Cover Reveal: Against Me (Cedar Tree #3) by Freya Barker
The phone call with Neil had left me really unsettled and the flow of emotions, once started, seems endless. So I just let it come. Let it all fucking flow out of me, because frankly – I’m so tired of not feeling myself. I’ve always been alone, I guess, but I’ve never felt really lonely until now. It sucks. It really does, and it makes me weepy and emotional, and I’m not good with that. I normally stay busy, but I feel idle… useless. Arghhh! Now I’m held by strong arms, warm breath against my ear and I start bawling in earnest. What the fuck is wrong with me? I don’t even resist when Caleb lifts me out of the chair and settles me on his lap on the bed, still firmly held in the circle of his arms, one of his hands sliding up to press my head to his chest. Those fucking arms…
Feels like I’ve cried a bathtub full by the time the flow stems a little, and all this time Caleb hasn’t said a word. He just keeps massaging my scalp with the fingers of his hand and never lets up the tight hold on my body.
“Sorry,” I mumble.
“For what? Been waiting for that.”
I push back and look at him indignantly. “What do you mean, you’ve been waiting for that?”
A small pull at the corner of his mouth is a tell he’s amused. Which only pisses me off. Waiting for me to fall apart? I try to move off his lap, but his hands slide to my hips and hold me in place.
“Been waiting for you to do some processing instead of burying, which is what you’ve mostly been doing. Can’t rebuild on loose ground, Katie. You bury too much, the ground’s gonna be pretty loose… “ Caleb cups my chin in his hand and lifts it so I am looking into his dark hazel eyes. “You know you gotta get rid of the build up in order to move forward.”
I hate it when he talks in that obscure language, but still I know exactly what he means. I hate it even more when he’s right. Crud. Leaning forward, I let my forehead drop against his chest and I can feel the vibrations of his deep chuckle.
“You annoy me.”
This only makes him chuckle louder.
“I know. Now you wanna tell me what brought that on?”
“Nope. Cause that’s probably gonna have me blubbering again and I really don’t wanna go there.” I shake my head but don’t lift my head off Caleb’s chest. Feels nice. His large hand slowly strokes up and down my spine, giving my exposed neck a small squeeze every time he reaches it, sending vague shivers of awareness over the surface of my skin.