“Does this mean anything to you?”

“Us?” she asked. Of course this meant something to her. She’d been in love with him for years.

“Your tattoo is about me and you?”

Oh my God. Face turning fiery red, she looked away from the mirror. “It’s a hummingbird. My momma used to call me that.” Bittersweet memories enveloped her as did his arms. “She said I like to flit from here to there, always moving.”

“Guess I’m the mood-killer now, huh.” He kissed the top of her head, a gesture so sweet and telling that she wanted to weep. “Sorry, sweetheart.”

He wasn’t just saying sorry for killing the mood. He meant her mom, too. Carter was just that kind of guy. No, not that kind of guy. He was a man, protective and sexy as hell.

Whirling in his arms, she crept her hands up his wool sweater. “It happened a long time ago, when I was a little girl. Before I knew you. And I’m grown now.” She gave him her best-come-and-get-me-boy smile, cupping her br**sts and pressing them together. “In case you didn’t notice.”

“I’d have to be dead to not notice.” Admiration gleamed in his sexy green eyes. “But thank you for reminding me…ma’am,” he said in that deep drawl she loved.

“Why don’t you warm up your hands again.” It wasn’t a suggestion.

“Why don’t I warm you up instead.” His mouth came down on hers, his tongue breaking the seam of her lips as she stood on tiptoe. Rubbing against him, she whimpered in the back of her throat. His hands explored every sensitive part of her that he could reach. Cupping her butt, he lifted her to him and started in the direction of the bed.

She helped him out of his shirt along the way, throwing it in the middle of the room. Even as her back hit the comforter, she was tugging at his belt, ripping it off and unbuttoning his fly as his mouth found her nipple and sucked.

Her head fell back against a pillow, her fingers digging in his back. She found her way to his jeans, pushing them down so she could cup his muscular butt. The very hard length of him rubbed against her thighs, and then hit her stomach as he worked his way back up to her mouth. He bit her bottom lip and tugged, worrying it between his teeth and then soothing the sting with his tongue.

“You’ve got the poutiest f**king mouth and one day real soon, I’m going to have it around my dick.” He sealed his lips over hers, taking her breath away and replacing it with his. She couldn’t get enough of him. He rolled onto his back, taking her with him.

Sitting up, she grinded against his erection and raked her nails across his chest. A chest made of muscular pecs and a washboard stomach. Dear God, she should pin a picture of it on her Pinterest page, under ManCandy. “Maybe you’ll return the favor and put your mouth on me again. Maybe we can do it at the same time.”

He groaned. “Can’t take much more.” In one swift move, he had her pinned under him and entered her with one long finger. “Fuck. You’re so damn wet. Reach into my pocket and get a condom.”

“Which one?” she asked, desperate for him to be inside of her, and not just his finger.

“Doesn’t matter; they’ve all got one.”

He eased a second finger inside of her and pressed up. An involuntary shriek left her. “Oh God.” She grabbed the first foil packet with the tips of her fingers and lifted it to her mouth, tearing it and throwing the packet to the side.

“I want to taste you so bad…but I can’t wait.” He snagged the condom from her and rolled it on, then the blunt head of his erection replaced his fingers and he pushed inside.

His head fell to her shoulder, fingers threading in her damp hair, and flexed his hips. She whimpered at his invasion. As he stretched and filled her. Even if she hadn’t had sex in almost two years, he was still hung like a  p**n  star.

And they were moving like two odd puzzle pieces being shoved together. It was awkward and hurt like hell. This wasn’t what she dreamed about. This was…They needed to slow down.

“Carter…not so fast,” she gasped, hips pressing into the mattress. “I haven’t had…ung…sex…”

He froze. “You’re not virgin, are you? Because if you are I’m going about this all wrong.”

“Why—virgins deserve more than hussies like me?” she asked, tears stinging her eyes.

“Dammit, Melanie.” His head snapped up, eyes dark and jaw clenched. “Why do you assume the worst about me? More importantly, why do you assume the worst about yourself?”

Because she’d been reminded her whole life that she was from the wrong side of town, the wrong side of the tracks and was nothing but trash. Turning away from him, she stared at the wall. Posters still hung on her wall. Teen heartthrobs and favorite bands smiled back at her.

“Look at me.”

“No,” she whispered, because if she did, she might cry. And God knew there was no crying in the middle of sex. Not unless it was the good kind.

“I’m trying to take it easy on you, because I don’t want to hurt you and I have no f**king clue as to what you have and haven’t done. What you’re used to and what you like.” Now she did turn to face him, finding his emerald green eyes fixed on her. “I’m going on instinct, on those sexy little moans and whimpers that I love hearing you make. Then you scare the shit out of me—” He shook his head. “—Christ. I’m inside of you—you’re tight as hell…wet as hell—and we’re having a f**king conversation, instead of …fucking. Help me out here.”

She moved her hips and he slid in deeper, a low rumble coming from his throat. Gazing into his eyes, she managed a smile. “I wanted you to slow down, because I haven’t had sex since Trent and I broke up.”

“Ah, hell.” He moved his hand to her face, running his knuckles over her cheek. “That’s a long time.”

His touch made her feel all vulnerable. When he kissed the tip of her nose, she felt positively special, which was flat out stupid and dangerous to her well-being. “Don’t feel too bad for me. I do have B.O.B.”

A crooked grin replaced his look of tenderness. “Think I can give ole’ B.O.B. a run for his money?” He began to move his hips and dipped his head, brushing her lips. “I don’t require replacement batteries.”

Giggles escaped her mouth before she could help it, then full blown laughter. That is, until he tugged her nipple into his mouth and sucked. His large, callused hand on her hip held her in place while he worked his way inside of her. Letting her thighs fall open, she jolted when he went deeper.

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