The sex…well, it had been the best sex of her life.
She went to grab the wine and took her time searching for glasses. If Chad was planning on leaving, she was giving him enough time to get up. She wanted to avoid that awkward moment for her heart and pride.
Rising up on the tips of her toes, she reached for two wineglasses. The sudden heat behind her caused her heart to jump.
“Here,” Chad said, reaching over her. “Let me help.”
Bridget gripped the edges of the counter as he picked up the two glasses. He placed them beside the bottle, but instead of pouring the wine, he gripped her hips and pressed forward. She let out a gasp when she felt the length of him against her rear.
“Did you think one time was going to be enough?” A hand traveled up her back, wrapping around her hair. He guided her head back. Their eyes met and the room tilted. “Or did you think I was going to leave?”
She was past the pretense of lying. “Yes.”
“Is that what you want?” He moved in, and his cock dipped, coming so close to where she was aching for him.
“No,” she admitted. “But I thought—”
“You think too much.” He kissed her, flicking his tongue over hers. “And you know what I think?”
Oh God… “What?”
“I hate this goddamn shirt.” With that, he let go of her hair and the shirt was lying somewhere on the kitchen floor within seconds. “Ah, that’s much better.”
She pushed her hips back, her breath coming out in short puffs. “Is it?”
“Oh, yeah.” He pulled her back more and then ran a hand down her spine, sending shivers dancing over her skin. “We’re going to do this. Right here. It’s going to be hard and rough. You ready?”
A bolt of pure lust exploded in her, priming her sex. Bridget nodded, her heart giving out a little as she tightened her grip on the counter. She stared at the cabinet door in front of her, eyes drifting half shut.
Chad splayed a hand across her belly and tugged her up. He made a guttural sound an instant before he slammed into her. She cried again, her back arching as she nearly came from the sweet, deep penetration. He slid out a few inches and repeated the movement until the only sounds in the apartment were their breathing and slamming of their bodies pushing against each other.
His fingers dug into her hips as he thrust forward, over and over. Their rhythm wasn’t perfect, especially not when he reached up from around her and grabbed her breasts. His nimble fingers found her nipple and his teeth latched onto her shoulder.
Bridget screamed his name as her orgasm exploded through her body, like he had promised all those nights ago in the club, and he came with a deep groan, rocking and shuddering.
When he finally did pull out, which felt like an eternity later and still not long enough, he turned her around. “Are you okay?” Concern radiated from his tone.
“I’m perfect—that was perfect.” She smiled, amazed she could still stand, though.
Chad looped his arms around her waist, and she saw something shift in his expression before he lowered his head, kissing her slowly. The kissing inevitably led to other things. A touch against her breast, between her thighs, and they kept kissing as he turned her around and lifted her onto the kitchen table. Pushing forward, he split her thighs and his kisses traveled all the way down. Bridget’s head fell back and her eyes closed as he did another thing he’d promised.
Chad worshipped her.
Sometime later, they ended up back in the bedroom, the wine forgotten and their limbs coated in sweat and tangled together.
“Merry Christmas,” he said, pressing his lips to her damp forehead.
Bridget’s chest spasmed as she snuggled closer. His arm around her waist tightened, and she squeezed her eyes shut against the sudden rush of tears.
This was going to end badly, because she knew that when it came time to let him go, it was going to be the last thing she ever wanted to do. Every part of her was relaxed and deliciously sated, but her heart…oh, it was aching something fierce.
She took a deep breath and pushed the lump in her throat down. “Merry Christmas, Chad.”
Yeah, things were definitely complicated now.
Chad couldn’t remember having a better Christmas morning. He woke up with his arm around Bridget’s waist and his head buried in her hair. When he rolled her over, she smiled up at him sleepily and spread her thighs for him.
He’d taken his time with her this morning, moving in her slowly, dragging the pleasure out for both of them. He wasn’t fucking or screwing her. He knew what he was doing.
The shower had been a different story.
Chad had bent her over and drove into her like he’d never had sex before. Being with her, being inside of her, was something he would never get tired of. He knew that in his soul.
Lots of laughter and sex later and some clothing, they made breakfast together while Pepsi sat by the stove, waiting for scraps to fall to the floor.
He didn’t know what it was about this whole setup, but he didn’t want to be anywhere than where he was. It was when she was cuddled against him on the couch that he did he remember what else Maddie had told him last night.
Brushing the riot of waves back from her face, he grinned when her lashes lifted and yearning shone through her eyes. His own sex came roaring to life in a nanosecond. “Very soon,” he promised both of them. “But first, there was something else that Maddie told me last night.”
Bridget sat up, tucking her hair back. Her brows knitted. “What?”
