He crawled onto the bed and went right for the tender flesh between my legs, licking me with expert finesse. He moaned, vibrating the sensitive tissues as he teased them lightly with his tongue.

“I love it down here, baby,” he said, his breath gusting on my wet flesh. “I could lick your sweet little cunt all day long.”

His words set my nerves on edge. I quickened, the promise of release brewing like a storm inside me. He dug his fingers into my hips to keep me still as I bucked against him. I held on, gripping the sheets beneath me, as the orgasm crept closer. I cried out, my body reacting beyond my control, but before I could ride out the last of the aftershocks, he’d nestled his hips between my legs and pushed into me, angling my hips to hit the deepest part of me on his first thrust.

My breath caught as I stretched to accommodate him, my body exquisitely tight.

“It’s so good,” I breathed.

He moved slowly, easing into a rhythm that I eagerly met. Intense. Nothing felt so right. Like coming home. This was where I wanted to be every night, in his arms where I could savor the pressure of his body over me, around me, inside me, filling me completely and fucking me tirelessly until we disappeared into each other—until we felt that magic that Marie missed so much.

“God, Erica. You’re so tight,” he murmured into my neck. “Perfect.”

I pulled in a sharp breath and a blinding love rushed in with it. Chills erupted on my skin. I was crazy to think I could go on without him, without this. I was his, in every conceivable way. I’d never wanted him so badly, and I never wanted this moment to end. Today had been intense, and I wanted to end it lost in him.

We made slow love, though it was no less profound for its lack of kink. Wrapped in his smell and his lingering caresses, I clung to the rigid curves of his muscle bound body and to the promise that he would sate the burning hunger that consumed me every time our bodies met. He held me tight as another orgasm built inside me, slow and steady, pleasure taking me over. Overwhelmed by the emotions ripping through me, I closed my eyes, but Blake stilled.

“Look at me,” he whispered.

My body responded to the smallest of his commands. I opened my eyes into his, and the passion and love I found within them made my chest ache. There was no denying that I loved this man.


When I woke, the sun was up and Blake had gone, but he left a note.

Morning, boss,

Made you fruit salad for breakfast, in the fridge.

Love, B

My tummy did a little flip, like the bottom had dropped out on one of those theme park rides. I shuffled into the kitchen and found a single serving of fruit salad in the fridge. I smiled and brought it downstairs with me, along with the note, which I stuck on the corkboard in my bedroom. I showered and dressed, trying to focus on the mountain of work I had to do.

A few hours went by, and I was finally beginning to make some progress, when Sid walked into the apartment unexpectedly. He stopped when he saw me.

“You’re back.”

“I am. Where were you?” I peeked over the screen of my laptop.

His hair was mussed and his big brown eyes looked tired. “There’s this girl, Cady. She lives downstairs.”

“Shut up!”

“Uh, okay,” he said, frowning.

“I’m sorry, that’s code for ‘please continue.’”

“She’s got the new Call of Duty game, so we were up late with that. I crashed down there.”

“Do you like her?” This was real progress, and Cady seemed unconventional and geeky enough that this could possibly work. Still, I was getting way ahead of myself.

“She’s nice, yes,” he said, shoving his hands into his pockets nervously.

“That’s cool.” I tried to temper my excitement. “Hey, thanks for putting the furniture together.”

“No worries. It’s kind of fun actually.”

I grinned. “Only you would think so.”

He shrugged. “Probably. How was your trip?”

I hesitated for a second. How could I censor the sequence of events that comprised my rather short stay? Blake’s ex-girlfriend threatening me, an unexpected reunion with Blake, and the crescendo of discovering Heath’s criminal drug problem, which had unknown consequences on Alli. She still hadn’t returned my calls or texts.

“I made a few connections,” I said and left it at that. Alli and Sid had never been especially close, and his energies were better spent on the business rather than mulling over or even hearing about her drama.

Sid nodded and signaled his retreat back to the cave with a tap on his forehead.

I stopped him. “Hey, I might need your help with something.”

“What’s that?”

“Wait here.”

I went to the bedroom and retrieved the photo from the box. When I returned, I placed it on the counter in front of him.

“Who’s that?”

“That’s my mother. And that,” I said, pointing to the man next to her, “could very well be my father.”

His eyes shot up, traveling between the photo and me a few times. “What does this have to do with me?”

“I need you to help me find out who he is.”

“From this photo?”

“He was at Harvard with my mom in 1991. That and this photo is all I’ve got.”

Sid picked up the photo. He frowned and pursed his lips, a common expression when he was calculating and a good sign that he could and would help me.

“What’s your plan?” I asked tentatively.

“Unless Harvard keeps some sort of public digital database of former students, which I doubt they do, I’ll need to figure out how to access it privately. Then I’ll try to run some decent face recognition software and go from there.”

“Are you okay with that?” Guilt consumed me already. What I was asking of him probably required blatantly illegal access. I could always scour the yearbooks in the library and find the same information, but Sid’s method was surely faster and more accurate.

He shrugged. “Is this guy really your dad?”

“I wish I knew, Sid.”

“All right, I’ll let you know what I find,” he said. He returned to his room, taking the photo with him.

I turned my focus back to my laptop. I still had a hundred things to do, including sorting through the pile of resumes I’d accumulated since posting for Alli’s empty position before the trip. Now I couldn’t concentrate. How long would this search take? What if Sid found him in a matter of hours? What if he couldn’t find him at all? I chewed my fingernail.

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