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Elias(West Bend Saints #1)(12) by Sabrina Paige
Love comforteth like sunshine after rain.
~ Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis
It was eleven, but I still wasn't asleep. After what happened earlier- after I'd cut myself- I should have passed out, gotten the crash after the adrenaline spike, the crash that usually settled things, gave me relief.
Except this time, I was lying in bed, staring up at the ceiling in the darkness. There was no adrenaline spike, no crash. It was still just me and my thoughts.
When a white light flickered through the window, I paid no attention. Until it happened a minute later, and then a third time.
Heart racing, I slid out of bed and stood beside the window, trying to see out without putting my whole face in the window pane.
It has to be paparazzi, I thought, regretting my choice to stand there. I could hardly see anything.
Then the light hit me directly in the eyes. "Fuck." I jumped back to the side, anger flooding my veins. "Son of a bitch." I turned the latch and pulled up the window pane. "Whoever the f**k you are, you can get the hell out of here."
The camera flash I was expecting didn't come. Instead, I heard Elias' voice.
"Shit," he said. "I didn't mean to scare you."
"What the hell are you doing?" I yelled, then immediately lowered my voice, mindful of June's house just across the meadow. My heart was pounding in my chest. "Are you f**king high or something? Or are you trying to give me a heart attack?"
Elias dipped his flashlight to the ground. "Come down and let me in."
I exhaled and swore under my breath, heading down the stairs and out to the front porch. I pulled the door wide open, and Elias stood in the doorway, grinning at me. "What the f**k are you doing here at eleven o' clock at night?"
"I wanted to see you," he said. "Couldn't stop thinking about you."
I squinted at him. "Are you drunk? You smell like stale beer and smoke."
"What?" he asked. "No. I mean, I might have stepped in some beer at the bar."
"You're showing up here after being at a bar all night?" I crossed my arms over my chest. "You think I'm that easy, or just stupid?"
Elias looked down at the ground, rubbing the toe of his boot into the porch. When he looked up, he had a sheepish expression on his face. "Fuck," he said. "It was a mistake coming here." He turned around and started to walk away.
Shit. I couldn't believe I was about to do this.
"Wait," I called, and he turned to look at me over his shoulder. "Come back."
When he returned, I squinted at him under the porch light. "You're really not drunk?" I asked.
"Do I look like it?" he asked. "Really. I'm not. My mother smokes. My brother works at a bar. I wasn't planning on coming here."
"You just took a wrong turn, or what?" I still didn't move from where I stood. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to let him in or tell him to go home. My heart raced, thinking about what might happen if I let him in, what I might want to happen with him. When I thought about it, I could still feel his lips on mine, his hands on the small of my back.
A shock of arousal ran through my body at the thought of his touch.
He shook his head. "I don't f**king know," he said. "I just couldn't face going home."
There was something in the way he said it, standing there with his hands in his pockets, that made him seem vulnerable. It was just a flash, a chink in his armor, and then it was gone. But it made me think there was more to him than what I'd seen.
"So you'd rather spend the night with a stranger than with people you know?" I asked, my voice soft. I stood close to him, looking up at him in the soft porch light.
He shrugged. "Sometimes the people you know are the biggest strangers of all."
"I'm not sure I want to let you in, Elias," I said, my voice soft. I just couldn't stop thinking about that damn kiss.
"You can tell me to leave," he said. "If you want me to go, say the word and I'll walk away."
I could barely hear his words, couldn't focus on anything except his lips as he talked. I wanted to feel his breath on my skin.
"Leave." I called his bluff.
"You said you would."
"Only if you don't want me," he said. "But you do."
"You don't know a damn thing about what I want." The words left my mouth, hanging in the space between us. They rang false even to my ears.
He didn't back away. Instead, he reached up and traced his finger down my chest, toward my cle**age. "That's why your pupils are as big as f**king saucers. And why your breath is short," he said. "Because you don't want me."
"My breath is short because I just came running downstairs," I said. "After some jackass with a flashlight shined it through the window in the middle of the night."
"Were you sleeping?" he asked, his voice gravelly. He reached out and pulled me tight against him, but I didn't protest.
"No." I wasn't going to tell him about my night. I could already feel shame closing in on me, threatening to overwhelm me again. I didn't want Elias to see that I'd cut myself, and he would. "Go home, Elias."
"Do you mean it?"
Of course not. I screamed the words, inside my head. Don't leave.
