Status: Complete.

I Want You to Live

Chapter 16

Peyton rolled over beneath the warm blankets, sliding a knee up to throw over Rusty. Her leg was met with only empty bed. She blinked her eyes until her blurry vision cleared and squinted around the room. Morning sunlight peeked through the window, burning her tired eyes. She squeezed them shut a second before trying again. This time she was able to hold them open.

She raised up, hugging the sheet to her naked chest and peered around her. The covers were a complete chaos from their many romps the previous night. It seemed after their first time in the meadow, Peyton had developed an insatiable hunger for sex. Or most likely just for Rusty. A shiver crept down her spine at the thought of their love making.

She lovingly rubbed a hand across his side of the bed, feeling the warmth left behind by his body. He hadn't been up long. Yawning, she contemplated getting up, but decided to allow herself a little longer in her solitary bliss. Rolling to his side, she buried her face in his pillow and breathed in his intoxicating aroma. Just his smell caused her body to tingle.

Childishly, she let out a giddy squeal, the pillow muffling the sound. She broke into a fit of giggles. Her heart was so full and she felt so carefree. Those two things, full and carefree, she hadn't felt in so long. All because she had kicked her fears and apprehensions to the curb.

Their first time had been everything he had promised. It had been slow and gentle, taking their time to reach that mutual bliss. Her body had come alive to every sweet caress and gentle word. If she had known all along how completely exhilarating it was going to be, maybe she wouldn't have waited so long. She wondered if waiting had made it all the more special and fulfilling, though. By proving himself and his character first, Peyton had been able to release every fear, every dark concern.

She flopped over again, back onto her back and stared up at the ceiling. She felt physically exhausted and her body was stiff, muscles sore. She twisted and stretched, trying to work some of the kinks out. Her very center ached in the most satisfying way. She flushed at the thought of how she had had to stretch to take in all of Rusty's erection. He had been nothing but gentle and caring, in no hurry at all. He was assuredly well endowed and he most certainly knew how to use it. Momentarily, she pondered how many women had there been before her.

"Enough of this," she chastised herself out loud, blood already beginning to boil. It didn't matter. He was hers now.

Flinging the covers off, she dug her toes into the soft carpet. The smell of coffee and blueberry pancakes wafted up from the first floor. She smiled at the thought of her handsome, muscular soldier flipping pancakes. Hurriedly, she snatched her panties and his discarded t-shirt off the floor before bouncing down the stairs.

There was a pot of coffee made when she padded into the kitchen, but no sign of her boyfriend. A stack of still steaming pancakes sat on the counter next to the stove. She poured herself a mug and jumped when something wet and cold touched her bare leg. Her dog was looking up at her expectantly. Peyton giggled before filling up his food and water dishes.

As she was placing the bowls next to back door, she noticed Rusty standing outside. He was clad in only a pair of his PT shorts. The muscles in his back flexed as he stretched his arms up into the air. He turned around to lean back against the railing, his arms crossed. The position made the muscles in his chest and arms bulge. The sight made Peyton weak in the knees and her heart flutter. She was definitely ready to go another round. As if hearing her thoughts, he looked up and gave her a slow, cocky smile. She returned it, only feeling slightly embarrassed at being caught, before joining him on the deck. At least she hadn't been drooling.

"Good morning, beautiful," he greeted her before opening his arms to her. Without hesitation she went to him and snuggled into his hard body.

"Good morning to you," she murmured before placing a lingering kiss on his lips. She ran her hands down the ridges of his abdomen and let her fingers play with his waistband.

He pulled back too soon, catching her hands and kissing each before tucking them safely against his chest. She frowned, her nose wrinkling in disappointment. He chuckled and kissed the tip of her nose before warning, "You better watch it, or we'll be having a replay of last night."

Peyton felt her face heat up and she hid it in the crook of his neck. His chest rumbled with laughter. "It was amazing."

"Mhm, I'm glad you think so, too," he whispered as he nuzzled her hair. He tilted her chin, forcing her to meet his eyes. Her heart skipped at the love she saw in his expression. It always amazed her that a man as incredible as him could love someone like her. "Did you mean it?"

She knew what he was asking as soon as the words left his mouth. She had finally said she loved him after they made love the first time, in the meadow. It had seemed natural, not just because of the significance of the moment, but because she had never been more sure of something in her life. "Yes, I meant it. I'll never love anyone like I love you."

He searched her eyes as if he didn't quite believe her. She gave him a warm smile, hoping the truth shone from her eyes. Seeming satisfied with what he saw, he relaxed and pulled her back against him. His arms tightened until she thought he would crush the breath from her lungs. She didn't mind, finding comfort in his safe embrace. His coarse hairs tickled her face and she turned to place soft kisses against his chest.

"Come on, let's eat before it gets cold," he laughed, loosening his grip and steering her backwards towards the door.

"I'll take my breakfast in bed this morning," she murmered, quirking her eyebrows.

The innuendo wasn't lost on him. His slate eyes turned stormy and progression to the house stopped. His fingers tightened against her lower back, causing her to arch into him. She could feel his erection through the thin fabric of his shorts. His fingers dipped beneath her t-shirt and in one swift motion it was jerked over head, leaving her in nothing but her skimpy underwear.

