This wasn’t smart. Drinking and bringing her here. It’s as if I invited her to see me in the most screwed up of ways. My jaw clenches, muscles tense. My mind might be numb, but my body is one big live nerve ending. I’m coming out of my skin. I’m going insane. I did this. I created the monster that is Ava and now I want to torment Crystal by using her to deal with the guilt.
I need to move. I need something before I lose my mind, and I try to push to my feet. Crystal’s hand closes over my arm, stilling me.
Concern is etched in her eyes, and I hunger for her in this moment in a way I have never hungered for anyone before. My hand tangles in her hair and I drag her mouth to mine. “I am bad for you,” I say. “I’m—”
“Wrong for me. Using me. I know—and I don’t care. But use me to deal with the guilt—not to create more.”
“Why would you willingly do this?” I need to know that she’s in the right place, that I’m not going to hurt her, too.
Her hand settles on my chest, over my heart that I know is thundering. “Because,” she says, her voice even, confident, “sometimes what someone is going through speaks to you on a level you can’t ignore. And because of that, people who’re completely wrong for each other are completely right in a certain moment in time. Like us right now.”
I’m kissing her before she finishes her last words, my mouth slanting over hers, my tongue licking against hers in a hot stroke, followed by another. Turning her onto the couch, I lay her down, resting on top of her, and I’m no longer thinking about all the reasons this is wrong or the way it’s nothing like what I normally want or need. But I do need. I need this woman here, now, and with the kind of abandon I rarely allow myself. No amount of booze will stop how deep the burn runs. How intense the rush of desire.
This moment. This woman. It’s what I need. She is what I need.