Undone / Page 11

Page 11


Impatiently he pulled at her sundress, tugging it free of her body before tossing it aside. He quickly divested her of her underwear until finally she was na**d beneath him.

Then his expression changed. Some of the darkness faded and he stared down in wonder. Carefully his palms slid over her slim form to the gentle swell of her belly. He cupped it, and then to her shock, he lowered his head and kissed the firm bump.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered again.

Emotion knotted his throat, making the words almost indistinguishable, but the harsh apology hit her right in the heart. Nobody who heard it could possibly think he didn’t regret his actions with all his heart. He was essentially stripped and bare, standing before her starkly vulnerable.

She gently wrapped her arms around him to pull him close. “It’s all right, Cam.”

She pulled him higher to fuse his mouth with hers. Their tongues flirted and played and then he plunged deeper, overwhelming her with his essence. His body moved possessively over hers, though he was careful not to put his weight on her abdomen.

He kissed her neck, in turns gentle and then rougher until she was sure she’d wear marks the next day. He licked and nibbled at her skin, sucking lightly as he made his way lower.

When he got to her breasts, he hovered just over one of the tips and then tilted his head up so he could meet her gaze.

“Are they more sensitive now?” he asked huskily.

He ran his thumb over one crest as he awaited her response. A shudder worked over her body.

“Yes, definitely.”

“Then I’ll be extra careful.”

With infinite tenderness, he slowly ran his tongue over one rigid peak before sucking it into his mouth. She came off the bed, arching helplessly into him as wave upon wave rolled over her.

It had been a long time since that careless night between them. She wanted him desperately. The past weeks had been a form of torture. He’d been so attentive and caring, yet there was an almost tangible barrier between them.

She was pretty sure this solved nothing, but she longed for physical contact. She needed it.

With a blissful sigh, she surrendered to those skilled lips of his.

But then he moved down, cupping her belly between his large hands and he proceeded to kiss every inch of the taut flesh until tears burned her eyelids.

He moved lower still, spreading her thighs as he settled down on the bed. His mouth found her heat and she nearly came apart on the spot.

He cupped her buttocks, holding her in place for his seeking tongue. He took long, sensuous swipes, the roughness of his tongue a contrast to his gentle sucking.

Her fingers dug into his hair, and she became more restless, nearly wild as she moved in rhythm with his intimate caresses.

“Cam, please,” she begged. “I need you.”

His feet were off the bed, and he stood, his hands curled around her legs. He pulled her forward so that her behind rested on the edge of the mattress.

“Wrap your legs around me,” he said roughly.

As soon as she did, he slid into her.

The shock of his hardness made her gasp. Skin on skin. No barriers this time.

His groan was a harsh exhalation in the silence.

His fingers dug into her hips, pulling her closer to him. Then he released her and smoothed his hands over her belly, his fingers suddenly a lot gentler than they’d been just moments before.

“Don’t let me hurt you.”

She reached for him, pulling him down so their bodies met and his heat enveloped her. “I know you won’t hurt me, Cam,” she whispered. “Love me.”

It was the closest she’d come to spilling what was in her heart. She’d held back because she knew he wouldn’t welcome her feelings.

He claimed her mouth. His movements were urgent, a layer of desperation buried deep. His hands were everywhere, caressing, stroking, touching, as if he couldn’t get enough of what he wanted. As if he wanted her closer still.

She wrapped her body around him, holding him as he drove deeper inside her. Release wasn’t as important as the intimacy of the moment. The connection between them that was being established.

This wasn’t…sex. It was so much more.

She kissed the side of his neck and then bit her lip to keep the words she so wanted to say from escaping. Instead, she inhaled his scent and molded her body more fiercely to his.

Pleasure was warm and sweet as it slid through her veins. Her release was a slow rise, no sharp edges or tumultuous explosions. Higher and higher she crept until every muscle in her body tensed in expectation.

“Cam!”

It was a cry of need. It was a plea for help.

She felt him in every part of her body. Hard, so very powerful. His muscles bunched and he tensed above her. He whispered her name and she felt him let go.

For a long moment he held himself just above her before finally lowering his body to hers.

He was like a warm blanket, the very best kind. He pressed his forehead to hers, kissing her with light smooching sounds as their lips met again and again.

“Pippa,” he whispered.

It conveyed a wealth of things, that single word.

Twelve

For a moment after Pippa awoke she was disoriented. It took her a few seconds to realize where she was and that she’d fallen asleep. She rolled, searching for a clock, and then breathed a sigh of relief. She’d napped for only an hour.

She sat up, glancing around the dark room. Cam was nowhere to be found, but she was starting to suspect he didn’t stick around after sex.

With a sigh, she got up to look for her clothing, but then she saw that a robe had been laid out on the bed. Apparently he wasn’t completely thoughtless.

She pulled on the robe and headed for the bathroom to shower and change. Okay, so maybe she shouldn’t have had sex with him. It certainly didn’t solve anything, but then again, it hadn’t made things any more complicated than they already were. She wasn’t going to spend any time beating herself up over it because the simple truth was she wanted it.

Her problem was quite a bit more complicated because she’d been stupid enough to fall in love with a man who had no desire to return that love. Worse, she was pregnant with his child so she’d be tied to him forever. Even when he eventually married someone else.

Her stomach churned and she closed her eyes as she completed her quick shower. She didn’t think she could handle another woman participating in the care of her child. A stepmother for her son.

Okay, she had to stop this because she’d just make herself crazy. For now, there were answers she wanted from Cam.

Her lips firmed and she sucked in a deep breath. No one could ever accuse her of taking the path of least resistance. What did she have to lose, anyway? It wasn’t as if she had to worry about him telling her to take a hike.

