CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

Emma…

We don’t end up standing under the water for long.

Jax starts kissing me, and the next thing I know, I’m in the corner of the shower against the wall with him inside of me. If we’d been passionate in the bedroom early, this is more primal, more animalistic. We fuck, and it’s everything, just everything. I can’t find another way to describe what it is that passes between us. When it’s over, we linger, touching each other, kissing each other. He strokes my hair from my face, the way I’m coming to expect, and cups my face. “God, woman, what are you doing to me?”

What am I doing to him? What is he doing to me? What are we doing to each other? We should both be running in the other direction, but here we are. Wet and kissing like we haven’t just kissed away the morning.

Finally, we suds each other up and laugh for no real reason, just like we did back in San Francisco in the hotel shower. It’s one of those raw, real moments that pulls me closer to him, one of those raw, real moments that we need right now. A moment that brings us back to all the good things about me and him, of which there are many. He makes me smile. We make each other smile. I don’t smile that often, and I get the impression that Jax doesn’t either. I don’t have to wonder why. His mother left. His father died. His brother is dead. And in death, there is coldness, so much coldness.

Eventually, the water is cold, too, and Jax turns it off, grabs a towel overhead and hands it to me, before opening the shower door. Jax immediately hands me a smaller towel for my hair. I grab it and drop my good towel into the water. “Great,” I murmur.

“I got you,” Jax says, giving me a wink, the words packing a punch with about ten potential meanings, the moment somehow heating my cheeks, which is silly when I’m naked, wet, and he was just inside of me.

His eyes warm, his lips curving in a satisfied smile. He’s pleased and with his pleasure comes a realization. With any other man I’ve known, this kind of satisfaction would become arrogance, dominance. With Jax, it’s intimate, warm, charming. He’s pleased, not with his ability to control me, but with our ability to connect on this level. And so, I’m pleased, too.

He disappears outside the stone walls of the shower, but the warmth of our bond stays with me while I quickly dry my hair and wrap the towel around my head. Jax reappears in the doorway with a low-slung towel at his waist, holding another towel for me. I step out of the shower to stand in front of him, and I’m surprised when I’m instantly draped in terry cloth. Jax uses the edges to pull me closer, giving my naked body a heated once over, and then tucks the towel together above my breasts. I’m suffocating in this man, and I love every second. Leave me here and let me drown.

Our eyes lift and collide, and the punch of awareness between us doesn’t just steal my breath; I swear he steals the rest of my heart that still might have been safer to hold onto. I don’t even try to pull it back though. Warmth radiates in the depths of his stare and washes over me, and it is clear that there is something happening between us, something I have never known before, but I want to know it with him. Not only do I melt all over again for this man, I dare to think that he feels everything that I do.

Of course, the insecure part of me, the part that has always been a Knight, with no real identity, wants to reject that idea, to protect myself. But Jax wins this self-doubt versus satisfaction push and pull. Right here, right now, with him, is one of those moments in time that a little girl imagines she might one day feel, but the adult woman dismisses as a fairy tale. But then I am standing in a castle on the ocean. Unbidden, my minds adds, a castle where his brother died.

It’s a horrible thought that ends with his cellphone ringing. My heart lurches with that call, and I grab Jax’s arm. “That might be Savage. Before you answer, just remember that together doesn’t mean you and Savage. Whatever we find out about our families, or whatever is in that envelope, might have consequences. Please, let’s deal with you and me, first.”

“We’ll take it one step at a time, together. Let’s see what he has to say.”

On the surface, it’s a good answer, if you look beyond the absence of agreement. “No running, we agreed,” I say. “No secrets either. I offered you my father’s paperwork. You have to be just as upfront with me. I need to know—”


Tags: Lisa Renee Jones Naked Trilogy Erotic
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