She laid her hand to his chest. "It will be all right, Alex. You'll get the company and be richer than ever." She tried to smile and failed.
"That's not what I meant."
He ducked, his mouth swooping down on hers, his arms locking around her. She responded instantly, pushing her fingers into his hair and arching to the bend of his body. He lifted her, and she wrapped her legs around his hips, kissing him harder, hungrier, her hand wedged between them and opening his trousers.
Her hand dove inside, fingers closing, stroking, and he dropped to the edge of the bed, stripping off her jacket, unfastening her bra. His mouth was on her in an instant, swallowing her nipple, sucking it deeply as his hand worked under her skirt, feeling past the stockings and garters to the thong he knew she wore. He pulled the panties aside, probing.
Her breath scattered over his face, her silken muscles flexing, and he knew she was as close to the edge as he was.
"Alex. Hurry." She shoved his clothing down and climbed higher.
Alex dug in his pocket for the foil. She took it, tore the packet open with her teeth, then rolled it down.
"Madison, honey—" he groaned as she guided him inside her.
She slammed into him, pushing him down on the bed and riding him. Raw, primitive. Alex rolled her to her back and shoved, and she smiled, meeting his thrusts, clutching him harder.
"I adore what you do to me, my love," she whispered.
My love. "Oh, Madison, you humble me." He rained kisses over her face, pushing and pushing, trying to grab more of her, keep her closer, longer. Here they trusted and here he wanted to stay. But sensations crested, broke free too soon. And they bowed against each other, fused, fingers digging into skin, bodies clenching and flexing as rapture flooded through them, melting two into one. They lay suspended for seconds, then sank together to the bed, still joined, still kissing with all the heat of moments before.
Holding his gaze, she smoothed his hair back, her breathing rushed.
His gaze searched hers, seeking he didn't know what. Only that he was desperate to keep her and didn't know how to do it.
"I'm not going anywhere, Alexander."
He let out a long breath, then buried his face in the curve of her shoulder. She could read his mind, he swore. "Madison – I—" He stalled, swallowing. "I need you."
She closed her eyes tightly, sending a tear rolling sideways to her temple. She knew it was hard for him to admit even that and she wished she had the nerve to tell him how madly she loved him. She opened her eyes, her gaze catching the flicker of light off her diamond ring as she stroked his hair. "I need you, too."
But the instant they set foot in Savannah, being his sometimes wife would be over.
* * *
Alex stared out the window in his offices, his hands clasped behind his back. He wanted to ignore the woman standing opposite his desk, but he knew the confrontation had been a long time coming. He and Madison had managed to slip into the city unnoticed and enjoy nearly two weeks without the press or anyone else infringing on their privacy. He'd done his best to keep it that way, and though he'd taken her out only a few times, that had been their undoing. Word traveled too fast and he didn't want anything to get back to Angus and spoil the deal that was days away. They were both back to the real world, Madison caring for a widower's children and he … well, he was confronting his mistakes again.
"Are you at least going to look at me?"
"We have nothing to say to each other, Elizabeth."
"You're upset that I called you when you were on your little vacation. I said I was sorry."
"You lied to my secretary. You nearly cost Parrish her job."
"I just wanted to talk with you."
"Not when you're this … cold."
He turned his gaze from the view of the harbor. "I haven't changed, Liz."
"Yes, you have. I saw you in town with her. Everyone did. But they don't know what I know."
Alexander faced her fully. "And that is?"
"You're married, aren't you?"
His shoulders tensed. "No."
"You're wearing a ring, Alex. Like hers."
He glanced down at the band. He hadn't taken it off yet. He couldn't, as if doing so would unravel his life with Madison. "It's just a ring."
"Then why on that finger? And did you register as Mr. and Mrs. Donahue just to shack up for a couple of weeks of hot sex?"
Alex's features went taut. She'd had him investigated. "Damn you."
"Is it true?"
Alex refused to respond.
"No, you'd never marry. Not even for good sex."
"Don't be vulgar, Liz."
Liz's gaze slid between the look on his face and the ring he twisted. "Why were you her lover and not mine?"