A/N: Super long chapter. Enjoy! Drop me a comment and tell me what you think!
“Are you sure it’s going to fit?”
Aaliyah waited impatiently as Samantha unzipped the garment bag and peeled away the enclosing plastic from the dry cleaners.
“I think so. We’re around the same cup size.” Samantha replied.
Aaliyah laughed a little as she held a modest arm around her breasts, which had always seemed a little too full for her petite frame. She stood in the guestroom in her underwear as Samantha unveiled the slinky black material.
Aaliyah pulled the dress over her head and tugged it down over her hips before smoothing the fabric into place. She slipped on the shoes and fastened the straps, shifting her weight experimentally as she got used to the added height the heels gave her. Once she clipped the silver dangle earrings on, she looked in the mirror, bracing herself for the transformation.
She was pleasantly surprised to see that the dress fit her just as well as the day she bought it. The black material clung to her like a second skin, accentuating her generous curves and slender waist. The front was cut in a V, showing enough cleavage to be alluring, but not trashy. The back was simple yet elegant, cutting straight across and covering everything just below the armpit. Thin black straps kept the garment on her shoulders and the skirt’s hem ended at mid-thigh. Her long, creamy legs looked even longer when wearing the heeled shoes.
Aaliyah turned to the side, and then to the back and peeked over her shoulder, trying to see herself from all angles. Although she knew she had an excellent body, this particular outfit made her look even better. She just hoped that at least Jason would appreciate it. For some reason, she couldn’t help but feel like a silly young girl meeting her date for prom.
Samantha stepped beside her, almost a head taller and looking as vibrant and gorgeous as ever.
A few seconds later, Jason’s silhouette filled the doorway. Her breath caught as she sized him up. The blue in his eyes glowed against the stark black and white of his perfectly tailored tuxedo. She watched his reflection as he walked slowly toward her, drinking her in from the back.
“Jason!” Samantha beamed, giving Jason the once-over. “You look so cute!”
“I was kinda going for strikingly handsome,” he said as he adjusted his tie. “But I guess cute will have to suffice.”
The two women giggled.
“Anyways,” Jason said. “Mom wanted me to tell you ladies that people are starting to show up, so come out when you’re ready.”
Samantha clapped excitedly and briefly excused herself, leaving the two of them alone momentarily.
“Hi,” she said, doing her best to disguise her anxiety.
Jason’s smile deepened. “I want to say something charming and clever about how great you look, but all I can think is ‘wow.’”
“’Wow works,” she said, offering a shy smile. “And thank you.”
“You seem a bit nervous?”
She shrugged. “Maybe a little. I won’t know most of the people.”
“You will soon. They’re mostly my parent’s friends from when I was growing up. They’ll love you and your amazing pastries.”
Her eyes lighted on a square black velvet box in his hands. She tried to ignore it and focused on finishing getting ready.
“This is for you,” Jason said, leaning his hip against the dresser on the other end of the room.
Her eyes widened in surprise. “That?” She pointed to the box.
“I wanted to give it to you earlier, but my parents bombarded you with questions before I had the chance.”
“Open it,” he said, his voice low with that sexy rasp that made her forget herself.
She tentatively reached for the box as he crossed the space between them. She held it in her hands, unable to open it.
After a few awkward seconds, he popped the lid open for her, revealing a decadent string of diamonds.
“Holy crap,” Aaliyah muttered under her breath. “Are those diamonds?”
She couldn’t begin to fathom the price, but she’d never seen anything so beautiful.
“I can’t keep this.” She handed it back to him.
“I insist. Come on, let’s put it on.” He said, turning her gently back towards the mirror.
She closed her eyes and sucked in a sharp breath, reeling at the sudden contact as Jason fastened the shimmering necklace around her neck. It was breathtakingly beautiful and matched her rings and bracelets—in such a meaningful way.
She struggled for her next breath, trying desperately to ignore the way his body felt pressed against the back of hers.
Their eyes met in the reflection of the mirror.
His eyes darkened, an intense shade of blue, traveling down her body and back to her eyes. Her breath caught when she saw the hunger burning in his eyes .
His hand slid up her arm to her shoulder where he swept tiny strands of hair away from her neck. He brushed a soft kiss there, his lips lingering on the skin until she was tingling again. She gasped at the sudden contact, a thread of panic lacing the desire.
