Read episode 25 here: http://bit.ly/allureserial
“Easy, boy. Easy.”
Beck gave that happy bark of his and jumped up and down in front of the door.
My heart was already messed up from everything that’d happened, and from just being here, but seeing the pup’s eagerness to get within the penthouse just made everything worse.
Of course he recognized this place. I’d brought him here often since Dorian gave him to me.
Of course he smelled his second owner from the hallway.
I swear I could, too.
Why’d I bring our dog to this meeting?
That was exactly why. Because although I swore I’d left Dorian, I still thought of Beckham as ours.
It was an impulsive move I was sure I’d regret.
I reached up to knock—
As usual, I never got the chance.
Perhaps Dorian heard Beck announcing our arrival—perhaps, like he always did, he sensed me here waiting for him—and the door flung open.
The sight that greeted me knocked the breath right out of my lungs.
He’d clearly just finished taking a shower. His hair was even longer and swiped back from his forehead, the curly strands wet. A drop of water slid slowly down the side of his face.
His facial features were taut. Ragged. It seemed as if he hadn’t slept in days, yet he was still the most beautiful man I’d ever seen.
Always would be.
He hadn’t shaved today and that five o’clock shadow set off every hormone in my body.
Dorian’s eyes flashed, as if he was picking up on my sudden need. His lips parted to say something.
Beck barked manically and flung himself at Dorian, breaking the moment.
I watched our dog frantically pawing at his legs, his tail wagging with sheer ecstasy at the sight of him, and everything shifted inside me.
Dorian’s expression melted as he bent to greet Beck, and the happiness I saw there, the way the strain disappeared from face, speared through me.
Any more hits, and I’d bleed out here, in his hallway, for his eyes to see.
I tightened my hand around the strap of my laptop bag and prayed for a strength I knew I didn’t possess.
“Yeah, buddy. I know. It’s so good to see you.” Dorian scratched behind Beck’s ears and smiled up at me. “Thank you for bringing him. I’ve been missing him, too.”
It wasn’t lost on me what he meant by that. And, no, he wasn’t talking about Beck obviously missing him.
I swallowed, throat tight. “Of course. It’s not fair to keep him from you because of all of this.”
“He was my gift to you. You could, if you so chose.”
God, look at us. We were like parents that had separated and still had to work out visitation with our child.
I was going to fucking cry.
Dorian’s brow twitched and he shot to his feet. That blue gaze studied me, picking up on my emotions—something he was too good at—and he raised a hand to reach out to me.
I looked over his shoulder into the apartment to see who had spoken.