If Only..., page 16
His hand drops from my leg. “Turn around, Evie.”
I push myself up to standing and slowly turn around. I look down to meet his eyes that are staring back at me. His chest is rising and falling in time with each deep breath he takes.
His mouth twitches as he reaches behind me, unfastens the zip on my skirt and pushes the material to the ground. Then his hands find my hips and his thumbs start to circle the sensitive bit of skin just in front of my hipbones. The chemistry between us crackles and fizzes in the air all around us. I can’t even bring myself to deny it.
His gaze never wavers as he pulls me closer to him. “Are you going to let me, Evie?”
“Yes,” I breathe.
He grips my knickers and then rips them apart, throwing them onto the table behind me. His hands push under my blouse, his fingers having no trouble expertly locating my nipples and tweaking them. One of his hands travels quickly down my stomach until his fingers glide smoothly over my clit. My hips buck and I instinctively push against his hand.
“So wet,” he murmurs, letting his eyes close. “And just like I remember.”
I clamp my mouth shut to stop myself from screaming out his name when he pushes a finger inside of me.
I grab at the silky strands of his hair as he adds another finger. He swirls them around, hitting just the right place as he stands up and brushes his erection against me.
My hands move directly to his belt. I quickly unfasten it, pull at the zip and push his trousers and boxers down to the floor, then quickly squeeze his cock, forcing a deep groan from his mouth.
“You feel so fucking good,” he mumbles as he pushes his fingers in deeper. He gently kisses and then roughly nips and bites at me as he moves down my neck. He slips his fingers out and tugs at the bottom of my blouse, yanking it up and over my head before pushing me back onto the table. His hands pull at my knees, forcing my legs to bend and drop open, and then he leans down and flicks at my bra until my nipples poke over the fabric. He covers them with his mouth, flicking and swirling his tongue so quickly and expertly that I almost orgasm right there and then.
I feel him smiling against my skin as I gasp and tug at his hair harder.
“Do it,” I whisper.
“What?” he asks.
“I want you inside of me,” I breathe. “I need you inside of me.”
“Good girl,” he says. Without removing his mouth from my nipple, he grabs his cock then places a hand on my thigh, pushing my legs further apart. He steps forward and thrusts deep into me in one swift movement.
I slap my hands down against the polished mahogany and cry out as I stretch around him.
“Have none of the other boys been big enough for you, sweetheart?” Cole asks, pulling away from my aching nipple to stand up. He quickly unfastens my bra, pushing the straps over my shoulder, and then I feel his hands dancing down my legs until they reach my ankles.
“Shut it,” I hiss, even though I love his filthy mouth.
He chuckles as he lifts my ankles, forcing my legs into the air. Dipping his hips, he pushes further, faster, deeper.
“Oh fuck,” I say, moaning.
“You like it like that, do you? Dirty girl. You like it when you can feel every last inch of me sliding in and out of you like this?”
“Yes,” I breathe.
“You want more?”
“Yes,” I say again.
He roughly pulls out of me, yanks at my hips so I slide down the table towards him and flips me over. His hand moves to the back of my head, while the other one pulls at my hips until I’m completely bent over. He keeps his hand on my head, forcing my cheek to squish against the cool table, as he reaches around the front of me, swirling his wet fingers over my pulsating clit.
“I remember you once told me that you like it when I fucked you like this.”
I don’t say anything. I did tell him that once.
He pushes himself back into me, and it’s a completely new feeling as he pounds over the perfect spot.
I close my eyes as the spiraling, tingling sensation starts to form in the depths of my groin.
“I’ve dreamt about doing this to you,” he says in between thrusts. “I’ve ached for you, throbbed for you and touched myself over the thought of it, time and time again.”
His fingers start to circle quicker over me, and I feel the beginning of my orgasm creep over my skin. I place my palms flat on the table and push back into him, matching him thrust for thrust.
“Yes,” he growls. “Just like that.”