Her head rolled back onto his shoulder, and she could feel desire winning. His lips began a path of sweet torment, tasting and nibbling her over-sensitive skin from her ear down her shoulder. He roamed her curves. She was on fire for him. Her senses inflamed, lust coursed through her until she was nearly blind with need.
Then a loud pop sounded from the living room. The sound was followed by the familiar voices of his family and Samantha calling her name, a sobering reminder that they weren’t nearly alone enough to follow through on what they’d started here.
They broke apart, breathless.
“Christ.” Jason stepped back unsteadily.
She swallowed hard, trying like hell to drive her thoughts back to reality. She let her head fall back. Her chest heaved even as she hopelessly tried to tame the rush of sexual tension that flowed through her. Fuck. This had to be worse than the seventh circle of hell. He’d taken several steps away, a crushing distance considering how intimately he’d just held her.
Samantha leaned into the doorway, eye’s beaming.
“People are already lining up at your table and they’re eager to meet the chef.”
Aaliyah straightened and stepped away from Jason to join her, knowing the farther away she was, the more clearly she could think.
“I...um...I’ll see you later.” She said awkwardly.
Jason nodded. “I’ll see you later.”
Aaliyah leaned against the table while the party ensued. The day had been long, but adrenaline kept her awake.
The heated tent set up in the Moore’s yard was filled with their large party. Laughter and music and talking. Happiness surrounded them.
Samantha and Lucas were dancing with boundless energy on the dance floor around Jason’s parents who looked into each other’s eyes with a love that warmed her heart.
Today had been nothing short of perfect. Aaliyah turned her head when she heard a high-pitched squeal of delight from Matthew as he and Jason were romping nearby.
She smiled, still marveling at Jason’s capacity for play. His patience with Matthew was extraordinary.
“Let’s find your Mommy. She’s around here somewhere.”
Matthew said something she couldn’t hear, and Jason laughed freely, happily.
Jason was swinging Matthew around and around, making him squeal once more in delight. He stopped, then launched him high into the air. Matthew shrieked with childish abandon.
“’Gain, Jay!” he squealed.
Jason obliged, and he tossed Matthew into the air and then caught him again, clutching him close before tickling him mercilessly for a moment.
Matthew howled with laughter, squirming and pushing against Jason’s chest, wanting out of his arms. Grinning, Jason set him down on the ground beside Samantha.
After a moment, a young man strolled onto the stage amid warm applause, turned to the band behind him, and snapped his fingers. The familiar strains of “I don’t want to miss a thing” filled the air.
Jason approached and smiled down at her, took her in his arms, and started to move. Oh, he danced so well, making it easy to follow. They grinned at each other like idiots as he twirled her around the dance floor.
“Matthew looks up to you, you know.” She murmured, gazing up at him.
Jason smiled sheepishly. “Why, did he say something to you?”
She shook her head and smiled. “He didn’t have to. I can see it in his eyes. You must be his best friend.”
“Well, I try.” He chuckled.
“He’s lucky to have someone like you in his life,” she said. “Not many people would step in the way that you have.”
She met his gaze. His expression was serious, and it could just be the two of them and the band. They were in their own private bubble.
The last notes of the song came to an end, and they stopped dancing. For a timeless moment, they just gazed into each other’s eyes, appreciating the beauty of the moment, and each other.
“You’re so beautiful,” he murmured, his grip on her waist tightening as he drew her closer to him. He kissed her ever so gently with everything in him, his lips soft and strong against hers. He held onto her as if his life depended upon it, his leg going between both of hers so that she would be closer to him. As the kiss deepened, he ran his tongue over her lips urging them to open. Her legs turned to putty as she pressed herself against him. She complied, opening her mouth and welcoming him in as he wished. His tongue invaded her mouth with such urgency, like he would never kiss another pair of lips again. And when their tongues met, they melted together in the intimate ritual of desire and passion. Aaliyah moaned into the kiss and her fingers curled into the base of his hair in an attempt to pull him even more impossibly close till their bodies became one.
“I didn’t expect you’d be moving on so quickly,” a female voice interrupted.
Aaliyah felt Jason stiffen at the silky, smooth feminine voice, and he broke their kiss and pulled back.
There beside them stood a beautiful blonde, dressed in the finest clothes Aaliyah had ever seen. Her blonde tresses were pulled into a high ponytail but the length of them still flowed down her back.
