Entwined with YouBy: Sylvia Day
GIDEON’S MOUTH CURVED in a devastating grin as he held his hand out to me. When my fingers touched his palm, he caught me and drew me inside, pulling me close to place his lips softly over mine. The door shut behind me and he reached past me to lock it, shutting the world out.
My hand clenched around a fistful of his sweater. “You’re wearing my favorite sweater.”
“I know.” Abruptly, he sank into a graceful crouch, taking my hand that he held and placing it on his shoulder. “Let’s make you comfortable, angel. You won’t need these heels until you’re ready for me to fuck you.”
My core clenched with anticipation. “What if I’m ready now?”
“You’re not. You’ll know when the time comes.”
As Gideon removed my shoes, I shifted my weight from one foot to the other. “Will I? How?”
He glanced up at me with those intensely blue eyes. He was nearly on his knees, taking my shoes off, yet he was undeniably in command of himself and of me. “I’ll be pushing my cock inside you.”
I shifted on my feet for a different reason. Yes, please …
Straightening, he once again loomed over me. His fingertips drifted across my cheek. “What’s in the bag?”
“Oh.” I mentally shook off the sexual spell he had me under. “Housewarming gift.”
I looked around. The space was a mirror image of my own. The apartment was lovely and comfortably inviting. I’d partly expected a semi-lived-in space, mostly bare with only the essentials. Instead, it was very much a home. One that was lit only by candlelight, which cast a warm golden glow on furniture I recognized because it was Gideon’s and mine.
Stunned, I barely noticed when he took the gift bag and my purse from my fingers. Barefoot, I skirted him, seeing my coffee and end tables placed around his sofa and side chairs; my entertainment center holding his knickknacks and framed photos of the two of us together; my drapes with his unlit floor and table lamps.
On the wall, where my flat-screen TV would be hanging, was a massive photo of me blowing him a kiss, a much larger version of the photo I’d given him that he kept on his desk in his Crossfire office.
I turned slowly, trying to take it all in. He’d shocked me like this once before, when he’d re-created my bedroom in his penthouse, giving me a familiar place to run when things got too intense.
“When did you move in here?” I loved it. The mix of my modern traditional with his old-world elegance was oddly perfect. He’d blended just the right pieces to create a space that was … us.
“The week Cary was in the hospital.”
I glanced at him. “Are you serious?”
That was when Gideon had begun pulling away from me, cutting me off. He’d started hanging out with Corinne again and become difficult to reach.
Getting this place set up must have kept him busy, too.
“I needed to be near you,” he said absently, looking into the bag. “I had to be sure I could get to you quickly. Before Nathan could.”
Shock rippled through me. At a time when I’d felt Gideon drifting further and further away from me, he’d been physically close. Watching over me. “When I called you from the hospital”—I swallowed past a dry lump—“you had someone with you …”
“Raúl. He was coordinating the move-in. I had to get it done before you and Cary came home.” He looked up at me. “Towels, angel?” he asked, with more than a hint of amusement.
He pulled the white hand towels embroidered with CROSSTRAINER out of the bag. I’d picked them up at the gym. At the time, I’d been envisioning him having a bare bones bachelor pad. Now, they were ridiculous.
“I’m sorry,” I said, still reeling from his disclosure about the apartment. “I had a different idea of what this place looked like.”
He pulled the towels away when I reached for them. “Your gifts are always thoughtful. Tell me what you were thinking about when you bought these.”
“I was thinking about making you think about me.”
“Every minute of every day,” he murmured.
“Let me clarify: Me—all hot and sweaty and desperate for you.”
“Umm … a fantasy I indulge in often.”
Abruptly, the memory of Gideon pleasuring himself in my shower punched into my mind. There really were no words for how fucking amazing that sight was. “Do you think about me when you get yourself off?”
“I don’t masturbate.”
“What? Come on. Every guy does.”
Gideon caught my hand and laced our fingers, then drew me toward the kitchen from which the most heavenly smell was emanating. “Let’s talk over wine.”
“Are you trying to ply me with alcohol?”
“No.” He released me and set the bag of towels on the counter. “I know the way to your heart is with food.”
I slid onto a bar stool just like the ones in my apartment, touched by his unique way of making me feel at home. “The way to my heart? Or into my pants?”
He smiled as he poured a glass of red wine from a bottle he’d previously opened to let breathe. “You’re not wearing pants.”
“Not wearing any panties, either.”
