The unmistakable thunk of a body. The involuntary exhale of someone having the wind knocked out of them–female, if Ridge had to guess–was audible even from the window side of his hotel room.
“Christ, Evan, watch yourself.” Tony’s voice, loud and unmistakable, filtered from under the doorway as Ridge moved toward the door. “She’s not the enemy.”
Tightness gripped Ridge’s chest and he pushed the desk chair out of his way, toppling it to the floor as he brushed past.
“This was your choice, Olivia.” The words stopped him cold–the chill of the metal door handle colliding with the heat of his fingers sent a spiral of anxiety up his spine.
“You knew there’d be consequences. You can’t change your mind now. It’s too late.”
Ridge pushed the balloon of air from his lungs and rested his forehead against the faux wood veneer above the peephole. He forced reason to join the ranks of uncontrollable hope that swelled in his chest.
“No one ever said this would be easy,” Michelle continued. Only she and Tony were visible from Ridge’s fishbowl view.
“Let. Me. Go.” That voice, those words punctuated by restorative breath, stole every fiber of logic from Ridge’s body. He swung the door open and stepped into the hall.
His breath caught as he met her gaze. Real. Tangible. Here. A thump of blood rushed against his eardrums, silenced by the breath of her name sliding across his lips. “Liv.”