He sat up next to me, our shoulders brushing. “And do you think you’re going to ‘freak out’ about me?”
I focused on my hands in my lap. “I really can’t honestly tell you. I’ve stayed away from any relationships for a while so I wouldn’t have to deal with it. Trying to have something now with you—it’s uncharted territory for me.” Truthfully, as scared as I was of falling into unhealthy patterns, I didn’t want to end things with Hudson. And we would be working together. Even if the best course of action was to not sleep with him again, would I be able to resist?
I looked him in the eyes, wondering if I’d scared him off yet. Because as much as I knew he should run, I hoped he wouldn’t. “I haven’t freaked out so far. With you. And I don’t want to not have sex with you again. I mean…” I turned away, blushing for the millionth time.
He wrapped his arms around me and nibbled on my ear. “You’re adorable when you’re flustered. I don’t want to not have sex with you again either. So we won’t do that. We’ll have tons of incredible sex instead.”
I let myself be held in his embrace. “I’m not saying yes, yet.” But wasn’t I? “I have to take this one day at a time.” And what would I do if I woke up one morning completely obsessed with him? As if I could stop things with him at that point.
“Alayna, you might have to take this one day at a time, but I already know there will be tons of f**king between the two of us.” He pulled me closer, and I melted at his words, at his touch. “In fact, I’m going to have to be inside you again before you leave for work.”
I felt his erection at my bare belly. Instead of being surprised and ashamed that I still wanted him so very much, I decided to relish in it. “Like right now?”
He kissed me, deeply, his tongue taking over my mouth. Then, just as quickly, he broke away. “Not right now, precious. Dinner’s almost he—” The intercom buzzed before he’d finished his word. He smiled as he stood. Then he headed to the front room, saying over his shoulder, “But your enthusiasm is super hot.”
I smiled to myself, enjoying the residual tingle from our kiss. Fuck. Dinner was here and I wasn’t dressed. Putting on my own clothes now would be a statement. Staying na**d would be too. I sat up and eyed his shirt on top of the laundry basket. It would have to do as a compromise.
I pulled off my shorts and had barely finished buttoning his shirt when Hudson returned with a bag of food in one hand and two plates in the other. He scanned me up and down, a pleased glint in his eye. “If you have to be dressed, I completely approve.”
Suddenly feeling playful, I curtsied. “Well, thank you very much, Mr. Pierce. I don’t know what I’d do without your approval.”
He grinned, crossing to the bed. “Should I undress? I said I would.”
“Not if you want me to actually eat. I’d be much too distracted. And I already have a hard time with chopsticks.”
Hudson gestured for me to join him on the bed. “Do you need me to feed you?”
We ate together, eating Mongolian beef and Szechuan chicken spread out over the bed. I struggled with my chopsticks, half of my food not making it to my mouth. Every now and then he fed me, and I let him, enjoying being cared for in a way I hadn’t been in a long time, if ever.
“What are you doing tomorrow?” Hudson asked after he’d left and returned with two glasses of iced tea. “Before work, I mean.”
I took a swallow, moved that Hudson chose to drink with me when he probably preferred wine. “I’m off work at three tonight. Or tomorrow morning, however you want to look at it. I’ll probably sleep a good part of the day. I work at nine tomorrow night. Why?”
He reached over to feed me another bite. “I need to take you shopping. You’ll need an outfit for my mother’s charity event.”
I practically choked on a water chestnut. “Oh my freaking god, one inappropriate outfit and you assume I can’t dress myself. Seriously, I should burn it.”
“That’s not it at all. I happen to love that outfit and would be very disappointed to find you’d burned it. I actually hope to see you wearing it again. In private, of course.” His eyes glazed, perhaps picturing me in the tight corset I’d worn that night I officially met him. “And I’ve adored every other outfit of yours.” He tugged at the bottom of my shirt—his shirt—that I was wearing. “You have an excellent sense of fashion. But my mother would expect a girl I dated to be dressed…” He paused. “How should I put it?”
I kind of liked watching him struggle with his words for once. But he seemed miserable so I helped him out. “I get it. I need designer clothes.” I paused, trying to decide if I was offended. “I guess if you want to take me out and buy me expensive clothes, I’m not going to argue.”
His lips curled slightly. “That’s a beautiful attitude. I’ll pick you up at two. Plan to spend the day with me. And don’t look at me like that—there will only be sex if you want there to be.”
Of course I’d want there to be. But whether or not I thought it should happen remained to be seen. I let myself consider it. “How do you intend on this working, exactly? Do you text me when you want a booty call?”
“Sure. Or you can text me. Or we can arrange ahead of time like we did tonight.” Hudson studied me. “What would you say to no condoms?”
I’d always thought condoms were a drag, but I hadn’t ever been in a committed relationship where I could consider not using them. It struck me as odd that after one time I was having this conversation with Hudson. “I suppose if you’re clean…I’m on birth control. I get the shot. My last STD test was a month ago and it came back clean.”
“I am clean. I’m checked monthly. And I hate condoms.”
“Then no more condoms.”
He smiled and I caught my mistake.
“If I agree, I mean.”
“Mmhmm.” He stroked his hand up my bare thigh. Sexual tension hung in the air between us, but my brain screamed at me to be cautious.
I hugged my knees, casually pulling away from his touch. “You said you expected fidelity—can I expect the same from you? Or will you be using this loft with other women?”
Hudson moved our leftover dinner to the floor, clearing the space between us. Then he put a hand on each of my knees, pinning me with his eyes. “I’m not a slut, Alayna. This loft has been used for sex, yes, but I have it so I can be close to my office, not for f**king.” He stretched a hand out to brush a strand of hair behind my ear. “I will be as faithful as I expect you to be.”