“Take this.” She lifts the first chair and proffers it to me, holding it between us.
I take it from her grasp. “Got it.”
The tension between us is a tingle prickling the back of my neck.
“Thanks.” Her hands are shaking. Her gaze won’t quite meet mine.
She’s visibly nervous. Because I make her feel something. Maxon swears she’s still in love with me. If I want Britta back, I need to tell her how I feel. It’s something I’ve historically sucked at. I also have to give her a reason to open up to me in return.
This is my moment. My heart is thudding manically. Maxon stayed in the living/dining room. Jamie is surely sleeping in his crib. And we’re not in the office. This chance alone with her may not come around again soon. All I have to do is kick the bedroom door shut behind me.
Anxiety nearly chokes me. But if I’m ever going to win her back, I can’t give Britta less than my all now.
I set the chair aside and grab her hand. “I’m not the same man I used to be, I swear.”
She searches my face. “Let go.”
If I do what she asks, I’ll only give her time to build a taller wall between us before I’ve even begun chipping away at the one she’s already got in place.
I cup her hand tighter. “I was a bastard. Three years ago, I didn’t value you the way I should have. I didn’t love you the way I meant to. I…” Finding the right words is harder than I imagined. “I never meant to hurt you. But I know I did.”
She’s had a long time to lovingly craft creative curses to rain on my head for the shit I did to her. I’m expecting to hear a litany of them. Instead, hurt flashes in her eyes. “What do you want me to say, Griff? What are you looking for? Absolution?”
“Be mad. Yell at me. It’s okay. I’ll answer your questions. I’ll stand here and take your anger. Whatever will prove I’m serious. Whatever you need to feel better.”
“I don’t feel anything at all.” She wriggles free and turns to retrieve another chair.
So she doesn’t want to talk? Well, some situations call for more than words. They’ve never been my strong suit anyway.
I take the second chair from her grip and set it in the corner beside the first. Then I wrap my fingers around her elbow and give a gentle tug. She stumbles against me. Our chests collide. She gasps. Her head snaps back. I pull her body closer to mine. Our eyes meet.
“Angel,” I whisper as I cradle her cheeks in my hands and drop my head. She barely has time to draw another breath before I settle my lips over hers.
Then I’m kissing Britta again after three long fucking years.
A million sensations hit me at once. I inhale her familiar jasmine scent. I caress the velvet of her face, her nape. I hear her rapid intake of breath. Heat burns my veins. I’m melting. Her touch feels so electric. I’m dying. Holding her again is so stunning. Arousal hammers me—heart pinging, breaths sawing, cock hardening. But my feelings aren’t the same as before. Now they’re desperate. They’re so yearning. So deep.
They’re the feelings of a man who finally understands love—and has been given a second chance to give it back.
Touching her is also a comfort, like coming home after a long war. I feel as if I’ve fought myself and exorcised the demons of my past. I’m unshackled but I’m so chained to her that I’ll never be free. I don’t want to be.
Memories of the hundreds of times I stripped her bare, physically and sexually, and left her blushing and smiling and panting my name bombard me. I’m haunted by the times she told me she loved me and I said nothing in return.
Against me she’s frozen in shock. Her body is tense. Her fingers are splayed wide on my chest where they landed when she tried to catch her balance. She’s not moving her lips against mine. And goddamn it, I crave her response. I have to know I’m not the only one willing to give us another try.
With a groan, I brush my lips over Britta’s again. If anything, she goes stiffer. I breathe against her and try like hell to coax her. I almost back off. But…she’s not yelling at me. She’s not shoving me away.
I try one more time, giving her a suede-soft slide of my lips over hers. Then suddenly, she trembles under me. Her fingers begin to curl into my shirt. I sense that she wants to give in…but is trying so hard not to.
“Kiss me.” I nudge her mouth open and hover. “Just once. I’ve missed you like hell.”
The still moment hangs, suspended. Then finally she exhales and closes her eyes. Her arms curl around my neck. A little moan escapes the back of her throat as she tilts her head, parts her lips for me…
And she invites me in.
With a low groan, I fuse our mouths together and taste that something sweet, elusive, and addictive that’s purely Britta. She softens against me and pours herself into our kiss. Every breath, every crush of lips, every slide of tongue—she’s with me. She curls her fingers into fists, grabbing my shirt before she uses it to drag me closer. But there’s already no air between us.
Emboldened, I dive deeper inside her. One kiss bleeds into the next, endless and urgent. Right now, I don’t give a shit if we ever come up for air.
With seeking palms, I slide my way down the bare skin of her waist until I’m gripping her hips and grinding her pussy against my aching cock. Tingles ignite and explode, and I groan into her mouth. I want her to know how much she affects me. She should never again feel less than confident about how desperately I want her. I also realize one other undeniable fact.
- Am. Hers.
My hands slide down from her hips to cup her pert backside. In one grunt, I lift her against me, spread her thighs around my hips, and rock against her. She turns frantic, eating at my mouth, pulling at my hair, like she’s looking for some way to be closer, let me deeper inside. She climbs my body and wraps her legs around me, trying to wriggle against me for friction.
My heart is racing so fast I swear it’s going to explode. And I don’t care. I keep at her. The only thing that will stop me now is if she says no. And the way our chemistry feels…I’m not sure that word is in her vocabulary anymore.
Holy fuck. This is hotter than anything I’ve ever felt.
I break away from the kiss to look at her. But I can’t stand any distance between us. I brush my lips over her neck. My teeth nip at her lobe. I breathe across her skin. She shivers, opening her eyes just enough to reveal her heavy lids and dilated pupils.
“Griff…” She tilts her head back and shifts restlessly over my erection again with a groan.