock. Disbelief. Then surprise again. His eyes moistened, which in turn forced more tears to roll down my face.

“Are you sure?” His voice sounded choked.

“I found out when Sylvie thought she was pregnant and she wanted me to do a test so we could compare the results. It’s a long story.” I stopped, realizing I was jabbering. “I know it’s way too early in our relationship.”

He started to smile—and this time it was a different kind of smile. It conveyed excitement, and there was a spark in his eyes that I hadn’t seen before. The air was heavy with promise. My hands were shaking but so were his as he wrapped his arms around me, hugging me tight.

He breathed out, forcing me to look up at him. “It’s perfect. That’s the best surprise I’ve ever had.”

A sense of relief washed over me. “Really?”

“I can’t believe it. We need to celebrate.” He picked me up and swirled me around, then put me down, his excitement surprising me. “I’m happy. I’m shocked. But in a good way.” He brushed a stray strand of hair out of my face, still smiling and there was so much warmth in there I knew he wasn’t lying.

“I would do anything for you,” he whispered. The serious undertones in his voice gave me chills.

“Strange that you should say something like that. I had a dream about it.” I thought back to the morning after the car chase, when I woke up alone in the hotel room.

“A dream?” His twitching lips betrayed amusement. “I hope it was a hot one.”

I slapped his arm playfully. Most of my dreams nowadays were hot—and involved him. But he didn’t need to know that. “The only thing I remember is you saying you’d do anything for me.” I waved my hand, embarrassed that I had brought it up. Lately, I seemed to have a hard time keeping my big mouth shut and not making a big idiot out of myself. “It was just a dream.”

“It wasn’t a dream.” Jett trailed the back of his fingers down my cheek. “I thought you were asleep.”

My eyes searched his as my foolish heart began to turn all sappy on me.

“And the part where you said—” I started. My pulse thumped like a drum in my ears.

“All true,” Jett whispered, brushing his lips against mine. “I’m in love with you.”

My whole being trembled—I could feel the tremors inside me, in my veins, in the beating of my heart.

“I’m sorry I pushed you away.” I broke off, unable to meet his impossibly green gaze. “But I was never in love until I met you.”

“Brooke.” He grasped my chin and forced me to look at him. His eyes reflected the glowing fire, the golden flickers inviting my wish to melt with him. “You say it as though that’s a bad thing. You know I love you. What’s wrong with you loving me back?”

“I’m afraid that we’re not going to last,” I whispered, “and I’d rather we take things slowly in the off chance things don’t work out.”

“That’s the most stupid thing I’ve heard. We’re going to last, Brooke, and do you know why?” His eyes bore into me, forcing me to listen and comprehend every word. “Because you and I—we fit together. What we have is real.”

“And if we fight and you grow bored with me?” That had been my fear ever since I felt myself falling for him.

“Then you’ll have to remind me of the many things that made me fall in love with you in the first place. Like your smile, your laugh, your voice, actually everything about you.” His fingers traced the contours of my lips as his voice lowered to that sexy whisper I adored. “I can’t promise we’ll never have problems, because that would be a lie. People fight, love, argue, talk, forget…that’s the way life works. Things can get broken, but whatever happens I won’t love you less.”

“Are you sure?”

He placed a hand on his heart. “I can feel it. I want you to be with me. I want this—our baby. I want you. Nothing in this world can change how I feel about you.”

His eyes were glistening and there was so much warmth in them, I knew I was seeing the truth. That’s when the tears began to pour down my face. Really flow. I pulled my nose and wiped my cheeks with the sleeve of his expensive shirt, soaking it.

“Don’t tell me I’ve just said something wrong,” Jett said, pulling me into his arms.

I shook my head and laughed between the tiny sobs forming at the back of my throat. “They’re—”

Happy tears.

I pulled my nose again and forced air into my lungs. “If you mean one tenth of what you just said, I’m the happiest person in the world,” I whispered, my voice threating to break off again.

“You’re everything to me,” he whispered in my ear. “You are my love, Brooke. Losing you once was hard. I don’t think I could possibly survive it a second time.”

“You had me at ‘everything.’” One look at him and he had me. Jett owned my heart, my body, my soul.

Inhaling his intoxicating scent, I buried myself in his waiting arms and closed my eyes against the cascade of butterfly kisses descending upon my face, forgetting the world around us.

His green eyes, his whole being, and the things he did for me to keep me safe had taken me by storm, captured my heart, and etched a love inside my soul that could never be erased. And there I had been thinking I lost him; that the secrets he had kept from me destroyed everything we had—only to find they only brought us closer together.

Yes, love happens in the blink of an eye. It can change a person. I know because it changed me. It changed him. It helped us ascend to a more meaningful existence. And what’s more to the story: I gave him my heart, and Jett didn’t crush it.

He made me his.

I knew he wouldn’t let me fall. Even in my darkest and gloomiest of times, he wouldn’t let me drown.



The End

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