"I still love you."
The declaration was so faint that her ears pricked up. Did he just say...
Love had never been a part of what they used to have. Never spoken or hinted on. What did he mean, he still loved her? Had he ever? Lust and passionate sex, yes. Love, no.
His eyes met hers. "I love you. I always have, and I can't bear the thought of not seeing you again."
Her heart seemed to gallop in her chest, and her blood rushed through her veins in a panic. He couldn't love her. "Jordan..." She shook her head and tried to swallow the lump in her throat. Her efforts were futile, and she couldn't speak.
Jordan rose and came around the desk. He sat on the corner of it. This time, it was her eyes that dropped to the intricate pattern on the floor.
"Look at me, Mia." He paused for a moment, giving her a chance to make eye contact. "Do you think I'm making this up?"
"I don't know," she whispered.
"I'm not." He shook his head. "It's been months since we've had a real conversation. How long are you going to avoid me?"
"I'm trying to avoid stress, Jordan, that's all."
"Are you saying that I stress you out?" He stared at her with a blank expression frozen across his face.
"No, not just you." She pressed the palm of her hand to her forehead, and then stood. "Look. Being with you was too much for me. You came with too much baggage."
A spark of knowledge replaced the bland expression on his face, indicating he knew exactly what she spoke of. "I couldn't help that, Mia. How many times did I tell you that no other female mattered to me?"
Mia turned her back, faced the floor to ceiling windows, and glanced out at the dusky sky and the orange hue of the sunset on the horizon. Jordan had been well known on and off the campus. Before her, he could've made playboy of the year. Had she known he'd dated just about every sorority member on campus, she would have left him alone. Every sorority member may have been an exaggeration, but he'd left a lasting impression on a few. There was a time when they couldn't even go on a date without a woman coming up to hit on him.
"One too many." A cool breeze from the air vent above her brushed her bare shoulders. She crossed both arms over her chest and rubbed the chill bumps on her arms.
Mia smelled the familiar cologne before Jordan even touched her. Warmth enveloped her as he snaked his arms around her waist. After moments of hesitation from her, he pressed his chest closer into her back.
"I missed this." His breath fanned the delicate skin behind her ear.
The chill bumps on her skin seemed to melt away instantly. She took a deep breath and drew in his woodsy scent. It had been so long since she'd felt safe and secure like this. When he pressed his chin into the top of her head, she closed her eyes, reminiscing on the times when she and Jordan would cuddle for hours in bed after a long night of sex.
"So do I." Mia interlocked fingers with his just as his hand came to rest on her hips. She blushed when his groin pressed into her ass. Heat rose up her spine and neck. This time, her body didn't shiver from the cold, but it vibrated from the sexual tension coursing through it.
"I've never felt this way with anyone but you."
"Don't say things you don't mean." It was easy for men to confuse lust with love, just as it was too easy for her body to respond to something she most certainly needed...and wanted.
"I wish you'd let me show you how much I care, and how much I want you back in my life."