"Yes," I said.
Before I could say anything else, his mouth came down hard on mine, and I let out an involuntary moan as his tongue found mine. When he kissed me, I could feel it through my whole body.
He pulled away from me, and I gasped. "Still don't want me?" he asked.
I didn't answer, and when he stepped back a few feet, I was disappointed. "You're leaving?"
"Fuck, no, I'm not. I'm f**king staying. Don't move. I'll be right back." He returned with a bag in his hand.
"Is that your suitcase? That's not presumptuous at all," I said.
"It's been sitting in the car. I never unpacked. Thought you might want a change of clothes, too, since you didn't bring anything. I figured you didn't make a run out to town to the store."
"I could use some clothes," I said.
"Can get you some in town tomorrow," he said. "Although, as fair warning, they may not be exactly what someone like you is used to." He set his bag down and walked around the room. "This place is nice. You really got the whole thing to yourself?"
"Yeah," I said, my eyes lingering on his ass again as he turned to look at some pictures on the fireplace mantel. "What do you mean, someone like me?"
"West Bend doesn't have a Rodeo Drive or shit like that, you know."
"Do I look like I need designer clothes?" I asked, my voice indignant. "I think when you first kissed me, I was wearing pajama pants, if you remember correctly."
But I could see him grinning, even with his head half-turned away. He put his hands up. "I'm just saying, being a big star and all that, you might not be wanting the country shit West Bend sells."
"Pretty sure I'll be fine."
"You going to show me the bedroom or what?" he asked, turning to face me as he leaned against the brick of the fireplace.
I laughed. "That's direct."
He shrugged. "You want me to beat around the bush?"
I laughed at the phrase, and he grinned wickedly. "Uh-"
"Don't worry, darlin'," he said, "I'll get to that part." Elias gave me a long hard look, and then, without speaking, stepped forward into me and put me over his shoulder like I was a rag doll. I shrieked when he put me over his shoulder.
"Elias," I protested, more surprised than anything else, "You can't carry me upstairs. Your leg. Put me down."
But he carried me upstairs like it was nothing. "You don't know anything about what I can or can't do," he said, spinning around as he faced one of the rooms. "There are firefighters that carry people heavier than you with gimp legs like mine. Is this the room you're staying in?"
"Yes. Are you going to put me down?"
"I'm debating whether or not I want to," he said, caressing my ass with his hand. "I might just keep you here a little while longer."
"Put me down, ass**le," I said, but my voice was less insistent the more he touched me. When he set me down, one hand around my waist and the other on my ass, he made sure I slid down his body on the way and that I stayed firmly pushed up against him when my feet touched the ground. I wasn't exactly about to protest, especially when I felt his hardness against me. "Carrying me upstairs got you all hot?"
"Fuck yeah it did," Elias whispered into my ear, his mouth close to me. "Can't think of much else that would get me more worked up than getting to go all caveman on a girl like you."
I didn't move, reveling in the feeling of him so close to me. "A girl like me?"
"Yeah," he said. "In case you weren't aware, you're hot shit."
I laughed. "You have a way with words."
He pulled away from me, just a bit, and smirked. "I'm better with my mouth," he said.
I felt a flush of arousal at his words. "God, you're filthy."
He winked. "You have no idea," he said.
I shook my head.
"What?" he asked, his hands on my arms.
"I don't know what to think about you," I said.
"I'm a f**king enigma."
I laughed. "That's a big word for a .... I don't even know what you do."
A dark look crossed his face briefly, quickly erased by his joking manner again. "Do you need to know?"
"It would be nice to know who I'm sleeping with," I admitted.
He had inched closer to me, or I'd moved closer to him, I'm not sure which. But I was so close that if I arched up on my tip-toes just a little bit more, I'd be able to reach his lips. I was watching them move as he talked, unable to think of much else other than that I wanted them on me.
"Sleeping isn't something I had in mind," Elias said.
"Oh?" I asked. "What did you have in mind?"
"I'm going to ruin you for other men, River Andrews," he said. "That's a f**king promise."
I felt a thrill rush through me at his words, my face flushing warm under his gaze.
Elias lifted the edge of my t-shirt up, played with it for a moment, like he was trying to make a decision. Then he pulled the fabric up over my head, his gaze taking me in. He drew me against him, his fingers running lightly up the length of my back, and I felt him inhale deeply, his chest rising.
