Reckless In Love
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He was sitting up with the sheets loosely pooled around his waist when she returned to the bedroom. Even though she’d seen him naked more than once, the sight of his six-pack abs, muscular chest and arms, and smiling face was enough to make her stumble as she came through the door.
“I feel the same way, Ash. Every time I look at you.” His grin shifted from slightly wicked to very wicked as he added, “Especially when you’re walking around the bus without any clothes on.”
She felt her skin flush all over, but even though she wasn’t used to being naked in front of anyone else, the way Drew looked at her when she wasn’t wearing any clothes made that little bit of lingering shyness more than worth it.
She moved to the side of the bed and held out the gift. “Happy birthday.”
He took the present, but instead of opening the box right away, he put it down beside him and pulled her onto his lap to capture her mouth with his. He was grinning when he let her up for air, resting his hands gently, but possessively, on the curves of her hips. “Have I mentioned yet today how happy you make me?”
“I’m pretty sure that’s what you just did,” she said, her smile so big it almost hurt her cheeks. Not only was she flushed, but he’d just melted her insides, too. “You make me happy too, Drew. And I really hope you like your present.”
“I know I will. Because it came from you.”
She wiggled back enough for him to pick up the gift. She laughed when he shook it, just like a little kid trying to guess what might be inside. In the same way that he liked to build up their anticipation when they were making love, he took his time undoing the tape on the small box. She always shredded packages as she tore them apart to get to what was inside. It was exactly the way she felt with Drew—utterly desperate to have him. And powerless to control her urges.
Finally, he reached into the box and pulled out a tiny handmade wood, steel, and porcelain guitar hanging from a silver chain.
“It’s my first guitar.” His words sounded choked, as if he could barely get them out. “The one my mom gave me.” He looked up from the necklace. “How did you know what it looked like?”
“After you told me about it, I scoured the Internet until I found a picture of it.” She was unsure from his expression whether she’d done well...or horribly. “I just thought it was so lovely that your mother bought you your first guitar and that you ended up being so inspired by—”
His arms came around her, hugging her so tightly against him that the oxygen she needed to finish her sentence whooshed out of her lungs.
“Ash.” She could feel how hard his heart was pounding against her own chest. “This is the best birthday gift anyone has ever given me.”
She smiled and hugged him back as relief hit her. But at the same time, tears threatened to come, too. Her parents meant just as much to her, and she couldn’t imagine losing them. And yet, when was the last time she’d seen her mother? At least a year ago, on her mother’s last trip out to California.
Drew’s phone buzzed from the corner with James’s ring tone, and she knew their private time for the morning was up.
“I’m really glad you like it,” she said when he finally loosened his hold on her.
“I love it.”
For a moment, he looked as though he was going to say something more, and her heart nearly stopped beating at the thought that he might be about to say he loved her, too. Nothing in her life had ever moved as fast as her relationship with Drew. It had all been amazing so far, but in the light of a new day, all those worries she’d made herself stuff down last night wanted to come popping back up like the Whac-A-Mole arcade game.
In the end, though, all he said was, “That’s my half-hour warning bell from James. How about we see if we can both squeeze into my shower before he comes pounding on the door?”
Silently bopping her worries over the head with a mallet so that, at the very least, they would go away for the rest of Drew’s birthday, she smiled at her amazing rock-star lover. He was the only man who had ever made her entire body heat up like this, with nothing but a few naughty words.
“Is your shower bigger than the one I’ve been using?”
He already had her in his arms, had grabbed a condom from the bedside table, and was carrying her toward the shower. “A little bigger, but not by much.” He grinned down at her. “We’re going to have to get real creative in there.”
Creative. Oh my, just the thought of getting creative with Drew was enough to nearly send her over the edge.
“I have a minor in math,” she told him when he put her down to reach into the shower to turn on the tap. “I was particularly good with space-filling models. I could always make things fit that no one else could.”
“Jesus, Ash.” He dragged her under the water. “Show me.” His hands roved in dangerous and wonderful ways over her naked, wet skin. “Show me how we fit together better than any two people ever have.”
The water was hot, but she still shivered at the passion beneath his words. All she wanted was to be close to him—there was nothing as good as that moment when he pushed inside her—but the shower wasn’t big enough for her to wrap her hands and legs around him the way she wanted to.