Unable to process, Avery pummeled the fabric with her fists. Over and over she swung until the pain in her arms overshadowed the pain in her heart.
A pair of arms wrapped around her from behind, picked her up off the ground and swung her away from the bed. Still aching inside, she kicked and fought to be free. The arms held tight, body taut.
“Let me go.” Her heel landed a blow and sent a jolt of pain up her leg, which only frustrated her more.
Quinn’s gruff command penetrated the emotions pounding inside her. Avery deflated like a balloon and slumped in his arms, chest heaving. Quinn’s chin touched the top of her head, his chest rising and falling in sequence with hers. He still hadn’t put her down; her feet dangled off the ground. The way he held her, tucked against him, made her heart ache even more. Almost as if he couldn’t let her go.
For just a moment she allowed herself to lean on him, letting him hold her close until it felt like they were fused. She didn’t analyze why she did it, or why he let her. Simply let it happen.
Quinn tucked his head into her neck, voice gravelly, his breath hot on her skin. “Goddammit, Avery.”
Mouth dry, she nodded her head in understanding. She didn’t need the words. What was done was done. She couldn’t take it back.
Gently he set her feet on the floor and she winced. They stung like she stood on a bed of glass. Before she could guess his intention, Quinn swung her into his arms and carried her out of the room. She wrapped her arms around his neck, too worn out to fight. Her gaze followed his tanned neck to the strong line of his jaw. His profile was rigid, lines of fatigue bracketing his eyes. So much strength and so much pain. He wore his emotions inside like a warrior. She admired that after the spectacle she made of herself.
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