Because she had no idea if she’d fooled him even a tiny bit but she could no longer fool herself. This wasn’t just sex.
She dragged her eyes open, raising her eyes to meet his, hoping he couldn’t see the truth in her expression. Something dark and unreadable moved deep in his eyes but she didn’t want to go there. Instead she took his hand to lead him to her bedroom.
But he stopped her. “Shower,” he said firmly and turned on the hot water.
“Don’t worry, I give good shower.”
He had them both stripped down to skin in a blink and nudged her into the hot, steamy water. Soaping up his hands and running them all over her body, he proved his statement.
He was good in the shower.
When she was sated and shaking from the aftermath, he propped her up against the tile wall and quickly and efficiency washed himself up. Just watching him, she got hot and bothered all over again.
When he caught her staring at him like a voyeur, he smiled. “See something you like?”
“You know I do.” She reached for him, but he turned off the water, dried her off first, and then finally allowed her to drag him off to her bed. She tried to push him down to the mattress but he took her with him so that they tumbled together in a tangle of limbs. Wordlessly he rolled her beneath him, his mouth on hers for a deep, bruising kiss.
She wasn’t the only one feeling desperate tonight.
He had her stripped of her towel in a blink and she pressed herself close to all those hard, hot muscles she hadn’t gotten enough of. Wasn’t sure she could get enough of.
Slowing her down, Keane let his hands roam, heating every inch of her skin until she was begging for more. When he finally rose above her and thrust in deep, the world stopped.
He made her look at him and that was new for her. Eyes open. Heart open.
New and terrifying.
And in that moment, she knew the truth. She’d fallen irrevocably, irreversibly in love with him.
Closing her eyes against the onslaught of emotion, she tried to take it all in. His scent. The rough rumble of his sexy groan. The way his arms banded around her, one hand fisted in her hair, the other at her hip holding her, grounding her so that she could let go of everything but this. Because he had her.
He always had her.
Remember, she told herself desperately, remember how his body felt thrusting into hers, his muscles clenching, his skin hot under her hands. “Keane,” she whispered, his name falling from her lips without permission.
He groaned, and knowing he was close she wrapped her legs around him and met his thrusts with an intensity of her own, forcing her eyes to meet his, reaching one hand to lay flat against his chest, needing to feel the beat of his heart.
Afterward, she lay pressed against him, feeling her pulse pounding, thinking that had been the most real, most erotic experience of her life. “Thanks for tonight,” she whispered.
His huff of laughter brushed her temple. “No, thank you.”
“I meant for the plumbing rescue,” she said. “I didn’t want to need you to come in and wave your magic wand and fix my life.”
“Babe, I didn’t wave my magic wand until after I fixed the plumbing.”
She lifted her head and stared at him in disbelief. “Did you really just say that?”
His mouth twitched. “Trying to avoid having a deep, meaningful conversation that probably won’t end well for me. Thought charm might help.”
“That wasn’t charm, that was pure cheese.”
He smiled. “But you laughed. I love your laugh, Willa.”
She felt herself soften. “You’re changing the subject.”
“Trying,” he said and rolled off the bed. Bending to his jeans, he began to pull on his clothes.
“Are you leaving?”
“Are you tiptoeing around my crazy and trying not to crowd me, or are you running away as fast as you can?”
He gave a low laugh and grabbed his phone off her nightstand.
He really was leaving. She got up and wrapped her arms around him from behind. “Keane.”
Turning, he met her gaze. “I’ll never run from you.”
This stole her breath and she just stared up at him.
He stared back. Not exactly patient, but one hundred percent attentive and willing to hear whatever she said next.
“I’m just in deeper than I meant to be,” she said softly.
“And again, you’re not alone there.”
Her heart squeezed. “I don’t know what any of this means, what to feel.”
“I know.” He pressed his jaw against the side of hers. “I’m trusting you to figure it out and get back to me.”
“Do you know?”
“I’m getting there,” he said, as always brutally honest and unapologetic.
A part of her was deeply grateful for that. But another part of her was terrified because she was pretty sure she knew too.
It was just that her heart had two speeds: asleep or foot-to-the-metal. She’d been in relationships where she’d gone full throttle, feeling some of what she felt like when she was with Keane. Excited. Happy. Alive. Except that in each of those relationships, she’d been the only one all in. And then she’d stayed all in, past the warning signs. Past the recommendation of her friends. Past logic and common sense.
And she’d been burned.
Oh so burned.
“Willa.” Keane’s voice was as heartbreakingly gentle as his hands, which came up to her arms. “Don’t rush yourself, not for anyone and especially not for me.” That said, he kissed her, a devastatingly perfect kiss.
And then he was gone.
Willa woke up on Christmas Eve morning with her toes frozen. So was the rest of her. She thought about how much nicer it’d have been to be wrapped around Keane’s big, warm body right about now.
And not just to climb him like a tree, but because she didn’t like mornings. Because she thought that with him in bed with her, looking at her in that way he did that said she was the prettiest, smartest, funniest, sexiest thing he’d ever seen, she might learn to like waking up after all.
It was just that he had a way of making her feel special. Like she mattered. Really mattered. When she was with him, she felt like a better version of herself. So why the hell did she need space again? The answer was simple.