Killing the call, I dropped the phone on the bed and fumbled for the light. I ran to my duffel bag, digging out the butter yellow maxi dress I’d shoved in there because it was easy to pack and comfortable to wear.
Now that I was decided on seeing Gideon, I was anxious to get to him, but I had my vanity, too. I took the time to brush out my hair and put a little makeup on. I didn’t want him to see me after four days and wonder why he was so gone over me.
My phone buzzed a notification of a text and I hurried over to it, seeing a note from Raúl: I’m out front with the car.
A little zing went through me. Gideon was anxious to see me, too. Still, he never missed a trick.
I shoved my phone into my purse, my feet into sandals, and hurried out to the elevator.
GIDEON was waiting on the street when Raúl pulled up to the curb. Many of the storefronts on Broadway were shuttered and dark, although the street itself remained well lit. My husband stood within the light cast by the café’s awning, his hands shoved into the pockets of his dark jeans and a Yankees ball cap tugged low over his brow.
He could’ve been any young man out late at night. Clearly attractive by the way his hard body filled his clothes and the confidence in the way he carried himself. I would’ve given him a second and third look. He wasn’t as intimidating outside the three-piece suits he wore so well, but he was still dark and dangerous enough to hold me back from the lighthearted flirting most devastatingly handsome men inspired.
In jeans or Fioravanti, Gideon Cross was not a man to be taken lightly.
He was at the car almost before Raúl pulled to a complete stop, yanking the door open and then freezing in place, staring at me with such scorching hunger and possessiveness that I found it hard to breathe.
I swallowed past the lump in my throat, my equally ravenous gaze sliding all over him. He was unbelievably more beautiful, the expertly sculpted planes of his face honed further by his torment. How had I lived the past few days without seeing that face?
He held his hand out to me and I reached for it, my own trembling in anticipation of his touch. The brush of his skin against mine sent tingles of awareness racing through me, my bruised heart surging with life at being in contact with him again.
He helped me out, then pushed the door closed, rapping twice on the roof to send Raúl away. As the Benz left us, we stood barely a foot apart, the air crackling with tension between us. A taxi raced by, honking its horn as another car turned onto Broadway without looking. The harsh sound jolted Gideon and me both.
He took a step toward me, his eyes dark and hot beneath the brim of his hat. “I’m going to kiss you,” he said roughly.
Then he cupped my jaw and tilted his head, fitting his mouth over mine. His lips, so soft and firm and dry, pressed mine open. His tongue slid deep and rubbed, withdrew, slid deep again. He groaned as if he were in the greatest pain. Or pleasure. For me, it was both. The hot stroke of his tongue into my mouth was like a sweet, slow f**king. Smoothly rhythmic, skilled, with just the perfect tease of leashed passion.
I moaned as euphoria sparkled through me like champagne, the ground shifting beneath my feet so that I clung to him for balance, my hands wrapping around his wrists.
I whimpered in protest when he pulled away, my lips feeling achy and swollen, my sex wet with desire.
“You’ll make me come,” he murmured, unable to resist brushing his lips over mine one last time. “I’m right there.”
“I don’t care.”
His mouth curved and chased the shadows away. “The next time I come will be inside you.”
I sucked in a shaky breath at the thought. I wanted that, and yet I knew it would be too soon now. That we’d fall too easily back into the unhealthy pattern we had established. “Gideon . . .”
His smile turned rueful. “Guess we’ll settle for coffee and a croissant for now.”
I loved him so much in that moment. Impulsively, I pulled off his hat and gave him a great big smacking kiss on the mouth.
“God,” he breathed, his gaze so tender it made me feel like crying again. “I’ve missed you so damn much.”
I slid the hat back on his head and grabbed his hand, leading him around the little metal fences cordoning off an outside seating area from the pedestrian traffic. We entered the café and settled at a table by the window, Gideon on one side and me on the other. But we didn’t stop holding hands, our fingers stroking and rubbing, each of us touching the other’s wedding bands.
We ordered when the server walked over with the menus, then turned our attention back to each other.
“I’m not even hungry,” I told him.
“Not for food, anyway,” he rejoined.
I shot him a mock glare that made him smile. Then I told him about the retention offer Waters Field & Leaman had made Mark.
It seemed wrong to talk about something so practical, so mundane, when my heart was giddy with love and relief, but we had to keep talking. Reconnecting wasn’t enough; I wanted a full and total reconciliation. I wanted to move into the renovated penthouse with him, start our life together. To do that, we had to keep communicating about the things we’d spent our relationship avoiding.
Gideon nodded grimly when I finished. “I’m not surprised. An account like that should be handled by one of the partners. Mark’s good, but he’s a junior manager. LanCorp would’ve had to push to get him. And you. The request is unusual enough to give the partners cause for concern.”