My head fell back and I looked up at the ceiling. “Are we going to argue about this again?”

I felt his stunned silence before he said, “What we did last night was not argue. We can discuss something—even heatedly—without it being an argument. That said, what’s wrong with arguing? It doesn’t mean we’re in a bad place just because we’re two people with different opinions about how to handle something.”

“If I were a man, would we be having this same discussion? Would a man be asked to take a teaching position over running a large academic lab?”

His eyes went wide with shock. “Yes! You’re not seriously saying this has anything to do with you being a woman, are you?”

“No, I mean . . . of course not. I know you wouldn’t do that. I just want—I don’t want us to argue about something until we know exactly what we’re arguing about, or whatever! Discussing!” I said, getting flustered. “We don’t even know all the options, so how can we possibly have a logical discussion about it? Can we just wait? Please?”

Will sighed, reaching up to push the hair back from his face. He looked at me with soft, patient eyes, and then nodded, holding out his hands to me. “Come here,” he said, and I took the few steps toward him.

This was what I needed: the closeness, the certainty I felt when wrapped in his arms. Everything else was up in the air, but this, this was my constant.

“I missed you,” he said, holding me to him, palm smoothing my hair. “I don’t like waking up without you here, especially with the headache I had this morning.” He pulled back and placed a hand on either side of my face, examining me. “God, that had to have been a tough run.”

“Max is lucky I didn’t hurl on him,” I said, turning my head to place a kiss against his palm, and then up, against the back of his ring. “I never want to drink again. I’m pretty terrible at it.”

“You are pretty terrible at it,” he agreed, watching me. “But you’re okay now?”

“Absolutely okay,” I said. “Very”—kiss—“very”—kiss—“okay.” He sucked in a small breath when I pressed my lips to his wrist, chastely at first, then wetter, sucking, opening my mouth to feel his pulse against my tongue.

His reaction came in the form of another sharp inhale, and my eyes flickered up to his.

“Yeah?” he said, and I dragged my teeth along his skin, pressed down until his brows lifted a little with the pain. “Right here?”

I nodded, stepping back and lifting my shirt up and over my head. His eyes followed the movement and I watched as his features relaxed, every last bit of tension leaving his face.

We each knew what the other liked. Will liked it to be a little rough sometimes, and I liked to be guided, told where he wanted me and what he wanted me to do.

Will gripped his shirt at the back of his neck and pulled it off, tossing it absently to the couch. “Turn around then,” he said, motioning with his finger.

I did what he asked, turning to see his worn leather chair just behind me. I loved that chair, and so did Will. Loved to curl up in it while I worked, my legs tucked underneath me and my laptop balanced on the arm. I loved when Will sat in this chair and I sat in the other and we were both quiet, no words needed as we read or watched TV. And I especially loved when he would let me climb into his lap, burrow my way into whatever blanket he was using, and watch a movie. And despite having had sex on almost every piece of furniture we owned, we’d never done it there, on one of his favorite possessions—the chair he’d taken with him from home to home throughout his adult years.

I took a step forward. “Like this?” I asked, sinking into the seat, knees pressed to the cushion and facing away from him.

“Just like that.” Warm hands unclasped my bra and pulled it from my body. Will’s fingers tickled over my ribs before moving to the waistband of my pants, toying with them for a moment before pushing both them and my underwear down my thighs to stop at my knees.

Cool air moved over my skin and I felt bare for him, exposed. I closed my eyes as his fingers tiptoed back up my spine, counting every vertebra, registering every shiver. When he reached my neck, he slipped his hand into my hair, twisting where it was still loosely knotted on top, gripping it, holding it tight and using it for leverage to push me forward, my torso, my stomach, my breasts curved over the cold leather.

“Good,” he murmured, and I was aware of him moving away, of the rustle of fabric as he undressed behind me. I wanted to turn and look, but by the time I’d worked up the courage to do so, the cushion dipped again and he was there, warm along the back of my body. His lips found my shoulder, my cheek. I felt him suck against the skin of my neck, surely leaving a mark. “Love you.”

I turned into his kiss and gasped at the juxtaposition of the cool leather on my stomach and breasts and the fiery heat of his body against my back.

Will reached between us and took hold of himself, dragging the head of his cock—warm and slightly wet at the tip—between my legs to brush over my clit. Back and forth, back and forth.

“Want you to open your legs,” he said, and I did as instructed. “A little more.”

I pushed my knees as far as they would go, flush against the arms of the chair. Satisfied, he placed a soft kiss on my nose.

“You want this?” he asked, stilling just where I needed him, just the head slipping inside before pulling out again. “Want me to play, or just fuck you?”