CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED and FORTY-THREE
Seven hours later
Sunday morning — 5:35 A.M
Seth woke to the feeling of Ava’s hands stroking his stomach. Her long fingers stopped at his naval before moving to his thighs. He opened his eyes and she was leaning toward him. She gave him a slight smile then kissed his lips.
“I want you,” she croaked.
Her lips attacked his lips and tongue. The pure honesty of her desire brought him fully awake. He met her intensity. Their lips tingled with their magnetic fusion. Her body gave of an infectious heat and he rose to her desire. He pulled her on top of him. She sat across his thighs. With her access, she continued ravaging his mouth. She gave him a cocky smile, then moved her hips to engage.
She threw up.
Seth wasn’t able to move out of the way. Her vomit hit him in the chest and spilled onto the bed. Horrified, Ava jumped up and ran into the bathroom. Grabbing a towel to wipe off the vomit, he followed her. He stroked her back while she hugged the toilet. When her stomach was empty, he pulled her into the shower and turned on the warm water. Shaking her head, Ava’s mouth moved but no sound came out. Tears fell from her eyes.
Seth put his ear next to her mouth.
“I’m so sorry,” Ava said.
“Don’t be sorry,” he said. “You’ve been through a horrible experience. This kind of thing is normal. We need to go slowly, respectfully.”
“Rest your voice,” Seth said.
Under the warm stream of water, he held her to him. Moving away, she took a wash cloth and soap to scrub where she’d thrown up on him. He smiled.
“I know you feel bad,” he said. “You want everything to be normal. But right now, you need to heal and healing takes time.”
She nodded. He took the wash cloth from her.
“I’m clean,” he said. “Why don’t you stay here as long as you’d like? Or until the hot water runs out?”
She pointed to him.
“I’ll change the sheets,” he said.
She looked indignant.
“I’ve changed a lot of sheets in my life. Please. Take in the warmth. It’ll help to chase away the dark.” When she didn’t look convinced, he added, “For me. We’ll get there, Ava. Promise. There’s no hurry. We have time.”
She gave him a slight nod. He kissed her forehead and left the shower. He dried off and went to change the sheets. In the way of vomit, a little had spread over a lot of surfaces. It seemed to be everywhere. He made a pile of sheets and comforters, grabbed a pair of jeans and went down the hall to the linen closet. He returned to the room with an arm full of sheets, a duvet cover and a cotton blanket. He tossed his load into an arm chair and made quick work of the bed. He was so intent on the job that he didn’t hear the water shut off or see Ava step into to the bedroom. He looked up when she touched his back. She held his phone out to him.
“It’s Ferg,” the Crime Scene Unit supervisor said. “We’ve got trouble.”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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