No woman had ever filled his arms the way Kimber did. No woman could ever make him hard as steel, just by being there. He had been hard since she flung open the door. The bulky shirt she had worn earlier was gone, leaving her in the flowing skirt and a camisole. As he had suspected, her body was a dream. Full breasts pressed against the silky fabric, outlining nipples he remembered as being full, a little on the long side, and when she was excited, so erect and sensitive, perfect for suckling. There was a womanly sway to her walk that hadn’t been as pronounced when she was younger. The promise he’d only glimpsed at in high school had been fully realized- and then some.
He still wanted her. Had he ever stopped? It had taken three years for him to start dating again after her father had shown up at his parent’s house with the baby, claiming not only did Kimber not want the burden of being a single parent, but that she didn’t want to raise a mixed child. That had hurt worse than anything ever could. How many nights had they talked on the phone or in each other’s arms planning how many children they would have one day, what they would name them, the type of home they would build? And yet, there had stood Dr. Knowles claiming Kimber had rejected all of their hopes and dreams. That she had left knowing she was pregnant, with every intention of getting rid of the child as quickly as possible.
Holden, in his childish hurt had believed him. He had swallowed every lie and let it foster a bitter hatred at the woman he thought had threw his love back in his face. He should have known better. In a way, he had. Maybe he had never admitted it to himself, but Kimmie wasn’t the type of woman to lie about her feelings. She had always been an open book to anyone willing to read. Dr. Knowles had never been willing. He had wanted to create his daughter in his image. He wanted to mold her in to his ideal of a woman. And Kimmie had been far too loving and kindhearted to push her father away. She had always tried to be the daughter Dr. Knowles had wanted her to be, but had always fallen short in the older man’s eyes. And Holden had always hated him for that. Yet, he had taken their daughter and in essence, kept the baby away from her mother. He was every bit as guilty as Dr. Knowles in a way.
As much as he loved his daughter, there would be no little Kimmie without the big Kimmie. He hadn’t realized how much he missed her until now. He hadn’t realized how empty his arms had been until she had dove on him. Over time, there had been other women. At first, he only dated women who were the polar opposite of Kimber, trying to drive her out of his mind and heart. That had been a disaster. It didn’t matter what color the woman was, her profession, her background or upbringing. There was only one woman his mind and body craved. Sex itself had become an empty bodily function; so much so, Holden hadn’t had a physical relationship in two years. He couldn’t take it; the cold emptiness he felt afterward. It didn’t matter how long he actually dated before trying to start a physical relationship; it was always wrong somehow. He couldn’t bring himself to sleep all night with anyone. He couldn’t shake the eerie feeling he was being unfaithful.
In more ways than one, Kimber’s return was a Godsend. He hadn’t realized how much until the truth smack him around a little. He was never going to love any other woman the way he loved her. Holden was becoming colder and colder to the outside world. Only his daughter could make him smile. He felt isolated, cut off from those around him. His entire life had been his daughter and his job. There was no room for anything else. Not because there was no time, but because he could not bring himself to join the outside world. He had fewer and fewer friends, he was curt and standoffish on the best of days. He was freezing from the inside out.
One look at Kimber and his heart began to thaw-no, more like the frozen casing had scattered completely apart, leaving the organ bleeding and raw, but just as hot has it has always been for her. His resentment and acrimony that had been a mainstay in his life for so long started to slip even before he had seen her again; in Dean Whittaker’s office, he had known what awaited. He had starting to feel again. He had started to hurt again. Only Kimber could ever take him to heights of pure ecstasy or drag him down to desolate despair. Oh, how he loved this woman-still.
This was it for him. She always had been it for him. Holden had loved Kimber most of their lives, had realized it when they shared their first kiss at thirteen in his garage. They had never even considered dating anyone else all throughout high school, being attached at the hips as best friends and evidentially as lovers. It had taken three woefully awkward tries before losing their virginity to one another on the beach after Homecoming their senior year. They had explored their burgeoning sexuality together; reading about techniques and then trying them, until they found what the other liked the most. Up until the time her father snatched her out of school and moved them away, they had spent every available second together.
No doubt the reason for Dr. Knowles taking the position in
Boston was because he had finally noticed how close she and Holden had become. Little did any of them know about the baby.
What kind of fool was he not to realize when Dr. Knowles was a lying snake? He was still having a hard time coming to terms with that.
As soon as their bodies collided, a long dormant switched was flicked on in his psyche. He had only meant to hold her, to comfort her in some small way. But feeling Kimber in his arms again, Holden’s carefully erected walls came crashing down.
His hands twined in her hair of their own accord, pulling her head back and her lips open. Nothing could have stopped his mouth from descending on her soft pouty lips, not even the sharp crack of a hand across his cheek. Had she resisted, he probably would have backed off. It might have been the hardest thing he would ever have to do, but he really would have.
