Sleep came. So did the dreams. The dreams always came, but they were different. Less vivid. The red glowing eyes weren’t quite so red. More a soft glow just barely making out a color. The pain imagined from the blows was still unimaginable. But when the face came into view and it was time to wake up, I didn’t stare into the eyes of my demon and start awake panting for breath. I opened my eyes slowly and saw Sage watching me. His eyes were wide open but there was concern written all over his face. He spoke softly, “You okay?”
I smiled at him and nodded. I didn’t want to break the spell I was under. I felt at peace seeing him in my bed. It was hard to breathe but not from the dream. I leaned forward closing the small gap between us and kissed Sage softly. “I had a nightmare, but it wasn’t as bad as usual. I’m all right.”
Sage sat up in bed and looked down at me. “That wasn’t a bad nightmare? I’d hate to see a bad one.”
I looked up at him confused. He smiled down at me and kissed my lips before he continued. “You were holding on so tight I was afraid my fingers might fall off.” He was making light of the situation.
“I’m sorry.” I sat up and joined Sage. I found my phone nestled between the pillows where I’d lain it earlier. I glanced at the time and was surprised it was 5. I looked at Sage, “Did I sleep through the alarm?”
Sage grinned. “Yes and no. I kinda turned it off when I found it last night. You would have slept with it last night?”
“I was in bed texting you last night. I’d fallen asleep after inviting you over.”
Sage grinned. “I’m glad you did. You could have stayed at my place.”
I nodded. “Yeah, but I promised my father and Drake I’d make them breakfast this morning so Drake wouldn’t be late for school. I guess that means you can meet my father.”
“That doesn’t sound like something you want me to do.” Sage said
“My father doesn’t like that I like men. He doesn’t like that when me and my brother didn’t know we were half-brothers we kissed. We would have done more than kiss if we hadn’t gotten caught in the hall.”
Sage grinned, “You kissed your brother?” The scrunched up look on his face made me laugh. He was making fun of me.
“I didn’t know he was my brother. Since we found out who my father was we’ve gone out a couple times to pick up guys. He and I are the only two in my family that are even remotely close. Even the only biological full brother and sister aren’t close. But then when you aren’t raised together and spend 80% of your time living in the dorms you don’t become a family. And they all lived with their mothers despite being Kai’s legacy, except Iris. She’s a Monroe through and through.”
“How many half siblings do you have?” Sage asked as he took me in his arms and cuddled while leaning against the wall behind the bed.
“I have five. Adam and Iris are both a product of the progeny program. They are official heirs to their respective families. Tobias, Marius and Nicholas are from three other women. Nick is a Hampton. My father sired an heir for Nick’s mom when she asked. Tobias, Marius and I were accidental pregnancies. None of them had been planned. My father didn’t find out about me until I was 18 years old.”
“Why did it take so long?” Sage asked as he rubbed small circles against my back.
I was lost in the sensation of his touch. I almost didn’t answer him. But I did with a shrug. “My mother told Dorian when she left me with him that she didn’t want me to know. And since she was legally my guardian, he had to listen to her. The first vacation we had was a small summer break, when Dorian contacted her she told him, she had no son, and that I was Dorian’s problem now. Dorian let me stay on his couch for the two weeks we were out of school and supposed to be spending time with our families. I spent time with his family. His mom would take me to work with her. Or Dorian would take me with him. Most of the time I after that first year I’d go home with Jace.”
Sage kissed my forehead. “I can’t wait to meet him.”
“I’m sure Jace and Mia can’t wait to meet you.” I pulled out of his embrace and crawled out of bed. “Coffee?”
Sage nodded as he snuggled down into my bed and wrapped himself around my pillow. I smiled at him as he shyly looked at me over the pillow. “You are too cute.”
Sage grinned. “Too cute? No such thing.”
I laughed, but I walked away into my kitchen and I felt Sage’s eyes following me as I turned on the dimmer lights in the kitchen and fixed coffee. It was still a little before we had to be down the hall for breakfast.
I leaned on the bar that overlooked my living space and watched my boyfriend watching me. He hid his face behind the pillow with one eye peaking out. I grinned at him and he threw the pillow across the room and it landed on the couch and no where near me.
I continued to watch him lying in my bed. Sage was trying to look comfortable, but he was failing miserably. He got up from the bed and padded his near naked body towards me in the kitchen. I watched the muscles move in his legs, the way he stepped gingerly over the cool carpeted floor. I was grinning madly by the time he stopped in front of me pinning me against the corner of the bar and counter set up. The full length of his body was pressed against mine. I could feel his breath on my cheek. He whispered, “When’s coffee going to be ready?”
