"I'm not going to make a run for it," I said, still struggling to catch my breath. "I can't move."
He gave me a half laugh as he pulled his pants, leaving them undone, and I watched him disappear through the doorway to his bathroom. He wasn't gone long, and just as I had a pang of guilt, he came out- naked.
He strolled across the room, came to his bed, and helped me stand up. I turned to him, not sure what was going to happen. Would he look at me with judgement after what we'd done, and how we'd done it?
No. His expression was soft and caring. As he kissed me, his hands slid down my waist, moving towards my back, seeming like he was searching for something. I felt him unzip the back of my dress and as the fabric began to slide down my body, his lips followed.
Anthony worked deliberately to undress me, and I didn't expect this seduction after sex. It seemed unnecessary but oh my god. It felt so necessary. His light kisses moving down my body felt like heaven.
He eased the straps of the dress down my arms, pushed it to my waist, and trailed his lips over my breasts. He then took one of his knees to hold me steady while he slid the rest of the dress over my hips, while he continued to kiss my stomach. The dress fell into a heap on the floor, pulling my underwear down with it. On his knees in front of me, Anthony worked his gaze up the length of my body, and I went from pure desire to absolute need for him. His stare was intense, yet amazing.
I stood motionless as he stood up and opened his arms, welcoming me to come to him. I felt like I could melt as my body touched his. We went from soft kissing, to punishment, to rough sex, and now casual cuddling? It should feel strange, but it doesn't. More like the opposite.
I lost myself in his deep kiss, where time froze.
We somehow made our way onto the bed, and squirmed beneath the covers but he stayed upright, leaning his back against the headboard. He was probably worried that if he got too comfortable, he'd fall asleep and I'd leave again. I wanted to show him I wouldn't do that again, so I wrapped my arms around his toned chest and laid my head on his shoulder.
He grabbed the glass of red wine off the nightstand, and took a sip, then settled back with me, glass still in hand. His facial expression seemed like he was feeling guilty.
"Your distraction worked like a charm, but we still need to talk," he said softly.
I took the glass from him and took a small sip from it. It was probably the worse glass of wine I've ever had. It tasted tangy but I hid my reaction.
"Are you okay? I didn't mean to be like that."
"I'm fine. I umm... liked the way you were. You couldn't tell?"
"No, I could, it's just that was probably too much."
"For who? You?" I sat up so I could look at him. "Because it was great for me."
"Jesus." He cupped my face, and he smiled. "All right. Let's add to the list of all the things we're not supposed to do, but we do it anyways."
I couldn't hold back a smile while looking at his beautiful eyes.
"What are we doing?" he asked quietly.
I scowled. Like I had a clue. Thinking about us together only brought on more guilt and shame.
"What do you want this to be?"
What I wanted wasn't possible. Anthony would always be Peyton's dad and twenty years older than me. "I don't know how to answer that."
"What we just did... you want to do it again?"
My heart skipped a beat. It was frightening to confess, but I can't lie. "Yeah."
I felt his muscles stiffen up and he shrugged. "Me too. Which means we need to tell Peyton."
"Oh my God, no." Had Anthony lost his freakin' mind? Not in a million years would I do that.
"He's my son, Riley. When he was born, I put my needs before everyone else's and shit, I was the worst father. Hell, I wasn't a father at all. But I have a second chance, and I'm not going to blow it this time. It's been years for him to forgive me."
"What were you going to say?" his tone was tense and stern.
I stared down at his hands, unable to look at him. "I'm not sure... he's totally forgiven you yet."
He slid his hand away and scowled. "What makes you think that?"
"He told me."
"When? A while ago?"
"When school ended, and we were coming home."
For four years, I'd tried to get Peyton to talk to me. His father hadn't been much older than he was now when Peyton's mother got pregnant. They were barely adults yet. I didn't know the full details, and I only heard Peyton's version of the story, but I was aware Anthony chose medical school over having a son.
"It's getting better, though. You two are a lot closer now. Remember what it was like the first time I came over?"
Peyton had only been home with his father a few weeks, and the tension was noticeable. Peyton didn't introduce me. I'd come in and barely gotten a look from Dr. Lowery before Peyton was hurrying me down the stairs to the basement. It would be a month before I had my first conversation with his father.
Time wore away at them, softening Peyton's anger, but it didn't fully go away.
"It's not going to change what I do," Anthony said. "I'm never going to give up trying to make it right. But, is it too late?"
"No. You just need more time with him. But we can't tell him. It'll destroy everything you worked for. Burn every bridge because of me."
"Hey. Look at me."
He could see the pain and guilt on my face.
"You didn't do anything."
"I did. We had sex and got hooked to it."
"I know Peyton, and I know how he'll react." I can guarantee it wouldn't go well. Peyton's "fuck you Riley" would include "fuck you, Dad" and maybe a "fuck you forever."
"I'm not saying he'll be okay with it, but..."
"No," I frowned. "We can't tell him. And yeah, I know it sounds like I'm trying to take the easy way out, but I'm not. He was my best friend, Anthony. I know him better than anyone, and believe me when I tell you, we can't do this. You'll lose him forever, and it'll be because of me."
His eyes suddenly darkened as he looked at me. "You don't know everything about him."
"I just mean you can never know someone completely." He reached out and held my face. "He needs to know. He almost walked in on us this afternoon. What if he had?"
"We don't even know what this is."
He looked at me with a strict expression. He knew I was right. What if tonight was the last time we were together? I can't risk Anthony's relationship with Peyton.
"So," he crossed his arms over his chest, "we lie."
"Until we figure it out, I think we have to."
"Great. This is a great idea. If he finds out instead of hearing it from us, it'll be even worse."
"He's not going to find out." Was I really pushing for his? Willing to sneak around behind the guy who used to mean so much to me? And I'd be doing it just to have sex.
Jesus. I've never lied to Peyton when I told him we weren't the same people anymore. I barely even recognize myself anymore.
"We'll be careful, and we'll tell him once the summer ends and he's done going through whatever phase he's in."
"We have three options. Tell him, keep it a secret, or stop. Just so you know, it doesn't matter how or what we tell him. He's going to think I left him for you."
"I can't stay away and I don't want to stop." Jesus Riley... "I don't want to stop. Do you?"
"Just until the end of the summer."
He pulled me back up against him. His lips lightly brushed up against my forehead. "This is a bad idea."
"We can add it to the list."