“Red, come home with me tonight?” Caleb asked. “I miss waking up with you close to me.”
I was no match against the power of his adorable dimples and insistent green eyes.
So I told Caleb to wait for me in his car while I packed a change of clothes and some books for my class tomorrow. I moved as fast as I could, taking care to be quiet so as not to wake Kara, and stepped outside.
“Hi,” he whispered.
The sight of Caleb leaning against the car caught my breath. The light from the lamppost illuminated him: the way his eyes flickered with pleasure at the sight of me, the way his lips stretched into a gorgeous smile, and the way his long and lean body moved as he grabbed me by the waist and kissed me long and hard.
It didn’t matter if everyone was against us. Caleb mattered. He was all that mattered.
“Hi, yourself,” I said breathlessly, my lips tingling from his kiss.
“Ready?” He released me, opening the car door for me like the gentleman that he was.
I watched as he walked around the car, admiring the confident way he moved, the way his eyes flicked to me through the windshield. He opened the door and slid into the car, a huge grin on his face as he turned to face me.
“Hi again, my Red.”
We just sat there for a moment, looking at each other with goofy smiles on our faces.
“Finally,” he murmured.
I knew what he meant. We were together—finally. We had just gotten back together, and everything around us seemed to be trying to pull us apart. But when Caleb was beside me and his eyes looked at me like I was his everything, nothing else mattered. It was overwhelming to feel this way about someone. But it felt really good.
He reached for my hand and intertwined our fingers before he stepped on the gas. The roads were empty as we drove to Caleb’s apartment. I pushed the button to open the window, closing my eyes as the air teased my hair and skin.
Caleb parked his car in the underground garage of his building, got out, and opened my door for me. He reached for my bag before he grabbed my hand and led me to the elevators.
When we entered his apartment, his hand tightened around mine, and I looked up at him.
He was grinning.
I knew how he felt. I was home. We were home.
“I’m just going to get something to drink.”
“Okay. I’ll meet you in the kitchen—be right back.”
I opened the fridge, looking for something to nibble on. Had he eaten yet? Maybe I could prepare something for him.
Suddenly, I heard “Storm” by Lifehouse playing through the speakers. Caleb only played Lifehouse when he was in a sentimental mood. I smiled and hummed to myself.
Not even a minute had passed when I heard him enter the
kitchen. I was bent over, looking in the fridge, searching for the eggs and ham so I could make him an omelet.
“I guess you haven’t gotten groceries yet,” I commented absently, frowning at the contents—or lack thereof—in the fridge.
“Caleb?” I asked when there was no response.
“Yeah?” The huskiness in his tone made me straighten and turn to look at him.
My breath caught. Caleb was leaning against the kitchen island, facing me, his hands resting on the counter, watching me with hooded eyes. That lingering, intense, and measuring look caused my pulse to quicken.
He raised an eyebrow.
“Um…” I had to search my brain for my thoughts. Oh right. Dinner. “Did you have dinner yet?”
His pink tongue darted out to lick his bottom lip. “Yeah.” He paused, then said, “But I feel like eating.”
I held on to the fridge door for support. My knees suddenly felt weak. “I-I’ll make you something to eat. What would you like?”
He shook his head no, but his eyes told me everything he wanted. And then…
“I would really like,” he said, his voice low, “to eat you.”
My eyes widened, breaths coming in pants as my heart thudded against my chest. He made a mesmerizing picture, standing there watching my every move.
“Did you wear those for me?” he asked.
His eyes swept from my face down to my legs, lingering there before moving back up to meet my gaze. “Sexy.”
Oh. The shorts.
“Come here, Red.”
Mesmerized, I walked to him, letting the fridge door slap shut behind me. I stopped a few feet away, close but not too close.
He angled his head as he watched me. Then he grinned.
There was something powerfully irresistible about him when he was in this mood. Playful, teasing…in charge.
As if he wouldn’t take no for an answer.
As if he would just take what he wanted, whenever he wanted. It was magnetic.
I felt the charge in the air, felt something momentous was about to happen. My steps faltered, and I averted my gaze. I knew if I took another step toward him now, it would change everything.
A million thoughts crossed my mind. Doubts, insecurities, hesitations, paralyzing me for a moment.
I looked up. The look of love and tenderness in his green eyes was all the answer I needed. This was Caleb. The boy who had taught me how to trust.
The same boy—the only one—who had shown me what it was to desire. To want to be touched, be kissed, be savored, and to make him feel the same.
The same boy who had shown me how it was to love and be loved in return.
It was like having a secret I’d held in my fist for so long, but now I wanted to let it go. I wanted to reveal it, but only to him. Only to him.
All of the things that I had gone through—all the suffering and heartbreak—had led me here. To him. To my Caleb. To this moment.
I stepped forward.