In the depths of my being, I know Carter needs someone to love him and someone he can love in return. He’s a man in pain, a beast trapped in a castle of his own making. I’m just not convinced that I can be that woman.
Or that he’ll let me close enough to be that woman.
“I know,” I tell her truthfully. “But it’s not all up to me.”
“Try,” she begs me. “Please, just try to hold on to him.”
I swallow my heart, which has traveled all the way up to my throat, and only nod. She has no idea how much I wish I could.
Last night she stayed in her room. The one I’m not supposed to go in. I sat by the door and listened to her cry softly. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.
My thumb taps on the desk as I stare at the box. She fixed it. She did it. Not me. She didn’t ask, and she doesn’t know what it does to me. Part of me wants to rip it out. The other part is hoping it means something. Something beyond what I’m capable of controlling.
Knock, knock. The gentle rap at the door disturbs my thoughts. It’s early. I’ve already met with Aden and Jase. We know where every enemy and ally is, and what they’re planning. There’s nothing to do but wait for Romano to lay Talvery to rest. He’ll lose men doing it, but my side has lost enough. And I informed him of exactly that. His options are limited.
Knock, knock. She knocks again and I have to clear my throat, feeling the roughness at the back as I straighten in my chair and call for her to come in.
The door opens slowly, revealing Aria to me with sleep still in her eyes. Her hair flows down her bare back in waves, and the only thing she’s wearing is a thin, black silk nightie with the white pearls draped down her breasts. My cock instantly hardens as she takes a single careful step in, quietly walking on the balls of her feet until she turns and shuts the door with her back to me.
“You look… breathtaking,” I say, the words falling from my lips.
Her head turns first, bringing with it the sway of her hips, the gentle swing of her hair around her shoulders and those beautiful eyes that toy with my emotions. Her lips tip up, pulling into a feminine smile as a blush rises up her chest and climbs all the way to her temple. With her head tilted down, she peeks up at me through her lashes, brushing a stray lock from her face and murmurs, “That seems fitting … since you leave me breathless.”
She takes deliberate but slow steps, so I know right where she’s headed as she rounds the desk. I don’t know why I turn off the monitors, shut my laptop and scoot the chair back, spreading my legs so she can easily climb into my lap. As she adjusts, her small hand slips to my groin and a muffled groan escapes my throat, rumbling my chest. Aria’s eyes light with a playfulness, but also so much more. Her eyes always give me more than I deserve.
“I miss you,” she whispers as her ass presses against my cock and she lies heavily against my chest. Her hair tickles my neck until she rests her cheek on my shoulder, and lazily presses a small kiss to my throat.
I have a small moment, a split second where I wonder if this is real or a dream. The tension is gone; the thoughts of what will come don’t exist in this moment. She simply wants me, and I her. As her nails gently run down my throat, playing among the overgrown stubble, she swallows thickly and I have to wonder if the same thought has hit her as I see pain grow in her expression in the reflection on the black monitor in front of me.
“I didn’t think you would come to me,” I tell her quietly, and pluck at one of the pearls of her necklace, rolling it between my thumb and forefinger. She nuzzles against my shoulder and whispers in a sultry voice, “I thought you knew me better than that, Mr. Cross.” The rough chuckle I give her in return shakes my chest, and along with it, her. Her breasts press against my chest, and I feel her nipples harden from the slight movement.
“I love you,” she whispers and kisses my neck again, softer this time, leaving a touch of wetness behind. “There’s nothing that could stop me from loving you. I tried. I can’t stop,” she tells me softly, lifting her head to look me in the eyes.
Instead of answering her, I cup her pussy in my lap, pressing my fingers against the thin silk that separates my hand from her hot entrance. She’s damp immediately. Wet and hot for me.