More Than Words
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“I don’t think so.” She paused for a moment. “However, if by mindless, you’re referring to some bad reality TV? Well, I could go for that.”
I glanced at her. “You want to watch TV with me?”
That was a first. I didn’t think I’d ever watched TV with a woman. Not that I watched much of it myself, but curled up somewhere private with Jessie? That held some promise. “My room or yours?”
“I’d love to see how the high rollers live.”
I chuckled. “What? Do they have you stuffed down in a corner of the basement along with your dusty work space?”
She grinned, and my heart flipped. God, she was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen. Even after spending the day in said dusty workspace, she looked beautiful, if not just a little bit mussed—her hair coming loose from the twist she’d had it in and her eyeliner smudged under her eyes. The effect only added to her appeal though—it made her look as if she’d just been rolling around in bed. My blood heated at the thought, and I forced myself to take a deep breath. Jessie was suggesting we watch TV and nothing more. “No, they don’t have me sleeping in the basement, but pretty close. My room’s nice—just a bit small.”
“Ah. Then, allow me to escort you to my castle on the hill.” I stood, offering my hand, and she grasped it, standing as well and giving me a curtsy.
“My prince, returned for me at last.”
Her look of amusement and the twinkle in her eye made me smile, but something about her words also had me on guard. I was nobody’s prince. But Jessie wasn’t asking for that, not really, so I pushed my fears aside, took her arm, and escorted her to the elevator and then down the hallway to the double doors that led to my suite.
The doors opened into a luxurious sitting room with a fireplace, and Jessie whistled softly, causing me to laugh. “Now, this is living,” she said.
“Want a tour?”
I opened the door to the bedroom, seeing that the maid service had turned down the bed and left two chocolate mints on the pillow. Jessie wandered inside, trailing a finger along the mahogany armoire and then touching the gold, patterned fabric gathered at the corner of the canopy bed, something heavy and silken that I was only now really noticing. She kicked off her shoes and wiggled her toes on the thick carpet, looking over her shoulder at me and smiling. My heart did that strange thing again that seemed to happen every time her eyes lit up with joy. And she had no clue. She had no clue how beautiful she actually was and how those smiles lifted my heart.
I followed behind her as she entered the en-suite bathroom, and I heard her intake of breath before I turned the corner. “Oh my God, how have you even made it out of your room with a tub like this?”
I glanced at the huge Whirlpool tub, surrounded by marble tile. It did look enticing now that Jessie was standing next to it and I was picturing her naked with bubbles barely covering her pink nipples. Or would they be brown? She was a brunette with hazel eyes, but that creamy skin and sprinkling of freckles threw me. Suddenly it was a question that seemed as important to answer as any of the world’s great mysteries. “Bathtubs are no fun alone.”
Jessie scoffed. “A bubble bath, a good book, and a glass of wine? Sounds like the perfect Friday night.”
“Oh, Jessie.” I sighed. “I have so much to teach you.”
She laughed, a genuine one that lit her face and caused an answering grin on my own. “I bet. Come on, show me where the TV is.”
The TV was in the bedroom, hidden in a vintage-looking trunk at the base of the bed, and I used the remote control to raise it to viewing level.
There was really nowhere else to sit except the bed, and I wondered if Jessie was going to decide this wasn’t a good idea. Surprising me, she turned and asked, “Which side is yours?”
“Uh, the right, I guess.”
She nodded and went around the bed, fluffing the pillows on the left, taking her blazer off and tossing it on the chair near the window. I definitely liked seeing her sitting back against the pillows on my bed. I took off my shoes and sat down on the other side, turning the TV on. I handed the remote to Jessie, not caring what we watched, and she flipped around, finally stopping on a show that looked like a French version of The Housewives of Beverly Hills. “It has English subtitles,” she said. “Is this okay?”
“Yeah, whatever you want to watch is fine with me.”
“This isn’t boring for you, is it?” she asked, biting at her lip.
“Not at all.”
She smiled, and we settled in, Jessie moving over toward me, our legs almost touching. I tried to tune in to what the characters were doing on the screen, but I was so aware of her. I was having trouble focusing on anything other than the heat of her body next to mine, her soft laughter, and the way she smelled—a delicate perfume that was sort of lemony, the same scent that had captivated me on the rooftop in Paris.
I didn’t know if I had unconsciously moved closer to her or if she’d moved closer to me—maybe both—but our arms were suddenly pressed together, and it seemed to me that all the heat in my body had traveled to the patch of skin that was now touching Jessie’s. It reminded me of the way we’d once lain together in that train car, shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip, as Jessie’s sweet voice took me with her to foreign lands, aboard sea vessels, and to deserted islands. Yes, this reminded me of then, but the now was also new and different. The electricity coursing between us was not a product of childhood, but of the man and woman we’d become.
I turned toward her, and she moved until she was facing me as well, and for a moment we just stared at each other. She looked slightly nervous as she blinked and pulled her bottom lip between her teeth. Purity. That’s what was in her expression. So unlike the looks of calculated lust I’d come to know. “This reminds me of when we were kids,” she said softly, and it surprised me that she had been thinking the same thing I had a moment before.
“I’m not feeling kid-like, Jessie,” I said, my voice raspy with the desire I felt for her, my brain cloudy as the blood drained south and seemed to gather and pump heavily between my legs. Her eyes widened slightly and then moved to my mouth and slowly back to my eyes.
“Oh,” she whispered. I wasn’t sure who moved first, but our lips were suddenly touching, her fingers had threaded into my hair, and I moaned as she took initiative, though slowly, tentatively, her tongue moving along the seam of my lips. I opened, and our tongues met, the soft sweetness of her causing my blood to pulsate hotly through my veins. I tilted my head and our kiss went deeper, Jessie sighing into my mouth as she wrapped her leg over my thigh. Oh God. The movement brought our pelvises together, my erection pressed firmly against her. For a moment I simply continued to kiss her, trying not to move, attempting to find the control that seemed to have abandoned me.
Jessie liked to kiss. She liked to explore slowly—it felt guileless rather than seductive, seemingly for the pleasure of kissing alone, without any thought about where this might be going. Something about that was so damned arousing. I was completely lost in her. Lost in this kiss, in her touch. I felt like a horny teenager experiencing sex for the first time, when the opposite was true. I was a man who had done everything there was to do ten times over. So why did this feel different?
As if Jessie had been waiting for me to move and refused to wait any longer, she let out a frustrated moan and rubbed her hips against mine. She tilted her body so my hardness fit into the V of her legs, moving her leg down and up slowly so I slid against that sensitive part of her. The friction was a blissful torture that directed my hips to move and thrust—to take—though I held back, trembling with the effort. Jessie broke from my mouth, letting out a gasping breath, and tilted her head back on a moan, rubbing herself against me and causing my own arousal to notch up about a hundred levels. “Callen,” she moaned, and I almost came in my pants.
I breathed against her neck, taking her scent into my body, holding back a laugh of utter surprise at my own response. Maybe this was what sober sex was like. Had it been so long? Although we really weren’t even close to having sex. We hadn’t even removed a single item of clothing.