“I’m coming. Leo,” she said shakily, her back stiffening against his front. “I’m…oh…”
He kept his bruising pace, burrowing his face into the crook of her neck and breathing, breathing there, waiting for her climax to hit, ready to beg for it so he could stop holding back his own. A wrenched sob fell from her mouth, followed by the wet pulsing of her pussy. It pulled like a trigger, the delicate muscles tightening around him in waves—and he blew. No stopping it when feeling her come was the hottest turn on of all time, her thighs shuddering against him, his name leaving her in sexy whimpers.
“Oh my God,” he said through his teeth, hissing at the straining in his stomach and balls, the intensity of the pleasure/pain that came before relief. He tightened his bear hug around her and thrust several more times, vision depleted, nothing existing or mattering except for the wet, delicate clench of her, the triumph of bottoming out, leaving no part of her untouched, his seed leaving him in hot bursts. “Fuck. Reese. Nothing feels like you.”
“You either, Leo,” she sobbed brokenly.
Several moments later, he finally came down the other side of his climax and gathered her close, breathing into her hair until he regained his equilibrium. Keeping one arm wrapped around Reese lest she disappear, he reached down and pulled her panties and skirt back into place, sliding his lips up her nape and kissing her hairline, reveling in her sigh of contentment. Wanting to hear it every day of his life. A loud group of people walking past the building brought Leo back to reality, however, and finally he let her go, disposing of the condom in a nearby wastebasket and zipping back into his jeans.
He turned back around to find Reese flushed and glassy eyed, slightly off balance on her usually nimble feet. His heart flipped like a pancake in his chest. Not holding her through the night after sharing a physical experience that mind-blowing…it felt wrong and he hated it. But he forced himself not to push. “I’ll let you get some sleep,” he said gruffly, reaching out to cup her cheek. When she leaned into his touch, they each moved closer until her chest met his stomach and he couldn’t help but add, “Are you going to call me tomorrow, Reese?”
Her eyelashes fluttered, a soft expulsion of air leaving her mouth. “Hell yeah I am.” She went up on tiptoes and kissed his mouth, good and thoroughly, her fingers curling in the material of the jacket covering his shoulders. Just when he started to get hard again, she broke away and sauntered around him to the door, pulling a key from her coat pocket and sliding it into the lock of the second door that led to the apartments. “Good night, Leo.”
“Night, sweetheart,” he said, battling the urge to reach out and draw her back for another kiss, possibly more. “Good luck tomorrow.”
She wet her lips, nodded in thanks, and disappeared into the building. And Leo walked home counting the minutes until he saw Reese again, staunchly ignoring the intuitive ripple in his gut telling him that he was missing a piece of her puzzle.
It would come. All in good time.
He had no way of knowing his time with Reese was running out.
On Sunday morning, the night after the single greatest date of her life, Reese shouldered her duffel bag and limped down Forty-first. She’d forgotten to bandage her blisters before the workshop and paid the price dearly. A cold wind blew through her sweaty hair, so she pulled up her hood to prevent getting sick. Up ahead, a group of fellow dancers skipped along merrily, stopping every so often to execute one of the moves they’d done in the class this morning, laughing, trying to outdo one another.
Cori waved at Reese to catch up with them, but she shook her head. Took her phone out of her pocket and pointed at it, signaling that she needed to make a phone call. A week into her Broadway quest and she’d still had no luck. More than anything, Reese had wanted to wait to call her mother until she could share good news, but none had been forthcoming—on the dancing front, anyway—and a catch-up conversation with her mother couldn’t be put off any longer.
She tapped the phone against her thigh, took a deep breath and pulled up her contacts and dialed. In true Lorna fashion, she answered on the first ring. “Hello, my darling girl!”
“Hey, Mom.” Reese could picture her mother sitting in bed as she usually did on Sunday mornings, the Today show on in the background while she planned classes for the week in her notebook. “It’s nine-thirty, so you’re trying to talk yourself out of a third cup of coffee, huh? Just have it. You never win that battle.”
“My willpower is weak.” Lorna chuckled, and Reese heard the sound of her closing the notebook, settling into the bedding for a chat. A wave of homesickness caught her around the throat. She’d have given anything in that moment to lay her head in Lorna’s lap and zone out to the news. To eventually plod downstairs together in their slippers and make pancakes. Instead, she had bloody feet, seven days left to become gainfully employed…and a man she couldn’t stop thinking about…who believed her to be someone else. A successful someone. “Well?” Lorna prompted. “How are things going?”
Reese swallowed and straightened her spine. “I just came from a workshop put on by one of the choreographers of Rained Out.”
“Oh, Reese. Wow. How was it?”
“Hard.” Her rush of breath was visible in the February air. “Really hard. But satisfying.”
A beat passed. “And the open calls you’ve been going on?”
“Nothing yet,” Reese said quickly, doing her best to sound upbeat. “I made it through the first couple rounds of one last week. It was a great, you know…experience. It just wasn’t the right fit. But I have a slew of auditions coming up this week. I feel really good about them.”
“Fabulous, honey.” There was a stretch of silence. “Are you doing okay for money? If you think you’ll need a little longer, I can see about adding some classes to the schedule at Cedar-Boogie, asking the parents to pay in advance. Or—”
“No. No, Mom. Don’t do that.” She’d lost count of how many similar sacrifices her mother had made in the past to keep Reese dancing. To be able to afford shoes and costumes and hotel rooms for competitions. This was it. No more leaning on Lorna. The pressure of making it was solely on her shoulders now. “No, I’ve got a week. One more week.”