“I know,” I said, holding her tight, “I can’t stop thinking about you. About the way you made me laugh at the potluck, and the day we went on the picnic by the creek, how perfect that felt. It’s like the lights went out or the curtain fell. As soon as I left here, left you.”
“I hate that you left and that I told you to leave. I hate all of this, Jeremiah. You can’t imagine how wrong everything’s gone. I’ll figure things out, and I’ll be fine. I always am. But I can’t put things back together. Like us. Can that be fixed?”
“It can if you’ll let it. If you can move forward with me, then it will just be that one time we broke up and it damn near killed us both. You have to trust me,” I said against the springy mass of curls.
“I want to,” she said, “Or I want to forget. At least make me forget for tonight.”
“I’ll make you forget anytime you want me to,” I said with a wicked grin.
I loosened my hold on her, lifted her thick, silky hair to the side and kissed her neck. Using a deep core of self-control, I savored her neck with decadent kisses that made her gasp and grab my wrist and hold it. I loved that, the way she gripped my arm to hold me there, to keep me right where she wanted me. Right where I wanted to be. The cool fabric of her top felt good against my bare chest, but I wanted her skin on skin. I drew back, watched her pout briefly until I peeled off her shirt.
“It’s a pretty thing, but it was in my way. And not as pretty as these,” I said, caressing the swell of her breasts teasingly above the lace of her bra. I watched goose bumps rise on her skin, the shadow of her nipples beading at my touch.
I gathered her in my arms and carried her to the bed. I lay her on top of the covers, peeled back the sheets so she could slide between them. I shucked off the rest of my clothes and climbed into the crisp, cool sheets with her. There was something lush about getting under the covers with her, being fully in bed with her, unhurried and anticipating great pleasure. I stroked her face and kissed her lips.
“I’m so glad you’re here,” I said.
“I missed you so much,” she said. I nodded and kissed her cheek, her forehead, her eyelids so tenderly. A tear slid out the corner of her eye. I swept it away with my thumb.
“Don’t cry,” I whispered against her lip., “I’m here. I have you.”
“It isn’t that. I don’t know what it is, except the way you touch me.”
“I haven’t hurt you have I?” I said, pulling away from her.
“No, no, nothing like that. You’re just… I don’t know, it sounds weird to say it.”
“When have you ever been afraid to be weird around me?” I teased and got a soft laugh from her that felt like a victory.
“You’re so gentle it made me ache, okay? See? Weird.”
“Beautiful,” I said, and kissed her again.
I took my time kissing my way down her body, sliding down the zipper of her jeans and easing them off of her, leaving her in peach lace panties that I wanted to rip off and crush in my hands, bury my face in them and inhale. Instead I put my mouth to her through the lace, kissing, lapping until she opened her thighs for me, ran her hands through my hair, urging me on. I hooked a finger in the panties and drew them aside so I could taste her, so I could worry her sensitive bud until she was breathing so hard I could hear it, could feel the tug of building pleasure in my own body from her eager response. Too soon, her cries rang out as she pulsed against me and came apart.
I crawled up the bed and gathered her to my chest. I caressed her arm, her back, her hair. She blinked up at me, petted and adored, pink with pleasure. I kissed her forehead, “So beautiful,” I said.
She nestled into me and hugged me back. Her arms sliding around my back and the way her head fitted into the hollow of my neck felt better than anything in my life. She belonged right there in my arms, like I had been formed to hold her this way and she was made to fit there. It was a wild mix of perfect peace and sharp arousal that made awareness brighter.
“Stay with me,” I said, because I couldn’t stop myself.
“Yes,” she said, her voice muffled in the crook of my neck.
Maggie started kissing my neck, and all that sense of peace burned away. My skin was alight, my body on fire. I rolled her onto her back and kissed her, a deep, passionate kiss that could leave no doubt what I meant to do. She was moving against me all the time, hand curling behind my head, leg hooking over mine, sinuous and fiery.