What the hell is he doing here? Vanessa wondered as she watched Terrell walk into the party with some hooker, no doubt, on his arm. This was supposed to be a classy business event not a strip club. Guess that’s what she deserved for getting involved with a co-worker. Something she would never do again. Not if she could help it. She rolled her eyes and turned back to the bar to get a glass of wine. She desperately needed something to calm her nerves and to keep her from thinking about Terrell’s betrayal. She would rather not dwell on it because it made her vulnerable. Something she could not afford to be..especially tonight in front of everyone. If only he would just leave, then she could think straight. She signaled the bartender.
“Can I get a glass of red wine, please?”
“Better make that two.” A voice rumbled behind her.
Vanessa’s body stiffened. She closed her eyes against the emotions coursing through her body. Hurt, anguish, rage..all bottled up and ready to be unleashed. Why couldn’t he just leave her alone and go back to his sleazy ass hooker? The last thing she wanted to do was deal with him right now. She had managed to avoid him for the last six months and now here they were. Things couldn’t get any worse. Could they?
What is she doing here? She’s been gone for months and now she’s suddenly back? God, he had missed her terribly. He saw the way she gripped the counter that she wasn’t happy to see him. “Vanessa, it’s lovely to you see as always. It’s been…a while.”
She turned and smiled so wide, it hurt her jaws. “Terrell, how are you?” Like she gave a damn. Okay, she did a little but she would not give him the satisfaction of knowing that.
He arched a brow. “You actually care? That’s a first.”
She smiled even wider. “If you don’t want my size eight heel to connect to your balls, I suggest you retract that statement.” She threatened. God, she couldn’t believe that she was still angry at him for humiliating her. She remembered the exact day and time she’d caught him in the copy room, of all places, with her now ex best friend..Damn. Don’t think about it,Vanessa.
Well, at least she would show some emotion, he thought. She had basically cut him off after what happened. She wouldn’t take his calls, texts, or emails. He’d started to believe he would never see her again..That he wouldn’t get a second chance..But now…He changed his stance. “I see you’re still angry.”
She smirked. “How considerate of you to see that. Now if you’ll excuse me…” She turned back to the bar to retrieve the wine the bartender had left at some point. She took a large gulp.
He let out a dry chuckle. “It’s ironic how you can be such a bitch after everything we shared together. You just up and leave without so much as a word as to where you were going. For months, I have wondered where you were, who you were with, and if you were okay. Then I see you for the first time and all you can say is ‘how are you?’ What kind of shit is that?” His voice rose. This is not how wanted the conversation to go but dammit, she had a subtle way of pushing his buttons.
She looked around and realized people were watching. “Will you please keep your voice down? I don’t want to be embarrassed…again.”
“Fine. Let’s go out onto the patio. Unless you want this to become public knowledge?” He hated to go there but what else could he do?
She frowned. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”
He got closer to her until her intoxicating scent teased his nostrils. “Oh, yes you will. Now move your ass, Nessa.” He growled
She glared at him.”Fine.” She placed her drink on the bar and grudgingly walked out the door to the patio. The nerve of him ordering her around.
He walked out onto the patio and took a deep breath. For a moment, he allowed himself to drink in the sight of her. She looked so tempting in her mocha strapless gown that stopped just beneath her knee. The color suited her caramel skin. Her feet looked so delicate in her stilettos. He longed to take her hair down out of that chignon on the top of her head, but decided against it given the circumstances. Immediately, the anger was gone from his body. All he wanted was the woman he loved back. He knew he shouldn’t have but he went to her and slid his arms around her tiny waist that he vividly remembered kissing during their lovemaking. “Remember when we use to do this on our patio?” He whispered in her ear.
She sighed heavily. She wished he wouldn’t do this. “That’s the past.” A past she remembered all too well.
“To you maybe. But not to me. I remember how soft you felt in my arms. How you would squirm to get closer to me…”
She nearly whimpered at the picture he was creating. No, no, no. She would not let her guard down. “What’s the point of rehashing this? It’s over between us.”
Did she really believe that? He wondered. “We never agreed to break up. You just left me. Nessa, why didn’t you give me a chance to explain. Would you have believed me if I told you Theresa had shown interest in me since the day I met you?”
She shook her head. “Just stop. It doesn’t matter.”
He tightened his arms around her waist. “It does matter. I didn’t touch her. We were making plans for the future. What would have been the point of me doing that, if I were after someone else?”
Tears pooled in her eyes. She’d thought about that for months. It made sense. No! You can’t go back, she said to herself. She moved out of his embrace. “I can’t do this.”
He turned her to him and gently cradled her chin. “Nessa, I love you. Dammit, why don’t you believe in us? Believe in me?” He would admit to himself that he was hurt by her distrust. She had damn near broken his heart and up until now, he hadn’t been sure if it would ever mend.
“If you love me, then why did you come in with that woman? Do you think I’m stupid,Terrell?”
“I didn’t come here with anyone. She walked in the same time I did. Did you see my arm around her? Did you see me kiss her?”
Now that she thought about it. No, she hadn’t. Had she pegged him wrong? When they were together, they were extremely happy and she hadn’t suspected anything remotely close to infidelity with him and anyone else. In fact, they had been discussing marriage at one point. So why had she believed that he would hurt her like that? She wondered. She looked him in the eye and noticed he was inching closer to her lips. Oh hell. If he kissed her, she wouldn’t be able to resist him. Terrell had a way of kissing her that made her melt. One kiss wouldn’t be enough. His lips touched hers softly, as if he expected her to fight him off. When she didn’t, he kissed her again and she sighed when his tongue flicked over the seam of her lips. She opened for him and he slowly slid his tongue in her mouth. She whimpered when their tongues met. Leaning into him more, she wrapped her arms around his neck. He slid his tongue across her full bottom lip and her knees buckled fast. Damn him and his delectable mouth. She moaned and broke the kiss when he rocked his hips against hers.
He slid his thumbs down her cheeks. “What’s wrong?”
She shook her head. “I..We can’t do that anymore. I can’t think when you kiss me. Things aren’t resolved between us and I’m not sure I want them to be.”
When would she just admit that she wanted to be with him? He stepped back. “Vanessa, you might be able to fool yourself but you can’t fool me. You love me just as much as I love you. You want me just as much as I want you. I will give you some space but remember this. I won’t wait forever, so make up your mind. Either you are in or you’re out.” With that, he walked away. He really hoped this wouldn’t be the last time he saw her.