“God, Dani,” he breaths out with a slight tremor.
That right there is all it takes for me to hiccup once, twice, and a third time before a huge sob vibrates through my body.
“Baby,” he exhales. “I’m so fucking sorry, Dani. More sorry than you could ever imagine.”
It takes me a second to calm down, but when I do, I shift and turn in his arms, instantly missing the feeling of his hands against my belly.
“You thought that I . . . that Chance and I . . . Cohen, you believed the worst in seconds. I haven’t set eyes on you in months, and the second I do, you actually believed that I had been with another man—Chance of all people.”
He drops his forehead to mine and doesn’t speak for the longest time. He runs his fingertips through my hair, down my face, and over my lips. His eyes follow every movement his hand makes. He doesn’t stop until his fingers are pushed into my hair and he’s holding my head in his hand. I wait until he locks eyes with me, unwilling to back down about how his reaction made me feel.
“You have no idea what it’s been like to be without you this long, Cohen. My heart felt like it was only beating half beats. I felt like I was missing a part of myself for so long. I craved the day that you would return and I would feel whole again. I had that feeling for one night—one night, Cohen! I knew within hours of being with you that I would stop Heaven and Earth if it meant that I could just have one more second. I didn’t doubt in the power of that . . . the power of us. So please tell me how in the world you could take one look at me after all of that and think what you did.”
His eyes close tight before he opens them and looks at me, his lids filling with unshed tears.
My mouth drops in shock. I have never seen him cry. Never. He’s always been someone who holds his emotions close, but not in a way that keeps him closed off. It’s just how he’s wired. So seeing him let me in so effortlessly and letting me physically see how much this is costing him is huge.
“I can’t justify how I felt away with excuses, Dani. That is all it would be—one giant, fucking stupid excuse. I’ve been running on fumes since I got word that there was trouble brewing at home. Running on fumes that would bring me home to you, baby. I lived the knowledge that, if I just hurried up and finished my shit, you would be in my arms—where I could keep you safe. It’s been the only thing I could see for months. Months. The second I got back, I did what I needed to do so that I could get home to you. Drove through the night and into the day with one thought on my mind. You. When I walked in and saw you in Chance’s arms, I didn’t even see anything other than someone other than myself touching you when I haven’t been able to for fucking months. My jealousy got the best of me, and I can’t apologize enough for that.”
I narrow my eyes at him. “I saw your face, Cohen. You looked at me and saw my belly and thought the worst. Don’t even deny it. I got the same look from my own father, so trust me when I say that I know exactly what that looks like. I didn’t even dream that I would get that from you.”
His eyes flash, and I see the remorse dancing behind his sorrow. “I’m not proud of it, Dani. I’m fucking ashamed that I even let the thought, however brief, cross my mind. Nothing I say can make that up to you. Nothing. But I promise, baby, that I don’t think that you were unfaithful to me.”
“Yeah, Cohen, you do. Somewhere deep inside of you, you felt that.”
He shakes his head. “No, baby. I don’t. I promise you that. What I did feel was every single emotion and helpless feeling I’ve had crash into me at once. The pain of being away from you when I knew you needed me. The worry that I wouldn’t be here when you needed me. Everything that has haunted me day to day and week to week. That and the crash of adrenaline I had been riding high on since I got back stateside just got the best of me. My jealousy got the best of me and turned me into someone I’m not proud of. I’ve never felt this way towards someone, Dani. It’s all new to me, and I guarantee you I’ll fuck up again, but I’ll spend my life making it up to you. God, Dani . . . please fucking tell me that I didn’t let my temper get the best of me and ruin us.”
One tear escapes his eye, which is followed by another, and another. His breathing is picking up, and his chest is rising rapidly under where my palms are resting.
“You hurt me.”
“I know, baby. I know,” he sighs.
“I’ve been dreaming of the day you would return to me and I would feel whole again. Dreamed of it, Cohen. Every night that you’ve been away from me, I’ve pleaded with God to bring you home in one piece.”