Molly is ready to spend the holiday with friends. It’s the highlight of her year—or it was, until Tanner showed up. Her high school crush is all grown up, sexy as sin, and he’s demanding answers—answers Molly isn’t sure she can give.
When the woman he loved told him she needed space, Tanner gave her ten long years. Now he’s back. He’ll settle for closure but hopes for a future. Sex with Molly is scorching hot and brings back plenty of memories.
When they’re together, it’s clear they were never meant to be apart.
“It’s been a long time, Molly. I want you to know that I’m over it. I’m over what happened. How it ended. But I do need to understand. I need to know. Why did you break up with me? I thought we had a good thing.” He focused on her face. Without the aid of the campfire, he tried to search her eyes in the darkness, hoping he might somehow read her mind. “I never forgot you.” Not for a day in the ten years since he’d seen her, had he forgotten how she looked, what she smelled like. How good it felt to hold her, to touch her.
To kiss her.
To make love to her.
Raw, undiluted pain filled her eyes. It was a brief flash, and his gut clenched at the token glimpse.
“I don’t know what to say to you.”
He stepped in front of her and stopped, swiveling around to face her. She stumbled a bit on the gravel to avoid crashing into him. His hands clenched into fists in his pockets—the need to take her in his arms overwhelming. “Look at me.”
She lifted her chin, her head slowly tilting back until the features of her face were revealed. Even in the darkness, he saw uncertainty and panic struggling to stay buried behind those wide eyes. Regret sucker-punched him, but he couldn’t let it go that easily. After ten long years, he deserved answers.
Tanner grabbed her hand again, spun on his heel, and dragged her toward a path leading into the trees. She balked, pulling backward. He stopped again. “We should talk somewhere we won’t be interrupted.” Unrelenting, he leveled her with a look.
She lifted her shoulders and let them fall in a slow, fake shrug of indifference.
It had been a long time since he’d been into the park, but he remembered this footpath well. It wound around and would eventually come out behind where they were camped. She followed him until they came to a secluded spot a few feet off the main path. He walked over to a large tree, propped his back against it, shoved his hands in his pockets again, and braced one foot against the tree, hoping to appear casual.
Taking slow, cautious steps, she crept closer, stopping when she stood a few feet before him. “So you’re moving to Ottawa.”
“Actually, the deal’s not done yet.”
“But you said—”
“I know what I said, Molly. I do want to move back. But it depends on you.”
“On me? What does it have to do with me?”
“Are you seeing anybody?” The iridescent glow from the full moon filtered down through the branches, providing enough light for him to see her, but with her head ducked, her features were in shadow. He couldn’t see enough of her face or her eyes. He was desperate to see her eyes.
“Not that it’s any of your business. But no. Not at the moment.”
“I’m not either.”
She cast him a quick look of surprise. “Why aren’t you? You’re handsome and, from what I gather, successful. Why aren’t you married or committed to some lucky girl?”
He reached out and grabbed her hand, yanking her closer to him.
Gasping, she fell into his chest.
He gathered her close, spinning around to place her against the tree while he leaned in close to ensure she stayed put. She stiffened, surprise in her eyes.
“I’ve never forgotten you or what we had. You meant everything to me.” He put it out there. The pain he’d held in since that day she’d told him it was over, laced his words.
Molly dropped her gaze. “I never meant to hurt you.”
Shifting to the left, she made a move to step away from the tree, away from him, but he edged in close, stalling her. He placed his finger under her chin, tipping her face toward the moonlight. He gazed down into her eyes. “Why then? Why did you end it the way you did?”
“I had to… I… Never mind, I just had to.” She trembled as she choked out the last.
“I don’t understand. Did I do something wrong? Did I hurt you somehow?” His mind raced over their past, as it had many times, trying to figure out what happened. When things changed.
“Of course not.” Her conviction put him at ease, a little bit at least.
“Did somebody else do or say something?” Unexpected rage ripped through him. Good God, had somebody hurt her?
“No. No, it wasn’t anything you or anybody else did.” She tried to pull out of his grasp.
He held steadfast, closing the distance until his chest grazed hers. He pinned her to the tree.
“Please. Let me go.”
“I want answers.”
Standing this close to her, for the first time in years, her heart beating a rapid flutter against his chest did wild things to his body. His heartbeat sped up, sweat popped out on his forehead, and his cock hardened to steel. He dropped his gaze to her mouth. Her lush lips parted, warm breaths blew out in little spurts, fluttering against his neckline. He knew he shouldn’t rush this. He’d come with a plan to get her back, if she’d take him. But no way could he stop.
“I want the truth. I suppose I can wait a little longer if you’re not ready.” For answers. He could wait for answers. Touching her, tasting her, was a different thing altogether. “But I do have something I need to give you.” He hesitated, questioning his intention. Screw it. “I’m sorry, but I can’t resist, and you’re too desirable.”
He bent his head low, paused, and pressed his lips to hers. It should have been gentle, but it wasn’t. Unless she pushed him away, or told him no, the need to kiss her was vital, her taste essential.
He tensed, expecting her to do just that when she raised her arms and placed her palms against his chest. He held his breath, his body trembling while he waited. A heavy sigh escaped her mouth, and she curled the tips of her fingers into his shirt. With a soft whimper, she lured him closer, leaning into his body, taking his kiss.
A flood of emotions strangled him—anger, relief, basic sexual need. Pressing his highly aroused body solidly against hers, he flattened his palms against the tree on either side of her head. A moan rose from his chest. He swept his tongue inside her mouth, dueling with hers. He touched the soft insides of her cheeks and the smooth surface of her teeth, absorbing her unique essence, which was even better than he remembered. He drew back to lick along her bottom lip, placing small kisses at the corners, and then dove back in for more, angling for a closer connection. A sense of urgency began to build.
God, he’d missed this
~ * ~
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