Home > Reflected in You (Crossfire #2)(8)

Reflected in You (Crossfire #2)(8)
Author: Sylvia Day

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."

"I'm trying to figure out who you are.

Where's the man who came right out and said he wanted to f**k me? The man who didn't hesitate to tell me I tie him up in knots, even as I was breaking up with him? I believed you'd always be brutally honest like that.

I counted on it.

Now - " I shook my head, my throat too tight to say anything else.

Grimness thinned his lips, but they stayed stubbornly closed.

Catching his wrists, I pulled his hands away.

I was cracking open inside, breaking.

"I won't run this time, but you can push me away.

You might want to think about that."

I left.

Gideon didn't stop me.

* * *

I spent the rest of the afternoon focused on work.

Mark loved to brainstorm out loud, which was an awesome learning exercise for me, and his confident and amiable way of dealing with his accounts was inspiring.

I watched him breeze through two client meetings in which he conveyed an air of command that was both reassuring and nonthreatening.

Then we tackled a baby-toy company's needs analysis, zeroing in on poor return expenditures as well as untapped avenues, such as mom-blog advertising.

I was grateful that my job was a distraction from my personal life, and I was looking forward to going to my Krav Maga class later, so I could burn off some of my edgy restlessness.

It was just past four when my desk phone rang.

I answered briskly and felt my heart leap at the sound of Gideon's voice.

"We should leave at five," he said, "to get to Dr.

Petersen's on time."

"Oh."

I'd forgotten that our couples therapy sessions were on Thursdays at six P.M.

It would be our first.

Abruptly, I wondered if it would also be our last.

"I'll come get you," he went on gruffly, "when it's time."

I sighed, feeling far from up to it.

I was already raw and irritable from our fight earlier.

"I'm sorry I hit you.

I shouldn't have done that.

I hate that I did."

"Angel."

Gideon exhaled harshly.

"You didn't ask the one question that matters."

My eyes closed.

It was irritating how he read my mind.

"Either way, it doesn't change the fact that you're keeping secrets."

"Secrets are something we can work through; cheating isn't."

I rubbed at the ache behind my forehead.

"You're right about that."

"There's only you, Eva."

His voice was clipped and hard.

A tremor moved through me at the fury underlying his words.

He was still angry that I'd doubted him.

Oh well.

I was still angry, too.

"I'll be ready at five."

He was prompt, as usual.

While I put my computer to sleep and grabbed my belongings, he spoke with Mark about the ongoing work on the Kingsman Vodka account.

I watched Gideon furtively.

He cut an imposing figure with his tall, leanly muscular frame in his dark suit and carried himself in a way that projected impenetrability, yet I'd seen him terribly vulnerable.

I was in love with that tender, deeply emotional man.

And I resented the fa?ade and his attempts to hide himself from me.

Turning his head, he caught me staring.

I saw a glimpse of my beloved Gideon in his wild blue gaze, which briefly exposed a helpless yearning.

Then he was gone, replaced by the cool mask.

"Ready?" It was so obvious that he was holding something back, and it killed me to have that gulf between us.

To know there were things he wouldn't trust me with.

As we exited through reception, Megumi rested her chin on her fist and gave a dramatic sigh.

"She's crushing on you, Cross," I murmured, as we made our way out and he hit the call button for the elevator.

"Whatever."

He snorted.

"What does she know about me?" "I've been asking myself that same question all day," I said quietly.

That time, I was certain he winced.

* * *

Dr.

Lyle Petersen was tall, with neatly groomed gray hair and sharp yet kind denim blue eyes.

His office was tastefully decorated in neutral shades and his furniture was extremely comfortable, something I noted on every one of my visits to him.

It was a little weird for me to see him as my therapist now.

In the past, he'd met with me only as my mother's daughter.

He'd been my mom's shrink for the last couple of years.

I watched as he settled into the gray wingback chair across from the sofa Gideon and I sat on.

His keen gaze shifted between us, clearly noting how we'd each taken seats on opposite ends of the sofa, our stiff postures revealing our defensiveness.

We'd made the drive over in the same way.

Flipping open the cover of his tablet, Dr.

Petersen gripped his stylus and said, "Shall we start with the cause of the tension between you?" I waited a beat, to give Gideon a chance to speak first.

I wasn't terribly surprised when he just sat there, silent.

"Well .

in the last twenty-four hours I've met the fiancee I didn't know Gideon had - " "Ex-fiancee," Gideon growled.

" - I found out the reason he's dated brunettes exclusively is because of her - " "It wasn't dating."

" - and I caught her leaving his office after lunch looking like this - " I dug out my phone.

"She was leaving the building," Gideon bit out, "not my office."

I pulled up the picture and passed my phone over to Dr.

Petersen.

"And getting into your car, Gideon!" "Angus just told you before we got here that he saw her standing there, recognized her, and was being polite."

"Like he'd say anything different!" I shot back.

"He's been your driver since you were a kid.

Of course he'd cover your ass."

"Oh, it's a conspiracy now?" "What was he doing there, then?" I challenged.

"Driving me to lunch."

"Where? I'll just verify you were there and she wasn't, and we'll get that part out of the way."

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