An hour later, I found Annabella outside in the gazebo. It was a long way from the mansion and I felt a tickle of annoyance that she was out here on her own, unprotected. She must have seen the annoyance on my face as she rolled her eyes when she caught sight of me before turning back to look out at the water. I wasn’t used to people ignoring my anger or the harsh looks I shot at them. She acted as if they were nothing more than a pesky fly, that they had no effect on her. It drove me crazy but it also made me want her more. Here was a woman who was able to turn me into a docile kitten. fvck, it’d only been a few hours and yet I was ready to do anything she asked of me… Anything other than letting her go of course.
The gazebo was built out on a large pond that was a half mile wide with a small dainty wooden bridge leading to it. Benches sat around the edges, and soft fairy lights lined the interior at night. Striding across the bridge, I stood at the entrance of the structure, silently asking for permission to join her.
I watched her sit on one of the large seats, her knees pulled up to her chest, staring at the ducks swimming by. Golden rays of sunlight streaked through her hair and I was at a loss for words to describe how beautiful she looked at that very moment. I rubbed at my chest, trying to calm my racing heart.
“Who’s Claire?” she asked, still not looking at me. I felt the bite in her question and I wondered if I had heard the bite of jealousy there.
“May I join you?”
Looking at me, she nodded her head in ascension. I walked over and sat directly at her feet, facing her.
Reaching my hand out, I ran it gently up and down her calf. I couldn’t seem to stop myself from touching her. I saw a small plaque with an inscription that I’ve read a thousand times in front of her.
To my precious wife Claire,
“By night, Love, tie your heart to mine, and the two together in their sleep will defeat the darkness.”
With all my love, forever, Griffin
Annabella traced the plaque with a finger, waiting on my answer. No one but the staff came this far out on the property so I never had to explain my past before.
“Claire was my mother. My father’s name was Griffin as well. He had this built for her. This was her most beloved place to be. In your exact spot, actually.”
Annabella’s eyes met mine and I could see a mixture of relief along with more questions. I was a little relieved to see hesitancy and perhaps jealousy in her gaze as well.
“What happened to them?”
“My parents were killed in a car accident a long time ago. It’s not something I like to talk about.”
Taking a deep breath, I looked down at where my hand was still stroking her calf. Gently, she reached her hand down and entwined her fingers with mine.
“It’s okay, you don’t have to tell me. My parents are dead too.”
She gave me an out, but suddenly, I didn’t feel like taking it.
“I was in the car at the time. That’s why I don’t like to talk about it. I was trapped in the back, that’s how I got my scars. I was able to get free, but I wasn’t able to save them.”
I looked up and saw tears in her eyes. It touched my heart to know that she cared so much for a stranger she didn’t know.
“I apologize for how I treated you and how things have turned out between us.”
She rubbed her thumb across my hand, keeping silent.
“I want you to know I asked for your file. I wanted to know more about you, to understand your want to be here.”
She stiffened but didn’t respond to my confession.
“I want you to trust me. I want to show you that I’m a man worthy of you. Will you spend the day with me? Will you let me show you the grounds and keep you company today?”
I nearly choked on my words trying to get them out. I sat there, tense, waiting on her words of rejection. I needed to remind myself that she still thought that I was her husband-to-be.
I had this driving need to hold on to her. To please her, and to own her. This dilemma weighed down on me and I wasn’t sure how I should handle it. To Bella, I was her life now. I didn’t want to deceive her, but maybe if she could fall for me like how I was falling for her right now, she might not want to leave.
“I would really like that, Griffin.” She flashed me the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. Out here, in our own perfect world, with the sun shining down on her perfect face, I could pretend that she was truly mine. And in that moment, I felt my heart bound to hers.
Something had changed. Most of the anger I’d seen every time I looked into Griffin’s eyes had faded. He half-smiled at me, making the scars on the side of his face scrunch up slightly. Catching me looking at his scars, he turned his face away so that all I could see was his good side.
“Please don’t do that,” I pleaded softly.
Shifting to face me, he asked, “Do what?”
“Turning away from me so that I can’t see your scars.”
He remained silent, as if contemplating my words. I reached up, slowly and gently caressing his cheek. Closing his eyes, he leaned further into my touch despite the pained expression on his face. Leaning forward, I scattered butterfly kisses onto the most puckered scar and I felt his body tense up and his eyes clench shut.
I wish I could ease away some of his self-consciousness. Bringing my lips up to his ear, I whispered, “They don’t bother me, Griffin. And if they bother other people, then that’s their problem, not yours.”
I leaned back to try and look him in the eye, to let him see that I had meant what I said. Opening his eyes, he flashed me an even wider smile that made my heart race and I wondered what it would be like for him to kiss me. Despite having shared such an intimate and physical moment this morning and the night before, he has yet to kiss me. For a moment before he had entered me last night, I thought he would. I want to taste myself on his lips.
