Page 63 of I Promise You

“Brianna was nine months pregnant—”

“I haven’t seen you since February. I came to see you.”

There’s a long silence, just the sound of his breathing. I picture him at his house in Malibu, maybe looking out the windows at the blue of the Pacific. I hear Brianna talking in the background, the cry of a baby.

“Dillon…” He sighs. “I’m sorry. You’re upset. I talked to your mom.”

Oh? He wants to change the topic?

My jaw clenches. “Yeah. Guess you won’t be at her wedding? Whenever it is. If it happens…”

“She sprung it on you, didn’t she?” A gusty exhalation comes from him. “You must be feeling left out—”

“Nope, don’t drag her into this to make yourself look better.”

There’s a heavy silence. “We live on opposite sides of the country, Dillon. I work every day. I have a baby. Look, I haven’t given you the attention—”

His excuses cut me to the bone. My eyes shut and I see Myles diving off that cliff…

“We both know why you don’t want to see me. You can’t look at me without thinking about him,” I say, hand tight on the phone. “Take care of your new family.” I end the call and throw my cell across the bed.

“You alright?” Sawyer asks, and I shake my head as I shove my feet into my shoes, grab a shirt, and pull it on.

“Where you going? Dillon—”

“For a run.”

“Wait and I’ll go with you,” he calls out as I slam the door and stalk down the hall.

My throat feels raw and tight as I jab the button for the lobby. My chest wants to explode. Angry and frustrated, I stare at myself in the mirrored walls of the elevator. I scrub my jaw as the door opens and Serena walks in, giving me a surprised look as she settles beside me.

“What’s wrong?” she asks softly. Her hand touches my arm, and I close my eyes.

“My dad said he was coming and now he’s not. Just…need to run and I’ll be over it.”

She’s changed into a slinky red dress and stilettos, and her hair tumbles around her shoulders, the lighter colors making her eyes stand out. Her lashes are thick with mascara.

“Where are you going?”

“Neil asked me to have a drink with him and some of the press. We’re going to talk football.”

Uh-huh, I just bet.

The door slides open and she takes a step out to the lobby, but I grab her hand and pull her back in. My hand hovers over the floor selection panel on the wall. “What’s your room number?” I ask.

She takes a deep breath, licks her lips. “714. But I told Neil—”

“Text him. You aren’t going.” I hit the button for the seventh floor and cage her in with my forearms against the wall. Adrenaline and anger and jealousy prick at me. I’ve tried to handle her at a gradual pace, but I want her so much it hurts. “You and me. Now.” My nose runs up her neck, the smell of her intoxicating.

Her hands land tentatively on my chest. “Dillon…”

“Say yes, Serena, say yes. Please.” My lips dip to hers, hovering, waiting.

Her lashes flutter as she tugs on my hair, fisting it and pulling my mouth to hers. The kiss is hard and savage. I haul her up with my hands on her ass. Her legs twine around my hips, her dress riding up. My hands knead her ass as she sucks on my tongue, a low sound coming from her throat. The steel pipe in my shorts hardens more.

She’s a hot flame, a fire I can’t walk away from.

The door opens and she pulls back, her chest rising rapidly. “Someone might see—”

“Don’t give a fuck.” I hold her against me, carrying her as we step out. “Which way?” I push out, drunk with desire.

“Turn right. Four doors down.” She kisses my throat, peppering me with touches, sucking on the rapid pulse just beneath my skin. We make it to her door. “Key…purse. Let me down,” she says breathlessly.

She fumbles around with me behind her, my hands on her hips, my face in her hair, immersing myself. My body throbs with need. My head buzzes with the smell of her. I’ve never done cocaine, but I wonder if she’s my drug, if I’ll get addicted. One kiss freshman year was enough to torment me for months. My lips suck on her neck and she leans back, nuzzling into me.

We fall into the room, and the door barely shuts before we’re panting, facing each other. I hardly take in the space, seeing her rumpled bed, her laptop, her scattered clothes.

“It’s been a long time for me,” she says.

Satisfaction hits me and I rush my words. “Good. Do you have condoms? I don’t. I can go to the drugstore across the—”

She takes a deep breath, turns, and digs around in a duffle in her closet. Turning, she holds up a box. “Never leave home without them, you know, after…”

Tags: Ilsa Madden-Mills Romance