Below the Line

CHAPTER ONE

I gave up on trying to keep him out after he broke the fourth lock on my door, and it wouldn’t shut right until he fixed it after his next visit in the middle of the night. 

It was useless, and Logan Pierce knew it. 

Hell, he knew every inch of my body better than I did. And every time I tried to get rid of him, there he was. Reminding me of why I couldn’t keep any of my walls up around him. 

“Are you awake?” 

I knew he was there, waiting for his chance. Sitting in the dark until he was sure that I wouldn’t fight him, or kick him out like I’d tried to do so many times before. 

“I know you’re awake, Teri.” 

He was closer now, his breath coursing down the exposed skin of my back. 

When his fingers danced along my spine, I couldn’t control my body’s reaction. I meant it. He knew every inch of my body and how to force the response we both knew I wanted to give him. 

“I need you.” 

Just like so many nights before, when there was no light left to hide behind, he gave me the truth. 

If I were a stronger woman, I’d turn on the light next to my bed and demand that he give me more. That he tell me everything. That he explain why he continued to rip out my heart every single chance he got. 

In the dark, I didn’t have to pretend to be strong.

When the bed next to me shifted, and his warm body slid naked next to mine, I knew that just like every other night he came to me, I wouldn’t turn him away. 

Instead, his lips pressed against the back of my neck and I melted in his arms. Even with my face turned away from him. He’d take me. Take all the pleasure that I’d give him, and he wouldn’t say a word. Then, before I woke up in the morning, he’d be gone again. 

We’d bicker and fight, argue and avoid each other, until the next time he broke into my house. 

“Teri, please.” 

That was new. 

Still, I didn’t move. I didn’t look at him over my shoulder like my heart was begging me to. 

The light flashed on. For the first time. And I felt like I’d hallucinated the act. Except there he was. All six-foot-four, blonde hair and green eyes of him, staring at me with a world of hurt on his face that I didn’t understand. 

“Teri, I need you.” 

His eyes were too intense. They burned with emotion that I wasn’t used to seeing from Logan. So I looked away, and noticed that he hadn’t taken his clothes off after all. 

Finding my voice, for the first time in what felt like forever, I forced out the question. “Why, Logan? Why do you need me now? Why not all the other times?” 

“We lost a little girl today. One of the kids that Nox knows.” He closed his eyes, and a tear fell. 

In my entire life, I couldn’t remember a single other time that Logan cried.

“What happened?” 

He moved, pulling me into his arms, and I was lost to him. His scent enveloped me, warm and musky and everything I dreamed about every single night. 

“Her father was abusive.” Logan held me tightly against his chest, his hands running up and down my skin. Not in a sexual way, like I’d thought before. But trying to comfort himself. “He killed their whole family.” Logan swallowed deeply. “I was okay, until I saw the little girl. She had red hair. Just like you. Just like you did when you died in my arms.” 

“I came back.” 

“But you’re not mine. Not anymore.” 

That did it. I sat up, brushing my curls out of my face with one hand and pointing to the door. 

“That’s your decision. Not mine. You decided I wasn’t yours. My heart stopped for a minute. One minute, Logan. And because of that, you’ve decided to push me away for how many years? Just because you saw me-”

“Yeah, Teri.” Logan snapped, sitting up and spearing me with a glare. “I watched you die. That’s right. I swore that I would love you forever, and we were planning a future together, and then you fucking died in my arms. So, yeah. I pushed you away. I’ll keep pushing you away, because I’m not dragging you down into the same pit again. I’m not going to be the reason you die.” 

I wasn’t weak. I wasn’t the girl he’d left a decade before in the hospital. I had a life. One that meant the world to me. And up until that very moment, I’d been thinking about walking away and moving. Again. Just to get a fresh start. But in that moment, a lot like he did in the dark of night, I faced the truth. 

I craved the nights he showed up in my house, even if he broke the locks. The dirty things he did to my body, the way he made me scream in ecstasy. All of it. 

When they stopped, for whatever reason, I’d miss it. I’d crave his touch, and the pain he brought me right to the edge of, before shoving me into pleasure so rich I couldn’t breathe. 

My eyes were locked on the window in front of me, refusing to turn or fight with him when we both knew it was futile. When I didn’t answer him, Logan sighed, and pressed his lips against the back of my neck again, sweeping my hair out of the way. The first yank could have been an accident, until I felt his hand wrap in my hair and he pulled even harder. 

The mew I let out was the only approval he needed to keep going. With my hair wrapped tightly around his hand, Logan controlled our movements in the dark. Already on my side, it was easy for him to push me to my stomach and straddle my ass, his body still pressed against mine. 

“If you won’t talk to me, Teri, I’m going to make your body sing.” 

I kept my mouth shut, both furious with him and beyond aroused at the knowledge of what he was about to do to me. What I wanted him to do to me. 

The low growl escaping his lips was my only warning before Logan bit into the back of my shoulder. 

My responding whimper, combined with the way my chest and neck bent back betrayed the silence I’d worked so hard to maintain. Logan’s chuckle, with his lips still pressed against my skin, was just one more example of how he could bend my body to his will. How I let him bend me to his will. 

“I’m going to love this, Teri.” His hand was still wound in my hair, and the other moved under my shirt, pushing the blankets down and the shirt up. “So goddamn perfect.” 

