Entwined with YouBy: Sylvia Day
I smelled the coffee before I opened my eyes. “Gideon?”
“If it’s not at least seven o’clock, I’m going to kick your ass.”
His soft laugh made my toes curl. “It’s early, but we need to talk.”
“Yeah?” I opened one eye, then the other, so I could fully admire his three-piece suit. He looked so edible, I wanted to take it off him—with my teeth.
He settled on the edge of my bed, the embodiment of temptation. “I want to make sure we’re solid before I leave.”
I sat up and leaned against the headboard, making no effort to cover my breasts because we were going to end up talking about his ex-fiancée. I played dirty when warranted. “I’ll need that coffee for this conversation.”
Gideon handed me the mug, then stroked the pad of his thumb over my nipple. “So beautiful,” he murmured. “Every inch of you.”
“Are you trying to distract me?”
“You’re distracting me. Very effectively.”
Could he possibly be as infatuated with my looks and body as I was with his? The thought made me smile.
“I missed your smile, angel.”
“I know the feeling.” Every time I’d seen him and he hadn’t gifted me with his smile had been another cut to my heart until I’d been bleeding nonstop. I couldn’t even think of those occasions without feeling echoes of the pain. “Where did you hide the suit, ace? I know it wasn’t in your pocket.”
With a change of clothes, he’d transformed himself into a powerful, successful businessman. The suit was bespoke, and his shirt and tie were immaculately matched. Even his cuff links gleamed with understated elegance. Still, the fall of dark hair that skimmed his collar warned others he was far from tamed.
“That’s one of the things we need to talk about.” He straightened, but the warmth in his gaze remained. “I took over the apartment next door. We’ll have to make our reconciliation seem suitably gradual, so I’ll keep up the appearance of using my penthouse for the most part, but I’ll be spending as much time as possible as your new neighbor.”
“Is it safe?”
“I’m not a suspect, Eva. I’m not even a person of interest. My alibi is airtight, and I have no known motive. We’re just showing the detectives some respect by not insulting their intelligence. We’re making it easy for them to justify their conclusion that they’re at a dead end.”
I took a sip of coffee, giving me time to contemplate what he’d said. The danger might not be immediate, but it was inherent in his guilt. I felt the pressure of it, no matter how he tried to reassure me.
But we were working our way back to each other, and I sensed his need for reassurance that we were going to recover from the strain and separation of the last few weeks.
I deliberately took a light tone when I replied, “So my former boyfriend will be on Fifth Avenue, but I’ve got a hunky new neighbor to play with? This could be interesting.”
One of his brows arched. “You want to role-play, angel?”
“I want to keep you satisfied,” I admitted with brutal honesty. “I want to be everything you ever found in the other women you’ve been with.” Women he’d taken to a fuck pad with toys.
His irises were cool blue fire, but his voice came smooth and even. “I can’t keep my hands off you. That should be enough to tell you I don’t need more.”
I watched him stand. He took my mug and set it on the nightstand, then caught the edge of the sheet and threw it deftly aside, exposing me completely.
“Scoot down,” he ordered. “Spread your legs.”
My pulse quickened as I obeyed him, sliding to my back and allowing my thighs to fall open. There was an instinctive urge to cover myself—the feeling of vulnerability under that piercing gaze was so intense—but I resisted it. I’d be dishonest if I didn’t admit that it was wildly exciting to be totally naked while he was irresistibly clothed in one of his sexy-as-hell suits. It created an instantaneous power advantage for him that was a serious turn-on.
He stroked a finger through the lips of my sex, gliding teasingly over my clit. “This beautiful cunt is mine.”
My belly quivered at the rasp in his voice.
Cupping me in his palm, he met my gaze. “I’m a very possessive man, Eva, as I’m sure you’ve noticed by now.”
I shivered as the tip of his finger circled the clenching opening. “Yes.”
“Role-play, restraints, modes of transportation, and varied locations … I look forward to exploring all of that with you.” Eyes glittering, he slid a finger oh-so-slowly inside me. He made a low purring noise and caught his lower lip between his teeth, a purely erotic look that told me he felt his semen inside me.
Being penetrated and so gently pleasured left me unable to speak for a moment.
“You like that,” he said softly.
His finger went deeper. “I’ll be damned if plastic, glass, metal, or leather will make you come. B.O.B. and his friends will have to find other amusements.”
Heat swept over my skin like fever. He understood.
Bending over me, Gideon placed one hand on the mattress and lowered his mouth to mine. His thumb pressed against my clit and rubbed expertly, massaging me inside and out. The pleasure of his touch spread, tightening my stomach and hardening my nipples. I clutched my bare breasts in my hands, squeezing as they swelled. His touch and desire were magic. How had I ever lived without him?
