Wyatt was on his knees on the bedroom floor, face buried between Mia’s reddened ass cheeks and fingers curling in her pussy, coaxing her closer and closer to the edge despite her attempts to fight the pleasure. Wyatt loved the way Mia resisted the beautiful desire between them and how it cascaded over her when her body finally yielded to him.

Kissing up Mia’s back, Wyatt breathed her in. His heart was beating frantically, breath coming out in short pants. He was burning for her, aching for the fleeting moments of intimacy she granted him when he was inside of her.

Wyatt banded his arm under Mia’s breasts and pulled her onto her knees, back flush against his chest, and entered her wet heat from behind. She weaved her fingers through his that were splayed over her ribs, pressing his palm firmer against her flushed skin. Her other hand slid into his hair, holding tight.

Wyatt groaned into Mia’s skin. The feeling of her desperate clutch, as if she was attempting to mold them together, the way her body tightened around him every time he pulled back, desperate to keep him deep inside, it flooded him with emotions of both the tender and the primal kind.

“Mia,” he breathed out her name like it was his last hold on sanity, his hand not clutched by hers skimming down her hip and pelvic bone, between her legs to find her clit. With a few strokes of his fingers, Mia unraveled, pulling him over with her.

They stayed like that for a few seconds, wrapped up in each other in a sated stillness save for their ragged breaths. Mia’s hand slid out of Wyatt’s hair, her fingers releasing his. It was almost painful, the sense of separation, and Wyatt hurried to the bathroom under the pretense of washing up, needing the distance to gain control of the emotions raging through him.

When he returned to the bedroom, Mia was waiting splayed over the covers, her witchy eyes beckoning him to her. Wyatt lay next to Mia and pulled her over his chest, amazed at how delicate she looked nestled there.

“Tu es une telle bête,” Mia whispered her usual insult of fondness against his skin, her fingers feathering over his chest and abs as his traced lightly up and down her arm.

“Je suis, ma Figue de Barbarie,” Wyatt agreed, nuzzling her hair and planting a soft kiss on her crown, breathing in her soft pear scent that never failed to calm him.

“Do you miss them?” Mia asked.


“Your family.”

“Uh, yes, I guess so.” Wyatt didn’t know what to make of Mia’s sudden interest in his family. It was her own rules she was breaking, why was a mystery, but Wyatt wasn’t going to miss the opportunity of Mia showing active interest in his life, so he put a pin in his inquisitive thoughts. “I miss them a lot.”

“Who do you miss the most?”

“I don’t know, I miss them each in a different way.” Wyatt took a few moments to think. He’d been so hyper focused on his success in Oxford that he hadn’t taken the time to process leaving his family and the only place he’d ever called home. “My parents have this Sunday morning tradition, where they sit at the breakfast bar and each of us gets time alone to talk with them. No matter how long it takes, no matter how old we are or what we want to talk about. I miss that, you know?”

“Not really,” Mia shrugged, her palm coming to rest on Wyatt’s chest and her ear against his heart. She tried to sound indifferent, but Wyatt detected the sadness tarnishing her words. “And your siblings?”

“Ky and I are exactly the same but somehow total opposites.”

“Two sides of the same coin?” Mia smiled up at him and Wyatt laughed.

“Something like that,” he said. “We can’t seem to stop bickering but god forbid anyone messes with one of us, the other would tear them down.”

“It must be nice, having someone to look out for you like that.” Mia’s words were cutting through him, the pain she tried so hard to mask bleeding through.

“Mia,” Wyatt choked out in a quiet voice, tilting her head up to meet his eyes.

“And Iris?” Mia asked before he had a chance to tell her he was there to look out for her, for as long as she’d let him.

Wyatt didn’t push. He sensed this wasn’t the time to reveal his feelings. Mia was just starting to open up to him, too much this soon would scare her away.

“Riri, she’s a tornado–valedictorian, cheerleader, debate team star, sum cum laude in both her BSc and MSc. She had a rough run a few years back, crazy obsessive ex who stalked her, but she bounced back like a rockstar.” Wyatt shuffled down and turned on his side to face Mia. “Ri never ceases to amaze me. And she looks just like our mom, down to a T, it’s insane.”

“Who do you look like?” Mia wondered, pushing strands of Wyatt’s untamable mane out of his face.

“Mom’s hair, only a bit darker, dad’s eyes but a bit brighter. I’m a good mix, I guess, like Ky and Reed, you?”

Mia averted her eyes but Wyatt didn’t miss the flash of heartbreak his question generated. It pained him to realize how deep a cut Mia’s familial life, whatever it may have been, left in her, but he was starting to understand her aversion to attachment.

“And the smarter-than-the-entire-faculty Reed?” Mia asked, putting the focus back on Wyatt. “What’s he like?”

“Well, he’s the only one of us that chose to graduate early, he finished high school just before turning sixteen but decided to take a break and do volunteer work before going to college.”

“That’s admirable.”

“Yeah, he’s somewhere in Bolivia now, doing research. He’s the more amicable Doctor Jenkins.” Wyatt smiled at Mia’s rolling laughter. “I’ll see them again in a few weeks. I’m flying home for my grandmother’s birthday.”

Mia cupped Wyatt’s cheek with a soft smile. “They all sound amazing.”

“They kind of are,” Wyatt agreed with a smile, running his fingers through the short silk strands of her platinum hair.

“How you turned out to be such a bastard is beyond me.”

“Someone’s not done being cheeky, I see,” Wyatt said with a raised eyebrow, palm smoothing down to Mia’s still rosy ass. “Why are you so intent on getting spanked today, Prickly Pear?”

“Maybe I’m in the mood to feel extra bad,” she answered with a sly smile, pressing her body against Wyatt’s. “Maybe I like the way you fuck me after a good spanking.”

Wyatt molded his mouth over hers in a deep kiss, letting himself get swept away in Mia’s sweet flavor.

He’d give her what she wanted, a distraction from all the unpleasant memories their conversation brought up, but her pain settled deep in his chest. Hours later, when Mia was deep in sleep, his own sleep eluded him.

The idea that Mia wasn’t shutting him out because she hated him, but rather because the emotions she felt for him were so strong they scared her, wasn’t farfetched. Wyatt had seen the brokenness in her eyes, heard the fear in her voice.

Someone, somewhere, had shattered Mia’s heart in a way that caused her to shut herself away from anyone she perceived could hurt her like that again.

It was up to Wyatt to prove to her that he never would.