“Careful, Eva.” Gideon shot me a stern look. “Or you’ll derail my attempt to seduce you properly before I ride you on every flat surface in this apartment.”
My mouth went dry. The look in his eyes when he brought my glass over made me feel flushed and light-headed.
“Before you,” he murmured, with his lips to the edge of his glass, “I stroked off every time I took a shower. It was as much a part of my ritual as washing my hair.”
That I believed. Gideon was a very sexual man. When we were together, he’d fuck me before bed, first thing in the morning, and sometimes fit in a quickie during the course of the day.
“Since you, only once,” he continued. “You were there with me.”
I paused with my glass halfway to my mouth. “Really?”
I took a drink, gathering my thoughts. “Why did you stop? The last few weeks … We went a long time without.”
A ghost of a smile curved his lips. “I don’t have a drop to waste if I’m going to keep up with you.”
I set the wineglass down and pushed at his shoulder. “You’re always making me sound like a nymphomaniac!”
“You like sex, angel,” he purred. “Nothing wrong with that. You’re greedy and insatiable, and I love it. I love knowing that once I get inside you, you’re going to suck me dry. Then you’ll want to do it again.”
I felt my face heat. “For your information, I didn’t get off even once while we were apart. Never even got the urge because we weren’t together.”
He leaned into the counter, resting one elbow on the cool black granite. “Hmm.”
“I like fucking you because you’re you, not because I’m a cock-hungry slut. If you don’t like it, grow a gut or stop showering or something.” I slid off the stool. “Or just say no, Gideon.”
I marched into the living room, trying to get away from the unsettled feeling I’d had all day.
Gideon’s arms came around me from behind, halting me midstep. “Stop,” he said, with the familiar authoritative bite that always turned me on.
I tried to squirm free.
I gave up, my hands falling to my sides to clench my dress.
“Explain what the fuck just happened,” he said calmly.
My head bowed and I didn’t say anything, because I didn’t know what to say. A moment of silence later, he moved, swinging me up into the cradle of his arms and carrying me to the couch. He sat and arranged me on his lap. I snuggled into him.
His chin came to rest on the crown of my head. “You want to pick a fight, angel?”
“No,” I mumbled.
“Good. Me neither.” His hands stroked up and down my back. “So let’s talk instead.”
I pressed my nose into his throat. “I love you.”
“I know.” He tilted his head back, giving me room to nestle.
“I’m not a sex addict.”
“I don’t see why it’d be a problem if you were. God knows making love with you is my favorite thing to do. In fact, if you ever wanted me to take care of you more often, I’d go so far as to schedule sex with you into my day.”
“Oh my God!” I nipped him with my teeth, and he laughed softly.
Gideon wrapped my hair around his fist and tugged my head back. His gaze on my face was soft and serious. “You’re not upset about our incredible sex life. It’s something else.”
Sighing, I admitted, “I don’t know what it is. I’m just … off.”
Adjusting me in his lap, Gideon snuggled me closer, pulling me into his warmth. We fit so perfectly together, my curves aligning with his sculpted lines. “Do you like the apartment?”
“I love it.”
“Good.” His voice was laced with satisfaction. “Obviously, it’s an example—taken to the extreme.”
My heart rate jumped a little. “Of what our place could look like?”
“We’ll start fresh, of course. Everything new.”
I was moved by his pronouncement. Still, I had to say, “It was so risky doing this. Moving in here, getting in and out of the building. It makes me nervous just thinking about it.”
“On paper, someone lives here. So of course, he’d move furniture in, and come and go. He enters through the garage, just like all the other tenants with cars. When I’m being him, I dress a little differently, take the stairs, and check the security feeds so I know if I’m going to run into anyone before it happens.”
The amount of planning involved was mindboggling to me, but then he’d had practice getting to Nathan without a trace. “All this trouble and expense. For me. I can’t— I don’t know what to say.”
“Say you’ll plan on moving in with me.”
I savored the surge of pleasure his words brought me. “Do you have a time frame in mind for this fresh start?”
“As soon as we can get away with it.” His hand on my thigh squeezed gently.
I set my hand over his. There was so much standing in the way of us living together: the lingering trauma of our pasts; my dad, who disliked rich guys and thought Gideon was a cheater; and me, because I liked my apartment and believed that striking out in a new city meant doing as much as I could on my own.
I jumped to the biggest issue for me, though. “What about Cary?”
“The penthouse has an attached guest apartment.”
