“It’s stupid, I know.” But I cannot deny that it’s true.

“I would have,” he says, moving away from me to stand up. He moves to the far wall and the window that now glows with the light of morning. “The truth is that back then I would have said fuck the promise and gone after you.” He turns to face me. “But you’d gone to him.”

“Dammit, Jackson. I was never with Damien that way. If you don’t believe me—”

“I do. You told me earlier, and I do. I believe you. But back then I thought otherwise.”

I consider what he says as I slide out of the bed and walk naked to him. “Was that why you said no? To the resort here and in the Bahamas? You thought I was Damien’s mistress or something?”

“Partly, but there was more to it than that.”

“The land deals.”

He cocks his head. “Let’s just say that outside of the context of the Cortez resort, Stark and I are at cross-purposes.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You know what? It doesn’t matter.” He lets his gaze drift slowly over me, so that the heat from his inspection seems to touch every part of my body, firing every molecule and making me forget just what the hell we were talking about, anyway. “I’m about to invite you into the shower with me. Which means that the last thing I want to be discussing is Damien Stark.”

“Oh,” I say, sliding into his arms. “You have a very good point.”

He’d turned on the shower before he made the coffee, and when we go into my bathroom, it’s already warm and cozy and steamy, just the way I like it.

Jackson strips off his jeans and I follow him in, then press close as his arms go around me, letting the sluice of water drench my hair and run over my face and body. I imagine it’s washing away the past, leaving open the way for a future with this man.

I tilt my head back and close my eyes, and that is when I feel his lips brush mine.

“No time, remember?”

“I’ll be fast,” he says, then captures my mouth with his even as one of his hands slides down to stroke my sex.

I’m wet and ready, and all I can manage is a simple word, “yes.”

His hands close over my breasts as he moves me back so that I am pressed against the tile. Then he lifts one of my legs so that my calf is over his hip, and I am open to him. I do not want to wait. I reach for him, then stroke my hand down the length of his erection, taking satisfaction in the way his expression goes hard, as if he’s on the edge of something spectacular. Because he is—and because I am the one who is taking him there.

“Now,” I say, urging him closer, demanding he fill me, then crying out in surprise and pleasure when he finds my core and thrusts inside me.

“Faster, Jackson. Harder.” I am crazed with need of him, and when he holds on to my ass so that he can thrust more deeply, I hook my other leg around him, then gasp again and again as with each thrust I am slammed up against the warm tile wall.

Until finally, I feel his body tighten and he explodes inside me, and it is my name that I hear on his lips.

“Come on,” I say when his eyes are no longer glassy. “We need to get going.”

“Not just yet,” he says, reaching for the handheld shower and turning it to a steady pulse. “I don’t think you’re quite ready yet.”

“Jackson …” I’m too ready, too sensitive, and I’m not at all sure that I can handle what he has in mind. But this is not a morning for mercy, and when he pulls out of me and I settle one foot back on the shower mat, he keeps hold of my other leg, then aims the pulsating jet at my clit.

“Oh, god, oh, Christ, oh, Jackson.”

I clutch his shoulders, my body shaking with a growing pleasure that is almost too much to bear.

“If we’re in a hurry, I can stop.” His lips are right by my ear, and he highlights the words by tracing his tongue along the edge of my ear, making me even more crazy. “Is that what you want?”

“Don’t you dare,” I say. “But, Jackson, oh, please, I’m so damn close.”

“Then let’s see what I can do.” He puts the handheld back, then drops to his knees. With one of my legs over his shoulder, he closes his mouth intimately on me, and it is that combination of his tongue, his lips, his touch that pulls me that final distance. My body shatters as a million volts pour through me, ripping me apart so that I am nothing more than atoms spinning in space. Nothing more than heat and desire lost in the arms of this man.

“Wow,” I say. “I don’t even care if we’re late.”


Tags: J. Kenner Stark International Trilogy Romance
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