I giggled. “I’ve never been bushy with you.” Bushy had never been my style. But if it was something Hudson wanted…
“But you could be and I’d be turned on.” His eyes darkened and I could tell he was imagining it. “Jesus, now I’m hard again.”
“Are you kidding me?”
“No. I’m not.” He nodded down toward his penis.
I had to look. Sure enough, it was hard. “You’re such a horn-dog.”
“Perhaps.” Except he’d always said it was me that made him crazy, no one else.
Could that be true? Could it really only be me that turned him on to no end, transforming him into a greedy lover?
It had been true for me. Until him, sex had been fun, but that’s all. Sometimes it could even begin an unhealthy obsession. But my addictions had never been about the physical. With Hudson it wasn’t exactly about the sex, either. It was more about wanting to be as close to him as possible. And, because it was Hudson and he communicated best with his body, being as close to him as possible involved being naked.
He’d never let anyone in before. Maybe sex really had only been for sport in the past. With us, it was speech.
Which might have something to do with why we still had such trouble talking to each other.
We were working on that though. So I brought up the subject that I knew neither of us wanted to broach. “I saw Celia.”
Hudson groaned. “And now I’m soft.”
My eyes flicked downward. “No, you’re not.”
“It feels like I should be. Come on—Celia?”
“Sorry. I thought you should know.”
“I suppose I should.” He sighed. “Did she bother you at all?”
“No. I didn’t talk to her. It was as we were coming down here. I think she was watching. On the deck above. When…you know.” How come I could do completely nasty things with the man and still be so embarrassed about mentioning them outright?
“When I made you come all over my hand?” Leave it to Hudson to say it bluntly.
It was quite the turn-on, actually.
“Hope she enjoyed the show.” His expression was proud.
Like I’d said before—total horn-dog.
I started to tease him back but then I realized he hadn’t been surprised by her presence. “It wasn’t Jack you were referring to who was the uninvited guest, was it? It was Celia. How did she get here?”
Hudson ran both his hands through his hair. “She came with one of the men in my advertising department. He’s always been interested in her and she’s never given him a second look. I’m sure she used his crush simply to get on-board tonight.”
It was obvious he didn’t want to talk about her, but he was willing so I pressed on. “Why does she want to be here so badly?”
“Maybe she wanted to see if we were still together. I don’t know. You know more about that kind of obsession than I do.” He didn’t say it to be hurtful. It was honest. I did know about that kind of obsession. Very well.
I let myself remember the reasons I’d been attracted to the men I’d stalked. “Somehow your attention validates her. Makes her feel alive.” I felt my tone get heavy with years of sadness. Recalling those emotions of my past was not pleasant.
Hudson narrowed his eyes, trying to read me. “Do you think I’m being too cruel to her by cutting her out of my life?”
“No.” Though if I were right—if she really did feel the way I suspected she did about Hudson—then I understood the pure devastation that she had to be going through at his dismissal. “Does that make me a shitty person?”
Whether he was right or wrong, I accepted his absolution without debate. Besides, just because I understood how she might feel didn’t mean I could soften the blow in any way. Even if she had Hudson, she’d never really think she did. I’d never believed the men who were with me were really with me. Believing Hudson actually cared for me had taken a great deal of healing on my part. Those were steps Celia would have to take on her own.
But if Celia truly were obsessed with Hudson in the ways I used to be…
I shuddered to think of the lengths she might go to in order to win him. I voiced the nagging concern that had been tugging at me the entire night. “She’s never really going to be out of our lives, is she? She’s always going to try to destroy us.”
Hudson rolled to his side to face me. “It doesn’t matter.” He cupped my face, lining his eyes with mine. “You belong to me, precious. You belong with me. I won’t let anything come between us. I won’t let anything hurt you. Especially not her.”
The man couldn’t say I love you, but somehow he knew how to make declarations that struck right into the core of my heart. And his eyes—they backed up every word he said. I had no doubt that he would fight for me, fight for us. He hadn’t before. Now was a different story. Warmth spread from my chest throughout my body and I felt dangerously close to tearing up.
But I didn’t want to get emotional. I wanted to tell him how I felt in the way he understood best. With my body. I flashed a suggestive smile. “Now I’m turned on again.”
Hudson’s jaw relaxed and he pulled me flush with him. He leaned in until his mouth was a mere inch from mine. “So we can stop talking about her?”
He smelled of sex and champagne and Hudson, and my desire flamed instantly. “We can stop talking period.”
He covered me with his body, teasing me with flicks of his tongue along my jaw. At my neck, he nibbled and sucked, likely leaving a glaring hickey. Which was fine. Perfect, actually. He could mark me in any way he wanted. I was his. I wanted to be known as his.
I arched my back and pressed my br**sts to his chest. God, I loved the feel of his skin against mine. My h*ps writhed underneath him, urging him to stop teasing and get on with it already.
He lifted his head to meet my eyes. “Stop rushing me,” he chided. He was always very conscientious about varying the moods of our lovemaking. The last time had been driven and furious. This time would be slow and sweet. Always, it was he that decided how it would go.
I didn’t prefer one tempo over another. Didn’t care if he made it fast or if he took all night. But as it was occurring, whichever way we were f**king, I always thought it was the best.
At his own pace, Hudson took me to where I wanted and needed to go. Loving me thoroughly with his body. Loving me entirely without words. Loving me completely.