“Do you have any idea how much I wanted you to?” I haven’t gone without underwear in forever, and certainly never because a man has demanded it of me. A man whose hands I’ve been craving for the last several hours. So even though I’d managed to put it aside and function as a responsible corporate employee, the reality that my panties have been tucked in his pocket has been making me a little bit crazy.

“Actually, I do,” he says as he cups my sex, finding me very wet and very ready. He nips at my lower lip. “It’s been my pleasure tormenting you.”


He chuckles as he thrusts his fingers inside me, making me gasp. “You’ll forgive me when I make it up to you.”

“Someone might see.” My protest is feeble, because now he’s slowly teasing me, thrusting deep and then stroking my clit when he withdraws, and I am sliding down into a sensual haze.

“No one is here.”


“No. Quiet. The only sound you get to make is when you come. Do you understand me?”

I say nothing, but nod in acquiescence just like I’m supposed to do. Then I tilt my head back to meet his eyes and find them dark with lust and need. I shift my stance, deliberately giving him better access, and watch as that evidence of my surrender reflects on his face, like a building storm ready to unleash.

He makes a low sound of pleasure, then hooks his other arm around my waist to hold me steady as he teases me with his fingers, and then slants his mouth over mine to get his tongue in on the action. I am completely at his mercy, uncaring that we might be seen, wanting only more of what he is giving. This wild sharing, this spiraling pleasure.

I’ve been on edge all day, and as much as I want to relish the sweet sensation of his touch, I cannot hold back, and before I am ready, the force of my orgasm surprises us both. He breaks the kiss, then pulls me close again. “Do you know what that does to me? Holding you? Feeling you respond like that to me?”

I manage an impish grin. “Believe me. It’s my pleasure.”

He laughs, then scoops me up and carries me across the deck as I laugh and order him to put me down.

“Sadly, I’m going to have to give in to your demands.” He puts me on my feet and nods at the ladder. “Probably best not to risk maneuvering that together.”

“Probably,” I agree. I glance back at the dock, frowning slightly.

“Second thoughts?”

My smile is wide and very genuine. “Only about my wardrobe.” I indicate the dress. “I can’t go to the island like this.”

“As much as I’d like to suggest that you frolic naked and barefoot there, you’re probably right.”

“Can you drive me back to my condo?” I think about the traffic between Marina del Rey and Santa Monica and wince. That’s going to take forever.

“I have a better idea. Come with me.”

He steps onto the ladder and I follow him down into the large area that is now his workspace. I have no time to look around, though, because he continues down another level to where two doors open off either side of a narrow corridor. The one on the right is open and I realize I’m looking into Jackson’s bedroom. Considering it’s a boat, it’s a decent size, and exceptionally tidy. I start to glance around, just to get more of a feel for the space, but my eye is drawn to a photograph hanging on the wall near the door.

It’s a red-haired woman holding a small, dark-haired girl. They’re in a park and were caught in a candid moment smiling and laughing.

I recognize the woman—she’s the redhead from the documentary screening.

I look at Jackson, feeling suddenly shaky. “You care about her,” I say, unable to keep the accusation out of my voice.

He frowns. “What?”

“You said in the car that you didn’t care about any of the women you’ve slept with. But you care about her.” I hate the jealousy that laces my voice, and yet I cannot help myself.

He comes to stand beside me, then reaches out and takes the picture off the wall. “I never fucked Megan,” he says. “Not like I did the others.”

I turn to look at him, curious and, yes, jealous of the gentle tone in his voice.

“I slept with her, but it was a weak moment for both of us.”

“Who is she?”

“A friend,” he says, and though I expect him to elaborate, he doesn’t. “It was a mistake. Can you understand that?”

I think of Louis and all the mistakes I’ve made. “It’s not my business who you’ve slept with in the last five years.”

“No, it’s not,” he says. “But it still matters to me that you know.”

Tags: J. Kenner Stark International Trilogy Romance
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