“Come with me.” I reached for her hand and dragged her out of the office.
“Where are we going?” She breathed out.
As I led her up the stairs, I dragged her along without responding. I just continued down the hall and into my bedroom. Mia didn’t resist after that. As soon as I locked the door behind us, I lifted and tossed her over my shoulder.
She squealed and playfully kicked her legs. “Marcus! What are you doing? I could walk, you know!”
“Yeah, but this way is faster.” She giggled after I tossed her onto the plush mattress. God, I never knew how much I could miss and adore such a simple sweet sound.
Kneeling on the edge of the bed, I sat there and watched her. I’d put her through so fucking much within the last four months. Yet here she was with me. Through it all, she still believed in us. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t be here. My key goal was to make up for the heartbreak I’d caused, every single tear she had shed because of me, and every single doubt she had harbored about us. I wanted them to be erased from her memory. I had no clue how I would make up for all of it, but I’d try my hardest to find out. I wanted to show her that there’s a side to me that’s worth fighting for.
Mia popped up on her elbows and tilted her head as she studied me with a wary expression. “Hey, what’s wrong?”
My heartbeat grew rapid. Why was I so fucking nervous? I shook my head in response, but she wasn’t convinced. Slowly rising, she made her way toward me. The both of us now kneeled before each other.
Mia reached up and cupped my face with her hands. Her thumbs rubbed my cheeks. I closed my eyes and exhaled into that familiar warm touch.
“I missed you, Marcus.” My chest expanded as I let out a long draining breath. “Look at me, baby.” She pleaded with a soft voice. I opened my eyes and searched hers. “I did. I missed you so much. I was broken without you, and as much as I was hurt, I thought if I painted a picture of my life without you, it wouldn’t ache as much. I was wrong; it was painful.”
Hearing her say that caused a bit of annoyance to surge through me. I knew I had no right to be pissed, but I had begged her to take me back for days on end, and she had refused me. “Mia, at one point, I thought you were completely done with us, even when I wouldn’t give up and you wouldn’t hear me out. I just thought maybe you didn’t care enough to try anymore.”
“Marcus, I . . .” Hesitantly, she let out a shaky breath as tears began to swell her eyes. “We still have a lot to work on. It’s going to be hard. Our relationship was rocky from the beginning. What do you expect? For things to be as if the past few months had never existed?”
It was true. Our relationship wasn’t fucking hearts and flowers. We weren’t skipping around town holding hands. We argued all the time. At times, she frustrated me and drove me insane. At others, she made my heart swell, and I couldn’t stay away. It was a fucking headache one minute, and the next it was perfect in this odd, fucked-up way. Mia had a hold on me that couldn’t be broken, even if I fucking tried.
Nodding my head in agreement, I said, “I know we have a lot of straightening out to do.” I traced my thumb along her moist cheekbones, wiping away the tears that fell. “It’s going to take some time for things to be the way they were.”
She quickly shook her head, “That’s the thing, Marcus. I want things to be better than the way they were. We were a train wreck. All of the secrets and lies, I can’t take that anymore.” Mia leaned back to sit on the heels of her feet. She let out a deep breath and lowered her head. “I don’t want it to be as it was. I don’t think I’ll be able to handle it. We need it to be better or it won’t work.” Peeking up through her long lashes, her eyes pleaded with mine. “Please, promise me. No more secrets or lies. From here on out, we are completely honest with each other one hundred percent.”
“Mia.” I placed two fingers under her chin and lifted, forcing her to fully look at me. “I know it’s not easy to deal with all the baggage that comes with my lifestyle, and you’ve accepted me even when you should’ve left. There’s no one in this world I trust more.” Pausing, I let out a gulp of air before continuing. “I promise I will never lie to you again."
It pained me to witness tears run down her face, tears of uncertainty. I wanted to take all of her worries away, but I knew actions spoke louder than words, and soon she’d see that I meant every single word. Lowering my head, I pressed my lips against hers and kissed her hard and passionately.
The next morning, I was awakened by a loud buzzing noise. Moaning, I shifted to my side and exhaled deeply, thinking about how comfortable the bed felt. I couldn’t remember the last time I had gotten a good night’s sleep, and then Mia popped in my head. My eyes flashed open, and I caught sight of her beside me. Thank God. A slow smile crossed my face as I dropped my head back down to watch her sleep.
Mia was lying on her chest with the side of her face resting on top of her arms. Her hair was tangled and tossed down her back and over her shoulders, perfectly. Her bare, curvy body was tucked underneath the silk sheets. She looked peaceful and content as she breathed evenly in her sleep. Without being able to control my impulses, I reached out and grazed the side of her face with my fingertips. Her lips gently twitched to a smile, but she remained asleep.
The buzzing noise that had originally awoken me went off again. After I glided my fingers over Mia’s lips, I turned and reached for my phone by the nightstand. There were a few text messages from Lou. Before taking a look, I sat up and leaned against the headboard.
Lou (2 hours ago, 8:00 a.m.): I need you at my office now.
Lou (1 hour ago, 9:00 a.m.): Was I not fucking clear about NOW!
Lou (10 mins ago, 9:50 a.m.): Either you get your ass to my office or I’ll drag your ass here.
Lou (1 min ago 9:59 a.m.): You have ten seconds to respond to this text.
Me: Can I have a fucking life? What’s so important?
Lou: My office in 30 mins.
Me: Yeah, I’ll be there.
After several attempts of trying to wake Mia, I realized it was useless. She was in a deep sleep. I quickly threw on my clothes and left a note that read, “I’ll be back soon. I love you.” Then I ran out of my house. The rain from the night before had picked up again, and I was soaked by the time I reached my car. I didn’t give a fuck at that moment. I just wanted to get this shit over and done with.