Home > Loose Ends, Volume One (Loose Ends #1)(13)

Loose Ends, Volume One (Loose Ends #1)(13)
Author: Kristen Ashley

Making more out of what happened than I should.

Why did he not like that?

He needed her to think that.

So why the hell did he not like it?

He started carefully. “What I failed to mention the last time we spoke was that it was a great kiss. But—”

“It was,” she agreed on a sharp movement of her head. “It was a great kiss. It was a great everything. And I don’t just mean your mouth and hands on me on my couch.” She flung her hand out to indicate the couch behind him. “Before that, when we were with Sam and Kia, having fun. And after that, when they left, when it was just you and me doing shots and being stupid and having fun. I like spending time with you. You make me laugh. You treat me like a normal person, not some untouchable goddess or some breakable piece of glass. I have never felt more ‘Just Luci’ than I’ve felt that with you.”

Him and Gordo.

“Babe—” he began.

“And I’ll have that back, we’ll get that back how you want it to be . . . just later.”

“Kia’s pregnant and—”

He ceased speaking when her face twisted in a way he hadn’t seen, not ever.

Not even after they lost Gordo.

“I know,” she stated flatly.

He took a step toward her, stopped, and whispered, “Babe. I know you didn’t get there with Gordo, but—”

She lifted a hand up, palm out his way, and this time kept it up. “Pease, don’t talk about Travis. That isn’t about Travis. It isn’t about what I lost with him.”

She glanced to the side, drew in breath at the same time she pulled her fingers through her hair at the front, snatching it back, before she looked again to him.

The hair thing was a magnificent show.

Hap tried to ignore it.

“I’m over the moon for Sam and Kia. So happy for them. They’ll make marvelous parents. They’ll create beautiful babies. But it is not lost on me that I’m not getting any younger and I want children. That takes nothing away from Sam and Kia. It’s just that a friend of mine assured me that one day, I will again be happy. This could be in the form of finding someone to love and making a family. Or it could be something quite different and I just find a way to happiness alone. However, I do not fancy finding happiness alone. This is not the statement of weakness many of womankind might judge it to be. I don’t need a man in my life. I want one. And not just one so I can have children. I can do that without a man. I simply want a man to share my life with.”

It stuck in his throat so he had to push out, “You’ll find him.”

“I thought I did.”

Hap went still.

“But I did not,” Luci kept at him.

“Luce, honey,” he whispered.

“And now I have to . . . I have to . . .” she looked side to side, suddenly appearing like she had no idea where the fuck she was. “I have to . . .”

Her eyes again came to him and the lost expression on her face unraveled him completely.

“I don’t know what I have to do, Hap,” she said softly.

He couldn’t have controlled his feet, though he didn’t try.

He just moved. Got toe to toe with her, dipped his face to hers and framed it with both his hands.

“You’ll figure it out, baby,” he promised her.

She lifted her hands to his wrists, not to push him away, but to wrap her long, slender fingers around his wrists.

“I’m sorry I kissed you,” she told him, her eyes turbulent, her words rough.

“I’m not, Luce, it was a good kiss.”

“I messed us up.”

“We’re not messed up.”

“I’ve changed us.”

“We’re not changed.”

Her fingers tightened on him and her gaze grew laser focused. “I can’t lose you.”

“I’m right here.”

“You are but you want to be anywhere but here.”

He almost laughed.

There was nowhere on earth he’d rather be, in a way he knew it would last a lifetime, than standing right in Luciana Gordon’s space with his hands on her, hers on him, and her face all he could see.

His chin dipped closer and he whispered, “I’ll always want to spend time with you, honey.”

Her attention dropped to his mouth and the look in her eyes changed again.



“Baby,” he called.

Her gaze lifted.

“You should probably stop touching me,” she warned.

But she did not step away. She did not take her fingers from his wrists.

She stayed right there, looking in his eyes, hers openly telling him what she wanted but thought she could not have.

And serious as shit, he wanted her to have everything she wanted.

So his chin dipped closer, he cocked his head so he wouldn’t hit her with the bill of his cap, and he kissed her.



Christ, she tasted good.

He broke the kiss and moved to pull away, his mouth still tasting her, his mind all about her, his dick reminding him of its presence, his will trying to find a way in there to get his shit tight and not fuck this up . . . again.

But she caught him with a hand cupping the back of his head and he froze, looking into her eyes, feeling her breath whisper across his lips, her fingers still at his wrist, holding tight like she simply refused to let go.

“You want me,” she whispered.

He did.

Fuck him, he did.

So damned bad.


“You want this.”


Her hand at his head slid down to curl tight around the back of his neck and she pushed closer, her eyes changing yet again.


“Fuck your code, George Cunningham,” she said in a voice that was part purr, part growl.

Then she was kissing him.

God dammit.

He tried to fight it. He did. He tried to latch onto anything that would give him the strength to pull away.

It was just that his tongue found its way into her mouth and the world dissolved and it was only her, their kiss, and suddenly he was totally all right with that.

He let go of her face to pull her into his arms so he could feel that long body pressed to his.

And he felt it because Luci pressed herself tight, burrowing in, like she wanted to meld with him, and through it, she kissed him back.

The kiss didn’t end, even if they took short breaths, it went on forever, and Hap didn’t know when the groping began, or who started it. He just knew eventually his hand was cupping her breast when her hand cupped his junk.

He growled into her mouth, nipped her lower lip and ended the kiss staring into her eyes and breathing hard.

She held his rigid cock through his jeans and her expression held a dare.


She squeezed lightly then dragged the heel of her palm down his length.

He closed his eyes so he could experience that awesomeness, and only that awesomeness, when she gave him even more awesomeness because her tongue was in his mouth and she was rubbing determined at his dick.

Hap grasped her hair at the back and pulled her away, warning, “Only so much a man can take.”

“I hope you’re right,” she returned, her voice now just a purr.


And a dare.

He scrubbed his thumb across her nipple over her shirt.

It was already hard, but it budded harder at his touch.



She sighed, her lids lowered, and she bit her lip.

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