People We Meet on Vacation

Page 72

“Stop being impatient,” he teases. “I’ve waited twelve years. I want this to last.”

A shiver races down my spine, and I arch into him. Finally, he crawls up the length of me, hands tangling in my hair, roaming over my skin, and he slowly pushes into me. We find our rhythm together, and it all feels so good, so electric, so right that I can’t believe all the time we wasted not doing this. Twelve years of subpar lovemaking when all along, this was how it was supposed to be.

“God, how are you so good at this,” I say, and his laugh grates against my ear as he kisses behind it.

“Because I know you,” he says tenderly, “and I remember what you sound like when you like something.”

Everything in me pulls taut in waves. Every move of his hands, every thrust threatens to unravel me.

“I could have sex with you until I die,” I pant.

“Good,” he says, and he moves a little faster, harder, the intense pleasure of it making me buck and swear and move to match him.

“I love you,” I hiss, by accident. I think I meant to say I love having sex with you or I love your amazing body, or maybe I did mean to say I love you, the same way I always say it to him when he does something thoughtful, but this is a little bit different because we’re having sex, and my face goes hot and I’m not sure how to fix it, but then Alex just sits up and draws me into his lap, holding me close as he pushes into me again slow, deep, hard, and says, “I love you too.”

And all at once, my chest loosens, my stomach unwinds, and any embarrassment and fear evaporates. There’s nothing left but Alex.

Alex’s rough hands moving gently through my hair.

Alex’s wide back rippling under my fingers.

Alex’s sharp hips working slowly, purposefully against mine.

Alex’s sweat and skin and raindrops on my tongue.

His perfect arms holding on to me, keeping me there, against him, as we rock and clutch.

His sensual lips tugging at my mouth, coaxing it open to taste me as we draw together and apart, finding new ways to touch and kiss each other every time we reunite.

He kisses my jaw, my throat, my shoulder, his tongue hot and careful against my skin. I touch and taste every hard line and soft curve of him I can get to and he shivers under my hands, my mouth.

He lies back and draws me on top of him, and this is the best yet, because I can see so much of him, get to every place I want.

“Alex Nilsen,” I say breathlessly. “You are the hottest man alive.”

He laughs, just as breathlessly, and kisses the side of my neck. “And you love me.”

My stomach flutters. “I love you,” I murmur, this time on purpose.

“I love you so much, Poppy,” he says, and somehow, just the sound of his voice tips me over the edge and I’m coming undone. We are, together.

And I don’t know what we’ve done, what chain reaction we might have just triggered, how this will all pan out, but right then I can’t think about anything else but the crush of love looping between us.


This Summer

AFTERWARD, WE LIE on the plastic-strewn balcony, curled together and soaked to the bone, though already the storm is breaking up, the heat pushing in to burn the moisture off our skin.

“A long time ago you told me that outdoor sex wasn’t all it was cracked up to be,” I say, and Alex gives a hoarse laugh, his hand smoothing my hair.

“I hadn’t had outdoor sex with you,” he says.

“That was amazing,” I say. “I mean, for me. It’s never been like that for me before.”

He props himself up and looks down at me. “It’s never been like that for me either.”

I turn my face into his skin and kiss his rib cage. “Just making sure.”

After a few seconds, he says, “I want to do it again.”

“Me too,” I say. “I think we should.”

“Just making sure,” he parrots. I draw lazy patterns over his chest, and the arm he has slung low across my back squeezes tight. “We really can’t stay here tonight.”

I sigh. “I know. I just don’t want to move. Ever again.”

He flips my hair behind my shoulder, then kisses the skin left exposed there.

“Do you think that would’ve happened if Nikolai’s AC hadn’t gone out?” I ask.

Now Alex leans to kiss me right over the heart, sending chills down my stomach and up my legs that his fingers trace over. “That would’ve happened if Nikolai had never been born. It just might not have happened on this balcony.”

I sit up and swing one knee over his waist, settling onto his lap. “I’m glad it did.”

His hands run up my thighs, and heat gathers anew between my legs.

That’s when we hear the pounding on the door.


“Hold on a sec!” I yell, and scramble off Alex, snatching the wet T-shirt up.

“Shit,” Alex says, searching for his swim trunks in the jumble of plastic sheeting.

I find the wad of black fabric and shove it toward him, then pull the hem of my shirt down over my thighs just as the door’s starting to unlock. “Heyyyyy, Nikolai!” I call way too loudly, heading him off before he can see either Literally Naked Alex or the shredded plastic.

Nikolai is short and balding, dressed in an entirely maroon outfit—seventies-style golf shirt, pleated pants, loafers. He sticks one meaty hand out. “You must be Poppy.”

“Yes, hi.” I shake his hand and hold intense eye contact, hoping to give Alex a chance to discreetly get dressed out on the mostly dark balcony.

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