I shrugged beneath him, relieved immeasurably by the sweetness in his voice. “At least we didn’t get naked.”
“More of a technicality,” he whispered, bending to kiss me. “I’m covered in you. You’re covered in me.”
I closed my eyes, sliding my hands around his hips and forward, between our bodies, to feel the warm spill of his orgasm on my stomach, and then lower, to where he pressed—still half hard—between my legs.
“Then we’ll really be naked.” I mean, not that it really mattered anymore. But . . . maybe it did, even just a little. To hold something back here meant that there was something more to come between us, something we wanted to save that for, and the thought gave me a tiny, heady burst of happiness. “You first. Then me.”
“Or we could sleep like this,” he said into my neck, laughing. “Because I’m really fucking tired now.”
“Yes. Or we could sleep.” I turned my head to him and he turned his face to mine, kissing me slow and warm, tongue lazily stroking.
As soon as he said it, he stiffened. I couldn’t deny that the timing was a little off—referencing the ex-wife just moments after we dry fucked our way to orgasm. But I knew what he meant, too. It was still a comment about us, just more real somehow. The truth was, I was British, he was American. I lived in London, he lived in Boston. And his ex-wife was two doors down the hall. Given how fascinated she’d been with Jensen tonight, and how hard it had been for her to tear her guilt-stained eyes from his face, I wondered, too, whether she was up, listening for evidence of what we’d just done.
In the darkness it was somehow easier to ask him about it. “How was it for you today? Really?”
He rolled off me but pulled me with him, turning me onto my side so we faced each other and curling a palm around my hip. Jensen: the gentle, cuddling lover. “It wasn’t actually that bad,” he said, and then leaned forward, kissing me. “Which was unexpected. I think having you there helped. I think having Ziggs and Will be angry on my behalf helped.”
“And I think it helped that she’s married to a guy who seems sort of boring,” he whispered, as if he was a bit ashamed to admit it so baldly. “I shoulder some of the blame for our breakup, of course. But it makes me wonder if . . . maybe I wasn’t the problem after all.”
“So we’ll keep up the facade?” I asked.
Jensen coughed quietly and shrugged against me. “I don’t really see any point in telling her either way. I haven’t seen her since the day we signed the divorce papers. We no longer have any friends in common. At this point, telling her it was a joke would probably only hurt her feelings.”
“I love that you don’t want to hurt her feelings, after everything.”
He went quiet for a few even breaths. “She ended things so terribly, with such appalling immaturity. But she wasn’t trying to be awful.”
“She just is,” I said, repressing a little laugh.
“She was young,” he said by way of explanation. “Though I don’t remember her being quite so . . .”
He coughed out an incredulous sound that I’d put it so plainly at last. “Well . . . yeah.”
“No one is interesting at nineteen.”
“I wasn’t. I was obsessed with lip gloss and sex. There wasn’t a lot more going on upstairs.”
He shook his head, hand sliding up from my hip to my waist. “You studied math.”
“Anyone can study math,” I told him. “It’s just something to do. Having an aptitude for math doesn’t make you inherently more interesting. It just makes you good with numbers, which, in my experience, often translates to bad with people.”
I let this sentence hang between us, wondering if it would strike him as funny, or surprising, or wonderful, given our start on the plane.
After a beat, he grinned at me in the darkness. “Well, unless you’re slamming champagne and belching on planes.”
I was startled awake by a scratching sound to my right, and pushed up onto an elbow.
The blankets fell away from my body, sliding down my hips, and Pippa’s eyes flickered from my face, and down, and back to my face again. Her cheeks flushed, and I was pretty sure I knew why.
I’d kicked off my shorts sometime after our . . . exchange in bed.
She was seeing me naked for the first time in the light of the morning after.
“You’re up,” I said, my voice still heavy with sleep. As my vision cleared, I realized she was dressed in leggings and a T-shirt, her hair knotted in a messy bun. She was crouched by the bed, tying a pair of brightly colored sneakers. “You’re dressed.”
For the first time on this vacation, I didn’t want to bolt from bed. I wanted her warmth with me, under the covers.
“Yeah, sorry,” she whispered. “I tried not to wake you.”
“Where are you going?” Unease slid through me. She was just going to leave?
After a small hesitation, she said, “I’m off to yoga with Becky.”
I sat up fully, squinting at her. “You know you don’t actually have to do that, right?”