Despite her indisputable beauty, Aaliyah saw her eyes narrow slightly as they settled on her before she fixed a slightly strained smile in place. She had an indignant look on her face, and an unmistakable bitterness towards her.
“Hello Jason,” the woman said, her eyelashes floating and smile widening to the extent it almost looked sewed on.
With his voice low and husky, he asked, “What are you doing here?” His body tensed and his grip on Aaliyah’s hand got tighter.
“Our parents are close, you know that. It’s only fair that they would be invited to such an important occasion.” The woman giggled, and as she said it, she briefly touched his arm in a small, flirty gesture. Jason stiffened immediately but subtly. She didn’t even seem to notice. “And I came as a plus one to them. You know daddy would never let his little girl miss out on anything.”
Aaliyah shook her head in resignation. He’s mine, girlfriend. She straightened her back and turned to face the unknown woman, extending her hand “Aaliyah.”
“Deborah,” the woman replied carelessly, seeming to look Aaliyah over critically from where she was standing. “The first and real love of Jason.”
Holy shit, this is Deborah? His ex-wife?
“What do you want, Deborah?” Jason asked, unable to hide the irritation in his voice.
“I’ve missed you,” she purred, approaching him, and slowly running her hands up his chest. “I was hoping the two of us could catch up.”
Based on her tone, there was no doubt in Aaliyah’s mind that catching up, in this case, meant fucking.
Jason caught Deborah’s hands and pinned them between their bodies.
“Enough,” he growled. “There’s nothing for us to catch up on. What we had between us is over. It has been for a while now. I’m with Aaliyah and I’m happy, the happiest I’ve been in a long time.”
Deborah chuckled darkly. “Oh please, you couldn’t possibly be serious. I mean, look at her.” She attempted to joke, but Jason had a firm look on his face that let her know that Aaliyah was not to be joked about.
Aaliyah made a move, but Jason stepped in front of her. Deborah was crazy, and she could start a fight, just to make sure she would cause some damage to his girlfriend. He wouldn’t let her have that privilege.
“She’s no good for you, Jason.” She sighed, reaching out and laying a hand on his chest again. Her lashes fluttered flirtatiously again and Jason found himself feeling sick of the action, suddenly wanting to throw up all over her dress, just so she would leave him alone and focus on that. Hearing her shriek in anger seemed more appealing than anything else at the moment, and he nearly smiled.
“And you are?” Jason asked incredulously instead, his eyebrows nearly reaching his hairline. He chuckled and shook his head. “You ruined my life, not once, but twice. I loved you, Deb. I did everything you wanted. But was that enough for you?”
The question hung uncomfortably in the air. Aaliyah lowered her gaze as she shifted her weight from one foot to the other and rubbed at her arms. The air outside felt nearly unbreathable, and she desperately wanted to pull Jason’s hand and take him out of there, back to the safe space of her home, and hold him until he became hers again, every memory of this evil woman forgotten, but she spoke again.
“I’ve changed, Jason, and all I want is just one more chance to show you.”
Jason was red with anger. He put his hand over Deborah’s and flung it away from him.
“Just let me live in peace, Deborah. It’s the least you could do after being such a devilish bitch, please.” He begged, clasping his own hands together as if he were praying.
Deborah had a hurt look on her face, her lips spread open slightly with shock. Jason was never such an ass to her, or to anyone. Her eyes briefly ran over Aaliyah, who held on so tight to Jason’s arm, it looked as if she was trying to protect him from someone or something.
“Please, excuse me sweetheart.” Jason seethed, his eyes not meeting Aaliyah’s. “I need some air.” His voice still remained kind however, and her heart warmed.
“Okay baby.” Aaliyah replied, offering him a stiff smile.
He hesitated for a second, before pressing a reluctant kiss to Aaliyah’s cheek and then walking out of the venue in quick, angry steps.
“Jason, hold on, please!” Deborah called pretentiously as she went after Jason, drawing more attention to herself.
Aaliyah looked on for a quick second, willing the blonde to trip over her own ankles and fall to her face, just for the satisfaction of it.
Instead, she walked back to her dessert table, downing an entire flute of champagne and requesting for another. She would need plenty more if she was to get through the entire night with the she-devil around.
Music played on and Aaliyah stared into the air, her drink forgotten. She thought about everything that had happened in the events of the night, and she felt hurt on Jason’s behalf. What had he done to deserve someone like Deborah in his life? He was such a kind and thoughtful man and did nothing but give to those he loved, so why would such a beautiful woman be so evil?
