“Baby girl, I love you, but you’re not always what I need to get by.”
“Cutting yourself and banging everyone who’ll let you isn’t getting you by, either. They certainly don’t help you feel good about yourself.”
“Something has to.”
I poured curry over the rice and passed the bowl over along with a spoon. “Taking care of yourself will do it. Trusting the people you love will help, too. Being honest with yourself and with them. Sounds simple, but we both know it’s not. Still, it’s the only way, Cary.”
He flashed me a quick, sad smile and took the food I handed him. “I’m scared.”
“There,” I said softly, returning his smile. “That was honest. Would it help if I’m with you when you talk to Trey?”
“Yeah. I’ll feel like a pu**y for not doing it alone, but yeah, it’d help.”
“Then I’ll be there.”
Cary caught me in a hug from behind, his cheek resting against my shoulder. “You really are always there for me. I love you for that.”
Reaching back, I ran my fingers through his hair. “I love you, too.”
THE comforter lifted away from my skin, waking me, and then the mattress shifted under the weight of the man sliding into my bed.
Eyes closed, I turned to him. Breathing deep, I inhaled the scent of his skin. My hands found the cool strength of his body, slid over him, pulled him close to warm him.
He took my mouth in a deep, urgent kiss. The shock of his hunger woke me the rest of the way; the greed in his touch sent my heart racing. He slid over me, then down, his mouth searing my ni**les, then my belly, then my sex.
I gasped and arched. He tongued my cl*t with demanding focus, driving me higher, his hands pinning my h*ps as I writhed under the lash of his tongue.
I came hard, crying out. He wiped his lips on my inner thigh and rose, a seductive looming shadow in the dark of night. He mounted me, thrust hard inside me.
Over my moan, I heard him growl my name as if the pleasure of taking me were too great to bear. I gripped his waist; he gripped the sheets. His h*ps surged and rolled, stroking that magnificent penis deep and tirelessly inside me.
When I woke again the sun was up, and the place beside me in the bed was cold and empty.
I WAS FIXING a cup of coffee for Eva the next morning when my smartphone started ringing. Leaving the half-and-half on the counter, I crossed to the bar stool where I’d hung my coat and pulled my phone out of the pocket.
Steeling myself, I answered, “Good morning, Mother.”
“Gideon. I’m sorry to cancel on such short notice”—she took a shaky breath—“but I won’t be able to make lunch this afternoon.”
I returned to my coffee, knowing I’d need it for the long day ahead. “That’s fine.”
“I’m sure you’re relieved,” she said bitterly.
I took a drink, wishing it were something stronger though it was barely past eight. “Don’t. If I didn’t want to have lunch with you, I would’ve canceled.”
She was quiet a minute, then asked, “Have you seen Chris lately?”
I took another sip, my gaze on the hallway as I waited for Eva. “I saw him Tuesday.”
“That long ago?” There was a note of fear in her voice. It gave me no pleasure to hear it.
Eva rushed into the living room in bare feet, her body encased in a pale beige sheath dress that managed to be professional while still hugging all her curves. I’d picked it out for her knowing the color would showcase the color of her skin and the paleness of her hair.
Pleasure at the sight of her slid through my veins like the liquor I’d wished were in my coffee. She could do that to me, intoxicate and captivate me.
“I have to go,” I said. “I’ll call you later.”
“You never do.”
I set my mug down to pick up Eva’s. “I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it.”
Ending the call, I shoved the phone in my pocket and handed the coffee to my wife. “You look stunning,” I murmured, bending to press a kiss to her cheek.
“For a man who claims not to know a damn thing about women, you sure know how to dress one,” she said, eyeing me over the lip of her mug as she took a sip.
A low moan of pleasure escaped her as she swallowed, a sound very similar to the one she made when I slid my c**k inside her. Coffee, I’d learned, was one of Eva’s addictions.
“I’ve made mistakes, but I’m learning.” I leaned back against the counter and pulled her between my spread legs. Had she noticed one less Vera Wang dress in the closet? I’d removed it from her wardrobe after realizing just how much of her luscious tits it exposed.
She held the mug up. “Thank you for this.”
“My pleasure.” I brushed my fingertips across her cheek. “I have to talk to you about something.”
“Oh? What’s up, ace?”
“Do you still have a Google alert on me?”
She looked into her mug. “Is this when I should plead the Fifth?”
“That won’t be necessary.” I waited until she looked up at me again. “Corinne has sold a book about our time together.”
“What?” Her eyes darkened from pale gray to slate.
I cupped her nape and stroked over her racing pulse with my thumb. “From what I read in the press release, she kept a diary during that time. She’s also sharing personal photos.”