Lucas Wolfe has come close to happiness with Sienna, not once but twice. And both times he’s lost her because of his own fears.This time, he can’t let her go so easily—not now that he realizes that the one woman who said “no” is the one he’s in love with. Sienna is good for his music, and his life, and he’s determined to show her that she belongs with him.
No matter what the consequences.
ABSORBED is a FREE weekly mini-serial written in Lucas's POV. It takes place between the end of Devoured: Chapter 19 (the Atlanta chapter) and the very start of Consumed, and will be published on Emily Snow's blog and website from August 16 through September 13. CONSUMED will be released in eBook format from Touchstone Books on September 17 and in paperback in November.
I knew it was over between Sienna and me a good 24 hours before shit really hit the fan—before tonight. Guess you can call it an asshole’s intuition or the fact that Sam, my ex, reared her greedy head too fucking early. I’ve realized that there would be nothing for me and Sienna when Atlanta ended since the day we got here, and yet knowing how things would go still didn’t stop me from taking her. From making good on the promise I made to her two years ago. I’ve finally claimed her, and now I’ve got no other choice but to let her go.
No, I’ll have to make her go. There’s not a fucking chance that Red will leave me willingly—not even after my ex-wife just threatened her. There’s one way to make her go and I already hate myself for it.
I’ll have to tear her down. Make her see me as the person she should’ve never fallen in love with.
Leaning my shoulder against the wall outside of the bathroom I saw Sienna disappear into a few minutes ago, I wait for her, ignoring the strains of the guitar coming from the birthday party happening down the hallway, ignoring the fire in my chest. I shouldn’t have come here. I clench my hands into tight fists. I shouldn’t have brought her here when Sam’s been so bent on finding out who she is.
I shouldn’t have been so selfish.
But I am. Where Sienna’s concerned, I always have been.
I hear the door to the bathroom swing open. It bangs hard against the wall, and the worst type of pain I’ve ever known begins to eat its way through my stomach. It’s one of those feelings that I’ve only gone through once before—but for an entirely different reason.
Sienna walks in my direction, staring at the carpeted floor and running her hands up and down the sides of the black lace dress that I had pushed up around her hips only a couple hours ago. When she nearly runs into me, she stiffens. My muscles go taut, and I find myself clenching my hands again so I won’t touch her. I’ve touched her enough, and even when this is all over and I’ve convinced myself I’ve gotten her out of my system, I won’t forget the way she felt.
I won’t forget the way she made me feel.
Pushing stray pieces of her red hair away from her forehead, she trains her blue eyes on my face. “I’m ready to go.” Like her eyes, her voice is so cold that, for a second, I stand still studying her, wondering what the fuck Sam has told her. The familiar wave of fear claws through my ribcage. It’s a bitter reminder of why I’ve avoided falling in love for so long. The fear of Sam ruining me was crippling enough that I didn’t need love thrown in to fuck me over.
Sienna crosses her arms tightly over her chest, coming close to spilling out of that dress. That part of me that needs to possess her, to protect her, nearly kicks in, but I inhale deeply through my nostrils and keep myself from telling her to cover up.
“I’m ready to go,” she repeats from between gritted teeth. When her expression doesn’t change, and I know without a doubt Sam hasn’t told her anything, I jerk my head in a nod to the entrance of the night club.
“Car’s already waiting.”
I don’t stop and tell Cilla goodbye before I leave, even though she’ll immediately notice that I’m gone. She’s the last thing on my mind right now because Sienna is here. And she’s so close to disappearing from my life again.
We don’t talk as the driver takes us back to the Four Season. We’re still quiet as hell even as we enter the lobby and take the elevator up to our suite. But the moment we enter our room, she hurls her purse across the room to where it spills out on the couch. Then she faces me.
I know that if I don’t take this situation into my hands, I’m going to lose it, too.
“Sit down,” I order, trying to keep my throat from constricting. She starts to question me—like she always does—but I jerk my head to the couch again. “Sit down.”
As I watch her follow my directions, my chest seizes up. I don’t want to do this shit. This is the last thing I’ve ever wanted to do, and being in this room with her is just making it worse. I need to end things now so I can get her out of my life before she gets hurt. I owe her that much, even if I’m burned in the process.
“I fucked up—“ I begin, but my words catch. What am I supposed to say? I fucked up by using you. Fucked up by bringing you here. I fucked up by falling in love with you.
I don’t think she wants to hear any of that, especially when she starts crying.
As we go back and forth for the next few minutes, I keep my gaze away from hers. I keep myself detached, not showing her any emotion. And finally, when I know we’re both at the point of breaking, I clear my throat.
“You’ve got to go,” I say. She says something in response, but my ears are ringing so goddamn bad that it’s impossible for me completely comprehend what she’s saying. “I’m dismissing you,” I continue, my voice sounding bored, cold. “You’ve fulfilled the terms of our contract.”
She argues. She fights for me—a fucked-up man who doesn’t deserve even a fraction of who she is—but in the end, I win. I win when I tell her that I’ll still give her back her grandmother’s house, which was her reason for agreeing to work for me to begin with. I win when I refuse to answer any of her questions, when I let her know I don’t owe her anything else. And I win when I leave.
But as I walk around Atlanta, finally ending up at the grimy old apartment building that I once lived in when I was still married to Samantha, before Your Toxic Sequel hit it big, I’m not so fucking stupid that I don’t know exactly how much I’ve just lost.
Look for more of ABSORBED on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 and then on Friday, August 23!
And check out the musical inspiration behind this week's post here: