“Hey.” He nips at my lower stomach. A shot of desire rushes through me and the muscles clench. “Look at me, darlin’.”
I give him my eyes. The vulnerability in his startles me.
“Pleased out of my damn mind that there was something left for me to be a first for you.” His voice sounds thick and stuffy, as if he’s getting a cold.
Tears well in my eyes. “Then you should know…” I look away to calm my racing heart. He gives me a second, and I’m grateful for that. I don’t know why, after all the fighting we’ve done I’m considering giving him this. All I know is it feels like a step in the right direction.
“It’s not a first, so it’s not the same…”
“What’s not the same?” He climbs up my body and cups my cheek. The warmth of his torso against mine grounds me.
This is wrong, and I’m being selfish, but I can’t make myself stop. I should’ve stopped us before we reached the tipping point of no return. I chose not to. I have no other option now but to keep on trucking. “There’s been nobody for me since I left Logansville.”
“Baby,” he groans, burying his face into the side of my neck. He lifts his head, and his eyes shine. “Be clearer for me, because I don’t want to misinterpret this.”
Cupping both his cheeks, I stroke along the sharp ridge beneath his eye. A pale, puckered scar fans out from the corner there and blends in with the other natural lines. I trace it with my thumb. “It doesn’t get much clearer. The one and only time I’ve had sex was the night I conceived my daughter.”
Law clenches his jaw and drops his forehead against my breastbone. My hands slip from his face. Not able to read his mood, I don’t know what to do. It’s uncomfortable not touching him after that confession.
Tentatively, I reach out and settle my hand on the back of his head. He doesn’t brush me off, so I thread my fingers through his messy locks.
I’m so sorry, I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry, I want to scream but can’t make my mouth work.
My hands fall from his hair when he abruptly pushes himself up and stands. He avoids looking at me when he bends over.
He’s getting his things and getting dressed. He’s
leaving. Once again, the mistake I made fourteen years ago is too much for him, and the reminder disgusts him. Can I blame him?
Something hits the floor beside me, and the sound ensnares my attention. Law’s stripped off his jeans and socks, and now stands naked, stretching his hand out to me.
Hope soars within me. Is he going to stay? I grab hold, planting my good foot on the ground. He lifts me up straight into his warm, solid chest. Both his arms encircle me, and for a few heartbeats, we hold one another.
“Could have been me,” he states cryptically. I raise my head, wanting to look him in the eyes. He tightens his hold, forcing me to relax against his chest. “I would have given anything to have been your first. Anything. Thought it was going to be that way. Went so far as to plan it for when you were ready.”
That hope crashes and burns a fiery death.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way though, Cami.” His fingers sift through my tangled hair. “I’ve seen you with your daughter. Beautiful, like her momma. Kind. Polite. She’s got your attitude too.”
I tremble in his arms.
“And your stubbornness, I can tell.” His arms jerk, squeezing me tighter. “Point is, I wouldn’t change that for you, even if it meant having everything I wanted. I’ll have to settle for second, and I’ll be happy doing it, if it means I get to finally have you.”
Sliding his palm beneath my jaw, Law tilts my head back to capture my eyes. “What do you say?”
No hesitation. “Please, Law, yes I–? His mouth crushes mine, and his kiss swallows the rest.
He presses me up against the wall; the surface freezing cold against my naked back. Shivering, I secure my arms around him to steal his warmth as I kiss him back. A desperation steals over me, one that reminds me this moment is fleeting. If history repeats itself, it leads me to believe this amiability won’t last.
So, I grab hold, living in this moment where I can pretend that Law is mine and I am his. That I can believe an impulsive mistake never forced me to choose between the man I used to love and the daughter I could never regret.
It isn’t real, it’s a fairytale. I’m ready to deceive myself if it means I can have this one memory to carry me through the dark times to come.
“God. God…” he breathes through kisses, his harsh exhales eclipsing the silence of the house. “Your lips are perfection. And your body…” A fingertip traces my curves from my shoulders to my hips. “I could worship for hours.”
Licking, sucking, tasting, his mouth moves from my lips to my jaw, from my ear to my neck; frantic in his quest to take his fill. His fingers reach around my back and unhook my bra. Once it’s gone, his mouth finds my breast. He strokes the tip with his tongue until it’s tight and red, and it swells thick under his touch. His mouth covers my nipple and sucks deep, sending pleasure blooming through me.
Bending at the waist, he lifts me into his arms and starts down the hall.