I don’t know how he did it. He bulldozed into my life while still letting me feel like I always had control. How he does this I have no idea. I tried to shake him loose at first, but then he started throwing those “Mamas” and little jokes at me and he had me caving every time. But when I found out he was in my life because he was watching Lays for Carter, I lost it. I wanted him gone. I didn’t want to look at him because it reminded me of all of it—of how I was made a fool of once again. But the worst part was that it drove me crazier when he was gone. And then I only got madder.
Saint couldn’t win either way. He’d show up and I’d give him hell, or he wouldn’t show up and I would just be more pissed the next time I saw him. I was miserable and I wanted him to be miserable with me. But every time I tried to hurt him, it was like he didn’t care. It wasn’t that he didn’t care because he was done with me, but because if I wanted to throw blows, he was more than happy to take them for me. All this did was make me love him more. See? Sharp as a fucking blade.
Stretching one of my arms, I can’t tell if my body is sore from last night’s marathon fucking or because of the hits I took yesterday. It doesn’t really matter. I enjoy the burn. The aches Saint left on me might be sweeter, but the ones I earned yesterday reminded me that, this time, I fought back. I didn’t run.
Slinging my leg over Saint’s body, I move closer into his embrace. When he found me yesterday, when I saw he came for me, I knew it was time to stop fighting him. It was time to stop hurting us. Life is too short. Saint is nothing like Nick. He wanted to save me from pain not cause it. For a moment I thought my life was splintering apart again, that the loss of control was slipping through my fingers once more. There’s nothing like thinking you have no power. It’s an all-consuming fear. But deep down I know Saint would pick up my splintered pieces and put them back together again. Or help me put them back together if I let him. If I let him in. I can see now I’m fighting the inevitable. Because I think he would wait forever for me.
“You look like you’re thinking really hard, Mama,” he says, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
“You knew you would get me back, didn’t you?” I whisper, not looking up at him. He knew I would be back in his arms.
“I’m pretty sure I told you that the first night I had you, or rather you had me.”
I can’t help but laugh at the reminder. I did have him. With the bad boys, they don’t like when a woman takes control in the bedroom. I’m normally okay with that because, hell, it’s only one night. As long as I cum, what does it really matter? Not Saint, though. His surrender was real. I told him to get on my bed and hold the headboard because I was going to fuck him, and he did it without pause.
He’s also right about being his that first night. At first I thought they were words said in the heat of passion, but come daybreak, Saint’s naked ass wouldn’t leave. It became impossible to kick him out because he would drop to his knees and growl, “Mama,” before shoving his mouth between my legs. Then I found myself saying it was time for him to go just so he would do it again. The joke was on me.
“I love you,” he whispers. I know he does. I also know I’ve never said it to him. Climbing on top of him, I straddle his hips, look down at him, and finally say it. “I love you too.”
A smile pulls at his lips, and crinkles the scar on his cheek. “I know you do, Mama.”
“Then why didn’t you tell me?” I ask, playfully slapping his chest.
“Can’t make someone tell you they love you.”
“I make you tell me all the time.”
“Different, Mama. Everyone knows I love you. Ain’t no hiding it.” True. Saint seems to have no shame when it comes to me. I love that about him. Never do I have to choose my words with him, or pretend to be something I’m not. He would never cut me down or make me feel less than I am. It’s ironic that, while Saint might be on his knees for me, he’s the one with all the strength.
“We’re going to do this aren’t we? The whole babies, marriage, happily ever after?” I say, getting serious again.
“Told you that the first night too. Only thing now is you gotta let me give it to you.”
He’s right. It’s time. He told me about his past, and it’s time for me to tell him about mine.
“You know, I don’t have parents anymore either.” I feel his hands tighten. I never talk about my past. He knows what’s coming.
“They died when I was nineteen—my sophomore year in college. Car crash. The cops told me they died on impact.”