Broken Bits Deleted Scene
This would have been at the end of the book.
On the Drive Home…
“I love you.” Mick murmured against Kit’s fingers before returning her hand to his leg. They were almost home. The setting sun on their left created beautiful shadows on the pastureland outside the windows.
Kit snorted-almost a laugh- and he glanced to see a blush and an immense smile take over her face. The almost-laugh was a balm on his scorched soul. Whatever it took, however long it took, he was going to make her the happiest woman on earth. While he adored every part of her, the serious, bitter woman of the past few days was just not her. The real Kit normally wore at least a half smile. If he could only make her laugh- even once a day at first- it would relieve some of his guilt.
He parked the suv to the side of her cottage and took a deep breath. Relieved to have the long drive finished, he was also anxious to be alone with Kit. The past six months felt like an eternity and he wanted the rest of their lives to start NOW.
Before they exited the vehicle, he pulled her across the divider for a kiss. His head spun- her taste was just as he remembered. Yet now, now, he would not have to rely on his memories. He could kiss her for hours, but Mal’s whine interrupted before a few seconds passed. Kit snorted and swiveled in her seat to attach his leash.
“I love you.” he repeated, unable to stop professing his feelings. His ribcage ached from all the joy trapped inside his body.
His reward was another brilliant smile and a chuckle. Christ, had she ever been more beautiful?
“Love you back.” she whispered and hopped out, dog in tow.
Mick exited more slowly. Thankfully, the jeans he was wearing were loose, otherwise driving for the last few hours would have been sheer agony. He felt as if he were on fire.
Kit led Mal to the fenced-in back yard. This gave Mick a few blessed moment of privacy in order to adjust himself before grabbing their luggage.
He followed Kit inside and set the bags at the foot of the stairs. He found her dishing out food and water for Mal in the kitchen.
“I’m feeding him outside,” she explained as she opened the door to the back yard, “He will need to run after that long ride,”
Mick nodded and waited until she re-entered the kitchen. Then his control broke. He had to touch her, claim her. In seconds, he had her pressed between the wall and his body, kissing her as if she was his source of oxygen. He should show more finesse, he thought but was too hungry to stop. At least, until Kit stiffened against him.
Before she could even draw a breath, Mick whirled her around so fast she was dizzy. With his back to the wall, he carefully hugged her to him.
“Christ! Shit! I am so sorry. I forgot. I am so sorry!”
The apologies tumbled out as he gasped for breath. Tears pricked her eyes. He remembered. She pushed the bad memories away. She would not let that bastard ruin her happily ever after.
“Stop. It’s ok.”
“I love you, Mick Harris,” she looked up at him. “And I want you too- desperately.”
He exhaled so hard, she felt him droop. Long fingers caressed her cheek as he smiled at her.
“I love you.”
Once again, the delight of hearing those words from him made her giggle and turn red. How had her life gone from awful to wonderful so fast? It was almost too good to be true. The room spun around her as if she were tipsy.
She looked around the small space, “So- no wall sex, but the table is pretty sturdy.”
Mick shook his head, the heat in his eyes made her shiver.
“No. I want you upstairs in that bed, under that monstrosity of a quilt that I have actually missed. Now.”
Kit moaned in response and locked her knees as to not dissolve in a puddle on the tile floor. A deep breath filled her lungs, bringing with it a certainty that made her giddy. This was truly happening.
“Race you!” she challenged and sprinted for the stairs, pulling off her top as she ran.
Their coming together was explosive and frantic. This time, her blazing orgasm wasn’t a surprise. The entire ride back home had been one long session of foreplay.
Mick was still propped above her, struggling to recover. She slid her hands down the sweat-dampened skin of his torso. She never wanted to stop touching him.
He finally raised his head to look at her. Damn, he was so sexy. His damp hair hung over his forehead in black spikes. His eyes were heavy-lidded, yet still brilliant blue. His cheeks were flushed and his lips swollen from their kisses. He was utterly gorgeous and totally hers.
“I love you.”
This time, her joy erupted from her heart. It started as a giggle, and then burst out as an extended laugh. This was real. This was truly her life. Oh, Lord. Mick was going to think she had gone insane, but she could not stop laughing. She snuck a peek up at him through her lashes.
