Chapter 41: Second Chances
“I love you.”
I hear it from the abyss I am drowning in, through the screams, the screeching, through the blood and the pain. It comes down like light, dispersing all the gloom, chasing away the dread that holds my soul captive. Iris, the hunter of nightmares. My beautiful brave Iris. I look down at her and her eyes have her soul exposed, once more trusting me with it despite the pain I have caused her. She loves me.
I search for fear in me, the fear that made me push her away, the one that commands me whole. But it’s not there. It’s as if it’s replaced by those three little words, by a set of grey eyes, by a warm body near me. I search for rage, the rage that dominates me, preventing me from feeling anything else. But it’s not there. It’s replaced by one warm, irrevocable, utterly devastating feeling.
“I fucking love you, too,” I growl and gather her to me.
I kiss her with all the thirst my tortured body has endured away from her. It has always been her, ever since she looked in my eyes, in my soul. She has claimed me whole and I was hers even before I knew it. I tighten her to me still unable to believe that she is here, in my arms. Mine. I kiss her face, her lips, her eyes, her hair. I am frantic, wild with ecstasy. But when her body melts against mine, her fingers tangle in my hair and her moans are in my ears, the kiss turns deeper, bottomless and I spiral down in a free fall that leaves me breathless. All of me is poured in that kiss. I tell her all that my fucked-up brain can’t put in words. Mine. My Iris. My one. My Valkyrie. I love her.
“Finally,” there is a voice near us.
I look with my arms still around her. I am not letting her go ever again. I will claim her, take her as mine and the whole world will know. Bjorn stands there with a wide smile on his lips.
“She is mine,” I say. “Mine. Iris is mine. My Valkyrie.”
“No shit,” Bjorn chuckles and then takes one step closer and his face turns menacing. “I have told you that if you hurt her I would kill you. And you said that I should. I gave you a chance, brother,” he narrows his eyes. “Fuck this up and I won’t give you another.”
“My word still stands, brother,” I nod.
Bjorn laughs with his whole body shaking and before I can do anything he pulls me in for a bear hug. And I let him. And then his attention turns to Iris. She is smiling, wiping the tears from her face and it’s her turn to surprise the big man by falling in his arms. Bjorn stiffens for a while and glances at me. He acknowledges that Iris is my Valkyrie and asks for my permission to touch her. I nod and he takes her in a crushing hug. Then Iris comes back to me and nests in my arms, her head on my chest, her arms around my waist. I wrap my arms around her and swear to never let her go.
It’s dark but only for the sky above me, not in me. Finally. I am standing in the middle of Bjorn’s yard after the wedding, smelling the nature around me, listening to the sounds of the night, feeling the soft breeze on my skin. I am fucking alive.
“Brother,” Bjorn offers me a beer.
I take it and I sip slowly. For a while we just stand there. Iris has gone to gather her few things and come back with me. I can’t wait. All I wanted to do all day is take her away back to my room and make up for the lost time and the hurt I caused her. I tasted her for one night and I crave for more, so much more. And that fucking dress added to my torment, making me stiff in my jeans, barely holding back from throwing her against a wall, have her there and end any doubt of whose she is. Especially, for Wood to see.
I gulp more beer as I think of him. He was going to claim her and I was going to let him. The fucker couldn’t believe it when he saw Iris come up to me and kiss me after the ceremony and never leaving my side. He spent half the party drinking and then he grabbed one of the girls of the escort and went into the shadows away from the marquee. Good riddance.
“Rage?” Bjorn interrupts my thoughts.
“I meant it, brother. Hurt her again and I will kill you.”
“I meant it too, brother. If I hurt her again, I am dead. Truly dead.”
Bjorn nods and lifts his bottle. I feel a deep sense of comradery as I lift my beer. Apart from Runner, I was no one to the Riders but the Hellhound, their neighborhood friendly psycho, a weapon of mass-murder. Apart from Runner, this is the first time I feel a brother near. A friend. All because of her.
“You know,” Bjorn fusses with his beard, “there’s a house across the creek on sale. Right next to our estate here.”
“You are not keeping Iris in the fucking clubhouse, Rage,” Bjorn snarls.
A house. A real house. With Iris. Could I do that? Was I to have that? I have done things, bad things. I have killed and maimed and I felt good about it. Still feel the itch underneath it all, a part of me, part of the soul that broke that day in that shed demanding blood to be appeased. No amount of glue will ever be enough. There will be that crack, one to let rage slip in. But I will sure as Hell try to have it fucking all.
“I am ready,” Iris is beside and slips her fingers in mine.
Ava walks to Bjorn barefoot in her wedding dress. I had barely laid eyes upon her, unable to tear my eyes off Iris during the whole thing but I need nothing more than the look on her face as she falls in her husband’s arms. She turns to me and smiles lifting her chin. I nod and take Iris away.
Once we are back, I rush to my room and close the door behind us. She drops her bag and looks around as the moonlight pours in. I have kept the room exactly how it was when she left. Even her pills are still there, by the nightstand. The one way to keep her close.
