Hopefully, it’ll be enough.
A slow smile stretched his lips as he slung his arm around her waist and led her from the waiting room. When they stepped outside, the sun was meeting the horizon. By the time they made it back to Haven, the moon was out, and she was struggling to stay awake.
Instead of parking on the gravel drive, like usual, Austin pulled to a stop beside his back porch. She didn’t argue when he carried her into the house and up the stairs to his room and laid her across the bed. All Paige wanted to do was curl up and go to sleep. But as Austin sat on the edge of the mattress beside her, his cell phone began to ring. She watched him pull the device from his pocket and check the caller ID with a sigh.
“It’s my dad,” he announced.
As he answered the call, a ripple of apprehension rolled through her.
“Yeah.” After a short pause, he replied, “No. He had to have heart bypass surgery.” He paused again, then looked at her, beaming with pride. “She’s been through a brutal day, but she’s holding up.” His glow was short-lived as a frown tugged his lips. “No. She’s here…with me.”
Heart chugging, Paige nibbled her bottom lip before a wry smile curled his lips.
“Thanks, Pa. I’ll be sure to tell her.”
She sent Austin a wide-eyed stare.
“You, too.” Austin grinned. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
As soon as he ended the call, Paige pounced to her knees and nearly crawled onto his lap. “What did your dad say to tell me?”
“He said to let you know our prayers are with you and your family and that, if you need anything, don’t be afraid to ask.”
Paige gaped at him in absolute shock. “He did? Why?”
Austin pondered her question for several long seconds, then subtly shrugged. “For lots of reasons. Despite the war between him and Raymond, Duke Carson is a good man with a big heart. I think he’s trying real hard not to judge you by your last name because he knows I care about you.”
Hearing Austin acknowledge his feelings for her sent hope soaring.
“You told him you care about me?”
Austin chuckled. “I didn’t have to. He’s smart and observant.”
Paige smiled and nodded, then sobered as Austin’s stare turned smoldering.
“I need a shower,” he announced in the deep, raspy voice that never failed to make her wet and achy. “Would you care to join me?”
Her hungry hormones were chanting, Yes, yes, yes, while the little voice in her head whispered, You might want to take a hot minute to think this through.
“No pressure, little girl. Whatever you need, I’ll make it happen.”
His pledge was like a knife to the heart. Tears filled her eyes. Paige rolled onto her butt, drew her knees to her chest, and wrapped her arms around them. Austin’s brows slashed in concern while she swallowed the lump of longing and sorrow lodged in her throat and bravely lifted her chin.
“All I need is for us to be the way we were…before.”
Sadness crawled across his face as he pulled her into his arms. “We’ll get there. Not tonight, but soon.”
Blinking back the tears blurring her vision, Paige nodded. “All right.”
He kissed her forehead, then stood. “I’ll be out in a few minutes.”
Heart aching, Paige watched him turn and stride to the bathroom. Short seconds later, while she was still vacillating about whether to join him or not, she heard the shower running.
For ten long, miserable, lonely days, I’ve prayed for the chance to be…in his house and in his bed. So why the hell am I still sitting here? Okay, so, I still don’t know if he was pushing me away on purpose. But one thing’s for sure. He’s not pushing me away now.
Paige bounded off the bed and stripped off her clothes as she hurried to the bathroom. She rounded the corner and froze at the sight of Austin, head back, eyes closed, fisting his glorious hard cock.
A needy whimper slid from her lips. Before she could change her mind, Paige rushed across the room, gripped the shower door, and pulled it open.
Austin’s eyes flew open wide as his hand instantly stilled on his cock.
“Paige? I-I didn’t—”
“Mind if I take over, cowboy?”
Without waiting for him to answer, she stepped inside, closed the door, then cupped her hand over his and started stroking him up and down. Austin growled as he cinched his other hand in her hair and dragged her mouth to his. There were no tender nibbles, no playful licks, just raw, hot passion, and he thrust past her lips and swept deep inside her mouth. As if they’d been apart forever, their tongues frantically collided, their bodies writhed and rocked as muffled whimpers and moans melded into the steam rising around them.
Giving Paige the power to please him, Austin slid his hand from beneath her stroking grip, then plowed his fingers between her aching folds. Stroking her clit and teasing her slit, he swallowed her cries of rapture.
Through the onslaught of pleasure pinging through her, Paige found it ironic that, though they were struggling to defeat their pasts, when they came together like this, they were in perfect sync and unequivocally whole.
It had to mean something, right?
“Christ,” Austin groaned against her lips. “I’ve missed the taste of your mouth, the feel of your hot, slick pussy, and the erotic sounds you make when I touch you like this.”
Thumbing the leaking crest of his cock while she stroked him faster and harder, Paige gently sank her teeth into his bottom lip. Empowered by his guttural groan of satisfaction, she brazenly tugged, then laved his warm flesh with her tongue.
“I’ve missed everything about you. Especially this…” She squeezed his cock tighter and stroked even faster while guiding him toward his busy hand at her pussy. “Make love to me Austin…please.”
His expression turned painfully torn.
“I don’t care what problems we’re going through. I need you…need to connect to you again, like this.”
He searched her eyes as if gauging her sincerity.