Laughter bubbled in her throat as she walked out of the bedroom a few minutes later, her stride determined. Maybe that crap worked with other women, but it wasn’t going to work with her.

She found him in the downstairs office. His back was to the door and he was staring sightlessly into the night. For a moment she studied his profile, reluctant to intrude even if she was determined to force a confrontation.

His hands were shoved into the pockets of his slacks and there was a bleakness to his expression that made her breath catch in her throat. Then he turned fully and saw her standing in the doorway.

“Are you hungry?” he asked.

She was, but that wasn’t what she wanted to discuss.

“I’d like to talk first,” she said in an even voice.

He blew out his breath as if he knew there was no getting around the inevitable.

She started forward, determined she wouldn’t let him shrug this off. “Cam, I need to know why the idea of our son haunts you so. You were perfectly happy at the idea of a daughter, and the moment it was revealed that this baby is a boy, you couldn’t get away fast enough.”

He went completely pale, and his eyes became dull, dead orbs.

Then he closed his eyes and his lips tightened. For a long moment he seemed to do battle with himself. At one point she was sure he’d throw her out. He looked furious and devastated by turns.

What had happened to make him this way?

And then finally he opened his eyes and stared lifelessly back at her. She knew she’d won, but why didn’t she feel like this was a victory?

“All right. We’ll talk. After dinner.”

She very nearly forced the confrontation here and now, but something held her back. Maybe he needed the time to prepare himself. She could give him that.

He herded her toward the kitchen, seated her at the island that doubled as a bar and then went to the refrigerator. He grimaced as he glanced back at her.

“I’m afraid our choices are somewhat limited. My housekeeper freezes meals for me and stocks the pantry, but I don’t do much cooking. I eat out a lot.”

She slipped off the bar stool and rounded the corner of the island. She waved him off with her hand. “Let me. I can whip us up something with what you have on hand.”

“And have you think my hospitality sucks?”

She leveled a stare at him. “Your hospitality does suck. Sit and I’ll make us something to eat. Then you’re going to talk.”

He winced at her bluntness but took the stool she’d vacated while she surveyed the contents of the pantry. She wanted something quick because she wasn’t going to wait all damn night for this come-to-Jesus moment with Cam. Nor was she going to give him enough time to think better of his promise and toss her out without explaining himself.

She found fresh croissants and decided on melted ham and cheese. There was an array of fruit so she made a quick fruit salad while waiting for the croissants to toast up in the oven.

She set the table with honey mustard, mayo and the fruit salad and then went back for glasses.

“What would you like to drink?” she asked after checking on the croissants again.

Cam got up and hurried around to the wine cabinet. Then he paused and turned back around. “I guess wine is out. What do you usually drink?”

She smiled. “Water. Decaf tea. Fruit juice sometimes, but it gives me awful indigestion. Mostly water.”

“I’ll have water, too, then.”

She set glasses out and filled them with water from the fridge. Then she went to take the cookie sheet from the oven. After depositing the toasted croissants onto their plates, she took a seat next to Cam.

“This is good,” he said after finishing the first croissant. “Seemed easy, too. I wouldn’t have thought of doing something like this.”

Pippa smiled. “I’m the queen of improvising in the kitchen. Growing up, we didn’t have very many family meals together, so I learned early to make do with what we had.”

He cocked his head to the side. “You don’t talk about your family much.”

She nearly snorted. It was on the tip of her tongue to tell him he didn’t, either, but she didn’t want to shut that particular door before it was ever opened.

“Not much to talk about,” she said lightly.

His eyes narrowed. “Why do I think otherwise?”

She shrugged. “No idea.”

“Oh, come on. Give me a bone here. Do you see your family?”

She sighed. “Yeah, I see my mother when she doesn’t give me enough advance warning so I’m sure not to be around.”

He winced. “Ouch. That doesn’t sound very healthy.”

“Oh, it’s a lot healthier when we don’t see each other.”

“What about your dad?”

Pippa sagged, putting down her half-eaten croissant. “He split when I was younger. Not that I can entirely blame him. My mother was difficult to say the least. He died a few years ago and left me the money I’m currently surviving on until I get my business up and running.”

Cam frowned. “You’re obviously not close to your family.”

“Give the man a cigar,” she drawled. “Did anyone ever tell you how observant you are?”

“Cut the sarcasm, Pippa. Talk to me here.”

“You know, your gall astonishes me. We’re supposed to be talking about you. That was the deal.”

His jaw tightened and bulged. “It solves nothing.”

“Oh, yeah? Maybe not for you. But see, here’s the thing. I’m having your baby, and I kind of need to know if I can expect more outbursts like today. Like maybe you run out on his birthday party because you suddenly can’t deal. We’re going to talk about it, Cam, because if we don’t, I’m out of here and I won’t be back.”

“Is that a threat, Pippa?”

She met his gaze without blinking. “I’m not threatening you. I’m making you a promise.”

He shoved his plate aside and got up, nearly knocking the stool over. He stalked out of the kitchen and into the living room, his hands shoved tightly into his pants pockets.

Undaunted, she followed, coming to a stop a few feet behind him. For a long moment, Cam faced away from her, anger radiating in waves. Then he jerked around, his eyes ablaze.

“I had another son. Colton. And a wife. Elise.”

Pippa’s eyes widened in surprise. She hadn’t expected this. She opened her mouth, then snapped it shut again.

“Nothing to say?” he snapped.

She ignored the anger that emanated from him, knew it was how he was maintaining control when he was barely hanging on. Suddenly she understood a lot of things. She wouldn’t prod the wounded lion and she wouldn’t get angry and defensive over his terseness.

“What happened?” she asked softly.

“I lost them. I lost them both. He was just a baby. The most beautiful, sweet baby in the world. Elise was… She was wonderful. Young. Vibrant. So full of life. She was a wonderful mother.”


Prev Next