My apologies: I don’t have a Shadowed snippet this week. Honestly, I haven’t worked on it since last week — just too busy getting the kids registered for school, etc. However, I hope that once you see what I *have* been working on this past week, that a few of you will forgive me.
First draft, subject to heavy revision. Warning for language.
What the hell is she up to?
Elias shifted on her bed, trying to figure out what was taking her so long in the bathroom. Last night, they’d been too frantic to even make it to the bed for the first three or four times…and now she wanted him to sit here and wait while she primped.
God, I need a drink. A couple of shots of whiskey would take the edge off, mellow him out so he didn’t fall on her like a raving lunatic. That’s the only way he’d survived three whole months without her. That, and of course driving by like a love-sick fool to make sure her place was okay. Sometimes he’d even sat outside in the wee hours of the morning in his truck for hours, just watching, remembering, trying to let go of his damned fool pride.
If he’d used his key and come to her one of those dark nights, would she have forgiven him? If he’d called, just once, instead of sitting in his empty apartment staring at the phone all fucking night?
Or did it take a half-starved homeless kid to bring us back together?
The bathroom door opened, and Elias damned near choked to death because his heart tried to crawl up his throat. He couldn’t breathe as Vicki came near her bed.
She wore a filmy white negligee that tied beneath her breasts and fluttered about her hips, oddly demure but so damned sexy he couldn’t remember his own name. Her dark hair fell loose and soft about her shoulders and her molten chocolate eyes shimmered in the candlelight. She picked up an opened bottle of wine on the bedside table and calmly poured two glasses of red. Still silent, she handed him glass and sipped hers, watching him with those dark, mysterious eyes.
He tipped his head back and drained the whole thing, even though he hated wine.
“What do you think?”
It had to be a trick question. Narrowing his eyes, he tried to make a joke. “Did we get married and I forgot about it?”
Her eyes caught fire and she slammed the fragile wineglass down so hard he feared it might shatter. “I told him this was a stupid idea.”
“Jesse?” Elias fought to keep an even voice. “What the hell does he have to do with…with…” he swept his hand at her negligee, fighting not to fist his fingers in that transparent material and rip it off her.
“He swore you’d like it.”
“So what, now you’re letting your cabana boy pick out sleazy underwear and babydolls? For me?”
“At least I’m not wearing it for him.” She whirled away. “Forget it, Reyes.”
Jumping up, he whipped out his arms and caught her, drawing her back toward the bed so he could sit back down. Snarling, she jerked and fought his grip, but he wrapped his arms around her, trapping her arms with his, and simply held her until her ire faded.
When he saw the tears on her cheeks, he cursed beneath his breath and held her tighter. He’d forgotten that sometimes anger from her hid her true emotion: hurt.
“I never should have worn this thing. I hate it.” She sniffed, a tiny little sigh of her breath, which in another woman would have been full-blown wailing and sobs. He tucked his head close to hers, even if she skull-slammed him. “I told him it was a stupid idea. Just forget it.”
“How could you hate this gown when I’d like nothing better than to rip it off you and ravish you senseless?” She shook her head, so he drew her harder into the cradle of his thighs, making sure she felt his erection.
“That doesn’t mean anything. I bet you had a hard on as soon as you walked into my bedroom.”
“It wasn’t this big, babe, this hard, this painful.” He lowered his voice and nuzzled her neck. “I’d like to think that you might say ‘I do’ to me someday.”
“You’d have to ask me first,” she retorted.
She had him there. He’d thought about it, sure, even when she was still an attorney. Even if she had to stand between the law and the very criminals he was putting away. But then his bigger head started working again and he remembered how quickly a marriage could go down the shitter when he worked his kind of hours. “I can’t stop being a cop.”
“And I can’t give up Jesse.” She whispered, but her voice rang like steel. “If you love me at all, don’t ask me.”
Not even for me? The words thundered in Elias’s head, but he refused to voice them. He did love her, and he’d had his chance. He’d fucked it up and walked out three months ago. That she’d let him back in this far was more than he deserved. He had no right to demand her whole heart for himself.
God forgive him, she’d already given up her career. Maybe not for him, not in so many words, but he couldn’t ask for anything else. It was his turn to sacrifice to be with her, and the only damned thing he had was his own fool pride.
His stomach churned like he’d swallowed a fist-full of razor blades, but he said nothing.
Nothing at all.