This Man Confessed (Page 133)

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I know my suspicious glower has just transformed into guilt, and it’s me evading his eyes now.

‘You’ve not told him, have you?’ he asks with an edge of anger in his tone. ‘Ava?’

‘He wasn’t in the office,’ I blurt quickly. ‘But he will be tomorrow, so I’ll speak to him then.

‘Too late, lady. You’ve had your chance. Again and again and again.’

‘That’s not fair.’ I argue. ‘I told Mikael I won’t be working with him anymore, so you can’t say I’m not trying to resolve this.’ I know immediately that I’ve made a grave mistake when his shoulders stiffen and his greens widen.

‘You did what?’

‘I don’t think he drugged me, Jesse. He said he wanted me, so why would he hurt me?’ I need to shut the hell up. Those words have just made his mouth drop open.

‘What the f**king hell are you doing talking to him?’ He rests his fist on the desk, like a silver backed gorilla getting ready to charge. It makes me sit back in my chair.

‘He knows that you’ve…’ I start a frantic tap on my front tooth with my nail, ‘entertained other women while we’ve been together.’ I hold my breath, knowing that I’m increasing the building fury.

‘We agreed never to speak of that again.’ He virtually grinds the words out, his jaw tense to snapping point.

‘It’s hard when people keep reminding me of it.’ I’m leaning forward now, finding a momentary spurt of braveness. I will not be made to feel like a pain in the arse on this. ‘How does he know?’ I figure the answer out before he can deny even knowing it. The chewed lip and quite a few other things, mental comprehension, mainly, bring me to a fast conclusion. Mikael’s ex-wife. ‘She was one of them, wasn’t she?’ I ask. His eyes close, and I stand up and lean across the desk, mirroring his threatening stance. He doesn’t need to reply. ‘You said months. You said you hadn’t been with her for months, that you didn’t understand why she was suddenly sniffing around. You’ve slept with her more than once, too!’

‘I didn’t want to upset you.’ He’s still hostile. It’s a blatant defence mechanism.

‘Tell me. Did you call them up and have them make a queue outside your door?’

‘No, they hear that I’m on the drink and they’re like flies around s**t.’

‘I hate you.’

‘No you don’t.’

‘Yes, I do.’

‘Don’t make my heart crack, Ava. Does it matter who it was?’

‘No, what matters is that you lied to me.’

‘I was protecting you.’

‘And it’s hilarious that every single time you do that, you end up hurting me.’

‘I know.’

‘So, have you learnt?’

‘Every f**king day.’ He grabs my jaw aggressively, but says softly, ‘I’m sorry.’

‘Good.’ I nod decisively in his hold, suddenly registering that our faces are now touching as we both lean in over his desk. We’re burning each other with angry gazes, mixed with a ton of lust. ‘How did this happen?’ I ask the question out loud when I was only intending on thinking it.

‘Because, my beautiful girl, we’re meant to be stuck together. Constant contact. Kiss me.’

‘I’ve accepted that you’re an arsehole, so there’s no need to try and get me submitting to your touch now.’ I will, though.

‘I missed you, baby.’

I climb up onto his desk and inch my way closer on my knees until I’m wrapped around him and my lips are all over his. Stupidly, I’ve missed him, too. One working day after Paradise and I’m feeling hard done by—short changed. I’ve been suffering Jesse withdrawal and now I’ve finally gotten my next hit. ‘I wish you were pure and untouched.’ I mumble, trailing my lips over every inch of his face. Of everything, this I wish the most—that no one came before me, or even during me. I’ve forgiven him, I truly have, but I’m struggling to forget.

‘I am.’ He sits down in his leather chair and jostles with me until I give in and let him sit me on his lap. ‘The most important part of me is untouched.’ He takes my hand and twirls my rings for a few thoughtful moments before flattening my palm and placing it on his chest. ‘Or it was until you stepped into my office. Now it’s being stamped all over and is exploding with pure love for you.’

I smile. ‘I like feeling it beating.’ I move in, opening his jacket up and lowering my ear to his shirt. ‘I like hearing it, too.’ It’s one of the most comforting things in the world.

His arms wrap around me and pull me in closer. ‘How was your day?’

‘Crap. I want Paradise.’

He laughs and kisses the top of my head. ‘I’m in Paradise whenever I’m with you. I don’t need a villa.’

‘You were more relaxed in Paradise.’ I say it how it is. I know being back in London will slowly draw my neurotic control freak back to the surface.

‘I’m relaxed now.’

‘Yes, that is because I’m sitting on your lap, coated in you.’ I reply sardonically, earning myself a little dig in the hollow space above my hips. I laugh and turn myself around on his lap so I’m facing his desk. ‘How was your day?’

His hands slide around onto my tummy and his chin rests on my shoulder, getting a mouthful of my hair. He splutters and sweeps it away. ‘Long. How are my peanuts?’

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