Working It Online - Kendall Ryan


Present Day

It had been a month since I’d seen him, but my body still knew when he was near. The skin on the back of my neck tingled and my hands curled around my middle, like my body was preparing itself to fall apart.

I glanced over my shoulder to see Ben Shaw striding through the glass doors with a compact carry-on bag in hand, looking devastatingly handsome. My heart pinched painfully in my chest.

Long-forgotten memories infiltrated my brain. His large hands splayed across my hips, his full mouth nipping at my throat . . . the filthy things he murmured in my ear. The way his gorgeous mouth would turn up in a lopsided smile when I tried to refuse him. My heart, though utterly destroyed, beat just for him. My hands ached to hold him; my body longed to be nestled against his. And there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.

Last month I’d left my job and fled New York City to go back to the safety and comforts of my home in Tennessee. Now I was standing on the curb at LaGuardia, one of the busiest airports in the world, running smack into the reason I’d left. But Ben, purposeful in his stride, had yet to notice me.

Pulling my eyes away from him, I focused on getting the hell out of there. I rushed toward the curb, hoping Ben wouldn’t see me, snapping my fingers to get the attention of a cabdriver. He sped past as if I didn’t exist. Figures. Damn New York cabbies. As I turned for the curb, Ben’s eyes scanned the lines of waiting cars. I was only a few feet away, and he still hadn’t noticed me. This both relieved and offended me. I tightened the grip around myself, though I was barely holding on.

“Emmy . . .” The deep timbre of his voice washed over me in a familiar way, knotting my stomach and making my knees weak. My eyes slipped closed.

How dare he have the audacity to speak my name? He’d lost that right awhile ago. There should be a special place in hell reserved for boyfriends who got another woman pregnant. Raising my hand in the air, I waved at a passing cab. Ugh. No luck.

“Emmy, wait.” He crossed the distance between us, reaching for me.

Don’t touch me. I jerked out of his reach. I couldn’t handle the feel of his warm fingers grazing my skin. It’d evoke too many memories I’d been fighting to keep at bay. I watched the cars pass, unable to face him.

“How’s the baby?” I couldn’t resist asking; nor could I prevent the bitter tone lacing my voice.

From the corner of my vision, I saw him swallow roughly as he stuffed his hands into his pockets. “We should talk, Emmy.”

“I have nothing to say to you.”

“Well, I do. There are a few things you should know.”

What could possibly be so important?

I spun around to confront him, my ponytail lashing him in the face. Dark circles lined his eyes. He looked terrible. His insomnia was obviously back in full swing. He’d once told me that sleeping by my side was the only thing that kept it at bay. I closed my eyes briefly, but the memories refused to stay locked away. Thoughts of his warm body curled around mine, the way he mumbled in his sleep, and the sensation of his lips rubbing against that sensitive spot at the back of my neck drifted into my consciousness.

My stomach lurched. Hold it together, Emmy. Guarding myself against the hot tears that threatened to escape, I drew a shaky breath.

This tall, beautiful man overwhelmed my senses. He stood with such an air of authority that I had to physically fight the gravitational pull urging me to throw myself into his arms. Even after all this time, my body had not forgotten a thing.

I couldn’t believe I’d once thought he could be mine. Looking into that brilliant, hazel gaze framed by long, dark lashes, I was hit with a thousand different emotions I’d convinced myself I’d only imagined—the way he looked straight into the very center of me, the clean masculine scent of his skin that I was powerless against, the way his fingers twitched to reach out for me. Suddenly, I was delirious, overcome with emotion, and consumed by a longing so deep it owned me. And it always would. I loved him. Loved him with every fiber of my being. There was no getting over