We eat and watch cooking shows, and Anna grows heavier and softer at my side as she relaxes. It’s quiet, warm, and the most peaceful I’ve felt in ages. With the tips of my fingers, I draw patterns along her arm and the curve of her hip. She’s so quiet that I wonder if she’s nodded off, but then her fingers mimic mine and she’s tracing little circles along my stomach. Lust unfurls like a tinder within me, but I don’t do anything about it. Just hold her.


And when she makes a soft, half-stilted yawn, I kiss the top of her head. “Why don’t you lie down? Rest your head in my lap.”

Her green eyes look up at me, hesitant.

“I promise to behave.” It’s sort of the truth.

She scoots down. “You say that like it’s a good thing.” Then she’s resting her head in my lap with a satisfied sigh. “Forget I said that. I want to rest here for about forty weeks, if that’s okay.”

“Anything you want, baby.” I mean it to sound like a tease but it comes out husky. I clear my throat and grab the remote to change the channel.

Absently, I stroke her hair. The wild curls are thick silk, springing around my fingers with a life of their own. The mass of dark red is so dense that I can only concentrate on a section. I let myself indulge; I’ve wanted to touch her hair like this for ages.

“You’re going to make me look like a clown,” she says quietly, but she’s not moving.

“Do you want me to stop?” The strands rub along my skin with pleasurable friction.

“No.” Her lids flutter. “Never.”

Which is fine by me. My favorite girl and my favorite show. Sometimes life is good. It gets better when Anna smiles as the show starts. “Top Gear. Excellent.”

“You like Top Gear?” I continue to run my fingers through her hair.

Her mouth curls, which pushes her plump upper lip out in that upside down pout that makes me insane. “Yeah,” She turns her head slightly to glance up at me. “Is that so surprising?”

“Kind of.” I shrug. “I haven’t met a girl who has before you.”

“Mmm.” Green eyes narrow, but they’re still warm and relaxed, amused. “What in our acquaintance makes you think I’m anything like the girls you’ve known?”

Softly, I laugh. I’m warm all over now. “Good point.”

She snuggles down deeper into my lap; I love the sensation, love feeling like I’m protecting her by providing her a place to rest. “So let me guess,” I say. “George turned you on to it?”

“Actually, it was Iris.”

The leather squeaks as she turns on her back, her head now fully cradled in my crotch, which has the expected effect on my dick. It stirs, and I will the horny bastard down. If she notices, she isn’t saying anything. Instead, she looks up at me with wide, green eyes the color of holly leaves.

“Ewan McGregor was a guest star on one episode, so Iris had to watch.”

“His documentary The Long Way Down was great.”

Anna’s eyes glint. “Where do you think I got the desire to by my little Vespa?”

Inwardly, I groan for the woman who appreciates all things automotive.

Then she shrugs, not meeting my eyes, as if she’s shy. “I used to fantasize about doing something like that.”

“What? Getting on a motorcycle and just riding off?”

Maybe I’ll do the same thing. Take Anna with me. As soon as this f**king leg heals. Panic touches the edges of my mind with black fingers. Her light laugh brings me back.

“Not quite.” Her hair pools against her shoulder as she turns toward me. “I used to think about how fun it would be to document something like that, you know?” She laughs again, an uncomfortable sound. “Or maybe it was the idea of following Ewan McGregor around.”

I play with one of her red curls. “Bet you’d kick ass at film production.”

Anna’s cheeks pink. “I don’t know anything about film.”

“So you learn. We all start off ignorant.”

She shrugs again. “Maybe.”

I place my palm against her cheek. “Babe, whatever you set your mind to doing, you’ll nail it. You’re so perfect and you don’t even know it.”

“Pish.” She rolls her eyes. “You’re forgetting that I can’t stand watching sports.”

I haven’t forgotten a thing. Unease settles over my shoulders, but I shrug it off. I don’t want to think about why we’d broken up, but it’s there, and it will need to be addressed, but not now when I’m finally relaxed.

“What I don’t get is Iris,” I say instead. “Ewan McGregor, really? I pegged her as more a lover of boy band types.”

The corners of those gorgeous eyes crinkle as she smiles. “Iris loves boy bands. But she has a major thing for blond guys.”

“But that guy she was with… Henry, right?”

Anna’s head moves against my c**k as she nods, and I repress the urge to squirm.

“She’s back with him. The idiot.”

“Henry or Iris?” I quip, but it bothers me how we’ve missed out on each other’s lives.

“Both?” she offers.

I can’t help but smile at her disgruntled look. “Henry has dark hair,” I point out.

“Yeah, well,” she says with a frown, “I keep waiting for her to realize she’s going against type.”

Her cheek is silken against my fingertips. I stroke along her temple and then trace the curved arch of her brow. And she simply watches me as if she takes pleasure in the act. Her breathing is soft and steady, her body warm where it meets mine.

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