Chapter Twenty Six Continued

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"Nervous?" He asked me gently.

"Maybe a little." I admitted in a small breath. He gave me a reassuring smile, and I felt some of the nerves I had been feeling flutter away as his hands ran soothingly down my arms.

"Come here." He coaxed me closer ever so softly, tugging me towards him by my hands I stepped forwards shakily, my legs feeling half like jelly. "You don't have to do this because of what Gabriella said." He told me in complete honesty.

I inwardly cringed at the thought. I wasn't doing this because of her. I was doing this because of Conner. Because he made me feel something I had never felt before. He made me feel ready.

Instead of using words to tell him that I chose to shut him up with a kiss instead. I felt his surprise through the kiss but almost as if running off of instincts his hands shot out for a steadying grip on my hips, stopping me from leaning over too precariously on my tiptoes, as he kissed me back.

Tentatively I threaded my fingers through his hair, throwing myself fully into the kiss and feeling him return in kind.

Breathlessly I pulled back slightly, looking up into his eyes. "I'm doing this because I'm ready to." I told him firmly. "So please don't ruin the moment by bringing up that ass-wipe."

At my stern words I saw Conner's lips pull up into a small smile. "Duly noted." He nodded, lifting one hand from my hip to give me a mini salute.

A soft laugh left my lips and the conversation ended there.

His hand returned to my waist and he gave a soft squeeze that made my heart give a small jump. Without saying a word he gently rubbed his fingers against my skin. Slowly bending down he pressed his lips against mine, and my pulse thundered in my ears as I kissed him back.

He pulled me closer with ease, the tips of his fingers sliding underneath the edge of my flimsy top. A shiver ran down my spine. I'd never realised until this moment just how roughened the skin on his hands were.

It drew a ragged moan from my throat to feel the calloused fingers against the soft skin of my waist. Conner responded to my moan by swiftly turning us around, backing me against the wall as he deepened the kiss.

Without missing a beat he slid his hands to my jean clad thighs coaxing me to lift my legs and warp them around his waist.

I hesitated self-consciously, wondering if maybe I'd be too heavy. Feeling my uncertainty Conner broke the kiss. "Charlotte." He begged in a breathless moan. I was never going to hear my name the same ever again.

Letting go of my insecurities I let him guide my legs around him – locking them in place by twisting my ankles together and wrapping my arms securely around his neck as he moved to place kisses against the curve of my throat.

I felt his lips moving as they brushed against my collarbone – but my pulse was too loud to hear what it was he said. It must have been some kind of pre-warning though because the next thing he did was pull us away from the support of the wall and start walking us towards the bedroom.

With each step closer I felt my confidence grow slightly. Drawing our chests closer together I pressed kisses against the turn of his jaw, loving the way this stubble scratched against my skin and lips gently.

I ran my fingers against the nape of his neck as I lowered my kisses to his throat, earning a low groan of approval from Conner who was now fighting against the door, trying to get it to open whilst still holding me up.

I felt my lips tug themselves into an amused smile when he let out an impatient cuss. This was as I'd ever seen him to being without composure; it sent a surge of happiness running through my veins to know that it was me that had caused this state in him.

Taking it a step further I moved my hips slightly against his, leaning towards his ear before speaking. "Conner" I said is name on a whispered breath. I had no idea what I was doing and my body seemed to be running off instinct alone.

The hand that was still gripping me by my thigh tightened, sending a spark of electricity up my spine. At the same time that the light gasp left my lips the door finally swung open.

Conner let out a sound that was close to a growl of victory and my stomach clenched tightly at the sound.

"Please." My voice was barely a whisper through my own desire. I didn't even know quite what it was I was begging him to do, but Conner seemed to. His hands both went back to me, tugging me even closer, pressing me securely against him so that there wasn't even an inch of space left between us, as he kissed me once again.

The world seemed to spin around us as I lost myself into the kiss, it was only when I felt the softness of sheets against my back that I realised the world wasn't spinning but Conner was lowering us onto his bed.

A new round of nerves worked up a storm inside me.

Conner's hands were tugging at my shirt I felt my body stiffen slightly as a single word returned to my mind through the almost blissful state I was in.

Scar.

Conner must have felt the difference. He pulled back, confusion bringing his eyebrows together as he stared down at me. "Charlotte?" He asked; his voice was lower than it usually was. Huskier. "What's wrong?"

I gave him a pained expression as I looked up at him, all my words feeling stuck in my throat reminding me of when I couldn't talk.

"Charlotte?" Conner asked me again when I didn't say anything. Bringing up his hand he brushed his fingers through my hair comfortingly. I felt my heart soften and my throat loosen.

I swallowed harshly, turning my head to the side in embarrassment. "I-I have a scar...from that night." I said in a quiet voice. "It's...It's not pretty." I admitted with a wince.

I could feel the confusion leaving the air around us, replaced by a sad understanding.

"Charlotte." Conner's voice called out to me, but I didn't turn to look at him. I felt ashamed and vulnerable. I'd tried for these past few months to build up a wall around me – to pretend I just didn't care. But I did. Conner had broken through all those walls and now he could see it too.

When I didn't turn to face him Conner brought his fingers up to my chin, turning my head in his direction. My cheeks were burning red as he did. His eyes met mine confident and sure – two things I didn't feel at that moment.

"Charlotte, you're beautiful." He told me firmly. Leaning forwards he pressed his lips against my skin, leaving a burning sensation as he pulled away. He kept placing delicate – heated – kisses against my skin leaving me burning.

His hands moved returning to my shirt, lifting until the scar was on full display, making my stomach squirm uncomfortably.

I shifted my hips self-consciously, opening my mouth to ask me that he have the lights off when his hands landed on either side of my stomach holding me in place.

He moved his head further down looking directly at my scar making my insides jump.

"Absolutely fucking beautiful." He growled, running his fingers lightly against my stomach he spoke, sending shivers running through me. "Scars and all." His eyes moved back up to meet mine and I could see the truth burning inside them.

He honestly thought that.

Warmth different from anything else I'd ever experienced invaded my chest.

He said I was beautiful in the same way he said all his other opinions – as if it were an undisputable fact not up for discussion. I had a whole new appreciation for his arrogance.

"Conner?" I said his name almost catching in my throat as I spoke.

"Yes?" He asked.

I lifted both of my hands to the collar of his shirt pulling him down towards me, crashing my lips against his – trying to say all the words I couldn't through the kiss.

It wasn't enough.

Breaking our kiss I pulled my shirt the rest of the way off over my head, revelling in the confidence the heated way he stared down at my newly exposed skin gave me.

Slowly we both peeled the layers of our clothes away.

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