“Thank you,” she murmured, her mouth millimetres away from his. Tom’s lips were still tingling from Carey’s kiss, his eyes still lightly closed. He knew that she wasn’t moving away, because he could still feel her. It would have been easy, oh so easy, to move forward just that fraction, to kiss her again. Carey saved him the trouble, closing the tiny gap to place another small kiss on his lips, and then another, each one firmer and longer than the last. Tom could feel himself leaning in, giving in, and he wanted to, so very much. Except…
“Carey,” Tom murmured, pulling back and breaking their contact, slightly breathless. “I’m not sure this is such a good idea, darling.”
She looked at him with big dark eyes, her brow furrowed slightly.
“Why not?” Carey asked softly.
Tom sighed and placed his hands at the top of Carey’s bare arms again, his thumbs rubbing small circles on her soft skin. His head fell forward slightly and he rested his forehead against hers.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he said. “Because I do want to. Carey, I really want to kiss you right now, and I want to touch you, and God help me but I want to pick you up and carry you to bed this minute. But you’re in a very vulnerable place at the moment and I don’t want to take advantage of that.”
His heart was beating fast. Her hand was still on the back of his neck, carding softly through the hair at his nape, driving him slowly crazy. If she just stopped, maybe he would have the strength to pull away from her, but she didn’t stop. Instead, Carey looked at him through long eyelashes, pressing her body close to his.
“Do I look vulnerable to you?” she murmured.
She didn’t look at all vulnerable or afraid or upset. Carey looked seductive and completely in control, more in control than Tom felt. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
“No,” he admitted. “You don’t.”
“Then shut up, and take me to bed.”
Carey led the way through the unlit cottage, one hand holding a candle and the other gripping Tom’s fingers tightly as though she were afraid to lose him in the darkness. Pushing the bedroom door open, she let him to and quickly lit the candles dotted around, illuminating the room with the soft glow of flame and casting long shadows on the wall. Carey felt arms encircling her waist again as Tom stepped up behind her, placing butterfly kisses across her bruised shoulder and on to her neck, up her hairline to that spot just behind her ear that made her pulse race and her breathing quicken. She wanted to feel his mouth everywhere on her body, for his lips to kiss away the deep ache of the bruises.
They lay on the bed, facing each other and breathing heavily between kisses as they dealt with buttons and clasps, pushing fabric away from skin. Tom’s shirt slid easily from his shoulders and Carey ran one finger down his chest, through the small tuft of hair in the centre before shrugging out of the scrap of silk and lace that served as a bra, gasping sharply as Tom’s head immediately dipped and he took a nipple into his mouth, rolling it gently between his tongue and the roof of his mouth.
Her fingers grasped his hair desperately as her body rocked of its own accord, back arching, pushing against him further as her stomach tightened. His hands ran down her back, stroking over the purple bruises delicately as his mouth left her breast and began to trail wet kisses over her skin. Carey’s fingers fumbled with the buttons of Tom’s jeans, working quickly and lacking all finesse, just wanting to be rid of the constricting denim to feel what was underneath. She wriggled free of her own and kicked them towards the bottom of the bed as Tom did the same. Nothing between them now, Carey wrapped her leg over Tom’s hip and slid her hand down, making contact with hard flesh and wrapping her hand around it tightly, making Tom groan through gritted teeth.
His blue eyes fluttered open and he looked at her, breathing heavily as her hand twisted gently and pulled up. And then she gasped, her own eyes widening as long fingers slipped inside of her smoothly, sliding effortlessly into her wetness.
Their mouths met again, teeth nipping and sucking softly, softly, watching each other through heavily-lidded eyes in the gloom. Tight heat coiled low in Carey’s belly, winding tight like a spring ready to snap. Her fingernails dug sharply into Tom’s back as her grip on him with the other hand tightened and sped up. Their moans and gasps filled the room as they neared orgasm, and Carey felt her toes go numb slowly. She came with a high pitched cry, body convulsing and tightening around Tom’s fingers as tension gave way and the heat rushed through her like a tidal wave.
It took a little while for her to come back to herself, lying curled up next to Tom between damp and sticky sheets. She didn’t care about that. She just wanted to stay there in his arms forever, basking in the post-coital glow. Fuck tomorrow. Fuck everything. This was all she wanted, right here, right now.
Carey slid out of bed as lightly and quietly as possible, locating Tom’s discarded shirt and slipping it on. She looked over at his sleeping form and smiled. He looked peaceful and happy. Taking up one of the candles, she silently padded out of the room and into the kitchen, pulling out a chair to sit at the table and putting her head in her hands.
Michael had found her.
Jeff’s younger brother had found her in a Dublin bar with a strange man. Jeff had to know by now. He would be in a rage, not just to know that Carey was alive and happy, but because Tom had broken Michael’s face. He would want revenge for that. She couldn’t let him take it out on Tom when she was the one at fault.
It was only a matter of time now until Jeff found her. And he would find her. Jeff thought of Carey as his property and now she was free and he couldn’t let her go on like that. Carey had been happy here in her little bubble with Tom. He was everything Jeff wasn’t. He was honest and open and sweet and he gave himself blindly. She wanted so desperately to stay with him, but knew deep down, with a terrible ache in her chest, that she couldn’t.
Jeff would catch up with her, sooner or later, and when he did it wasn’t going to be pretty. She wouldn’t let Tom suffer the same fate.
With a heavy sigh, she pushed herself up from the table and hunted around in the kitchen drawers, unearthing a pen, paper, envelopes and stamps a few moments later. She spent almost an hour at the kitchen table, constructing three different letters to three different people, putting each into their own envelopes, and finally placing them all into the same envelope, sealing it, and stamping it.
Carey took a fresh pair of jeans out of the plastic carrier bag that still sat on a kitchen chair and put them on before pulling on her boots and one of Tom’s jackets, placing the envelope in her pocket and slipping out into the night.