“You know, I would never have thought Jason would go after a woman like you.” Deborah scrunched up her nose, sliding into the seat farthest from Aaliyah, grabbing a drink from a wandering waiter.
Good choice of seat. Aaliyah thought as she rolled her eyes, taking another sip from her forgotten drink.
“He used to like blondes, and petite women such as myself. I guess it’s why he kept coming back.” She giggled mischievously, her light eyes twinkling.
Aaliyah paid her no attention, swaying slightly to the fast paced music that played.
Deborah started to get annoyed. Her plans to irk Aaliyah weren’t working, as the woman seemed so unbothered and uncaring, swaying drunkenly as if there was no one to speak to her.
“A little advice, from one woman to another—” Deborah started again, her fake smile gone. “– If you’re after his money, he won’t keep you around long. He protects what’s his, very jealousy.”
“You would know, I suppose?” the darker woman’s teeth gritted with restraint. This woman Deborah , definitely had a dark side, devious almost. She wanted some kind of reaction, but that would be the last thing that Aaliyah would give her the satisfaction of.
“Aaliyah. You would never guess who I saw in the bathroom.” A chirpy, half-drunk Samantha giggled as she spoke in loud whispers, dropping onto the chair without restraint.
“Let me guess, a halfwit with his pants down his ankles because he thought you were a hired prostitute?” The blonde sneered, folding her hands under her chin.
Is she always this nasty? Damn.
“Deborah. Good to see you. But if you’re here, who’s guarding Hades?” Samantha snapped in reply, not bothering to hide her displeasure.
Deborah rolled her eyes. “Oh Samantha, you still haven’t changed one bit.” she said with an annoyed smirk.
Samantha shrugged. “And I see you’re still a bitch. Old habits die hard I guess.”
Deborah reached to pick one of the desserts on the table. She took a bite of the pastry, grimaced, and tossed it on the table.
“I wonder who hired these idiots to cater for this event. God knows that everything I’ve put in my mouth tonight tasted like trash.” The blonde complained with a frown.
“Maybe you need to cut down on the carbs, sweetie? I know an excellent dietician who would love to work with you.” Samantha mocked, her red lips twisting in an evil smile.
“Oh, please.” Deborah rolled her eyes. “Does it look like I need help? I mean, look at my figure.”
“You look like you have air and water for breakfast. No thanks.” Samantha scoffed, rolling her eyes and picking up a muffin, biting into it and savoring the flavor.
Aaliyah laughed under her breath as she watched Samantha and Deborah throw jabs at each other, the latter looking more upset by the second.
It was no secret how much Samantha despised her brother’s ex-wife. She had been against their marriage before it even happened and was the happiest after it ended.
“You are the breath of fresh air Jason didn’t know he needed.” She would always tell her at the beginning of their relationship, with a grateful smile.
With every word Samantha spoke, Deborah’s frown deepened, until she got up and marched off angrily, her long, blonde hair bouncing behind her.
“Have a good night, sweetie.” Samantha mocked, waving goodbye with a mischievous smirk.
“Samantha.” Aaliyah called, laughing under her breath. “What did you say to her? I zoned out for a minute there.”
“I just reminded her that I knew of her Botox appointment scheduling. There is nothing she hates more than being reminded that she uses Botox.”
“But doesn’t she use Botox?” Aaliyah’s eyebrow went up in confusion.
“That’s the crazy part, she does! I guess she fooled everyone, except me. I mean, Jason still has no idea that most of her treatments were charged to his credit card.”
There was an awkward silence at the mention of Jason’s name, and Aaliyah’s heart began to ache. She looked among the throng of people and sighed. This event was supposed to be for his parents, but he was nowhere to be seen.
“Speaking of Jason, where did my brother go?” Samantha finally asked, joining to look around. “Do you know if he’s aware of the witch’s presence?”
“Unfortunately, he is. He left while we were dancing, after she showed up.”
“Oh no. I’m so sorry. Do you want to go look for him?” Samantha pulled Aaliyah’s hands into her own and searched her eyes for any signs of sadness. She knew how much Deborah affected her brother, and to be reminded of her on what was supposed to be such a happy day, was the worst thing.
“I know where he is.” Aaliyah lied, forcing a smile. “He just needed to catch a break, that’s all.”
