As much as Eli wanted Nora, he also had a bundle of nerves to contend with. He knew Nora was riding a roller coaster of emotions regarding so much in her life. For tonight, though, he only wanted her to think about this, about them.
Eli stripped down to everything but his boxer briefs. A burst of arousal consumed him as Nora sat motionless and watched him the entire time, those bright eyes traveling over his body. That woman was more potent than any drug he’d ever administered.
He stepped between her spread legs and took her face in his hands, easing down to kiss her. She parted for him, her tongue dancing with his as he tried to force himself to go slow.
When he broke the kiss, she moaned. “Easy,” he told her, placing his hands on her shoulders and easing her back onto the bed. “You’re still overdressed.”
He removed her shoes and socks, then quickly got rid of her pants and underwear. Lying spread out on her bed looking all lush and sexy was making him crazy…and fulfilling every fantasy.
He quickly pulled protection from his wallet and readied himself before focusing his attention back on Nora. As always, the sight of her stole his breath, made everything else dim in comparison.
“The way you look at me…”
His eyes held hers. “How do I look at you?”
“Like nothing else in the world matters to you.”
“Nothing else does matter, Nora.” He brought his knee up on the bed and slid his body down beside hers. “Just us, here and now.”
He couldn’t look beyond right now because the possibility of leaving her nearly crippled him, but the idea of staying made him feel trapped.
As his hands explored her body, a body he hadn’t touched in over a decade, he allowed himself the luxury of taking his time. They weren’t teens trying to sneak around; they had nowhere else to be. And as much as he wanted to rush and take everything she was offering, he knew she deserved better. They deserved better.
As the darkness filtered through her windows, the small lamp cut a soft glow through the room. Her sweet floral aroma surrounded him, pulling him deeper into her world.
Carefully, he settled between her thighs. When she reached out to him, Eli took her hands and placed them on his chest.
“Love me,” she whispered.
“I do, Nora. God help me, but I do.”
When he entered her, Eli closed his eyes, trying to freeze this moment when everything in his life was perfect. He’d finally come home. Her body shifted, but her eyes remained locked on him. The desire, passion and underlying vulnerability all looked back at him and Eli knew he’d die before he ever hurt this woman again.
When she cried out her release, Eli followed. And when the quiet surrounded them, he pulled her comforter around them and offered her a shoulder to sleep on, praying this wasn’t just a one-time thing. He wanted more…especially now that his heart had just become fully invested.
She hadn’t heard from Eli the entire day. Nora realized he was busy, but she’d sort of hoped after last night that maybe he’d reach out even if just through a text.
She killed her engine and stared up at the twinkling lights stretching across the roof over her porch. What they shared hadn’t just been a one-night stand; there had been too many emotions, too much communication through locked gazes and lingering touches.
If all of that weren’t enough to have her confused about where they were heading, he’d confessed he loved her. Yes, they’d been in bed and usually all verbiage there could be taken with a proverbial grain of salt, but there was no way Eli was just saying empty words. When he’d said he loved her, he’d sounded so torn, so full of conviction.
Carefully exiting her car, Nora went around to the trunk and popped the lid. After reaching in to retrieve the groceries, she wrestled the plastic bags up her arm, fighting them when they caught on her bulky coat sleeve. Between the doctor and the Realtor, today hadn’t gone nearly as well as she’d hoped…
She sighed as she slammed her trunk. Just as she turned, she lost her footing. Groceries slid from her arm and onto the driveway, but Nora managed to save herself by clutching onto the spoiler on the trunk lid.
Seriously? Could this day get worse? All she wanted to do was go inside and put her feet up…per doctor’s orders. Yeah, like bed rest was even possible. She had clients who depended on her. Not to mention, her bank depended on her, too, to make the mortgage payment.