A groan of approval came from deep inside his chest as his eyes skimmed her body. Peyton felt his searing gaze all the way to her toes. Strong hands cupped her butt and she was swept up to rest on Rusty's arousal. Wrapping her legs around him, she crashed her lips against his, pressing into his body. He crushed her against the door. Resting her head back, she allowed him to access her neck and chest. His hot lips and calloused hands tracked all over her body, leaving her panting in desire.

"Inside," he rasped before finding her lips once again.

Peyton felt behind her until her hand connected with the cold knob of the door. A couple tries later and she successfully turned it, causing the door to swing open. Rusty stumbled inside, kicking the door closed behind him. Hastily, he clambered through the kitchen and deposited her on the island. She immediately reached for his shorts, ripping them down to release him. His hands caught hers, holding her immobile. He thrust his tongue into her mouth and kissed her until she was breathless and dizzy.

"Say it," he breathed against her mouth, breath hot. He nipped her lip and then licked the spot before giving her a brief peck.

"I love you, Rusty," she whispered, staring into his darkened eyes.

"God," he groaned, dropping his forehead to hers. "I love you, too."

That was all it took for him to push her thong aside and thrust deeply into her. Their lips connected and Peyton began her ascent, her body coming alive from his touch. They were so connected, and it felt so incredible that her emotions got away from her. Hot tears of joy fell down her cheeks and she was in complete bliss.


"How do I look?" Sylvia asked, turning from side to side. Her eyes met Peyton's in the mirror. She raised her eyebrows, expectantly as she fluffed at her hair.

"Hot," Peyton replied, fanning herself from where she lounged on her bed. It was true, too. Sylvia's legs looked a mile long in the tight, short red and black dress.

"You promise he's gorgeous?" her friend inquired, forehead wrinkled in doubt.

"I swear!" Peyton insisted with an eye roll. She sat up from her spot when she heard footsteps coming up the stairs. "Listen, he is a little rough around the edges, but a total sweetheart."

"I just need to know that he's hot, fun, and down to f-" Peyton's eyebrows shot up and her eyes bugged out.

"Ladies," Rusty's muffled voice sounded from outside the bedroom door followed by a soft rapping.

"We're decent!" Peyton called with narrowed eyes at her friend. She just gave her an innocent smile and a shrug before inspecting herself in the mirror again. She could act like such a guy sometimes.

The door opened and Peyton's glare turned into a soft smile as the man she loved walked in. Even in his t-shirt and lounge pants he could still turn a million heads. He returned the loving gaze and sent her a wink. Peyton inwardly swooned as butterflies tickled her insides.

"You two make me sick," Sylvia teased. When Peyton finally tore her eyes away from him, she saw her best friend giving them a grimace, but there was a softness hidden behind her eyes. "Y'all should just get a room already."

Peyton blushed beneath Rusty's burning smirk. Sylvia slowly looked between the two, eyes widening. Peyton hadn't told her yet. Her best friend had been suspiciously MIA as of the last few months. She forced what she hoped was a sincere smile, but Sylvia's narrowed eyes told her she didn't believe it. Peyton turned a pointed look to Rusty, begging for help.

He cleared his throat before speaking, "Ty is downstairs waiting."

Sylvia stood a moment longer, seeming to debate on whether or not she was going to let it go. Peyton relaxed when she strutted towards the door, but not before giving her another glare.

"What was that about?" Rusty asked after she was safely out of earshot.

Peyton fell back onto the bed, knowing she was going to be in deep shit later. She flung an arm over face and moaned, "I haven't told her about know."

"Having sex?" he questioned, surprise ringing in his voice. Peyton looked to see he was frowning slightly. "Y'all talk about that?"

Suddenly, Peyton felt awfully embarrassed. She covered her face again, feeling the heat from her skin. The bed shifted with Rusty's weight and she squeezed her eyes shut, not wanting to have this conversation. His strong fingers wrapped around her arm as he pulled gently. She cracked an eye to peek at him. An amused smile played on his lips.

"Can we not"? she groaned. "Just forget I said anything."

"Oh, no," he insisted, "We're definitely talking about this."

Peyton tried to roll away, but Rusty planted a strong arm across her, preventing any hope of escape. Their eyes met. He was waiting, but she remained tight lipped. A mischievous glint appeared in his eyes. Peyton instantly knew something was up. His fingers trailed up her shirt and brushed her sides, causing her to breathe deeply. Her eyes fluttered closed. A second later his fingers dug into her sides, causing her eyes to pop open and to release a fit of giggles.

"Rusty!" she whined as she attempted to swat him away, but he held firm and refused to relent his assault. "Fine! Fine! You win!" she squealed, tears leaking from her cracked eyes.

Rusty stopped and Peyton laid a moment to catch her breath. Arms flung out and chest rapidly rising and falling, she stared into his gray eyes. Their faces were inches apart, his breath tickling her lips. She raised her head to press her lips against his and snaked an arm around his neck, pulling him down against her. His fingers immediately tangled in her hair as he propped himself with his forearms. Their mouths opened, tongues clashing. The same exhilarating thrill shot through her body as always. She was already drunk on him, mind fogging over with her lust.

