Home > Come Away with Me (With Me in Seattle #1)(17)

Come Away with Me (With Me in Seattle #1)(17)
Author: Kristen Proby

“You know, I don’t do this.” I turn in the seat to face him.

He glances at me, then back at the road. “Do what?”

I shrug, trying to find the words, and wondering why I feel the need to explain myself.

“Hey,” he links his fingers with mine and kisses my hand before resting them both in his lap. “What is it?”

“I don’t usually spend much time with men. I don’t make out. I don’t share meals. I don’t spend time playing the twenty questions game. I just… don’t.”

This is coming out so wrong!

He gazes at me again, surprised.

“Okay, what do you do with men?”

He squirms in his seat and I think he’s mad.

“I fuck them.” There. It’s out there.

“What?” Oh, yeah… I think he’s really mad.

“Luke, I don’t date.” Oh, how do I explain this? I have never wanted to date anyone before. Before him.

“Are you brushing me off?” his voice is incredulous and he lets go of my hand.

“No!” I close my eyes and shake my head. “Before I met you, I mean. I just don’t want you to think that I’m promiscuous or that I go out with guys into the woods after knowing them for less than two days.”

“But you fuck them.” He snarls.

“Well, I used to.” I turn back in the seat and stare out the windshield.

“Before my parents died…”

He grabs my hand again and I whip my head back to him, surprised.

“Go on.”

“Before they died, when I was in college, I didn’t think much of myself.

And therefore, neither did anyone else. I didn’t date as a choice, Luke. But sex was something I understood. I’ve never wanted to feel anything else for a man.”

I swallow hard and close my eyes in shame.

“Did something happen to you to make you feel like that?” His voice is dead calm. Too calm.

“Umm…” I’ve never told anyone this. Except Jules.

“Look, Nat, I feel something here too, and you can bet your sweet, beautiful ass that I’m going to make love to you tonight. I’m not going to fuck you. So I think it’s pretty important that we’re honest with each other now. No surprises.” His handsome face is so sincere, and sweet.

“Last night you said you wanted to fuck me.”

“I did. I do. And I will. But not tonight.”

“Oh.” I breathe.

“Yeah. So, what happened, baby?”

I pull my hand out of his and twist my fingers in my lap. Luke changes lanes and I try to gather my thoughts. Oh, this hurts.

“When I was seventeen, I dated a guy for a few months who I thought was pretty nice. I was a virgin, which he would tease me about, but I didn’t care.

I was only seventeen for Christ sake.

“Well, long story short, he took things too far one night. We were at my house, my parents were at some party, and we were alone, and he…” I stop talking and look out the window, not seeing the buildings and trees, swamped in shame.

“He raped me.”

Luke inhales sharply, his face contorted in anger. “Motherfucker.”

“That’s not even the worst part.” I laugh mirthlessly with the memory.

“This isn’t fucking funny.” He’s glaring at me now and my face sobers.

“Trust me, I know.” I swallow.

“You’re very sweary.”

“You haven’t heard sweary yet. What happened next?”

“My parents came home.” It’s a whispered confession. Again, Luke inhales loudly.

“My dad almost killed him. The cops were called. He was punished. His dad was a senator, so along with the legal crap, my parents sued his parents and won. My dad was a very high profile lawyer. I have quite a large trust fund from the lawsuit, which will never be touched by me. I don’t need it, my parents made sure I was very well taken care of, and I don’t want it anyway.”

He doesn’t say anything for a long time. He just drives and seems completely lost in thought.

“So,” I interrupt the silence, “that’s why I had so many issues with guys in college. It took a few years of counseling and my parents’ death to wake me up and pull me out of some destructive behavior.”

“Tattoos?” he asks.

“No, ironically, the tattoos had nothing to do with my past, and everything to do with healing.”

He still won’t look at me. Fuck, it was too soon!

“Hey,” I grab his hand in mine. “I know that was a lot to dump on you, and we just met. If you’d rather just drop me off at home and cut our losses, I understand.”

“No, Natalie, you’re not getting rid of me that easily.” He squeezes my fingers in his and the relief I feel is incredible.

“You seem a little quiet.”

“I don’t honestly know what to say.”

He frowns and glances at me.

“I just…” I pause to collect my thoughts. “I feel this heading somewhere intimate, and I thought you should know.” The last two words are a whisper.

“You’ve never dated anyone, ever?”

I shake my head.

“Honey, we have a lot of catching up to do.” His voice is tender again and I feel hope slowly spread through me.

“We do?”

“Oh, yeah. I have one question, though.”

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