His phone rang and he quickly answered it with "I’ll be right there" before giving her his full attention. She could see the weariness in his eyes.

"Allison, I’m afraid our talk is going to have to wait," he said.

"Answer my question. When did you get back from Berlin?"

"A week ago."

TWENTY-FIVE

A week? He’d been back in Boston seven days and nights and hadn’t bothered to call her? What was the matter with him? Didn’t he have any idea how much he was hurting her? No, of course not. How could he know? He was an idiot.

Any other woman would have thrown her hands up and moved on. She had tried, but, fortunately or unfortunately, she wasn’t any other woman. It was time for her to find some courage and confront him, and that wasn’t going to be easy. If he didn’t like what she had to say, would she be able to walk away? What if he rejected her? She thought about that possibility for a few minutes and then decided, yes, it would be devastating, but then at least she would know, and she could then figure out a way to put him out of her life.

Her mind was cluttered with worries while she showered and got ready for bed. Every time she thought about barreling down the hill in her car, she felt sick to her stomach. Time to lose herself in her laptop, she concluded. It was the only way she knew to disappear from the world. And then she remembered her laptop had been destroyed, and she was going to have to buy a new one. Thankfully, she had external backups of all her work.

She walked into the living room and came to a quick stop. Liam was still there. He was standing at the window, staring out into the night. He seemed to be deep in thought. His phone was in his hand, and every once in a while he glanced down at it. 

"I thought you’d left."

He didn’t look at her when he answered, "No." He was staring at his phone again and shaking his head. "Know what I’m looking at?" He walked over to her and handed her his phone.

She looked at the photo and cringed. It was her car, or rather the remains of her car, at the bottom of that hill.

"You could have broken your neck." He sounded angry, but his hands were gentle when he took her by the shoulders. "You should have bruises all over your body."

"But I don’t," she assured him. "I’m fine."

He didn’t let go of her. His hands slid down her shoulders and rested on the buttons of her silk pajamas. Then he kissed the side of her neck. As his kisses slowly made their way down to her breasts, he unbuttoned her top.

When she let out a low gasp, he swept her up in his arms and carried her to the bed. They were ravenous for each other, and there was no slowing down once the passion between them was ignited.

"Am I hurting you?" he panted. "I’ll stop if I’m hurting you."

"No, no. Don’t stop," she demanded, and then she bit his earlobe, and he was lost.

They reached climax at the same time. She squeezed him tight and cried out. Liam groaned before collapsing on top of her. His head dropped to her shoulder as he took deep breaths, trying to recover.

"Are you okay, sweetheart?" He was breathing hard.

She was still reeling. "Yes," she said with a sigh.

He finally found enough energy to move before he crushed her. He rolled to his back but kept her locked in his arms. He couldn’t seem to make himself let go of her.

"I’ve never lost control the way I do with you," he confessed.

"You make that sound like a bad thing."

He shrugged. "It is what it is."

What’s that supposed to mean? she wondered. Liam got out of bed then, grabbed his clothes, and went into the bathroom.

"Here we go again," she muttered. Would he say, "See you later," or nothing at all? Oh no, not this time. There was no way she was going to let him walk out the door without acknowledging a few things first.

He came out of the bathroom, all buttoned up and tucked in, ready to leave. He seemed preoccupied. She suddenly became furious. All he had to do was leave a little money on her dresser to make her feel like a call girl. She grabbed her robe, put it on, and chased him into the living room. "Please don’t leave just yet. I want to ask you a question."

She wasn’t given time to ask it. Stamos was knocking on the door and calling Allison’s name. She tightened her robe and opened the door a crack.

The doorman didn’t ease into his news. "Those maniacs are downstairs again. They’re very upset."

"Enough already. Wait ten minutes and then send them up, please."

Muttering to herself, she rushed into the bedroom to get dressed. "I’m through being patient. They aren’t going to go away without a fight, and by God, I’m going to give them one." She called to Liam in the living room, "You should probably leave. Otherwise, you’ll have to arrest me when I start punching them."