His eyes softened, but nothing else did. “And…?”
“And I know you have to go, but I want my good-bye.”
His gaze held hers, revealing the heat, her need. “Babe, I’m on borrowed time here,” he said regretfully.
“Then you should hurry.”
He groaned and kissed her, but it wasn’t the hard, heated kiss she’d expected. It was slow, leisurely, like they had all the time in the world.
And only when she’d forgotten herself and the fact that he was indeed leaving, only when she could think of nothing but the sensual desire sliding through her belly, did he lower her to his bed and strip her piece by agonizing piece, his fingers skimming over her as he did, slow, reverent. Loving. He removed her panties last, slowly pulling them over her hips and down her legs like he had all the time in the world.
Like her pleasure was of the utmost importance to him.
Still bent over her, he looked up into her face as he brushed a kiss over her breast. And then just below her belly button.
She quivered. The things he could do to her with one look, one kiss…
Rearing up, she got to her knees and shoved his shirt up and over his head. And though she’d seen him shirtless many times, her mouth still went dry as she watched each beautifully defined muscle ripple as he pulled off the shirt.
She splayed her hands over his heart, feeling the comforting steady pound of it beneath her palms. Smiling, she slid her hands down to his ripped abs and leaned in to stroke her tongue over one of his nipples. His stomach. And southward bound—
The breath rushed out of his lungs as he toppled her to the mattress.
“Back to being in a hurry?” Sophie asked.
“You make me lose control,” he said and made her laugh breathlessly.
But then he slid inside her, filling her as only he could, making it impossible to do anything but cry out his name and wrap her arms and legs around him, desperate, hungry. Unlike him, she had no control, none at all and as he moved inside her, hungry sounds ripped from her throat, needy and desperate, and she didn’t care. “Jacob.”
His muscles bunched and released under her hands as he took the both of them right to the very edge, leaving her so close that her lungs burned for air. “Jacob.”
He pushed up on his arms, his hands braced on either side of her head to hold his weight, and she moaned at the sight of the carved muscles of his chest, shoulders and arms straining as he took her even deeper, harder, and then sent her skittering into a hard climax before following her over.
When she could breathe again, when she could open her eyes and focus, she found him propped up on an elbow at her side, watching her with an intensity that took her breath.
“I need this with you, Soph,” he said. “But more that, I need you. You make me laugh. You keep me in the moment and yet you also make me believe in a future. I want you to know all this before I go because life’s short. Way too short to let go of something you know you want to keep forever.”
Her heart caught. “Forever?”
“Say you’ll think about it,” he said. “Think about moving in here, at least until you can replace your things, until you figure out where your home is.”
“And if I figure out that my home is you?” she asked in a low whisper.
“Then that’s the first thing I want you to tell me when I get back.”
She smiled. He had a way of making clear what he wanted, what he hoped for, without pressuring her for more than she could handle. “Kiss me good-bye,” she demanded. “Kiss me so I won’t forget.”
He hauled her to him and held her tight before burying his hands in her hair and kissing her until they were both shaky and more than a little desperate.
She clutched at him and managed to ask, “How much longer do we have?”
He looked at the bedside clock. “An hour at most.”
“Then let’s make the most of it,” she said, and using his weight against him, pulled him down to her.
Three months later
It was two in the morning when Hud pulled up to the cabin on the lake. Next to him, Jacob took a deep breath of the Rocky Mountain air and for the first time in three months felt alive.
And hopeful. “Have you seen Sophie?” he asked. “Is she staying here?”
Hud didn’t answer that. No one had and Jacob hadn’t pressed, not sure if he was ready to know.
“Feels good to have you back,” was all Hud said.
Two arms came around Jacob tight from behind. Kenna in the backseat. “So GOOD!” she whispered fiercely, hugging him for what must’ve been the hundredth time since they’d picked him up at the airport in Denver two hours ago.