Craving Him Page 15

I met his stare, my breathing suddenly hitching in my throat. “I-I’m not sure,” I murmured.

“I know what you’re trying to do,” he said, his voice low and seductive.

“What’s that?”

“The chocolate, the wine, the romance. You want me. It’s okay, I understand.” He treated me to one of his panty-melting smiles and I giggled nervously. “If you want me to f**k you, all you have to do is beg me.”

Holy mother. I pressed my thighs together. I wouldn’t beg him. Would I? But I pretty much broke every rule when it came to him. I’d jumped into bed and into this tumultuous relationship with him. I’d had a threesome with him and his friend simply because I couldn’t stand the idea that Fiona had something I hadn’t. My brain didn’t work so well when I was near him. Logical thought went out the window, and instead I followed my body’s instincts. Still, I couldn’t believe how much he could turn me on with a heated stare and a bit of dirty talk. It really wasn’t fair.

“Ben . . . that word . . .”

“Fuck?”

“Yeah. It’s just so . . .”

“So, what?”

“Vulgar. Crass.”

“If you want to be f**ked raw, or make love, I’m happy to oblige whatever you want.” He leaned closer, his intense, hazel gaze locked on mine. “But I seem to remember you liked it hard. I’m just trying to be helpful.”

Blood rushed into my cheeks as my face heated. More like he was trying to kill me. I clamped my thighs together and straightened my spine, refocusing on the uneaten food on my plate.

Ben chuckled under his breath.

Soon after he paid the check and led me outside to where Henry was parked and waiting for us. Ben opened the passenger door and I slipped inside. I knew without asking that we’d be going to his place to spend the night. And I had no plans of arguing with him over that.

Henry zipped away from the curb and Ben laced his fingers in mine.

7

Ben

When we reached my apartment I led Emmy inside, my hand resting against the small of her back. I flicked on the lights, giving my apartment a warm glow. Emmy settled on the couch while I gathered a bottle of red wine, a wine opener, and glasses from the kitchen. When I joined her on the couch I handed her a glass of the wine. I read the hesitation in her eyes that said she probably shouldn’t have another, yet she took it. She hadn’t directly answered me about Fiji but the interest in her eyes when I’d mentioned it was unmistakable. Though I’d hated how her first question had been about Fiona. I wanted to earn back her trust, but that single statement told me I hadn’t.

“Cheers.” I clinked my glass with her. “To Fiji.” I grinned crookedly, hoping she’d give me an answer this time.

Her mouth pursed down. “Ben.”

“Yes, dear?” I smiled, innocently.

Emmy’s mouth curved up like she couldn’t help but smile at my expression.

“Will you come?”

Her eyes widened. “I said I’m thinking it over. Just give me some time.” Her tone was low, serious. “I don’t want to rush everything with us again.”

I fisted my hands at my sides and released a slow exhale. Emmy, refusing to meet my eyes, set her untouched wineglass on the coffee table. Inside the restaurant she seemed open to the idea of joining me. Now it seemed, with a little more time to think it over, she was questioning things again. I didn’t like the furrowed line in her forehead or the way her eyes drifted from mine. “Emmy, talk to me. Please.” I smoothed my thumb across the crease in her brow.

She released a heavy sigh and met my eyes. “Time, Ben. That’s all. It’s going to take time.” She rose to her feet. “And right now I need to go. I need to look for jobs.”

What the hell?

“Now? It’s . . .” I looked at my watch. “Ten thirty.”

“Yes. Now.” She grabbed her purse from beside the table and dashed for the door.

I caught her in the hall, lightly gripping her upper arms and turning her to face me. “Wait. If you need to go, at least need let me call Henry.”

She glanced at the floor between us. “No, it’s fine. I’d prefer to take the train. It’ll give me time to think.”

She was out of my grasp and heading to the elevator before I had time to react. My legs jumped into action and I pinned her against the wall where she stood. “Stop. Don’t run from me, dammit. Tell me what’s going on.” Her refusal to meet my eyes, her sudden need to get away, all had my heart hammering in my chest. “What’s this about? Why are you really leaving?”

“I’m going to the library in the morning. They’re holding a career resources seminar that I want to attend at ten. I want to be in my own apartment to get ready in the morning. I already mapped out the train route to get me there.”

“I’ll have Henry take you to the library in the morning.”

“I don’t have clothes here.”

“I have staff working for me, baby. I’ll send them out to pick up whatever you need.” As if I would have her go without.

She shook her head. “Ben, not everything revolves around you.”

Until I felt like she was really back with me, I wouldn’t let this go. I didn’t like her keeping me at a distance. We were in this together. She needed to see that.

“I just don’t want to do anything I might regret in the morning . . . and you tempt me,” she admitted, her voice just a whisper.

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