Home > Damaged 2 (Damaged #2)(5)

Damaged 2 (Damaged #2)(5)
Author: H.M. Ward

Anger surges through me. I hate the way he's talking to me. When he says the last part, my temper gets the better of me. My hand flies and my palm slaps him across his face. Peter doesn't even flinch. He catches my hand and presses his on top of it before I have time to pull away. He holds it there, and that lost look surfaces in his blue eyes.

Panic races through me. I still feel everything I felt for him yesterday and the day before. I still want to touch, kiss, and taste him. My heart beats faster as Peter leans in, closing the space between us. His lips linger so close to mine. If I move the slightest amount, we'll kiss. I don't breathe as my body tenses up. His hand, that slightest bit of touch, is shooting a current through my entire body. The way he looks at me makes my stomach flip. I hate the way he makes me feel, and I love it at the same time. I'm trapped, unable to move. The moment lasts forever. I think about closing the distance; I think about pressing my mouth to his and holding him again. My gaze is locked on his lips, and just as I lean in, Peter pulls away. He drops my hand and steps back.

"I'm not like my father—not anymore. A kiss means something to me, and I don't share them with women like you."

If he slapped me, it would have hurt less. "A woman like me?" He nods. "What the hell does that mean?"

Peter steps closer again, and lowers his face to mine. He speaks swiftly and passionately. "A woman who's blinded by my name, a woman who can't see me as anything but a Ferro."

I fight with him. I argue because I need it. I want to scream and slam my hands into his chest, so I do it. Peter doesn't move. His eyes are narrowed into slits like he hates me. "You f**king lied to me!"

"I'm still the man I was yesterday, and the same man as a week ago. "

"No, you're not! You hid the biggest part of your past and never told me a damn thing! You're a liar, just like him!" Just like Dean. He was all smiles and flattery until he turned on me. The scope of Dean's betrayal reaches out and chokes me, years later, and this feels like the same goddamn thing. I slam my hands into his chest again. This time Peter grabs my wrists and throws them aside.

He presses his forehead to mine and hisses, "I am nothing like him. How could you say that? After all the time we spent together, how could you—"

Tears are stinging my eyes, but they don't fall. "After all the time we spent together, how could you not tell me who you really are?"

Frustrated, Peter releases me and screams, "Because shit like this happens when people find out who I am!" He breathes hard and runs his hands through his hair, tugging hard. The saddest expression I've ever seen plays across his eyes when he sits down on a chair by the door and holds his head between his hands. "Damn it, Sidney, this wasn't about you. I just wanted to start over. It wasn't about you."

I watch him for a moment. I see the way he grasps his dark hair and then runs his hands over the back of his neck. I know he's hurting, and I hate that I'm the one who's causing it, but I can't leave things like this. "Tell me why you didn't fight last night. Dean deserved to be beat to a pulp, but you didn't. Why?"

Peter looks up at me. His eyes are the darkest shade of blue, nearly black. They pin me in place and strip me. I feel vulnerable and I hate it, but I don't move. The light from the open door spills into the room. It paints shadows across Peter's beautiful face, making him look harder than he is. "Why should I answer that? You're just going to use it against me."

I resist the urge to pull my hair and scream at him. Taking a deep breath, I manage to keep a steady tone. "There are two different versions of you that don't fit together. I'm wondering if I was with a lie for the past few months. I know you can fight. I know you used to fight all the time, but last night you didn't. It was intentional, and I want to know why."

Peter laughs so sadly that it breaks my heart. He stands up and steps over to me. Looking down into my face, he says, "I gave you the chance to know me like that and you threw it away. I don't give second chances, Colleli. You have no right to ask me anything like that anymore. Grab your wallet. We're going to dinner and you're buying whatever that voucher doesn't cover."

It feels like he reached into my chest and crushed my heart, but I don't show it. My face is utterly still, relaxed like I don't care. I nod and say, "Fair enough. You paid for gas all day."

The conversation ends, and we're miles away from where I wanted to be. In the back of my mind I'd hoped that it was possible to fix things with him, that Peter could convince me that he's the same person that he always was, but he doesn't even try. Instead, he shuts me out. I'm not the one who did this. My resolve to push him out of my heart solidifies. Peter Ferro will never know every part of me again.


Dinner is slow and silent. By the time we head back to the room, I'm ready for a long hot shower. Peter unlocks the door and for the first time, he flips on the lights. I stop in my tracks just on the other side of the door. Peter rams into my back, nearly knocking me over. He grabs hold of my arm just above the elbow and steadies me.

"Holy shit." The room is…I have no words. My senses are overwhelmed with thick textures, red velvets and satins. There's a shag rug the color of a rose that covers the floor from wall to wall. One huge heart-shaped bed sits in the center of the room with a matching heart-shaped mirror on the ceiling. I'm standing there with my hands clapped over my mouth.

Peter shoves past me. "She's a nice old lady with interesting taste." Peter sits down hard on the bed and pulls his shoes off. He flicks his eyes up at me after a second. I haven't moved. "So it looks like a p*rn set from the seventies. What's the big deal?"

