Page 11 of Wife in Public

He never took the risk of getting a woman pregnant. The possibility hadn’t even entered his head. He’d wanted Ivy Thornton from the moment he’d seen her tonight, wanted her more and more with every minute they spent together, wanted her so much it was impossible to tolerate her driving away from him, but he’d meant to persuade, to seduce, to promise pleasure, not to…

‘I can’t believe I did that,’ he muttered, shock tumbling into words he didn’t mean to speak aloud.

He was still out of control.

‘I can’t, either.’

The shaky reply startled him into darting a glance at her. She wasn’t looking at him. Her head was bent, the rippling fall of her glorious hair hiding most of her face. Her hands lay limply in her lap, palms upward, and she seemed to be staring down at them as though they didn’t belong to her—hands that had gripped him in a fever of passion, inciting the wild act of intimacy they had both engaged in.

She was in shock, too.

Instinctively he reached across, took one of her hands, squeezed it. ‘I’ll make it better,’ he said.

Do it right, he thought, which was why he’d put her in the car and was driving her to Balmoral—take her to bed with him and do all the things he’d imagined doing with her instead of succumbing to a mad rush of lust. It was too late to be worrying about protection now, not too late to enjoy all he wanted to enjoy with Ivy Thornton. Though he should check if she was using some form of contraception, know if there was a possibility of unwelcome consequences.

He frowned. It seemed crass to ask at this point. Besides, the damage was done if it was done. Using condoms for the rest of the night would be ridiculous. He might as well have the pleasure of totally unrestricted sex with her. It would be good. Great. Fantastic. He could bring up the issue later. She could take a morning-after pill if it was needed. Right now he wanted her riding with him, still caught up in what had happened between them.

It had been such an incredible rush—the excitement of her response, the mounting sense of urgency to seize the moment, take it as far as he could, her uninhibited complicity driving him to the edge, past it into plunging chaos. He couldn’t remember ever feeling so exultantly primitive. Sex with Ivy had to be explored further. Much further.

‘Where are you taking me?’ she asked, her voice still slightly tremulous.

They were crossing the harbour bridge to the northern side of the city. He threw a reassuring smile at her, but her gaze was now fixed on the road ahead of them.

‘I have a house at Balmoral. I’m taking you home with me,’ he answered, hoping she was not about to protest the move.

She didn’t.

She sat in motionless silence as he drove on over the bridge and took the turn to Military Road. Maybe she was having trouble putting thoughts together. Whatever…there were no stop signs coming from her and Jordan felt the buzz of anticipation shooting through his body again. He knew the desire was mutual. No doubt about it. It was only a matter of rekindling it, stoking the fire, making it a slow build-up of heat so the intensity didn’t burn them out too fast.

He wanted the whole experience of Ivy Thornton.

A wham-bam on the trunk of a car was almost an insult to the fascinating woman she was.

He’d make it better for her.

A lot better.

Ivy’s mind still felt as though it had been hit by a brick. Thoughts came slowly, as though emerging from a sea of molasses. She’d had sex with Jordan Powell. On the trunk of her car! He was driving her to his house at Balmoral. These were definite facts. She found it impossible to decide how she should be reacting to them.

Sex had never been like that for her…so compellingly reckless, so explosive, so erotically euphoric. Whether it was the man he was, the unusual set of circumstances, the long lack of any physical excitement in her life… Ivy couldn’t quite put it together. He was a tempting devil and she had been tempted into going along with him, at the gallery, to the restaurant, and now to his home.

Why not?

Luck had blessed her in what could have been disastrous carelessness. She was in a safe week—no chance of falling pregnant. And it was too late to worry about sexual-health issues. Hopefully Jordan Powell was too fastidious a man to run those risks. Though he had done so tonight. Probably part of his shock at his behaviour.

Anyhow, she was problem-free and she hoped he was, too, because it was done now. She’d gone past the point of no return and finishing the night with him had a lot of appeal. How good a lover was he in bed? Could he give her an even more amazing experience? She’d never been inside a billionaire’s house. It would be interesting to see how Jordan Powell lived, the paintings he had talked about, whether his bedroom had playboy stamped on all its furnishings.

Her car would be parked outside. She could leave whenever she chose to. This was an experience that was unlikely to ever come her way again and she wanted it. Yes, she did. Of course, it had to be limited. One night would satisfy her curiosity. She could allow herself that much. Any further involvement with Jordan would definitely not be sensible. Tomorrow she could leave with a smile on her face…knowing all she wanted to know. Decision made.

Her mind moved on to working out how she should handle this new situation. It was hard to be cool and objective in these circumstances, having just shared such incredible intimacy with the man. Her nervous system was still buzzing. It seemed best simply to follow his lead. Unless his lead struck wrong chords, which wasn’t likely with his well-practised charm. He’d done this with umpteen women. Though on the trunk of a car might have been a first, given his comment of disbelief. It was certainly a first for her.

All her inner muscles contracted with the memory of such intense pleasure. If Jordan could give it to her again…was she wicked to be wanting it? So what if she was! Did it matter just for once? Heather would undoubtedly say go for it. It wasn’t as if she’d be hurting anyone. She was free to do as she liked.

Her gaze dropped to the hand still firmly linked to hers—a hand that knew how to touch, how to arouse overwhelming sensations, a tempting hand, a winning hand. But she was winning, too, wasn’t she, being the object of its expert attention? She might never get to feel like this with any other man.

His fingers caressed her palm, making her skin tingle. ‘Are you okay with this, Ivy?’ he asked caringly, his deep rich voice washing over her thoughts.

‘Yes, thank you,’ she answered, wincing at sounding like a prim schoolgirl. The plain truth was she was not a player, not like him, and she didn’t have any experience of acting like one. ‘You can show me your paintings,’ she quickly added, flashing him a smile to show she could be sophisticated about spending the night with him.

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