I push over and over again as he pounds into me. His hand never wavers, and when I feel him lean down and bite my shoulder, I know I’ve reached my peak. Heat spreads down my spine, swirls around my hips and pools in between my legs, forcing me back against him as my orgasm fires around my body.
Cole’s hand moves away from my head until both of his hands are gripping my hips, his fingers curving into my skin. He thrusts twice more before he groans, and then warmth settles in between my legs.
“God, I’ve missed you,” he says, panting. Dropping his head down to my back, he slowly pulls out of me and spins me around, ducking his head to kiss, lick and suck at my throat and chest.
Emotions that I buried eight years ago suddenly resurface, but I’m in no fit state to deal with them. The old Cole would never have spoken to me like that. Then again, the old Evie would never have gotten off on it. And I definitely got off on it.
He’s confused and thrilled me at the same time. He’s also made me realise that there’s a valley between our old and new lives that’s as wide as the Grand Canyon.
I feel ashamed when I feel tears stinging at my eyes, and I quickly push Cole’s chest until he’s taken two steps away from me. How can a quick fumble—even if it was scorching hot office sex—undo eight years’ worth of hatred? And why is my body already craving his touch again?
“I’m sorry,” I say, bending down to grab my skirt. I quickly shimmy it up my legs, then retrieve my bra and blouse from off the floor and hug them to my chest as I walk away from him.
“Evie,” he says. “It’s okay, I’m not engaged anymore.”
“I already knew that,” I mumble as I swing the door wide open. I peep my head out, feeling relieved that there’s no one there, and dash down the corridor and into the toilets.
Standing in front of the mirror, I stare at myself, my fingers hovering over the post-coital rash that’s settled on the swell of my breasts. I can’t let him back in. There’s too much shit that’s happened. There’s too much that I can’t forgive him for.
And then I think of Lucca, and it all slams back into perspective for me. It doesn’t matter how much I just enjoyed what Cole did to me or how good it felt being together again, I can’t let him back into my life. I have Lucca to think about. Cole abandoned us once, and I won’t let him do it again.
My eyes haven’t moved off Nico the whole time I’ve been here. Evie isn’t herself either, but I can worry about her tomorrow.
It’s been two months since we had our first big row. She says she’s forgiven me, but she still hasn’t been acting like my Evie. Something is wrong, but no matter how many times I ask her, she isn’t telling me.
“What’s up with you?” asks Nico, coming to stand next to me at the barbeque.
“Nothing,” I say quickly.
“It doesn’t look like nothing,” he says. “Is Evie still busting your balls about what happened in Madrid?”
I shake my head. “No, but she really didn’t take it very well.”
He laughs and looks over to where she’s sitting near Joan and Simon. It’s July, and today has been one of the hottest days we’ve ever had, but Evie is shivering on the deckchair with a blanket over her knees. “She’s not spoken to me,” Nico tells me. “She’s pissing me off with her little mood.”
“Don’t,” I warn him. “Not today.”
“Why? What’s so special about today?”
I haven’t quite work
“It’s just a day,” he says. “Doesn’t change what happened to him, and it won’t change the fact that he’s still not here.”
I take a deep breath and blow it out through my cheeks. Nico is starting to piss me off. I don’t like the person he’s becoming.
“It’s not even today anyway,” he says. “It’s tomorrow, so what’s the fucking point of this?”
I shake my head as Mrs Romano approaches us.
“Hey, Mamma!” Nico smiles as he puts his arm around her shoulder. “This is a great barbeque. Thanks for sorting it all out for us.”
She smiles and tucks her head into the gap between his jaw and shoulder. “You don’t have to thank me for anything, Nico. You’ve probably paid for it with all the money you send over.”
Nico’s been sending money back?
He kisses his mum’s cheek. “It’s nothing, Mamma, you know that.”
She squeezes his cheek with her fingers and then pats my arm as she walks off.
