"I was afraid to bring up the subject because I couldn't tell how you would react." He slid a hand down to the curve of her thigh. "I've explained that. I was terrified of giving you an excuse to talk about our relationship."
"What's wrong with that? We should discuss our relationship more. We need to talk about it."
Jonas raised his head, his eyes glinting in the darkness. "Relationship discussions make me nervous. I'd rather go to bed with you than talk about our relationship."
"Well, you can see where that attitude has gotten us this past week," she admonished roundly. "We had plenty of sex, but our relationship was falling apart because you wouldn't open up and tell me how you really felt."
Jonas decided to see if a quick, abject assumption of all the blame would close her luscious mouth. "It was all my fault. I should have talked to you about the whole thing. I really screwed up, honey. I'm sorry." He tangled his fingers in the soft nest of hair above her thighs and inhaled the unique fragrance of her.
"Oh, Jonas, it wasn't really your fault," Verity said graciously. She smiled gently in the shadows, her eyes full of love. "I understand how traumatic it must have been. You had so much to adjust to it's a wonder you didn't sink into a deep depression or something."
"Or something," he repeated absently, his attention on how soft and warm she felt. Right now he wanted nothing more than to sink into Verity's welcoming warmth. He wanted the reassurance of her physical response and the peace of mind that always came afterward.
"But now that it's all out in the open we can really talk about it." _
"Yeah. We'll have to do that sometime." He lowered his head and kissed the tight red curls that concealed her feminine secrets.
"Why don't we do it now, Jonas?"
"Now? I don't think that's such a good idea, honey." He slipped his fingers between her thighs and drew in his breath as his already aroused manhood grew harder and heavier.
"But this is the perfect time, Jonas."
"No, sweetheart, it's not the perfect time. I've got other things on my mind."
"What other things?" she asked with wonderful innocence.
Jonas stifled a groan as he let the pad of his thumb glide across the sensitive nub hidden in the curls.
Verity flinched in reaction to the provocative caress. Her brows snapped together. "You mean sex."
"Now you're catching on." He parted the soft petals between her legs and circled her gently with one finger. She was already damp. The spicy scent of her grew stronger in his nostrils, inflaming him.
"Jonas, sex is not a substitute for good communication." .She gasped softly as his caress became more intimate.
"Think of it as another form of communication—nonverbal communication." He lowered his head and touched his tongue to her moist flesh. Then he eased a finger inside the softening sheath.
"I think we've already mastered this form of communication," Verity whispered. "We really should talk.
I'm serious, Jonas. Stop that. We need to get in the habit of talking things out when we run into problems."
"Verity," he began, trying to warn her gently that his patience was dissolving rapidly. "There's a time for talk and a time for screwing. Trust me. This is not the time for talk."
"Dammit, Jonas, if we're going to get married, I insist we practice verbal communication." Her fingers clenched on his shoulder.
Jonas sat up slowly and regarded the woman he was going to marry. "You want to use your mouth to communicate?"
"I think it's for the best, Jonas," she said very seriously. "At least at the moment. It's not that I don't want to make love with you, but I just feel we need to learn to relate better on a verbal level."
Jonas nodded with sudden decision. "Right. You want to use your mouth, so go ahead and use your mouth." He leaned back against the pillows and reached out to cup the nape of her neck in his palm. He pushed her head gently but firmly down to where his manhood throbbed heavily.
"Jonas, this is not what I meant, and you know it!"
"Open your mouth, honey, and show me how well you can communicate that way."
"You rat! I'm trying to carry on an important, meaningful discussion here, in case you didn't notice." Her breath fanned the full, rounded tip of his shaft, and Jonas thought he would explode then and there.
"I can't wait to receive the pearls of feminine wisdom that roll off your sweet tongue, my love." He thrust upward just as she parted her lips to tell him again about the importance of verbal discussion. "Ah, that's better." He sighed blissfully as her warm mouth closed around him. "Much better. You communicate beautifully with your mouth, honey."
His last coherent thought was that he could live without the part of him that tuned him in to the past. But he would go out of his mind if he ever lost Verity.
She was his future.
She stirred, drowsy and sated. "Yes, Jonas?" "I was scared for a while. Really scared. It was like a part of me had vanished. Like I'd lost a leg or an arm."
Verity came fully awake, listening to his stark confession of fear. "I know, Jonas. I knew it must be like that for you, but you didn't say anything. I didn't know how to get you to talk about it."
"I couldn't talk about it. In my mind I linked losing my talent with the possibility of losing you. I couldn't deal with both losses. But everything is okay now."
She smiled with quiet relief and leaned over to kiss him gently. "Everything's going to be fine now. Jonas, I would love you no matter what you were missing."
"You know what my biggest fear was? Losing you to someone like Oliver Crump."
"There was never any need to be afraid I'd run off with Oliver. I like him very much, but I don't love him."
He turned his head on the pillow and looked at her, his golden eyes sober and intent. "You found something with him. Something similar to what you found with me."
"No," she said firmly. "What I found with Oliver was nothing at all like what I've found with you. Oliver and I became friends. Nothing more."
"What about your ability with the crystals?"
Verity smiled. "Whatever ability I had with the crystals didn't lead me to feel anything more than friendship for Oliver. The link, or whatever it was we shared, wasn't… seductive the way it is with you.
It wasn't personal. There was no sense of being emotionally linked to him. It's hard to explain, Jonas. But it was different, trust me. Besides, that's all gone now."