immediately recognizable. She tried to pull back but I held her in place, my hands still cupping
"I love you." I said again softly, surprised at how easily the words came. I placed another kiss on
her stunned lips. "I am totally, completely, head over freaking heels in love with you, Robyn. I
don't want to scare you, but I wanted you to know. You don't need to say anythi…"
The rest of my words were swallowed abruptly as Robyn crushed her mouth to mine, and the
next thing I knew I was flat on my back in the middle of the bed, with six feet of warm, naked
and very amorous Robyn Ward on top of me, raining kisses on my face, neck and chest.
"Say it again," she demanded suddenly, pulling back to look at my face intently, as though
judging my sincerity.
I wondered, as she searched my face for proof, just how many times she'd been told those words.
Considering her fame, her looks…more than a few times, I'd guess. How many others had told
her they loved her in hopes of getting something from her? I knew of at least one who had
professed love and lied, hurting her badly…had there been others?
I met her gaze squarely, wanting her to see everything I was feeling, needing her to believe me. I
brushed her cheeks with my thumbs and ran my hands through her hair. "I love you, Robyn," I
said clearly, bringing her head down for a soft kiss. "I love you," I said again and trailed my lips
over her chin and down the long column of her neck. "I love you," I murmured, nipping at the
skin just below her ear and feeling a slight shiver in response. I tilted my head back and found
her eyes again, willing her to believe me. "I. Love. You."
She touched my face, trailing her fingers over my eyebrows and down my cheeks. "Oh, Caid..."
Her voice, to my ears, seemed apologetic and I fought back panic. Now, when faced with her
response, my brave statements did not seem like such a bright idea. I pulled her head down and
silenced her with a kiss, not wanting to hear what she had to say right now, not wanting her to
feel pressured or obligated, and especially not wanting her to tell me she didn't feel the same. She
could tell me how she felt later - right now, I wanted to show her how I felt.
I rolled us over, kissing her hard, and pushed my hands into her hair, tilting her head back so that
I could kiss along the underside of her chin and down her throat.
"Caid…" Her words stopped in an expulsion of breath when I settled my thigh between her legs
and pressed against her while I covered her nipple with my mouth, sucking and biting gently. I
trailed my hands down her body and braced my arms on either side of her chest, lifting my body
off of her slightly, pushing my thigh against her again. Her fingers threaded through my hair,
tightening almost to the point of painfulness when I held her nipple gently in my teeth and
flicked with the tip back and forth with my tongue.
"Ah…jesus…" She arched against me, lifting her leg and pushing against my sex roughly. I
groaned and pushed back automatically, quickly falling into the rhythm she set. I let go of one
nipple to move to the other, giving it a few minutes of attention before she dragged my head up
and brought our mouths together in a panting, openmouthed kiss, her tongue meeting mine in
time with our thrusts. Gradually the rhythm increased and our kiss slowed until we were just
breathing in each other's air as we concentrated on the movement and feel of our bodies.
"Oh….yes…" she whispered, her lips moving to my forehead and her hands to my hips, urging
me into her. I kept up the rhythm of my leg against her, riding her thigh, feeling the slickness of
sweat and desire where our bodies touched.
"Oh…god, Caid…" Her leg shifted again and pushed into me harder. "I'm…" she sucked in a
breath, "come with me, baby…"
Our movements became frantic; labored breathing interspersed with whispered nonsensical
words and gasps, and I slipped one hand between us, drawing my fingers through her warm
wetness and teasing the hardened nub of her clit with gentle strokes. She hissed out a breath and
her body stilled at the contact, then jerked, and I felt the slight sting of her fingernails as she
tightened her grip convulsively on my ass. Her head was thrown back, the muscles in her neck
corded and tense, and I watched, enthralled, as I continued my movements, amazed as always by
how beautiful she was. Suddenly her hand was between my legs, and her fingers inside of me,
just as she arched further and let out a shuddering moan, jerking inelegantly against my hand.
The moan, her movements, her fingers…it was all enough to send me tumbling after her into
orgasm, whispering a final 'love you' before collapsing in a very ungraceful heap on top of her.
After several moments, she withdrew her fingers and her arms circled me in a loose embrace. We
lay without speaking as the thundering of her heartbeat beneath my ear returned to a steady
thump-thump, and the rise and fall of her chest slowed to evenness; as the sweat dried on our
skin and the rising sun cast ever changing shadows on the bedroom walls.
It was a peaceful, blissful silence and I was loath to break it, but eventually the jangle of a
ringing telephone broke the complacent stillness, the sound so incongruous after two days of
quiet that it took my brain a moment to understand what it was.
Robyn tensed underneath me and swore softly. She started to move but I shifted my weight,
stopping her. "Don't."
She sighed, and ran her hand up and down my back. "I'm sorry, baby, I have to. It must be
something on the set…the only way I could talk Lynne into letting me have this weekend was if I
let her know where I would be and promised to come in if they needed me. She's the only person
I gave this number to."
I slid off of her reluctantly and she climbed out of bed, giving me an rueful look before snagging
a t-shirt - mine, I noticed - draped across the back of a chair and pulling it on as she trotted from
"Damn." I sighed and rolled onto my back, listening to the sounds of Robyn's voice,
raised slightly in annoyance, in the next room. I doubted they'd be calling to chat about the
weather…it looked like our little weekend was coming to an end even sooner than expected.
I sighed again and rolled off the bed, annoyed to feel a twinge of relief at being given a reprieve
from Robyn's reaction to telling her I loved her.
Christ, I was such a chickenshit.
A few minutes later, after using the bathroom and throwing on some clothes, I found Robyn out
on the back deck, phone still in her hand, looking pensively out at the water.
