Sure enough, a minute later, I heard Cosmo bounding up the stairs. I knew it was him because of the way the bond around my heart reacted. The door burst open with way more force than necessary, and Cos rushed to me, dropping to his knees beside the bed and pulling me into a hug.
His arms were around my neck—avoiding my sensitive back—so I wrapped mine around his waist and realized he was shaking.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” I whispered.
He tucked his face into the side of my neck and shook his head.
“Talk to me, honey.” I made a disgusted face at the endearment that accidentally came out of my mouth. But I didn’t take it back—progress.
“Sure doesn’t seem that way to me.”
He sighed, nuzzled into me, and breathed deeply. “I needed to see you.”
“I’ve been… uh, worried.”
“Why? Did something happen at work?”
“No. I’ve just been worried… about you.”
He waited a beat. “That all you have to say?”
“Uh, yeah. Not sure what else there is to say.” I shrugged against him, then winced from my skin. Goddess, how long was it going to be sore?
“You could try making me feel better.”
“By admitting you missed me, too.”
I rolled my eyes. “Fine. I might’ve missed you a teeny tiny bit. Like so miniscule it was hardly noticeable.”
He snorted. “Prickhole.”
I smiled and rubbed his back, then turned my face toward him so I spoke for his ears only since I knew Jude and River were eavesdropping. “I did miss you, you know.”
“Yeah, Cos, really.” I waited a few seconds. “You make the best pillow, and you’re so warm that I’ve been freezing since you left.”
He barked out a small laugh. “I can always count on you to keep me humble.”
I snorted, then gripped him tighter and tucked my face farther into him. “I do miss you when we’re apart, kitty cat.”
A small rumble started vibrating his chest, and I smiled as I sighed. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw River and Jude walk out of the room, but I didn’t pay them any attention, not when I had a sweet and sexy lion in my arms.
Cos leaned back and captured my mouth with his, kissing me as tenderly as he held me, and I let him. Sometimes his gentleness was almost painful in its sweetness, but it was a hurt I wanted to feel.
His tongue caressed mine, taking its time and exploring my mouth like we had all the time in the world. It made my heart race and my chest warm and my belly fill with a thousand butterflies all at the same time.
When he broke the kiss, he nudged my nose with his, smiling when I opened my eyes, and he whispered, “Hi.”
I blinked a few times, staring at those golden eyes. “Hi.”
He pressed a lingering kiss to my lips before meeting my gaze again. “How are you feeling?”
“Really? Or is this one of those times when you’re acting like you’re okay even though you’re not?”
I scowled at him. “I said I’m fine, which means I’m fine.”
He gave me another peck.