The morning sun came through the windows as Cody Elliott stepped through the door. He closed the door behind him, locked it, and dropped his bag on the floor. He'd sit soon, but he had to check first.
With soft steps, he walked up the stairs and down the hall. The floor creaked and he stopped, but heard nothing and continued on. He opened the bedroom door, leaned against the doorjamb, and looked in. There she was.
He watched her sleep for a minute, shaking his head at himself for fearing she might not be. Her dark hair spilled onto the pillow as she lay on her side, clutching the covers to her chest. He was tempted to wake her, but could tell by the deep, even breaths and circles under her eyes that she needed the sleep. Cody stepped back, pulled the door closed, and returned to the living room.
God, what a night it had been, he thought as he sank onto the couch. He dropped his head back, half-closed his eyes, and the sunlight suffused everything with a soft golden glow. For just a moment, he needed to rest. The constant motion was, at last, over for a while.
The one syllable, spoken in a soft voice, roused him from his unexpected sleep. He blinked and rubbed a hand over his face before he could focus on her, standing in the doorway.
He smiled. "Hey, yourself, beautiful." He sat up and held out a hand.
Serena walked towards him, crossing the room with the easy grace that never failed to entrance him. Her nightshirt swayed, hiding and then revealing the curve of her waist and her hips. He longed to run his hands through her hair, which fell to her shoulders in loose waves.
When she was close enough, she raised a hand and ran it through his brown hair, then stroked his cheek. "You look tired, Cody."
"I'm okay." He took her hand in his and brushed his lips over her palm.
"You should have caught the morning flight, gotten a night's sleep."
"No. I had to get back and see you. I missed you." He tugged her down so that she straddled his lap. "I slept on the plane."
She laughed. "No, you didn't. You never sleep on planes."
"Well, I tried. That should count for something."
Serena shook her head and he traced his finger over her lips as she looked at him with that quasi-smile that meant she was amused.
"What's so funny?" he asked.
"Nothing." She took his hand in hers and kissed the tips of his fingers, flicking her tongue over his index finger before slipping it into her mouth and releasing it. Her eyes glinted with mischief.
Cody shifted on the couch as her attentions sent the blood rushing to his groin. Fatigue was fading quickly. He put his hands on her thighs and started to massage her legs, moving his hands up at a slow, leisurely pace.
"You shouldn't tease me." His voice was low and serious.
She closed her eyes and rested her hands on his upper arms. "Why not?" Her hips started to rock in a gentle rhythm.
"I've been waiting all night long to see you." His hands moved higher, his thumbs moving in circles on her inner thighs. "I sat on that red-eye flight and thought about all the things I wanted to do with you." His hands crept upward. "To you."
Serena bit her lip and continued to move her hips against him. When she opened her eyes, he was mesmerized as the sunlight danced in them. "I've missed the things you do to me."
"Really?" His hands moved higher still, and now he could feel the heat between her legs. With an effort, he kept his hands where they were. He wanted to feel her wetness and warmth with his fingers, then taste it, driving her on and over with his mouth. Soon, he promised himself.
"Yes." She dropped her head back, emphasizing the sleek line of her neck.
Cody imagined how he would run his tongue down her neck and along her shoulder, stopping to nip and suck at the pulse point. His imaginings were cut short when Serena's hand moved down to the front of his jeans and began to rub. He sucked in a sharp breath as he grew harder.
"Oh, Serena." He closed his eyes and continued stroking her thighs, high enough now that he could slide his thumbs along the lips of her sex. "God, have I missed you."
"Cody..." She drew in a shuddering breath and leaned forward, brushed his lips with hers. She cupped him through his jeans and squeezed. "I need you."
His voice was rough as he tugged her sleeve. "Take this off."
She sat back and reached for the edge of the nightgown. With her eyes locked on his, she began to draw it up.
Cody's breathing grew ragged and his fingers dug into her thighs. He dropped his eyes to follow the blue silk as it slid up her body. He saw the smooth skin of her legs, the curls at their juncture, then the scar to the right of her navel. On instinct, he ran his hands over the V-shaped mark, remembering how she'd told him she'd come by it. His face darkened.
He lifted his eyes and she placed one hand over the one he'd used to traced the scar.
"It doesn't matter. Forget about it." Serena ran a finger along his jaw, smiling at the stubble she encountered. "Please. I'm so glad you're home."
"All right. For you." He settled back on the couch and started stroking her inner thighs. "Keep going."
She leaned in for a quick kiss and then pulled back. As she grasped the hem of her nightgown again, she winked, then pulled it off.
"Stop." Cody drew in a breath as he drank her in. "I just want to look." Now that he was back at last, he decided, he would not rush this.
He raised a hand and touched a finger to her lips, then dragged it down over her chin, her neck, and between her breasts and over her stomach. With both hands, he cupped her breasts, staring at the rosy aureoles topped with darker nipples. He brushed his thumbs over the tips and watched them harden, then smiled as he heard her sharp intake of breath.
He took her nipples and rolled them with his fingers, enjoying the way she squirmed on his lap. He kept at it, kneading her breasts as she bit her lip and rocked on his lap. She had to be wet, he thought, hot and wet. The idea of thrusting up inside her, feeling that wet heat all around his rock-hard shaft...
No. He held himself back. The whole point of racing for the red-eye flight the day before was so that he wouldn't have to hurry now.
"Cody, please..." Her voice was low and breathless and snapped some of his patience.
Keeping one hand on her breast, he snaked his other one up to cup her head and pull her to him for a harsh kiss. She tasted like sun and strawberries, he thought as his tongue swept against hers. God, it felt like forever since he'd kissed her.
Refusing to release her lips, he moved his hand down between her legs and made a satisfied noise low in his throat when he felt her already smooth and slick and ready for him. She gasped out his name as he ran his fingers over her the wet, hot skin between her legs. He teased for a moment, then thrust a finger inside.
She whimpered against his mouth and her muscles clenched around his finger. He tore his mouth from hers and began to lay hot kisses on her neck, stopping to suck hard on the spot where her neck and shoulder met. When she relaxed and let out a soft cry, he slipped another finger inside. The silky heat was almost enough to make him lose his control but he compromised by rubbing his thumb over the soft bundle of nerves at her center.
"Cody, oh, God, Cody. I missed you so much."
In reply, he put his mouth on her breast and sucked on her nipple. She tangled her fingers in his hair and pressed him closer, her breath quickening as he continued to stroke her sex. Her hips rocked of their own accord.
He pulled away to lave her other breast, nibbling with his teeth and then soothing with his tongue. All the while, his hand continued to stroke her sex, brushing over her clit and making her buck in his lap. As Serena started to come, he crushed her lips to his, swallowing her broken cries until she dropped her head to his shoulder and her body went limp.