Pulling back quickly, I stared at him. “You’d do that for Cary?”
“No, I’d do it for you.”
“Gideon, I …” My words trailed off because there were no words. I was awed. Something inside me shifted a little.
“So you’re not upset about the apartment,” he said. “Something else is on your mind.”
I decided to save Brett for last. “I’ve got a girls’ night out on Saturday.”
He stilled. Maybe someone who didn’t know him as well as I did wouldn’t catch that subtle, sharp alertness, but I caught it. “Girls’ night doing what, exactly?”
“Dancing. Drinking. The usual.”
“Is it a manhunt?”
“No.” I licked my dry lips, mesmerized by the change in him. He’d gone from intimately playful to intensely focused. “We’re all attached. At least I think we all are. I’m not sure about Megumi’s roommate, but Megumi’s got a man and you know Shawna’s got her chef.”
He was suddenly all business when he said, “I’ll make the arrangements—car, driver, and security. If you stick with a circuit of my clubs, your security will stay in the car. You want to branch out, he’s going in with you.”
Blinking in surprise, I said, “Okay.”
From the kitchen, the oven timer began beeping.
Gideon went from sitting to standing, with me in his arms, in one powerfully graceful surge. My eyes widened. My blood hummed through my veins. I wrapped my arms around his neck and let him carry me to the kitchen. “I love how strong you are.”
“You’re easy to impress.” Settling me on a bar stool, he gave me a lingering kiss before heading to the oven.
“You cooked?” I wasn’t sure why the thought surprised me, but it did.
“No. Arnoldo had ready-to-cook lasagna and a salad delivered.”
“Sounds awesome.” I knew from having eaten in celebrity chef Arnoldo Ricci’s restaurant that the food would be killer.
Grabbing my glass, I wasted the wonderful wine by gulping it down for courage, thinking it was time to tell him what he wouldn’t want to hear. I took the plunge and said, “Brett called me at work today.”
For a minute or two, I didn’t think Gideon heard me. He slid on a pot holder, opened the oven, and pulled out the lasagna without looking my way. It wasn’t until he set the pan on the stovetop and glanced at me that I knew for certain he hadn’t missed a word.
He tossed the glove onto the counter, grabbed the wine bottle, and came directly to me. Calmly, he took my wineglass and refilled it before he spoke. “I expect he wants to see you when he’s in New York next week.”
It took me the space of a breath to respond. “You knew he was coming back!” I accused.
“Of course I knew.”
Whether that was because Brett’s band was signed to Vidal Records or because Gideon was keeping an eye on him, I didn’t know. Both reasons were entirely plausible.
“Did you agree to meet up?” His voice was smooth and soft. Dangerously so.
Ignoring the fluttering of nerves in my belly, I held his gaze. “Yes, for the reveal of the new Six-Ninths music video. Cary’s going with me.”
Gideon nodded, leaving me anxious and clueless about his feelings.
I slid off the stool and went to him. Wrapping me up in his arms, he rested his cheek against the top of my head.
“I’ll back out,” I offered quickly. “I don’t really want to go anyway.”
“It’s okay.” Swaying from side to side, rocking me, he whispered, “I broke your heart.”
“That’s not why I agreed to go!”
His hands came up and pushed through my hair, combing it back from my forehead and cheeks with a gentleness that brought tears to my eyes. “We can’t just forget the last few weeks, Eva. I cut you deep and you’re still bleeding.”
It struck me then that I hadn’t been ready to pick up the pieces of our relationship as if nothing had gone wrong. A part of me was holding a grudge, and Gideon had picked up on it.
I struggled out of his hold. “What are you saying?”
“That I have no right to leave you and hurt you—for whatever reason—then expect you to forget how that felt and forgive me overnight.”
“You killed a man for me!”
“You don’t owe me anything,” he snapped. “My love for you is not an obligation.”
It still tore through me like a bullet every time he said he loved me, despite how often he proved it with his actions.
My voice was softer when I said, “I don’t want to hurt you, Gideon.”
“Then don’t.” He kissed me with heartrending tenderness. “Let’s eat, before the food gets cold.”
I changed into a Cross Industries T-shirt and a pair of Gideon’s pajama bottoms that I rolled up at the ankles. We took candles over to the coffee table and ate cross-legged on the floor. Gideon kept my favorite sweater on but swapped his slacks for a pair of black lounging pants.
Licking a dab of tomato sauce off my lip, I told him about the rest of my day. “Mark’s gathering the nerve to ask his partner to marry him.”
