Authors: Seline White
Crashed into Love (Episode Four)
2015 Seline White
Published by Seline White
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he next morning I awoke with a surreal sense of detachment. My body was bruised, my heart torn and sewn back together. Charlotte was in my memories, but the sharp grief was muted.
I turned to roll over, but stopped. A smile tugged my lips. Nina was passed out on my chest. Her leg thrown over mine, cheek pressed against my left side. I didn’t think I could reshape my life so drastically, but I did.
I fell in love, not once, but twice, with the same girl. Once with the woman I conjured in my thoughts, patched together like a perfect ideal from what Theo and Joslyn shared. Then the real Nina, the one who was sweet, tender, and loving. The one who’d been there for me last night and given me everything she had to give.
I ran a fingertip down her arm; she shivered. The corset she’d been wearing had been pushed to the end of the bed after I’d spilled inside her. I’d never be able to look at her again without the image of her serving me coffee in her underwear.
Dammit, stop thinking.
My cock surged to life, and I tried to roll out of bed. I needed a shower to get my wits about me. I wasn’t exactly gentle with her last night. She’d be bruised. Hell, even I was bruised.
Nina moaned, her eyes cracking open. “Where going?” she mumbled.
“Shower.” I kissed the tip of her nose. She threw her arms around my neck, pulling me back onto the mattress.
I laughed, allowing her to wrap herself around me like an octopus. “I take it you don’t want me going anywhere?” I glowed with contentment, knowing she didn’t want me out of her sight.
An idea sprang to mind. Just because I couldn’t have sex with her for a few hours while we recouped, didn’t mean I couldn’t touch her. Smiling, I gathered her sleep-warmed form and clambered to my feet.
Her eyes flew wide as I carried her across the fales lounge, butt-naked in my arms. “Put me down, Liam.”
No chance. Her soft form was heaven in my arms. I nuzzled her neck. “You said you didn’t want me to leave. And I said I needed a shower. So I’m doing what you asked.”
She frowned, but her eyes twinkled with mirth. “And what exactly is that?”
“Taking you for a shower with me.” Just the thought of her naked, wet, and slippery had my blood thickening.
The bathroom’s see-through roof showed wispy clouds welcoming us, creating pockets of shade from the sun. The colossal double walk-in shower had multiple jets along the walls as well as a waterfall shower head. I turned on every knob I could find. The entire bathroom erupted with spray.
I walked right into the streaming mist with her in my arms. She squealed as water rained upon us, droplets glinted in her hair. I laughed and my belly ached from the way she smirked at me. Dewdrops caught on her eye lashes glittering in the sunlight.
Leaning in, I kissed each of her eyelids as softly as I could. I shook with tenderness and lowered her down my body.
Nina sighed as she slid across my wet skin. I shuddered as her hand wrapped around my cock with no hesitation. “Are we really here? Together? In paradise?” Her voice was barely a whisper.
I bent to kiss her.
Our mouths captured shower water, and we drank each other. Unable to stop myself, I pushed her against the natural pebble tiled wall. She gasped as I hitched her leg to lock over my hip. I’d seen this move in dancing many times, I knew she had the balance. My hand cupped between her legs, and I wasn’t shy about easing a finger inside her heat. Gentle, soft, trying not to hurt her. Her slipperiness was so different to the slickness of water. It was more intimate, more intoxicating. My brain swamped with scents of sex and memories of her on top of me last night in her corset. Damn she was hot. And mine. All mine.
Her fingernails scraped my lower back as I stroked her harder, determined to make her come. She whimpered, trying to push me away. “Wait. I want you to be in me.”
Hushing her with my mouth, I pulled her legs further apart with my knee. I eased another finger inside her, and she gave up. If I wasn’t holding her against the wall she’d have melted down the drain. She went liquid and supple, biting her lip as her brow furrowed in concentration.
A moment later a band of muscle squeezed my fingers, spasming with each wave of her release.
Withdrawing, I slowly pushed Nina’s leg off my hip and turned her around. She was a floppy toy, allowing me to spin her with no complaint, completely sated. Male satisfaction filled me.
