She raised her head off the bed pillows just enough to see the digital clock on the bed table. The late hour of the morning came as no surprise to her. They had made love into the wee hours of the morning. Both content and exhausted, she had finally snuggled with her back against him, his arms tight around her waist, and allowed her eyes to close and much-needed sleep to take over.
Charlene hugged her pillows as she took a quiet breath, released a soft hint of a sigh. For the first time since long before Andrew’s death two years before she had slept soundly and peacefully, her heart content, her mind at ease, not allowing any thoughts of unfinished business to enter. She smiled to herself as she listened to Roy’s even breathing, fighting off the urge to ease closer to him, wanting to again feel his naked body against her own. She needed to leave the bed.
His hand rested on her waist. Not wanting to wake him, she grabbed the edge of the mattress and slowly pulled herself over so that his hand, and the bed sheet covering her lower body, slid off. Before she could swing her legs off the bed, he reached for her.
“Don’t go, baby,” he murmured, moving his body to hers, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her close. Burying his face in her neck, he whispered the words again. “Don’t go.”
She closed her eyes, relaxing and taking comfort in his warmth. She wanted to stay that way forever, but the need to relieve herself was pressing, making that impossible.
He nuzzled her hair as he ran his hand along her bare stomach, and then along the outline of her hip and down the curve of her leg. “You feel so good.”
She reached her hand back, patted his face before turning over to face him.
“I didn’t mean to wake you.” She trailed her fingers along his face as she spoke. His eyes remained closed.
“I’m not awake.”
She offered a soft chuckle. “Good.” She ran her finger over his lips, then touched them with her own. “I’ll be right back.”
She turned away from him and slid off the bed. As she made her way around the foot of the bed in the direction of the bathroom, he said, “Just so you know, I have a deputy posted outside that door.”
“Do you? I do hope it’s Tommy. He was cute,” she teased as she stepped around to his side of the bed.
“Oh, is that right?” In an instant, he raised up in the bed, reached over and grabbed her, pulling her back onto it.
“Roy!” she cried out, laughing. “Please! I need the bathroom!”
“Yeah? Just how urgent is it? Because I have a pretty urgent need myself, and it has nothing to do with the bathroom.”
Leaning her back against him, his arms around her, his large hands covering her breasts, her eyes slowly closed as she moaned, immediately aroused by his touch, her nipples erect as he began to circle them with the tips of his thumbs.
“Give me one minute, sweetheart, and then I will be more than happy to take care of your urgent need.”
He removed his hands, allowing her to leave the bed. “One minute. That’s all you have before I come in and get you.”
When she reached the open door of the bathroom, she turned back to face him. “Oh. About Deputy Tommy. He is cute, but nothing compared to his incredibly handsome boss.” She turned and disappeared into the bathroom, closing the door behind her.
Before leaving the bathroom and returning to the bed, she rinsed her face, quickly brushed her teeth, then ran her fingers through her tangled hair, fluffing it up once untangled.
“Time’s up in there,” she heard Roy call out to her.
She opened the door and stepped out. “Am I not worth the wait?”
Roy lay outstretched on the bed, his head propped up by pillows and his hands clasped behind it, one leg slightly bent at the knee and slightly leaning toward her. Though she had run her hands over pretty much every part of his broad, muscular body the night before, the sight of it now took her breath away. The man was beautiful. A sudden pang of jealousy hit her.
How many times had Denise enjoyed this same view? How many other women had there been in his life over the years? She shook away the images forming in her head as she approached the bed. The words he said as she did made none of that, none of the other women, matter.
“Baby, I have been waiting twelve long, lonely years for you to return. And I assure you, last night made it every bit worth that wait. Come ’ere,” he said, reaching out for her.
She allowed him to pull her on top of him. Her hands on his solid chest, she said, “Roy, I don’t deserve you. But I want you. I love you so much.”
He reached up and tucked loose-hanging strands of her hair behind her ears. “I’m all yours, Charlie. I always have been.”
He flipped her over so that she was under him. Noticing the small diamond hanging loose on the side of her neck, he took it in his fingers, slid it around so that it rested on her chest. He studied it for a moment before he spoke. His eyes looked deep into hers as he did.
“I wish I could have given you more back then. I loved you so much.”
“I know you did, Roy, and I loved you, no matter how difficult that might be for you to believe. But let’s not dwell on the past. We can’t change it. I’d much rather concentrate on the future.”
“I like that idea, as long as that future includes us together. At the moment, I’m pretty interested in concentrating on the present and my urgent need you promised to take care of.”
He took her hands in his, entwining their fingers, then he pushed them back onto the bed on each side of her as he lowered his head, pressed his lips to hers.
“I love you, Charlie,” he said, and then he touched her lips once more, parting them with his own.