His eyes narrowed as he watched me pull down the zipper. “Stop.”
I dropped my hands to my sides. “Elijah…” I began, keeping my voice soft and even. “You need to be in control of something right now. Let that something be me. I want you to. Please.” Those words used to be so hard for me to say. Now they felt at home on my tongue. He stared into my eyes for a long time. Tears were tracking down his blotched cheeks. All of me grew still and quiet. My body wanted, but I quieted that, too. This wasn’t about me.
Finally, he stood. His eyes met mine before he stepped around me and went for the door. The hinges creaked as he closed it and the lock slid home with a heavy click.
I didn’t dare turn around.
He stood so quietly for so long that I was sure he’d left the room. But I heard the lock, didn’t I? He couldn’t lock it from the outside and why would he if he could?
And just when my thoughts were about to skitter off into that dark place I thought I’d left behind when my plane landed in Jamaica, his hand slipped into the open zipper. Goosebumps rushed over the surface of my skin. His touch…it was all I’d dreamed of, all I had wanted since he took it away. His other hand pulled my hips into his then surged up to just hug me into his chest. I sagged in his arms. He rooted through the thickness of my hair to find my skin and when his lips pressed to that place at the base of my neck, something in me shifted. That thing that had been rudderless, drifting, and just fucking lost since the moment he walked out of my apartment last fall; that thing settled, anchored, found purchase in his arms.