Just landed in L.A.
Did you get my flowers?
I had some sent to my room too, so I could think of you.
Are you avoiding me now?
I laughed at his repeat of what I’d said when he hadn’t responded to my texts. Then I sent: Not avoiding you, working. Thnx for the flowers. Keep texting. I’ll read every one.
His next message came immediately, as though he’d been sitting with his phone in his hand, waiting for it to buzz. If that’s a challenge, I accept.
He continued texting me throughout the evening. I responded when I could between the busy Friday nightclub scene. Our messages varied from romantic to sexual to sweet to funny. We acted like a couple in that slaphappy, I-can’t-get-enough-of-you phase that happened at the beginning of relationships. With our untraditional start, we’d never really experienced that. Then we’d had too many walls. But now they were all down—or nearly all down.
On Saturday, more flowers arrived at the penthouse. Then late that afternoon, he did more than text. He called.
I answered on the second ring. “I can’t believe you’re calling me.” Hudson called as rarely as he texted. He was a no-nonsense type of guy. To him, chit-chat was a waste of time.
Now though, he was acting like I was anything but a waste of time.
“I wanted to hear your voice. Digital letters weren’t cutting it any longer.”
Talk about wanting to hear a voice…
His low tenor stirred butterflies to dance in my stomach. “I love hearing you too.” I stretched on the bedroom floor, my legs raised to rest against the bed. “Did you sleep well last night?”
“I did not. I’ve slept horribly every night that I haven’t fallen asleep inside you.”
I couldn’t hide my grin from showing in my voice. “So you’re horny.”
“No, Alayna. If I were simply horny, I could take care of myself.”
That’s something I wouldn’t mind watching.
“It has nothing to do with sex—” He paused. “Well, it only has some to do with sex. It’s connecting with you that I miss.”
Damn, now I was horny. “I get it. I feel the same. When you come back, we’ll connect for hours, how does that sound?” Knowing Hudson, it would be literally hours. We had lots of reconnecting to do.
“It sounds wonderful, precious.” His tone grew serious. “But we still have to talk.”
“We’ll talk. We can connect first and then talk. And then connect some more.” I shook my head as I listened to myself. Usually it was Hudson who was all about the sex.
“You’re insatiable.” He didn’t sound like he minded. “You forget that you may not want to connect after we talk.”
I waggled my eyebrows even though he couldn’t see me. “Another reason to connect before. But I’m not worried about it. Just your willingness to talk is enough.” That wasn’t quite true. “Okay, not exactly enough, but it pleases me. A lot.” And even though I knew whatever he had to say would likely rock me, I was sure that we’d get through it.
Hudson still didn’t believe that. “Hmm,” he said, and I knew he doubted the strength of my love.
Part of me wished he’d just spill his secrets now, over the phone. I was eager to hear what they were, but more than that, I was eager to put him at ease—to prove that I’d stick around.
But I had to start getting ready for work soon. There wasn’t time. And I had the feeling we’d need connecting after his revelation, in whatever form that took.
We sat silently for several seconds, and I worried he was fretting. “What are you thinking about, H?”
“You. Bent over the couch in my office.”
I laughed. “No, you aren’t.”
“Actually, I am. The sounds you made…the way you looked at me…your eyes when I made you come…God, Alayna, do you have any idea how beautiful and sexy you are?”
My face warmed and my toes curled into the comforter. How could he make me blush over the phone? “If I am, it’s because you make me that way.”
“That’s a lie. I never want to hear you say that I’m responsible for your beauty again. I can’t take an ounce of credit for your perfection.”
“But you can take every ounce of credit for my happiness, and that’s much more important to me than beauty.”
He was silent again, and I feared I’d scared him. “What is it, Hudson?”
“I was just wondering what I did to deserve the responsibility of your happiness. I hope that I can live up to the honor.”
Perhaps it had been an ill-timed remark since he’d so recently made me miserable. That was the fact of the matter though—Hudson had the power to lift me to heights I’d never imagined, and that meant he also had the ability to absolutely obliterate me.
Maybe it was a lot of pressure, but it was part of the romantic relationship package. “You deserve the honor just for loving me,” I said softly.
“And love you, I do.” He barely let a beat pass before switching gears. “What are you wearing?”
“Black lacy panties and a camisole.” I pulled the phone from my face to check the time. Shit, I needed to wrap things up soon. “I was just about to jump in the shower when you called.” I rolled to my knees and stood.
Hudson’s next words were a gruff command. “Take off your panties.”
“Oh my god, Hudson, I don’t have time for this.” Though, I was already stripping. For the shower, not for him.
“You have to undress anyway.”
Such a man of reason. “For that alone, they’re off. And now I’m getting off the phone. You’re too distracting for me at the moment.” I walked to the bathroom as I spoke.
“Fine.” Tenderly, he added, “I miss you.”
“I miss you, I love you.”
“I love you first.”
I held on to the handle of the shower door and closed my eyes, relishing his words, breathing them in. “I said it first,” I teased.
“But I meant it first,” he said with finality. “Get in the shower. Don’t touch yourself unless you’re thinking of me.”
“Whom else would I think of, you silly man?” My ni**les were already standing at full attention, and even though I was naked, it wasn’t because I was chilled. “I’m letting you know now that I plan to text you throughout the night. Wicked, dirty things. You’ll be desperate for me when you get back.”