“That’s so good, baby, baby, such a sweet fucking mouth. You’ve got me so horny or I’d keep tapping the back of that throat.” He wraps my hair in a fist and turns up the pace of his thrusts, each of them punctuated by a curse. “Ahhh, Jesus. Going to come. You want it?”

I hum around Jason’s erection and tighten my lips on a down stroke, walking on my knees to get close as possible, reveling in him, inhaling his musk. Want it? Yes, yes, I do. With my entire being. I’m the one that got him to this point—I want the proof. The reward.

His fist grips the base of his length, rubbing up and down in time with my bobbing lips, working in perfect tandem for tense moments before the dam gives way. A groan rips from Jason and he erupts in my mouth, his hand a blur of motion as he frantically relieves himself into my mouth, down my throat. I watch him, absorbed, triumphant in the arch of his neck, the vein standing out in his temple, the sweat beading on his forehead. He’s wrecked. A servant to his own body and the way it jerks, shudders as it empties.

When he’s finished, a strange peace comes over me. I’ve needed this kind of contact with him for weeks, haven’t I? The stress of not touching Jason or having him touch me has kept me pulled tight as piano wire, but the wire is cut now and I fall to one side, catching myself on a hand.

“Come here, beauty queen.” I’m hoisted off the ground and squished up against his chest, my toes brushing the ground. “Damn. Never thought I’d say this after a month of hell, but you were…you are worth every minute of the torture.”

Still captured in my dazed state, I let him sway me. My body is slack, but his words have made my pulse boom wildly in my ears. There are worries just out of reach and I can already feel them sneaking back to the fore. Go away. “So are you, Blackbeard.”

His fingers pause in their sift through my hair. “Any time you wanted me, baby, I’d have moved mountains—”

I put my fingers over his mouth before he can go any further. The words he’s saying to me are beautiful, like balm on a scrape I didn’t even know I had. His arms feel so right around me, his heart beating against my ear. But we’re making too many admissions. Where does this lead? Nowhere. It can’t go anywhere. I’m afraid of us admitting too much and not being able to take it back. “Can’t we just have the moment a-and—”

“And what? Go back to St. Augustine and pretend this didn’t happen?” Using a fist full of my hair, he tugs my head back, his face hovering over mine. “Pretend I didn’t drive here at ninety miles an hour because I can’t stand the thought of another man looking at or thinking about you?” His voice drops. “Pretend I don’t know your pussy melts like warm sugar on my tongue?”

Heat careens through me. “Stop.”

“No, Naomi. It’s not convenient to want each other this fucking bad, but here we are.” He looks away and something hostile passes through his eyes. I’m not prepared to balance myself when he lets go of my hair, but he holds me until I gain my footing. “You haven’t completely cut ties with your last relationship, but if you can kiss me the way you did, as far as I’m concerned, they’re fucking cut. I want them cut.”

“It’s not that simple. Legacy and marriage and commitment and bloodlines. Those things are important to my family. I’ve allowed myself to be selfish, but I can’t stay this way forever.”

The word forever falls between us like a boulder.

“How can you ask me to make huge decisions that will affect my life when you’re leaving?” I whisper in a shaky voice. “We both are.”

Silence stretches so long, I’m not sure he’ll ever respond. Then, “If we’ve only got a couple of weeks, so be it.” It takes him a moment to look at me. When he does, I can’t help but think he’s holding something back. “Until you go, though, I want it all. I want you in my bed every night. Fuck it, I want to hold your hand and take you out. All or nothing.”


“You want an adventure?” He takes my face in his hands. “Let me help give it to you.”

I’m almost dizzy from the rapid pounding of my heart. He can’t really be asking me to make a decision when I still haven’t come down from what he did to my body. What I did to his. I’ve barely given myself permission to acknowledge that I have feelings for Jason and he wants more. He wants it all.

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