Craving Him Page 19

“I’ll call you before bed,” I confirmed.

“I love you, Emmy. You know that, right?” he said, his voice suddenly serious.

“I love you, too.”



Ben’s offer weighed on my mind in the days that followed. I honestly wasn’t sure what to do. He was leaving for Fiji tomorrow and I still hadn’t answered him. I wanted to go with him more than anything. I was even warming to the idea of being his assistant. But as far as moving in with him, I wasn’t so sure that was smart so early in our relationship.

He’d texted me this morning and asked if I would come over today, and when I said sure, he’d informed me that Henry was on his way. I didn’t know if I’d ever get used to his lifestyle.

I pulled on my winter coat and I trudged through the snow to the waiting black sedan. Henry hopped out and opened the back door for me. “Don’t you have any luggage?” His quizzical look roamed my empty hands. “For your trip to Fiji?”

“I haven’t agreed to go yet.” Geez. Did Ben even listen to anything I said? Apparently not if he’d already told his driver I was going.

“Oh, I’m sorry, Miss.”

“It’s okay, Henry. Shall we go?” It was freezing out.

“Of course.” He helped me into the warm car and we rode in awkward silence to Ben’s.

Arriving in Gramercy Park, I was once again struck by the quaint feel and beauty of this part of the city. Little lampposts and wrought iron fences, redbrick apartment buildings, and a fluffy white coating of snow made it feel like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

When I saw Ben, the anger I felt about being conned into this trip instantly faded.

He was bare chested, dressed in only a pair of loose athletic shorts that accentuated the deep V-cut of his obliques and his stunning six-pack abs. I wanted to lick those babies.

“Hey, sorry I’m all sweaty. I just got done working out.” He pulled me close for a quick kiss on the lips before releasing me. Not fast enough, though, because I was still hit with the masculine scent of his musky, sweat-dampened skin. That smell reminded me of our last few weeks together in Paris. We’d spent every waking moment we could in bed, exploring each other’s bodies. Memories of Ben’s hot, large body draped over mine flooded my senses, and my sex muscles clenched automatically.

“Hi,” I squeaked out.

His eyes traveled down his own naked chest and abs and he chuckled under his breath, seeming to understand that just the sight of his perfect physique had me breaking out in chill bumps and flushing pink.

“Henry got you here faster than I expected. I just need to jump in the shower. Make yourself at home.”


I nodded then watched him walk away, appreciating the powerful muscles in his back, and wondered if this could really be my home. I looked around at his beautiful apartment. It certainly felt comfortable and inviting, from the leather armchairs flanking the gas fireplace to the soft, upholstered sofa and thick rugs scattered across the wood floors. Not to mention the luxurious chef’s kitchen that was a far cry from the tiny kitchen I’d grown up cooking in and the decadent bathroom outfitted in white marble with a steam shower and deep, sunken tub. Part of me wanted to say yes, to be daring and romantic and spontaneous. But in that moment, standing alone in the quiet solitude of his apartment, I realized I needed to have a safety net. I needed to have a place of my own to return to just in case things went south between us. Not that I expected them to, but even if I could see myself living here someday, I wasn’t the type to rely solely on a man.

The sound of water from the bathroom caught my attention and I considered, for the briefest of moments, joining him in the shower. But seconds later the bathroom door opened and a haze of steam escaped. Ben stepped out wearing just a towel riding low on his hips.

“You okay, babe?” He stopped in his tracks, raising an eyebrow at me.

I realized I was still standing in the same spot he’d left me. I hadn’t even sat down, let alone moved from the foyer.

I briefly wondered if I should feel embarrassed for my behavior the last time I was here, standing in this same entryway. I’d wantonly used Ben’s hand against myself until I came. My body folding in on itself and my womb contracting around his fingers. But he didn’t mention it, so neither did I.

“I’m fine,” I murmured. “I’ve decided about a few of the things we, um, talked about.” I didn’t know why I felt like we were negotiating a business arrangement. I guess we were, with my impending employment.

“Good. Come in my room while I dress.”

I followed him into the cozy room and sat on the end of his bed while Ben removed a stack of clothes from his bureau. He dropped the towel and my breathing hitched in my chest. My audible gasp in the silent room made Ben smile. God, his body was magnificent. A work of art. I’d never seen him not erect, but even in its relaxed state his length hung heavily between his legs. He stepped into black boxers, quickly concealing my view of the goods. My eyes snapped up to his and I smiled sheepishly.

He crossed the room and stood in front of me with dewy skin, looking hotter than hell. “See something you like?” He leaned down over me, planting his hands on either side of the bed near my thighs.

I sucked in a breath and held it. He smelled clean, like soap and aftershave. I nodded slowly, not letting my eyes wander from his. If I looked down at his beautifully tempting body, I might do something I hadn’t bargained for, like grab ahold of him and not let go.

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