When his hand unwrapped slowly from my hair, Logan didn’t waste any more time. His pushed the shirt the rest of the way up, and yanked it over my head without missing a beat. 

Left naked, my back to him, and nothing but darkness surrounding us, my heart started to pound even more in my chest. 

“You like this, don’t you?” His question was nothing more than a whisper with his lips pressed against my ear. 

Logan’s hands touched me everywhere, all at once. From the back of my neck and the curve under my ass, he moved them together, like he was tracing a well-worn path over my skin. Enough that I could do nothing more than let him. Let him touch, fondle, and caress my body, leaving me wanting and practically begging for more. 

“Spread your legs for me, Teri.” When I didn’t move immediately, giving him what he wanted, Logan slapped my ass. 

The sting burnt, but I was already in a haze of pleasure and anticipation. While he soothed the area he’d just hit with a smooth hand, I felt Logan move down my body. 

“You know I’ll move them myself, Teri.” My core clenched when he did just that, and I reached for the pillow, knowing exactly what was coming next. 

Before I could get my hands wrapped around it, he flipped me over, and the surprised squeak that left my lips caused a flush to rise in my cheeks. 

“That’s better.” 

In the darkness, I could only see his outline while my eyes struggled to adjust. 

He looped my legs around his shoulders and laid completely on his stomach, during his face into my core. Sucking. Biting. Licking me until I was crying out with my pleasure. 

“Oh. Yes. More.” I couldn’t stop the words, any more than I could stop the building orgasm from taking over a moment later. My hands buried themselves in his hair and I pulled. Unaware of anything else for more than a minute, I had to catch my breath. 

“Too much.” I mumbled.

But Logan didn’t stop. Instead, he kissed the inside of my thigh and adjusted himself, pressing against my entrance and sliding in without any resistance. 

“Told you.” He grunted once he was fully seated inside me, my walls convulsing around the intrusion. “You’re built for me, Teri.” 

Thrust. 

“Perfect. Just perfect.” 

He leaned forward, hitting the most sensitive spot inside my body, while his hands wrapped around mine. 

A brutal kiss while he kept thrusting was all I had, our bodies intertwined and moving together in a dance they’d done for years. 

Nothing was as good as the electricity that sparked between us. No amount of pizza, or tacos, or alcohol could touch the roar of ecstasy coursing through my veins. 

“Give it to me, Teri.” Logan grunted. “Another one.” 

“No.” I gasped in response. “More.” 

He kissed me again, grinding into my body in a way that left me breathless and balancing on the edge that I’d just denied. 

“Look at me.” 

I didn’t realize that my eyes were closed until he said the words. Not only that, but he’d completely stopped moving while he waited. 

“Open those eyes and look at me.” His words reached into the pit of my soul and demanded my attention to the point that my eyes snapped open and locked on his. 

“There she is.” 

In a moment of intimacy that I wasn’t expecting, Logan ran a finger down my cheek while he started to move slowly. 

I was already on the very edge of the precipice, but the look in his eyes, even in the darkness that consumed us, would be what dragged me into the type of bliss that only Logan could give me. 

Hurry.” The words came out on a gasp. 

My legs, wrapped around his waist, went stiff and locked. My hands clawed at the skin on his shoulders while I let the orgasm take over. With my eyes still locked on his, I finally let go. Until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any more, and I had to shut them against the onslaught of emotions that I found myself completely unable to hold back. 

Don’t let him see you cry. 

He moved, rolling off of me the same way he always did, and I heard him walk into my bathroom. Then the water turned on. A few seconds later, he was back, using a warm cloth to help clean the mess we’d made, and my heart started to race against his careful touch. He’d never done that before. Never stopped to take care of me after we were done. 

An amazing orgasm that left me breathless and practically begging for more was one thing. Logan was the best I’d ever had. But in the dark, he never demanded my feelings. My eyes. He never said my name the way he had with me. And in the fading When my heart finally started to beat normally, and the blood pounding in my ears subsided enough to let me hear what was happening around me, I waited for Logan’s excuses. The same ones he made every single time we were together. 

Sorry. I have to go. Stay safe.

Like a broken record, he never deviated from his script, and he never stayed long enough for me to tell him that he didn’t need to apologize. That he didn’t owe me anything. Not after he broke my heart simply by existing. 

While I waited for the excuse, for the apology that ruined all of the erotic bliss that I was still reliving in the moment, I listened for the sound of him moving around to get dressed. 

There was nothing but silence. 

Finally, I opened my eyes, expecting to be blinking into the darkness, but he’d left the bathroom light on. Logan stood there, right next to my bed, staring down at me with a dark expression on his face. 

“What?” I didn’t mean to snap the question, but he was unnerving. Silent and still, his head tilted at a small angle, and the look on his face… it was enough to have me biting my lip with how nervous he made me. 

Like he’d been snapped out of a trance, Logan cleared his throat and stood up to his impressive height. 

“You’re not really moving, are you?” 

His question caught me off guard, and instinctively I grabbed the blankets and lifted them up practically to my chin.

“Y-yeah.” I stammered over the word. 

With a nod, he walked out. 

And I was left with nothing but the memory of his touch and the tears that I didn’t bother trying to hold back anymore. 

The Series