She rested her head against the cool pebble tiles, while I grabbed a hotel bottle of shampoo and tipped the entire thing into my palm. Whiffs of honeysuckle and vanilla wafted into the steamy air.
I placed my hands on Nina’s head.
She startled. “What are you doing?”
“Co-pilot Liam. Your personal shower washer.” I kissed her shoulder as I scooped her shower-tangled hair, adding soapy suds on the top of her head. She shivered as my fingertips massaged her. I relished in looking after her. She allowed me to wash her, care for her. And I couldn’t wipe the stupid grin off my lips as I frothed her entire body with bubbles.
There was nowhere else I wanted to be. I couldn’t get enough of touching her and I doubted we’d ever get out of the shower.
y lips were swollen and red from kissing, my skin flushed with colour. The moment I saw Joslyn at the breakfast table, I knew she’d guess I’d been with her brother.
The memory of last night and how distraught Liam and Nikolai had been, caught me around the throat. At the thought of Nikolai, my stomach shrivelled into a rock. Where was he? Was he coping? I made Liam forget last night by giving him myself. Nikolai didn’t have anyone to do that for him. I wished he did.
I looked at Liam. His eyes glowed aquamarine, burning with love; his face relaxed and blissfully content. If I didn’t know what he went through with Charlotte, I’d never guess he carried such unhappiness.
“Nina. Liam.” Joslyn peered at us as we took our seats opposite her.
A waiter approached and Liam ordered a coffee. Black with two sugars, just like I’d guessed the first day we worked together.
“Morning, Jos.” Liam’s voice was level, not in the least hinting he’d been lip-locked, not to mention hip-locked, with me most of the night.
A smile as bright as the searing sun broke her face. “You did it. You’re together.”
Her green eyes flew to me. “Oh, girl, we are in some serious need of a chat.”
I giggled. “How did you guess that from a simple ‘morning, Jos’?”
Liam snorted. “Must be her super powers. She does enough fraternizing to know how to detect when someone else is getting some.”
She punched his shoulder. “Hush up. Did you stop to think it might be the rash from your stubble on Nina’s cheek, or the smug smile you’re trying to hide? It’s blatantly obvious.” She swivelled in her chair. “In fact, I bet if you ask any guest here what they thought you were doing, they’d say ‘sex’. Let’s test my theory. Shall we?” She reached for a youngish couple, most likely on their honeymoon.
I yelped, grabbing her arm. “That’s not necessary. I don’t want the entire hotel knowing my business.”
Liam chuckled, thanking the waiter when he placed a cup of steaming black liquid in front of him.
I sighed, perfectly happy, unable to stop gawking at Joslyn’s delectable brother. They were so different. Where Joslyn was light and strawberry freckles, Liam was dark layers and emotional. They had the same quirks, even now they raised their eyebrow the same, but it wasn’t hard to tell they weren’t siblings by blood.
“I don’t want you giving Nina the Spanish Inquisition, Tree. Just leave her alone.”
“Tree?” I laughed, looking at both of them. The nickname made no sense.
Joslyn scowled. “Just for calling me that, I’m going to get every dirty detail out of her.”
Liam gave her a devilish smile. “Do you really want to know
detail? Do you really want to know what I look like when I’m coming?”
My ears burned.
Joslyn choked on her pineapple juice. “Eww, gross!”
Liam and I laughed, sharing a look that made me want to launch myself at him and to hell with the breakfast guests. How would he react if I tore his shirt off and trickled juice down his skin, then proceeded to lick it off very, very slowly?
Liam’s eyes darkened to flinty blue glass. “Whatever you’re thinking about. Stop it. We’re in public. I can’t handle you looking at me like that.”
I dropped my gaze, but not before Joslyn mouthed. “You. Me. Today.”
* * * * *
Pain crept upon me like a stealthy ninja. Every bite of almond croissant and nibble of passion fruit shortbread increased my heart rate, until I swirled with nausea. The whiplash agony came from nowhere, bolting down my spine to tingle in my legs. I tried to act as if nothing hurt, but I couldn’t hide it any longer.
Liam narrowed his eyes as I stood, trying to keep my composure. “I’ll be back. Just going to the ladies room.”
He put his fork down, rising slightly from the chair.
