Love in the Land of Fire

Love in the Land of Fire by Rebecca Brochu

Book: Love in the Land of Fire by Rebecca Brochu Read Free Book Online
Authors: Rebecca Brochu
met face to face.
    “Not long, Rafe, I swear.”
    “Is this a game to you? Some sort of sick fucking game where you string the poor pitiful submissive along while you get your rocks off over all of the horrible shit that’s happened to them in the past? Is it?” Rafe screams the last bit and Josiah sees the hysteria in his face, knows that he won’t be able to reason with him, not now, but knows that he has no choice but to try.
    “Rafe, it’s not like that. You know it isn’t like that. Just calm down and let me explain.” He starts forward to lay a hand on his shoulder, needing the contact, but withdraws, stung when Rafe actually flinches back from him.
    “Don’t touch me. Not after you’ve been watching him, not after what you’ve seen. We both know you shouldn’t touch me.”
    It slams into Josiah then, slams into him with the force of a blow, exactly what the problem is, why Rafe’s so desperate and wild-eyed. He steps forward determinedly ignoring the way Rafe flinches back from him again and wraps his arms completely around him. He holds on despite the way Rafe struggles, uses his strength to clamp his arms to his sides so that he won’t hurt himself and simply waits him out.
    When Rafe finally seems to tire of the one-sided fight, he goes limp in Josiah’s arms. The dominant simply gathers him closer, strokes a hand through his disheveled hair and speaks quietly into his ear, his voice low and steady and completely sincere.
    “What happened to you, what you’ve been through, is terrible and you came out of it so much stronger than you realize. You didn’t give up, Rafe, not really; you kept fighting even though you didn’t have to and when you couldn’t fight anymore you still took control over the situation. Nothing that happened was your fault, Rafe. You’re beautiful and good and nothing that happened to you is your fault. It’s not your fault, Rafe.”
    Rafe shudders in his arms and Josiah feels it when his shirtfront begins to grow damp. He realizes that finally, after everything that’s happened, Rafe is letting himself cry. He gathers Rafe closer to him, rocks him slowly back and forth where they’re standing, and croons sweetly in his ear.
    “You’re going to be alright, Rafe. I swear you will.”
    For the first time since all of this started, for the first time since Josiah met Rafe, he actually believes that it might be true.
     
    4 Chapter Twelve
     
    They end up on Josiah’s bed, curled around each other on his wine colored sheets, Rafe’s head nestled safely on his chest and Josiah’s hand stroking lovingly through his hair. They lay there, comfortable with one another and yet there’s still something between them, something hanging in the air and keeping them apart that Josiah’s almost desperate to fix.
    “My mother died when I was seven.” He speaks almost without realizing it, the words tumbling out of his mouth before he can call them back. He feels Rafe go still against his side and knows that he’s listening intently.
    This is an important instance; Josiah recognizes it as an opportunity to show a sign of trust, of openness. He knows so much about what Rafe went through during his time with Frisch so it’s his turn to share, to even the score between them. If he has to pick open old wounds to show Rafe just how serious he is then he’ll do it no matter how much it might still pain him.
    “Her name was Nicolette and she was beautiful. I still remember her a bit, mainly small things like the way her hair looked, so blonde it was almost white, or the way she smelled like cinnamon and sugar.”
    “What happened to her, if you don’t mind me asking?” Rafe’s voice is carefully casual, and Josiah knows that he truly wants to know, wants to hear about his past, to know him. Josiah takes a deep breath and plunges on.
    “Draxon, my father, Disavowed her when I was five. He claimed that she wasn’t properly skilled, that she couldn’t perform her duties as a

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