Simple Perfection (Perfection #2)(9) by Abbi Glines

I nodded and smiled.

He reached over and laced his fingers through mine. "Are you sure? I'll fix whatever is wrong if you just tell me," he said, gently tugging me to him. He was a fixer. He wanted to fix my life, and that wasn't possible.

Instead of answering, I stood up on my tiptoes and pressed my lips to his neck. "I want you," I whispered against his warm skin . "Right now, all I want is you."

Woods let me kiss down his neck, and when I tugged at his T-shirt he lifted his arms and let me take it off. His chiseled chest was always tanned and perfect. I ran my fingers over the beautiful skin and each hard ab muscle that fascinated me. This had been mine for a time. It would be a chapter in my life that was hard to look back on, yet it would be my favorite.

I pressed my lips to the taut skin of his lower stomach and started undoing his jeans. He stood there and let me. I was glad there was no resistance or questions. If we were ending this chapter tonight, I wanted it to be perfect.

I pulled his jeans down with his boxer briefs.

"Fuck, Della," he whispered as I licked the tip of his cock. Both of his hands were now buried in my hair as I lowered myself to my knees in front of him. I wanted him to know I loved him. When I was gone I wanted him to know that he was a part of me. That this hadn't been empty for me.

"Oh, hell," he groaned, leaning back against the counter for support as I sank his length into my mouth until it slid into my throat. I loved the way this made him feel. Knowing the trembling in his legs was because of me was a wonderful feeling. He made me tremble all the time. I liked making him tremble in return.

"That's so damn good, baby. Your hot little mouth is f**king perfect." His voice was husky and deep. I reached up and cupped his balls in my hand. He let out a low growl and suddenly I was being jerked up. "Not gonna come in your mouth. Not tonight. I want inside you," he said, kicking off his jeans and leaving them on the floor before picking me up and walking to the bedroom.

His hands were on my shorts, jerking them off. I raised my arms and let him pull my top off. My bra and panties went just as quickly.

"You're beautiful," he said as he knelt above me and stared down at my body.

When I was with him I felt beautiful. "Make love to me," I told him as I opened my thighs and reached up to pull him down to me.

"I want to taste you," he said, stopping me from pulling him down farther.

"I want you inside me," I replied.

"Don't care. I want a taste first." His crooked grin warmed my heart. I'd let him have whatever he wanted.

"Okay," I replied as he lowered himself until his head was between my thighs.

His lips brushed the sensitive skin on the insides of my legs as he trailed kisses, switching from one leg to the other until the heat of his breath touched my tender flesh. I shuddered and grabbed handfuls of the sheets underneath me just before his tongue slipped inside of me and then moved up to my clit.

I cried out his name until I came against his mouth. Every single flick of his tongue had taken me farther under the wave of pleasure that overtook me.

As I gasped to get air into my lungs, he filled me in one swift move. I lifted my knees and pressed them to his ribs. "I love you, Della. I love you so much, baby. So damn much," he said with a hoarse voice full of emotion. It was as if he knew this was it for us. That tomorrow wouldn't come. This was the end. I fought back the tears clogging my throat and grabbed his face so that I could kiss him. I couldn't talk. I didn't trust myself to talk. I showed him how much I loved him with my mouth.

With each thrust I lifted my knees and cried out. He never stopped telling me how much he loved me. It was a chant as we both climbed to our release.

"Woods!" I screamed his name in ecstasy as the world blurred.

He held me to his chest as he jerked inside of me. My name was a strangled cry from his chest as he shuddered against me.

Our chapter was over. It was the most beautiful chapter in my life. I knew I'd had the happy ending way before it was time and now I had to live the rest of the story without him. It wasn't the way life was supposed to be, but it was my life. And I'd had Woods in it. That made it all okay.

Woods had kissed my head, telling me to sleep late. He had an early meeting and I could come to work when I was ready. I had pretended to be sleepy and nodded, keeping my head buried in the pillow to hide my tears. When the door clicked behind him I turned over and stared at the ceiling.

My heart had just walked out that door.

I moved without thought as I showered and dressed. I boxed up the things I would be shipping that morning to the address Tripp had texted me. I then packed a small bag I could carry with me. I wasn't sure where we were going and when we would make it back to the South Carolina address I was shipping my things to.

Woods called me around ten and asked if I wanted to eat lunch with him. I didn't want to lie to him but I couldn't tell him the truth either. So I told him I was behind on work and if he wanted me to come back, then I needed to catch up. He didn't argue with me. When I told him that I loved him one tear rolled down my face. I was glad he couldn't see me.

On a piece of paper I wrote:

I will never forget you. Thank you for everything but it's time I move on. I want to see the world. This life isn't for me. It doesn't fit. It isn't what I dreamed of. Don't come after me, just let me go. I hope you find the happiness you deserve.

I'm sorry,

Della

Woods

I ended the strange phone call from Tripp and stared down at my phone for a few minutes. Nothing about that conversation had made sense. He'd asked me how life was. I'd told him it was good. He had said I should strive for great. I told him it was perfect and he had gone silent. Then he'd said, Sometimes what we think is perfect is royally fu**ed up. I had asked him what he meant and he said he was just checking in and hoped I'd figure life out soon.

What the hell had all that meant? Was he drinking before lunch? Glancing at my clock, I realized it was my tee time with Jace. When Della had turned me down for lunch I'd let her because she wanted to work. I couldn't keep making her feel like she wasn't important. So to keep myself from begging her to have lunch with me, I'd called Jace and set up a tee time for us.

