I found myself pleasantly aroused by watching Eva handle the powerful SUV. Or maybe it was that she was chastising me, challenging me.
“Are you listening to me?” she demanded.
“Not really, angel. And before you get more riled, it’s entirely your fault. You’re sitting there looking hot and sexy, and I’m distracted.”
Her hand whipped out and smacked my thigh. “Seriously? Stop cracking jokes!”
“I’m not kidding. Eva . . . you want me to share, so you can support me. I get it. I’m working on it.”
“Not hard enough apparently.”
“I’m not going to share things that aggravate you unnecessarily. There’s no point.”
“We have to be straight with each other, Gideon. Not just occasionally, but all the time.”
“Really? I don’t expect the same from you. For example, feel free to keep all the unflattering comments your father and Cary make about me to yourself.”
Her lips pursed. She chewed on that for a bit, then, “Using that logic, wouldn’t it be okay for me to not say anything about Brett?”
“No. Kline impacts our relationship. My mother does not.”
“I’m right about this,” I said evenly.
“Are you telling me that your mom talking crap about me doesn’t bother you?”
“I don’t like it. That said, it doesn’t change how I feel about you or her. And telling you won’t change your feelings about her, either. Since the result is the same either way, I choose the path of least disruption.”
“You’re thinking like a guy.”
“I should hope so.” I reached over and brushed the hair off her shoulder. “Don’t let her cause trouble between us, angel. She’s not worth it.”
Eva glanced at me. “You’re pretending that what your mom says and does has no effect on you, but I know that’s not true.”
I debated denying it, just to shut down the topic, but my wife saw everything I’d rather hide. “I don’t let it affect me.”
“But it does. It hurts and you push it into that place where you push everything you don’t want to deal with.”
“Don’t analyze me,” I said tightly.
Her hand touched my thigh. “I love you. I want to stop the pain.”
“You already have.” I gripped her hand. “You’ve given me everything she took away. Don’t let her take any more.”
With her eyes on the winding road, Eva lifted our joined hands and kissed my wedding band. “Point taken.”
She gave me a quick smile that told me she was done—for now—and drove us home.
I DARED ANYONE to come up with a more awe-inspiring sight than Gideon Cross taking a shower.
It amazed me that he could be so matter-of-fact about running his hands over all that taut, tanned skin and those perfectly defined slabs of muscle. Through the misted glass of my bathroom shower, I watched the rivulets of soapy water run down the hard ridges of his abdomen and the length of his strong legs. His body was a work of art, a machine he kept in prime shape. I loved it. Loved looking at it, touching it, tasting it.
Reaching out, he swiped a hand through the condensation, revealing that breathtaking face. One darkly winged brow arched in silent query.
“Just enjoying the show,” I explained. The scent of his soap teased senses that had become trained to recognize the fragrance as belonging to my mate. The man who stirred and pleasured my body to delirium.
I licked my lips when he casually stroked the heavy length of his cock. He’d once told me he used to masturbate every time he took a shower, a release he had considered as routine as brushing his teeth. I could see why, knowing how powerful his sexual appetite was. I would never forget the way he’d looked when he had jacked off in the shower for me, so virile and potent and hungry for orgasm.
Since he’d met me, he didn’t pleasure himself anymore. Not because he couldn’t still satisfy me if he did, and not because I took care of him enough to make the effort redundant. For both of us, being ready for sex with each other was never a problem, because the hunger we felt was deeper than physical.
Gideon teased me by saying he saved himself to satisfy my insatiability, but I saw the self-restraint for what it was—he gave me the right to his pleasure. It was mine and mine alone. He had none without me, which was a tremendous gift. Especially in light of his past, when sexual release had been used as a weapon against him.
“It’s an interactive exhibition,” he said, his eyes warm with amusement. “Join me.”
“You’re an animal.” My thighs were wet with his se**n beneath my robe, since I was the lucky girl who woke up to his desire.
“Only for you.”
“Ooh, right answer.”
He smirked. His c**k lengthened. “You should reward me.”
I moved away from the threshold and stepped closer. “How would you suggest I do that?”
“Any way you like.”
That was a gift, too. Gideon rarely relinquished control, and then only to me.
“I don’t have enough time to do you justice, ace. I’d hate to cut things short when they’re just getting interesting.” I set my hand on the glass. “How about we revisit after my workout tonight? You, me, and whatever I want to do to you?”
He shifted and faced me head on, his hand lifting to press against mine through the glass. His gaze slid over my face in a heated caress that was damn near tangible. His face was impassive, a strikingly handsome mask that revealed nothing. But his eyes . . . those stunning blue depths . . . they exposed tenderness and love and vulnerability.