Week 71 – Suddenly, overwhelming stillness pervaded the night.

What was an appropriate punishment?

Judah wasn’t sure.

Running wasn’t acceptable behaviour and Piper already knew that. She had chosen to break the rules knowing it would make him angry and that he would have no choice but to punish her, and it would have to be a severe enough punishment that she didn’t try something like this again.

They were a couple.

Couples lived together.

It wasn’t like he was asking Piper to do anything crazy.

He really didn’t understand what was wrong with her. He gave her everything she wanted, he was completely and utterly devoted to her.

Why couldn’t she see that?

Why couldn’t she see that she was his whole world?

Suddenly, overwhelming stillness pervaded the night.

Piper had been crying ever since he’d found her trying to squeeze out the bathroom window. He’d dragged her back inside, then through the house and upstairs to their bedroom where he had tossed her onto the bed.

Now she had fallen quiet.

Was something wrong with her?

Panic spiked through him.

Those months without her had been the worst of his life, he wasn’t going through that again.

His belt was in his hands as he’d been contemplating using it in her punishment, but he dropped it as he rushed to the bed to check on Piper.

She was lying perfectly still but her eyes were open, and they widened with fear as she saw him get closer.

Fear?

Why was she afraid of him?

“Piper?” He reached out and brushed the back of his knuckles across her cheek. “What’s wrong?”

“Don’t hurt me, please. I’m sorry. I won’t be bad again,” she whimpered. She still wasn’t moving and she held her body stiffly, as though bracing for the impact of whatever blow was coming.

Instead of hitting her he scooped her up and sat on the bed with her cradled on his lap. Her body was still tense, as though she suspected this was some sort of trick.

“I love you, Piper. Everything I’ve done to you in the past and everything that I’m going to do to you in the future is because I love you. You’re my gorgeous, hot, sexy, sweet princess, my world revolves around you.” He touched his lips to her temple, tilted her face up to drop a kiss to her lips, then he tucked her head under his chin and just held her.

Bit by bit Piper relaxed against him. “I love you too, Judah,” she whispered.

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