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.It infuriated him to hold a wet, nearly naked Katie in his arms and consider his mother.He was not like her.He may drown his sorrows in alcohol when the mood struck him, but unlike many of his friends and coworkers, Rill had never been ruled by his prick.My fucking, aching, chubbed-up, traitorous prick, he added to himself furiously.The cry Katie made when he tossed her onto her bed in the dormer bedroom finally pierced his anger.She lay on her back, her elbows propping up her upper body.She stared up at him with huge eyes, her breasts and belly heaving in agitation, her legs parted.Wetness gleamed on her smooth skin.He stood over her at the side of the bed, breathing heavily, watching as her gaze lowered over his torso.He was hard enough to pound nails with his cock, and there was nothing he could do to stop her from seeing it.His boxer briefs clung to him like a second skin.Rill didn’t need to look down at himself to know his erection was about as obvious as a servicing bull’s.He jerked his gaze off the sight of her tiny, thin, wet shorts clinging to a well-trimmed triangle of pubic hair and outlining succulent-looking sex lips.He should be shot point-blank just for thinking about what he wanted to do to her in that volatile moment.Her expressive eyes told him that she knew he fought with his baser instincts.The hint of anxiety he saw in irises that were the color of a newly opened, green leaf caused a wave of self-disgust to flood him.When he pointed at her, his hand shook.“I want you out of this house, Katie.”He turned and stalked out of the room without another word.The night passed, and then another day, and still Katie couldn’t get Rill to sit down and speak with her.His withdrawal left her feeling even more anxious than she had been after the creek incident.And after having sex with him, of course.On the morning after her arrival, she’d left when Rill disappeared into the woods.She’d driven down to Errol’s house to check on him.Once she’d assured herself that he was properly using the passive motion machine they’d given him at the hospital, which helped to keep his knee joint limber while he began to heal, she headed back to the hill.Instead of isolating himself in the woods this time, Rill had taken refuge in his bedroom.She’d spent the better part of the day making the place livable again.The house really was nice once one got rid of a year and a half’s worth of the dust and grime of Rill’s depression.She’d been making the beautiful wood mantel gleam with furniture polish and considering what she could make them for dinner when she heard Rill in the hallway.“Rill?” But he never answered her call, just headed out of the house.Katie had heard his car start up before she reached the screen door.Almost two hours later, she waited in the shadows of the wraparound porch sitting on a rusty wrought-iron chair.Darkness had just fallen, slow, silent and all-consuming.The creatures in the trees and fields had ceased their clamorous communications.The dim kitchen light barely penetrated the thick shadow of night.Had Rill found her presence in the house so disturbing that he’d left town, perhaps? What if her being there had made him more desperate.more impulsive, and he’d done something crazy and dangerous?She stood.She’d promised herself she’d wait until nightfall before she went to try to find Rill.The time had come, but uncertainty stilled her feet.He would only resent her more for seeking him out.for treating him like he was a delinquent fifteen-year-old.No matter how much she wanted to, Katie couldn’t make Rill see reason.She couldn’t force him to snap out of his grief.Helplessness didn’t sit well in Katie’s belly.She heard a vehicle’s motor in the distance.Her heart pounded into overdrive when she saw headlights cast on the grove of trees that lined the road.The car door shutting sounded abnormally loud in the still night.A dog in the far distance must have thought so, too, because it started barking a warning.She assumed Rill didn’t know she was there as she listened to his heavy footfalls on the steps and front porch.He paused a few feet away from the screen door, though, his head lowered.“What am I going to have to do to get you to go, Shine?” he asked quietly.“I’m not going,” she replied softly.Firmly.He sighed.With a hitch in her chest, Katie realized he had known she was there.Somehow.He hadn’t been talking to himself.When he didn’t respond, Katie took several cautious steps toward him.“Are you drunk?” she asked bluntly.“No.”“Where’d you go?”“Down t’ the pub,” he replied.“I thought you said you weren’t drunk.”“Jaysus, Katie.I didn’t even finish my second beer.I hardly think it qualifies.” He turned and plunked down on the top step.Katie approached and sat at the opposite end.She swallowed, trying to tamp down the unpleasant feeling of helplessness lurching around in her gut.“You don’t really think the people who care about you are going to stand idly by and watch you kill yourself, do you?” she asked.“I’m not trying to kill myself,” he muttered.“All I want is to be left alone.”“You’re self-destructing, Rill.”“I’m living alone because I choose to.I pay rent.I’m not breaking any laws by getting myself good and ossified once in a while.I can’t see how you have a say in it one way or another,” he said, frustration heavily lacing his tone.Katie bit off her aggressive reply.She took a deep breath and stared up at the night sky.A low cloud cover obliterated the light of the stars.“How did you ever end up in this place, anyway?”For several seconds, she thought he wasn’t going to answer.“My plane got grounded in St.Louis during a storm on a trip from New York to Los Angeles,” he said quietly after a moment.“I got off the plane, rented a car and drove.” She saw the shadow of his hand going up in a vague wave.“This is where I ended up.”“An eighteen-month-long layover?”He shrugged.“You said you’d been coming from New York.Had you been visiting Eden’s grave in New York?”Katie saw him tense.“She was my friend in addition to being your wife, Rill [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]