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Don't Go (For You 3) Alexa Riley 2022/8/3 13:49:55

“That’s good, honey.” My mom kisses me on the top of the head. “I’m supposed to meet Susan this morning. Have a good day at work,” she says, picking up her purse and heading for the door. Sometimes I wonder how we’re related. My mom can’t seem to sit still while I’m content on the sofa with a book for days. That said, I love that she’s so active.

I dig into my breakfast, feeling better than I have in weeks. My reasons for hiding from New York all this time seem so small and stupid now. I’ve felt more content since I’ve been here, but a mom can do that to you. Maybe all I really needed was to be around her again.

After putting my plate into the dishwasher, I grab my purse and laptop bag and jet out the door. I make it down the stairs and then freeze when I see it’s pouring rain outside. Great.

Not wanting to make the walk to the subway, I have the doorman wave me down a cab. He motions to me a second later, and I run out, jumping in as quick as possible, yet still getting a little wet. The door shuts and I pull out my compact and see my mascara has run a little. Apparently the waterproof I’m testing isn’t holding up so well. I’ll need to add that to my list.

I lean my head back, letting my eyes fall closed for just a second. I stayed up way too late reading last night, and I know I’m going to feel it for the rest of the day. I wish I liked coffee like the rest of the world. It would be wonderful to have something wake me up on a day like this. Maybe I could try some hot cocoa for a sugar rush.

My eyes pop open when someone slides into the seat next to me.

“Hey, buddy, this one’s taken!” the cab driver shouts.

I’m frozen as I focus on the man who’s sitting next to me. I can’t even find words. Time has gone by, but I’d never forget his eyes. They stare at me, and he seems to have the same reaction. My heart starts to pound. Silence falls between us for only a beat before he speaks.

“Take her where she needs to go, then drop me after.” He reaches into his back pocket and pulls out his wallet. He hands the cab driver a stack of bills and the driver looks at them before pulling away from the curb.

I’m still shocked that I’m sitting next to Henry. Part of me wants to jump out of the cab. Another part of me wants to pretend that I don’t care. That this is a happy accident and I’ve moved on.

Before I can react to him being in the cab with me, his mouth is on mine, taking me by surprise. His full lips press against mine as his hands go to my hair in a possessive hold. His tongue pushes into my mouth demanding entry, and my body obeys, giving him what he wants.

All the time that separated us falls away, and I melt. His mouth makes love to mine, and for a single moment I give in to what I’ve longed for, for over ten years.

But as all dreams do, this one comes to an end, and I realize what’s happening. Reality falls around us, and I push against his chest, breaking our kiss, then smack him right across the face. I take myself by surprise at the action, but I don’t apologize. I can’t believe I really just did that.

The sting of the slap lingers on my palm, and damn it, Henry smiles at me, making me want to smack him again.

He’s even more handsome than I remember, and I don’t know if that makes me hate him more or less. My eyes begin to water as all the suppressed feelings I’ve had for him come rushing forward.

“God, I’ve missed seeing your face,” he says, ignoring my words.

He reaches out, tucking a lock of hair behind my ear. I stare at him, still shocked to see him. How is this even possible? The one person in all of New York I wanted to avoid is sitting beside me in my taxi. The man I’ve dreamed about for years. The man who shattered my heart and made me never trust any man again. I’m a twenty-eight-year-old virgin thanks to him, and I want to scream at him, but instead I get lost in his eyes.

“I’ve missed you,” he adds, and a tear slips down my face. I swipe it away as fast as I can, hating that I gave him that. I don’t want him to know he has this effect on me.

To my shock, the taxi stops, and I see I’m at work. I jump out, hoping to get away, but he follows suit, chasing after me.