I’m sure my mouth is hanging open as he turns back to face me.
“So what do you think about Amy?” he asks, nodding towards a leggy blonde that’s been standing away from everyone else and playing with her phone.
“She seems . . . nice,” I offer.
“Nice?” he scoffs. “She’s fucking perfect, Cole.”
I shrug. She has the personality of a wet fish, but Nico doesn’t seem bothered about stuff like that.
My eyes fall on Trent when he sits down next to Evie. He starts talking and I watch her face morph into an easy smile. I hadn’t realised they were on such friendly terms. I can’t tear my eyes away from them as Evie starts chattering to him. She hasn’t lit up and spoken to me like that for what feels like months.
What’s happening to us?
My eyes flash open. A timid knock sounds out against her bedroom door and I rub my eyes with my fist.
“Come in,” I say.
Evie pokes her head around the door. “I couldn’t find you,” she says as if she needs to explain why she’s here.
“I just fancied a lie-down,” I tell her.
She nods and walks towards me. “I’m scared, Cole.”
I lean up on my elbows and watch as she nibbles on her fingernails. “What’re you scared of?” I ask, but I’m not really sure I want to hear the answer.
“Can I lie down with you?” she asks.
I scoot over and wait until she’s lying beside me before turning onto my side and pulling her into me. She still smells like my Evie and she still feels like my Evie. “I love you,” I tell her. “I love you so much.”
She pulls my arm tighter around her and snuggles down under the covers. “I love you too.”
I sigh in relief at hearing those words. She hasn’t said them to me for a while, and I was starting to worry. “Are we okay?” I ask.
She nods. “I hope so.”
“Talk to me,” I whisper. “Tell me what’s been wrong.”
“I don’t know,” she says. “I’ve just not been feeling like myself. I’ve felt angry one minute and then depressed the next. I’ve had the biggest mood swings ever. I thought I was going crazy, but I was too scared to tell anyone in case they took me to the doctors and they said I was losing my mind.”
I feel myself frowning. “We wouldn’t have done that,” I say. “The doctors wouldn’t have done that either. Moods are okay. They’re normal. You’re going through A-levels, so it’s a really stressful time.”
“I hated you some days, but loved you so much the next that I would cry if I thought about living without you,” she confesses. “But I haven’t hated you for a few weeks now. I think things are getting better.”
Wow. I’m not quite sure if I should be pleased about that or not. “You should have talked to me,” I whisper.
“I know,” she says. “I’m sorry.”
“No, I’m sorry,” I tell her. “I should have noticed something wasn’t right and made sure you were okay.”
“I’ve missed you.” She turns over until she’s facing me and cuddles into my chest while fisting my shirt. “Can you just hold me?” she asks. “Let me fall asleep in your arms like I used to do?”
I brush her hair back and kiss her forehead. “Always.”
I arrive at work almost an hour later than normal to find the majority of the staff missing. I start to frown, wondering if a stomach bug has done the rounds, but then I remember that there’s a big meeting this morning—the meeting that I should be in.
Grabbing a crappy coffee from the vending machine, I head up the stairs. As I start walking along the corridor, I check my BlackBerry and see a text message from Cole.
I’m guessing by the way you ran out on me last night that we’re pretending it didn’t happen?
I stop walking and lean against the wall to text him back. I know he’s in the meeting, but I want him to see this before we sit back down at our desks afterwards.
It was a mistake. We both know that. And anyway, five days ago you were engaged. Let’s not pretend that last night was something it wasn’t.
I feel bad for writing it and I know I don’t really mean it, but I send it anyway. I dive into the toilets for one last check of my hair and make-up when I hear my phone pinging. If he’s texting me back while he’s in the meeting, then he can’t be paying attention. Naughty, Cole.
My mouth drops open as my eyes scan over his words.
Five days ago, I realised my heart wasn’t in the right place. I had you in my arms again and it wasn’t enough. I wanted more. I still want more. I went back home to end it with her, but luckily for me, she ended up doing all the dirty work herself. Made things easy, if you like.