“If I’m remembering correctly, they’ve been together awhile.”
Gideon’s mouth curved. “I suppose it’s still a tough question to ask, even if the answer is a sure thing.”
I looked down at my plate. “Was Corinne nervous when she asked you?”
“Eva.” He waited until the lengthy silence brought my head up. “We’re not going to talk about that.”
“Because it doesn’t matter.”
I searched his face. “How would you feel if you knew there was someone out there I’d said yes to? Theoretically.”
He shot me an irritated look. “That would be different because you wouldn’t say yes unless the guy really meant something to you. What I felt was … panic. The feeling didn’t go away until she broke the engagement.”
“Did you buy her a ring?” The thought of him shopping for a ring for another woman hurt me. I looked down at my hand, at the ring he’d bought for me.
“Nothing like that one,” he said quietly.
My hand fisted, guarding it.
Reaching over, Gideon set his right hand over mine. “I bought Corinne’s ring in the first store I went to. I had nothing in mind, so I picked one that looked like her mother’s. Very different circumstances, don’t you agree?”
“Yes.” I hadn’t designed the ring Gideon wore, but I’d searched six shops before I found the right one. It was platinum studded with black diamonds, and it reminded me of my lover, with its cool masculine elegance and bold, dominant style.
“I’m sorry,” I said, wincing. “I’m an ass.”
He lifted my hand to his lips and kissed my knuckles. “So am I, on occasion.”
That made me grin. “I think Mark and Steven are perfect for each other, but Mark has this theory that men get the urge to marry, and then it goes away if it isn’t acted on quickly enough.”
“I would think it’d be more about the right partner than the right time.”
“I’ve got my fingers crossed for it to work out for them.” I picked up my wine. “Want to watch TV?”
Gideon leaned his back against the front of the sofa. “I just want to be with you, angel. I don’t care what we’re doing.”
WE cleaned up the mess from dinner together. As I reached for the rinsed dish Gideon held out for me to put in the dishwasher, he faked me out. He grabbed my hand instead and deftly set the plate on the counter. Catching me around the waist, he spun us into a dance. From the living room, I caught the strains of something beautiful laced with a woman’s pure, haunting voice.
“Who is this?” I asked, already breathless from the feel of Gideon’s powerful body flexing against mine. The desire that always smoldered between us flared, making me feel vibrant and alive. Every nerve ending sensitized, preparing for his touch. Hunger coiled tight with heated anticipation.
“No clue.” He swept me around the island and into the living room.
I surrendered to his masterful lead, loving that dancing was a passion we shared and awed by the obvious joy he felt in just being with me. That same pleasure effervesced within me, lightening my steps until it felt like we were gliding. As we approached the sound system, the music rose in volume. I heard the words dark and dangerous in the lyrics and stumbled in surprise.
“Too much wine, angel?” Gideon teased, pulling me closer.
But my attention was riveted to the music. The singer’s pain. A tormented relationship she likened to loving a ghost. The words reminded me of the days when I believed I’d lost Gideon forever, and my heart ached.
I looked up into his face. He was watching me with dark, glittering eyes.
“You looked so happy when you were dancing with your dad,” he said, and I knew he wanted treasured memories like that between us.
“I’m happy now,” I assured him, even as my eyes stung at the sight of his yearning, a longing I knew intimately. If souls could be mated with wishes, ours would be inextricably entwined.
Cupping his nape, I pulled his mouth down to mine. As our lips touched, his rhythm faltered. He stopped, hugging me so tightly my feet left the floor.
Unlike the heartbroken singer, I wasn’t in love with a ghost. I was in love with a flesh-and-blood man, one who made mistakes but learned from them, a man who was trying hard to better himself for me, a man who wanted us to work as desperately as I did.
“I’m never happier than when I’m with you,” I told him.
He took my breath away with his kiss.
“IT was the kid,” I said.
Gideon’s fingertips drew circles around my navel. “That’s twisted.”
We were sprawled lengthwise on the couch, watching my favorite police procedural television show. He was spooned behind me, his chin on my shoulder and his legs tangled with mine.
“That’s the way these things work,” I told him. “Shock value and all that.”
“I think it was the grandmother.”
“Oh my God.” I tilted my head to look back at him. “And you don’t think that’s twisted?”
He grinned and smacked a kiss on my cheek. “Wanna bet on who’s right?”
“I don’t gamble.”
