Be My Hero(4)

By: Linda Kage



Her features were flawless, matching her unique eyes to perfection. With olive skin that wasn't pockmarked by blisters and sores as most of the methed-up girls in my neighborhood, she looked clean and wholesome. Pure.

"Tinker Bell," I said, my voice shocking me because it was deeper and more grown-up than I'd ever heard it before. I was no longer fourteen.

She smiled and breathed out a sigh, staring up at me as if she—

"I love you," she said, actually voicing the words I was aching to hear. It was the first time anyone had said that to me.

A shudder tore through me. Overwhelmed by a blasting warmth and a strangling, overwhelming desire to say it back, I pressed my forehead to hers and pumped my hips with an age-old rhythm that seemed as natural as breathing. Her wet warmth clamped even more snuggly around me and her spine arched up, smashing a set of full breasts against my chest as she gasped and threw her head back.

She was coming.

Most magnificent sight ever.

I had no idea how I knew what was happening to her, but I did, and the knowledge spurred my own body to respond. My balls tightened and my dick began to contract.

Before I could follow her into oblivion though, I was sucked away. Panicked, I clawed out to return to her, the perfect girl with the perfect body who said she loved me.

But then, there she was again. The bed under us disappeared and we were no longer naked. At least we were still twisted together—on a couch this time—and my chest still felt as weightless and free as it had in the last scene, as if I had nothing to worry about. I was . . . shit, I was happy.

So was she. Squirming underneath me, she tried to twist out of my grip as she laughed. I kept tickling her because I loved that sound, and I swear I loved her too. I had no idea how I knew that. I just knew. She was everything to me.

"Patrick Jason Ryan," she scolded me. "I'm warning you." But there was too much warmth and joy in her voice to be of any real threat.

She loved this as much as I did. My body responded, and I was ready for more of that sex I decided wasn't so bad after all.

But just as I leaned in to kiss her, a small voice asked, "Mama? Daddy? What're you guys doing?"

Startled the fucking shit out of me.

I wrenched my head around to find a little girl of four, five, hell, maybe six years old standing in the doorway, watching us curiously as she hugged a pink stuffed pig to her chest and sucked on her thumb. She was freaking adorable. Startling blue eyes, just like the woman on the couch with me, but darker hair.

Kind of like mine.

"Skylar." The woman gasped, unable to break free of me. "Help me, baby. Tickle Daddy. Get him!"

Daddy?

My eyes widened, but the wider I tried to make them, the less I saw. With a bright flash of white, I was jerked away from both girls.

The woman returned, thank God. She had coiled her pale hair up into formal silky rolls with white pearls woven through the locks and a veil trailing down her back. I sucked in a breath as I saw the wedding dress she wore.

Surrounding us, hundreds of people became a distant muted blur as they milled around the large reception hall just as the deejay started a new song. Our song.

"And this one's for the happy couple." The deejay sent me a nod, telling me I was up.

Ignoring how stiff the shoulder pads in my tux jacket were, I held out a hand to the blonde in the wedding dress. "Mrs. Ryan," I said, feeling as if everything inside me was going to burst out through my pores. "May I have this dance?"

This was my wife. My fucking wife. I couldn't remember ever feeling more gratified than I did in that moment when she gave me a giddy grin and took my hand. I pulled her close and twirled us onto the dance floor as I lowered my mouth to her ear.

"Tink. God, I love you. So much."

When I noticed the letters P.I.C.K. tattooed in neat black script just behind her ear, my heart pounded from all the emotions rushing through me. I buried my nose in her pearl-coiled highlights and breathed in the fresh scent of lilac.

She pressed her mouth against my neck, and I swear the impression of her kiss followed me as I was sucked into yet another scene, a backyard with vivid green grass that was perfectly trimmed on a warm, sunny day. I'd never lived in a neighborhood with a lawn so immaculate, which made me swell with pride because I knew this was my lawn. My home.

I was so fucking happy, even though the pair of scrawny arms wrapped around my neck were nearly choking me into unconsciousness. The weight of the small body pressed into my back made it worth it.

"Faster," a boy's voice encouraged in my ear. "Come on, Dad. Faster."

So I spun faster, making my boy laugh as I whirled us in a circle on that amazing, lush lawn. The world around us blurred into a blissful oblivion. When I finally stopped after making us both dizzy, I bent down, resting my hands on my knees so he could slide off. And the little girl from the earlier vision—Skylar—immediately appeared before me, tugging on my elbow.

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