Just when she was certain he could not be more handsome, a satisfied grin brightened his face.
“Bingo!” he whispered and laughed along with her.
After a quick clean-up, he slid back under the quilt and pulled her close. Kit breathed in the familiar smell of sweat and soap from his skin. She heard Mal bark in the distance- his signature squirrel-chasing yip. She should bring him inside soon. Right now, all she wanted was to be exactly where she was- in Mick’s arms.
She rubbed her leg along his. Her calf tingled in response to his rough hair. Thankfully, she had taken time to shave her legs this morning. Just in case,…you know.
She rolled her eyes at her past self. Had she really thought that she could just let Mick walk away? Her past self had been an idiot, she decided. Delusional. Maybe would have made it halfway through the car ride before jumping him and begging him to reconsider. Bless his heart for being the first one to break and saving her dignity.
Of course, he had tried to save her. As infuriating as it was, it was also romantic as hell.
She smiled against his chest and began to trace the numbers on his clock tattoo with her index finger. Lord, she had loved doing that after sex. It had been a wonderful way to calm down yet stay connected. Her finger paused at number 4 and she raised her head in shock.
“You have hands!”
Mick raised his eyebrows in confusion and wiggled his fingers in front of her face.
Kit batted his hand away with a chuckle, “No, silly. You added hands to your clock!”
She traced the long hand that was at 11 and the short hand at 4. It was new. The prison tattoo signified a life sentence- a clock with no hands….endless. But sometime in the last 6 months, Mick had altered it.
How had she missed this? This was the second time in 24 hours he had been naked. You were too busy looking at either his face or his crotch, her inner critic commented. It was so true, she couldn’t even blush. She loved his body.
The man in question just looked at her, a faint smile on his face.
“C’mon! What made you change it? Tell me! Why 3:55?”
Mick took her hand, kissed the tip of her finger and guided it back to his chest.
“I does not signify a time,” he explained and traced the 4 with her finger, “April.”
He moved to the other number, “11th. April 11th was the first day I felt good about surviving prison.”
Kit stared at him, too afraid to speak. She knew that date- it was carved into her soul. Nevertheless, it might not mean the same to him. She inhaled a shaky breath.
“Because you messed up on the job and almost died?” Kit held her breath. “Or being flung out of a helicopter was on your bucket list?” Please be another reason. Please be about me.
Mick smiled and took pity on her, “No. It was the day I was fortunate enough to meet my Brave Girl.”
Emotion exploded in her chest as Kit blinked away tears. Even though he hadn’t thought they would ever meet again, he had a permanent memory of her added to his body. It was almost too poignant, too personal. By God, he does love me.
It was too much to look in his eyes- to see so much love shining there. Kit clumsily flopped back onto his chest and held on tight. One of his hands stroked her back and the other curved around her neck. She was happy to be held so close- otherwise, she felt as if she might float away.
Suddenly, Mick’s arms tightened around her, holding her close to his chest and he buried his face in her hair.
“I’m sorry,” he murmured, “I am so, so sorry Angel. We could have been together all this time. It’s my fault-“
Kit broke in as soon as she heard his voice crack.”Stop!”
The angry girl inside her had disappeared. She could not bear to see him in pain now. She struggled to rise- to at least see his face, but his arms kept their hold. Knowing it was futile, she relaxed back against his chest and began to stroke the wavy outline of his tattoo. Her heart broke as she listened to his hitched breath broken by an accessional sniffle.
“I have hated myself because I didn’t stay, because I didn’t fight. If I had refused to leave you, what would you have done? Could you have kept lying?” her voice was soft.
She felt the shake of his head.
“So I think we should be done with the guilt. Both of us. If one hangs onto it, the other one will too.”
Mick’s grip loosened as he relaxed and she scooted an elbow under herself. He scrubbed the remnants of his tears away but then lightly stroked her cheek with the same hand.
“Can we agree? We have so much ahead of us now. We should focus on that and not the mistakes we made in the past.”
Mick nodded and sniffed, “I agree. I love you very deeply my brave girl.”
Kit smiled and blinked away her own tears, “I love you too my super spy.”