A Tragic Wreck
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“Thank you. For everything.” She planted a kiss on his cheek before walking across the sandy road abutting the coastline toward her house, her eyes settling on a figure standing on the deck. Her chin quivered and she spun around, heading back toward the Jeep.
“Libby,” Cam said, glaring down at her.
“No. Take me back to your place. I can’t…”
Cam clutched her hands in his. “Libby, look at me.” She slowly raised her gaze, meeting his kind eyes, the sun reflecting in them and making them sparkle. “Just listen to what he has to say.”
Olivia visibly shook. “I don’t think I can. I’m not…”
“Yes, you are, Libby. You’re stronger than you think you are. I’d never make you do something if I didn’t think you could handle it. You can do this. Go. He flew all this way to see you. At first, I wanted to kill him for how he hurt you, but then we talked yesterday over a few drinks and he explained everything to me. Just talk to him. And then, if you want, you can drive back over to my place, okay?”
She took a deep breath and nodded as Cam brushed that same errant curl behind her ear. “Good girl.” He planted a kiss on her forehead and watched as she walked toward her house. At that moment, he knew he would probably never see her again.
Olivia slowly crossed the narrow beach road back to her front deck, her heart beating loudly in her chest. Walking up the steps to her deck, her eyes met Alexander’s, his green eyes empty, the usual vibrancy gone.
“Hi,” she said sheepishly as she made her way to the front door, noticing the mark from when Cam had to kick it in. She shuddered at the memory, hoping that she would be strong enough to survive the impending conversation.
“Can I come in?” Alexander asked softly, approaching Olivia from behind.
Her body overheated from the proximity of him. A tear fell down her cheek as she thought how unfair life was.
“Shouldn’t you be with your wife, Alex?” she asked, turning around after unlocking the door.
“Please, Olivia. Let me in. I just want to talk to you. If you don’t like what I have to say, I promise I’ll never show up on your doorstep again. Please. Give me five minutes.”
Olivia exhaled, opening the door and walking through the living room, Alexander following.
He surveyed her house and noticed a piano in the guest room. “Here, come with me,” he said, grabbing her hands. He led her toward the piano and sat down at the bench, patting the seat next to him.
Sighing, she sat down beside him, their arms and shoulders touching, making her entire body tremble. Not with excitement. Not with fear. It was something far more devastating. She trembled with the excruciating pain of complete heartache and loss.
“Play it again, Olivia,” he whispered into her ear, his breath hot on her neck.
Olivia shook her head, unsure what he was talking about.
“The song you played the other night. I beg you. Play it again.”
Her eyes flung open, wide with curiosity and fear. She didn’t know if she could torture herself like that again.
Inhaling deeply, she placed her shaky hands on the piano, playing the opening chords of the very song that she sang just a few nights beforehand in her last attempt to win Alexander back, pouring her entire soul into the notes and lyrics. Memories of that night came flooding back as she sang, her eyes boring holes into Alexander’s, tears flowing down both of their faces.
Sobs wracked through her body as she sang the chorus, begging for another chance…a chance that she never got.
Alexander stared into her eyes as she struggled to get through the words. He knew he messed up. He was such a fool to think he could forget her. He never forgot about her during those twenty-plus years he thought she was dead. His heart belonged to her and he needed her in his life. Her soft plea nearly tore him apart.
He grabbed Olivia’s hands in his, cutting the song short. “Smile, love. It’s the second best thing you can do with those beautiful lips of yours.”
Before Olivia knew what was happening, Alexander crushed his lips to hers, pulling her body against his own.
For a brief moment, they were the only two people in the universe that mattered. They poured all the emotions that they felt over the past several months into that kiss. It was desperate and passionate and, no matter how much they devoured each other’s mouths, it wasn’t nearly as deep as they wanted or needed.
After several long, intense moments, Alexander pulled back, gasping for air. “I never had a chance with you, Olivia,” he whispered against her neck. “It’s you. It’s only ever been you.”
“What about Chelsea?” she asked, confused about what happened.
Brushing a tear from her eye, Alexander cupped her cheek in his hand. “I couldn’t do it. I was such an idiot to keep pushing you away. You’re the only woman for me. No one else has ever compared to you. Please, Olivia. Forgive me for being such an ignorant ass. I’ll do anything. Name it and it’s yours. Just, please, don’t make me go through life without you in it. I need you. I…”
Olivia pressed her lips to his, not letting him finish his thought. Alexander groaned, running his hands all over her frail body as he told her with his mouth just what she meant to him.
He pulled back, catching his breath. “Bedroom?”
“Upstairs,” she responded, panting.
Alexander scooped her in his arms and carried her up the short flight of stairs and into her bedroom. Placing her gently on the bed, he slowly shrugged out of his jacket, followed by his t-shirt and jeans as Olivia watched, her eyes intense. Lowering himself back down on the bed, he hovered over her body and planted soft kisses on her neck, savoring the sweet smell of her vanilla body wash and a scent that could only be categorized as Olivia’s natural essence.
She moaned as Alexander trailed his mouth down her collarbone, fumbling to remove her shirt. As he lifted it over her head, he looked down at her body.
“Olivia,” he said in an almost horrified voice as he took in the sight of her ribs poking through. A tear fell down as he returned his mouth to hers. “I’m so sorry I did this to you. I’ll make it up to you. Just tell me what to do to make it right.”
Sobs shook her body from the closeness of Alexander to her again. She couldn’t remember ever being so happy in her entire life. “Please, Alex. I want to feel again. Let me feel you.”