He’d held on long enough.
Minutes. Months. Years. Silas penetrated the seam of her lips, and the investigation, the attack on them at Marco Stein’s apartment, the past—it all melted to the back of his mind. Right then, there was only Olivia.
His nervous system released its stranglehold on his body as he memorized her from the inside out. They hadn’t been partners for years. Even then, they’d only been assigned to work together for a matter of weeks, but she’d left an impression on him he hadn’t been able to forget. How could he? She’d risen above the odds. Committed, reliable, stronger than anyone he’d met. The rookie who’d cut her teeth on the Charles Daggett case had become the director of one of the most elite units in the country. Despite every barrier determined to hold her back, she’d proven herself stronger than the agents who’d betrayed her, and damn if she wasn’t the sexiest, most intelligent woman he’d ever met.
He maneuvered her back against the fridge, every cell in his body on fire. For her. He curled his hands over the steel frame. Cold worked through his button-down shirt from the food in her hands, and he broke the seal of his mouth. Their exhales mingled between them as they each fought to catch their breath. Her bottom lip swelled under the assault of his mouth, and Silas set his forehead against hers. “You have no idea how long I’ve waited to do that.”
“I can imagine.” Her gut-wrenching laugh rippled through him, igniting a trail of desire along the way. “But I think you have marinara sauce from the outside of the jar all over your shirt and tie now.”
Silas scanned his suit. She was right. The pristine white color of his shirt had been stained red, and he peeled the soaked fabric away from his chest with one hand. “Not really an aphrodisiac, is it?”
“No. Not really.” Olivia slipped free from the circle of his arms and set the stuff she’d pulled from the fridge on the granite countertop. “Saved by pasta sauce. Here, let me get you a towel. You can throw your shirt in the wash.”
“No, it’s fine. I’ll just toss it in the trash when I get back to New York.” Hell. She’d invited him into her home as a courtesy, and he’d practically mauled her where she’d stood because of some pent-up sense of guilt he hadn’t been able to forget. Silas shrugged out of his suit jacket—marinara-free—and loosened his tie. Despite his refusal to add his shirt to her laundry, he stood more exposed than he’d ever allowed himself to be around her. “Liv, I’m sorry—”
“Don’t.” Lean muscle flexed along her arms as she stilled, the towel still in her hand to contain the mess. “Just don’t, Silas. Please. I know how this conversation ends, and we have a case to solve. Whatever you have to say can wait.”
“We’ve been pretending nothing happened between us for eight years.” He couldn’t shoulder this weight for another minute. “Isn’t that long enough?”
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