“You want me to come with you?” Jos asked around a mouthful of waffles.
I couldn’t let her see me shake and suffer, my whiplash held me victim, and I didn’t want anyone to know. If Liam knew he might send me packing back to New Zealand, and I did
want to leave. “I’ll be fine. Be back soon.” I scampered across the restaurant before Liam could see I wasn’t being truthful.
The moment I was in the marbled facilities, I clutched the sink, breathing hard.
The pulsing pain in my neck was back with a vengeance—determined to break my spine with pressure. I tried to massage my shoulder blades, looking at myself in the mirror. Considering I’d been gallivanting around having sex and enjoying the island air, my skin was peaky, shiny with pallor. It was as if two images of my face blurred into one. One moment I stared upon a tanned version of myself—blue eyes popping from the dusting of colour on my cheekbones. The next, I was white and stark, my eyes pale as a rain-washed sky.
Fighting through the neck ache, I recalled our shower this morning. The sensation of his hands washing my hair was possibly even better than sex. The knowledge he cared for me broke the last remaining barrier of the prison around my heart, and I’d floated free.
The moment we returned to work, everyone would know I was with him. It would be hard keeping the rumours low-key and torturous when hosties spread lies about him on other flights, but I was prepared to do it; I couldn’t be without him. He needed me as much as I needed him. The knowledge he was fragile beneath the surface, gave me the strength to brave the shit-storm that would happen when work found out. We’d be the biggest scandal for about a month, then it would die down and life could go on as normal. As normal as any life could be with my heart flying around the world in the pocket of a pilot.
I smiled at my reflection, this time seeing the wanton girl from last night: naked apart from her corset, hair mused, lips kiss-bitten and swollen. I winked at my sex-kitten self.
Liam had done quite a number on me. If only my stupid neck ache would bugger off, I’d be in a blissful cocoon.
After riding the waves of whiplash and suffering a twinge of weakness in my legs, I left the sanctuary of the bathroom. I skirted around breakfasters, making my way back to the table.
Joslyn and Liam had their heads together like yin and yang. Blonde and black. They broke apart when I arrived. Joslyn promptly stood, throwing back the last of her juice.
She grabbed my wrist. “See ya later, Liam, I’m stealing my bestie for the rest of the day.”
I had time to throw Liam an apologetic shrug as Joslyn carted me out the restaurant.
She was a hurricane on crack as we hurtled toward the pool—she signed out two towels from the pool desk, grabbed two bottles of water from the kiosk, and pushed me down onto a lounger.
Throwing herself onto her own recliner, she said, “Spill. You look like you had a spoon full of sugar, Miss
I winced as I settled onto the chair. After my dry spell, my body wasn’t used to being used so thoroughly. And Liam had been anything but gentle. I sighed. Who knew I liked it rough. “There’s nothing to spill.” A small smile twitched my lips. Liam sure knew how to leave a piece of himself behind, in the form of a delicious ache that would only make me more sensitive for him later.
The golden disk in the sky eased my lingering neck ache, lulling me into holiday lazy bliss. My life was a dream come true, away from reality where everything seemed grey and monotonous, here everything was splashed with gold and tinged with heat and lust.
I suddenly had the urge to hug Joslyn with all my strength. I didn’t, as I thought she’d think me nuts, but I grinned at her like a love sick kitty.
“Whatever. I know that look. You got frisky last night and it was gooood.” She grabbed my hand, squeezing. “And with my brother no less. Do you have any idea how amazing that is?”
“It is pretty amazing,” I murmured. “He’s wonderful.”
Joslyn eyed me, head cocked. “Say that again.”
“Say what?” I plucked at my towel. What did I say?
“The part about Liam being wonderful.”
I didn’t know where she was going with this. I straightened my shoulders. “What? He
wonderful. Amazing.” And had dealt with so much on his own. Thinking he wasn’t worthy, that he was responsible for killing Charlotte.
“Oh, my sweet baby Jesus.”
I laughed at her outburst. “What? I’m missing something here.”
She jumped off her chair and enveloped me in a hug. “You’re in love with him.”
So that’s what this was about. I hugged her back, hard. “I think so. Do you mind having me as a sister-in-law? Because I’m never letting your brother go.”