I had a meeting with my new lawyer at three, then after that I would hunt her down. I thought she'd be ready to take a break then. Smiling, I let Tripp's weird phone call go and I headed down to the golf course.

Jace was standing at Bethy's golf cart with his hands on the roof as he leaned in, flirting with her. I never would have guessed those two would have made it so long. Bethy had been the wild local girl who lived in the next town over. She slept with the rich boys and they acted like they didn't know her in public. Until Jace. He'd decided that she was worth it. He had seen something more.

"You gonna stop making out with my employee long enough to play a round?" I asked as I approached them.

Jace grinned over at me, then flipped his middle finger. "Suck it, Kerrington."

"You two need me to get y'all a caddy?" Bethy asked.

"We're real men, baby. We don't need a caddy," Jace said, winking at her.

"Let's do this. I have a three o'clock appointment," I informed Jace.

The cart I'd ordered was brought around with my clubs. Jace said his good-byes to Bethy and put his clubs in the back of the cart. "It's been a while since we played a round," Jace said. "Boss man never has any time."

"Della has taken a lot off me. I need to give her a raise."

Jace chuckled and propped his feet up on the dash of the cart. "You told your momma about the new-board idea?"

"I won't be telling her. It isn't her business. I'm meeting with the lawyer today to make sure this is handled the correct way. The lawyer will make sure the board knows they've been terminated."

"You know, I always thought the board, like, owned a portion of the club," Jace said.

"My grandfather forbade it in his will. He wanted the club to always be under the Kerrington name. He didn't allow investors unless they were family. That was one of the reasons my father wanted me to marry Angelina. She would become family and he would merge her father's clubs with the Kerrington Club. My grandfather wouldn't have wanted that. I've looked over his business plan. I know his dream for this place. My father had other ideas and he was going to use me to accomplish them."

Jace let out a low whistle as we pulled up to the first tee. "Damn, no wonder your dad was ready to marry you off to a psycho. So, you really own it all now. You make the decisions. That board was just so your father had people to help him build and make decisions."

"I think he had promised them a piece of the pie once the Kerrington Club was part of the Greystone empire. Everything would have changed then. He also paid them well. I looked over the payroll."

Jace jumped out and pulled his driver from the bag before heading over to the tee. "So you're saying I'm gonna get a nice fat paycheck for being on this new board," Jace drawled.

"Yeah, that's what I'm saying," I replied, pulling the driver from my bag.

"Good. Because I'm gonna propose to Bethy and my family is gonna shit a brick. I can kiss my monthly income good-bye. I need to start using this education my father paid so handsomely for."

I stopped walking. Had I just heard him right? "Did you just say propose?"

Jace looked up from his stance over the ball and nodded.

"Wow," was all I could think of to say. I hadn't expected that.

"I love her. She's it for me."

I stood there silently as Jace hit the ball. He stepped back and glanced over at me. "She doesn't know yet. I'm trying to think of a romantic way to do it."

This golf game had just gotten a lot more interesting.

I texted Della before my three o'clock meeting but she didn't respond before the lawyer arrived. Once my meeting was over and there was still no response, I dialed her number. I hadn't seen her all day. Neither had anyone I asked. Something felt wrong.

"I'm sorry, but the number you have dialed has been disconnected . . ." I jerked my phone back and looked down to make sure I'd dialed Della's number. I had.

I grabbed my keys and walked past Vince without a word. My mind was running wild. Why would Della's phone be disconnected? Had she forgotten to pay the bill? Was she okay?

As I got to the house, every bad scenario ran through my head. The car I'd given Della when she'd come back to Rosemary with me was sitting in the drive. She hadn't left the house today. My heart raced as I ran up the steps and swung the door open.

It was quiet. Too quiet.

"Della? Baby? You okay?" I called out as I walked down the hall toward the living room. I glanced into the kitchen as I passed and almost continued on when I saw a single piece of paper and a pen lying on the counter. They hadn't been there that morning.

"Della?" I called out again, walking on toward the living room and out onto the balcony. The bedroom was empty. It was also bare. There were no heels lying by the door or jewelry on the dresser. I stood in the doorway, afraid to walk inside and look in the closet.

I turned and headed back to the kitchen. The note would explain this. She could have cleaned up before she went shopping with Blaire. That made sense.

Reaching for the paper, I picked it up and began to read. With each word, my world began to slowly fall away. The small, ripped piece of notebook paper held the only words that could completely destroy me.

I let it fall to the floor as I stood frozen. I didn't want to touch it. I didn't want to see it. The words were imprinted in my head. I'd never be able to make them go away. I couldn't move. I couldn't breathe.

Della

Tripp hadn't said much when he came to get me. He had just asked if I was sure, and when I'd said yes he had taken my bag and put it in the compartment of his bike before handing me a helmet and a leather jacket. I put both on.

We had been riding for about two hours when he pulled into a gas station. My legs were slightly numb. I wasn't sure I could walk when I got off that thing. Tripp got off and then took my helmet and hung it on the bike. I didn't ask him why he wasn't wearing a helmet but I was glad he had one for me to wear. He then held his hand out to help me off. I managed to sling my leg over the bike and held on to both his hands as I stood up.

"Ouch," I said with a weak smile.

He grinned. "Yeah, you'll get used to it," he told me, then nodded his head toward the store. "Go in, use the restroom, and get yourself something to eat and drink. We'll take a little break before we go any farther."

I had focused on the road and the cars we passed. I'd managed to fight off any thoughts of Woods. But they were there in my head, teasing me. They wanted to haunt me. They wanted to break me. He would know soon that I was gone. "Where are we going?" I asked, trying to think of anything other than Woods.

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