But she didn’t resist. Instead she went all soft and pliant in his arms, receiving the probing of his tongue with a soft sigh. Damn, she tasted so good! He didn’t just kiss her, he took full possession of her mouth, her lips, her very breath with all the pent up frustration he felt from their forced separation. No other woman had ever tasted like this.
“Oh God, Kimber, I missed you so much,” he murmured against the soft flesh of her throat as his lips traveled everywhere his frantic hands could bare her flesh.
She had on too many damn clothes! Pure need pooled in his gut, crude, gnawing hunger demanding to be fed crawled underneath his skin. He tore off her clothes, ripping anything that could not be easily discarded. White noise filled his ear drums, the center of his focus only on her, only her.
Her mournful cry tore at him, spurring him on. It was primitively base, the need to be inside her, but Holden could not shake the feeling if he didn’t bury himself deep, become a part of her in a way denied for far too long, he would explode. His lips never left her body, traveling across the smooth skin of her face, back to her neck, her shoulders, and returning to her lip. He wanted to howl in victory when he felt her small hands tugging on the fastening of his pants. He wanted to assist her, but he couldn’t stop touching the woman who had always ruled his heart and mind.
When she finally freed him, Holden’s mind blanked.
Acting on pure instinct, he rolled them over, parting her thighs with the width of his body. He drove his throbbing length deep inside her in one stroke, burying himself to the hilt.
Kimber didn’t know what she expected when she opened her eyes to find Holden looking down at her, but she never dreamed of this! One touch, that was all it took and she was transported back in time. Warmth, hope, love, all these feelings she had never hoped to feel again, not like this, came back in a rush. It was almost as if she had never left. He completed her now so much it was as if they’d never been apart at all.
But this was not the slow, gentle lover of her youth. Holden the man was forceful, demanding, and he felt so damn good inside her. His face contorted to look more primal than she’d ever seen, he powered inside her, shaking her body and soul. She couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe. All the words she would’ve loved to say came out in primitive grunt and moans. Later she would allow regret and allow distrust to seep back into her consciousness. This wasn’t real, not anymore. As for now, all she wanted to do was feel. He was thicker than she remembered, filing her to the point of pain. Her inner walls clamped down on the strangely hard, yet smooth shaft, demanding that he move- do something-anything to relieve the burning ache.
She should hate him for making her beg, and tomorrow she probably would. Right now she needed him to drive into her over and over, so hard she forgot her name. Forgot the cold emptiness that waited for her after he left. And he would leave. She couldn’t take it otherwise.
“Look at me, Kimber.”
Her response to the fierce growl was immediate, sending tiny shivers of sweet, agonizing anticipation down her spine at what she saw. When had he grown so commanding? His eyes glittered with an emotion she couldn’t identify. His chiseled jaw was set in determination; his mouth slightly swollen from his own bruising kisses was drawn into a grimace. He was gloriously male. So much more than he had been at eighteen. She didn’t know this man that was inside her now. This wasn’t the sweet, gentle boy she loved with desperation. This man was so far outside her scope she felt a tingle of fear, even while her body melted for him, opening completely for his exploration. How was possible to feel so deeply for man she didn’t even know? This was not her Holden. A slight niggling doubt echoed in the recesses of her mind. Oh, God, was he married? What the hell was she doing?
“Don’t you dare try to leave me,” he rasped while holding her head still so she couldn’t look away. He seemed to have read the doubt and fear in her eyes. As if to reinforce his order, his hips rocked into her without withdrawing first. The broad head of his penis brushed against her g-spot, sending bursts of lights to dance in front of her open eyes.
Her fingernails dug into the solid flesh of his arms as she canted her hips, desperate for more.
“Do I have you attention now?”
All Kimber could do was nod. Did he ever!
“I am so sorry, baby. I didn’t know. I should have-” Funny how his voice had gone all deep and smooth. No less male, but no longer growling. There was earnestness in his gaze that made her want to believe. If only she could. “I can’t make it up to you, but I swear I will spend my life trying.”
No, he wouldn’t. She could never allow that. She would not know where to begin to try and handle this man buried inside her. And now was just not the time to contemplate such things. The last things she wanted right now were to have this conversation. And thankfully she didn’t have to. Their bodies seemed to have taken over for the both of them, urging them to continue the mating dance as old as time.
Whatever reply Kimber could’ve possibly come up with was lost in the urgency of his thrusts. Fear, anger and even love drove her to push back just as hard, arching into his carnal embrace. More, more until she was no longer woman and he no longer man. They were one, wrapped in a blanket of bliss, surrounded by sensations too raw, too base to survive it. She thought she might’ve screamed, she couldn’t be sure. Her body shattered, sharp edges of ecstasy ripping her to pieces before slowly melting her back together, while but forever changed.
“I love you, Kimber.”
How she once longed to hear those words. How she had dreamed of that same whisper, said at a time just like this. But that time had long since passed, and those dreams were never going to come true. Her heart couldn’t take it. So she said nothing, working up the courage to do what she knew needed to be done.