The Secret

By: J. B. McGee

“I think the words you stop yourself from saying are the ones that will haunt you the longest."

-Taylor Swift

“How much of this shit is yours?” I ask Cammie, surveying the mess that’s her living room. “And are you gonna report this or just let it go?”

She shrugs. “Most of it is mine, but it’s just stuff. I don’t really care about it. It can be replaced.”

I nod. If most of what’s been ruined is hers, then I’m pretty sure I know who did this, and I think she does too. “Cops?”

She gives her head a small shake. “I don’t think so.” She walks to the modern all white kitchen and opens a cabinet, pulling a dustpan and handheld broom. “I’m pretty sure this was Oliver.”

“Damn. Does he do this kind of thing a lot?”

“I wouldn’t say that.” She brushes the shards of shattered glass from the broken picture frames and what used to probably be a side table.

“But he’s done it before?”

She glances up through her lashes. “He’s got a hot temper.”

What I want to ask her is why she’s cleaning up his mess. This isn’t her place anymore. Why can’t she just get her stuff and get out of here? But I decide to hang back and hold my tongue. Despite her reassurance that she is all in this with me, I’m still not sure I want to influence her any more than I already have. But damn, I feel stupid just standing here with my ankles and arms crossed leaning against a wall while she’s on her knees. On her knees cleaning up her now ex-fiancé’s apartment. I could get used to seeing her like that doing other stuff, though. My cock agrees as it swells in my pants. “Cam?”

“Yeah?” Her green eyes are wide and on mine with that intensity I’ve come to love.

“What do you want me to do?” I arch a brow, taking a step closer. My mind is racing. There’s a part of me that just wants to get her out of here, take her to my place or the guest house, and devour her. The other part wants me to take her right now in Oliver’s apartment against a wall, on a countertop, anywhere and everywhere. Even though I said I wouldn’t. But that was before. Before she was free, totally available now. Before her parents knew—at least one of them. Everything is done and way faster than I anticipated. Granted, her parents don’t know everything. But that should only help the situation once they find out about Oliver and how shitty he’s been to her. I slowly stalk toward her. We’ve always gotten our signals mixed up, but I would be willing to bet money Cammie knows there’s an underlying message within my question.

She swallows hard. “Why am I cleaning this up?”

Smart girl. “I haven’t figured that out yet.”

She drops the dustpan and handheld broom. “Did you want to help?”

I smirk. I’m pretty damn sure she’s playing with me. “Oh, there are a few things I’d like to help you with.”

She inches closer to me, unbuttoning a few of the ones that remain of that white cut off shirt. There’s something about her wearing it that completes me. It’s odd because I never knew I was broken or missing a piece. Or maybe I did. Maybe I knew it was her. Seeing that shirt on her, though, it spurs a certain kind of possessiveness. She bites her lip as she pushes the fabric off her shoulders. “This is a really bad idea. Are you sure you’re not the bad boy I always imagined?”

I grab a fistful of her hair and pull her face to mine, kissing her. “You’re a bad, bad girl, and what you want to do is a terrible idea.”

“So, you want me to go back to cleaning?”

Fuck no. I shake my head, my mouth too dry to speak. “We’re not having sex here. Not today, not now.”

“You’re so presumptuous.”

My lips curl in a wry smile. “Confident is a better word.”

“Confident about what?” she asks, arching a brow.

“Confident that if I said I wanted to bend you over that countertop, giving and you taking every inch of me, you wouldn’t complain. But also confident enough to know that I can wait and take you when I want—that you’ll wait—begging until then.”