Found in You

Found in You: Page 26

Chapter Ten

Mirabelle owned one of the hottest boutiques in New York City. Despite never needing to work a day in her life, the middle Pierce child had an eye for clothing design and she put it to good use. Her shop was by appointment only, and I'd nearly lost myself in fashionista heaven when Hudson had taken me to purchase racks of clothing almost two weeks before.

After directing Jordan to Greenwich Village where Mira's was located, Hudson pulled out his phone and called his sister. I listened half-heartedly to their short conversation. "Thanks, we're on our way," he said before hanging up.

"She won't be there," he said to me as he pocketed his phone. "She's getting ready for the party. But Stacy will take care of you."

I groaned inwardly at the thought of dealing with Stacy, Mira's too-thin blonde assistant. She had a thing for Hudson, had even gone out with him on at least one occasion. Needless to say, she wasn't fond of me. The daggers she shot with her eyes were poisonous enough to kill an army.

Plus, she made me jealous. Mira insisted that Stacy wasn't even a blip on Hudson's radar. But one night, when I'd cyber-stalked him, I'd seen a picture of Hudson and Stacy together. They looked good. And I bet she didn't have a history of crazy like I did.

If I could avoid seeing Stacy, I'd be a much happier person. "If Mira's not going to be there, maybe we shouldn't bother with the boutique. We could go back to my place and get something that we bought last time."

"No, we need something new. I'll want to show you off."

I wasn't sure if that made me happy or irritated. On the one hand, he liked the way I looked enough to feel like he could parade me. On the other hand, was that all I was? A show pony? Was this left over from our convince-everyone-we're-together scheme?

It was likely none of the above, simply a complimentary statement from a man to his woman. My emotions were still too muddled from the last fifteen minutes-from the last twenty-four hours-and now everything had a twinge of heaviness. It didn't seem like I could simply take anything at face value. There were layers to every gesture, every comment, every moment, and I was having a hard time getting my head around it all.

The nearly forty-five minute drive from Uptown to the Village didn't help. I cuddled into Hudson and closed my eyes trying to nap, unsuccessfully. When Jordan finally pulled up in front of the boutique, it felt like a lifetime had passed.

Hudson didn't wait for our driver to open the door. He climbed out and extended his hand. He continued to hold my hand as we walked to the shop, and I couldn't help but remember the last time we'd been there, how he'd held my hand then. How it had been pretend then and this time was real. It was real, wasn't it?

As if he could read my mind, Hudson squeezed my hand as we waited for Stacy to answer the bell. I turned to him and his lip curled into a half-smile.

It occurred to me that I'd seen him smile more in the last twenty-four hours than I had the entire three weeks I'd known him. Yeah, this was real.

Behind him, I saw construction workers at the shop next door, clearing up for the day.

"I wonder what's going on over there."

Hudson followed my glance. "Mirabelle's expanding. I believe they've almost finished. We'll come to the open house. She'll want you there."

"Wow. More clothes for me to choose from. Can your wallet handle it?" It was hilarious considering his bank account could clothe a small country. A large one, even.

We were both laughing when the door opened. Stacy barely glanced at us as she stood aside to let us in. "I have a client I'm finishing up with, but I already picked out some options for you. They're in the big dressing room."

So much for hellos.

She returned to her customer, and I glanced at Hudson to gauge his reaction to the lack of greeting. His face was stone. Whatever he thought about Stacy, he didn't show it. Perhaps she really did mean absolutely nothing to him. But if that was the case, why had he ever gone out with her to begin with? Even if it was only the one date, wouldn't he have had at least an ounce of attraction to her?

After my mini-tantrum in the limo, it didn't seem like such a good time to bring up his relationship with Stacy, if it even qualified to be called that. But I made a mental note to ask about it in the future. And not just about Stacy, but about all of Hudson's past women. Because I needed to know.

As she had said, Stacy had left several dresses in the dressing room, and despite my fear that she'd spitefully only pick hideous items for me to try on, they most definitely were anything but. Not that Mirabelle's even had anything remotely ugly on its racks. These dresses, though, were particularly exquisite. With all her scowling about, Stacy must have paid attention to what I chose the last time I'd been there, noticed what looked good on me, because these seemed almost tailor-made to my style. My eyes widened at the selection, too many called my name, and I was eager to try them all on.

Hudson, on the other hand, immediately fixated on one specific dress-a magenta satin Jersey. It was pretty enough, but awfully simple and brighter in color than something I'd wear at a family function.

He fingered the convertible straps.
"This one." There was finality in his voice.

"I haven't tried it on. You don't even know how it-"

"I do know." He took the dress by the hanger and, after turning me to face the mirror, held it in front of me as he stood behind. "It's perfect."

I looked in the mirror, trying to picture the dress on my body, but all I could think of was the last time I'd been in that dressing room with Hudson, standing in front of that very mirror. He'd done incredible things to my body then, made me watch as I came undone from the ministrations of his hands on my br**sts and between my thighs. Then, he'd entered me and took me with such force and desire that I'd come undone again.

My face heated from the memory, and I met his eyes in our reflection.

Hudson leaned into whisper at my ear. "I know what you're thinking. Stop it." He unbuttoned his jacket and pressed up against me so I could feel the thick ridge of his hard-on against my rear. "I'm thinking about it, too. And we don't have time to deal with those thoughts as I would like."

"Are you sure?" I reached my hand behind me to fondle his erection.

He took a deep breath. "You're certainly a different woman than the one I brought in here last time. The one who wanted to keep things sex-free." His voice was tight, the only indication of what my half-assed hand-job was doing to him.

"I never wanted to keep things sex-free. I just thought it would be best for me if we did." That was back when I thought for half a second that I had a chance of staying away from him. When I thought I might become obsessed with him if I didn't keep my distance. When I didn't realize how complete of a hold he already had on me.

He placed his hand over mine, controlling the pressure of my touch. "Is that still what would be best for you?"

Together, we stroked the length of his c**k through his pants, and I longed to touch his bare skin, to slide my fingers across his crown, to pump him with my fist. He did this to me, completely turned me on, made me wet and interested in nothing but satisfying his need for me while he satisfied my need for him.

"You're best for me." My words were full of the ache I felt for him. "In every way-beside me, inside me..."

"Fuck, Alayna. You get me so hot, I-"

There was a single rap at the door followed by barely enough time for us to separate before Stacy walked in.

Her eyes flitted from my face to his then back to mine. "I should have waited for an invitation to come in."

"Yes, you should have." It was the first time I'd seen Hudson address Stacy in any way, and it was short and clipped. He turned to hang the dress back on the rack and buttoned his suit jacket before turning back to us. "I'll step out while you change, Alayna." He nodded back to the magenta dress. "That one."

Stacy's face was even, but her eyes flickered with the rejection. I almost felt sorry for her. I'd been her-dejected by men I thought I was into. Part of me wanted to reach out to comfort her.

But then the spite returned to her gaze. "Is that the dress you'd like to start with?" Her voice was cold as she took the magenta Jersey from the hanger without waiting for my response.

I reached behind and unzipped my clothing myself and let it fall to the floor. "Yes. It's the one Hudson wants." I used his name as a weapon, claiming him as mine. "He thinks it will be perfect."

Actually, it was. I could tell as soon as the dress was over my head. The color lit up my skin, highlighting my natural olive tone. It was low-cut enough that it showed off my boobs, an asset I was proud of. Hudson had always been quite fond of my bosom, surely one of the reasons he'd chosen it.

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