“You don’t even have to ask. I’d adopt you, anyway.” She kissed my cheek.
“Wow. I can’t believe you fell in love.” She slapped her forehead. “That sounded bad. Of course I can see why you’d fall in love. I just didn’t think… well, I hoped.” Her face softened. “I never thought he’d find someone who’d be able to see through his emotional baggage and give him what he needs. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Liam, but he has some deep-seated, unresolved issues.”
She meant Charlotte. Was it my place to tell her I knew? “He told me.”
Her eyebrows disappeared into her hairline. “He told you? Like told you, told you?”
We eyed each other, not wanting to spill Liam’s heartache about his dead sibling, unsure if we both knew, or if it was miscommunication. I tested the waters by being cryptic. “It begins with a C,” I whispered. Charlotte. Such a sweet, gentle name. I pictured a female version of Liam: black hair, pale blue eyes.
Joslyn sank back into her lounger. “That’s huge, Nina. I can’t believe he told you about her. When she committed suicide, it really fucked him up.”
I choked on my swallow. Nikolai was right. She didn’t know the full story. And I couldn’t tell her. Awkwardness settled, I pretended to be absorbed with making myself comfortable and fiddling with my towel.
Joslyn patted my knee, carrying on without noticing the tension. “I’m happy you’re the one for him. I worried he might crash and burn when he started crushing on you a year ago. Each time he asked about you. How long you’d flown? What you wanted for your career and future? I grew scared for him. Scared he’d build you up in his mind, and you’d never be able to live up to his expectations.” She sighed. “I was also afraid Liam wouldn’t be enough for
You seemed so put together, so accomplished. And don’t think I don’t know about your pilot’s license, because I do.”
My eyes shot wide. “How the hell do you know that?” Seriously, did everyone know?
She pointed to her neck and the fading hickey. “Try and guess who gave me this.”
I had no idea. I didn’t particularly want to know. Shrugging, I said, “A baggage handler.”
Joslyn laughed, pretty happy with herself. “Nope. Theo.”
“Theo?” My voice rose. “My
instructor? You got heavy with the guy who’s been spilling my secrets to Liam?” Crap, I needed to have a serious conversation with Mr. Loose Lips.
She nodded, smiling. “He told me the day we finished our flight attendant training. He’s so proud of you, Nina. As you should be. Don’t hide your ambitions. I totally get that this job isn’t for you. Hell, I don’t want to do it for a long time either.”
I never thought she’d understand. I thought the job was her career choice, not a passing phase. How had I got everything so wrong? First, being blindsided by rumours of Liam and, second, by not paying attention to my best friend.
A cloud wisped over the sun, drenching the resort in silvery shadow. Joslyn spoke, but her voice didn’t match her lips. Her words dimmed and warbled in my head.
“He loves you. You need to fight dammit. Don’t you get it? He loves you!”
Trepidation sprouted icicles down my spine. What the hell? The cloud sailed past and the sun’s golden heat seeped into us once again. Joslyn chattered away as if nothing had happened. “… plan, right? Lay by the pool. Have a few cocktails?”
I was too shaken to disagree. The coldness in my blood didn’t thaw even as the sun beaded my skin with sweat. I lay back on the lounger, trying to recapture the carefree mood I’d been in just seconds before.
* * * * *
Five hours later, after barbequing myself rotisserie-style, the sun sank to twilight; reluctantly giving the sky to shadows. Mosquitoes ventured to eat us, and I hauled myself upright. The lounger foam was indented with my body.
Joslyn and I had sampled most of the drinks on the happy hour list, and I was severely dehydrated. I looked at the pool with my mouth watering. I could drink the entire thing and still be thirsty.
Joslyn snored lightly beside me, her eyes hidden by big 1920’s shades even though the sun had gone. I was deliberating if I should wake her when Liam approached from the beach. My heart raced as my body reacted, preparing for his touch. Instantly awake, aware, and needy.
“Hi,” he murmured, shooting a look at comatose Jos.
“Hi.” I smiled, appreciating how gorgeous he looked in khaki shorts and black t-shirt. His skin was deeper with tan; his icy blue eyes chilled me with their perfection. “Where have you been all day?”