Her legs are trembling and a moment later, she goes limp and releases my hair. Her breathing deepens and slows, a contrast to the panting of just moments ago.
I lick my lips to collect the last taste of Laurelyn before I sit up to remove my T-shirt. I toss it to the floor and slide off the edge of the bed so I can remove my pants and undies. When I'm as naked as she is, I crawl up her body, stopping along my way to place another kiss against her belly. God, I wish I knew if there was a little miracle growing inside her right now.
I settle between her legs and we're face to face. Heart to heart. Skin on skin. She reaches for my face and strokes her fingertips down my cheeks. "This scruff is extra…stimulating."
I'm pretty sure that's a good thing. Maybe even great. "More stimulating, huh? Does that mean you want me to keep it?"
"Abso-fucking-lutely," she says with a mischievous grin. "I would have hidden your razors had I known what that kind of scruff would feel like when you went down."
She's being funny but what I'm about to say isn't at all comical. I prop on my elbows so I'm not crushing her with my weight, and I take her face in my hands so we're eye to eye. "I love you, Laurelyn Paige Prescott." Her eyes tear up and I press my forehead to hers because I can't watch. I've never been able to stand seeing her cry. "Please don't cry, baby."
She grabs my head and pushes it away from hers. I'm forced to look at her and watch the tears roll down the sides of her face. "They're happy tears—the best kind—because I love you too and I'm so very happy."
She has a million and one reasons to tell me to fuck off—and she probably should—but I can see that she isn't going to. By some miracle, she still loves me. "You're the only angel in my life, Laurelyn."
She grabs me behind my neck and brings my mouth down to hers. She kisses me softly and slowly and when she releases me, her mouth is still against mine so I feel the movement of her lips. "Make love to me."
I'm still nestled between her legs. She brings them up and parts them wider for me to get closer. I'm hard and ready against her drenched entrance, but I don't know if I should use a condom. I don't want to ruin the moment by asking and frankly, I don't want her to tell me I need one. I want to be inside her without anything between us, so I relinquish the entire control of contraception to this woman I absolutely adore.
She knows I'm about to go in. If she doesn't tell me we need a condom, then there's only two options: she's either back on track with her pills or she's already pregnant with my baby.
As if she senses the battle raging inside my head, she lifts her hips against me and coaxes my tip inside of her. She rocks her hips and it's all the invitation I need. I slide my remaining length into her until I'm as deep as I can be in this position.
Oh, fuck! She feels so good. I have missed being inside of her so much.
I've only made love to Laurelyn one other time. I didn't realize how I felt about her then. But now, I know I love her. There's not a bit of doubt in my mind. "It's been so long since I felt you—far too long."
I'm sliding in and out of her and I'm overcome by the need to tell her what she means to me. I trail kisses up her neck until my mouth hovers over her ear. "I love you so much, Laurelyn. I swear I do." I can't stop feeling like I need to tell her over and over to make up for all the times I didn't.
Her hands leave my back and she runs her fingers through my hair. Her nails gently scrape my scalp and goosebumps form all over my body. "I love you too, Jack Henry. So very much."
I slow my thrusts because I want this to go on forever and ever. My hands find hers and I bring them above her head where I lace our fingers together tightly. She is my everything and I'm never letting her get away again.
She opens her eyes and they watch mine as I move above her. As I'm sliding in and out, I can't help but notice how incredibly tight she is. There's not a doubt in my mind—no other man has been inside her. I believed her when she said that there hadn't been another, but feeling her like this gives me a bit more satisfaction. And pleasure.
I thrust the last few times before I'm about to come. I don't ask her if I need to pull out. I'm sure she'd tell me if she wanted me to. "Oh, Laurelyn," I groan as I squeeze her hands and thrust one last time as I come inside her. She brings her legs up around my waist and crosses her ankles behind my back. She uses the strength in her legs to bring me closer until there's not a bit of space between us.
Mmm. Coming inside her. That's something else I've missed.
I pull out after I'm completely emptied and satiated. I roll to my back and pull Laurelyn to lie against my chest. I rub my hand up and down her arm. She's still cold, so I reach for the covers and bring them up over us.
