“I tried to stay away,” she said. Her voice shook, and her hands reached out to fiddle with the hem of his shirt. “I promised myself that, after you left the gala, I’d just let that be it. The end.”

“So, why are you here?”

“I mean…I can’t change how you reacted,” she said, ignoring him. “How you just walked away. I deserve it, right? After I just walked away.”

She retreated from his gaze, letting his shirt go and taking a step away from him. She hugged her arms around her waist and shivered. He could see that something was eating her up from the inside out. Maybe this whole time, she’d been suffering as he had. Maybe they could just fix this…here and now.



What the fuck am I thinking?

Am I that stupid to see her sad eyes and think that everything could change in a matter of minutes? Did I just forget the gallery so easily?

She had Bad Suit.

He’d seen them together.

He couldn’t just give in to this. But, fuck, he wanted to give in to this. Hear her moan his name, hear her beg for his kisses, hear her ask for him again and again. To put the broken pieces back together with such ease.

But that ease was an illusion. A dirty illusion he’d conjured up due to the blistering silence. That would never happen while she had someone else. This was just old memories floating up to the surface…that was all.

For three long months, he’d been waiting, just like Brady had said, for her to make a move. He’d gotten the courage to do it himself anyway. He’d chased her. And, each time, she’d slapped him in the face.

If she were here on misguided terms, he wasn’t here to help.

“I don’t know what you want me to say.”

She swung around to face him again, her face open and stark. “Anything.”

“Why are you here? What do you want from me?”

“Isn’t it obvious?”

“I’m not a mind reader. Be more specific.”

“I miss you. God,” she said, dropping her head back to look up at the ceiling, letting the weight of her words sluice off of her. “God, I miss you. Against all fucking logic. And watching you walk out with her tonight was pure torture of my own devices. I just had to see you. So, what do I want from you?” She splayed her hands out in front of her. “This.”

Hope zapped through him, and he tried to squash it. No, God, he couldn’t just give in. He needed answers. “And what about Bad Suit?”

Her focus snapped. She stumbled back a step in surprise. That reaction nearly stole his breath. He considered forcing her out of his house right at that moment. What more did I need to know?

It had been mostly a joke when he’d tried to steal Liz for his own. It was quite another thing to think he’d survive doing that with Andrea.

“What about Asher?” she asked.

“Does he know you’re here? Does he know that you’ve missed me? That you showed up at two a.m. to see me instead of returning to his bed?” he asked the words that were cold and dark on his tongue. “Tell me, is he not giving you everything you’d hoped for? Or are you really just a masochist?”

“What?” she stammered out. “Clay…that’s not…”

He shook his head. “Fuck. Do I even want to know?”

“Asher and I aren’t together!”

“Don’t lie to me, Andrea,” he said with pure venom in his voice. “I saw you two together.”

“I don’t know what you think you saw, but we’re not together,” she insisted.

“Really?” he asked in disbelief.

“Yes. We’re…we’re just friends.”

“Right.” He couldn’t bite back the sarcasm that was heavy in his voice.

Andrea glared at him. “How dare you stand there and lecture me, Clay Maxwell! How dare you talk to me like that and accuse me of things you know nothing about when you were the one who showed up to the gala with a new girlfriend!” she cried. “Not to mention, the exploits I’ve heard about since you’ve been single.”

“Girlfriend?” Clay asked. He didn’t bother refuting the revolving door he’d given in to, starting with the idiot Snowball girl.

“Gigi,” she accused. The old familiar flare of anger shot through her.

“She’s not my girlfriend. We work together. I told you that at the gala.”

“Is that what you’re calling it now?”

“Look, I don’t have to fucking justify anything to you!” he shouted, towering over her. “Don’t throw accusations in my face, at my house, in the middle of the night when you’re the one who left.”

“Fine,” she spat in his face.

Oh, shit.

That’s not good.

Brady had said that was not good. That was not the way to end an argument. It only meant she was pissed, and things most certainly were not fine.

“Clearly, coming here was a mistake.” Andrea stalked back to the front door and yanked it open.

But before she could take a step outside, Clay kicked it shut. She yelped and took a step back.

“Fuck that,” he growled out.

He grabbed her wrist, swung her around, and slammed his mouth down on hers. It was like coming home. He kissed her relentlessly. Their tongues volleyed for position. Their hands roved each other, as if discovering new territory all over again. The pent-up anger and frustration coursing through them only fueled them onward. A hunger so fierce gripped him and nearly knocked him off his feet. This was what he wanted.

Fuck. This was all he ever wanted.

She had been pushing him away for months, making him ache for her. He wanted nothing more than to correct this shit. To just bury himself so deep in her that she never came up for air. Never saw sunlight again.

He wanted to remind her whom exactly she belonged to.


No one else.

Ever again.

He’d dreamed about this moment. With his fucking cock pounding into her pussy and driving it all home. Reminding her what she was missing. Reminding her that this was all she was ever going to have again. Making sure, from this day forward, she always remembered. Now, he was finally going to get to show her just what she had given up.

They were a tangle of limbs as their bodies collided together. He pushed the slit of her dress aside and hoisted her legs around his waist, never breaking their kiss. He purposely walked them over to the couch, threw them both down onto the leather, and then covered her body with his own.