Home > Reflected in You (Crossfire #2)(9)

Reflected in You (Crossfire #2)(9)
Author: Sylvia Day

He'd stopped me just like this, seducing me deftly, drawing us into a passionate embrace on the very couch that had recently seen some kind of action forceful enough to shove it out of position.

"Doesn't a picture say a thousand words?" I bit out through clenched teeth.

"So Corinne was manhandled.

What does that have to do with me?" "Are you kidding me? Let me out."

"I don't find anything even remotely funny about this.

In fact, I don't think I've ever been this pissed off at a woman.

You come in here with your half-assed accusations and self- righteous bullshit - " "I am righteous!" I twisted around and ducked beneath his arm, putting some much-needed distance between us.

Being close to him hurt too much.

"I would never cheat on you! If I wanted to f**k around, I'd break it off with you first."

Leaning into the door, Gideon crossed his arms.

His shirt remained untucked and open at the collar, a look I found hot and tempting, which only made me angrier.

"You think I cheated on you?" His tone was clipped and icy.

I sucked in a deep breath to get through the pain of imagining him with Corinne on the sofa behind me.

"Explain to me why she was here at the Crossfire, looking like she did.

Why your office looks like this.

Why you look like that."

His gaze went to the couch, then to the cushion on the floor, then back to me.

"I don't know why Corinne was here or why she looked like that.

I haven't seen her since last night, when you were with me."

Last night seemed like it'd happened forever ago.

I wished that it had never happened at all.

"But I wasn't with you," I pointed out.

"She batted her eyelashes and said she wanted to introduce you to someone, and you left me standing there."

"Christ."

His eyes blazed.

"Not this again."

I swiped angrily at a tear that slid down my cheek.

He growled.

"You think I went with her because I was overcome with the need to be with her and get away from you?" "I don't know, Gideon.

You ditched me.

You're the one with the answers."

"You ditched me first."

My mouth fell open.

"I did not!" "The hell you didn't.

Almost the second we arrived, you took off.

I had to hunt you down and when I did, you were dancing with that prick."

"Martin is Stanton's nephew!" And since Richard Stanton was my stepdad, I thought of Martin as family.

"I don't care if he's a damned priest.

He wants to nail you."

"Oh my God.

That's absurd! Stop deflecting.

You were talking business with your associates.

It was awkward standing there.

For them as well as me."

"That's your place, awkward or not!"My head jerked back as if he'd slapped me.

"Come again?" "How would you feel if I walked away from you at a Waters Field and Leaman party because you started talking about a campaign? Then, when you found me, I was slow dancing with Magdalene?" "I - " God.

I hadn't thought of it like that.

Gideon appeared smooth and unruffled with his powerful frame lounging against the door, but I could sense the anger vibrating beneath that calm surface.

He was riveting always, but most especially when he was seething with passion.

"It's my place to stand beside you, and support you, and yes, just f**king look pretty on your arm sometimes.

It's my right, my duty, and my privilege, Eva, just as it's yours in reverse."

"I thought I was doing you a favor by getting out of the way."

His arched brow was a silent, sarcastic comeback.

My arms crossed in front of me.

"Is that why you walked off with Corinne? Were you punishing me?" "If I wanted to punish you, Eva, I'd take you over my knee."

My gaze narrowed.

That was never going to happen.

"I know how you get," he said curtly.

"I didn't want you jealous over Corinne before I had a chance to explain.

I needed a few minutes to make sure she understood how serious you and I are, and how important it was to me that you enjoy the evening.

That's the only reason I walked away with her."

"You told her not to say anything about you two, didn't you? You told her to keep quiet about what she is to you.

Too bad Magdalene screwed that up."

And maybe Corinne and Magdalene had planned it that way.

Corinne knew Gideon well enough to anticipate his moves; it might've been easy for her to plan around his reaction to her unexpected appearance in New York.

Which shed a whole new light on why Magdalene had called me today.

She and Corinne had been talking at the Waldorf when Gideon and I spotted them.

Two women who wanted a man who was with another woman.

Nothing was going to happen for them while I was in the picture, and because of that, I couldn't rule out the possibility that they might be working together.

"I wanted you to hear it from me," he said tightly.

I waved that off, more concerned about what was happening now.

"I saw Corinne get into the Bentley, Gideon.

Right before I came up here."

His other brow rose to match the first.

"Did you?" "Yes, I did.

Can you explain that?" "I can't, no."

Injured fury burned through me.

I suddenly couldn't bear to even look at him.

"Then get out of my way, I have to get back to work."

He didn't move.

"I just want to be clear on something before you go: Do you believe I f**ked her?" Hearing him say it aloud made me flinch.

"I don't know what to believe.

The evidence sure - " "I wouldn't care if the 'evidence' included you finding me and her na**d in a bed together."

He uncoiled so swiftly, I stumbled back in surprise.

He stalked closer.

"I want to know if you think I f**ked her.

If you think I would.

Or could.

Do you?" My foot began to tap, but I didn't retreat.

"Explain the lipstick on your shirt, Gideon."

His jaw tightened.

"No."

"What?" The flat-out refusal sent me into a tailspin.

"Answer my question."

I studied his face and saw the mask he wore around other people but had never worn with me.

He reached his hand toward me as if to brush my cheek with his fingertips, then pulled back at the last minute.

In that brief instant in which he pulled away, I heard his teeth grind, as if not touching me was a struggle.

Agonized, I was grateful he hadn't.

"I need you to explain," I whispered, wondering if I imagined the wince that crossed his face.

Sometimes I wanted to believe something so badly, I deliberately manufactured excuses and ignored painful reality.

"I've given you no reason to doubt me."

"You're giving me one now, Gideon."

I exhaled in a rush, deflating.

Withdrawing.

He was standing in front of me, but he seemed miles away.

"I understand you need time before you share secrets that are painful for you.

I've been where you're at, knowing I needed to talk about what happened to me but just not ready.

That's why I've tried very hard not to push you or rush you.

But this secret is one that's hurting me, and that's different.

Don't you see that?" Cursing under his breath, he cupped my face with cool hands.

"I go out of my way to make sure you don't have any reason to feel jealous, but when you do get possessive, I like it.

I want you to fight for me.

I want you to care that much.

I want you crazy about me.

But possessiveness without trust is hell.

If you don't trust me, we've got nothing."

"Trust goes both ways, Gideon."

He sucked in a deep breath.

"Damn it.

Don't look at me like that."

Books
     Bared to You (Crossfire #1)
     Reflected in You (Crossfire #2)
     Entwined with You (Crossfire #3)
     Captivated by You (Crossfire #4)
     One with You (Crossfire #5)