This was easily the sexiest moment I could remember. I had to focus on details because when I tried for the whole package, I felt like there wasn’t enough room in my body for all the blood and adrenaline surging through me.
Details: the sweet tang of her sweaty skin on my tongue. Details: her damp, hot forehead on my shoulder, her hands gripping my biceps.
But then those big blue eyes locked on me as she smiled, and then it couldn’t be details. I capsized under a wave of lust and love while every single one of my senses drank us in: her body, our scent, the guttural sounds of our pleasure, her essence on my tongue.
I'm a fucking rock star. Any sexual act you could think of, I’ve probably seen at least once. I’ve had models and royalty and countless other women. None of them made me feel like this, so open and stripped bare to the most elemental kind of connection between two people. Nothing had ever stirred this feeling inside of me.
“I need to leave soon,” I repeated once I’d slipped off the stool and followed to find him on the couch. I wandered back to the windows, but reality crashed down on me, dissolving this scene just like Ivy’s voice had done last night.
“I wish you understood...” I trailed off, gazing out again. My perfect winter setting just looked dull and dead. With a sigh, I rubbed my forehead.
“I didn’t ever think I’d see you again.”
“Didn’t think, or didn’t want to?”
My throat was tight, but I flashed a sad smile over my shoulder. “Want to,” I whispered, and he couldn't hide his flinch. “I wanted to be perfect to someone. Just a memory, a wild time, you know? You were perfect—we were perfect, right? I wanted it to stay that way. I wanted a little fairytale of my own—just once. I wish life could’ve given me that." Telling him this broke my heart, partly because of the pained look on his face and partly because, even though it’s true, I know I can’t bear the thought of not seeing him again.
James rose and stood beside me, silent a long time. When I couldn't take it anymore, I continued. “You don’t know me.”
"Oh, really?" he asked with a sarcastic grunt I never imagined hearing from him. Of course you didn't. That's the whole issue. You don't know him.
"I’m serious. You have to see how different I am than the girl you met last year.”
“Sure,” he said, finally turning to eye me. “I see that. What’s your point?”
Note! This is the bit that comes AFTER the bit on Twitter!
I woke in the middle of the night freezing cold on my front. My back was warm where he curled around me, and it took me a minute to get that we were still on top of the sheets of his bed. A flash of panic grabbed me—I couldn't sleep there all night, couldn't wake up and see his embarrassed smile and hear words about why this was a mistake. For me there was no mistake.
I slipped out of his arms and back to my bedroom, leaving my clothes on his floor. Even though the clock read 3am, I stepped into the shower before climbing into the soft sheets. The first guy I really wanted to spend the first night in his arms, and I left because I was afraid. Classic New Megan.
The sun was bright when I woke at last and stumbled out of bed. I cracked the bedroom door carefully to listen, but the place was silent—well, except for the symbolic screaming my gown and--oh, god, kill me now--panties were doing from the hanger on my doorknob. I grabbed them both and tucked them away, then peeked out again to find his door open and the room definitely empty. Matter of fact, the whole house seemed dead. Too antsy to sit around, I jumped into my swimsuit and went to the pool.
The water was cold but I didn't care. Half an hour of strong laps soothed me a little and tired me after my night. I hoisted out and sat with my feet in the water, staring vacantly into the blue. It was just good sex. You needed it. It wasn’t a big deal.
It was so a big deal.
I swear the room spun. “I said we should stop…but I didn’t say I wanted to, did I?”
That opened his eyes.
Will put his feet back on the floor and crooked his finger. “Then come over here and let me show you just what I thought about. Unless, of course, you’re still trying to be good.”
I lifted my chin. “Oh, I’ll be good. I’ll be fucking great.”
He grinned. “No doubt.”
But it was a long walk, those five steps from the couch to the chair. Every second built the anticipation, the desire—and the dark thrill of knowledge that this was a point of no return, that we were about to--
I shivered when he put his hands on my thighs and lifted his gaze. One of my knees rested on the chair’s arm. Will sat back and stroked my skin, his breath short and tight, eyes lust-drunk.
“Wait.” His hand covered my knee and eased me back to stand so he could tug my shorts to the ground and push my over-shirt off. Will kissed my leg just below the hem of my tee and exhaled hard. “These legs. Fuck, come here, Liv.”
I needed no more prompting to straddle his lap, cup his jaw, and seal our mouths.
“Not sure. What happens after the deadline?”
I swallowed hard. He’d never say it, but I knew Nick wanted me to find an angle that would let us be together.
I didn’t want to lie to him.
“I have no idea. Jesse’s tour starts at the end of September. He’s booked across North America through the spring. If things go right, he’ll tour worldwide for at least a year.”
“Which means you’ll be gone for at least a year.”
“I don’t have any other options on the table right now,” I said.
“And what about you? What comes after the album?”
He sighed and rolled to his back. “Another project, and then another. Life will go on.”
Will it? Will life go on when I lose you again? What does it feel like to know there’s someone in this world that you love when you’re not with them? How does life simply go on when you carry someone so deep in your soul?
We didn’t talk more, but sleep didn’t come for either of us easily, either.
I heaved a sigh and pushed off the cushion, shuffling blind down the hall to brush my teeth. It was only 9:00, but exhaustion and the look on my mother’s face haunted me. I crawled into the sheets, where ideas and questions tumbled around in my head in a jumbled mess.
Give me a truth... I’m fine. Once this job sorts itself out, life can begin again. I’m not hiding, I’m... playing to my strengths. I’m better alone. I can focus. Know yourself. Your business is you.
But, as always, my thoughts turned back to That Day—the day I blew it, the day Derrick taught me the hardest truths of my life.
Stop. Don’t. Don’t think about it. Don’t go there again. I gripped my arm tight and braced against the memories I couldn’t control, could never forget. Something new. Think of something, anything else. My nails dug into my skin as I searched my mind and landed on...
Wonder where he is tonight, what he’s doing? Is he drinking Jameson? Is he thinking of me? Definitely not, but still. What if he was? And why are you holding your elbow so damn tight?
My grip slacked, and blood began to flow again. It had been such a nothing move, only a means to stop me from driving home tipsy, but the memory of Benjamin’s hand wrapped around my arm made my skin tingle.
"Give me a truth."
In the dark, alone, the truth was this: I wanted him to touch me again.
Skye McDonald is my pen name for the series of novels I’ve written. Each of the books features its own protagonists, and can be read as a standalone novel; however, this seven-book-and-growing series is the world of a group of friends and family, and you will meet your favorite characters again in supporting roles as you progress through the books.