Anger swelled inside of Erica as she ran sweaty palms down her pant legs and stared out the passenger-side window. When she returned her attention to Connie, her sister was smiling.
“What’s with the silly grin?” Erica said angrily.
“If you’re interested in what happens to him in the future, that means... Let’s just say, I knew you loved him too much to break things off for something as silly as fear.”
“There is nothing silly about fear,” Erica mumbled, knowing she couldn’t walk away from Hudson even if she wanted to. He and Nakia were her heart.
She inhaled deeply, then released a shaky breath, trying to calm her nerves. It didn’t work. Nothing worked. She wouldn’t be okay until she saw Hudson with her own eyes.
A few minutes later, they walked through the doors of the emergency room, and Erica’s anxiety shot up. She glanced to her left and spotted a small group of people huddled together in the waiting room. And she cringed when bursts of sobs met her ears.
“This way,” Connie said, tugging on her arm and guiding her to the reception desk.
Erica forced her trembling legs to move. They had just reached the counter when she heard her name.
Erica whipped around, practically tripping over her feet. Her heart leaped into her throat when her gaze locked on Hudson. A whimper escaped her, and she lifted a shaky hand to her mouth as she zoned in on her gentle giant standing twenty feet away.
He was over six feet tall, his wide chest and broad shoulders encased in a black suit that emphasized his huge presence and masculinity. His dark eyebrows pinched together, slightly contorting his mocha-toned face as he stared openmouthed at her.
“I told you he was fine,” Connie murmured next to her.
Relief flooded Erica’s body. Maybe she’d overreacted at the news of him being at the hospital. Now all she wanted to do was wrap her arms around her man.
Without another thought, she headed his way, and Hudson’s long strides ate up the distance between them.
“Baby, what are you doing here?” Hudson scooped her off her feet and into a bear hug, crushing her to him.
“God, you had me so worried,” she said, her words muffled against his neck.
He always smelled so good, a scent of cedarwood and citrus that soothed her to her bones. He held her tight and the anxiety that had plagued her moments ago eased from her body.
Erica leaned back and framed his face between her hands, needing to look at him. She didn’t miss the small gauze bandage beneath his left ear, but she didn’t see any other wounds.
“Are you okay?” she asked, searching his eyes as he continued to hold her up as if she weighed nothing.
“Yeah, baby. I’m sorry you were worried for nothing. I came in to get a couple of cuts checked out, and I had to get a tetanus shot, but I’m fine.”
He set her down and before she could form another question, Hudson’s warm lips covered hers. He kissed her as if he hadn’t seen her in days, instead of a few hours. With each lap of his tongue, her body heated and the love and passion she felt for him intensified. The kiss stole her breath.
Erica fisted the lapels of his suit jacket in her hands and held on to him as he devoured her. This was exactly what she needed to calm her nerves. She moaned as he deepened their lip-lock, but when someone cleared their throat, they both froze.
“Take that R-rated crap somewhere else,” Connie said.
Hudson slowly lifted his head and gave Erica one last peck before smiling. His smoldering eyes revealed the same emotions swirling inside of her.
Yeah, they needed someplace private to finish what he’d started.
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