“She told me about your director and how he doesn’t want you to attend because of me. Look, I’m going to take—”
“Wait.” She held up a hand. “I’ll admit, I was pissed when the director pulled me out. I worked on that Gala all year, but there’s something I need to tell you before…well, before this goes any further. Okay?”
Chad sat back and nodded. An instant later, Pepsi jumped into his lap. “Okay.”
A shy smile pulled at her lips. “I wasn’t a big fan of pretending to be your girlfriend in the beginning.” She laughed self-consciously as she ran her fingers over the emerald. “Actually, I was pretty pissed about the whole thing, but it’s not like that anymore. I mean…” She trailed off, flushing. “God, I sound like an idiot.”
Chad tried to hide his smile. “What? You’re telling me you didn’t agree to do this to increase your dating pool?” he teased.
The flush spread down her throat. “Oh God, no, that’s not why I agreed.”
Admittedly curious why she had, he idly scratched Pepsi behind his ear. “Tell the truth, you always wanted to be my girlfriend.”
Bridget laughed so loud Pepsi lifted his head and flattened his ears. “No. That’s not it, either. Miss Gore… Well, in a way, I guess I have to thank her for her disturbing level of determination.”
His fingers stilled on Pepsi’s head. “What do you mean?”
“Miss Gore basically blackmailed me.” She reached over, scratching Pepsi’s paw. “She threatened to tell people that I was stalking you. She also found out I had been late on my student loans at some point and offered to pay off the debt. You’re at least worth fifty thousand, did you know that?” She laughed as Pepsi made bread on Chad’s thigh. “I say you’re worth more, but—”
“Wait,” he said, staring at her. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “She offered to pay off your student loans to pretend to be my girlfriend.”
Bridget nodded. “Yeah, can you believe that?”
Out of the reasons why he’d come up with, the fact that Bridget had been paid was not one of them. Shock rippled through him. He didn’t know what to feel. Angry? Disappointed? Disgusted?
Bridget was paid to be his girlfriend.
Just like the women that his father paid to be his girlfriend.
A short laugh escaped him as he stared at Bridget. “You know, maybe I was stupid for thinking the reason why you agreed to do this was because you liked me or that you wanted to make up for leaving my ass in the bathroom when we first met.”
Confusion poured into Bridget’s expression. “Yeah, that would be pretty stupid if you thought that.”
“Wow. Okay.” Chad picked up Pepsi and sat the very disgruntled cat on the sofa. He stood, hands shaking. “I hope you and Miss Gore are happy with your agreement.”
“What?” Bridget shot to her feet. “Chad, wait a second. You can’t be that mad.”
“I can’t be that mad?” He stared at her, incredulous. “Yeah, you know, I’ve done some pretty fucked-up stuff in my past and a lot of people probably don’t think I have a lot of standards, but I do. That’s the fucking limit for me. It’s disgusting.”
She jerked back as if he’d slapped her. After everything, he wasn’t even going to give her two seconds to explain she didn’t take the money? Was it that easy to believe she’d whore herself out? “Excuse me?”
“This is over.”
“Chad!” Bridget moved forward as if to block his escape, but one look from him had her thinking twice. She took a step back, blinking her eyes rapidly. “I don’t understand why you won’t hear my side.”
Chad wasn’t sure what he thought, but the truth had never crossed his mind. When money was involved, you could never trust the outcome or anyone’s actions.
Shaking his head, he headed for the door. “Your services are no longer needed. This shit is over. I’m done.”
Bridget was still in a numb daze when she returned to work two days after Christmas. She had no idea how or why Chad had reacted as strongly as he did. She’d just wanted to have all their cards on the table, so to speak, if things had any hope of moving further…going beyond pretend. For a moment there, she’d really thought he wanted something real with her and she couldn’t go further without the truth between them.
During those two days, she went through every emotional stage and when anger finally showed its ugly head, she’d been grateful. Cussing Chad was better than burying her head in her tear-soaked pillows.
Had he really believed she’d just go out with him because he was that damn awesome? For fuck sake, his ego knew no limits.
But the anger didn’t hang around long, and she really shouldn’t have been surprised that she was going to work using a ton of concealer under her swollen eyes.
Her heart was broken, just ahead of schedule.
She turned her computer on and listlessly started checking her e-mails. Fifteen minutes later, Madison bounded into the office with a smile so huge Bridget had to wonder if she won the lottery over the break.
Or if Chase had proposed to her.
But Madison’s smile faded the moment she saw Bridget. “Oh no, what has happened?”
Bridget wasn’t sure if she should tell Madison now that she and Chad were broken up. The last thing she wanted to do was ruin his contract, so she opted for a lie. “I’m not feeling well.”