Remember that time y'all voted like crazy for Michael to have a chance at winning the YA Sisterhood YA Crush Tourney?
And I promised you a deleted scene featuring Michael?
ENJOY. (Kaleb's scene is up next!)
He took my wrists gently, examining the damage to my hands. “Where else are you hurt?”
“My knees. They’re pretty much a rerun of my hands. And I have a bruise where Liam threw me down to protect me from the explosion. That’s all. I’m fine.”
“Show me,” Michael said grimly, guiding me to the bed to sit beside him.
I sighed, unzipped my jacket and gingerly pulled it to the side. He looked away quickly, his eyes tight. “Emerson…”
“I’m okay. It looks worse than it is.”
“It’s not okay. It shouldn’t be there at all.” Michael leaned forward, tenderly pressing his lips to the edge of the bruise.
I closed my eyes, shivering when his lips moved to my neck.
Physical connection … still there.
“I don’t like to see you hurt,” he murmured against my bare skin.
“Physical injuries, no big thing. I’ll take a broken arm over a broken heart any day.”
“You need to heal,” he said, trailing kisses up my neck. He touched my lips lightly with his before standing. “Sleep.”
“No!” I cried out, before pulling my bottom lip between my teeth. I started to make excuses, explain away my reaction. It came down to the fact that life was too short not to ask for what I wanted. “I don’t want you to leave. Can you … stay?”
Now Michael was biting his lip, but he did it to hide his smile. "Are you opposed to spooning?"
Heat crept up my chest to my face. "I have no idea."
"Here." Lifting up the covers, he gestured for me to climb into his bed. I did. He walked around to the other side and got in, then fitted his front to my back, put his arms around my waist, and his chin on my shoulder. It occurred to me that he planned where to position me in the bed so this exact thing could take place without causing either of us physical pain.
To our injuries anyway.
Lying on my side on top of a snow-covered cliff, I stared out into a white icy nothingness. Wind ripped through my hair and my coat, both of which were soaking wet. The cold permeated every single cell in my body; even my insides were as frozen as the icicles hanging from the rock face across from me.
At first I could hear nothing but the wind, then cries of help floated up from below.
I heard my name, tried to get up.
But the figure with no face and burning eyes pushed me down.
Everything faded to black.
The fact that I’d been able to fall asleep while experiencing a full body tingle was one thing. Having a nightmare while Michael was so close to me was another.
I jerked into a sitting position, wrenching my shoulder. I cried out in pain. I realized I was soaking wet, but it was from the cold sweat that covered my body.
“Em.” He was there, pushing my hair back from my face. “Did you dream about your parents?”
I shook my head, trembling, willing the memory of the dream to go away. “Different. Some things the same, but, different. This time I was there. Watching. I don’t want to talk about it.”
I laid my head against his heart, listening to the steady sound of it beating. As I waited for the remnants of the dream to float away, I concentrated on the rise and fall of his chest, taking comfort in the smell of his t-shirt. It was far superior to his pillow, and feather soft to boot. Fabric softener.
“Do you do your own laundry?”
He looked down at me, frowning. “You wake up from a nightmare, shaking and crying, and then you ask me if I do my own laundry?”
“Laundry is a very normal, everyday experience. I could really use some more normal, everyday experiences,” I explained. Then, a little more shyly, “And I like the way you smell.”
“The way I smell?” His smile started slow, bubbling up and spilling over from the inside, crinkling the corners of his eyes. “Is that all you like about me?”
“You escape death, travel though time, and then you ask me if all I like about you is the way you smell?”
He answered me with a kiss.
I never thought I’d be reassured by someone’s presence. All I had to do was look into Michael’s eyes and I centered. Instinctively I knew it was the same for him. He traced the shape of my lips with his index finger, making a sound of surprise when I bit the tip. I teased him, holding it between my teeth when he tried to pull it away, watching his eyes change from playful to dangerous. I only let go when he put his other hand behind my head, bringing my mouth to meet his. Kissing him consumed every thought, burning them away from my brain.
Keeping the monsters confined to the past. Where they belonged.
Someone knocked at Michael’s door, catching both of us off guard. We’d been concentrating on each other, missing the sound of voices carrying up from downstairs.
“Mike? You guys awake?” The knock sounded again, louder this time.
“Yeah, we’ll be down in a few,” he called out before grinning at me. “I’m definitely going to need another minute or two of this.”
I pulled the cover over our heads.
I didn’t think a lifetime would be long enough to satisfy me.
(Author Note: This has NOT been edited. Any mistakes are my own. Also, you might recognize part of this. Sometimes writers recycle. :D)