The room crackles with intensity as we drift closer, drawn to each other irreversibly. My fingers tingle with need, my mouth waters at the idea of tasting her once more.
“Rage,” she lets me know she feels the same.
“Iris, I missed you so much. I want you so bad.”
“I want you, too,” she says what I want to hear.
“Fuck, yes,” I groan and lean in closer.
And I stop. No fucking protection, no condoms. I could go next doors and get some from Runner. I won’t do the same mistake again, I won’t fuck this up.
“Tom gave me a shot. When he took the bandages off,” she whispers. “He said it lasts for three months.”
“For protection,” she blushes.
I pull close and am beyond logic as I claim her mouth with unstoppable purpose. My arms close around her, pressing her against my chest, drawing her impossibly near. She melts against me, until every inch of her skin covers my body. Her fingers caress the nape of my neck and I am hard for her. My Iris, my Valkyrie. I urge her to wrap her legs around me and I steer for the bed. The moonlight pours in and I am not spoiling it with electric lights. I climb onto the bed with her still around me and gently let her on her back. My fingers skitter over her shoulders and down her chest, ready to feel her breasts in my palm. Slow the fuck down, I need to savor the moment.
I pull back to take off my cut, hang it on the headstand and I shed my jeans. My body throbs and clenches but I manage to stay in control as I pull the dress up to reveal a pair of white lace panties. Shit, I am fighting the urge to fuck her hard right now. My head is pounding and I feel as if someone turned me inside out. Iris lifts her arms over her head and I smooth the dress off her, grazing her skin on my way, stirring a wave that shakes her body deliciously. I throw the dress away and I look upon her. Her eyes are looking straight into my soul and her look is coy and demanding at the same time.
I feel my mouth go dry and I swallow trying to tame my roaring need that is pounding in me like a steady drum, setting a rhythm that is going to kill me. I fall on the mattress, steadying myself with one arm while my other hand rests on her soft thigh. Not enough, my body demands and I pull closer, hold tighter, feel more. Not enough, still not enough. I travel her body with a feather touch, enjoying the jolt that brings to her. I let no curve untouched, no inch wanting. And then my hand moves south, down her belly, to the curve of the lace panties. Iris buries her head in the mattress and tightens her grip on my arm. I resist the impulse to tear the thing apart and I just caress her inner thigh.
“Rage,” she squirms underneath.
She wants this, demands more and I want to oblige. But I need this to last. I have hurt her so much, I need to show her she is everything to me, all that matters. To let her know that she is my woman, my Valkyrie, my world. I will worship her like she deserves.
I abandon her legs and I take the creamy orb of her breasts. Her rosy nipples are already hard and are beckoning to me. I lean over and lick her peak before I close my lips around it. She lets out a sigh and grabs the bedsheets. I could touch and kiss and nibble all night if it wasn’t for that ravaging hunger claiming me steadily. I can’t hold back anymore as I pull her underwear down and off. And there she is, my Iris, stark naked, bathed in the silver moonlight and she looks better than I ever imagined. Her body is a garden filled with ripe, juicy fruits and I am the only one to have them. Her first. Her last.
“Mine,” the word rumbles from the depths of my very soul.
Iris looks up to me with her lips open, her eyes hazy, clouded by the intensity of her need. She swallows and looks at me deep in my eyes.
“Yours,” her voice is firm despite her trembling body.
I lean in over and I trail my tongue over the seam of her lips. When she opens up, my tongue tangles with hers in a sweet battle and I slide between her legs. She is so hot and wet I am surprised I don’t come apart instantly. I stay perfectly still, there in her arms. She arches her body and grinds against me, wetting me, inviting me. Yes, I place myself at her entrance as I let my mouth fall on her neck. I feel her shaking and her breaths come in short, shallow waves. Her juices trickle down filling my nostrils.
“This is so...” she tries.
I don’t let her finish and I slide inside her desperately. Her head falls back and her lips part to let a long moan roll past them. I fight to control myself and not ram inside her as my instincts demand. I was deprived of her for so long and now she is here, her sweet core tightening around me.
“Oh, Rage,” she pulls me down to her and kisses me with fervor.
I thrust in her with one powerful push that has me seeing stars. I don’t think I will ever feel as ecstatic and elated as I am now. I am free, happy, without shame, without guilt. Here, now, I am hers and she is mine and that is all that matters.
“Iris...” I say between pants.
She replies by roaming my body with her fingers, reaching every corner, every turn, everything, me. Her legs around my waist deepen the sensation and I sigh, digging my fingers in her thighs, pushing her to me harder. Fire spreads through me and my mouth fills with a sweetness I have never tasted. We are entwined, our bodies in perfect synchrony, going higher and higher. I lose control of my body, I am floating, flying, galloping towards a release that is so much more than flesh. Iris sighs and shakes wildly, repeating my name again and again. And then she falls apart quivering around me.
“Yes, Rage,” she tenses.
What little restrained I had, is gone. I look down at her, the one thing to save my life, with inescapable desire and unending love and with one last, powerful thrust I come inside her, my whole body shaking in the throes of passion, my face melting in absolute bliss.
“Mine. Mine. Mine,” I repeat.