“I…I…I’m not really…I mean not usually—”
“I don’t want to hear about other men.”
He got up and left the room. When he returned he was wearing a condom. He kissed her brow and lips before easing himself on top of her. Then as if it were the most natural thing in the world, he parted her legs, stared straight into her eyes so that she felt their souls were connected and plunged into her.
He stroked deeply, powerfully, his body and hers growing burning hot. Incredibly, desire rose in her again like an out-of-control fever, only this time she blazed even hotter. When he exploded inside her, she cried out. Then she began trembling and clinging to him as before. Only this time she wept, as well, tears cascading down her cheeks, which caused him to hold her closer.
Where was the ruthless heartbreaker she’d read about? The man who held her was as tender and compassionate as he was wild.
He was right. They didn’t sleep much.
He made love to her again and again, teaching her exactly how to pleasure him. He was patient and gentle and yet strong, too.
She barely knew him as a person, and yet she learned his body that night. Never had she imagined that making love could be so glorious. And yet even in the midst of rapture, she felt a piercing sadness at the thought of parting, because she knew such feelings, however wonderful, would never have the opportunity to deepen into something more than this one magical night.
When she grew sleepy, he wrapped her tightly in his hard, warm arms, snuggling her bottom against his groin. As she lay curled against him, she tried not to think beyond the bliss of his body enveloping hers beneath the sheets.
She had this one shining moment. That was all she could ever have of him, all she must ever want.
He was bad. Not the sort for her in the long run.
But he’d proved to her beyond a shadow of a doubt that she could be sexy.
The next morning she awoke to city sounds, to the obnoxious roar of a garbage truck lifting cans and garbage spilling against metal sides, to cans crashing back down on the pavement, to the shrieking of sirens and horns two blocks away.
She sat up, rubbing her eyes and squinting in the brilliant golden light. Muscles and feminine tissues she’d never known she had felt raw and burned.
With a shy smile she turned to face the lover responsible for these changes in her body and nearly wept when she found no one there.
She hugged herself tightly, fighting tears. He’d left without even a goodbye.
Feeling bereft, she hugged herself. Had he been real? Only those tender, well-used tissues and the dent in the pillow where his head had been told her she hadn’t dreamed him.
Chérie, you are the sexiest woman I’ve ever known.
She lay back, thoughtfully stroking the pillow that still carried his scent. Remembering how he’d sucked her naked breasts so lovingly, she threw off the covers so that the warm sunlight could stream across her and heat her skin as his mouth and tongue had. She ran her palm over her belly, and as she thought of his lips on her flesh, her stomach quivered and perspiration beaded her brow.
Oh, God! She was pathetic. She wanted him more than ever.
She sat up. With a feral scream, she threw his pillow at the wall and then shot out of bed. Thinking she would go mad if she didn’t get out of the apartment, she raced toward the bathroom just as the phone rang.
Thinking it was Remy, she lunged for it. Pathetic! Maybe she should confess she’d known all along who he was. No! Then he’d really know she was pathetic.
“Hello there,” she murmured.
“You don’t sound at all well,” Carol said, her tone anxious and much too big sisterly.
An acute shudder of disappointment moved through Amy, but she forced herself to get a grip. Putting her hand over the receiver, she closed her eyes and drew a long, steadying breath.
“I—I’m just a little tired, that’s all,” she whispered.
“You’re all better, then?”
“Much better, thank you,” she murmured. Stretching heedlessly, she gave a twist to her spine and made all those soft tissues burn.
“Amy!?” Big sister’s voice was shrill.
“Sorry. I’m fine. Really. I am. In some ways I’ve never been better.”
“Aunt Tate, I—I suppose.” She stopped, horrified at how easily she lied.
“She did adore you. I mean the Matisse…”
“I’m going to give it away.”
“Only if you’re an idiotic, idealistic little fool, which knowing you, you will be!”
“Sorry! It’s horrifying how much I sound like Mother sometimes.”