I glanced at the coffee pot out of the corner of my eye. I smiled. “There is a cup in the pot now if you can’t wait.”
He grinned at me from mere inches away. “I can wait till you can have one, too.”
Sage didn’t move. He continued to press my back into the inner corner of the counter and bar. We stared into each other’s eyes sharing the air between us. I could feel the warmth of Sage’s skin through my t-shirt and boxers. The attraction was intense as we stood there as close as possible but not doing anything other than being close. I wanted so much more than what we were doing but I could feel the fear of rejection and commitment pressing against my brain trying to make me panic.
I buried my face in the crook of Sage’s neck and he pulled me against him even tighter than we had been. His arms were tight around my waist, one hand was running small circles against the small of my back. I mumbled into his skin, “I think coffee’s ready.”
Sage turned to look at me, pulling me away from him slightly, “This is good.” He gave me a peck on my lips and pulled the two coffee cups towards him and grabbed the now full coffee pot. “Don’t be afraid of this, okay?”
I nodded. “That’s easier said than done.” I smiled and sipped at the coffee Sage handed me.
Sage grinned. “As long as you hide in me, don’t be afraid of me.”
I nodded and watched over the edge of my cup as Sage drank his. We were still close but our bodies were no longer touching, I felt cold without him pressed against me. I felt more alone without him. I don’t know why, but I could feel the anchors of my soul being tied around this man. I would drown in him. I hope I didn’t make him cut the tether that was binding me too him so tightly.
Sage set his cup down on the counter next to me, “A penny for your thoughts?”
I smiled. “Same thing I think about when you are here with me.”
“And that is?” Sage asked me with a bright smile placing his hands on either side of me but keeping his body from mine.
“That I’m drowning in you.” I set my cup down on the other side. “But that’s too deep of a conversation for five days into our relationship.” I smiled at him.
Sage leaned against me and kissed my neck. “I like deep conversations.” The way he said it sent shivers down my spine and I had to swallow hard as he nipped at the skin on my neck. He chuckled against my skin, his breath tickling my neck. “I love that reaction.”
Sage leaned back and smiled at me. “I should grab a shower. You mind?”
I shook my head. “Not at all.”
I watched Sage collect his clothes from the floor and then walked into the bathroom to get him clean towels. I set them down next to the sink and smiled at him as he stood in the door watching me. “You could join me.”
I let out a short moan, “Oh how I would love to, but that would lead to places we aren’t prepared for.”
Sage was grinning at me as he pulled two foil packs from his pants pocket. “I came prepared.” He stepped inside and closed the bathroom door behind him and turned the lock. Not that anyone would walk in – there was no one else in my apartment. Sage set his clothes on the sink counter and hooked his thumbs in my boxers and pulled me close. “Join me.”
I swallowed hard and bit my bottom lip with a simple nod of my head I agreed. I didn’t trust my voice not to crack under the desire that was coursing through me.
We kissed and undressed each other outside the shower. For the first time since we’d met our hands were unbidden. I touched his warm skin with my hands. His fingers kneading into my back. I hid in the crook of his neck while he pulled my shirt over my head. It wasn’t the first time he’d seen my back. But it was the first time I’d let anyone remove my shirt for me. It was not something I did. Sage held me close as I got over my panic attack. He kissed and nipped at the skin on my neck while his fingers traced the mass of scars along my back. I had to focus on something other than his touch on my untouched back less I release way sooner than intended.
I pressed my body against him and he backed up against the cold glass shower wall and I reached inside to let the water warm while we continued outside. I hooked my thumbs under his waist band and was dropping to my knees when a shrill ring pierced the heat of the moment. Sage sighed, and I pressed my forehead to his thigh as he breathed out slowly then spoke, “That’s Danny. I should get it.”
I sighed and sat back on my heels letting Sage move around me to answer his phone. I didn’t pay attention to anything beyond my breathing. It was time to come down from the high, to breathe on my own again. I felt empty without his body next to mine. I wanted him in so many ways and sex was so far down the list I was lost in the feeling of it all.
I stood up and went for the door. Sage followed me with is eyes. “One second.” He said into the phone then pressed it to his naked chest. “I’m sorry. We can finish.”
I shook my head. “It’s all right. We both got work to do. I’m gonna make you breakfast.” I unlocked the door and opened it quickly and slipped out shutting it behind me. I tugged on my jeans from yesterday and a clean t-shirt. I would shower later.