Jon banged the side of his hand against the door. The still tender right hand zinged as he vaulted over the desk. “Goddammit.” Ignoring the startled gasp of the cashier he ran after her.
Swinging the door wide, he looked outside for her. The front was empty, save for a customer going around him with a glare. He slowly made his way down the walkway, rounding the edge of her building to find her against the brick, her head tilted back. “Hell,” he grumbled and gathered her in.
She resisted, as she almost always did, but he held on. His fingers gripped the back of her neck, almost forcing her to stay against him when she finally wrapped her arms around his back. “I hate this,” she whispered, resting her cheek against his chest.
“That makes two of us,” he said against her hair. Brushing his lips over her forehead, he stared out into the small common area where grass tried to push out of the weather beaten dirt. “I needed something for me, Tessa. I needed to remember.”
“I know…” she trailed off her voice quieting. “I just wasn’t expecting it. I—“
“What, baby? Tell me.”
She just shook her head against his chest and he sighed, brushing his cheek against her hair. He tried not to push; tried to be supportive even when he wanted to scream and shake her to get a reaction out of her. He didn’t know what to do to help her. The grief was new to him, too.
He’d never really lost anyone in his life before. A grandmother, but that was part of life. This was unexpected and the fact that she refused to even really talk about the baby left him adrift. The only thing he’d been able to think of to honor their child was to add the idea of him or her to his dog tags. To remember that part of them that hadn’t been given the chance to grow and become a reality. He’d really lost both of them for awhile.
And now, just a little step forward and he’d lost it when she’d actually kissed him without prompting. He was so tired of only holding her in sleep. He needed to feel like she wanted to be with him at least.
Not that she should be with him. Not going through the motions of the day until she finally wore herself out enough to sleep. That she wanted to be with him. And as her fingers fisted into the material at his back, he held on tighter.
She leaned back, her wary green eyes meeting his. “I don’t know how to do this, Jon. I don’t know how to be. I don’t know how to feel. Everything is just jumbled and doesn’t make any sense.”
He slid the side of his thumb along her eyebrow, down the side of her cheek to the achingly severe line of her jaw. Her hair was longer now, as she tried to hide the fact that she was wasting away to nothing. “We make sense. You and me, that makes sense.” When she closed her eyes, he lowered his lips to hers.
The quick intake of breath left him frozen. Every day felt like he was losing just a little bit more of her. He sighed, pulling back, only to have her lean into him. Her lips were tentative, but welcoming. Her fingers dug into his back, twisting tighter as she flattened herself to him. She felt so fragile, so unlike the woman who’d turned his world upside down for nearly half a year.
The low moan that rumbled between them snapped something inside of him. His fingers threaded into her hair, angling for something deeper. When she met him, stroke for stroke and breath to breath, he reached for something to hold only finding brick. Pushing her up against the cool stone, he braced his palm against the sandpaper surface.
His body ached for her, his cock rising to the challenge, but he pulled back that part of him. He could do this. He could stop—he groaned when she slowed the kiss, dragging her lips along his chin and neck. It felt like forever since they’d connected in any way. He should stop.
When she raked her nails up his back and gripped his shoulders, his hormones revved. It didn’t matter that they were out in the open. It didn’t matter that it was barely fifty degrees outside. The familiar punch of chemistry was a relief.
Her head tipped back, leaving the elegant line of it exposed. She reached onto her toes to give him better access and he laughed as he sipped from her. “I didn’t think I’d ever get to touch you again,” he said into her ear.
“I’ve been afraid to let you touch me,” she sighed. “Everything around me seems so different. What if we’re different?” She wrapped her arms around him, burying her face in his neck. “I couldn’t take that too.”
He held onto her. “No.” He brushed his lips against her temple, against her cheek and finally to her lips. “Not you and me. Come home with me tonight, let me show you. Let me prove it.”
He braced his arm over her head, shielding her from the wind that howled between the buildings. Spring sunshine and wind, the smell of rain on the air as April started its thaw. She laid her hands on his belly, fussing with the hem of his shirt until she brushed a knuckle over the hair that ran low against his buckle. He hissed. Her eyelashes swept across her cheeks as she looked down, pulling the shirt up just a little to look at him. He stilled, afraid to move and have her pull away again. It was the first move she’d made on him in over six weeks.
“I miss feeling close to you.” She looked up at him. “I miss us,” her eyes were misty, but she blinked back the tears. “I don’t want to be sad tonight.” Her fingernails dug into the ridged muscles of his stomach. “I want to touch you tonight.” Her hand flattened on him, moving up to his chest, her thumb traced his nipple until his breathing turned into a groan. “I want you to touch me.” Her other hand cradled his face. “Make me forget.”
Helpless against her words and her quiet request he could only nod, catching her lips in a soothing kiss as her hand finally slid out of his shirt and back around his waist. “Tonight,” he promised.