One week later…
Over the next week, Leslie withdrew from the world again, similar to the time following Charlie’s death. She ignored her phone calls. She went to work and home, nothing more. She cried at night, lying in her darkened bedroom, wishing for the warmth of Jake. She missed hearing his laugh, his deep masculine voice. The way his hands caressed her, yet never forced more than she was willing to give.
In the months she spent with Jake, she distanced herself from the loss and pain of Charlie. She realized that, with Jake, she could live in the now and not feel disassociated from herself. She missed him and decided today would be the day to fight for him. He was hers and she would not let him go. Pride and fear kept her away this long. Her heart finally stepped in, refusing to go another day suffering.
She parked her car on the curb across from Jake’s house, and, to her utter disbelief, a woman walked out the front door and strode to Jake’s car. Leslie’s breath caught in her lungs. Her stomach twisted into a tight knot. She almost laughed at the thought of the anger boiling inside her rather than hurt. Her hands fisted in her lap. This woman had no business at Jake’s, and damned if she was going to sit in her car and do nothing.
Leslie did laugh then. God, what was she thinking? Seeing a woman at Jake’s had her whipping out the boxing gloves before she even gained an ounce of knowledge about who this lady was. There could very well be a good explanation for her presence. She only hoped it wasn’t that this lady was a rebound fling. That would destroy her.
A movement at the door caught her attention and she darted her eyes back to it. Jake stood there, hands at his sides, unmoving, staring at her.
She lost her breath. The sight of him sent her heart palpitating. Oh, yes, she missed him. They passed hesitant smiles to one another, until the woman walked to Jake’s side and glanced in the direction his gaze. She cocked her head to the side then turned to Jake. She said something to him, he nodded, and she stepped back in the house. Jake did not follow, for which Leslie was grateful.
He took a hesitant step toward her.
Pulling the keys from the ignition, Leslie slid from her car. Her feet remained planted to the ground, her fear creeping back inside. Her fingers fidgeted with her keys, waiting for any sign that he welcomed her. He smiled, and a stray tear trickled down her cheek.
Leslie crossed the distance until a few feet separated them.
“Hey,” she said.
“Hey, to you.”
“I, umm, didn’t know you had company,” she waved her hand holding her keys toward the house, “or I wouldn’t have stopped by.”
“Of course you wouldn’t know.”
She flinched at the hint of derision in his words.
“I’m sorry.” He scrubbed his hand down his face.
“It’s okay, I deserve it anyway,” she said with indifference.
“What are you doing here?”
“I wanted to…I…” Her eyes kept straying to the house, unable to say what she wanted. The fear of learning who that lady was constricted her throat.
“Yeah,” she replied, entranced by the look of longing in his brown eyes.
“It’s still just you.”
“Oh,” she managed to muster past the trembling of her chin.
He smiled and brought his hand up to her cheek. She hadn’t realized he moved closer to her. “Remember I told you about Shawn and Amy?” She nodded. “That was Amy.”
Relief cascaded through her and she laughed. “That’s good to know.”
“Leslie, why are you here?”
She looked down at her feet. “After you left that day, I knew you were right. I was afraid.” She brought her eyes to his and rested her hand on his stomach. “I do see you, Jake. And I need you, too. I went outside to stop you, but I was too late. You’d already driven away. God, Jake, these past days I thought I died inside all over again, but then I realized you didn’t die like Charlie did. I still had you. And I’m sorry I let you walk out. I want you, Jake.”
“Why?” The simple word rasped passed his lips.
“Because,” she paused and cleared her throat, “because I love you.” She looked deep into his warm brown eyes. Her hands tingled to touch more of him, but she refrained.
Jake cupped her cheeks and she sighed at the contact. “Marry me, Leslie.” He lowered his head and kissed her. The soft, warm press of his lips sent electrical sparks through her. His tongue coaxed her to open her mouth to him.
Leslie pulled back at the salty taste of tears filling her mouth. She let loose a laugh, one filled with all the happiness she could ever hope to have.
“Yes, Jake, yes, I will marry you. I love you.”
Jake swept her up, and she wrapped her arms and legs around his strong body. “I love you, Leslie,” he said near her ear.
Placing her back on her feet, he grabbed her hand. “Come on, I want you to meet my friends. They have been dying to meet the woman I can’t stop talking about.”
Later that night, after she’d spent the evening with Jake and his two friends and their new baby, Leslie found herself lying naked and face to face with him in his bed. Jake’s fingers smoothed down her cheek. She shivered and her belly did that funny little dip when he touched her. Her body grew hungry for him as it had in the past, but this time she refused to tamp it down.
“Don’t be afraid, Leslie.”
She smiled, covering his hand with her own. “No, Jake, I’m not afraid, just nervous. It’s been awhile.”
He leaned toward her and whispered, “I love you,” against her lips and proceeded to show her with his hands, his mouth, his body, just how much he loved her.
With slow, unhurried movements, Jake trailed his fingertips down her side, lightly resting his hand on her heated flesh, her belly quivered at the intimate contact.
“This is really happening, isn’t it?”
“You’re damn right, and don’t think you’re talking us out of it this time, either.” Jake teased, but Leslie knew he was far from joking. No longer could she deny herself, let alone him, the pleasures her body craved.
“No, Jake, no more hiding. No more fears. I want you.”
Jake moved then and settled his body over hers. Leslie spread her legs to accommodate his size. His thick erection rested on her belly. In unison they undulated, moaning at the pleasure of their bodies pressed so intimately together.
Jake kissed her with so much passion. She felt tears gather in her eyes. The storm of desire that formed between them would not pass until satisfaction was had by both.
Resting on his forearms, hovering above her, the head of his cock found her opening without any aid. It was just there, right where it should be, further proof that they fit together perfectly. She knew she was wet and ready for him, knew that all she had to do was lift her hips and he would fill her.
They gazed into each others eyes for a brief moment before Jake eased into her, simultaneously claiming her mouth, swallowing her whimpers of ecstasy. Oh god, he felt divine.
Together they moved, not just their bodies, but the earth. Everything shattered around Leslie as her climax rushed through her. Her cries of joy erupted past her parted lips. Jake stopped moving. He simply stared into her eyes.
“Jake?” Leslie’s hand cupped his cheek. “Jake, are you okay?”
“If I were standing, you would have brought me to my knees. To be apart of your pleasure, to experience that with you, that was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.”
Leslie’s chin quivered as pure happiness overwhelmed her. Jake gently kissed her trembling chin and as he did, so too did he begin to move inside her. With a slow and steady rhythm, he thrust his hips, her body growing once more primed for completion. Yet this time when she tumbled, Jake was right there tumbling with her; her climax the key to unlocking his own.
“I’m right here with you, baby,” he murmured in her ear. “Always.”
“Always,” Leslie repeated breathlessly. A tear slid down her cheek and she couldn’t help but send out a prayer of gratitude for being given this second chance.
Second Chances © 2008 Amanda Cummings
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission.
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