I turned to confront him. His face tightened once he saw me. A woman on the verge of a breakdown. He rubbed my back, reassuring me for something he had no idea about. He gazed at me, waiting for my explanation. It was time. I owed him this.
“I wasn’t brave enough for you.” I could be brave now. He gave me courage.
“What?” He brushed hair off my face. “I don’t understand. You fight people in court all the time. Everything about you is brave.”
I sighed. “I hide behind my law books, precedent, and my ability to form arguments.”
He smiled. “What are you talking about?”
“You asked me out two years ago, and I was too scared to go. I wasn’t brave enough. I wanted to.”
“You‘re here now.”
That was true, but I debated five different reasons why I shouldn’t go. Me breaking down into a sobbing puddle was one of them. I never let anyone see this version of myself.
“You painted all those pictures of me. Why?” I found his eyes, locked in on his answer as if I had him on the witness stand.
His lips turned upward, eyes crinkling with a growing attractive smile. “You’re beautiful, strong, and funny.” His face softened. “I think about you, often.”
I thought about him too. When I came into town, I couldn’t wait to get to the Willard to see him. I reached up and touched his cheek. He closed his eyes and leaned into my hand.
He grasped the back of my neck and pulled me into his embrace, his lips brushing mine. My heart thudded rhythmically, in sync with his. He looked down at me, eyes aflame with desire.
“Stay with me tonight,” he whispered between kisses.
I hadn’t had sex since… I stopped my train of thought. That’s behind me. Jordan is a good person and I don’t have to fall in love with him. It’s just sex. Probably amazing sex. I wanted sex.
“Yes,” I breathed.
His muscles flexed through his shirt. My hands moved up to his shoulders, slipping the jacket off. It collapsed to the floor in a heap. Broad shoulders curled around me, and a fire rose in my belly as his hands slipped around my back.
“Come on,” he murmured and pulled me into the bedroom behind the kitchen. Assertive. I liked assertive. He cupped my face again, lips kissing mine. Dragging along my jaw, down my neck and back up.
“Yes?” he whispered in my ear and then kissed in that spot I’d forgotten about. Shivers ran down my back.
“It’s been a while since I’ve done this.”
He pulled back from kissing my neck and looked at me. His eyes were pure heat and intensity as he scanned my face.
“Are you okay?”
“Absolutely,” I breathed. “I just don’t want your expectations to be too high.”
He kissed me, his hand lingering around my lower back, his lips finding every piece of exposed skin as I pulled his shirt off.
“You’ve already blown away any expectations I thought would be possible.” he whispered, nuzzling along my neck.
My brain was going to explode. I needed him to be naked next to me. I trailed kisses with my tongue and lips along his chest. My hands tracing each of his eight—yes, eight tightly sculpted abs. They were like hard ripples of rock. I unbuckled his belt, and he groaned as he kissed me. He pulled the dress over my head and took a moment to look at me. I was glad I was wearing good lingerie. Black and lacy. He gave me a wolfish grin, hunger blazing in his dark blue eyes. I wanted to be devoured by him.
“You’re beautiful, Katie.” His hand grazed my side, and he took off my bra in three moves. I smiled as the cool air hit me, his goofy smile proud of himself like a college freshman getting it on with his new girlfriend.
I hadn’t been naked in front of anyone since David. I hadn’t seen a naked man since David.
Stop thinking about David.