Fall from India Place Page 23

He moved, hips gliding against mine and I felt the hot throb of him nudge between my legs. I clutched his hips with my thighs, bracing myself. He surged forward, pushing into my tight, resisting body.

I tried to catch my breath at the overwhelming feeling of fullness.

Marco gritted his teeth, grasping me by the back of the thigh. It changed his angle and he pushed harder.

I cried out at the burn of pain, my whole body tensing.

“Hannah,” Marco panted, his concern breaking through my shock.

My eyes opened. He watched me, something like guilt on his face.

That buried the pain.

“Don’t stop,” I begged, not wanting him to ever regret this.

He shook his head. “You’re so tight.”

“Keep going.” I pulled his head down to kiss him, the kiss desperate and deep.

This hot, rumbling sound growled from the back of his throat as he began to move his hips against mine.

There was some residual pain, but the discomfort eased as all my awareness focused on the thrusts of his throbbing c**k inside me. His grip on my thigh tightened, his lust-filled eyes on mine the whole time as he began to move faster, pumping in and out of me, creating the tension again.

“I can’t wait,” he panted, shaking his head. “I’m sorry…” He gritted his teeth again, the muscles in his neck straining as his hips stilled against mine seconds before he shuddered his release inside me.

Marco collapsed against me, his face buried in my neck, and as I stroked his back I felt the wonder of that moment cascade over me, leaving me absolutely content.

I smiled, tears pricking my eyes. “I love you,” I whispered.

The muscles in his back tensed.

Wariness moved through my chest, ugly and dark, and I waited, holding my breath.

He pushed up off of me, staring at me incredulously. “What the…” He scrambled off me as though I’d burned him. “We didn’t. What…” He hurried to dress.

“Marco?” I sat up, my lips trembling with vulnerability.

His eyes moved over me, and whatever he saw made him squeeze his own shut in despair. Despair!

My tears fell.

“We shouldn’t have.”


“I shouldn’t have.” He yanked his T-shirt on and quickly stuffed his feet into his trainers. He looked back at me as he turned the lock on the door. “I’m sorry, Hannah. God, I’m sorry.”

And then he left me there.

Crying, I stumbled around the room through blurred vision, pulling on my clothes before someone came in. Dressed, I stared back at the bed, my eyes zeroing in on the spot of blood on the blanket.

Despair? Despair in this moment was mine, not his.

I never saw him again. Not until a few hours ago at a random wedding. My first love. My first time.

My first heartbreak.

The tears shimmered in my eyes, but I didn’t let them loose. I’d shed all those tears years ago.


I think more than anything I was angry. Not just at what Marco had done to me by leaving, but at what his reappearance was doing to me. I’d felt lost for a long time after he left. It had taken me a while to find my strength and independence again. It had meant hardening my heart and creating little locked doors in my soul so that only the people I trusted implicitly could ever make it inside to touch it.

Standing opposite him, staring into his handsome face and those eyes that seemed even more soulful than before, I was that seventeen-year-old girl again. Totally lost.

That pissed me off.

How dare he walk back into my life and make me feel that way? I wasn’t that person. I was my own person and I knew who I was, I knew what I was about. I had family and friends and students and colleagues who knew and respected me.

This person, this aching, bruised, lost person… that wasn’t the person they knew.

That enraged me.

Twisting and turning through the night, the anger eating away at me, I knew when I finally slid out of bed that Sunday that I couldn’t face my family. They’d take one look at me and know something was going on. Cole was already too suspicious. So I texted Mum and told her I was bogged down with work and couldn’t make Sunday lunch. In truth, I needed time to cool down, reflect, to get back to being me again.

To do that I set myself up in my living room, surrounded with schoolwork, and spent the entire day catching up on my marking. Somewhere along the way the anger began to cool.

I was so caught up in my marking I almost jumped off my couch when the doorbell rang. It was past six o’clock, the sky was darkening outside, and I’d had to switch my lamps on to see my work. I couldn’t think who would be visiting me. With my crazy, overprotective crew it could have been anyone. I didn’t know why I was surprised. This would be the fourth time I’d missed Sunday lunch in as many months. I should have known it would start to concern someone.

That someone was Ellie.

“What are you doing here?” I asked, following her into my living room.

I watched her take in my work, her expression pensive.


She frowned at me. “You missed Sunday lunch. Again.”

I gestured to my work. “I told Mum I had loads of marking to do.”

Despite the evidence staring her in the face, my sister didn’t seem to buy it. She knew me too well. “Are you sure that’s it? Cole seemed worried you weren’t there.”

Ellie would dig until she found the truth, so I outmaneuvered her by opting for a version of the truth. I sighed, crossing my arms over my chest. “Fine. When Cole and I were at Anisha’s wedding reception last night, I bumped into a blast from the past. Marco D’Alessandro.”

My sister’s blue eyes grew round with surprise. “My God. How did that go?”

Any attempt to keep the bitterness from my face clearly failed as I curled my lip in disdain. “I found out he’s been back in Edinburgh for four years and didn’t bother to get in touch.”

“Not good.” Ellie winced sympathetically.

“What do I care, right?” I flopped down on my couch. “It’s just…” I shook my head in pained bemusement, watching Ellie lower herself into my armchair. “I found a photo of him last week and it was the first time in a long time I’d thought about him… and then poof! Suddenly he’s right in front of me. It knocked me off balance. But I’m okay now.”

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