Home > Verity(15)

Author: Colleen Hoover

When I hear him call me that, my goodnight gets stuck in my throat. I release a flicker of a smile and then walk out of the kitchen, in a hurry to get back to Verity’s office.

The more time I spend in Jeremy’s presence, the more eager I am to dive back into that manuscript and get to know him even better.

I grab it from the couch, turn off the lights in Verity’s office, and take the manuscript to the bedroom with me. There isn’t a lock on the door, so I push a wooden chest from the foot of the bed all the way to the door, blocking it off.

I’m exhausted after traveling the entire day, and I still need to shower, but I can fit in at least one more chapter before I sleep.

I have to.

So Be It

I could write entire novels about the first two years we dated, but they wouldn’t sell. There wasn’t enough drama between Jeremy and me. Hardly any fighting at all. No tragedies to write about. Just two years of saccharine love and adoration between the two of us.

I. Was. Taken. By. Him.

Addicted to him.

I’m not sure it was healthy—how codependent I was. Still am, really. But when a person finds someone who makes all the negativity in their lives disappear, it’s hard not to feed off that person. I fed off Jeremy in order to keep my soul alive. It was starving and shriveled before I met him, but being in his presence nourished me. Sometimes I felt if I didn’t have him, I couldn’t function.

We had been dating almost two years when he was temporarily transferred to Los Angeles. We had recently moved in together, unofficially. I say unofficially because there was a point when I just stopped going back to my place. Stopped paying the bills, the rent. It wasn’t until two months after I’d completely moved out that Jeremy found out I didn’t have my own apartment anymore.

He had suggested I move in with him one night, during sex. He does that sometimes. Makes huge decisions about our lives together while he’s fucking me.

“Move in with me,” he said, thrusting slowly into me. He lowered his mouth to mine. “Break your lease.”

“I can’t,” I whispered.

He stopped moving and pulled back to look down on me. “Why not?”

I lowered my hands to his ass and made him start moving again. “Because I broke my lease two months ago.”

He stilled inside me, staring down at me with those intense green eyes and lashes so black, I expected to taste licorice when I kissed them. “We already live together?” he asked.

I nodded, but realized he wasn’t reacting the way I’d hoped he’d react. He seemed blindsided.

I needed to fix things—to take over and sidetrack him. Make him realize it wasn’t that big of a deal. “I thought I told you.”

He pulled out of me, and it felt like a punishment. “You did not tell me we’re living together. That’s something I would have remembered.”

I sat up and positioned myself so that I was on my knees right in front of him, face to face with him. I ran my fingernails across both sides of his jaw and brought my mouth close to his. “Jeremy,” I whispered. “I haven’t spent a night away from you in six months. We’ve lived together for a while now.” I grabbed his shoulders and then pushed him onto his back. His head met the pillow, and I wanted to lie on top of him and kiss him, but he seemed a little angry with me. Like he wanted to talk about this subject I considered closed.

I didn’t want to talk anymore. I just wanted him to make me come.

So, I straddled his face and lowered myself onto his tongue. When I felt his hands grip my ass, pulling me closer to his mouth, my head rolled back for a delicious moment. This is why I moved in with you, Jeremy.

I leaned forward, gripped his headboard, and then bit down on it, stifling my screams.

And that was that.

I was happier than I’d ever been until he was transferred. Sure, it was only temporary, but you can’t take away someone’s only means of survival and expect them to function on their own.

That’s how I felt, anyway—like the only nourishment for my soul had been ripped from me. Sure, I got small bouts of replenishment when he’d call me or FaceTime me, but those nights alone in our bed were grueling.

Sometimes, I would straddle my pillow and bite down on the headboard while I touched myself, pretending he was beneath me. But then, after I came, I’d fall back onto an empty bed and stare up at the ceiling, wondering how I’d survived all the years of my life that he hadn’t been a part of.

Those were thoughts I couldn’t admit to him, of course. I might have been obsessed with him, but a woman knows if she wants to keep a man forever, she has to act like she could get over him in a day.

And that is when I became a writer.

My days were filled with thoughts of Jeremy, and if I didn’t figure out how to fill them with thoughts of something else until he returned, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to hide how much his absence gutted me. I created a fictional Jeremy and called him Lane. When I was missing Jeremy, I’d write a chapter about Lane. My life over those next few months became less about Jeremy and more about my character. Who was, in a sense, still Jeremy. But writing about it instead of obsessing about it felt more productive.

I wrote an entire novel in the few months he was gone. When he showed up at our front door to surprise me with his return home, I had just finished editing the final page.

It was kismet.

I congratulated him with a blowjob. It was the first time I swallowed. That’s how happy I was to see him.

I acted like a lady after I swallowed, smiling up at him. He was still standing by the front door, fully clothed, other than the jeans that were now down to his knees. I stood up and kissed him on the cheek and said, “Be right back.”

When I got to the bathroom, I locked the door, turned on the water in the sink, and then puked in the toilet. When I let him come in my mouth, I had no idea how much there would be. How long I would have to continue swallowing. Keeping my composure was tough while his dick was in my throat, drowning me.

I brushed my teeth and then returned to the bedroom, where I found him sitting at my desk. He had a couple of pages of my manuscript in his hands.

“Did you write this?” he asked, spinning in my desk chair to face me.

“Yes, but I don’t want you to read it.” I could feel my palms beginning to sweat, so I wiped them across my stomach and walked toward him. He stood up as I launched myself forward to snatch the pages from him. He held them over his head, too high for me to reach.

“Why can’t I read it?”

I jumped, trying to pull his arm down so I could reach the pages. “It needs work.”

“That’s fine,” he said, backing up a step. “But I still want to read it.”

“I don’t want you to read it.”

He gathered the rest of the manuscript and tucked it to his chest. He was going to read it, and all I could think about was stopping him. I didn’t know if it was any good, and I was scared—terrified—that it would make him love me less if he thought I was a bad writer. I dove across the bed to try and reach him faster, but he slipped into my bathroom and locked the door.

I beat on it.

“Jeremy!” I yelled.

No answer.

He ignored more for ten minutes as I tried to pry open the door with a credit card. A bobby pin. Promises of another blowjob.

Fifteen more minutes went by before he made a noise.


I was on the floor at this point, my back pressed against the bathroom door. “What?”

“It’s good.”

I didn’t respond.

“Really good. I am so proud of you.”

I smiled.

It was my first taste of what it felt like for a reader to enjoy what I had created for them. That one comment—that sweet, simple comment—made me want him to finish reading it. I left him alone after that. I went to our bed, crawled under the covers, and fell asleep with a smile on my face.

He woke me up two hours later. His lips were skimming my shoulder, his fingers tracing an invisible line down my waist, over my hip. He was behind me, curved around me, molded to me. I had missed him so much.

“Are you awake?” he whispered.

I made a soft moaning sound to let him know I was.

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