One Night With You

     "Desiree," Jake said, his eyes never leaving her face. He set the script aside, and it slid off the sofa to the floor. "Come here." He patted the space next to him.
     Desi hesitated, traitorous desire and common sense at war in her slender body. It would be so easy to forget these past few months, to forget his harsh words and unfair accusations, to just sink down beside him and lose herself in the smoldering depths of his dark eyes.
     So easy.
     But remember what happened the last time you blindly followed your instincts, she warned herself. There's a four-month-old baby asleep in the other room if you need a reminder. A baby who was the direct result of the last time you allowed yourself to melt in this man's arms.
     Much as she loved her daughter, much as she could not now imagine a life without her tiny presence, she was not ready for another such experience. And besides, she had more pride than that, she told herself fiercely. More pride and more self-respect. She would not be a slave to her desire for him. Nothing could come of it, nothing except more pain.
     "Desiree," he said again, and there was warm entreaty buried in the deep seductive tones of his voice. He reached out and lightly grasped one end of the sash that belted her kimono, pulling her slowly, inexorably, toward him.
     She clutched at the sash, resisting him. "This isn’t a good idea, Jake."
     "Desiree," he repeated her name again, as if he knew how it affected her. How it set her insides to burning just to hear it on his lips. He continued to pull on her sash as he spoke, and she stumbled forward, sinking down onto the sofa beside him.
     "No, Jake. I mean it. Don't kiss me." Her hands came up to his chest as if to hold him off. But it was only a halfhearted effort at best. She wanted him so much.
     "Don't you want me to kiss you, Desiree?" he whispered seductively, his hands on her upper arms. "I want to kiss you," he said. "I'm dying to kiss you again. To make love to—"
     Desi pressed her fingertips to his lips to stop him from saying more. If he said any more, she would melt. "This won’t solve anything," she said, trying, just once more, to reason with him—and herself—as his arms came around her. "We shouldn't."
     "I know." He buried his face in the curve of her neck. "Oh God, I know." His voice sounded ragged and rough but his arms were gentle around her. "But I can't seem to stop myself." He murmured the words into the curls at her ear. "I just want to hold you," he whispered. "It feels so good just to hold you."
     Desi sighed and let him hold her, even though she knew it was an insane thing to do. It would solve nothing, change nothing. But it felt so right, so good to feel her body surge joyously in response to the experienced touch of his hard lips and gentle hands. It had been so long, was her last rational thought, so long since she had felt his fevered, fever-inducing touch.
     Just this once more, she promised herself as he pressed her back again the sofa. Just once more.
     It was suddenly as if the past eleven and a half months had never happened. As if they were still two fairytale lovers locked in that magical hotel room, hiding from the world and from reality, free to touch and taste and explore, peeling back clothes and barriers until, finally, inexorably, they were locked together in frenzied ecstasy, skin-to-skin, straining toward a fulfillment that had been too long denied.
     She enfolded him in her arms as the impassioned frenzy peaked and passed, holding his sweat-sheened body to the comfort of her breasts while she was cradled in the tender haven of his arms.
     "Jake," she murmured softly after a few minutes, planting moist, tender little kisses along his neck and jaw. "Oh, Jake... It was.... You were...."
     "We were great," he said, his voice still muffled in her cloud of hair. He raised himself up onto his elbows to look down into her face. "We've always been great together. Right from the first time," he said, and his voice was more normal now, no longer husky with passion or suppressed desire. "That's not something that happens too often." He brushed a few stray strands of coppery hair away from her face, and Desi had the distinct impression that he was finding his next words hard to say. "I didn't mean for this to happen when I came here tonight."
     "No?" she murmured, encouraging him to continue.
     "I'm not saying that I'm not glad it happened, because I am. But I was just going to talk to you tonight. To apologize to you for what I said about Eldin. I was wrong about that." His gaze slid away from her. "And even if I wasn't. Well, it was none of my business anyway." His hand clenched in her hair. "I have no hold over you."
     None that you know of, she thought, but said nothing.
     He untangled his hand from her hair and pushed himself up to sit on the edge of the sofa. "Anyway, what I'm trying to say is even though I didn't intend for this to happen, now that it has we ought to take advantage of it." He reached down to the floor for his jeans as he spoke.
     Desi lay where she was, staring up at him. "Take advantage of what?" she said in a small careful voice.
     "This. Us." He stood, pulling up his jeans as he rose. "There's an incredibly intense sexual energy between us that's very rare." He bent down to retrieve his shirt from under the coffee table. "Only one couple in a hundred—hell, one in five hundred, maybe—can generate the kind of reaction we do together." He flashed a quick grin, charming, boyish and comically lewd, all at once. "Be a crime to waste it."
     Desi found that she couldn't return that grin. She didn't even try. She sat up, drawing on her rumpled silk kimono, tying the sash securely around her slender waist. She felt suddenly hollow inside, used and cheap.
     It was obvious now that this encounter—soul shattering to her—was no more than a roll in the hay for him. An exciting, intense roll in the hay, to be sure, but no more than that.
      Just like the last time.
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