“Aw, come on.” His hand splayed against my belly, anchoring me as he rose up on his elbow to look down at me.
“Nope.” I felt him against the curve of my buttocks, a solid, weighty length. He wasn’t erect, but that didn’t stop him from gaining my attention. Curious, I reached between us and cupped him in my hand.
He hardened instantly. One black brow arched. “You copping a feel, angel?”
I squeezed him gently. “Now I’m hot and bothered, and wondering why my new neighbor isn’t putting the moves on me.”
“Maybe he doesn’t want to push you too far, too fast and scare you off.” Gideon’s eyes glittered in the light of the television.
“Is that so?”
He nuzzled his nose against my temple. “If he has half a brain, he’d know not to let you get away.”
Oh … “Maybe I should make the first move,” I whispered, wrapping my fingers around his wrist. “But what if he thinks I’m too easy?”
“He’ll be too busy thinking he’s damned lucky.”
“Well, then …” I wriggled around to face him. “Howdy, neighbor.”
He traced my eyebrow with the tip of his finger. “Hi. I really like the view around here.”
“The hospitality isn’t bad, either.”
“Oh? Plenty of towels?”
I pushed at his shoulder. “Do you want to suck face or not?”
“Suck face?” His head fell back and he laughed, his chest vibrating against me. It was a lusty, full-bodied sound and my toes curled at hearing it. Gideon laughed so rarely.
My hands slid under his sweater and glided over warm skin. My lips moved over his jaw. “Is that a no?”
“Angel, I’ll suck on any part of your body I can get my mouth on.”
“Start here.” I offered him my lips and he took them, sealing his mouth softly over mine. His tongue traced the seam, then dipped inside me, licking and teasing.
I burrowed into his body, moaning when he shifted to lie half over me. My hands slid up and down his back, my leg lifting to hook over his hip. I caught his lower lip between my teeth and stroked the curve with the tip of my tongue.
His groan was so erotic it made me wet.
My back arched as his hand crept beneath the hem of my T-shirt and captured my bare breast, rolling my nipple between his thumb and forefinger.
“You’re so soft,” he murmured. He kissed his way to my temple, and then buried his face in my hair. “I love touching you.”
“You’re perfect.” I pushed beneath his waistband to grip his bare buttocks. The scent and heat of his skin intoxicated me, made me feel drunk with lust and longing. “A dream.”
“You’re my dream. Christ, you’re so beautiful.” His mouth covered mine and I fisted a hand in his hair, clutching him to me with my arms and legs wrapped around him.
My world narrowed to just him. The feel of him. The sounds he made.
“I love how much you want me,” he said hoarsely. “I couldn’t stand being in this alone.”
“I’m with you, baby,” I promised, my mouth moving feverishly beneath his. “I am so with you.”
Gideon possessed me with one hand at my nape and the other at my waist. Settling over me, he aligned his hardness to my softness, his cock to my sex, and rolled his hips. I gasped, my nails digging into the rock-hard cheeks of his ass.
“Yes,” I moaned shamelessly. “You feel so good.”
“It’d feel better inside you,” he purred.
I bit his earlobe. “Are you trying to talk me into going all the way?”
“We don’t have to go anywhere, angel.” He sucked gently on my throat, making my sex clench hungrily. “I can put it in right here. I promise I’ll make you feel good.”
“I don’t know. I’ve changed my ways. I’m not that kind of girl anymore.”
His hand at my waist pushed my pants down. I gave a token wiggle and make a soft sound of protest. My skin tingled where he’d touched me, my body awakening to his demands.
“Shh.” Brushing his mouth over mine, he whispered, “If you don’t like it once it’s in you, I promise I’ll pull out.”
“Has that line ever worked for anyone?”
“I’m not feeding you lines. I mean every word.”
I gripped the steely curves of his butt and rocked up against him, knowing damn well he didn’t need any lines. A crook of his finger was all it would take for him to get laid by anyone he wanted.
Thankfully, he only wanted me.
Reveling in his playfulness, I teased, “I bet you say that to all the girls.”
“What other girls?”
“You’ve got a rep, you know.”
“But you’re the one wearing my ring.” As he lifted his head, his fingertips brushed the hair from my temple. “Day One of my life was the day I met you.”
The words hit me like a blow. I swallowed hard and whispered, “Okay, that’s a winner. You can put it in.”
The shadows left his face, chased away by his smile. “God, I’m crazy about you.”
I smiled back. “I know.”