The bottom line was that she couldn’t get enough of him and even though she hated herself at the moment, she wanted this. She wanted any part of him she could get.
And right now she had one of her very favorite parts of him and she felt herself tightening, pushing toward the edge of orgasm as he moved deep inside her. He slid his hand along the underside of her thigh, holding her leg against his hip so he could thrust deep, sending her spiraling out of control. Staring up into his face, she thought that she’d never seen that look before, like he was completely lost in her. That, and lust, a sheer, unadulterated lust that took her over with one final thrust. He kept moving until they were both spent, unable to move a single muscle.
“Callie,” he finally whispered, his voice filled with a wealth of affection that was like an onslaught, a battering ram against the wall she’d built around her heart.
He slid one arm around her back and pulled her in even closer while he cradled her head with the other. Then he lowered his mouth and kissed her with a tenderness that she wasn’t prepared for. Not even close.
Playful and lust filled, yes.
But gentle and meaningful? God. God, she couldn’t.
He briefly left the bed and then came back, pulling up the covers before sliding beneath them.
“What are you—oh,” she breathed, and then held on as he spent a good long time exploring every inch of her body with his tongue and his hands. By the time he entered her again, she’d had another orgasm and was well on her way to yet another. Any thought of holding a part of herself back was gone because the only thing she could concentrate on was the feeling of Tanner on top of her and inside her.
How she felt in that moment was beyond any words she could have come up with. During the party, and especially after he’d let her and the world know she was just Callie to him, she’d been able to keep her emotional connection to him in check. She’d even told herself she’d cut that emotional connection entirely. Severed it clean.
A big, fat lie.
Tanner stirred when Callie slipped out of the bed. She gave him no lingering touch, not a good-bye, nothing. It was like their first time all over again.
He hadn’t realized he’d become so dependent on the time they spent time in each other’s arms, laughing, talking…It’d become almost as important as the sex itself.
Except this, with her, wasn’t just sex. Not even close, not to him. “Where’s the fire?” he asked.
She didn’t answer right away, just moved about his room in the dark, picking up her clothes, righting them, putting them back on.
“I need to get home, I’ve got a thing,” she said. Lightly. Carefully so.
And he got his second warning niggle. It hadn’t occurred to him until now that she’d come here just for this. “Got all you needed?” he asked.
She glanced at him. “Yes. As did you.”
“No question,” he said. “I just didn’t realize it was a booty call.”
Her mouth tightened. “Well, what did you think we’ve been doing?”
“Actually,” he said, “once you took your clothes off, I stopped thinking entirely.”
She picked up her purse and fished out her keys.
“Can’t the ‘thing’ wait?” he asked.
She looked at him for a long beat. “No. The thing can’t wait.”
Call him slow, but he was finally getting that something was truly, seriously wrong. He sat up. “Did I hurt you?”
He’d missed something. Something big. He got out of the bed. “Or ever,” he said. “Let’s start with that.”
She shook her head. “Definitely don’t have time for this.”
He caught her wrist. “Make time.”
“I have to go.”
He was getting that loud and clear. He was also getting that he’d fucked something up big time. “It’s important,” he said.
“I have to go,” she repeated.
“Later then. Today. We’ve got to take a group out for deep sea fishing, but I’ll be back by three. I’ll take you out on the water for sunset and then dinner.”
“A date?” she asked in a surprised voice, and regret hit him like a one-two punch to the solar plexus. Because of their work schedules and caring for Troy, most of his and Callie’s time together had been late at night in bed. “Yes,” he said, promising himself he was going to convince her that they could do better. That on top of that, they could actually work. “A date. I’ll pick you up by five the latest.”
She didn’t look impressed, but he couldn’t tell if that was disinterest or something else in her eyes.
“Please,” he said.
Another long assessing gaze and he did his best to look like something she couldn’t live without.
“I’ll meet you on the docks,” she finally said. “At five.”
And then she was gone.
That afternoon Callie sat at her grandma’s kitchen table. She was simultaneously inhaling the cookies her grandma had gotten from the bakery earlier and watching the clock.
“You late for something?” Lucille asked.
“You have a date with your hottie?”
“I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that if I do, everything I say will be used against me on a social media platform,” Callie said.
Lucille grinned. “You do have a date.” She clapped her hands together, clearly pleased as punch. “You two have decided to make a go of it. Am I right? Tell me I’m right!”