In the past he’d hurt her, and it had taken her years to get over it. Who was to say that although she was older and wiser, it couldn’t happen again? No matter how close to loving him she felt, she could not let herself succumb.
“I never thought I’d feel like this again,” he said afterward, triumphant that he’d taken her to such heights, maybe because his manhood was still embedded deep within her and she was clinging to him fiercely.
She couldn’t think with him inside her. She felt too warm and snug, too safe, and such feelings were not to be trusted.
“I have a lot of making up to do for how I treated you, don’t I?” he said.
“An entire lifetime wouldn’t begin to suffice,” she said. “So we agree then, that you owe me?”
He pulled her even closer if that were possible. “Big time. I will make it up to you. I swear. I don’t care if it takes an entire lifetime.”
Her heart caught as she eased herself out of his arms. Not that she was about to let herself hope for anything from him, for she had learned that hope, not fear, not grief, was the cruelest of emotions. And men like him would say anything in bed. The truth would come in the morning.
When he yanked the sheets around them and wrapped her in his arms again, she thought about the dark-haired little boy they’d lost, the little boy he didn’t know about…yet.
Then, soon, because of Logan’s body heat and his tenderness, the image dissolved. For the first time in years, she felt almost safe even though she knew she shouldn’t, not with him, not ever with him.
Despite her misgivings, she fell into a deep, fathomless sleep.
Logan woke up first, wrapped in the warmth of a beautiful woman, the one woman he should not be with, their tangled sheets reeking of steamy sex. Alert, in the dazzling light of a new morning, he froze.
It was a helluva shock to find Cici’s head resting so trustingly on his shoulder. Not that it should have been. What did last night mean?
Had he been lying to himself when he’d been so determined to send her packing? Remembering how tenderly she’d held him each time after they’d made love, he winced. She was sweet, as sweet as she’d been as a girl. What did she want? Need? Had he ever thought of that once?
Had he simply used her?
She deserved better.
Hell, any woman deserved better.
Even as the memory of her mouth all over his body stung him, he told himself she couldn’t possibly fit into his life. Last night hadn’t changed anything. And yet….
Slowly, trying not to wake her, he shifted his weight. Gently placing her head onto a pillow, he had eased himself almost to the edge of the bed before she stirred. Rolling over, she faced him. With a happy little sigh, she tenderly traced her fingertips down the length of his arm.
“Logan,” she whispered dreamily.
“Right here,” he murmured, trying to resist the instant high voltage coupled with the unaccountable tenderness he felt for her.
Long lashes fluttered again, revealing dark eyes glimmering with too much hope and affection. “I thought you’d be long gone.”
He should have been. He didn’t know what to say. He only knew he didn’t want to hurt her any more than he had to. “I’m where I want to be.”
“Really!” It had been heaven lying in her arms. That part was undeniable. Determined to leave as fast as possible, he threw off the sheet and then couldn’t help but admire her beautiful body. And her smile. She had an incredible smile. Then he frowned when he saw the vague, moon-shaped scar on her abdomen that he’d first noticed the afternoon he’d barged in on her. Without thinking, his hand lightly traced the white curve.
“What happened to you here?” he murmured, growing more concerned when she trembled.
Her eyes snapped open. Meeting his, they grew huge and confused, so painfully confused, and then tears, real tears filled them. Before he knew what had happened, she was turning away from him.
“What’s wrong?” he demanded. “You’ve got to tell me.” Gently, he placed his hands on her shoulders and felt her body trembling even harder.
Her face was pale. Her lips quivered when she turned toward him again. “It doesn’t matter,” she said. “At least, not right now, when you probably have a million things to do.”
Alarm filling him because she was so passionately upset, seemingly for no reason, he pulled her closer. He felt guilty as hell, wondering if this fresh emotional turmoil could possibly be his fault.
“Tell me,” he said, forgetting everything he needed to attend to in New Orleans and concentrating on her.
“I tried to tell you…once…”