A Scarlet Kiss(59)

By: Heidi Lowe

She hung her head. "How could I forget? I've regretted it ever since."

"Yeah, well I'm over it." That croak in my throat, along with the fact that, dammit, the tears had broken free, spoke to the contrary. Who was I trying to fool?

"I'm not. I'm not over you, not by a long shot. And I didn't try to get over you. I wanted the memory of you to stay with me, so that I would have the courage to do what I had to do."

I frowned. "The courage to do what?"

"This. Everything. I sat the New York Bar for you, Jenna. I worked my butt off to do it quickly when I found out you joined the company. I reached out to a friend to get me a meeting with the senior partners... I came here for you."

"You shouldn't have wasted your time. Now, if you don't mind, I have work to do." While these words were spewing from my mouth, the voice inside me, the one that knew I was full of shit and wanted this woman more than I'd ever wanted anything my whole life, screamed for me to tell her I still loved her; begged me to give her a second chance. But the louder, more vocal voice wanted to keep me miserable, wallowing in self-pity, hating her.

"Okay, I'll leave now, but I'm coming over tonight. And if you don't let me in, I'll come back every night until you do."

Only once she'd left did I allow myself to cry, turning on the air conditioner to drown out as much of the sound as I could.

I thought about ignoring her knocks at my door, her calls for me to let her in, but eventually I couldn't take it anymore and opened the door to her. I kept my distance, even afraid for the incidental touch of her hand on mine when I handed her the glass of water she requested.

"Why are you looking at me like that?" she asked, after some time of me glowering at her.

"Because I don't trust you."

She laughed in that easy way she did, brushed her hair out of her face. It was longer than I remembered. Suited her. "Why don't you trust me?"

"Because you broke my heart!" I hadn't planned on being so honest. Hearing those words aloud, said to the person responsible for the worst six months of my life, set the tears off again.

Her smile vanished. "I'm sorry, baby. I really am. You didn't deserve any of that." She threw her arms around me, but instead of fighting her off, I let myself be cuddled. I took in her scent, melted in her arms. It felt like a dream being there with her. I prayed it wasn't.

"I'm going to spend the rest of my life making it up to you, if you'll let me," she continued, whispering into my ear and kissing my lobe every now and then.

"What about your family? Marcus?"

She looked at me. "We're still mending our relationship. He's going to be hurt for a long time, but he's working on forgiving me. Of course, it does help that he and Emily finally stopped beating around the bush and got together."

"Really?" I said, surprised and amused. "Wow, so you were right about them. Maybe they're the real deal. She'll make him happier than I ever could."

"Yeah. I knew you couldn't make him happy. But me..." She took my face in her hands, stared deep into my soul. "You said once that fate brought you into Marcus's life in order for us to meet. I believe that now. You and I are the real deal. We have the kind of love my parents have. That only happens once in a lifetime."

I let her kiss me, at first not giving anything back, but eventually my tongue took over, and we devoured each other hungrily, making up for six lost months.

"I missed you," I admitted, and the confession unburdened my heart.

"Me too. But I'm here now, and I'm not going anywhere."

I took her to bed, and we spent the rest of the night making love as though we had nothing else in the world to do.