“I ache for you,” he said hoarsely. “Crave you constantly. Snap your fingers and I’m hard.” He traced my lower lip with his tongue, inhaling my panting breaths. “When I come, I come for you. Because of you and your mouth, hands, and insatiable little cunt. And it’ll be that way for you in reverse. My tongue, my fingers, my cum inside you. Just you and me, Eva. Intimate and raw.”
I had no doubt I was the focal point of his world when he was touching me, the only thing he saw or thought of. But we couldn’t have that physical connection all the time. Somehow, I had to learn to believe in what I couldn’t see between us.
Shameless, my body writhed as I rode his plunging finger. He added another and I dug in my heels, arching up to meet his thrusts. “Please.”
“When your eyes turn soft and dreamy, I’ll be the one who put that look on you, not a toy.” He nibbled my jaw, then moved to my chest, nudging my hands aside with his lips. He claimed my nipple in a gentle bite, his mouth surrounding the tender peak and sucking softly. The ache he created was needle-sharp, my hunger spurred by the sense that there was a lingering gulf between us, something that hadn’t yet been recognized and resolved.
“More,” I gasped, needing his pleasure as much as my own.
“Always,” he murmured, his mouth curving in a wicked smile against my skin.
I groaned in frustration. “I want your cock inside me.”
“As you should.” His tongue curled around my other nipple, flickering teasingly over it until it ached for suction. “Your craving should be for me, angel, not an orgasm. For my body, my hands. Eventually, you won’t be able to come without my skin touching yours.”
I nodded frantically, my mouth too dry to speak. Need was coiled like a spring in my core, tightening with every circle of Gideon’s thumb on my clit and every thrust of his fingers. I thought of B.O.B., my trusty Battery-Operated Boyfriend, and knew that if Gideon were to stop touching me now, nothing would get me off. My passion was for him, my desire inflamed by his desire for me.
My thighs quivered. “I’m g-going to come.”
His mouth covered mine, his beautiful lips soft and coaxing. It was the love in his kiss that pushed me over. I cried out and shuddered through a quick, hard orgasm. My moan was long and broken, my body quivering violently. I pushed my hands under his jacket to grip his back, holding him close, my mouth claiming his until the wracking pleasure eased.
Licking the taste of me from his fingers, he murmured, “Tell me what you’re thinking.”
I consciously tried to slow my racing heart. “I’m not thinking. I just want to look at you.”
“You don’t always. Sometimes you close your eyes.”
“That’s because you’re a talker in bed and your voice is so sexy.” I swallowed hard with remembered pain. “I love to hear you, Gideon. I need to know that I’m making you feel as good as you make me feel.”
“Suck me off now,” he whispered. “Make me come for you.”
I slid from the bed in a breathless rush, my hands reaching eagerly for his fly. He was hard and thick, his erection straining. Lifting his shirttail and pushing down his boxer briefs, I freed him. He fell heavily into my hands, the thick length already glistening at the tip. I licked the evidence of his excitement away, loving his control, the way he reined in his own hungers to satisfy mine.
My eyes were on him as my open mouth slid over the plush head. I watched his lips part on a sharply indrawn breath and his eyelids grow heavy, as if the pleasure were intoxicating.
“Eva.” His hooded gaze was hot on my face. “Ah … Yes. Like that. Christ, I love your mouth.”
His praise spurred me on. I took him as deep as I could. I loved doing this to him, loved the uniquely masculine taste and smell of him. I ran my lips down the length of him, suckling gently. Worshipfully. And I didn’t feel wrong for adoring his virility—I deserved it.
“You love this,” he said gruffly, pushing his fingers into my hair to cup my head. “As much as I do.”
“More. I want to do this for hours. Make you come over and over again.”
A growl rumbled in his chest. “I would. I can’t get enough.”
The tip of my tongue traced a pulsing vein up to the head, and then I took him in my mouth again, my neck arching back as I lowered to sit on my heels, my hands on my knees, offering myself to him.
Gideon looked down with eyes that glittered with lust and tenderness.
“Don’t stop.” He widened his stance. He slid his cock to the back of my throat, then pulled back out, coating my tongue with a trail of creamy pre-ejaculate. I swallowed, savoring the rich flavor of him.
He groaned, his hands cupping my jaw. “Don’t stop, angel. Suck me dry.”
My cheeks hollowed as we found a rhythm, our rhythm, the syncing of our hearts and breaths and drive to pleasure. We had no problem overthinking our way into trouble, but our bodies never got it wrong. When we had our hands on each other, we both knew we were in the one place we needed to be, with the one person we needed to be with.
