Fall from India Place Page 72

I could hear the shower running.

To prove to him I was serious about us, I’d given him a key to my flat a few days ago. I knew, despite his determination to keep us together, that I had a way to go in reassuring him that I wasn’t going to do a one-eighty and come up with another reason for us not to work it out. My suspicion that he wasn’t quite over my defection sprang from the fact that this weekend was his weekend with Dylan and he hadn’t suggested I stick around for it.

I could live with that.

For now.

Dropping my keys in the bowl on my side table, I kicked off my shoes and then moved into the sitting room. Marco’s empty coffee mug was sitting on the table, his jacket was hanging over the back of the armchair. Shrugging out of my own jacket, I draped it across the arm of the chair and began making my way out into the hall, unbuttoning my shirt as I sauntered toward the bathroom. For the last eight nights Marco had stayed with me, but he’d given me space sexually, allowing me to deal with Jarrod’s loss, and the ramifications of it upon my kids at school. Marco didn’t want to push me into the physical stuff, and that was thoughtful and considerate and, ironically, sexy as hell.

That’s why I was done with him giving me space. I wanted a new kind of comfort from him. Specifically in the form of orgasms.

Dropping my shirt to the floor, I pushed open the bathroom door, the steam from the shower hitting me immediately. Marco jerked his head up at the sight of me through the somewhat fogged glass of the shower screen, and then a slow smile that melted my insides lit up his handsome face.

I unzipped my pencil skirt and pushed it to the tiled floor, my eyes devouring my too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend. By the time my underwear was off, Marco was ready for me. I stepped into the shower, eyed his hard-on with a sense of empowerment, and lowered myself gracefully to my knees to help him out with the situation I’d gotten him into.

As I lay in bed, my arm draped over Marco’s stomach and my head resting on his chest, I suddenly gave voice to my wandering thoughts. “Do you ever think about finding your mum and dad?”

Marco gave a huff of surprise. “Where did that come from?”

“I was just thinking about you and Dylan and how you managed to turn into this great dad despite your lack of a role model.”

“I guess I just don’t need my folks anymore, you know? It used to burn in my gut – the rejection. It did for a long time. But once Dylan came along, I slowly began to see it wasn’t my fault that my parents didn’t want me. You hold your kid in your arms, and if you don’t feel an overwhelming need to protect them, then that’s on you, not the kid.”

I sat up a little so I could look him in the eyes. “You’re one of the strongest people I know.”

His eyes warmed. “Back at you, babe.” His gaze suddenly turned knowing. “I’ll introduce you to Dylan as my girlfriend soon. I promise.”

Wrinkling my nose, I pulled back from him, disquieted. “Are you a mind reader now?”

Marco grinned and it was cocky enough for me to want to smack it off his lips. “I’m a Hannah-reader and my not introducing you this weekend doesn’t mean what you think it does. I just want this weekend to explain stuff to him first.”

Appeased by that, I said, “It’s fine. I get it.” I settled back down beside him and pressed a soft kiss to his chest. “You do what’s best for Dylan.”

“You mean that?”

“Of course.”

“Then I’m sorry, but… you’re never taking him ice skating. Ever.”

Marco’s laughter rang throughout my apartment as he attempted to escape the punch that I was aiming for his upper arm.

“So I take it this is permanent this time?”

I turned back from watching Dylan as he chatted quietly to his dad. Marco was down on his haunches, rezipping Dylan’s jacket after his son had started to remove it. We were taking him out today, however, and I gathered that was what Marco was telling him quietly, since Dylan kept throwing me quizzical looks every now and then. It was hard to pull my eyes away from them together, but I did at Leah’s question.

It was two weeks since Marco had laid down the law and told me I was not allowed to take Dylan skating. He’d revised it to say I was not allowed to take Dylan skating unsupervised, which I thought was rather fair of him, considering what he’d witnessed the last time I was on a rink.

This was my first weekend hanging out with Dylan. Marco had explained to him who I was and what I meant to him and that I’d be around a lot whenever Dylan came to see his dad. I didn’t know how Dylan was going to react to that. Although he was used to sharing Leah with Graham, since Graham had been in the picture almost as long as Dylan had been alive, I didn’t know how he’d feel about sharing his superhero dad.

Leah had just dropped him off with us. It was early Saturday morning and my stomach was filled with butterflies. I wasn’t really in the mood for an inquisition, but when I saw the smile in Leah’s eyes, I realized she was teasing me.

“Oh, I don’t know,” I answered. “As soon as it gets boring, I’ll probably move on to another single dad.”

She stared at me blankly.

“That was a joke,” I explained. “Apparently not a good one. Too soon?”

Leah raised an eyebrow. “You think?”

Awkward. I looked back at Marco, who had stood up and was listening in with mirth in his eyes. “I like her.” I raised my arm and gave a mini fist pump. “She’s feisty.”

His shoulders shook with laughter. Dylan looked up at his dad, saw him laughing, and a small smile played on his lips.

Glancing back at Leah, I found her smiling at her son. Her eyes flicked to mine and thankfully she didn’t stop smiling. “I’m glad it all worked out, Hannah.”

“Me too,” I told her sincerely.

She grinned at her son. “I’ll see you after school on Monday, honey. Have a great weekend with your daddy.”

In answer Dylan hurried over to her and gave her a hug. I got the impression from the surprised look on Leah’s face that he didn’t usually do that when she dropped him off with Marco. I was guessing the need for reassurance and comfort from her was because there was a strange, tall blond lady in his dad’s living room and she didn’t appear to be going anywhere. The concern must have shown on my face because Leah said as she caressed her son’s hair, “He’ll be fine once he gets to know you. He’s just a wee bit shy. Ay?” She pulled back from him, looking down into his gorgeous face. “You’ll have a good time with Hannah, though. She’s Daddy’s other best friend, and you know if Daddy likes someone they’re usually pretty cool.”

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