“Why are you nervous?” I ask, coming to a stop a couple of feet away. I want to close the remaining space between us and kiss away the apprehension from her face.
“I’m not,” she denies.
I smirk and let my eyes fall to her hands for a moment before lifting them back to hers. “You forget. I know all your nervous tics, Ellie.”
Her hands stop fiddling with each other, and she instead stuffs them in her pockets. Her shoulders slump.
“I just don’t know what to do here.”
I frown. “Elaborate.”
She looks around the room, then back at me. “This is your home, Judge. I’m only here because of Maisy. I don’t really know what to do in this situation.”
That makes me scowl, irritation forming in my stomach. “This is your home for as long as you’re here. Treat it as such. Do whatever in the hell you want to do.”
I take a step closer when she nods. Being only a foot away, I can see the small specks of black in her silver eyes. I can also smell her natural floral scent and it drives me crazy. My dick takes notice, recognizing the scent from years before, and my blood heats.
Her eyes widen when I reach up and lay my hand against her neck, feeling the rapid beat of her pulse beneath my palm. She closes her eyes, and I see the war raging in her mind.
Push me away or pull me closer.
I want to demand she pull me closer. I swipe my thumb along the underside of her jaw, running across the small scattering of scars, reminding me I never asked her about them.
That needs to be rectified soon. I’ve already learned a lot from JW’s report, and what she’ll tell me is going to hurt like a bitch, but I need to hear it from her. The pain will be my penance for allowing her to be hurt.
She opens her eyes, and I know she’s going to retreat. I grip the back of her neck and pull her until only a few short inches separate her lips from mine.
“Don’t fight it,” I whisper.
Her eyes glisten, and the sight tears a hole in my heart.
“This is going to be difficult enough,” she whispers back, her voice raspy. “Don’t make it harder by adding this to the mix.”
I lean down until I feel her uneven breath against my lips. She looks at me with dilated eyes. “It doesn’t have to be hard if we don’t want it to be. It could be as easy as breathing. Like it used to be.”
I close the gap between us, but instead of kissing her like I’m dying to, I run my nose along the column of her neck. My lips graze against her earlobe.
“I know you still feel it, Ellie. I know I still make your heart pound and your breath hitch. I bet you have butterflies in your belly and shivers racing down your back. You feel the chemistry between us. The same electric pull that was there all those years ago. The same desire that swept through us anytime we were together. Even when we weren’t, all it took was one thought and it consumed us.” I trail a path of kisses up to her jaw and across her cheek. At the corner of her mouth, her lips parted as she pants, I pull back just far enough so I can see her gorgeous eyes. “I know you still feel it, because I still feel it too. It’s not going anywhere, no matter how much you fight it.”