It was Frankie.
She had her hood up over her head, like she was hiding from someone. But her beautiful hazel eyes were peeping out from under the sweatshirt. There was silence in their depths. I wanted them to be screaming, to tell me what she was doing at my apartment, because she wasn’t talking.
I stepped back from the door and, after a beat, she brushed past me. She stopped in the foyer, her back to me, as she stood there looking around the bare space. My skin tingled with the need to touch her, but I was afraid. Afraid she’d run away again. Afraid she’d take my heart with her.
She turned around and faced me when I stepped up close behind her. She looked broken but beautiful, her eyes sad, her skin dewy with sweat. The world around me disappeared. The only thing I could focus on was her.
“I can’t do it anymore.” Her voice was so quiet, so full of pain, it made my throat constrict.
“Do what?” I choked out.
“Deny myself what I want.” She looked up and searched my eyes, and my heart hammered in my chest. “I won’t let Marco control my happiness anymore.”
“Frankie.” Lifting a hand to her cheek, I placed the other on her hip. She slid her hands to my chest, then tipped her face up as I bent my head to hers. When our lips met, there was no sensual dance like we’d shared in the past. Just soft lips, moving together as one. I felt her everywhere. Her hands on my chest, her scent in my nose, the soft sounds escaping her throat as the kiss deepened, and the taste of her tongue on my own.
It could have been hours, that kiss. It could have been days, and I would have been happy to do it for years. But she stopped abruptly, pulling away.
“I’m scared.” Her voice trembled out on a quiet breath. “I’ve never done this before. I’ve never done relationships.”
“Trust me.” I ran my thumb across her lips and planted a gentle kiss at the corner of her mouth.
“I’ve never done trust.”
“I won’t let you fall, Frankie. I’ll take care of you. Just give me a chance.”