“That damn plane couldn’t fly fast enough,” Jack smiled and ran a hand through his hair.
“I thought he was going to overtake the pilot and fly himself,” Ezra added, trying to lighten the mood. When I looked over at him, he smiled at me and I could see the relief in his eyes too. “I’m glad to see you’re alright, Alice.”
“I should go check on Milo, though. Where is he?” Ezra looked to Mae for help.
“He’s been in his room since they got home.” She exchanged a look with Ezra, letting him know that Milo hadn’t taken the night so well either.
Jack didn’t take his eyes off me. It was as if he expected me to disappear if he did. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ezra walk out of the room, and Mae busied herself with cleaning up the dishes so she wasn’t staring at us.
“Why are you wearing sweatpants with a blazer?” I asked when it seemed that Jack would go on staring at me forever. I touched the pocket of his blazer, and he laughed.
“Um, we were sleeping when you texted me,” he said with a cautious grin. “We had early meetings today, and then I got your text message. We were calling and canceling things and rearranging flights, and I just never changed out of the pajamas. I put on the blazer because it was cold and raining. It’s my business suit. Do you like it?”
“Yeah.” I rubbed one of his platinum buttons, and there was something dashing about it. “I was wondering what you wore to work.”
“This is it. Well, with matching pants.” His eyes were lightening, and he was settling into the fact that I really was okay. “You look tired.”
“So do you,” I said. It was after eight in the morning, and it was too early for either of us to be up.
“Wanna go to bed?” He took my hand in his, preparing to lead me out of the kitchen.
“Jack.” Mae stood at the kitchen sink, and she gave him a hard look.
“If you think that I’m letting her out of my sight, then you’re crazy,” Jack said evenly.
“It’s her funeral.” She pointed at me while she glared at him, but she wouldn’t stop us.
“Thanks for the heads up,” he muttered dryly.
Still holding my hand, he led me upstairs. He walked very slowly and kept looking over at me, to make sure I was still there. When we reached his room, he turned on the light and shut the door behind us. Letting go of my hand for the first time, he slipped off his blazer and tossed it aside, then turned to look at me.
“I, um, I don’t have any pajamas,” I said awkwardly.
All I wore was the soft robe and a pair of cotton panties, because after the bath, that was all that had sounded comfortable against my skin.
“That’s okay,” he smiled, but it wasn’t naughty.
He stepped towards me, and very slowly, he untied the belt of my robe. He looked at me to make sure it was okay, and part of me wanted to stop him. Not because I didn’t want him to do it, but because I was about to be exposed completely.
My skin flushed red, and that only made him smile wider. He slipped his hands inside the open robe, resting them gently on my sides just above my hips, and his hands felt unnaturally warm against my trembling skin.
Gingerly, he lifted me up and placed me on his bed. I lay on my back, and the robe fell open, so my body lay open and naked before him. I swallowed hard as he looked me over.
He lowered his head and kissed the soft spot between my breasts, then turned and rested his ear on my chest, above my heart. His skin pressed against mine, and his hands held my sides as he listened to my heartbeat.
It was the way people listened to a pregnant woman’s belly to hear the baby. Something was strangely sweet and intimate about that, and I ran my fingers through his hair.
When he lifted his head again, he looked in my eyes, his blue eyes going translucent. He pushed the hair back from my forehead, and his skin burned against me.
“Do you have any idea how beautiful your heart sounds?” Jack asked me quietly, and I shook my head. “You have no idea how beautiful and amazing any part of you is.”
He bent down and pressed his lips against mine. He was still fully clothed, but I could feel the heat of his skin smoldering through his shirt. The weight of his body pressed tentatively against mine. Instinctively, my body pushed against his, and I tightened my fingers in his hair.
Jack kissed me, and everything inside me trembled with anticipation. Pleasure surged over me like electricity, and intense warmth spread all through me. My stomach swirled with butterflies, and my heart beat frantically. Every part of me begged for him.
His breathing was low and rough, and his hands eagerly searched my skin. His body moved with me, but stupid cloth separated us. I wanted to rip off his clothes, but I knew that wouldn’t be close enough. I wanted to feel his heart pounding with mine, and there was only one way to achieve that.
“Do it,” I whispered in his ear, and leaned my head back, revealing my throat.
He pressed his lips softly against my vein, leaving them there as I pushed myself against him. He tried to resist it, but he had an incessant need for me.
The sharp pain lasted only a second, and then ecstasy spread away from my neck. His heart beat heavily, and I felt it thudding in my own chest, above my heart. The double beat felt more amazing than anything I had ever experienced.
I could taste him in my mouth, the tangy, honey taste of his blood, even though I had never really tasted it. I could feel the way his blood coursed through his veins, the way it coursed through mine, like hot, liquid silk.
More than anything, though, I could feel how much he loved me. It was pure and raw, and it felt like it was coming from inside and spreading out all over me. It felt deeper than anything I had ever felt before. I didn’t think I was even capable of emotions that intense.
Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I felt embarrassed because I knew that he could feel how much I loved him, and it didn’t seem to compare with the way he felt about me.
The intensity of everything started fading, getting hazy around the edges. It all felt spectacular, but I felt more like I was dreaming and less like this was actually happening. I was losing consciousness, and I thought about telling Jack, but it felt far too amazing to stop.
- 21 -
A jolt ripped through me, and I gasped for air. My body suddenly felt cold and alone. Jack stopped biting me, and although he lay directly on top of me, the separation of his blood from mine, his heart from mine, was shocking.
“Oh my god.” Jack struggled to catch his breath. His face was buried in my hair, and I felt his body shuddering and heaving. “Are you okay?”