His voice dropped into a seductive purr. “I’m going to slide my hand between your thighs and slip my fingers into your soft, sweet cunt.”
“Gideon!” Scandalized, I glanced at him and found him watching me with a feral grin and lustful eyes.
“All through dinner, angel,” he murmured, nuzzling against my temple, “I’m going to be finger-fucking you slow and easy, working that tight perfect * of yours until you come for me. Again and again …”
“Oh my God.” His low, rough voice was pure sin and sex. I shivered just from that, but his dirty talk had me sagging into my chair. “What’s gotten into you?”
He pressed a quick, hard kiss against my cheek and straightened. “You were all knotted up. Now, you’re not.”
If we’d been totally alone, I would’ve smacked him. I told him so.
“You love me,” he shot back, turning to glance around the ballroom as servers began to bring out the salads.
He focused on me again. “Yes. Madly.”
No point in arguing. He was right.
We were just being served dessert, a dome of chocolate cake that looked delicious, when a woman in a conservative navy gown came over to our table and crouched between Gideon and me.
“We’re going to begin the program in about fifteen minutes,” she said. “Glen’s going to speak for a few minutes, then we’ll have you come up.”
He nodded. “No problem. I’m ready whenever you are.”
She smiled and I could tell she was a little flustered being that close to him. She had to be at least his mother’s age, but then women of all ages appreciated a gorgeous man.
“Eva.” Ireland leaned toward me. “You want to take a break before he goes up?”
I understood what she meant. “Of course.”
Gideon and Chris pushed back from the table and pulled out our chairs. Since I’d lost all my lip gloss while eating and drinking, I pressed a kiss to my husband’s jaw.
“I can’t wait to hear you talk,” I told him, my smile wide with anticipation.
He shook his head. “The things that turn you on.”
“You love me.”
“I do. Madly.”
Following Ireland, I weaved through the tables, passing directly by the Lucases. They watched us, looking cozy, with Dr. Terrence Lucas’s arm slung around his wife’s shoulders. Anne caught my gaze and flashed a sharp smile that made my skin crawl.
I reached up and smoothed my middle finger over my brow in a subtle but obvious fuck you.
Ireland and I had moved a few tables farther when she abruptly stopped in front of me.
I bumped into her back. “Sorry.”
When she didn’t continue forward, I angled around her to see what was blocking our way. “What’s going on?”
She turned to look at me. Her eyes were bright with tears. “It’s Rick,” she said, her voice wavering.
“Who?” My brain scrambled to catch up. She looked so hurt. And lost. The connection suddenly clicked. “Your boyfriend?”
She turned her head forward again and I tried to track her attention, searching the packed tables for … someone. “Where? What does he look like?”
“Right there.” She gave a hard jerk of her chin and I spotted tears running down her face. “With the blonde in the red dress.”
Where? I found a few possibilities, then zeroed in on the youngest couple. One look at him and I knew the type. I used to fall for them, too. Confident, sexually experienced, all the right lines. I felt a bit sick thinking about how many guys like that I’d once let use me.
Then I got pissed. Rick was giving the girl plastered to his side a cocky, sexy smile. They certainly weren’t just friends. Not when they were both eye-fucking each other.
I caught Ireland by the elbow and guided her forward. “Keep walking.”
We got to the ladies’ room. The sudden quiet when we stepped inside made it possible to hear her sobbing. I pulled her aside in the vanity area, thankful we were the only ones there, and handed her some tissues I pulled out of the box on the counter.
“He told me he had to work tonight,” she said. “That’s why I said yes when Dad asked me if I wanted to come.”
“This is the guy who won’t tell his parents about you because of Gideon’s father?”
She nodded. “They’re out there. Sitting with him.”
It was coming back to me, that conversation we’d had during the launch of the Six-Ninths music video. Rick’s grandparents had lost a chunk of their wealth to Geoffrey Cross’s Ponzi scheme. They thought it was “convenient” that Gideon was one of the wealthiest men in the world now, even though it was evident to anyone who looked that he’d built his empire with his own hard work and capital.
But then, Rick was probably just making excuses to juggle multiple dates. After all, his parents were here and Gideon was the star attraction. Made me question whether the animosity he’d told her about was bullshit.
“He told me he’d broken up with her months ago!” she cried.
Sniffling, she nodded again. “I just saw him last night. He didn’t say anything about getting the night off and coming here.”