“So fucking good.” His teeth ground audibly. “Ah, God, you’re making me come.”
His cock swelled in my mouth. His hand fisted in my hair, pulling, his body shuddering as he came hard.
Gideon cursed as I swallowed. He emptied himself in thick, hot bursts, flooding my mouth as if he hadn’t come all night. By the time he finished, I was gasping and trembling. He pulled me to my feet and stumbled to the bed, settling heavily with me tucked into his side. His lungs labored, his hands rough as he pulled me closer.
“This wasn’t what I had in mind when I brought you coffee.” He pressed a quick, rough kiss to my forehead. “Not that I have any complaints.”
I curled into him, beyond grateful to have him in my arms again. “Let’s play hooky and make up for lost time.”
His laugh was husky from his orgasm. He held me for a while, his fingers sifting through my hair and gliding gently down my arm.
“It ripped me apart,” he said quietly. “Seeing how hurt and angry you were. Knowing I was causing you pain and that you were pulling away from me … It was hell for us both, but I couldn’t take the risk that you might become a suspect.”
I stiffened. I hadn’t thought of that possibility. It could be argued that I was Gideon’s motive to kill. And it could be assumed that I was aware of the crime as well. My complete and utter ignorance hadn’t been my only protection; he’d made sure I had an alibi, too. Always protecting me—whatever the cost.
He pulled back. “I put a burner phone in your purse. It’s preprogrammed with a number that will put you in touch with Angus. If you need me for anything, you can reach me that way.”
My hands clenched into fists—I had to reach my boyfriend through his chauffeur. “I hate this.”
“So do I. Clearing my way back to you is my number one priority.”
“Isn’t it dangerous for Angus to be put in the middle?”
“He’s former MI6. Clandestine phone calls are child’s play for him.” He paused, then said, “Full disclosure, Eva: I can track you through the phone and I will.”
“What?” I slid out of bed and stood. My thoughts bounced back and forth between MI6—British secret service!—to geotracking my cell, unsure of what to latch on to first. “No way.”
He stood, too. “If I can’t be with you or talk to you, I at least need to know where you are.”
“Don’t be this way, Gideon.”
His face was composed. “I didn’t have to tell you.”
“Seriously?” I stalked to the closet to grab a robe. “And you said warning someone about ridiculous behavior isn’t an excuse for it.”
“Cut me some slack.”
Glaring at him, I shoved my hands into the sleeves of a red silk dressing gown and yanked the belt into a knot. “No. I think you’re a control freak who likes having me followed.”
He crossed his arms. “I like keeping you alive.”
I froze. After a moment, my brain rewound to look at the events of the last few weeks again—with the addition of Nathan in the picture. Abruptly, everything made sense: the way Gideon had freaked out when I’d tried to walk to work one morning, why Angus had shadowed me around the city every day, Gideon’s fury when he commandeered the elevator I was riding …
All those times I’d almost hated him for being an asshole, he’d been thinking about keeping me safe from Nathan.
My knees weakened, and I sank inelegantly to the floor.
“Give me a minute.” I’d figured out a lot of it already during the time we’d been apart. I’d realized Gideon would never allow Nathan to simply stroll into his office with photos of me being abused and violated, then just stroll back out again. Brett Kline had only kissed me and Gideon had beaten him up. Nathan had raped me repeatedly for years and documented it with pictures and video. Gideon’s reaction to meeting Nathan the first time had to have been violent.
Nathan must have visited the Crossfire Building the day I’d found Gideon freshly showered with a crimson stain on the cuff of his shirt. What I’d originally suspected was lipstick was Nathan’s blood. The sofa and sofa pillows in Gideon’s office had been skewed from a fight, not from a lunch quickie with Corinne.
Scowling fiercely, he crouched in front of me. “Damn it. Do you think I want to micromanage you? There have been extenuating circumstances. Give me credit for trying to balance your independence with keeping you safe.”
Wow. Hindsight didn’t just make things crystal clear; it smacked me upside the head and knocked some sense into me. “I get it.”
“I don’t think you do. This”—he gestured impatiently at himself—“is just a fucking shell. You’re what drives me, Eva. Can you understand that? You’re my heart and soul. If something ever happened to you, it would kill me, too. Keeping you safe is goddamned self-preservation! Tolerate it for me, if you won’t do it for yourself.”
I surged into him, knocking him off-balance and onto his back. I kissed him hard, my heart pounding and blood roaring in my ears.
“I hate to freak you out,” I muttered between desperate kisses, “but you’ve got it real bad for me.”
