Ten minutes later, I emerge with a towel around my hips and see Mia lying in bed, dressed once again in her T-shirt.

“Let’s get some sleep.” I pull on my discarded shorts from beside the bed and crawl beside her.

I have no idea how I’m going to be productive in meetings tomorrow with Pierre and his executives with the erotic image of Mia coming on her own fingers permanently tattooed into my brain.

I switch off the light and we lie silent in the dark a few moments before I feel the bed shift slightly, as Mia moves closer to me, releasing a sleepy sound. She curls her hand around mine and squeezes. “Night, Coll,” she yawns.

“Goodnight, angel,” I murmur.

I lay awake for a long time after that as a rush of emotions charges through me without invitation. Part of me feels like shit for what I’ve done to Tatianna, yet the relief at knowing our relationship is over is immediate and all-encompassing, but most of all, I feel like I screwed up with Mia yet again.

Chapter Sixteen

Mia

Hand holding seems like the most juvenile thing I could have done after what Collins and I just shared. But I want to touch him—need to feel some part of him—because somehow that makes what I’ve just experienced more real.

My entire body is still singing from it. I’ve never pleasured myself in front of an audience before, and when Collins asked me to, I was so nervous, I wasn’t sure what to do, but his rugged voice instructed me. As he growled out orders, and I did what he wanted, it was like he was doing it to me, and it was so much better than being alone. It was exciting, knowing that he was so turned on by watching me touch myself. The desperate hunger burning in his eyes ensured I would have done anything he’d asked.

And watching him tug his shorts down and free his cock tempted me beyond belief. Our first time, I remembered him being huge. He’d been so big back then, that even after the initial pain subsided, it had been hard to take him all the way in at first. And then he’d filled me so deep, so full. Still, when I thought back on it, I figured I’d only imagined his amazing size. But it really is huge. I figured my memories were only my imagination running wild, like one of my dad’s fishing stories, he added inches to every retelling. But Collins is even bigger than I remembered. Damn, his cock alone is reason enough to fly across the country on my last dime.

Watching him stroke himself, knowing that he was imagining me doing it to him, was so hot. It took every ounce of self-control for me to not touch him myself. I wanted to curl my hand around him and feel his thick length that I was sure would be hot to the touch.

But I knew he didn’t want that. He wanted to do the right thing and wait until he’d finished things with Tatianna. I could see it in his eyes.

Even after. Especially after. He felt so guilty. And I hated seeing the guilt in his eyes. I hated that maybe I’d made him do something he wasn’t ready to do yet. So I told him I was fine, and I was.

Mostly.

***

I don’t remember falling asleep. I wake the next morning to the sun pouring into the hotel suite through its grand windows. My body feels relaxed and refreshed, like I’ve had the first good night’s sleep since I lost my job. I stretch and turn to see Collins’ side of the bed empty. I knew he was going to be in meetings with Pierre all day, but I was hoping I’d get to wish him luck before he left.

There’s a note on the pillow next to me.

Mia,

You looked so peaceful, I didn’t want to wake you. I’m in meetings all day and part of the evening. Maybe we’ll be able to get drinks tonight after dinner. Have fun seeing the city, but not too much.

-C

P.S. Text me if you get lost or need rescuing.

The offer of rescue brings a smile to my face. He’s always there to rescue me if I need him.

My hand drifts over to Collins’ empty side of the bed. I wish we could go out and see the city together, but I’ll have to be my own company today.

I’m excited to explore Paris, so I shower and dress in no time.

After devouring a flakey croissant and washing it down with rich coffee, I find myself spending most of the day in the Louvre. I hadn’t planned on taking that much time, but the place is so vast that every time I think I’ve seen it all, there is another hallway, floor or building I have yet to explore. It’s amazing, the number of master works in one place, the beauty of which nearly brings me to tears.

I save the Mona Lisa for last, and by the time I get there it’s early evening. I have to wait in line for a bit, which gives me time to think. It really sinks in that I’m in Paris. Two weeks ago I was fired from a job for something I hadn’t even done. A job where I was barely making my college loan payments, and struggling to make rent. I would never have dreamed I’d be here now, in Paris, and yet here I am in this beautiful city with my favorite person. I smile to myself, feeling a bit silly but also like the luckiest woman alive.

The line moves forward. I take a few steps closer. I’m almost to the front.

Collins is such an amazing man. And after last night, I’m pretty sure the only thing keeping us apart is his need to break it off with Tatianna. I hope so anyway. But what if last night was just a slip up for him? We never talked about it after. He never actually said he was going to end it with her. And I don’t want to push him to break it off with her if that’s not what he wants. Maybe I shouldn’t have let last night happen. An uneasy feeling churns inside me.

The people in front of me move aside and I find myself in front of the Mona Lisa. I’ve seen prints of it so many times, still, when I step in front of the real painting, it takes my breath away. I can definitely see what all the hype is about. It’s the subtlety of her expression that really gives me goosebumps. She’s smiling as if she knows something I don’t. I’m half tempted to ask her if she knows what I’m doing with Collins. Does she know if he wants to stay with Tatianna?

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