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I pulled off the main road of Paige’s home and slipped my truck into park. An overwhelming sense of relief filled me when I saw she’d made it home safely. All the lights were off, and nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary.
Except the lonely ache I felt inside.
I’d barely ate or slept in four days. But in this moment, I just wanted Paige, nothing else mattered. The thought of her sleeping alone in her bed without me combined with the desperate need to feel her body against mine had me slouching forward and resting my forehead against the steering wheel.
I closed my eyes briefly, and muttered, “Don’t do it, idiot,” as I fought the impulse to go to her.
I could practically feel her heart beating—her soul calling to mine—I was that connected to her.
I was a starved man, yearning to have her in my arms. Before I was able to stop myself, I was striding across her front lawn, feeling an internal pull to be with her. I went around to the backside of the house and tapped on her window.
While standing there my attention fell to the grass, and all of the reasons why this was a bad idea oppressed me. I shouldn’t be here. Staying away from Paige was the only way I could protect her. I couldn’t let Hank see how deeply mine and Paige’s love went for one another, or he could possibly take his animosity for me out on her. And if Hank hurt Paige in any way, it would be game over—there was no telling what I would do. She was my weakness and my strength all rolled into one, right around my heart.
Just as I was about to walk away and let Paige be, a dim light flickered on. The white curtain covering the window pane was drawn to the side, and I lifted my gaze. Paige stood before me staring through the clear glass, dressed in a long white tee. The conflicting emotions in her beautifully brown eyes reflected the way I felt inside, and it caused my heart to thump unevenly.
She lifted the window and then leaned forward while wrapping her fingers around the window frame, peering down at me.
“Colton,” she breathed my name, and I was uncertain if it was meant as a greeting or a question.
“Can I come in?” I queried, getting straight to the point before I came up with reasons to force myself to leave her be.
“Yes.” She stepped aside.
I braced my palms on the bottom ledge and hoisted myself upward. My right shoulder hit the window framing as the upper half of my body made it inside her room. I hadn’t crawled through this window in ages, but the damn thing seemed smaller.
I lowered my feet to the ground and stood tall before briefly turning to close the window at my back.
When I faced the room again, Paige was at the edge of her bed. She sat down and nestled herself under the comforter. When her eyes met mine, she grasped the corner of the blanket and lifted it as though a silent invitation.
Without a single sound, I slipped off my boots and went to her. Once climbing in next to her, she let the comforter gradually fall over me and stretched over to the nightstand where she turned off the light.
Then, she settled back down on her right hip, her back toward me. I could feel her hesitation as she tried to distance herself from me.
To feel that kind of uncertainty pouring out of her was the same as someone cracking open my chest and grabbing ahold of my heart. But in truth, I couldn’t blame her for feeling this way, because it was my fault for being hot and cold all over the place. It wasn’t fair to her.
Desperately craving her warmth and needing to know that we were okay even though it was wrong of me to do so, my arm came to the center of her stomach, and in slow motion, I hauled her into my chest.
She didn’t fight me.
I outstretched one arm above her head and rested my cheek on my bicep while scooting closer till my nose rested against her hair, so I could inhale the sweet scent of her. With my other hand still at her center, I began to methodically rub tiny circles on her abdomen with the pad of my thumb. Her breathing increased with every full loop.
My eyes began to fall heavy with the weight of the last few days. I was so damn tired, but lying here with Paige—just like this—was all I ever wanted.
“Colton?” she asked suddenly out of the blue.
Her hand came to my wrist and she caressed it softly. “What are you doing here?”
Paige couldn’t have asked me a tougher question, and I bit back the defeat I felt inside. I didn’t hold the answer she was looking for. Instead, I made light of the situation, hoping to make her smile. “Sneaking in your window. Which shrunk drastically in size over the years, by the way.”
A quiet laughter seeped out of her, and I found myself genuinely smiling for the first time in days. She rotated to face me and set her hand on my chest. “It didn’t shrink. You have—” She skimmed her palm across my chest up to my shoulder—“broadened, so you don’t fit through it as well as you used to.”
“Maybe,” I grinned mischievously.
In that instant, so many childhood reminiscences with Paige flashed through my mind, all of them filling my soul with sense of peace.
As a teen, there had been countless nights where I longed to see her so I’d go to her house and knock on her window. Paige would come outside, and we would lay in the grass for hours, watching the stars.
Even in the midst of my darkest days, those memories could bring a smile to my face. It was her that kept me going.
An unexplainable calm tranquility settled over me at having Paige’s body pressed against mine. She gave me hope I’d find myself again, and she made me believe someday I could let go of the hate and revenge I carried inside of me.
A profound tiredness took over me from the build-up of the past several happenings, and I was losing the will power to keep my eyes open.
Paige rose her hand to touch my cheek, caressing it. Her skin was so soft.
“Colton?” she repeated my name, softer this time.
I gazed down at her. “Yeah?”
The movement of my thumb paused on her stomach from the intensity burning in her eyes. “You know that’s not the answer I was looking for…”
“No, it wasn’t,” I agreed, knowing she deserved an honest explanation. “I don’t know why I’m here, only that I didn’t have the strength to stay away, so please, just let me hold you.”
“Okay.” She set her finger on my lower lip and gently ran it back and forth. Then, she leaned in and softly kissed the corner of my mouth. “Goodnight, cowboy.”
“Night,” was all I had time to say before sleep carried me away.
About Boundless Fate:
Colton Kingston’s livelihood has been reduced to a pile of black ashes by a tragic act of arson. After sending away the woman he’s loved since the tender age of five, a dark hateful revenge threatens to overtake his heart. Colton knows pushing her away is the only way he can keep her safe.
Paige Summer’s has endured her fair share of obstacles in the past, and refuses to give up on Colton and the life they share together. As interferences try to tear them apart, Paige is determined to stand by Colton’s side and remind him of their love and its strength.
But at every turn, tragedy continues to strike and more devastation falls upon them.
Will Colton and Paige’s love be boundless? Or will revenge conquer their fate?
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Alicia Rae Bio:
Alicia Rae is a Contemporary Romance Author who lives in Dekalb, Illinois, with her husband and three beautiful boys. Alicia has a passion for reading all types of romance, writing to bring a story to life, and photography.
Thank you to my dear sister, Kels, who showed me a few years ago how much I truly missed reading.
And to my loving husband, for not throwing away my Nook, and planting the seed of writing in my mind.
I am forever grateful. Xo
Readers, words cannot thank you enough for supporting me along this incredible journey. I hope you enjoy my novels as much as I do writing them. I thank each and every one of you.
Believe in yourself and follow your dreams…
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