So that’s why he shot off back home so suddenly? Is he saying he wants to be together again? I’m not sure I’m there right now, but I can’t tell him that over text.
I touch up my lipstick and throw my phone back into my bag before exiting the toilets. As I near the conference room, I can see Gerard standing up at the front. I knock and walk in.
“Ah, there you are,” says Gerard. “How did the docs go?”
I feel my cheeks flame with embarrassment. It’s a good job I wasn’t there for something personal. “Yeah, fine, thanks.”
“I saved you a seat by me,” he says, pointing towards the seat Cole was sat in last night. “Evie got attacked on Tuesday,” he tells the room. “Attempted mugging.”
I keep my eyes lowered and whisper apologies to people who have to tuck their chairs in as I pass. When I get to the seat, I hear a throat clearing next to me. I peek up to find Cole sitting in the chair right next to mine. His eyes fall down to the table, and then the corner of his mouth turns up ever so slightly.
“Sit down then, Evie, luv.”
I drop to the seat, feeling like a naughty schoolgirl, and immediately notice how close Cole’s thigh is to my knee.
I refuse to look at him, focusing my eyes instead on the two men from the software company that are pitching for the transition. They’re talking about code and software components, and it’s boring me to tears. I suddenly realise that the only reason I’m in this meeting is because I’m supposed to be taking notes for Gerard. I lean down to get my notepad from out of my bag and there, staring at me from underneath Cole’s foot, are my ripped knickers from last night.
I make a yelping noise that causes the two men at the front to stop speaking, but I can’t bring myself to lift my head.
“What’s going on over there?” asks Gerard.
“Get up,” hisses Cole under his breath.
“Erm, nothing,” I say, blowing my hair out of my face as I sit back up. My face is burning and I know I must look like a nut job. “I trapped my fingers. Sorry.”
Gerard rolls his eyes playfully. “Bloody women,” he mutters, and the presentation resumes.
I turn my shocked and embarrassed face towards Cole,
Yet even just a playful grab of the knee causes me to shiver. I become restless in my seat, crossing and then un-crossing my legs, sitting forward and then leaning back. Clearly, I’m not satisfied with just an innocent knee grab. When I see Cole’s knee begin to bounce up and down, I fold my arms across my chest.
This is ridiculous. I don’t even like the guy, but I know I want him again. I want what we used to have, even though I know we wouldn’t be able to have it. We’re too different and there are too many ghosts in our cupboards. My mother would never forgive me if she knew I was messing about with Cole again. I don’t think I could forgive myself if I let him back in either. He single-handedly broke the remainder of my family apart. And he’s a liar. He’s lied to get this job. He’s done terrible things, and the façade that he puts on at work shouldn’t be enough to trick me into forgetting those terrible things.
But when I look at him out of the corner of my eye, I don’t see any of that. I see the boy who shares all the memories of all of my firsts. The boy I fell deeply in love with. The boy I watched turn from a boy to a man—the same man I trusted more than anyone else in the world.
Cole’s eyes slide to mine in that moment, and I see curiosity flicker across his face. He twirls a pen through his fingers over and over again. We’re still looking at each other, neither of us quite sure what the other one is thinking, when Gerard calls for a break.
I push back in my chair and pull my bag onto my shoulder as I stand up and walk out. Ducking down the back corridor, I head straight to the door for the balcony and step outside.
I’ve just leaned back against the cool cement wall when the door opens. Cole strides out, not looking at all surprised to see me, and walks right up to me. Without speaking, he gently cups my face and kisses me on the lips. It’s soft, gentle and tender. It’s so unlike what we did last night, but it has more of an effect. It sends a heat through my body that I haven’t felt since he last kissed me like this, and I melt underneath him. And even though I’ve just been thinking of all the reasons why what we did last night was so wrong, I can’t deny how this feels so right.