Just when he was about to rip the damn door off the hinges, it swung open. “Took you long enough.” Not an ounce of amusement resonated in his voice.
Alessandra stared at him for a beat, her face registering disbelief and bewilderment. “I was in the shower.”
Hudson stood framed in the doorway. Right now he wasn’t feeling like the billionaire mogul the rest of the world knew, but a man past the limits of control. His eyes raked over her from head to toe and she pulled the lapels of her robe tighter against his searing gaze. “Why did you come to my place?” he demanded.
Her spine straightened. “Shouldn’t you be out with a leggy brunette about now?”
“Canceled. Now answer the question.”
“I . . .” She hesitated.
“I don’t know.” Her grip tightened on the silk robe, wrinkling the fabric.
“Bullshit. You do know. You can’t stop thinking about me.” He jutted forward, bracing one hand on the doorjamb. “I know this because I can’t stop thinking about you.”
“Every time I close my eyes I see you, feel your mouth sliding against mine, and it drives me fucking crazy—”
She held up her hand. “Hudson, please stop.”
“Then you show up at my penthouse. And now, knowing you’re naked underneath that robe . . .”
“You can’t keep saying these things to me.”
“You don’t mean that. In fact,” his eyes flicked down briefly to her nipples straining against the thin fabric, begging for his attention, “I think it turns you on.”
“You’ve got a lot of nerve.”
“Do I? I bet if I rip open that robe and feel between your legs, you’re soaking wet.” His gaze darkened and his voice lowered to an intimate challenge. “Want me to prove it?”
Her jaw dropped. “You need to leave.”
When she made a move to close the door, Hudson’s palm smacked flat against the wood. “Not until you admit I’m right.”
“Is that what this is about, you being right?”
“No, though I am.” His voice took on a decisive edge. “The road is paved in hard truths, Alessandra, not denials.”
“And you think I’m the one in denial?”
His gaze was rock steady. “I know you are. But fuck if I’ll let you push me away again.”
“It doesn’t matter how I feel.” Her voice thinned. “It’s too late for us, Hudson.”
“The hell it is.” His chest expanded and he blew out an exasperated breath. He needed to connect with the girl she used to be, the girl he knew was still there, beneath the layers of socialite status. “Damnit, Allie. Just admit you feel the same.”
“Admit what? That I haven’t stopped thinking about you since the moment I turned around and saw you at the gala? That I can’t stop picturing what could have happened in your office? Or about how part of me was disappointed you didn’t fuck me on that barstool? Is that what you want me to admit, Hudson, that no matter how many years have passed, I still want you as much as I did back then?”
“Yes, I need to hear you say it.”