Her Last Goodbye Page 55

He touched a key and pressed it softly. “Whatever happened, I can’t believe he’d just walk away from us.”

“How do you deal with not knowing?” Morgan asked.

His face went tight, his voice pained. “It wasn’t a choice.”

“No. It wasn’t.” The sigh that rolled through her grated like shards of broken glass. Pain welled up in her chest until she felt as if her heart would crack. Her next breath vibrated with it.

She reached for his face with both hands, cupping his jaw between her palms and drawing his face close enough to press her lips to his. The kiss started out soft and gentle then shifted to needy.

She needed him.

Her hands slid down to his shoulders.

“Morgan,” he said against her mouth, his words more breath than words.

She deepened the kiss.

He grabbed her wrists and broke their lip lock. “You don’t know what you’re doing.”

A quick flash of anger shot through her. “I know exactly what I want.”

“You’re vulnerable.”

“What’s the alternative? Not to care about anyone? That’s not really living.”

“That’s not what I mean.” He shook his head. “You’re hurting. I want to be here for you, but I don’t want to take advantage of you because you need to release some emotions.”

“I don’t want a release.” Morgan shook her hands free, frustrated. “I’m scared.” Her voice softened. “And I don’t need sex. I need you.”

When she’d lost her husband two years before, she thought her heart was too damaged to love again. She’d been wrong. She wasn’t sure if she loved Lance or not, but there was heat and longing and a connection that was all at once familiar and unique.

What she felt for him was different. Not less. Not more. It was unique and separate and belonged to them and them alone. There was no comparison, just as there was no need to compartmentalize one love from the other.

Lance froze. The honor and determination in his eyes heated into something else.

Hunger, she realized with a shock.

He needed her as much as she needed him.

“You’ve been a good friend, Lance.” She reached out and cupped his jaw. “I want more, but if you can’t give it, I understand.”

He covered her hand with his, turned his head and kissed it. “You have no idea how long I’ve waited to hear those words. I’m here for you.” He lowered his head. “For as long as you want me.”

Their lips met.

This kiss was different than others they’d shared. This kiss was knowing. This kiss brimmed with anticipation and discovery and even friendship.

Her body pressed against his as if telling her brain to shut up. She looked up into his eyes. They were dark and intense and entirely focused on her. Heat bloomed over her skin and desire unfurled in her belly.

His hand slid down her arm to grip her hip and pull her even harder against him. His thumb brushed an exposed strip of skin between her T-shirt and the sagging waistband of the sweatpants. She surged forward, other body parts demanding attention.

She twisted, intending to crawl into his lap, but her knee struck the piano. The keyboard cover slammed down with a crash.

Lance shoved the piano bench backward. He turned and lifted her. In one smooth motion, he picked her up and turned her around so she could straddle him. She was no tiny waif, and as superficial as it was, the ease with which he maneuvered her body was a huge turn-on.

All those muscles weren’t for show.

She wrapped her legs around his waist, bringing her core down against his.

Yes.

Definitely yes.

Breathless, he lifted his mouth from hers. “As much as the thought of making love to you on my piano is hot, the actual orchestration eludes me.”

She laughed against his mouth. “We would probably wreak havoc on the keys.”

“It would be worth it. I can get a new piano. But as it’s our first time, I’d rather have some room to do my best work. I’ll only get one chance to make a first impression.”

“Wow. No pressure, right?” A sudden burst of nerves shook her. It had been so long for her. She splayed a hand over his heart, taking comfort in the steady thud of it under her palm. “I haven’t had sex in years. I hope it’s like riding a bike.”

“I hope it’s nothing like riding a bike.” His brows shot up with mock indignation. “I want to rock your world.”

“OK, then.” She slid off his lap. She’d seen Lance almost every day for months. Her sudden shyness was unexpected.

Smiling, he stood and offered her his hand. “Trust me.”

“I do.” She took it and let him lead her to his bedroom. Standing next to his bed, he turned her to face him. He switched on the nightstand lamp. The glow was soft, just enough to see the intensity of desire in his eyes.

A flush heated her skin.

She stepped forward, crushing her body to his, feeling his warmth everywhere she was cold. His mouth roamed from her lips down her neck and to her shoulder without coming up for air, as if he couldn’t taste enough of her.

Leaning back, she grabbed the hem of his T-shirt, pulled it over his head, and tossed it aside. His body was thick and powerful, with heavy ridges of well-defined muscles on top of muscles. His sweatpants rode low, exposing an impressive V of lower abdominal muscles.

She wanted to run her hands over every inch of him. “Can I touch you?”

He made a choking sound and then cleared his throat. “You can do anything you want.”

For once, she let impulse have its way like a teenager after prom.

She reached out a hand and placed it on his hip, running her fingertips over his abs. His skin was smooth and warm, solid under her fingers. His body vibrated as she stroked her way to his broad chest, and she reveled in the sheer masculinity of him.

Then he moved.

His hands were on her biceps, sliding up to her shoulders, cupping her face and stroking her cheekbones with his thumbs. His mouth came down on hers. No hesitation this time. The kiss was all hunger and need and months’ worth of pent-up desire.

Pulling his mouth from hers, he lifted the hem of her shirt and drew it off her body. He hooked his thumbs in the waistband of the sweatpants and dragged them down her legs. Then he leaned back and took a good, long look, licking his lips in anticipation. “You’re perfect.”

He backed her against the bed and eased her onto it, stretching his body out alongside hers. His lips roamed from her neck, down her collarbone, and across the tops of her breasts. Every touch of his mouth, every stroke of his fingertips, stoked her need higher.

He lifted his head, watching her with intimidating concentration as he slid a hand between her legs. Her body arched under his touch, and he smiled, obviously pleased by her response.

“That’s it,” she said.

When she reached for him, he pulled his hips out of her reach. “Ladies first.”

Tension built inside her, spiraling higher and higher, until she writhed.

“Now,” she gasped. She’d been waiting for what seemed like forever for this moment.

“But you’re so beautiful like this,” he murmured against her face. “I could watch you all night.”

But Morgan couldn’t wait another second. Her body and her soul wanted to be part of him. This man who had turned her life around. He’d shown her she could be happy again.

That she could live instead of simply existing.

She reached for him again, her hand trembling with need. This time he didn’t resist. Her fingers closed around him, and his eyes practically rolled back in his head.

“Now,” she said in a firmer voice.

His chest shook with a low chuckle. “Yes, ma’am.”

His confidence settled her nerves, and she clung to him.

He reached for the nightstand, opening the drawer and removing a condom. After sheathing himself, he slid on top of her, nestling between her thighs. His hands cradled her face, framing it, and his gaze studied her, as if he was deliberately preserving this moment in his memory.

He slid inside her, filling her body and soul. Fully seated, he froze and stared down at her. The connection between them seemed to transcend time for a few seconds.

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