Moments later, he lifted his head and inhaled deeply. She watched how his nostrils flared as they picked up her scent. In anticipation of his next move, thunderbolts of pleasure consumed her.
“I need to get inside you, bad,” he said softly, reaching behind her to ease down the back zipper of her skirt. He gave it a little tug, and the denim slid down her thighs to pool at her bare feet. Her heart pounded furiously in her chest when he lowered to bended knees and removed her panties, easing them down her legs.
Instead of standing back up, he remained on his knees. He touched the curly hair covering her femininity. His fingers slid back and forth through the curls before parting her folds and easing inside of her.
Desire shifted into an urgency that Channing felt all the way through her bones. And when he added another finger and began working inside of her, stroking her with mindless precision, she threw her head back and moaned. She wasn’t just wet; she was soaked—exactly the way Zane liked.
“I can’t wait to taste you again,” he whispered, his voice reaching her just moments before his tongue slid inside of her. Then, with his ardently skillful and proficient mouth, he licked, sucked and nibbled her right into an explosion.
But he didn’t let up. All through her orgasm, he swirled his tongue inside of her, lapping her greedily as he held on to her with his mouth.
She cried out, screaming his name while bucking her hips, holding on to his firm, broad shoulders. She thought the same thing now that she’d thought the first time he had taken her this way. Zane Westmoreland’s tongue should be outlawed and his fingers shackled.
It was only when the last spasm had left her body that he got to his feet, cupped her face in his hands and held her gaze. “I love you.”
Channing’s mind blocked out his words. She didn’t want to hear them because they weren’t true. He didn’t love her; he loved this. He wasn’t in love with her; he was in lust with her.
He kissed her, and she tasted herself on his lips while his engorged length pressed hard against her stomach. Licking her lips, she pushed Zane down on the bed with the intention of savoring every inch of him. It had been two years, and she’d missed his taste.
He lay flat on his back as she eased over him, using her tongue to lick all the way from his ankles to where his shaft lay thick and swollen in a dense bed of curly hair. She used her fingers to stroke him before lowering her lips to his throbbing erection.
As soon as her mouth took him in, he let out a guttural groan. The sound sent heat surging through her. Her mouth tortured him, and she enjoyed the feel of him pulsating against her lips. Blood raced through her body when she felt him swell even more. He jerked, bucked and arched off the bed, but she refused to let go. This was what she wanted, what she craved, what she’d missed.
Her mouth stayed locked on him even when he screamed out her name and his release flooded her mouth. She felt his hands in her hair, trying to pull her mouth away, but she refused to let go. His taste was setting her entire body on fire, preparing her for what was coming next.
She slowly eased her mouth off him, and before she could catch her breath, he had pulled her up and flipped her gently onto her back. Parting her legs with his knees, he looked down at her before reaching for one of the condoms he’d tossed on the bed earlier. He opened the packet with his teeth and quickly sheathed himself.
“I need this,” he whispered before easing into her. He then thrust hard, and she wrapped her legs around him. He rode her, moving in and out, using powerful strokes, sensuous thrusts and a steady pace that had heat drumming through her at every angle.
The room filled with the scent of hot, sweaty bodies. Hard, gritty sex. And Zane was relentless. She responded by lifting her body to meet his downward spiral over and over again.
And then she went crashing over the edge, taking him with her. His body continued the steady strokes until the last remnants of climax had left her body, leaving her totally drained. She was convinced that what they’d shared today felt different from all those other times. She’d never experienced anything like it.
Moments later, Zane slowly pulled out of her and then eased out of the bed to go to the bathroom. When he returned, Channing lay stretched across the bed with her arms thrown over her eyes, pulling in deep breaths.
She lowered her arms so she could look up at him. He had put on his jeans but not his shirt. The woman in her couldn’t help but appreciate his muscular chest. When he made a move to sit on the edge of the bed, she said, “You need to leave, Zane.”
His brows rose in surprise. “Leave?”
“Yes. I enjoyed the sex as much as you did. We both got what we wanted, so there’s no reason for you to stick around.”
A dark frown settled on his face. “What are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about the reason you came here.”
“I told you why I came. I wanted to apologize and to tell you I love you.”
She shook her head as she eased out of bed and began putting on her clothes. She glanced over at him as she tossed her hair aside to slide her T-shirt back over her head. “I don’t believe you.”
He watched her every move. “What don’t you believe?”
She eased her skirt up over her hips. “That you love me.”
Zane was taken aback by what she said. “And why don’t you believe me?”
“Because,” she said, pulling her hair back and fastening it with a clip. “If you tell someone something often enough, eventually they’ll get smart and believe it. You didn’t love me a few days ago. I got that admission from your own lips. So why on earth would I believe that you love me now, Zane?”
Zane stood there with his gaze fixed on Channing. He could not believe she was questioning what he’d told her. The first time he’d ever admitted his love for a woman and she didn’t believe him? What kind of crap was that?
Somewhere in the back of his mind, he could hear Bailey gloating. “The kind of crap you got yourself into.”
Drawing in a frustrated breath, he said, “The reason you should believe me is because I don’t have a reason to lie about anything like that.”
She gave a short laugh. “Sure you do. You’ve got it in your mind that nobody can have me but you.”
He took it as an affront at what she said. “I don’t think that!”
“Don’t you?” Her eyes turned stormy. “Did you not seduce me in McKays to prove a point?”
“Yes, but I—”
“Doesn’t matter,” she said, interrupting. “You’ve explained yourself. You came to apologize, and you have. But please don’t get love confused with lust, Zane. You can never love a woman. I get it.”
No, she didn’t get it. How could a man tell a woman he loved her and she not believe him? He drew in a deep breath when the answer slapped him in the face. Easily, if it was the same man who’d told her over and over that he didn’t love her.
They stood there, eyes locked, while seconds ticked by. He needed her to understand. “I was afraid to love you until now.”
Her brows rose. “Afraid? Please. Certainly you can do better than that. Zane Westmoreland isn’t afraid of anything.”
Boy, was she wrong. He rubbed his hand down his face in frustration. “Look, Channing—”
“No, you look,” she said, her tone hardening as she tossed him his shirt. “You might not know what love is, but I do. I loved you, but you couldn’t love me back. You wouldn’t love me back. So I left Denver, and I stayed away for two years. Two years, Zane. And you didn’t so much as pick up a phone to see how I was doing.”
Her heart twisted, remembering the nights when she first got to Atlanta when, for some stupid reason, she actually thought he would come after her. She thought that he’d realize he loved her, he couldn’t live without her and he would show up one day with a confession of his feelings. She had been so wrong, and when she’d finally accepted that Zane truly didn’t give a damn about her, she’d tried moving on.
“I wanted to,” Zane said and immediately knew it sounded lame.
Evidently she thought so, too. He could tell when he saw fire flaring in her eyes. “You wanted to? The Zane who does whatever he wants to do wanted to call me and couldn’t? Why?” She held up her hand before he could answer. “That’s right, you were afraid,” she said, mocking his earlier statement. She crossed her arms over her chest. “And just what were you were afraid of, Zane? Were you scared that I would pressure you into marrying me?”
Zane knew women, and he knew you couldn’t make them see reason when they believed there was none. And you definitely couldn’t out-talk one who thought she had a case to make.
“You’re upset, Channing. Maybe we should continue this conversation tomorrow.”