"Do you want milk and sugar?" Mae stalled, kicking herself for mentioning Lionel at all.
"No." He stirred his tea, still looking at her. "Who's Lionel?"
"He's a former business associate of my father," she explained, reaching for the sugar and adding two lumps. "He thinks he has a buyer for my grandmother's apartment. It's not easy to find a buyer for the penthouse in the Century, given the market," she explained quickly.
"Oh." Griff's spoon slowed. "Well that's good news."
"Is it?" She grimaced, putting the tea bag on her saucer.
"No." His answer was gruff and she looked up, seeing his jaw working.
Sighing, Mae sat back in her seat, folding her arms. "I'll be honest, I don't mind leaving the city, but..."
"But what?" Griff leaned in, elbows on her little table, closing the space between them.
"Not what, exactly..." She met his eyes, those deep, blue familiar eyes, and told him the truth. "Who."
"Who?" he asked.
That was the question, wasn't it? She answered that one honestly, too.
Griff got down on his knees. Mae stared at him, aghast as he knelt beside her chair. He was looking up at her from this position, so strange. This wasn't just new territory, it was the entrance to a whole new world.
"I'm going to do something right now that I really shouldn't," he informed her, taking both of her hands in his.
"Please." She didn't know where she found her voice.
"Please what?" He frowned. He was so close she could smell him, clean and fresh, like apples. "Please don't?"
"No..." She couldn't finish her sentence or even her thought. He was too close; she was too full of him.
Mae tried again, leaning in a little, giving him hope with her body language. "No, please...do. Do."
"I have to," he murmured, sliding his arms around her and pressing his mouth to hers.
Maybe it was knowing that this was all they could have, that she would be leaving with her grandmother, moving far from the city, and there would be no more stolen picnic lunches--but Mae thought, when thought returned hours later, that it went deeper than that. She gave herself to him because, at the core of her being, she knew she belonged to this man.
He whispered her name, kissing the slender curve of her neck, licking the indented hollow of her throat, his breath so hot it burned her skin. She clung to him, his shoulders wide and broad under her hands. His mouth captured hers again, his tongue slipping between her lips, and she welcomed the deep, gentle exploration, lost in sensation
The press of his body between her thighs parted them, hiking her dress up far too high for modesty, and when she felt the thick heat of his cock through his trousers she remembered to at least attempt to protect her virtue.