Page 38 of Burned (Ignite #1)

“It dates back to somewhere in the eleventh century. According to legend, a band of crusaders known as the Knights of St. John were fighting the Saracens for possession of the Holy Land. As the Knights advanced on the walls of the city, the Saracens used a new weapon that no one had ever used in battle before—fire. They launched flaming glass bombs at the Knights, but the Knights never stopped moving forward. They were covered in fire but they kept going to save their brothers. They became the first firefighters in history.”

I look down at my arm and watch her fingers continue to trace around each piece of the intricate design.

“The Maltese Cross became a symbol of protection. It means that the firefighter who wears it is willing to lay down his life for you, just like the Knights of St. John. They say that the cross is a firefighter’s badge of honor, signifying that he works in courage—a ladder rung away from death.”

Her eyes meet mine and the intensity in them overwhelms me. “It’s perfect. It’s exactly the type of mark you should have on you. You were always the most courageous person I ever knew, Collin. The fact that you put your life on the line for strangers on a daily basis doesn’t come as a shock to me at all.”

Tell her you love her, ass**le. Tell her right now.

“I have always wanted a tub like this in my house,” Finnley tells me, quickly changing the subject like she knew I was one second away from making things even more serious.

She reaches for the bar of soap sitting on the edge by the wall and I watch as she dips her hand with the soap pressed against her palm under the water, finding my c**k and sliding her hand gently up and down my quickly hardening length.

It takes me a minute to answer her as she continues to run her soap-filled hand up and down my cock. “Well, now you don’t need one. You can use mine anytime you want.”

She stares into my eyes as she pulls her hand away and drops the soap to the bottom of the tub, quickly bringing her hand back to me. I close my eyes and let my head drop to the edge of the tub, humming in approval as she tightens her fist around my c**k and pumps her hand faster from base to tip.

She continues to work me over with her expert hand until I can’t take it anymore. Lifting my head up, I grab onto her hips and pull her up my thighs. She leans up on her knees and positions my c**k right at her entrance, keeping her eyes locked tightly to mine as she slowly lowers herself onto me. We both groan as she moves her body down onto my c**k until our thighs our touching.

I sit forward in the tub and wrap my arms around her body, pulling her flush against my chest as her palms move to my cheeks and she holds my face in her hands. I press my lips to hers as she begins rocking against me, my c**k slowly sliding in and out of her. She glides her tongue across my bottom lip and I immediately part my lips, pulling her tongue into my mouth. Our tongues swirl lazily around each other while our bodies move with the same unhurried speed. I don’t think I’ve ever ‘made love’ before and I know for a fact I’ve never even thought those words in my head. I’ve always f**ked and I’ve f**ked hard. What we’re doing right now, this slow rocking against each other, is equally hot and filled with so much emotion, I can almost feel it burning a hole in my chest. Our kisses become deeper, our mouths moving faster even as our bodies continue the slow buildup. When I feel her start to clench around me and she moans into my mouth, I break our kiss, pulling back so that I can watch her. She’s f**king gorgeous all the time, but I’ll never get over the way she looks when she comes. When I hear her sigh my name, my c**k immediately swells and my own orgasm follows quickly behind.

She opens her eyes and stares down at me, running her hands through my hair over and over. She takes her time, slowly kissing my cheeks, my chin, my nose and my forehead until the water starts to grow cold around us.

I lift her up and out of the water, drying us both off in between more kisses. When I scoop her up into my arms and carry her back into the bedroom, she laughs and I know in that moment I’ve never heard a better sound. Sliding her under the covers and moving in behind her, I pull her tightly against my chest.

As her breathing slows and she drifts off to sleep in my arms, I know without a doubt that a part of me has always been in love with Finnley. Being with her these last two weeks has only amplified those feelings.

As my own eyelids grow heavy with sleep, I realize that I have plenty of time to tell her how I feel. Now that I’ve found her again, I have no intention of letting her go. We have nothing but time spreading out in front of us and I have no problem waiting until I know she’s ready to hear me say the words that are on the tip of my tongue.

Chapter 19—Boiling Point

I’VE BEEN SO busy the last two weeks with Collin that I haven’t had an opportunity to pack up Jordan’s things. Since Collin is working another forty-eight hour shift, I finally have the time to myself to get it done.

I still haven’t told him about the restraining order, but Jordan has been unusually quiet since I filed it and I don’t see the sense in bothering him about it now. All it would do is piss Collin off and I know he would hunt Jordan down and beat the hell out of him. As much as I think a good, old-fashioned ass kicking is exactly what Jordan needs, I don’t want Collin getting into any trouble. For now, I’m going to keep it to myself and hope Jordan isn’t stupid enough to break the order.

While I busy myself pulling empty boxes from the garage and start the grueling task of packing up everything that reminds me of Jordan, I make a quick call to my mom and give her an update. I didn’t want to worry her about the restraining order, either, but she’s been bugging me nonstop ever since I told her I ran into Collin two weeks ago. I want her to know that things are moving quickly with him so it doesn’t come as a surprise when she hears it through the gossip grapevine.