Cursing, Blake pushed her right knee up against the wall, using his free hand to sweep the crotch of her knit pants and undies to the side. With a harsh groan and a fearsome thrust that marked the collapse of his control, he buried himself inside her.

“Blake!” she called out, clutching his shoulders.

Heart thundering, he battled for a return to sanity, yet her sex was unbelievably tight. Hot. And oh-so slick. But he needed to stop. He needed to get a grip.

To think logically about—

“Blake,” she whispered as she gripped his shoulders, gently rolling her hips as if desperate for more, and desire crushed his fight for restraint.

He pulled back and drove into her again. His breathing harsh, his body quaking with need, he closed his eyes, straining to regain his composure. Praying he could recover his mind and bring her to completion with him. But with every thrust of his hips, pleasure roared through him, and he almost came. The impossibly tight glove of her body, the satisfying pressure, was an agony of the most blissful kind.

“Jax.” His gasp for breath was loud as his mind spun to regain footing. “We need a condom,” he groaned. “We need to take this to the bedroom.”

But Jax rolled her hips again, and her muffled cry of desire speared him with a thrilling satisfaction. Despite his attempt to regain control, the terrible need won out, and he hiked her leg higher, pulled back...and buried himself to the hilt.

A sharp gasp of what sounded like pain escaped Jax’s lips, and Blake’s eyes flew open.

Eyes closed, Jax clung to his shoulders. “Don’t. Move.”

It was the look on her face and the strained ache in her voice that finally penetrated his sex-muddled brain as, one by one, the clues slowly congealed into a single earth-shattering reality. When he glanced down at their joined bodies, the evidence was overwhelming, and the shocking realization momentarily paralyzed him. Because Jacqueline “Jax” Lee wasn’t just sporting the ‘Like a Virgin’ tattoo.

She was—up until the moment Blake had lost his hold on sanity—living the life of one, as well.

* * *

“Damn it, Jax. I’m sorry,” Blake said hoarsely, withdrawing and setting her back on her shaky feet, her body throbbing with intense pleasure and the lingering sting of pain.

Though his hands steadied her, the sudden loss of contact was disorienting, and Jax struggled to comprehend the shocked look on Blake’s face.

But his words made his distress clear.

His expression dumbfounded, he said, “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I thought I did.”

He plowed a hand through his hair. “Your tattoo suggested that you feel like a virgin, not that you are one.”

The distraught look on his face was almost as bad as Jack’s when he’d first attempted to make love to her. And if Blake was this upset about her previous virginal state, imagine how he’d react when he learned the complete truth about her past....

She swallowed hard, struggling for composure. “Can you excuse me for a moment?”

And then, with all the dignity she could muster, she entered the cottage and padded down the hallway, not stopping until she was in the bathroom. Jax closed the door and locked it, her heart pounding.

It was official—Blake must think she was a raving lunatic.

Forcing herself not to hyperventilate, hands clumsy, she shed her pajamas and turned on the hot water in the shower. She stepped into the spray, trying not to picture the confounded look on Blake’s face. She steadied herself against the wall and let the warm water sluice down her trunk a moment before washing off.

And when she stepped from the shower and reached for the towel bar, her reflection in the mirror caught her eye and she paused, touching a scar on her belly. Her stomach rolled, but she fought the nausea.

She’d been thrilled with the way Blake had taken her. But of course, you can’t make love to a man without getting undressed. At least not forever. Eventually during a round of sex you had to remove your clothes, or at least explain why you wouldn’t take off your shirt.

Jax closed her eyes, seeking a sense of calm, but the pounding that suddenly came from the door made achieving a state of Zen impossible.

“Jax,” Blake called through the door. “Are you okay? Damn it—” The pounding grew louder, but it was the concern in his voice that pushed her to consider following through on his command. “Open up.”