“If you say so. He ought to get a restraining order against that horrible woman, you know. I’ve been telling him to since the first time she betrayed him, but he never wants to listen. Always giving one excuse or the other. You know...”
Aaliyah zoned off as she spoke. She sighed deeply and leaned back into her chair, wishing everything would just stop. Deborah was an enigma, she had to give her that. Despite her notoriety, she always seemed to find a way to get back into Jason’s life and have everyone talking about her.
If she weren’t so attractive, maybe it would be easier to ignore all of her shortcomings, but unfortunately, it wasn’t the case.
“Oh my God! They’re playing my favorite song! Do you want to dance?” Samantha yelled loudly over the fast paced music, getting up and tugging her short dress down.
“I don’t know—” Aaliyah started to refuse, shaking her head, but Samantha had already begun pulling her hands.
“Everyone is going to dance, girl. Come on.’
“Samantha, I can’t dance.” She tried to argue, but the taller brunette was not having any of that.
“They’re all drunk, Aaliyah. No one will notice anything if you fell flat on your face.”
The two women laughed as they held onto each other.
“Okay, I’ll dance with you. But these heels are impossibly high. If I fall, you have to carry me home.”
“I promise I will. Now let’s dance.” Samantha cheered, pulling Aaliyah’s along till they got to the middle of the dancefloor.
They arrived back at Aaliyah’s place well past midnight. Upon entering her house, Aaliyah could see tonight’s encounter with Deborah had affected him both mentally and physically. She hated seeing him this way and wished there was something more she could do for him.
“I’m sorry about everything that occurred with Deborah this evening.” Jason said quietly.
She tilted her head to look up at him. “You have nothing to apologize for,” she said sincerely. “I can handle Deborah, alright? So don’t you worry about that. I just need to know that you’re okay? I can see her being there was quite a shock to you.”
He gave her a half smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes. “I’ll be alright.” He leaned down to kiss her goodnight. He turned to leave, but this time, Aaliyah grabbed his hand and drew him back.
Jason blinked down at her in utter confusion.
“Don’t go,” she whispered. The words felt like gauze in her mouth.
For a long moment he said nothing, his expression neutral as Aaliyah held her breath in anticipation. She thought he might pull away and reject her but he didn’t move.
“You want me to stay?” he asked, his voice husky and low.
“Yes. You shouldn’t be alone tonight, let alone be driving home this late.”
His trademark smile reappeared. “Feeling a little bold tonight are we, Ms. Barnette?”
Her lips quirked into a smile at his words. “Yes,” she replied, “but it could possibly be from the several glasses of champagne I’ve had tonight.”
At this, Jason chuckled softly and kissed her again. It was soft and sweet, more of a lingering peck than anything else, but Aaliyah felt like fireworks had just gone off inside her brain.
“God, you’re beautiful,” he breathed against her lips. He brushed his fingertips along her cheekbone and down her jaw. “How’d I get so lucky finding you?”
He kissed her again. He was more aggressive this time, suckling her bottom lip softly. Aaliyah wanted to melt into him as the feeling of security and warmth and pure elation swept over her. She let out a whimper that was absolutely delightful as her hands fisted in the front of his black suit, pulling him closer.
He continued to kiss her, exploring her mouth at his leisure as he smoothly pulled her towards him and maneuvered them around until he was walking her backwards. His dexterous hand managed to find its way under the hem of her dress and slip up her side until it encountered the lacy strap of her panties. His fingers worked their way beneath them and tugged them down, easing the tiny garment down her body even as he was still moving her backwards.
She arched up against him, moaning sensually against his lips as his tongue stroked hers. All the pent up desire that had sizzled between them for so long was released as she welcomed his every advance and made a few of her own. Now was no different as she welcomed his kisses and allowed him to steer her to just where he wanted.
Her panties finally slid past her thighs, dropping to her ankles and becoming entangled. She stumbled and he would have caught her had they not already been at their destination. She fell backwards onto the bed, and before she could chastise him, he was upon her, plucking the scrap of black lace from her ankles and casting it aside.
Jason’s hands fell to her shoulders as he released her lips from their kiss. Blue eyes watched her hungrily as long fingers slid the straps down over her light skin. The thin straps fell down around her elbows, and much to his annoyance, the garment clung to her in a way that the dress stayed in place at her bust even without the support of the straps.