I walked up behind her and slipped an arm around her waist, brushing the hair from her neck
with my other hand so I could kiss the soft skin below her ear. She turned her head and gave me
a distracted smile, holding up the phone up. "Sorry."
I put my other arm around her and rested my chin on her shoulder. "Now it's my turn to
ask…when do you have to go?"
"As soon as I can get there…they got a permit to shoot on-site in Key Largo but we've only got
"Damn." I wasn't surprised, but I had hoped for a little more time. I kissed her cheek with a sigh
and held her tighter. "Thank you for this weekend."
She turned in my arms and ran both her hands through my hair. "Caid…" She stopped and
looked at my face searchingly. I could see her struggle for words. Finally she looked away.
"You're welcome. I had a great time."
A great time.
I'd used that exact phrasing to brush off a mediocre date more than once. I inwardly steeled
myself, waiting for the "but…"
It never came, but neither did the hoped for profession of love.
Jeez Caid, what do you expect? A minute ago you were relieved to not know, and now you're
I hid my disappointment, and tugged her into the house. "Come on. Why don't you jump in the
shower, and I'll fix you breakfast for a change."
She smiled seductively and pulled me back towards her. "How about you join me in the shower,
and we skip breakfast?" she murmured, laying a light line of kisses along my neck.
I quashed my immediate reaction to her words and nearness, feeling a certain hollowness in her
offer. My body was willing but at the moment, my heart just wasn't in it and I wasn't sure hers
"We'd never make it out of the shower," I joked lightly in an attempt to ease the disappointment
and confusion that flashed across her face as I pulled away. "You have a long day ahead of you
and need to eat." I pointed to the hallway and pushed her gently in that direction. "Away with
"Caid…" She frowned, her expression still betraying her confusion.
"Go on." I tilted my head up and kissed her lightly on the forehead before pushing her towards
the hallway again. "I'll have something ready for you when you get out."
She hesitated a moment longer, staring at me intently, and then nodded slowly and walked past
me and down the hall.
I sighed and walked into the kitchen, taking stock of what kind of ingredients we had on hand to
make breakfast. There were eggs and some left-over seafood mixture from Robyn's lasagna that
would make a decent enough filling for an omelet, and french bread for toast…I nodded to
myself and pulled the items out of the refrigerator.
I rooted around in the cupboards and drawers for a skillet and a small mixing bowl, my
movements getting slower and slower, until they stopped altogether.
What in the hell was I doing?
The woman I was in love with was naked in the shower, and I was about to make an omelet? I
shook my head in disbelief. Robyn asked me to share the last of our time together making love,
and I had said no.
Caid, you are a dumbass.
I put the food back into the refrigerator and walked down the hall, a smile building on my face
until I entered the master bedroom and saw that Robyn wasn't naked in the shower at all. In fact,
she was standing in the middle of the room, fully dressed, and apparently fully packed. The small
duffel she had brought was slung over her shoulder, and she looked to be in the process of
checking for any stray items she might have missed.
I stopped abruptly in the doorway and stared at her stupidly. "Wha…what are you doing?"
"Leaving," she said briskly, taking one last glance around.
"But…you were showering…we were going to have breakfast…" I frowned in confusion. "Why
are you leaving?"
She hitched the bag higher on her shoulder, finally looking at me. It was then I realized how
angry she was. "I won't be manipulated."
That did not help my confusion at all. "What are you talking about? I'd never try to manipulate
"That's what I thought, too, until a few minutes ago." She shook her head sadly. "I really thought
you were different, Caid. Stupid of me."
She moved towards the door and I stopped her with a hand on her chest. She gave the hand a
look of distain that made me cringe, and looked at me coolly. "Get out of my way."
"Not until you tell me what the hell I did wrong!" I was starting to get worry now; I'd been on the
receiving end of that look before, the night at her house when she'd told me nothing could
happen between us. It was cold and resolute, and just like that night, I had no idea how to counter
"I won't let you use sex to manipulate me into saying what you want to hear. I enjoy you, Caid - I
enjoy being with you. But sex is sex, and I can find it elsewhere. Remember that." She moved
my hand and brushed past me roughly.
I didn't stop her, too shaken by the thought that maybe she was right. Not about the sex is sex
part; that was a bunch of crap. I knew whatever was between us was something special, and went
much deeper than physical. But her accusation of my withholding sex because she hadn't told me
what I wanted to hear…was that why I had refused her? As some kind of punishment for not
returning my feelings?
I thought back to what I'd been feeling and shook my head. No, that hadn't been the reason. I'd
refused because it felt…wrong. Like…she was trying to distract me, to avoid having to discuss
issues that needed to be discussed.
She had been the one that tried to use sex to manipulate.
My worry was displaced by anger, and I followed her into the living room, grabbing her arm and
turning her around. "I told you I loved you, damnit, because I do. Very much. And I thought you
should know. I'm not trying to manipulate you, regardless of what you think. I didn't, and still
don't, expect anything from you except honesty."
She glared at my hand but I continued to hold on to her - I wasn't finished. "Maybe you should
take a look at your own behavior before you go accusing me of shit. I tell you I love you, and
you don't want to deal with it, so what better way to distract me than to drag me off into the
shower? You know the effect you have on me, and you tried to use it to your advantage. So don't
give me righteous lectures about using sex as a weapon."
She shrugged my hand off angrily and grabbed her purse and keys from the table. "The cleaning
service comes at three - make sure you're gone by then. Leave the key in the mailbox," she told
me icily, and stomped to the door.
"Robyn." I had one more thing to address.
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