Maybe Olivia didn’t see the press conference? My stomach roils—because maybe Olivia’s not even here. Perhaps she went…out. A toxic mix shudders in my gut at the possibility that she went out with someone. A man who’d help her drown her sorrows and forget the heartache I’ve brought her.
The thought has me pushing the coffee shop door open with more force than I intended—and stumbling over the threshold. The interior is dim, but not dark—it’s illuminated by a single candle. At a table…where Olivia sits.
And my entire being exhales with relief.
I take several moments to just look at her. Soaking in the vision of her dark, swirling hair—shiny, even in the candlelight. The way the glow of the flame dances across her flawless pale skin, highlighting her heart-shaped face, her high cheekbones, the flush, pink lips that have possessed me from the start and the midnight-blue eyes that own my soul.
She watches me too, unmoving and wordless, her cheeks flushing as she stares—enough to make me wonder what gloriously filthy thoughts are fluttering through her mind. The door swings slowly closed behind me as I step farther into the room.
“It’s a quiet night,” I say. Because those words come easy—as opposed to the backlog of confessions and apologies that are fighting for prominence in my throat.
Olivia blinks. Almost like she’s just grasping that I’m real—here—and not a vision she’s imagined.
“Logan worked with the NYPD. He set up a three-block perimeter around the shop.”
I nod, not taking my eyes off her. There’s an excellent chance I’ll never close them again. Sleep is overrated.
“Ah…that explains the barricade.”
Slowly I draw closer to her. “I’ve missed you.”
The slight dip of her chin, a gentle nod, is the only response I get.
I rub the back of my neck. “Did you…did you watch the press conference?”
Olivia’s face changes—softens at the corners of her mouth, heating her gaze.
I take another step, slowly, barely reining in the urge to take her into my arms and make love to her against the wall, the floor and on top of every table in the room.
Because before we get to that, there are things that must be said. Things she deserves to hear.
My voice is a raw whisper. “Olivia, about the things I said, the night you left. I’m—”
“Forgiven.” Tears well in her eyes. “You’re completely forgiven. You had me at ‘horse’s ass.’”
And she throws herself into my arms.
I bury my face in the hollow of her neck, inhaling the sweet scent of her skin—honey and roses and her. My lips travel up across her jaw, finding her mouth, feeling the wetness of her tears against my cheek. And then our mouths are moving together, tasting and delving—wild and demanding. This is no sweet, storybook reunion. This is raw and desperate and unadulterated need. Being away from her, knowing how close I came to truly losing her, makes me rougher than I should be. My hands push through her hair, clench down her back holding her tight against me, feeling every breath that shudders through her.
And I’m not alone. She moans into me—I taste it on my tongue—her hands tugging on my hair, her legs wrapping around my waist, squeezing like she can’t get close enough. Like she’ll never let go.
And everything about it is perfect and right.
After a time, the desperation ebbs and our kisses slow—our lips turn to savoring and sucking. I feel Olivia’s soft hands stroking the planes of my face gently and her forehead comes to rest against mine. We gaze into each other’s eyes, breathing the same air.
“I love you,” she whispers, her voice trembling. And more tears fall down her cheeks. “I love you so much. I can’t…I can’t believe you gave all of that up. How could you do that?”
She’s crying harder now—and I realize she’s grieving for me. Because somehow she thinks I’ve lost something.
I set her on her feet, brush back her hair and wipe the tears from her face.
“It was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. When I stood up there, in front of all those cameras, it was like when they say your life flashes before your eyes when you’re dying. I saw all the years ahead—and not one of them mattered worth a damn. Because I didn’t have you there with me. I love you, Olivia. I don’t need a kingdom—if you’re beside me, I already have the whole world.”
“That’s so beautiful.” She cries. “And really cheesy, too.”
And there…there it is—that stunning smile that hits me right in my heart.
And my cock.
She rests her head against my chest, her arms around my waist, and we stand just like that for several minutes.
Until Olivia asks, “What happens now?”
I kiss the top of her head and lean back.
“Well…I’m out of a job.” I step backward, grabbing the HELP WANTED sign from the window. “So, I was hoping the dishwashing position is still available.”
Olivia’s eyes sparkle—one of the most gorgeous fucking sights I’ve ever seen.
“Have you ever actually washed a dish?”
“Not one.” I peck her lips. “But I’m a very eager learner.”
“And what about us? What happens with us?”
“We can do anything we want. Every single day of the future is ours.”