I didn't know what the hell to think about this guy. He was definitely not like the guys I was used to in Hollywood, with their hair products and eyeliner and bullshit sensitivity. Elias was bossy, mouthy, and just plain dirty.
But I felt myself relaxing into him as his arms enveloped me.
He was silent for a minute, before he slid his fingers under my chin and tilted my head up to meet him. He pressed his lips against mine, harder as I responded to his kiss. He probed my mouth with his tongue, practically f**king me, and desire rushed through my body as his tongue found mine, and I kissed him back, hungry for him, hungry for his touch. I wanted his hands on me. I wanted him inside of me.
I reached under his t-shirt and he pushed my hands away. "What?" I asked.
"It's not-" he paused. "It's not...pretty. Just as a warning."
"What isn't?" I was confused for a minute, my head clouded with lust. I slid his t-shirt up farther, my hands running over the surface of his chest, and he shook his head as he pulled it the rest of the way off.
"I told you," he said, standing perfectly still, as if he were afraid I would run away, screaming in horror.
I traced my fingers over the maze of scars that crisscrossed his chest and shoulders, the skin rippled, his tattoos disjointed as if they were modern art paintings or something, not quite pieced together where the scars disrupted them. I looked up at him.
"Shrapnel," he said. "From the explosion. Skin grafts cause of the burns."
"That's how you lost your leg?"
Elias nodded, not speaking.
I kissed his chest where the scars were, ran my palms over the ridges on his skin. His eyes were on me, I could feel it, and when I looked up at him, he had a strange expression on his face, pleasure accompanied by pain, I thought. "I told you it wasn't pretty."
"You don't strike me as the kind of guy who tries to be pretty anyhow," I said.
A slow smile crept over Elias' face. "You're f**king all right, River Andrews," he said. "For an actress." He ran his finger down the side of my face, and I turned my face into the warmth of his palm.
"It's Gilstead." I blurted it out. Why did I just say that?
"My name. It's not Andrews. It's Gilstead." I don't know why I felt like I needed to tell him.
Elias nodded. "River Gilstead," he said. "Okay." He ran his palm over my hair, then down to the nape of my neck.
"I thought you should know my real name since I'm going to be sleeping with you," I said. I was babbling, nervous as hell. It came out awkward-sounding. I felt so incredibly self-conscious.
He threaded his fingers through the hair at the base of my neck, gripping it tightly and pulling back, angling my face toward his. I felt my breath catch in my throat. His other hand traveled down the waistband of my pants and he cupped my ass cheek in his hand, pulling me against his hardness. "I already told you," he said. "We're not going to be doing any f**king sleeping. Once I get my c**k in you, you're not getting any rest."
He slid his hand around the front of my hips, down between my legs. "No panties," he said.
I bit my lip and shook my head. "Need to go shopping."
He let out a sound under his breath that sounded like a low growl, and touched his fingers to my clit. I arched toward him, wanting his lips on mine, wanting all of him. I hadn't been touched in so long.
"Oh my God," I whispered. His hand was still at the base of my neck, gripping my hair tightly as he held my head in place, ensuring that I didn't break eye contact with him. The way he watched me while he touched me, his gaze intense as his fingers rolled over my clit, made me want to come immediately. "I want you inside me."
"You want me to f**k you?" he said, fingers dancing over my clit.
I moaned. "Do I have to beg?"
He stepped away from me, started unbuttoning his pants, and grinned. "You're definitely going to beg."
"You're cocky," I said. But the throbbing between my legs only intensified. I was close to begging now. I paused. "I don't have condoms."
He didn't answer.
"Do you?" I asked.
He gave me a look. "I wasn't planning on coming here," he said. "I'm clean. We don't really need them."
"I'm not on the pill." I felt stupid, saying it, and I gave him a sheepish look. "I stopped taking it...I'm not on anything." How did I explain, I didn't need it because my fiancé was no longer f**king me? It was embarrassing.
He didn't move, just stood there, looking at me. Then he nodded, and stepped back toward me, his fingers back where they were before, stroking me. I felt a rush of desire flood my body. "Okay, then," he whispered. "No f**king. Tonight, anyway. Tomorrow's another story." He stroked me with his fingers, his movements slow and languid. "In fact," he said. "Maybe I'll just take my time with you."
