He leans over and presses a kiss to her mouth lightly, trailing his lips down her cheek … tracing the line of her throat and then down the swell of her full breast.
She gives a smile and slides her fingers in his short, cropped hair and closes her eyes, enjoying the feel of his mouth against her sensitive skin.
"You know, my mom pretty much as suggested that it wasn't fair of me to make a choice without having had sex with Danny first …"
Brody freezes mid-kiss and looks up at her, his dark eyes unreadable. "So I'm not sure if I should be annoyed you're bringing up Danny while we're lying in bed, or whether I should be relieved you haven't had sex with him …"
Abby laughs. "Mom says that it's an unfair comparison – he's at a big disadvantage."
"I thought your mom was on my side," Brody mutters gloomily, ceasing with the kissing and coming to lie alongside of her, his fingertips sliding through her tangled blonde hair caressingly.
"She wants me to be happy."
"I can make you happy," he insists stubbornly.
"I know," she tells him, touching her hand to his cheek and smiling as he turns his head to kiss her fingertips with his humorous mouth.
He exhales slowly. "But I don't want you to be with me and be wondering whether sex with Danny would have been better."
Abby's brows shoot up in astonishment. "You can't be giving me permission to have sex with Danny!"
"Fuck no," he mutters beneath his breath. "But let's face it … much as I want this to be a relationship … much as I'd give anything for this to be exclusive … I don't own you, Abby. I can't tell you what to do. You've gotta do what you think is right … told you before that it's taken me way too long for me to persuade you to give us a shot … I'm not going to back off … and I'm not going to scare you away by trying to hold on too tight."
Abby smiles, her light eyes darkening with emotion as she studies his face. "You care about me that much?" she asks him and he nods.
"I love you Abs … thought you knew that … thought you could feel it … every time I'm inside you … every time I look at you … "
She places her hand flat against the smooth, tanned flesh of his chest and feels the slow, steady thud of his heartbeat, reassuring and strong.
"I already chose, Brody," she tells him simply. "I told Danny earlier today that I'd chosen … that I didn’t want to 'deal him in' when I'd already made a choice …"
His dark eyes were wide and startled. "So when you called me over tonight …"
It had been like any other of their booty calls. I need to see you… The husky promise and lust lacing her voice … It was a phrase he'd come to both love and hate during the last seven or so months of fucking.
"I wanted to tell you what I'd decided …"
"The candles and the music were a nice touch," he compliments her, leaning over her and brushing his lips across the smoothness of her cheek.
"I wanted it to be special … different from the – other times …"
"Was it my mindblowing sexual prowess that made you choose me?" he asks her teasingly and she smiles.
"Part of it … but you helped me with Nicki no questions asked …"
"Of course," he tells her.
"You helped my dad with Jones – he already acts like you're part of the family."
She rests her fingertips on his lips and he kisses them lightly. "And …"
"Yes?" he asks her hoarsely, moving on top of her and allowing his hands to slide down her body tantalisingly. In six months, he's learned a lot about her body … about what she likes … about what makes her whimper helplessly against his mouth and he's utilising everything he's learned to persuade her that she's made the right choice.
"And I love you, John Brody …" she tells him softly and arches up against him, her voice breathless and shaking as he's inside her and she realises that there was actually no choice to be made at all …