My frustration and confusion snaps into my voice. “Then what the hell is it?” Could her parents be pushing her harder about money? She hates to feel like she’s taking advantage of them. “Is it about the loan you owe your dad? You should be able to pay him back in a few more months.” I know that had been hard for her to ask for, and if not for her pride I’d offer to pay back Paul now and be done with it.
When she shakes her head again, I come up with the last thing I can think of. “Are you embarrassed about our age difference? I’m not,” I promise her. “I am in love with you, Lia, and I don’t give a rat’s ass about the years between us except for the years it meant I was waiting for a love like I feel for you.” I have the money to make sure she and our child are taken care of long after I’ve gone, which hopefully won’t be for at least another forty years.
“I love you,” I repeat, coaxing Lia to let me hold her again. She gives in, just a little, and rests against my chest. “Please, Lia, tell me what’s wrong. I can’t fix it if you don’t tell me.”
She’s crying in earnest, her head tucking beneath my chin as I hold her. “I can’t tell you; it’s not my place. Don’t force me to tell you. I promised,” her voice is strained as her hands unclench and rest on my chest.
“Shh. That’s okay. It’s fine. You don’t have to tell me then. I won’t force you. Not now. Not ever if you don’t want to.” I breathe in the scent of her hair, longing to wake up to that smell on my pillow. “In exchange, I want something from you.” I use soft kisses along her cheek to coax her into looking up at me.
“I need you, Lia. I love you so fucking much. I will keep your secrets, even those you won’t share with me, if I can still hold you like this. And this,” I add wickedly. My hands smooth down her back to her hips, squeezing the gentle curves, and end on her ass. I use the muscles there to seal our bodies together. “Will you be mine?”
A war rages on behind her eyes, wavering between desire and fear. Lia’s tongue runs over her lips, and I can’t stop myself from licking at the line of moisture she leaves behind. We fit together too perfectly, and when I feel tentative hands trembling on their journey to my shoulders, they are grabbing me—not pushing me away.
Her name drags out of me in a groan. We need to be even closer; I pick her up by her ass, and her legs spread to wrap around my waist. Thankful for my hours in the gym, I pause to lean Lia up against the gazebo’s steel post. She looks at me, nodding almost imperceptibly, urging me on. I reach up under her dress and seek out the heat of her. We’ll have years for proper foreplay and taking things slow; I need to be inside her. Lia sighs in my ear when my fingers wrap around her panties, and she laughs as I struggle to pull them off her one-handed.
“Fuck it!” I declare and drop her to the ground. My hands go to her back, unzipping her dress. She stands before me, arms loose at her sides, and she steps out of her dress. “It was too pretty to tear off you.” A silvery gray lace bra holds her breasts up in offering, the scalloped edges giving a sneak peek at the pink tips.
“Should I lose this too?” Lia starts to slip off a strap, but I stop her.
“No. I like it. Leave it on.” I kneel, taking her panties with me as I drop to the ground. Heels and a bra are all that she wears, and I am kneeling in a suit that was custom made for me. “Do you see what you do to me, Lia?” I’m not talking about how hard my cock is. It’s everything about her. The way it seems the lights are focused on her alone, making her the brightest spot in my world.
Leaning forward, I kiss her stomach. I can’t wait for when she’s further along and there will be even more of her to kiss. “I love you.” Resting my cheek against her belly button, I trace my fingertips up and down her thighs. “And I love our baby.” I kiss her stomach again. “And…” My fingers move up and into her unerringly. “I love how you taste.” She’s wet already, and I sink my fingers in as far as I can reach before withdrawing them, sucking them clean one by one.