“Mercedes, where are you? Food’s here.” I headed for the hallway that led to the guest rooms, but both her bedroom and Willow’s was dark. I crossed the penthouse, heading to the other side past the great room, just in case she was in my bedroom for some reason. I poked my head into my room. Nobody.
But I heard the rushing sound of water.
Curiosity consumed me. Clearly Mercedes had darted off to take a shower—but why? And why in my shower?
The temptation of finding out was too great to ignore.
“Mercedes?” I approached the bathroom door, which was ajar. It opened far enough that I could see the huge walk-in shower at the other end of the bathroom.
And there she was. On display. Glass doors revealing every last curve that Mercedes had, her creamy skin and soaked blonde hair beckoning to me, framed like a statue I could look at but not touch.
I gritted my teeth. The reset hadn’t worked. I needed a reset for my reset.
Mercedes rinsed shampoo out of her hair, and once her eyes opened, she jumped. “Trace, my God!” She tried to cover herself with her hands, but there was too much body and not enough hands.
“I came back with the food and couldn’t find you.” I lingered in the doorway, unable to stop myself from drinking in the view. My fingers curled and I swallowed hard. “Why are you in here?”
“Do you have to watch?”
“You’re in my bathroom.”
She huffed and dipped her head underneath the water again. My eyes migrated to the soft swell of her belly, the tightly trimmed patch of hair between her legs. My appetite for Thai had been replaced with a different appetite altogether.
“Willow jammed a spoon down her throat while you were meeting the driver. She puked everywhere, but most of it got on me.” She ran her hands over the top of her head, squeezing out the last of the shampoo suds. “I knew she’d be safe in the playpen while I hopped in the shower. My clothes are gross—don’t even touch them.”
I couldn’t rip my eyes off her long enough to even see where her clothes were. As far as I was concerned, there was nothing else in this bathroom except her inside the shower.
“So why my bathroom? You just wanted another opportunity to remind me that you’re engaged?”
Her shoulders slumped as she turned the water off. “This bathroom was closer. I was panicking.”
I grabbed a new towel from the cupboard and walked toward the shower stall. She looked so wet and downtrodden, it was hard not to melt to butter in front of her. But I was nothing if not practiced at staying firm at all costs.
“I already brought a towel,” she said, the door still closed. She pressed her forehead against the glass.
“Just trying to help.” I moved the door slightly. When she stepped back, I slid it open all the way and held the towel open. I made no effort to hide the fact that I was gobbling up every square inch of her body. I was hard as fuck just from looking at her. I could already imagine what that damp skin would taste like against my tongue. The humid heat I’d find in the hollow of her neck. The dampness between her legs that had nothing to do with the shower she’d taken.
“Trace,” she whispered, holding my gaze like a warning.
“You’re engaged. I fucking know. Have you noticed yet that I don’t care?”