With a soft growl, he moved his hands to her hips, palms smoothing upward and gathering the dress as he went. When he reached the place where her dress ended below the armpits, he gripped the fabric and tugged downward. A primal sound of satisfaction escaped him as twin globes spilled from their silky confines, the black material now bunched around her waist.
Without warning, he dipped his head and captured one hardened nipple between his teeth, tugging it softly before soothing the sensitive bud with quick flicks of his tongue. Aaliyah cried out softly and arched into his touch. Her head tipped back and her steady rhythm finally broke as she shuddered against him.
Jason abandoned her breast just long enough to remove his tie and tug the shirt over his head, tossing it away before latching on to the opposite mound. He smirked against her as he suckled hungrily, biting down with the perfect amount of pressure to pleasure but not to cause pain.
She tugged impatiently at the waistband of his pants, squirming and arching against him as he continued to work over her breasts with his skilled mouth.
“Jason, please,” she panted, her pelvis grinding restlessly against his stomach and feeling his hot length trapped between them. Her small hands smoothed over his bare back, making him growl darkly against her skin.
He pulled away from her breast with a wet pop, his eyes following the creamy mound as it bounced back from the suction of his lips. Slowly, his eyes lifted to meet hers, twin pools of ocean blue that captivated her.
In an instant, Jason’s pants were gone, leaving him fully naked and Aaliyah with her dress in disarray, and heels still somehow intact. He settled between slender legs, his hand wrapping around his length to guide it to her opening. She whimpered as she felt the blunt head push against drenched lips, and for one tantalizing moment, she thought he was going to stop there, teasing her by making her wait for what she so desperately needed. But then he was pushing forward, entering her in one smooth, slow stroke, filling her up until she felt stretched and complete.
“Ahh!” she moaned, instinctively arching up against him as small hands struggled to grip his shoulders. She wrapped her legs around him, ankles crossing at the base of his spine, and Jason couldn’t help but groan when the position forced her body to squeeze him a little tighter.
Jason buried his face in the crook of her neck, inhaling the sweetness of her skin as his hips glided forward and back against her thighs, his movements strong and sure and powerful as he took them both to the heights of pleasure. Aaliyah trembled beneath him, too enraptured to be embarrassed about how quickly she was coming undone for him.
Sensing he had her precariously on the brink, Jason let his tongue trace her jaw line until he came to her ear. He gave the lobe a soft bite before whispering a simple command in her ear. “Come for me.”
The sensual rasp of his voice ensured she could no longer deny him. Her body went rigid for a short moment before she trembled violently in his arms, consumed by the inevitable supernova of heat and light. She heard him groan as she clamped down around him, legs squeezing and spasming around his waist, but she couldn’t seem to open her eyes and watch him. The fragments of brilliant color behind her eyelids had robbed her of command over her own body.
He moaned again, his voice desperate, helpless. It was a beautiful sound and Aaliyah clung to him tighter as she felt hard muscles tremble beneath gloved fingertips. The steady rhythm of his thrusting hips faltered. His body tensed, and the familiar sensation of his warm seed flooding her womb accompanied his soft cry of surrender.
He collapsed on top of her, but the weight of his body was familiar and soothing as they both floated down from their high, sweat slicked bodies quivering among tangled sheets. Gradually, Aaliyah was able to open sleepy eyes. Jason’s blond head of hair came into view as it was still tucked into the crook of her shoulder.
She remained comfortably pinned beneath him, letting her hands glide over him soothingly. She swept her palms over the broadness of his back before caressing upward to massage his neck and ran her fingers along his scalp. He gave a contented sigh, practically melting into her as she pampered him in the afterglow.
“You ok?” he rasped against her neck before pressing his lips to her skin in a lazy kiss.
“Mmm hmm,” Aaliyah murmured dreamily, sounding wholly and completely satisfied. “It’s just been a while since I had one of those.”
Jason chuckled as he held her against him and rolled her to the side so that she was spooned safely against his front.
Aaliyah sighed in contentment, loving the feel of his hard body cradling hers. The dull pang of loneliness that had been haunting her lately had all but disappeared. She felt that she was wanted again, part of someone else’s life again. Jason made her feel needed, like she mattered and she could only hope she was making him feel the same way. The ache of loss was something they could numb when they were together and Aaliyah found she hadn’t felt this happy in a long time.