The One Real Thing Page 108

Shock froze me to the spot. “You do?”

“When you shut her out, she came to me. I’ve been keeping her up to date on your life over the years. I wasn’t trying to betray you, Jess. I was just . . . She loves you. She misses you.”

Tears clogged my throat. “My God,” I whispered. “I’ve been such a fool.”

“You were scared. She understands that.”

“Will you . . . will you text me her number?”

“Right away.”

And he did. But I didn’t call Theresa immediately. I had to build myself up to that. So I spent the rest of the day unpacking, then I dropped by Paul Duggan’s office to submit my résumé, and now I was back, hanging around Cooper’s. Well, technically, I was hanging around my and Cooper’s place.

Cooper and Jessica’s place.

It had a great ring to it.

Lying on the couch, reading a book, trying to stay awake until Cooper came home from closing the bar, I thought about how much more amplified my feelings for him were now that he knew everything.

I’d been in love with him before.

But now what I felt was so powerful it was a little overwhelming. There had not been a second of the day that I hadn’t thought about him, and those thoughts put good butterflies in my belly.

At the sound of a car pulling into the drive I sat up, waiting in surprise as I heard the heavy footfalls that belonged to a tall, rugged, flannel-wearing, blue-eyed guy.

I grinned as Cooper stepped inside the house.

He stopped at the sight of me, seeming just to drink me in.

“You’re home early,” I said softly.

Cooper walked toward me and I recognized the heat in his eyes. “Got Riley to cover again.”

I felt that familiar luscious flip in my lower belly and the answering tingle between my legs. “Needed something, did you?” I whispered.

His answer was to take hold of my hand and pull me up off the couch. And then he was leading me by the hand, hurrying us up the stairs and into his bedroom. He spun around and I couldn’t even speak, I was that lust dazed already, as he stripped off his clothes and then came at me. I was naked before I could even manage to whisper his name.

And then Cooper shoved me gently on the bed and the breath whooshed right out of me as I lay back in anticipation, watching him as he got on the bed and settled his knees on either side of my waist. I looked up at him and in that moment he was my entire world.

The heat in Cooper’s eyes flared to tenderness as if I’d said what I was thinking out loud. Hands braced on the mattress on either side of my head, he bent to graze his lips over mine. Soft, teasing kisses that grew deeper, longer, sweeter. Kisses that dissolved everything else around us, until we were just lips and breath and love. And that love sparked what it always had between us:


I gripped Cooper’s waist as the kiss turned rough, breathless, desperate; I sighed into his mouth with pleasure as his erection stroked my belly. His lips drifted from my mouth and he whispered my name before lacing kisses across my chin, down my jaw. He kissed his way down my body, his mouth hot, hungry, as though it had been more than a week for us. It was as though it had been years.

I held on, caressing his muscled back, sliding my hands up into the silk of his hair.

When that hot mouth of his closed around my left nipple, my hips undulated against him. “Oh, God.” My thighs gripped him as I urged him closer, my back arching for more as he licked me and then sucked hard, all the while pinching my other nipple between his forefinger and thumb.

“Cooper,” I moaned in delight.

He lifted his head, watching my reaction as he moved against my hips, his dick sliding against my sex, shooting off sparks of sensation. I whimpered. “Cooper,” I begged.

He groaned and dipped his head again, licking my other nipple now, knowing how sensitive I was there. As he continued to suck and tease and torment me, I felt the coil of tension tighten in my lower belly.

I was panting hard, my fingers tugging his hair and making him grunt with desire, and the noise vibrated against my areola. “I want you inside me,” I gasped.

But Cooper wasn’t done making love to every inch of me. He moved down my body, his lips trailing wet kisses over my stomach. I shivered at the touch of his tongue across my belly and melted, knowing his destination was my clit.

He kissed me there. Licked me. Sucked me. Until I was shivering and trembling, my orgasm building to its height as he lapped at me.

I lost my breath as the tension tightened inside of me, my hips stilling against his mouth momentarily as I balanced on the precipice of explosion.

And then one more lick.

Over the edge I went as my climax blasted through me. I pulsed and pulsed against his mouth until I was limp with satisfaction.


The word just didn’t suffice for how much pleasure this man could give me.

Cooper moved back up my body and when I opened my eyes I stared straight into his. He had his hands braced on either side of my head, his lower body pressed to mine.

I melted all over again at the love in his eyes. Somehow I found the strength to draw him to me and I kissed him, still hungry, as I tasted myself on his tongue.

I broke the kiss before he did, eager to love him back just as much. Gently, I pressed my fingers against his shoulder and pushed him onto his back. Lust flared in Cooper’s eyes as he lay back on the bed for me, his cock straining toward his belly. I needed it inside me. But I fought for patience, wanting to enjoy him.

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