“You like that about me.”
He’s right. I do.
Feeling naughty and playful, I gently sit up, careful not to overexert myself due to my injury. My hand lands on the bulge in his jeans and I grope his erection through the denim fabric.
“How about I return the favor?” I purr. “Lay back. I want your big dick down my throat.”
Salvatore groans and does as instructed, letting me take the lead.
The rest of the night is full of so much passion and affection by its end, we’ve both proven we’ll enjoy each other any way we can, and still it’ll never be enough.
* * *
Salvatore suggests we do anything but watch the results. He’s trying to protect me from any crushing disappointment of not only Polk’s win as district attorney but Dad’s win for city mayor.
I don’t need to be protected, though.
I want to see the results—I’ve made my choice and I’m more certain than I’ve ever been that I’m on the right track.
Some would say I’m crazy for giving up what I have, but as we settle on the sofa with Salt and Pepa, I’m at ease.
The marquee announcing Polk’s win flashes across the screen. Live footage plays of Polk and his family climbing the stairs onto the stage, grinning ear-to-ear and waving at the crowd.
Salvatore’s arm tightens around me. “You okay?”
I nod. “Let him have it. It would’ve destroyed me to be DA—to be forced to be a part of the Neptune Society and play whatever sick games they do. If my Dad couldn’t escape them, I wouldn’t be able to.”
“You’re stronger than he is,” Salvatore says. “You wouldn’t have let them corrupt you. You never once bowed down to any crime families. You wouldn’t have bowed down to the Society either.”
“Maybe… but at what price? I want no part of it.”
His fingers slide under my chin and tilt my head in his direction. “Don’t think they’re going to get away with what they did to you. Whoever orchestrated what happened—whether that’s Volchok or other Neptune Society members—I’m still going to make them pay. I will destroy the whole damn club if I have to.”
I believe him.
“I love you,” I say. My sudden confession catches even my heart by surprise. It skips and then beats faster. “I’ve been wanting to say it for weeks now, but we just got back together, and I didn’t want to rush it. You don’t really do feelings or relationships, so I didn’t want to scare you off—”
“Phi, slow down,” he says, amused. He eases me toward him, my body shifting to face his on the sofa. The cats sit up too, their ears perked in curiosity as though they sense something important happening. “I beat you to the punch.”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“I said it weeks ago.”
My right brow arches. “Istilldon’t know what you mean.”
“The night the bomb went off in the cinema. I told you I loved you.”
For the first time in the over fifteen years since I’ve met Salvatore, the faintest, subtlest trace of blush ghosts across his ivory complexion. It appears along his neck and travels to his ears until they’reslightlyred.
I’d find it adorable if I weren’t in a state of total shock. I blink at him and then let out a delighted laugh before tossing my arms around him in a squeezing hug.
“I’ve never been more scared in my life,” he confesses as his arms come up around my back. “I thought I lost you. I’m not going to pretend like I understand love or even know what it is, but the fear I felt—I realized that’s what it had to be. There’s no other explanation. I’ve tried to avoid it, because it feels like something I shouldn’t experience. It’s never been a part of my life ’til you.”
My hands come up to hold his face as a teasing smile spreads onto my lips. “Jon, I took your ‘I love you’ virginity. This makes us even for the other virginity you took all those years ago.”
He releases a throaty laugh before pushing me down on the sofa and pinning me to the leather cushions. Salt and Pepa scram, jumping off the sofa and disappearing into their respective cat posts.