"Peyton? What ar- Oh!" They broke apart, Rusty rolling away from her. She raised her head to see Sylvia and Ty standing in the doorway. Ty wore a smirk while Sylvia looked unusually embarrassed. She was momentarily speechless, but quickly regained her voice. "I didn't literally mean get a room right this second. I was calling your name!"

"S-sorry," Peyton stammered, face lighting up. She gave them a sheepish grin.

"We were just leaving," Ty answered, earning an annoyed look from Sylvia. She huffed her goodbyes and stomped down the steps. Ty shot Rusty and thumbs up and Peyton a wink before turning on his heel and following his date for the night.


"So," Peyton started, slowly, "What would you think about moving in?"

Rusty's movements stilled. He had been putting together a salad to go with their lasagna when she popped the question on him. Slowly, he turned to face her, surprise registering on his face. She chewed on her lip, suddenly regretting the question. He thought it was too soon. Inside, she panicked.

"Are you sure?"

"Well, I mean- I just thought-" she flailed for the right words. Her eyes danced around the space behind him, unable to meet his gaze.

He covered the short distance between them in two long strides. For the second time that day, she was pressed against the kitchen island. Her sensitive core moistened at the thought of their morning tryst. He moved his mouth centimeters from hers, eyes locking onto her blue ones.

"I would love to," he insisted before pressing a quick peck to her lips.

"You would?" she asked, relieved at his answer. She leaned as far back as she could to search his eyes. A small smile started on her mouth.

"Of course," he replied, moving in for another, longer kiss.

Just as things got heated, the sound of the front door caused them to jump. Peyton glanced at Rusty's watch, seeing that their best friends had only been gone 45 minutes. That couldn't be a good sign. She exchanged a worried glance with Rusty before they stepped apart and moved for the doorway.

"I cannot believe you!" Sylvia's shrill voice punctuated the quiet atmosphere. Peyton's heart sank.

"Me?! What about you, Miss Priss!" Ty shot back, eyes narrowed. His Louisiana accent became more apparent with every word.

"What happened?" Rusty intervened before anymore jabs could be thrown.

The two shared angry stares, but neither spoke. Peyton felt like she was going to burst into tears at any second. She had been so hopeful they would hit it off. Rusty glanced at her, seeing her miserable look. He moved to put an arm around her. Ty and Sylvia followed the action with their eyes. Ty dropped his eyes, looking ashamed and Sylvia softened slightly.

"He took me straight to his apartment," Sylvia accused, eyes narrowing again at the tall dark headed man.

Ty shrugged and gave them his signature cocky grin. "She seemed fine with it."

Peyton gaped at him, mouth hanging open. What had happened to the sweet man he always was to her? Was that really how he treated women?

"It would've been fine," Sylvia ground out, "if he hadn't called me Olivia."

"What?" Rusty howled, staring in disbelief. Peyton frowned.

"I thought that was her name," he grumbled, shoving his hands in the pockets of his jeans.

"I don't know who you were talking about, Peyton, but this guy is no gentleman!" Sylvia's voice raised again as she jabbed an accusing finger at him.

"She told me I had a small dick," Ty blurted, causing everyone to whip around to him. Rusty snickered, but immediately stopped when he caught Peyton's glare. He coughed and rubbed his chin, looking away.

"Sylvia?" she asked with a pointed look. She placed her hands on her hips, extremely disappointed in her friend.

Sylvia's eyes darted, avoiding her glare. She looked rightfully ashamed. "I did," she finally admitted, "but only because it's true."

"Still yo-" Peyton started, throwing her hands in the air. Her friend was impossible!

"Well, you have a small ass for a Latina, but I wasn't going to tell you that!" Ty inserted defensively, seemingly unaware of his added insult.

Sylvia gasped, holding a hand to her chest. Peyton grimaced, knowing a cursing was surely coming. Her friend did have a smaller backside and she was extremely sensitive about it. That was the ultimate no-no for a guy.

"Why don't I take you home?" Rusty interjected before Sylvia could let her fury loose.

There was a staredown between the Cajun and the Latina. Neither wanted to back down. Peyton knew that they would be perfect for one another if they could just get past their stubborn attitudes. After tonight, she didn't think that was going to be happening. The thought depressed her.

"Fine," she agreed, sullenly. She stalked across to Peyton and pulled her into a hug. "I forgive you, but you owe me big time," she whispered in her ear.

Peyton only nodded with an apologetic smile. Sylvia strolled past Ty without a second glance and slammed the front door behind her. Rusty placed a quick peck on Peyton's forehead before grabbing his keys out of the bowl next to the door and following the angry woman. Ty's shoulders were slumped, hands still in his pockets. He scuffed his shoes on the hardwood, avoiding Peyton's look. He looked like a child about to be scolded.

"My dick isn't small," was all he mumbled. Peyton broke into a side splitting laugh.