She gives me a hoarse laugh as she reaches out for my hand. “You really want those things with me?”
“Only you,” I tell her, my fucking voice breaking from the emotion. “You need to know I’ll give you everything you want, but more importantly, you need to know I want it too. Desperately.”
“I feel like a contestant on The Dating Game,” she finally says bitterly, and the tears well back up in her eyes. “I don’t want to hurt Vince, and I don’t want to hurt you either.”
“Baby,” I say soothingly, bringing my hand to her jaw. “The two men in your life both let you down. You’d be a fool not to think through this.”
She drops her eyes and nods. “I know.”
“But just so you know, I’m not giving up if you choose Vince. I am never going to give up on the hope you’ll truly be mine one day. In all ways.”
Rubbing her index finger over the back of my hand, she lowers her eyes almost shyly and says, “I told Vince at lunch you were here and that we had sex.”
Okay, I fucking want to beat my fists against my chest over that. So sue me.
“How did he take it?” I ask respectfully.
“Not well,” she says as she looks back up to me. “I told him that you and I hold an intense connection.”
“What we have can’t be described, Jorie,” I point out, because frankly, this is where I have a leg—or a cock—up on Vince. “What you and I did right there up against the door? That wasn’t just sex. That was a joining of souls, and you know I’m right about that.”
She nods again, but looks down at where she’s holding my hand. I think this is the part where I have to let her fly and hope to fuck she comes back to me.
“Okay,” I say as I lean in and give her a quick kiss on her cheek. Standing, I pull her from the bed. I push her right to the door and open it. “You get out of here and go figure out your shit with Vince.”
She turns to me in surprise. “But—”
“But what?” I tease her as I touch the end of my finger to her nose. “You thought you’d just come here and use my body to get your orgasms?”
“I did not think that,” she snaps. But then she gives me a guilty look. “But I did think you’d make a move on me.”
“See,” I tell her with a grin. “I’m full of surprises. And just so you’re not tempted to sneak into my room tonight, I’m going to check out and head to the airport, get a flight back out to Vegas.”
“You’re leaving?” she asks with fear in her eyes.
“I’m giving you space,” I correct her. “I’m going to be waiting for you in Vegas. I’m not going to call you or text you, but don’t take that to mean I don’t want you. On the contrary, I’d like to haul you over my shoulder right now and carry you out of here. But I want you to take the time you need without me influencing your decision.”
Her eyes swim with relief. at this point. Things are looking good for me if I was a gambling man, and hey… I own a casino so…
“Jorie…” I lean down to brush my lips against hers. “Don’t take forever to figure this out. You’ve got two of us in limbo.”
“I promise,” she says with a smile. Her hand goes around my neck, and she kisses me hard. When she pulls back, she says, “I love you. I hope you know that.”
“I do,” I assure her.
I just hope to fuck it’s enough.
I don’t go home immediately after leaving the hotel. I had honestly thought I would be there a few hours, because given the passion we’d engaged in earlier, I was convinced Walsh wasn’t going to let me go until he had me again. Or even again after that.
I’m not sure what it says about me—about the type of woman I am—that I’m disappointed he didn’t. I’ve got two men who want me, one of which I share a home and a marriage certificate with, but I wanted Walsh inside me again. I craved it. Needed it.
I miss it so much.
I instead drive to a small nature park that’s a few miles from our neighborhood. I’m not dressed to hike so I merely walk through a small arboretum, looking at the various plants and trees. Taking peace in nature, even as my inner being is fraught with stress and turmoil over what to do.
I mean… I know what to do.
It’s Walsh. It can only ever be Walsh.
But there’s a small part of me that can’t discount the fact I’m married to someone I loved a great deal, and still hold some love for. We’d drifted apart and miscommunicated about key issues. Those things seem to be something we can work on if we wanted to rebuild our future together.