My thoughts were clouded with lust. Elias taking his time with me was the last thing I wanted to hear. I ached to feel him inside me. I wanted him to f**k me, hard and fast, my legs wrapped around him, up against a wall in the room. I wanted to scream, bury my face in his shoulder, dig my nails into his back as I came.
What he was doing now with his hand was amazing...and agonizing.
"Elias," I whispered, unable to think of anything else to say except his name. I pictured myself calling it out as he thrust himself inside me.
He pulled his fingers from between my legs, and I heard myself groan. Elias reached behind me, unhooked my bra, and slid the straps down my arms. "Oh, hell," he said, his eyes on my br**sts.
"What?" I asked, my breath short. I reached for the waistband of his pants, unbuttoned his jeans, began to slide them from his body, when he grabbed my hands.
"You're f**king gorgeous." Elias held my wrists against the sides of his hips. I knew he was hard; I wanted to lean into him, to press myself against his hardness. "I want to taste you. I want to explore every inch of you." He put his mouth close to my ear. "I want you to want me so badly that the thought of my c**k inside you makes you come."
"I'm getting close to that point now," I said, my words breathy.
"You haven't even gotten near that point yet," he said, dropping to his knees on the floor between my legs. He began to pull down my pants before I even realized what he was doing. His finger grazed the bandage that covered the spot on my leg where I'd cut, and I breathed a sigh of relief that I'd covered it. "Shaving accident?" he asked, his voice low.
"Yes," I said. "Nicked it with a razor."
He looked up at me, then kissed my other inner thigh, his thumb stroking lightly over the place where my scars used to be, the place where they were only mostly faded away. When he paused, hovering over the spot, I was sure he'd realized my secret. I held my breath, feeling my body tense.
Then he began applying kisses the length of my thighs, moving up between my legs. I exhaled, more out of relief that he'd passed over the fresh cut than at anything else. Until he moved further, between my legs and covering me with his mouth.
He worked me over with his tongue until I was on the verge, until I grasped at his hair by the roots, pulling him away from me, barely catching my breath. Then he slipped his fingers inside me again, his mouth focused on my clit, sucking so hard I couldn't think about anything else.
His fingers moved, stroking me in a come hither motion, until my breath came in spurts, ragged with desire. With his other hand, he kneaded my breast, his thumb stroking my erect nipple.
"Elias." My voice was husky, didn't sound like me. "Oh God, Elias, I'm going to come."
He groaned, the sound muffled between my legs. Then he slid his fingers out of me, and I nearly cried at the void. "I want to feel you come on me," he said, then replaced his fingers with the warmth of his mouth. He entered me with his tongue, his hands on my ass, pulling me into him, and I came hard against him.
He stayed like that for a while, until I came down from my orgasm and pulled his head away from between my legs. He looked at me, his expression clouded with lust, and stood up, pulling me into him. I could feel his erection against me through his jeans, and I felt a surge of desire for him.
He kissed me, full on the mouth, and I could taste myself on his lips. It was something I'd never let anyone do before, kiss me after going down on me, but with Elias, I had this strange desire to do whatever he wanted to do. Everything he did, every way he touched me, was sexy.
He grazed my neck with his lips, hands roaming over my body, across my br**sts. I fumbled with the zipper on his pants. I wanted them off. I wanted to see him na**d in front of me. I yanked hard at the sides, sliding them down his legs, and I bend down to pull them off of him.
Elias held my arms, trying to pull me up. "Don't," he said, but I pushed his hands away.
I gripped his thighs with my hands, my eyes lingering on his prosthetic, and when I looked up at him, he stepped back.
"What?" I rose to my feet, confused. "What's wrong?"
Elias shook his head. "Nothing," he said. "I just - "
I pressed my body against his, wrapped my hand around the base of his cock. "For a guy who's so goddamned cocky, you get awful self-conscious about stuff," I said, my hand running up his length.
He groaned, a guttural sound from deep in his throat. "Keep doing that and I won't be." He kissed me as I stroked him, the whole time thinking about how I'd rather have his c**k between my legs than in my hand.
I ran my lips over his chest, watching his head tilt back as I did it. Then I dropped to my knees in front of him, running my tongue along his length, taking him in my mouth, tasting him. I brought him to the brink, until he grasped my hair, warned me.
"River, I'm going to come," he said.
I pulled him into my mouth deeper, looked up at him.
"Shit," he said, gripping my hair. I sucked him harder, and he thrust inside me, growling my name when he came.