Like whether he loved me the way that I loved him. Or whether he was capable of love at all.

It was that last part that made my chest ache with uncertainty.

Chapter Thirty


Goddamn it.

I’d said too much.

I’d known it from the second the words left my lips, but I couldn’t bring myself to regret my decision. Not even when I saw the dawning horror of realization on her delicate features. Not even now, the next morning, as I sat up in my bed and thought about the night before.

I didn’t know why I hadn’t gone into the house with her. After a date like that, she deserved to be taken to bed and shown just how thoroughly I appreciated her efforts. Still, I needed time to think, time to work out my feelings, and the coiled knot in my stomach that seemed to tighten that much more every time I thought of Emma needed to fucking uncoil.

These emotions were unlike the ones I’d ever had before, that much I knew. What I’d thought was love years ago paled in comparison to what I felt now. I didn’t worry about Emma—I knew she could care for and protect herself. She wasn’t fragile or delicate like Ashley had been.

But the rest of it? The need to know where she was and what she was doing? The need to possess her completely? That was there, rearing its ugly head and roaring like a lion for me to fulfill my aching need to be with her.

It was already nine in the morning and a Saturday, which meant I should have been in the office. Not because I had to be but because I was a creature of habit. For Emma, I knew this usually meant a day of wrangling workers at the library, psyching everyone up for their busy day while people picked out the books and videos they’d be checking out for the week.

I knew where she was and what she was doing, and that I’d likely see her later.

So, why didn’t that feel like it was enough anymore?

With a groan, I moved from my bed and slipped on a button-down shirt and my favorite jeans before heading into my kitchen and grabbing a cup of coffee.

Maybe I ought to go to the library and apologize for being so frank with her, for bringing down the mood of what had otherwise been the most perfect day of my life. But then . . . I didn’t feel that way. I regretted the vulnerability, but not the words themselves. There had to be a way to wash that vulnerability from her mind without mentioning what I’d said last night. To bring things back into focus where I felt in control again, because right now? I was spinning out.

That was what I needed to make this ache in my gut fade, I realized with a start.


Finishing my coffee in one gulp, I texted Ben and slipped on my shoes, ready for the long ride to the library on the outskirts of town, and the woman I knew would be there when I stepped inside.

Opting for surprise, I decided not to let her know I was coming, planning instead exactly how I would execute my plan when I arrived. It would be difficult—the library would be filled with people today.

But then, that’s what made it all the more exciting.

Ben pulled up and I stepped from the car, letting him know he could take his coffee break if he needed to while I was gone. Then, with a determined smile on my face, I made my way for the wide oak doors of the library and pushed through to find a pristine hall of books, hallowed in silence, and a pretty young woman standing behind the checkout counter.

Walking toward her, I noted the color of her hair and eyes and figured this must have been Emma’s friend Bethany.

“Excuse me.” I cleared my throat but was careful to keep my tone hushed. “Could you tell me where I could find Emma Bell?”

Bethany blinked. “Emma? The head librarian? She’s in her office. Is there something I can help you with?”

I extended my hand. “My name is Gavin Kingsley. I’m a friend of Emma’s, and I was hoping to see her.”

Bethany tilted her head to the side, her eyes brightening as she took my hand in hers. “So nice to meet you, Gavin. I’ll get her right away.”

Picking up the black phone beside her computer, she dialed a number and then said, “Emma, someone is here to see you.” Then, after a pause, “You’ll just have to come and find out.”

Not waiting for a response, Bethany put down the phone and turned her grin on me. “Emma will be out in a few seconds. Her office is right down the hall.”

And there Emma was, striding down an aisle of books and looking a little put out. That was, until she saw my face.

Then, almost like magic, she relaxed and turned a smile on both me and her friend. “What a great surprise. Gavin, come in. Well, you’re already in. But I mean . . . wow. You’re here. At my work.”

From the corner of my eye, I saw Bethany waggle her eyebrows, and I swallowed a laugh. “I hope that’s not a problem.”

“Of course not. I just have a few things to finish up in my office, and then we can, um, go to lunch if you want. Come this way.”

She shot her friend a wide-eyed look that I didn’t miss, and then I followed her back down the row of reference books until we reached an ornate old alcove with a frosted-glass door stenciled with her name and title in gold and black letters.

“Swanky digs,” I said, and she rolled her eyes.

“It’s okay.”

“Nonsense. You’re very important around here.” I stepped past her into the office, rounding her huge wood desk and taking a seat in her rolling leather chair. “Shut the door.”

She raised her eyebrows, her cheeks flushing a pretty pink. “You know, I happen to be the boss around here.”

“You stopped being the boss the moment I walked into this building, and you and I both know it,” I replied coolly.

She snapped the door closed and pulled the blinds, then, with the click of a latch, she locked the door behind her.

“Good girl,” I said. “I wanted to thank you for a job well done yesterday.”

She wet her lips as she surveyed me. “Is that so?”

I nodded. “It is. And since you were such a good little date planner, I’m going to let you ride my cock. Would you like that?”

Her breath caught as she blinked at me. “H-here? In the library?”

“No place better.” I grinned as my shaft swelled at the thought. “Now, undress for me.”

She glanced over her shoulder at the door and then straightened. “You first,” she shot back.

“Talk back to me like that again and I’ll take away your privileges,” I muttered.

Without another word, she set to work unbuttoning her blouse. Slowly, button by button, she showed me more of her supple, creamy skin, the lace of her white bra, until finally her shirt dropped to the floor and she reached behind her to unfasten her skirt and let it fall into a pool at her feet.

With a rush of satisfaction, I realized she wore the sort of stockings that needed a garter belt, and when she reached to unfasten its clips, I held up a hand to stop her.

“Leave those on,” I demanded, my chest going tight with desire. “And be very careful not to get a run in those black stockings. I think you’ll need them again in the very near future.”

She grinned. “But what about my panties?”

“I’ll push those aside. Take off your bra and let me see those gorgeous tits.”

She didn’t need to be told twice. With a twist of the wrist, her bra fell to the floor and she stepped toward me, still in her shiny leather pumps. “Do you want me to take off my shoes?”

I shook my head, then pulled down my jeans and boxers in one tug, settling myself back in the chair as my cock sprang free.

Then, just as she had done, I pulled off my shirt slowly, showing her my chest muscle by muscle, inch by inch. As I did, her pink little tongue darted out to wet her lips again before she finally bit down on her bottom lip and sank to her knees in front of me.

“No, I said you’re going to ride my cock, not taste it,” I said, though I’d be lying if I said the needy look in her eyes didn’t make me harder than a fucking baseball bat.

Nodding, she stood again and then straddled me, where I promptly shoved her panties aside showing me her pretty pink pussy as her thighs opened for me.

Her skin against mine sent a thrill of need through me and I gripped my shaft, working it up and down as I stared at her slick pink center.


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