Heat crept up my neck and my gaze dropped to his lips.
“Can I kiss you?” I rushed out breathily. Despite my bold behavior earlier, I still felt shy asking such a question. A kiss seemed so much more intimate, as if it would bring us even closer than before. I could see the shock of my question on his face. I wanted nothing more than to kiss him at this very moment. There was just something special about him that was pulling me towards him, pulling us together. I might not have been around many men in my life but I felt it. The connection, the sparks. I wonder if he felt it too. Many people had fallen in love at first sight before. Why couldn’t it be that way for us?
“Annabella, I—” Afraid of his rejection, I lunged towards Griffin and pressed my lips to his. He let out a soft growl and hauled me onto his lap, taking control of the kiss. He pushed his tongue deep inside my mouth, devouring me, clashing our teeth together and dominating the kiss.
Pressing into his warmth, molding my body to his, he slowed down the kiss, as if he finally realized that I wouldn’t be pulling away. His tongue slowed down to a soft gentle exploration. I’m not sure which I liked more, his rough, dominating kiss or his gentle, possessive kiss. Pulling back, I dropped a kiss on the scar that catches the corner of his lip, trailing kisses all the way up to his ear.
“I think you’re beautiful, Griffin. You hide behind your anger and keep people away. Please let me in. We can make this work. We could be happy. If you let us be.”
No sooner had the words left my mouth did I feel Griffin pick me up and carry me out of the gazebo. Startled, I let out a squeal of shock, immediately wrapping my arms and legs around him tightly. I probably resembled a monkey right now.
He laughed lightly and lowered his lips over mine once again. Lost in his lips and his taste, I felt him lowering me and soon enough, my back touched the grass. Laying me down, Griffin maneuvered himself between my legs all the while keeping our lips locked. Pulling back to catch his breath, he looked down at me.
“Stay, Bella. Please.” His voice husky, filled with emotion. “I don’t want to be angry anymore. I want to heal and move on. Will you stay here and teach me? Please don’t go back to the agency. I’ll make this right. I’m so sorry for the way I’d been acting. You deserve better. You deserve everything. Please, let me give you everything.”
I felt Griffin steal a piece of my heart as the words left his mouth. We both had some healing to do. While they might be different, we could still do it together. In response, I tilted my head towards him, offering him my lips once more. With a groan, Griffin lowered his head and accepted the kiss. For the first time since arriving at Creston Falls, all of my fears disappeared.
“Angel,” Griffin breathed out, nipping my ear. His stubble tickled the side of my face.
“Mmm, Griffin. Please,” I m0aned, wanting him to kiss me more, anywhere, everywhere. I needed his touch. I lifted my hips, trying to get some friction. Sliding his hand between us, he stroked my thigh before moving under my dress, cupping my mound.
“I see you were lying about not wearing panties earlier. Don’t tease me, Beauty. I’ll spank that sinful ass of yours the next time.” He continued to stroke my pvssy over my panties and my hips began to rock slightly against his fingers.
“Are you sore, Angel?” He nibbled on my bottom lip as he yanked my panties to the side, dipping a finger inside. “I don’t want to hurt you. I never want to hurt you again.”
I was tender but it felt so good having him inside me once again. Arching into his touch, I feel myself growing w€tter as his thumb rubbed my cl!t. “More,” I managed to gasp out as he added a second finger.
“God, you’re so fvcking w€t. I barely even touched you. Is all this cream for me?”
Thrusting his fingers harder into me, he rubbed my cl!t a little faster.
“Do you like what I’m doing, Angel? Do you want more? Do you want me to slide my big, hard cock inside you and give us what we both want? fvck my fingers, Bella. Show me how much you want me to fvck that pretty little pvssy of yours. Show me how much you want me to slide my big fat cock inside you. “
He growled, raking his teeth across my neck. I didn’t think he meant to pose them as questions but I doubt I could answer him if I even tried.
His words were killing me. Who knew words could set your body on fire like this. “What are you doing to me? Oh god. I… I just … please, Griffin. Please…” With his other hand, Griffin tugged hard at the top of my dress causing my [email protected] to spill out.
My n!poles harden instantly under his hungry gaze. Dipping his head, he licked and placed kisses all around my left [email protected] before sucking my n!pole into his mouth fully. Each tug, nip and lick shot straight to my cl!t and I felt my orgasm slowly building. I knew this one was going to blow last night’s out of the water.
“Not yet, Angel. This time I want you cvmming around my cock. I want to feel your pvssy milking my cvm out of me.” He rumbled, removing his hand from between my legs.
“Just hurry, please. Griffin, I need you.” My words seemed to set him in motion. He leaned up, unbuckling his belt and freeing his cock. “Oh god!” Even with our bodies no longer touching, I couldn’t stop myself from arching up towards him, needing to feel his weight back on top of me. I needed something to ease the throbbing between my legs. I was so close.