Afraid To Fly
The Fearless Series: Book Two
I’d like to tell you that I’m ok.
I’d like to tell you that time heals all wounds.
That we evolve and grow into well-adjusted, stable adults, set on a path to right the world’s wrongs. That we are not our past…we are not our pain.
I want to tell you all those things. Hell, I want to believe all those things. But I’d be lying. I’m good at that. Living a lie is the only way I truly know how to survive. But the day I saw her, I stopped surviving. I stopped existing. And for the first time in 24 years, I started living.
She brought me back to life. Set me free and sent my soul soaring. Made this useless shell of a man feel like…something. Something whole and real and good.
She saved me.
Although she believes I wasn’t even worth saving.
I was already loosening my tie as I stalked toward her and said, “Clothes off, boots on and get on your knees.”
Velvet didn’t waste a second. She slipped out of her one-piece in a swift movement and sank to the floor. The moment I felt her take me into her warm mouth, it was like a thousand pounds had been lifted from my shoulders.
A long time ago, long before I should have, I learned to separate the physical from the emotional and mental. I told myself that just because my young body had been stolen from me and manipulated in ways that would make even the toughest man cry out in agony, I didn’t have to feel it. Not deep down inside. I didn’t have to accept what was being done to me. So I pretended to be somewhere else. I pretended to be someone else. I let my mind drift to thoughts of my parents, imagining what they may have looked like, dreaming about happy smiles and warm hugs and kisses on my cherub-like cheeks. I painted pictures of family vacations at Disney World and barbeques in the backyard. I told myself that we would have a dog named Buddy. Mama would tie bandanas around his neck, and Papa and I would take him for walks and play Frisbee with him at the park.
I had built an imaginary fortress, and in it, nothing could touch me. I was safe. I was happy. And I was loved. That was what I told myself, and that was what I held onto everyday since to survive.
As I grew older, and was no longer held captive by the physical pain, I was left to face the emotional hurt that no one could see. I was like a pariah to the family that had taken me in. We were related but they didn’t know me, and what they did know about me was deviant and disgusting. Too awful to talk about. So I suffered silently in my mind until it became necessary to tell myself lies.
Lies like the ones I was telling myself right now.
I want this. I need this.
I’m totally normal.
There’s nothing wrong with me.
Being a man means having sex with as many women as possible.
These women desire me because they need me. They love me.
They love me.
She loves me.
It was the only way I could keep doing this. The only way the shame and disgust and self-hatred didn’t keep chip-chip-chipping away at the fragments of that broken boy. The boy that had grown up to be a shattered man. The man that couldn’t be mended.
He scared the hell out of me in a way that excited every fiber of my being. It wasn’t the tattoos or the piercings. It wasn’t the warmth that seemed to radiate from his frame and blanket me whenever he was near. It was just…him. The scary beautiful man that threatened to alter 23 years of routine and rituals, and make me face my crippling fear.
My name is Kami and I am constantly afraid. And the thing that scares me the most is the very thing I want.
“Don’t worry,” he smiled, pulling me into the hard warmth of his chest. “I’ve got you. I’ll always catch you when you fall.”
And just like that, Blaine had staked his claim on the untouched part of me that no living soul had ever moved. He had captured every fear, every reservation, and crushed them in the palm of his inked hand.
S.L. Jennings is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance, reality TV junkie, obsessive coffee drinker and collector of crazy.