Malik wanted to worship her properly, but everything seemed to go too fast. In no time, he was carrying her to the couch and laying her on it as she shifted her hips up to him and pleaded with him to end her torment.

“We need to slow down,” he said. Panted, really.

“No, no, I don’t want to.”

She wrapped her legs around him, her heels in his buttocks. He hesitated, wanting to remember this moment, the rightness of it. The way she looked as she lay beneath him naked, her nipples still glistening from his mouth, her lips swollen from his kisses. Her hair wild and free, tumbling down her back in a riot of flame.

Beautiful. His.

“Malik, please,” she said. “Stop teasing me.”

And that was it. He surrendered. Utterly and completely. Malik lifted her to him and drove into her molten heat.

Bliss. Comfort. Rightness.


Sydney had never been so happy in her life. She lay wrapped in Malik’s arms, her body spent, her heart full. They’d found their way to the bed, but not before he’d opened the sliding glass doors to the outside. A soft breeze from the ocean whispered over them. It wasn’t cool, not after they’d been so incandescently hot together, but it was welcome.

The ocean crashed on the beach below, the waves eternal and endless. She’d thought of Malik as a wave, a relentless wave dragging her below the surface.

She’d been wrong.

He was relentless, but he wasn’t dragging her down. He was lifting her up, asking her to accompany him. To be by his side always.

She could do that. She intended to do that.

She turned in his arms, saw that he was awake. Watching her. Her heart did that little flip it always did when he was near.

“What are you thinking?” she asked, tracing his lip with her thumb. It hurt to love him so much, but she would learn how to live with the pain. It was a good pain to have.

“I am thinking there are no words to describe this moment with you. But I have to say the best ones I have, because they will come the closest to it.”

Sydney ran her hand over his chest, up into his hair. She loved touching him. Could never get enough of touching him. “Then they will be perfect, Malik. Because I know you would not use them otherwise.”

His white teeth flashed in the darkness. “Then I shall say them.”

He turned her onto her back, rose above her on an elbow and traced the line of her collarbone. Her skin tingled with pleasure. Though she should be burnt out by now, tongues of flame licked her from the inside out. How very quickly she wanted him again.

She put a hand on his chest, felt the hard beat of his heart.

“I love you Sydney. You made me believe in love when I didn’t think I ever would. And though I fear the words are not adequate, I love you.”

“Oh, Malik,” she said through a haze of tears, her heart squeezing tight. “They are perfect.”

“I am still, however, a proponent of action,” he said, dipping his head to suckle her nipple into his mouth.

“Oh, yes,” she gasped, clasping his head to her as her body spiraled higher. “So am I …”