Groaning, he squeezed me tightly. “So we’re okay?”
I wrinkled my nose. “Maybe not about the burner phone. The cell stalking is nuts. Seriously. Not cool at all.”
“I know, but—”
He put a hand over my mouth. “I put directions on how to track my phone in your purse.”
That news left me speechless.
Gideon smirked. “Not such a bad idea on the flip side.”
“Shut up.” I slid off him and smacked his shoulder. “We are totally dysfunctional.”
“I prefer ‘selectively deviant.’ But we’ll keep that to ourselves.”
The warmth I’d felt bled away, replaced by a flare of panic at the reminder that we were hiding our relationship. How long would it be before I saw him again? Days? I couldn’t repeat the last few weeks of my life. Even thinking about going without him for any length of time made me feel sick.
I had to swallow past a painful lump to ask, “When can we be together again?”
“Tonight. Eva.” His beautiful eyes were haunted. “I can’t bear that look on your face.”
“Just be with me,” I whispered, my eyes stinging all over again. “I need you.”
Gideon’s fingertips glided softly down my cheek. “You were with me. The whole time. There wasn’t a second that passed when you weren’t on my mind. You own me, Eva. Wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, I belong to you.”
I leaned into his touch, letting it soak into me and chase the chill away. “No more Corinne. I can’t stand it.”
“No more,” he agreed, startling me. “I’ve told her already. I’d hoped we could be friends, but she wants what she and I used to have, and I want you.”
“The night that Nathan died … she was your alibi.” I couldn’t say more. It hurt to think of how he might have filled the hours with her.
“No, the kitchen fire was my alibi. It took most of the night dealing with the FDNY, the insurance company, and making emergency arrangements for food service. Corinne stuck around for some of that, and when she left, I had plenty of staff on hand to vouch for my whereabouts.”
The surge of relief I felt must have shown on my face, because Gideon’s gaze softened and filled with the regret I’d seen so many times now.
He stood and held his hand out to help me up. “Your new neighbor would like to invite you over for a late dinner. Let’s say eight o’clock. You’ll find the key—and the key to the penthouse—on your keychain.”
I accepted his hand up and tried to lighten the mood with a teasing reply. “He’s seriously hot. I wonder if he puts out on the first date?”
His returning smile was so wicked it revved me up a notch. “I think your odds of getting laid are pretty good.”
I gave a dramatic sigh. “How romantic!”
“I’ll give you romance.” Pulling me into him, Gideon dipped me with consummate ease.
Pressed against him from hip to ankle and bowed backward in a yielding curve, I felt my robe slide apart, exposing my breast. He deepened my arch, until my tender sex hugged his hard thigh and I couldn’t help but be hyperaware of the power of his body as he supported my weight and his.
That quickly, he seduced me. Despite hours of pleasure and a very recent orgasm, I was primed for him in that moment, aroused by his skill and strength and self-assurance, his command of himself and of me.
I rode his leg with a slow slide, licking my lips. He growled and surrounded my nipple with the wet heat of his mouth, his tongue worrying the hardened point. Effortlessly he held me, aroused me, possessed me.
I closed my eyes and moaned my surrender.
BECAUSE of the heat and humidity, I chose a lightweight linen sheath dress and pulled my blond hair back in a ponytail. I accessorized with a small pair of gold hoop earrings and kept my makeup light.
Everything had changed. Gideon and I were back together. I was now living in a world without Nathan Barker in it. I was never going to turn a corner and run into him. He was never going to appear on my doorstep out of the blue. I no longer had to worry that Gideon would learn things about my past that would drive a wedge between us. He knew it all and wanted me anyway.
But the budding peace that came with that new reality was accompanied by fear for Gideon—I needed to know that he was safe from prosecution. How could he definitively be proven innocent of a crime he actually did commit? Were we going to have to live with the perpetual fear that his actions would come back to haunt us? And how had this changed us? Because there was no way we could be what we’d been before. Not after something so profound.
Leaving my room, I headed out for work, looking forward to the hours of distraction I’d find at my job with Waters Field & Leaman, one of the leading advertising firms in the country. When I went to grab my purse off the breakfast bar, I found Cary in the kitchen. He’d clearly been as Busy with a capital B as I had.
He was leaning back into the counter, his hands gripping the edge as his boyfriend, Trey, cupped his face and kissed him passionately. Trey was fully dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, while Cary wore only gray sweats that hung low and sexy on his lean hips. They both had their eyes closed and were too lost in each other to realize they were no longer alone.
