Found in You: Page 33
I couldn't speak for what would happen next between us. And I could only guess at Hudson and Sophia's past. The details were hidden from me, much like most everything in Hudson's life.
Time, I reminded myself. I'd learn about him in time.
Hudson broke the embrace, his hands pushing gently on Sophia's shoulders.
"You smell like sex," she said when he stepped away.
I couldn't help but take that as a compliment.
"I'm surprised you recognize the smell." Without moving his eyes from his mother, Hudson reached for my hand again.
I slipped my palm against his and absorbed the electric spark that always shot through my body at his touch.
Sophia's gaze drifted to our connected limbs and back to her son's face. "I'm not a prude."
Hudson shook his head once, bored with the conversation. "No, no one's accusing you of that. I'm simply shocked you could smell anything over the aroma of bourbon." And checkmate.
"Go home, Hudson. "
We rode the elevator in silence and the limo as well. There was too much to think about-Jack and Sophia, Celia then Mira. So many aspects of the evening to dwell on, reasons to be confused and muddled. The one thing I wasn't confused about was Hudson. Not anymore. Not since the roof when he'd done some sort of magic sex trick that alleviated all my fears about him. He'd f**ked away my doubts, said the right words, and for the first time in, well, ever, I thought that maybe I could be a normal girl in a normal relationship with a normal guy.
Okay, I'd never be a normal girl and Hudson would never be a normal guy, but perhaps we'd found the closest thing to normal that we'd ever be capable of achieving. And it was pretty damn good.
As I absentmindedly watched the buildings passing through the limo window, it didn't even cross my mind to wonder if we were going to The Bowery or if I was being taken home. Hudson hadn't given any instruction to our driver. I simply took it for granted that I'd spend the night with my lover. Hudson must have taken it for granted too, because Jordan pulled up to the curb in front of his high-rise without a word to me.
It was when we were in the penthouse and the quiet between us persisted that I realized it wasn't only me lost in my head. Hudson had disappeared inside his head too
. It wasn't unusual for him to be quiet and within himself-that was the man I'd first met and been drawn to. But even when I'd seen him consumed with his work, he always had a sliver of his attention pinned to me. Though subtle, it was unmistakable.
Tonight was different. We exited the elevator and without a word, Hudson immediately headed to the library. I trailed after him, unsure. Though he hadn't been home since the arrival of the books, he didn't even give them a glance. He beelined to his desk, threw his jacket across the back of his chair and sat down.
Without looking at me, he said, "I have some work to do. It will likely be a late night. I don't expect you to wait up."
"Oh. All right." There was more shock to my tone than hurt. We'd never been alone and not all over each other. It was...strange.
For several seconds, I stood frozen, not knowing what I should do. Then common sense kicked in. "Do you need anything? A nightcap, perhaps?"
He sifted through some papers on his desk, furrowing his brow at one of them. "I may make myself a Scotch later." Then he turned to his computer and was gone from me.
I could make him a Scotch. I wanted to, actually, because then I'd feel needed, wanted. Like I had a purpose in being there.
But Hudson's tone was definitive. He didn't want me to serve him, for whatever reason, and even if I ignored him and got him his drink, I knew already that he wouldn't acknowledge it. Probably wouldn't even notice.
I made him the drink anyway, leaving it on the corner of his desk. He saw me, I knew he did. But like I suspected, he didn't respond.
He'd gone somewhere, somewhere far away. Somewhere he was unwilling to take me.
I slipped away to the bedroom and sat on the edge of the bed, still unmade from the night before. Hudson Pierce, obscenely rich and powerful, and he didn't even have someone who came in to make his bed daily.
Trivial thought, but it was what crossed my mind first.
Then the questions swept in, the constant examination that my mind never seemed to tire of. What had triggered this distant mood of Hudson's? Had it been the last conversation with his mother? The night in general?
Maybe he simply had work to do. He'd expected me to be at The Sky Launch all night. He hadn't planned to entertain me. And I shouldn't have expected that he should. We'd found each other, but that didn't mean the rest of our lives stopped. We still had things to do, responsibilities. Especially a man such as him.
I was sure it wasn't me, it wasn't us. He'd claimed me, the last time only two short hours before. I was his. His mood wasn't because of me.
As further proof, if I needed it, he'd brought me to his place when he could have easily taken me to my own. He wanted me there, even if he couldn't let himself be with me entirely. I knew that. Knew.
I took a deep breath, letting my tense muscles relax as I exhaled.
Then I let go.
Let go of all of it-the thoughts, the worries, the doubts. I wasn't doing psycho. Not anymore. No more obsessing. No more examining. Just let go.
Clarity settled in. People got moody. I was still practically a stranger to Hudson's life, relationships were new to both of us-I couldn't expect either of us to be perfect at communicating with each other. We had to learn, and that took time.
We had time.
I stared at the empty doorway, considering what to do with myself. Watch TV? Or read a book? There were plenty to choose from. I could join Hudson in the library, work on unpacking the books.
But my gut said he needed his space. Though he'd ignored me when I asked him to leave me alone on the roof, that tactic wouldn't work in reverse. Hudson didn't like to be handled like I did. I loved to be handled by him. Adored it. Craved it.
Hudson, though-his walls weren't as easy to overcome. They were mountains. I had to scale them cautiously with stealth and firm handholds. Sometimes I had to chill on a ledge and wait until the weather was better before I began my upward climb again. And sometimes, I'd reach the top of one, and he'd be there, waiting and exposed, and together we'd enjoy the breathtaking view.
Right now I was at a ledge. Chilling.
I laughed to myself. Whoever thought I'd be able to chill about a man? Yet, here I was, not acting crazy, no matter where my head wanted to go.
I stood and looked at myself in the dresser mirror. Did I look different? Paul had said I did. Did my eyes shine brighter? Were the ever-present dark circles under my eyes lighter than usual? Was this what it looked like to be mentally healthy? Because, even if my reflection showed nothing had changed, this me was completely new and amazing.
So even though Hudson's current temperament was baffling and mysterious, I felt good. Strong.
And I'd move in. If he was going to have bouts of isolation, I'd rather still be near him physically, even if I was apart from him emotionally. Besides, that night had proven we could weather stress, and we always seemed to weather it best together.
It was after ten, but I decided to run. I changed and slipped into the penthouse gym, spending forty minutes on the treadmill, followed by a quick shower. Then, after debating over a nightie or a t-shirt or simply my panties, I settled on staying nude and climbed in bed alone. I meant it to be a message to Hudson: I'm na**d for you. Bare for you. No more walls, no more guarded emotions.
When he joined me later, he'd see. He'd get what I wasn't able to speak to him at the moment, an echo of the words that he had repeated to me over and over earlier. I'm with you. I'm with you.
I awoke sometime later in the dark room, lying on my side, with Hudson's arm around me, his hand fondling my breast. Silently, he kissed along my shoulder and up my neck.
I sighed into him, even half-asleep my body was instantly attuned to him, ready, wanting. Slipping my hand between my thighs, I rubbed at my clit, and he thrust into me with ease. It was only moments before we'd found our rhythm, our heavy breathing the lone sound as we moved together toward the same goal.
As my cl**ax approached, my fingers yearned to be wandering up and down the landscape of Hudson's chest. Reaching behind to grab his ass wasn't enough. My hands felt empty and a vague thought drifted through my mind that our position mirrored the current state of our relationship. Both of us looking forward, working together toward a singular outcome, but with Hudson still not completely within my reach. My hands reaching for something I couldn't quite grasp.
We finished near together, and we laid there for several movements without moving or speaking.
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