During the ride back to the inn and the trip in the elevator, unnamed sensations simmered, making her skin tingle, her senses acute to the man beside her. It was as if she could feel his body beneath his clothes, the sheer sensuality of him. It taunted her, and his dark glances, smoldering and aware, scraped her like claws.

One dig and she'd peel down to her skin for him. He pushed open the hotel room door, the fragrance of warm apples and cinnamon breezing the air as he flipped on a lamp. She followed him in. He crossed the room to the ice bucket and popped the cork of a bottle of Chardonnay. He glanced at her, his look inquiring and she shook her head and with a bundle of her clothes, slipped into the bathroom. Her shower only served to sharpen her body's awareness, of him and her own feelings, and when she stepped out of the bathroom, he was near the living room, his gaze moving heavily over her.

Savage. Electrifying.

Alex felt like a stag scenting his doe, the space between them feeling like inches instead of yards. Behind him the huge bed loomed, the air fragrant with hot spice and cloaked in darkness. He watched her move to the dresser and put her things away, the long maroon satin robe shifting over her skin like liquid. Part of him wondered if she was naked beneath it. Part of him wished she was bound to her throat like a nun.

She never looked more elusive to him than she did now.

Every nuance was wrapped in a catlike sensuality and he told himself that was her lure – the dark fire brewing in her – but he knew otherwise. It was her. The woman who drew lines around herself as he had around his own world; the woman who held a stranger's baby as if it were her own and made heads turn when she walked into a room. A woman who forced him to step back and look at his life and see its value against the simplest of things.

She came toward him, the satin molding her incredible legs parting enough to show their sleek-muscled lines and making him crave to touch and taste every inch of her. The day-long denial made him reach when he shouldn't, his fingers brushing her arm. She stilled, her gaze colliding with his. Her eyes were glossy, on the verge of tears.

Something hard shattered inside him.

He whispered her name, his hand sliding over her stomach, fingers curling around her waist, and when he urged, she came to him, plowing her fingers into his hair and tipping his head to hers.

The first touch of her mouth was soft, like a breeze, and when her tongue slid over the line of his lips, Alex came apart, claiming her mouth with the ferocity he'd held in check. Hot. Possessive. And she stole a piece of him with every touch of her lips, with every part of herself she gave him so willingly.

Each shift and moan ground through him, weakening him, softening his knees. His hands rode up her back, pushing her tighter to his chest.

Madison gripped his hair and ravaged his mouth and knew she could put a stop to this with one word. But that would take thinking – and she only wanted to feel. And when his hands swept her body, parting the robe, shaping her ribs, then enfolding her breasts, she let him, purring for him as he rubbed, toyed with her nipples through the silk chemise. Her kiss grew stronger, hotter, her hands skipping over his shoulders, feeling his strength.

He staggered back, sinking into the love seat and shifting her to straddle his lap, tasting the slender line of her throat, pushing the robe off her shoulders to pool and catch at her elbows. She rose up, offering, and he tugged the chemise straps down. Cool, spiced air hit her bare breasts.

"Beautiful," he murmured as he wrapped his lips around her nipple, drawing deeply.

She gasped and arched, whispering his name and clutching him to her breasts as he tasted and played, his teeth scoring the tender underside before he dragged his tongue around her nipples again and again. Her breath shuddered, her sex hot against his stomach, and he opened his eyes, meeting her gaze.

She licked her lips, watching his tongue move over her flesh as if she were sweet cream for the taking. She couldn't pull her gaze away. It was too erotic to ignore, felt too good to stop, and when his hands found their way beneath the satin, enfolding her buttocks, she groaned at the splendid feeling of his palms on her naked flesh. She was alive now, feminine and desired. Hungry for pleasure. Now.

"Your skin is so smooth." He squeezed and pushed her down against him, his arousal separated from her by only slivers of cloth. She whispered his name, thrusting subtly against him, taking his mouth with a wildness that defied thought. His fingers dipped into her dewy folds, and she whimpered against his lips, clawing, rocking.

"You're on the edge, aren't you?"

She nodded shakily.

"Let me see it." His hand slipped deeper between them, fingers parting her and she flexed, gripping his shoulders. He stroked her delicately and she gasped for breath, over and over.

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