No longer holding anything back, he thrust into her hard, and then harder still. Sweat dripped from his body to hers, one drop running down between her br**sts as wet skin rubbed against wet skin.

"Now, Brooke." Her eyes flew open, so dilated with arousal that the black of her pupils had pushed out nearly all of the green. "Now."

As if she’d simply been waiting for his command, before either of them could take their next breath, she was exploding beneath him, around him, holding nothing back at all as her climax rocked them both.

Chapter Sixteen

"That was better than chocolate!"

Rafe lifted his head from the crook of her neck. "How much better?"

Uh-oh, she hadn’t realized she’d said the words aloud. But how could she be embarrassed with him after how close they’d been? How close they still were, actually, with his wonderfully large body pressing hers into the mattress.

"Way better," she replied. "Especially that last part."

He looked surprised when he saw that he was still holding her arms over her head, almost as if he hadn’t realized he’d done it at all. Cool air rushed over her wrists as he quickly let her go. "Did I hurt you?"

She frowned at his question. "Of course you didn’t." But when she looked at her wrists, she could clearly see the imprints of his fingers across her skin.

"Damn it, I did."

She shook her head. "No, it’s just that I’m so pale. My skin always marks a little when something’s pressed up against it, but it disappears really fast."

When he got up to throw away the condom, she knew he was going to blame himself for something he hadn’t done, but she wouldn’t let him do it. Not to himself. And not to her, either.

She reached out for him. "Come back to bed, Rafe."

Standing in the moonlight shining through her bedroom window, she watched him fight with himself for a few seconds, that muscle jumping in his jaw again. Finally, he moved back toward her and took her hand.

She drew him back onto the bed and made him lie on his back so that she could settle into the crook of his shoulder. "I love every single thing we did together. When you were holding onto my wrists like that," she whispered, "I felt freer than I ever have before." She lifted her gaze to meet his as she added, "And I can’t wait to do even more next time."

She watched a new flash of heat jump in his eyes before he tamped it down. "Having your wrists in my hands is as kinky as we’re going to get, Brooke."

She could have argued with him, could have told him he wasn’t going to win this one. Instead, she simply smiled and said, "You finally said kinky."

The smile was still on her lips as she ran her fingertips lightly over his scar in the dark, then lay her palm flat over his beating heart and closed her eyes.

* * *

Rafe couldn’t believe he’d fallen asleep in Brooke’s bed. Morning light streamed in over him, and he worked to get his sluggish mind to click into gear. When Brooke had wrapped her arms around him and snuggled close, his entire body had desperately craved her softness, her warmth...and the sense that she was healing the broken parts of him one kiss at a time.

Still, he was amazed that not only had sex with Brooke been super crazy hot, but that she was just the same afterward as she’d been before. Full of smiles and the sweetness that had always been such a big part of her, rather than trying to get him to talk about feelings.

He could hear the shower running, and knew he should leave her to finish washing up alone, especially after the way he’d taken her last night—hard enough that she might be sore. But Rafe was quickly learning that he didn’t have any control where Brooke was concerned. Especially when the thought of her naked and wet and soapy in the shower had him as hard as he’d ever been, as if he hadn’t just lost himself inside her less than eight hours ago.

The bathroom door was unlocked, but he wouldn’t have thought twice about picking the lock to get to her. The room was steamy, the glass door of the shower fogged up, so that all he could see was a gorgeous outline of skin and curves and long, wet hair.


He answered by opening the shower door and stepping under the water with her, dropping the protection he’d brought with him on the tiled bench to one side.

Her happy smile was immediate, as were her hands coming around his shoulders when she drew him close to her for a kiss to start the morning. Every time they kissed, he was shocked to realize he wanted her more.

Last night should have begun to take the edge off. Instead, the opposite was true.

"I didn’t want to wake you when you were sleeping so soundly," she said against his lips, "but I’m really glad you’re up now."

"You can wake me anytime for this."

Thirty seconds was as long as it would have taken for him to have her pressed up against the tiles, her legs wrapped around his waist. But that would have meant missing out on the chance to run the bar of soap over every inch of her skin.

Her eyes went wide and her breath came faster as he moved around her body so that he was standing behind her. The water had plastered her long hair to her neck and back, and Rafe thoroughly enjoyed lifting the soaked strands up and over one shoulder. Beneath the spray of the shower, the ends of her dirty-blond hair had darkened to the color of her flushed ni**les.

Aroused by the sweet curve of her neck, he dropped his mouth to her delicate skin. She shivered as he pressed his lips against her, and then his tongue.