Heart's Duo (Ugly Eternity #4)

Heart's Duo (Ugly Eternity #4) by Charity Parkerson Read Free Book Online

Book: Heart's Duo (Ugly Eternity #4) by Charity Parkerson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Charity Parkerson
hardening his heart against it. “I know.”
    “You stole everything from me.” The pressure in Joss’ chest increased. There was nothing he could say. “You and Jamie were my best friends. I would’ve done anything for you.”
    Joss swallowed against the sting of self-hatred always sitting in his throat. “I know.” He needed to get Maddox to his room. His lungs were on fire. There was no way Maddox could hate him anywhere near as much as Joss hated himself. That didn’t mean he was equipped to face it tonight. When he shifted closer, intent on hauling the man inside, Maddox struck. Snagging the front of Joss’ shirt, Maddox captured his mouth. Joss was helpless against it. He’d forgotten what it was like. The world disappeared. A mixture of Jack and angry male coated his taste buds. Years melted away. Joss found himself in a position he swore he’d never revisit—craving Maddox’s touch.
    Maddox’s tongue curled around his, lingering before moving to the roof of Joss’ mouth. Even though Joss knew it would happen, like a movie he’d seen too many times, he still chased after him. Maddox pulled away but didn’t release him. With Joss’ shirt held in his grip, Maddox pressed his face to Joss’ neck and spoke against his skin.
    “Was it worth it?” Joss stared sightlessly over Maddox’s shoulder. “Damn, Joss. At least, lie to me, and say it was worth the price I’ve paid. It’s not like I’ve gotten to enjoy any of the benefits.” Joss couldn’t force his throat to work. A figure moving in their direction caught his attention, making his eyes focus on one point. It was Sophie. She froze when she spotted him. Joss didn’t pull away. Without his permission, Joss’ fingers brushed Maddox’s cheek before moving to massage the nape of his neck. He couldn’t pretend it was the heat of the moment driving him. Joss kept his movements slow, forcing his mind to accept reality.
    He tightened his grip on the back of Maddox’s neck, holding him in place. Lowering his head, Joss touched his lips to Maddox’s, teasing them apart, and leveling his life. It was his fault Maddox had lost everything. Joss deserved the same. This was the only way he could live with what he’d done. If Maddox had shoved him away, Joss wouldn’t have been surprised, but he kissed him back. It was a bittersweet moment for a thousand reasons. When he lifted his chin once more, Sophie was gone. He’d expected nothing less. With an empty mind and focusing on putting one foot in front of the other, Joss managed to get Maddox to his room.
    Dumping Maddox on the bed, he pulled off one of his shoes. “I don’t want to do this anymore.”
    Joss’ eyes burned at Maddox’s confession, but he couldn’t as much as blink. “Okay.” He pulled off the other shoe.
    “Any of it,” Maddox said as if it cleared up everything.
    Joss grabbed the blanket from the end of the bed and draped it over him. “Okay.” Before Joss could straighten the material, Maddox stopped him with only the brush of his fingers across Joss’ chest. Later, Joss might question why he was incapable of stopping. No one was watching. Joss kissed him. His tongue brushed the valley of Maddox’s bottom lip, savoring the familiar taste. Joss’ teeth sank into the plump surface, expertly going only as far as Maddox would allow. They’d been here a thousand times. He knew when Maddox would moan and how to make it happen. It was a blow to the sternum when Maddox pushed him away.
    As he stared down into Maddox’s eerily lucid eyes, Joss couldn’t catch his breath. “No more, okay?” Maddox pled. “No more you and me. No more Ugly Eternity. Just, no more, all right?”
    “Okay.” It was amazing how hard it was for Joss to squeeze that one word past his swollen throat. Maddox nodded, obviously satisfied with his agreement. He draped one arm over his eyes and was asleep before Joss could move away. There were too many thoughts clogging Joss’ head for him to cling

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