I had known deep down that this wouldn't be forever. I'd thought once Woods realized how impossible life would be with me that he would end it. But that wasn't true. He was already tired of dealing with my being "crazy," but he'd never let me know. He made me feel cherished. If I hadn't heard him talking to Jace I would still have been holding on to the belief that we could work through it all.
Years of not living among other people had hindered my ability to read them. Jace had known that Woods was tired of dealing with me but I hadn't gotten the hint. I knew now. Tonight would be it for us. I had cooked for him and enjoyed looking at him and listening to him talk. I wanted to etch every moment of tonight in my memory.
When I left tomorrow, that would be it. I wasn't coming back and Woods would be relieved. At first he would be upset. I thought he loved me. I was just more than he'd bargained for. When he realized I'd taken myself out of the picture for him, his life would get easier. He could be free of worrying about me.
Tonight, though, he was still mine. I could hold him and believe in what we had. Just once more.
We stood side by side and cleaned up the dishes. Normally we talked and laughed but I couldn't find anything fun to talk about. My heart was too heavy.
"Are you okay?" Woods asked when he put the last dish in the dishwasher and closed it.
I nodded and smiled.
He reached over and laced his fingers through mine. "Are you sure? I'll fix whatever is wrong if you just tell me," he said, gently tugging me to him. He was a fixer. He wanted to fix my life, and that wasn't possible.
Instead of answering, I stood up on my tiptoes and pressed my lips to his neck. "I want you," I whispered against his warm skin . "Right now, all I want is you."
Woods let me kiss down his neck, and when I tugged at his T-shirt he lifted his arms and let me take it off. His chiseled chest was always tanned and perfect. I ran my fingers over the beautiful skin and each hard ab muscle that fascinated me. This had been mine for a time. It would be a chapter in my life that was hard to look back on, yet it would be my favorite.
I pressed my lips to the taut skin of his lower stomach and started undoing his jeans. He stood there and let me. I was glad there was no resistance or questions. If we were ending this chapter tonight, I wanted it to be perfect.
I pulled his jeans down with his boxer briefs.
"Fuck, Della," he whispered as I licked the tip of his cock. Both of his hands were now buried in my hair as I lowered myself to my knees in front of him. I wanted him to know I loved him. When I was gone I wanted him to know that he was a part of me. That this hadn't been empty for me.
"Oh, hell," he groaned, leaning back against the counter for support as I sank his length into my mouth until it slid into my throat. I loved the way this made him feel. Knowing the trembling in his legs was because of me was a wonderful feeling. He made me tremble all the time. I liked making him tremble in return.
"That's so damn good, baby. Your hot little mouth is fucking perfect." His voice was husky and deep. I reached up and cupped his balls in my hand. He let out a low growl and suddenly I was being jerked up. "Not gonna come in your mouth. Not tonight. I want inside you," he said, kicking off his jeans and leaving them on the floor before picking me up and walking to the bedroom.
His hands were on my shorts, jerking them off. I raised my arms and let him pull my top off
. My bra and panties went just as quickly.
"You're beautiful," he said as he knelt above me and stared down at my body.
When I was with him I felt beautiful. "Make love to me," I told him as I opened my thighs and reached up to pull him down to me.
"I want to taste you," he said, stopping me from pulling him down farther.
"I want you inside me," I replied.
"Don't care. I want a taste first." His crooked grin warmed my heart. I'd let him have whatever he wanted.
"Okay," I replied as he lowered himself until his head was between my thighs.
His lips brushed the sensitive skin on the insides of my legs as he trailed kisses, switching from one leg to the other until the heat of his breath touched my tender flesh. I shuddered and grabbed handfuls of the sheets underneath me just before his tongue slipped inside of me and then moved up to my clit.
I cried out his name until I came against his mouth. Every single flick of his tongue had taken me farther under the wave of pleasure that overtook me.
As I gasped to get air into my lungs, he filled me in one swift move. I lifted my knees and pressed them to his ribs. "I love you, Della. I love you so much, baby. So damn much," he said with a hoarse voice full of emotion. It was as if he knew this was it for us. That tomorrow wouldn't come. This was the end. I fought back the tears clogging my throat and grabbed his face so that I could kiss him. I couldn't talk. I didn't trust myself to talk. I showed him how much I loved him with my mouth.
With each thrust I lifted my knees and cried out. He never stopped telling me how much he loved me. It was a chant as we both climbed to our release.
"Woods!" I screamed his name in ecstasy as the world blurred.
He held me to his chest as he jerked inside of me. My name was a strangled cry from his chest as he shuddered against me.
Our chapter was over. It was the most beautiful chapter in my life. I knew I'd had the happy ending way before it was time and now I had to live the rest of the story without him. It wasn't the way life was supposed to be, but it was my life. And I'd had Woods in it. That made it all okay.
Woods had kissed my head, telling me to sleep late. He had an early meeting and I could come to work when I was ready. I had pretended to be sleepy and nodded, keeping my head buried in the pillow to hide my tears. When the door clicked behind him I turned over and stared at the ceiling.
My heart had just walked out that door.
I moved without thought as I showered and dressed. I boxed up the things I would be shipping that morning to the address Tripp had texted me. I then packed a small bag I could carry with me. I wasn't sure where we were going and when we would make it back to the South Carolina address I was shipping my things to.
Woods called me around ten and asked if I wanted to eat lunch with him. I didn't want to lie to him but I couldn't tell him the truth either. So I told him I was behind on work and if he wanted me to come back, then I needed to catch up. He didn't argue with me. When I told him that I loved him one tear rolled down my face. I was glad he couldn't see me.
On a piece of paper I wrote:
I will never forget you. Thank you for everything but it's time I move on. I want to see the world. This life isn't for me. It doesn't fit. It isn't what I dreamed of. Don't come after me, just let me go. I hope you find the happiness you deserve.