I opened my eyes and stared into Woods’s eyes. He was already awake. The way he looked at me made me feel treasured. Like I was some precious jewel he wanted to protect. “Good morning,” he said as his fingers continued to trace the length of my arm with a featherlike touch.
“Good morning,” I said, smiling at him. “How long have you been awake?”
“You mean how long have I been staring at you?” he asked teasingly.
“Yes, that too,” I replied.
“About an hour. I woke up and you were so damn gorgeous curled up against me I couldn’t go back to sleep. I didn’t want to sleep and waste time that I could spend looking at you.”
My heart squeezed. “You have a way with words, Mr. Kerrington,” I told him.
I nodded. “I know.”
“Good, because I want to ask you about the past two weeks and I want you to tell me everything,” he said.
“I thought you knew everything already,” I replied, realizing it had to be Tripp he’d been talking to. Braden hadn’t been with me for most of those weeks.
“I know what Tripp and Braden told me. I want to know everything that Della knows.”
So they’d both been in on this. I couldn’t be mad at them. Not now. I was in Woods’s arms. They had brought me back here. They had made me face my fears.
“I almost didn’t come back. I was scared to face you. I was afraid you didn’t want me. Braden and Tripp talked me into coming back.”
Woods smiled at me and reached over to tuck a strand of my hair behind my ear. “Sweetheart, I was coming after you. Your time was almost up. I had told Braden you had forty-eight hours. I had started packing my bag when I got the call from Tripp saying you’d be back in four hours. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad you came home to me. But I wasn’t going to stand back any longer. I’d given you three weeks. I wanted you back.”
He had been coming to get me. That was why Braden was so insistent that I come back to him. She wanted me to be the one to come back. “I’m not sure what I did to score a best friend like Braden, but I’m so thankful I have her.”
Woods kissed the tip of my nose. “There were a few times I considered locking her up long enough to get you and run.”
Giggling, I moved closer to him. “But I came home.”
“Yes, you did. And it was so damn sweet.”
He wanted to know about all that had happened. I wanted to tell him about everything. “Do you know I was adopted?” He nodded. “Well, I met both of them. I even met Glenda’s—that’s my birth mother—family. She has a daughter and a son. Her husband was quiet but he seemed nice. I mostly watched her daughter. I wondered if I would have been so free and outspoken if I had lived her life. And I have my birth father’s eyes. His name is Nile. He was the high school heartthrob. I can look at him twenty years later and tell that. He’s handsome and I think he may still be a little in love with Glenda, which is weird. But I try not to think about it.”
I continued to tell Woods all about meeting the people who gave me life. I hadn’t told Braden much about each meeting and she hadn’t pressed, but with Woods I wanted to tell him everything. I wanted him to know that Nile smoked cigars and Glenda used to sing. She wanted to be a country singer once.
By the time I had finished telling him about everything, he had sat up and leaned against the headboard and pulled me into his lap. He made small circles on the palm of my hand and stayed silent. So I talked more.
I told him about my fears and why I had left him. I told him that my night terrors were gone. I wasn’t waking up screaming anymore. I was whole. I wanted to be a mother one day. I wanted so many things I’d been scared to want before.
He slipped his hand down over my stomach and I felt fluttery in my chest. “One day I want my baby tucked safely in here.”
I covered his hands with mine. “Me too.”
We sat there like that for a while and didn’t talk. I had told him everything. Every feeling, every fear. He knew it all now. And he loved me. Through it all, he had loved me.
“Della,” he said in a gruff voice.
“The idea of you on the back of Tripp’s bike, with your arms wrapped around him, and him sleeping in bed with you and holding you through your fears—it’s gonna be hard for me to get over. I’m thankful he took care of you, but you’re mine to take care of. I don’t want to have to see his face for a while. I need time to get over it.”
I moved so that I was facing him. “I never thought anything of those things. I don’t have any feelings for Tripp at all. You were the only thing on my mind.”
“I know. That’s why he gets to live. But it doesn’t take away the fact I’m a man and I’m possessive of one thing. You.”
He could be so sweet and romantic at times and then so tough and male at others. I shifted to my knees and gave him a wicked grin. “Let me see if I can get that image out of your mind and give you a new one,” I said as I kissed down his chest and moved his legs apart so I could get between them.
He was more than ready when I got down to the bottom of his flat, hard stomach. I grabbed his thick length in my hand and held it while I flicked my tongue across the head.
“Baby,” Woods groaned, and bucked underneath me.
“Mmm,” was my reply as I looked up at him while I slid him into my mouth until he touched the back of my throat, causing me to gag. He always liked it when I gagged.
Both his hands grabbed my head. “Ah, that’s good, baby. So damn good. Take it deep. Oh, hell yeah, gag on it.” His words came out thick and raspy.
I continued to work my mouth over his cock while he praised me. I wanted to give him a memory that I could send him back to every time he thought about me and Tripp. I wanted to remind him who I belonged to. He never needed to worry. My body was wired for him only.
“Come up here,” he said as he caressed my head. “I’m gonna come in your mouth if you don’t stop.”
I wanted him in my mouth. I grabbed his legs and continued to take him as deep as my throat would allow me to while sucking hard on the tip.
Woods’s hands got more frantic and he now had handfuls of my hair. Each gentle tug made my pussy clench. “Gonna come. Your hot little mouth wants it, doesn’t it? My naughty baby wants it down her throat. Fuck, yeah. That’s my mouth to fuck,” he said before yelling my name and holding my head as he shot his release exactly where we both wanted it.
When he eased his hold on my head, I slowly slipped my mouth up his cock, then back down again, cleaning him. I licked the sides and then pulled his head back into my mouth.
“Motherfuckinghell, baby, you’re gonna kill me. Stop,” he groaned, pulling me up and away from his sensitive flesh. He held me against his chest as he caught his breath.
I traced small hearts around his nipples with my finger. “Woods,” I said.
“Next time you think about me with Tripp, remember that instead. Okay?”
His hold on me tightened, then he chuckled. “I’ll do that.”