It was rude to look, but I couldn’t help it. For one, I’d always found it fascinating to watch two hot men make out. And two, I found Cary’s pose very telling. While his handsome face was markedly vulnerable, the fact that he was holding on to the counter instead of the man he loved betrayed his lingering distance.
I picked up my purse and backed out as quietly as I could, tiptoeing from the apartment.
Because I didn’t want to be totally melted by the time I got to work, I hailed a cab instead of walking. From the backseat, I watched Gideon’s Crossfire Building come into view. The gleaming and distinctive sapphire spire was home to both Cross Industries and Waters Field & Leaman.
My job as assistant to junior account manager Mark Garrity was a dream come true. While some—namely my stepfather, megafinancier Richard Stanton—couldn’t understand why I’d take an entry-level position considering my connections and assets, I was really proud to be working my way up. Mark was a great boss, both hands-on and hands-off, which meant I was learning a lot both by instruction and from doing it myself.
The cab turned a corner and pulled up behind a black Bentley SUV I knew all too well. My heart skipped a beat at the sight of it, knowing that Gideon was nearby.
I paid the cabdriver and climbed out of the cool interior into the steamy early-morning air. My eyes were riveted to the Bentley in the hope that I might catch a glimpse of Gideon. It was crazy how excited I was by the idea, especially after a night spent rolling around with him in all his naked glory.
Smiling wryly, I spun through the Crossfire’s copper-framed revolving doors and entered the vast lobby. If a building could embody a man, the Crossfire did for Gideon. The marble floors and walls conveyed an aura of power and affluence, while the cobalt glass exterior was as striking as one of Gideon’s suits. Altogether, the Crossfire was sleek and sexy, dark and dangerous—just like the man who’d created it. I loved working there.
I passed through the security turnstiles and took the elevator up to the twentieth floor. When I exited the car, I spotted Megumi—the receptionist—at her desk. She buzzed me through the glass security doors and stood as I approached.
“Hey,” she greeted me, looking chic in black slacks and a gold silk shell. Her dark sloe eyes sparkled with excitement, and her pretty mouth was stained a daring crimson. “I wanted to ask you what you’re doing on Saturday night.”
“Oh …” I wanted to spend the time with Gideon, but there was no guarantee that would happen. “I don’t know. I don’t have plans yet. Why?”
“One of Michael’s friends is getting married and they’re having a bachelor party on Saturday. If I stay home, I’ll go nuts.”
“Michael’s the blind date?” I asked, knowing she’d been seeing a guy her roommate had set her up with.
“Yeah.” Megumi’s face lit up for a second, then fell. “I really like him and I think he likes me, too, but …”
“Go on,” I prompted.
She lifted one shoulder in an awkward shrug and her gaze skittered away. “He’s a commitment-phobe. I know he’s into me, but he keeps saying it’s not serious and we’re just having fun. But we spend a lot of time together,” she argued. “He’s definitely rearranged his life to be with me more often. And not just physically.”
My mouth twisted ruefully, knowing the type. Those kinds of relationships were tough to quit. The mixed signals kept the drama and adrenaline high, and the possibility of awesomeness if the guy would just accept the risk was hard to let go of. What girl didn’t want to attain the unattainable?
“I’m game for Saturday,” I said, wanting to be there for her. “What did you have in mind?”
“Drinking, dancing, getting wild.” Megumi’s grin came back. “Maybe we’ll find you a hot rebound guy.”
“Uh …” Yikes. Awkward. “I’m doing pretty good, actually.”
She arched a brow at me. “You look tired.”
I spent the entire night getting nailed to my bed by Gideon Cross … “I had a tough Krav Maga class yesterday.”
“What? Never mind. In any case, it won’t hurt to check out the scenery, right?”
I shifted the straps of my bag on my shoulder. “No rebound guys,” I insisted.
“Hey.” She set her hands on her trim hips. “I’m just suggesting you be open to the possibility of meeting someone. I know Gideon Cross has got to be a hard act to follow, but trust me, moving on is the best revenge.”
That made me smile. “I’ll keep an open mind,” I compromised.
The phone on her desk rang and I waved good-bye as I headed down the hallway to my cubicle. I needed a little time to think about the logistics of playing the role of a single woman when I was very much taken. If I owned Gideon, he possessed me. I couldn’t imagine belonging to anyone else.
I was just starting to play with how to bring up Saturday night to Gideon when Megumi called after me. I turned back around.
“I’ve got a call on hold to send your way,” she said. “And I hope it’s personal, because holy hell is his voice smokin’ hot. He sounds like S-E-X rolled in chocolate and covered in whipped cream.”
Nervous excitement raised the hairs on my nape. “Did he give his name?”
“Yep. Brett Kline.”