I'm still catching my breath as I kiss the top of her head and hold her tightly. This is the place I want to be always—anywhere that includes my American girl wrapped in my arms. "It was a mistake to not tell you how I felt. It's haunted me since the day I came home and found you gone. You'll never know how sorry I am for letting you slip through my fingers. But it won't happen again because I'm never letting you go. Ever."
She has no idea about the future I want with her—that I want her to be my wife—but I don't dare bring that up right now. I don't want to frighten her with talk of marriage. She can't possibly be in a place where she'd trust me enough, so I choose to postpone that conversation for another time.
Her hand is on my chest and she's rubbing it back and forth over my nipple. "If you knew you loved me, why couldn't you say it?"
"I denied what I was feeling for you. I told myself I didn't know what my feelings were. It all felt so complex at the time, and I wanted to avoid the complications. But as hard as I tried, I couldn't evade loving you. You made me fall hard. I've never loved a woman until you."
She lifts her face from my chest to look up at me. "It took everything in me to not come running back to Australia to beg you to have me. I know I wasn't supposed to, but I had the number to the phone you used for calling me. I can't tell you how many times I thought about calling it, just to see if you would answer. But I was terrified of you turning me away. I couldn't have taken it if you had."
Incredible! All this time we were only one phone call away from one another.
"I've carried your mobile with me every day since you left. I knew you had the number because you used it to transfer our photos to your personal phone. I got your number from the phone records and tried calling you, but I was too late. You'd already canceled your service."
"Yeah. I had to switch and get a new number."
I don't want to hear the story behind that right now. I know it isn't going to sit well with me and I just want to enjoy this time together. "I never stopped hoping you'd call and I'd hear your voice on the other end."
"I wish I had. If I'd known how you felt, I would've called. Hell, I would've never left you in the first place. God, that must've been bad when you found my letter."
It was awful—the absolute worst day of my life.
There have been so many mistakes made between us, on my part and hers, and saying I love you didn't automatically mean she'd agree to live happily ever after with me. "What if I've changed my mind and decided I want complicated? What if I want to try?"
Her finger is on my stomach and she's tracing that invisible infinity symbol like she always does when she's nervous. "When I fell before, you didn't catch me."
She's right. She told me she loved me and I let her down. But never again. Never. "I'll always be sorry for that, Laurelyn. You've never had a single person in your life who didn't let you down, but that's not who I'm going to be. I swear I'll be there for you, if you'll let me."
Because of the men in Laurelyn's past, she's destined to have trust issues and she's never hidden this from me. We didn't have problems with it when our agreement defined very clear expectations, but a normal relationship will be different. I'm certain it won't come easy for us, but I'm prepared to do anything it takes to be with her.
"I can't lie. This—me and you—scares the shit out of me."
I'd be worried if she weren't frightened. "Me too, but wouldn't you rather be scared together than be miserable apart? Because I know that's what I'd be without you."
"You're right. I've done the being-miserable-apart thing for the last three months and it blows. I'm ready to try the scared-shitless-together part."
I turn my back to Jack Henry and snuggle against him. It hasn't been quite long enough but I know he's going to have me again as soon as he's ready. I'm definitely willing whenever all systems are go.
His hand slides around my waist and he rubs it in a circular motion on my stomach again. He seems to be hung up on that area tonight for some reason. I cup my hand over his. "Are you discovering a second time how much you like my belly-button piercing? You can't seem to stay away from it tonight."
"Your piercing isn't what I'm fixated on."
Hmm…that sounds interesting. Maybe he's already revving up for round two. That was quicker than expected, but it has been a long time. I scoot back so I'm pressed against him. "Then what has you so mesmerized tonight?"
He doesn't make a move or answer right away. "I found your birth control pills after you were gone."
"Oh." I knew I'd left them somewhere in the bedroom, so I'm not at all surprised by him bringing that up. I suspect he probably had quite the come-apart when he found them since I already know how badly he wants to avoid a pregnancy.
"There were two nights we didn't use condoms about the time you missed your pills. I didn't even attempt to pull out, so you can understand why I would've spent the last three months wondering if you were pregnant." He pushes my hair aside and kisses the back of my neck. "Don't be afraid to tell me if you are because of that fucked-up misunderstanding we had at my parents' house." His mouth is hovering over my ear and he sucks my lobe. "I love you so much and I swear I'd love our baby too."