She had no idea how crazy she made him.
Now, in the Lamaze class, of all places, Chase could hardly control his hands, accidentally brushing her breast and aching to feel her bare skin beneath his palm, his lips. He massaged a cramp from her thigh and imagined them wrapped around him, their softness sliding luxuriously against his legs. Her secret smiles were torture, and later, as they drove to her house from the community center, Chase could think of nothing but holding her in his arms. All night.
And when she opened her door and turned to him, any gallant notion he harbored vanished and he pulled her tightly to him, kissing her till her knees softened.
"Chase. Please." She pulled back, breathless.
"Please what? Please leave?" he whispered in her ear. "Please stay?"
"I don't know," she cried against his mouth, hooking the waistband of his jeans and tugging him into her house. He shut the door, falling back against it, and kissed her again and again, his hands skating roughly down her back, over her trim hips to cup her bottom. The hard press of his thighs meshed to hers like the scrape of rough wool, driving hunger to the surface, and she whimpered against his mouth, straining to get closer. She couldn't.
"I … I can't do this," she said, pushing herself out of his arms.
"Tessa?" He caught her back and held her. "We won't do anything you don't want. A few more cold showers aren't going to hurt me."
"I know and I'm sorry. I feel like a tease, if you can believe that."
He pushed his fingers into her hair, dislodging hairpins, his palms framing her face. "I want you, Tessa. You. I want to taste your breasts," he said into her mouth. "I want to feel your legs holding me, your mouth on me." His voice lowered to a husky pitch. "I want to feel you grow hot and wet before you take me inside you."
A strangled sound worked in her throat, her breathing labored. "You're not being fair."
"Do you want me, Tessa? If you say no, I'll leave, but I'll know it's a lie."
She gazed into his cobalt blue eyes. "So will I."
He kissed her lids closed and felt her sigh feather across his skin. "That's all that matters. No, don't talk. Just feel for once. I won't hurt you," he said advancing. "I swear, angel."
His mouth covered hers, the passion rising like oil to the surface. Her mouth pushed harder to his, her hands sweeping his jacket off his shoulders to the floor. The simple disrobing was an offer of trust, and Chase swore he'd move carefully. Prayed he could. He wanted her so badly. Needed her too much. He back-stepped, tugging her across the living room and down the hall, his mouth rolling over hers. He knew which room was hers without looking, the scent of her, of cinnamon and spice, drew him there.
Pulling her inside, he kissed her a moment longer before she switched on a small lamp. Chase looked at the room caught in the soft yellow glow and his jaw dropped. He should have known. A four-poster canopy bed, draped in deep mauve silks, curtained with netting and yards of fabric dramatically entwined around the posters and canopy. It was a bed made for loving Tessa.
He looked at her and she smiled shyly. And as he wondered what other secrets he'd discover this night, she started for the bathroom. He caught her hand.
"I need a minute," she said, and he let her go. Chase brushed back the curtain of the bed, securing it on the hook fashioned in the post and thought he'd bust down the door if she didn't come out soon. Then she did.
She was wrapped in a dark maroon satin robe, the outline of her body enticingly clear. She was bare beneath. He met her gaze and saw the apprehension there and wondered if it mirrored his own. He suddenly felt inadequate.
"I haven't been with a woman since Janis," he said suddenly.
She blinked. That had to be nearly eighteen months because Janis had been dead almost a year.
"When we decided on surrogates, she felt, I guess, that the prospect of fatherhood would take care of my—needs." Bitterness tinted his tone, an embarrassed flush creeping up his neck.
A little smile curved her lips, swollen red from his kisses. "And did it?"
"Not then." He chuckled shortly, remembering the nights he'd spent just imagining being with her, so aroused he couldn't think or sleep. Then there were the cold showers, he thought with a velvety look down her body. "And definitely not now." When she wouldn't take his offered hand, he frowned softly.
After a few false starts she said, "I feel very unsexy right now."
He came to her, gathering her in his arms, his mouth brushing over her lids, her cheeks, then covering hers. He didn't offer words, for they wouldn't convince her she was the sexiest creature alive. So Chase showed her.