Chapter 40

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"When I lost you, it felt like I lost myself, too. "


My heart feels so light and so heavy at the same time.

Because Lincoln and I reconnected on a different level last night. We reconquered something that was taken from us so brutally, that we both needed to feel this connection, the symbiosis of our bodies to know that it is still ours.

And looking at him right now, sleeping peacefully between the sheets, I just know that we will be okay. We are different this time, and yet so familiar, so beautifully reminiscent that it takes my breath away at times.

Still, I couldn't reciprocate his words yesterday. I feel them, I know I do. Truth is, I didn't stop loving him either. But as much as I want to forget what he did back then - I can't. No matter the influence, he broke my heart and trust, mercilessly at that, and I can't just forget that. I need time.

"Morning..." he mumbles, opening one eye before pulling me closer, brushing his nose against mine with a smile.

"Good morning, handsome," I whisper, pressing a kiss on his nose before he leans back and looks at me, stroking some hair out of my face.

"How did you sleep?"

"Like a baby," I answer, and it's true. I don't remember the last time I slept this well. "You?"

"Me, too. I always do when you're sleeping next to me, sola..."

"What does that mean?" I ask, referring to the nickname I noticed he uses a lot lately. "Sola. Is that Italian?"

He nods his head, a thoughtful smile on his face when he brushes his thumb over my bottom lip. "It is."

When he doesn't answer I bite down on his thumb, eliciting a wide grin from Link before he looks at me, those amused blue eyes meeting mine when he asks, "Impatient?"

His question makes me bite down on his thumb more forcefully now, and he hisses before pulling his hand away, looking at me with wide eyes, "Ouch! You're brutal, Mia..." he laughs, and I just shrug while tapping his nose with my index.

"You're so secretive. That's what you get," I say before stretching out my tongue. "Okay, it's my turn to take you out today. We need to get dressed."

"What do you have planned?" he asks, propping himself up on his elbow, revealing his way too toned body with a smirk.

I can't help but take him in, appreciating the sight with a smile before meeting his eyes again, and I can't help but laugh when I see the heated expression in his eyes. We won't get anything done today if I don't stop now. "You'll see, big boy. You'll see."

He groans when I press a quick kiss on his lips and jump out of bed, looking for my clothes that are still scattered around the bedroom floor. I can feel his eyes on me as I get dressed, and I turn with a raised brow when I'm back in my clothes, watching how he's still just lying there, buck naked with a grin on his face.

"I can go alone if you don't want to," I say with a smirk, eliciting a laugh from Link when he responds, "No, no... Sorry. I was just admiring the view."

We somehow manage to actually leave the house after having breakfast and some coffee, Lincoln's hand tucked in mine as we turn the last corner to my destination. The cheering and laughter are already prominent when we walk down the road, watching the blinking lights by the pier with a smile.

"The carnival?" Link asks, and I nod my head, squeezing his hand as we keep walking.

"Yeah, I love it there. Is that okay?" I stand still, pulling him to the side so we don't stand in the way of the dozens of other people walking down the street. "I know there's a ton of people there. You just need to tell me when you're uncomfortable."

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