My eyes widen, and I look over at him. "There's a pole." I walk forward and slowly reach out my hand toward the brass pole in the middle of the room. I move carefully, like it might bite.

Peter has a crooked smirk on his face. "You're so prude."

I yank my arm back and turn on him. "Are you insane? This room would make a prude person have a coronary! They'd fall over on the bed and watch themselves die in the ceiling mirror. There's a pole!" My voice squeaks the last part.

Peter peels off his shirt and shakes his head. I watch him do it and wish I hadn't. His body is so beautiful that it's hard to look away, but I manage. My stomach does a little somersault just before I turn. "So hang your laundry on it and stop freaking out."

"What kind of married couple uses a pole on their wedding night?"

He grins. Peter pushes off the bed and walks over to me. He looks down into my face. He's standing too close, and from the look on his face, he's doing it on purpose. "I think you wouldn't be freaking out if you'd seen a pole dance before. You know the woman doesn't actually f**k the pole, right?"

My jaw drops. I make a high-pitched sound and slap his chest. "Yes, I know that. And I suppose you've seen plenty of dances on one of these."

"Yeah, but only at strip clubs." His eyes drink me in. They're so dark. He holds my gaze for a moment and adds, "How about a private performance?" I go to slap his face again, but Peter catches my wrist and stops me. It dawns on me that he could have stopped me last time, too, but he didn't. His eyes flick back and forth between mine. "Stop slapping me, Colleli."

"Stop giving me a reason to, Ferro."

Peter's look hardens. He drops my wrist like it's made of thorns, points to the bed, and uses a stern voice. "Sit." It doesn't sound optional. I wonder what the hell he's going to do. For once, I don't question him. I just follow his finger and sit on the edge of the heart.

Peter walks toward the pole and takes hold of it. He doesn't look at me. Instead his dark gaze is downcast and his long lashes hide his eyes. I don't know what I expect him to do, but he starts to move. I feel a smile spread across my face. "I know what a pole dance is, Ferro."

"Uh-huh" is the only thing he says. Peter moves around the pole, flashing his sculpted muscles at me. I roll my eyes and act like I'm bored. He smiles, but doesn't look up. It makes my heart pound. That shy smile is what drew me to him in the first place. It's one of the looks that Peter gives that makes me want to melt. At first I'm ready to laugh, but after that, something changes. The way he moves his body is titillating. I feel hot, and certain parts of me are demanding attention. I try to stop looking, but I can't.

When Peter reaches for the button on his jeans, I jump up and stop him. My hands fly to his before I realize what I'm doing, and how close I am to touching him in a way that I shouldn't. My pulse is pounding and everything sounds so much louder—my breaths, his breaths.

Peter freezes when my hands land on his toned stomach, right over his. Neither of us moves. For a second we just stand there. The compulsion to wrap my arms around him shoots through me. I want to feel Peter against me, but that door closed.

I shift and try to pull away, but Peter doesn't let me. I look up. Mistake. His eyes hold me in place, and all the air is stripped from my body. "No touching, Colleli."

"I wasn't…I mean, you can't strip for me." I remove my hands and step away, breathless.

He grins. "I wasn't.

"Then, what were you doing?"

"Taking off my jeans. I don't walk around commando. Do you?"

I shake my head. The thought terrifies me. "No."

Peter holds my gaze for way too long. The expression on his face says that he wishes things could be like they were. If he could rock-step his way back into my heart, he would. What he doesn't realize is that he's still there.

I shiver and turn away. I hate this room.

"You can wash up first. The bath is around the corner." He points at the red wall in front of me. I nod and grab my bag.

When I round the corner, I gape at a huge champagne-glass tub and keep walking. There's a door at the back. I assume the shower is in there, but when I pull open the door, it's only a toilet. Turning slowly, I look back at the monstrosity in the center of the room. "Peter…?"


"You want me to clean up in the sex tub?"

"You're in the sex room, Sidney. Get over it."

Fine. What an a**hole. I poke around until I find the water and turn it on. I fill the huge glass tub, and look at the wall. From where Peter's sitting he won't be able to see me. I strip quickly and get into the glass tub. It's not as deep as it looks. My heart is racing. If Peter walks over, he's going to get an eyeful. There's nothing to conceal any of me. I wash as quickly as I can and nearly drown myself trying to scrub my hair.

After I towel off, I pull out my pj's. They're not guy friendly. I didn't expect to have anyone with me on this trip, and they were the pair I told Millie to pack. I have a threadbare white tank top and bottoms that are too short to wear. They're slightly longer than my panties, but they don't really cover anything. I don't want to be prude, so I tug them on and run a brush through my hair. I stand there way too long and look at myself. My headlights are on and very visible. I can't go out there and waltz by Peter like this.

"Come on, Colleli. I need to get in there." Peter's voice is coming from the corner. I know he's standing right there. I pull a towel off the rack and wrap it over my shoulders. It doesn't do anything to hide my butt, but it's the best I can do.

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