“But she’s not into you anymore. I can see it in her eyes.” It was a fair way to avoid spilling Norma’s secret. Besides, I could see it in her eyes.
“Good. Then you believe the things I’ve told you.” He appeared pleased.
“It was never the things you’ve told me that were the issue. It’s the things you haven’t told me.”
“They aren’t your things to know,” he snapped back.
The sliver of composure I was maintaining disappeared. “What the ever living f**k?” I was infuriated. Enraged. Out of my mind with exasperation. “I could say the same thing about you—spying on me, digging into my history before you’d even met me—maybe I think those aren’t your things to know. Still, you did and do whatever the hell you want with no regard to boundaries or personal space.”
I squared my shoulders and faced him head on. “And while that’s out there, let me be clear—since you aren’t able to explain things to me, I’m digging on my own.”
Concern flashed through his eyes.
It fueled me. I wanted him off kilter. Wanted him where he always had me—flustered and imbalanced. “That’s right. I’ve been through all of the books Celia sent. I’ve been to see Stacy. And Norma. I’m collecting my own facts. Don’t you think it would be better to tell me your secrets than have me find them out on my own?”
“Alayna, stop digging.” He took a step toward me, his voice even but strained.
Why, why, why couldn’t he just tell me what I’d find? “You’re protecting Celia again, aren’t you?”
“Celia’s not who I’m protecting.”
“Who then? Yourself?” I was yelling, not even caring if his doors were solid enough to absorb the sound. “Me?”
He reached for me, grabbing me at the elbow. “You need to leave, now.”
With those five words the anger disappeared and the hurt returned full force. The air left my lungs. My chest constricted. My eyes filled. He wanted me to leave, wanted me gone. And the last thing I wanted was to leave.
We were at such odds. All there was between us lately was struggle. There was never any progress.
I wiped a renegade tear from my cheek. “Shutting me out again. Like you always do. Hiding behind your thick walls. What’s the point of me even fighting for you if you’re never, never going to let me in? Who are you protecting, Hudson? Who?”
His grip on me tightened. “Yes, you, dammit! I’m protecting you. Always you.”
Before I could blink his mouth was on mine, crushing into my lips, bruising me with his abrasive kiss. He tasted of the same neediness that I felt deep in my own belly—of lonely desperation. Of lust and affection that had been bottled for far too long.
My tears halted and my hands flew to his lapels, pulling him to me. I lifted my leg around his, my skirt bunching around my upper thighs. Pressing against him, I tilted my hips, rubbing my core against his erection. He groaned in frustration and I echoed the sound, eager to be even closer, not able to get close enough.
In a blur, he spun me toward the couch. I grasped the back as he removed my panties. He growled when his fingers dipped into my hole and found me wet—soaking wet. Next, I heard the sound of his belt, then his zipper. His palms settled on my ass. Then he drove into me, deep and hard, again and again. He grunted with each thrust, his balls slapping against my ass, his fingers curled around my h*ps like a vise-grip.
He was f**king me, bent over his couch, and it felt so good and I needed him like that so much. But I couldn’t see his face—not in that position—couldn’t look into his eyes. I knew that he was doing that on purpose, trying to avoid that extra level of intimacy, hoping to make the act just about sex and nothing else.
But it was never just sex with us. It was always something more—a complete and total union of him and me, where we became whole and healed and brilliant. I couldn’t let him succeed in making it less.
Twisting my torso, I reached my hand back to his chest and clutched onto his shirt. His lids had been squeezed shut, but at my grasp, they popped open. I locked my gaze on his. With the contact of my eyes, his drive steadied—still fast, but no longer frenzied. It was the connection I needed. My pu**y clenched and I began my ascent. The friction increased as I tightened around him, but he continued at his even pace through the tension until he was spilling his seed with a long stroke and spilling my name on a low groan.
As his orgasm tore through him it spurred mine to higher heights until my head was spinning and my vision blinded. I fell forward on the couch, panting and euphoric. Hudson collapsed on top of me, holding me tight for several beautiful moments while our breathing became regular.
The minute he pulled off and out of me, I straightened and turned into his arms. He welcomed me, tilting my mouth to his. He locked my upper lip in a hard kiss, holding me in place with his hand behind my head. It was different from any kiss we’d shared—our mouths not moving, our bodies held together in a desperate union, as we breathed in and out in tandem.
When we finally broke apart, I wrapped my hands tightly around his neck and kissed along his jaw. “Oh god, I miss you. I miss you so much.”
“Précieux…mon amour…ma chérie…” He ran his hands down my face, caressing my skin with sweet sweeps of his thumb.
He was tender and perfect, and though I was afraid to break the moment, I was more afraid to miss out on the power of our junction. Barely above a whisper, I voiced the question I desperately needed to ask. “When are you coming home?”
He leaned his forehead against mine with a sigh and settled his hands at my neck. “I have to go to L.A. for the weekend.” He tilted his wrist to glance at his watch. “I’m set to leave in about twenty minutes, in fact.”
If it was possible to be both elated and disappointed at once, that’s what I was. He wasn’t pushing me away as he had been the last few days, but if he was coming back, it wouldn’t be tonight.
I proceeded with caution, pressing him to let me in without scaring him off. “Part of your big business thing? With Norma?”
It wouldn’t bother me if she were going. Well, not as much as it would have before I’d spoken to her. I just needed to know the answer.
Hudson stroked my nose with the tip of his. “Yes, with Norma. And after this, if all goes well, we’ll be done.”
I closed my eyes and inhaled him. So close…we were so close to working everything out…I felt it in my heart, felt it in my bones. Would we lose it all because he was leaving now?