I don’t just kiss Candace, I ravish her, I drink her in like a man lost in a desert, dying of a thirst he cannot quench. And I was until I found her again. What’s worse is, that desert was of my own making, a desolate fucking desert I’m done with because, thank fuck, she’s not done with me.
Hugging her close, I hold her like this moment is it, like this is the last time I might ever hold her again. I kiss her just the same, like I will never kiss her again. I’ve never kissed her with that kind of desperation before now, and not because I didn’t love her. I just always took for granted that tomorrow would come. And I always intended to come back, but I didn’t and now I know, shit happens. People die, tomorrow is not always guaranteed.
She knows this kiss is different, too. It’s in the way she kisses me back, the way she twists her fingers around my T-shirt. In the way she jerks back, parting our lips, searching my face. In the intensity of her green eyes when they meet mine, the sudden parting of lips, now swollen from my kiss, at what she finds, she orders, “Do not kiss me like this is goodbye, Rick Savage, damn you.”
She tries to dislodge herself from my grip but I hold onto her. “Don’t run.”
She gapes. “Run? Me? I’m not the one who ran.” I physically flinch with those well-deserved words, but she’s not done. “If you want to say goodbye, just say goodbye, Rick.”
“I’m not saying goodbye, Candace.” I catch her hair around my fingers and drag her gaze to my unguarded gaze. I let her see the torment in me. I let her see the guilt. I let her see the dark need in me that isn’t going away like I’m not going away. “This is not goodbye,” I repeat. “This is me making sure that you’re properly kissed, fucked, licked, and loved, the way you deserve to be.”
“It feels like goodbye.”
“No, and one day you’ll trust me enough to know that a dark night doesn’t take us there again. I promise you, you will. Soon.”
“New York. It’s going to change everything.”
“Can we go now?” she asks hopefully, but we both know we can’t. We both know we have to see tomorrow out.
“I wish we could, baby. I wish we could.”
My mouth slants over hers, my tongue licking deeply, possessively and I make sure every answer she wants is right there in this kiss. I make sure she knows that I’m not fucking living another day without her. She moans into my mouth and when my hands settle on her spine, she arches into me. I rotate her toward the couch, pressing her against the back, my hands finding that soft smooth skin under her T-shirt.
Goosebumps lift on her skin and I tear my mouth from hers. “You have always been exactly what I need.”
“Oh yes, baby. You are. I felt you even when you weren’t with me. Every day I was away, I felt you. I missed you. I needed the hell out of you.” I catch the hem of her shirt and toss it, my gaze lowering to her breasts, my fingers tracing the swell above the black lace of her bra, then finding her nipple through that lace.
She sucks in a breath and catches my hand. “Rick, I—”
“God, I love when you say my damn name…”