He took my hands in his own and held them tight above my head, firmly enough that I couldn’t escape. My breasts jutted out, tantalized by the soft hairs of his chest. I moaned and cried out unintelligible things. I’d lost my mind in the pleasure.
Our bodies collided over each other’s, slick and taut with the tension coiled tight within each of us. The slow burn of my desire was raging now, the fire taking over as I clenched helplessly around him. His hips slammed mercilessly against me, my body anchored there and by his mouth where he kissed me. Passionate bruising kisses that I fully met like a person who’d been starved of them.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck. Erica. Come, baby. I can’t stop.”
His words spurred me right into my orgasm. I let out an intoxicated cry, my fingers threading tightly with his. His eyes never left me as he took his pleasure, the cords of his muscles strung so tight. The taut knots of his abdomen clenched once more before a spasm rocked his powerful frame.
My body hummed. My chest expanded with warmth, and I inhaled his scent, basking in our sudden and fierce closeness. Love—a heady, pulsing, possessing wave of love—held me in its clutches. Everything that I’d been trying to forget and subdue when he was near came rushing in, overtaking my senses. Forehead to forehead, we caught our breath between slow, passionate kisses.
He stilled for a minute and looked up. “Damn it.”
“I have a conference call in a few minutes, otherwise I’d take you home and finish this.” He shook his head. “Never mind, I’ll have Cady reschedule it.”
He thickened inside of me, impossibly ready for me again. I tightened in response, overwhelmed by how much I wanted him again already. I wanted to gorge myself on everything I’d been missing for so long.
Then reality slowly resurfaced. This had been amazing. Heart-wrenching, toe-curling, amazing sex, but it didn’t solve things. I pressed my hands on his chest gently.
“Let me use your bathroom.”
He pulled out of me. I bit my lip, suppressing a whimper at the loss. With his help, I slid off the desk and collected myself enough to escape into the adjoining bathroom. I shut the door and cleaned myself up. How would we get through this now?
Before I could begin to think about it, he knocked on the door. I pulled myself together quickly and met him at the doorway.
“Sure.” I pushed by nervously. “I’ll let you get back to work, I guess.”
I’d barely passed him when he tugged me close. “What if I don’t want to let you go yet?”
I avoided his eyes, unable to keep from relaxing into the warmth of his body.
“Let me see you tonight.” He paused, penetrating me with his gaze.
I contemplated a response. He’d just stripped me down emotionally and called my bluff on this whole breakup. What else could I say to keep him away that he would possibly believe or accept at this point? He was the definition of undeterred.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
His eyes widened slightly. “We’re back to this?”
I sighed inwardly. We were so far from being back to normal. I was no closer to being able to tell him everything he didn’t know.
“You’re killing me with this shit, Erica. After what we just did, you won’t let me take you out?”
I tried to weigh my options, the possibilities, and all the things that could possibly go wrong. In the middle of this trying thought process, Blake kissed me. I kissed him back, twisting the fabric of his T-shirt into a fist as I pulled him even closer. Everything melted away as it so blissfully had earlier.
“I’ll meet you after work, okay?”
I nodded without thinking, drunk on the taste of him once more. Before I could tear myself away to leave, he spoke again.
My gaze shot up to meet his. I sobered momentarily with apprehension about what he might say.
“It’s not what you think.”
“Oh?” Then what the hell was it?
“Her loyalties don’t lie with you.”
“What do you mean?”
“You said you wanted to make your own mistakes, so I’m letting you. Do your homework. You’ll figure it out.”
On the walk back, I’d pulled my hair up into a twist so I didn’t look like I’d very recently been nailed on a writing desk. I returned to the office and ignored Risa’s guilty look in my direction. I couldn’t make eye contact with her. As soon as I passed the partition, James was behind me.
“How did it go?”
His tone had an edge, reminiscent of the bitter jealousy that I’d recently unleashed onto Blake. I sighed, wishing I hadn’t chosen to come here first.
“Fine. We’re on the same page now.”
“I can see that,” he said quietly, thumbing a tender spot high on my neck. He shook his head and turned to leave as quickly as he’d come.
I sat down and opened my compact. In the tiny mirror I saw a quarter-sized violet bruise where James’s hand had grazed.
My face heated. Goddamn it, Blake.
He was ruthless in his jealousy, and now James was obviously pissed that I’d gone and done exactly what he’d said I would.
I sulked back into my chair, overwhelmed. And to think I’d once been worried about office culture. I would be lucky if James didn’t quit before I had a chance to rip Risa a new one for shamelessly pursuing my ex, or whatever Blake officially was right now. In that moment I was incredibly grateful for Sid and Chris’s generally uneventful social lives. I created enough drama for the whole office all by myself.
I waited until everyone left at five. For the first time in a long time, James didn’t stay late. I knew he was upset when he didn’t bother saying goodbye. I bolted the door and went over to Risa’s desk. I looked through her paperwork carefully. Everything seemed to be in order. Contracts, notes, print collateral.
I sat in her chair and moved her mouse. Her computer screen lit up and I started looking through her files. I clicked over to her email and scrolled through dozens of messages between her and clients, myself, and others on the team. Everything looked normal. I hoped Blake wasn’t sending me on a wild goose chase to justify their lunch.
I checked her sent mail and scanned down a few pages. I stopped on an email to Max titled “Files.”
Here are the files you asked for.
Attached were a handful of spreadsheets with all our user data, along with confidential documents for the business that I’d shared with her when we met with Alli weeks ago.