“I didn’t sleep with him,” she said tightly. “We were caught in the rain and he came up so that dry clothing could be brought to him. He changed into a robe, and I stayed in the tub until he was dressed. We ate room service and then he left.”

There was a flicker of relief in Theron’s eyes. Why? What could it possibly matter to him? And then he shook his head.

“Why do you insist on driving me utterly crazy?” he murmured. “Is it not enough that I spend my time thinking of you? Remembering the feel of your mouth beneath mine?”

He moved in closer, his breath hot against her face. Unconsciously, she licked her lips nervously as he moved and tilted his head in a dance around her mouth.

“You shouldn’t…kiss me,” she whispered.

“You’ve never had an objection before,” he muttered just before his mouth closed hot over hers.

Fourteen

I sabella’s knees wobbled, and she clutched frantically at Theron’s shoulders to keep from sliding down his body. He caught her tightly against him as his lips plundered hers.

This kiss…was different. She moaned softly, a sound of surrender? Honestly, she didn’t care. Maybe it was a sound of need. Or want.

He took her. There was no other word for it. He took possession of her mouth as if he owned it, as if he had exclusive rights to her mouth and refused to share it. Ever.

Her body melted against his, and she loved the hardness of his chest, his thighs, shivered as his hands roamed up her body to her neck. He cupped her nape, holding her so that she couldn’t escape him. As if she wanted to.

She was a willing captive. This…this was what she’d dreamed about. Fantasized. Wanted so much. So desperately.

“I want to make love to you, Bella,” he said with breathless urgency, his lips barely separating from hers. “I’ve fought it. Theos, but I’ve fought, but if I don’t have you, I’m going to go mad.”

“Yes,” she whispered. “I want you so much, Theron.”

His hands fumbled with the tie at her robe, his lips never leaving her mouth. It was as though he couldn’t bear to stop kissing her. He devoured her even as he yanked her robe open.

And then his hands pressed against her naked skin, and she moaned and trembled, going completely weak against him.

“Soft, so soft and beautiful. Like silk,” he murmured as his palms caressed her sides, moving up until he cupped her breasts.

Finally, he moved from her mouth, his lips brushing over her jaw and to her ear and then lower, down her neck. He nipped then sucked at the tender skin, eliciting shiver after shiver.

His mouth continued downward, and she caught her breath as he sank to his knees in front of her. He snaked his arms inside her robe and wrapped them around her waist, pulling her downward so that her knees bent.

His mouth was precariously close to her breasts, so much so that his breath beaded and puckered her nipples into tight knots. And then he slid his mouth over one, rolling his tongue gently over the peak.

Her robe fell to the floor at her feet, and she was naked in his arms. He sucked at her breast, his dark head flush against her body. How erotic it looked, this proud, strong man, on his knees, his arms wrapped tight around her—as though he’d never let go.

Before she allowed herself to become too entrenched in that fantasy, he released her nipple, and she groaned her protest.

He glanced up, his eyes glowing in the lamplight. “You’re beautiful, Bella,” he said in a low husky voice that was passion-laced.

His grip loosened just enough that he could rise to his feet, his shirt scraping along her bare skin. She reached out with her fingers to snag at his buttons, wanting them gone and to feel his bare skin against hers.

But he collected her hands in his and held them tightly together. “Oh, no, Bella mou. This is my seduction. And I intend to seduce you thoroughly.”

He swung her into his arms and walked slowly to the bedroom, his gaze locked with hers. She was afraid to speak. Afraid that he would hastily back away if the spell was broken.

He laid her on the bed then straightened to his full height over her. She felt strangely vulnerable beneath his intense gaze. Shy and a little uncertain.

Her hands crept upward in an attempt to shield herself.

“Do not hide such beauty from me,” he whispered.

Emboldened by the obvious approval in his eyes, she let her hands fall away. Lust flared over his face as his hands went to the buttons of his shirt. Halfway down, he lost patience and ripped the remaining buttons. He shrugged out of the sleeves and then tore impatiently at his pants.

She sucked in her breath and held it when his boxers, with his pants, slipped down and his turgid manhood came into view. Then it stuttered out, a silent staccato in the quiet as he moved closer.

He spread her knees and fit his body to hers, settling between her thighs as he came down onto the bed. Hot, silken and yet rough in a heady, masculine way, his skin clung to hers, burning her, making her move restlessly underneath him.

They kissed again, and she wrapped her arms around his neck, prolonging the mating of their tongues. Soft and wet, clinging and dueling, a precursor to the dance their bodies would yet perform.

“I’ve never felt so out of control,” he admitted. “So restless and out of my skin. You make me crazy, Bella. I have to have you.”

“Yes.”

The softly whispered surrender slid from swollen lips. His mouth skated downward to her neck and then over the slope of her shoulder.

He moved, lowering his body so that his lips found her breasts. She stared up at the ceiling, the intricate painting blurring as pleasure overtook her. For several long seconds, he lazily tongued the rigid peaks, and then he blazed a wet trail with his tongue down her midline to her belly.

He toyed with her belly ring for the briefest of seconds before traveling even lower.

She tensed when his mouth found her soft femininity, the very essence and core of her womanhood. Helplessly she arched into him, seeking more of his bold tongue. He chuckled and gave her another soft nuzzle.

“Please, Theron,” she begged. “Take me.”

“I want you to be ready for me, Bella mou,” he said as he trailed one finger over her damp flesh.

“Take me,” she said again as she looked down and met his gaze. “I’m yours.”

Her words seemed to push him beyond his control. He slid up her body, spreading her legs and fitting himself to her in one deft movement. One moment he was probing, the next he slid inside her, breaking through the slight resistance as though it were nothing.

For a moment she went rigid with shock, only a twinge of pain, but more than that a sense of such fullness that it overwhelmed her. Her eyes flew open, and her hands went reflexively to his shoulders to push him away.

Theron stared at her in confusion even as his hips moved, and he thrust forward again. She relaxed beneath him, letting her hands glide over his shoulders and to his neck. Pleasure, sweet and yearning, bloomed, spreading like fire in the wind.

His lips found hers again in a gesture of reassurance, molding sweetly to hers, suddenly gentle and tender.

“Move with me, agape mou,” he urged. “Wrap your legs around me. Yes, that’s it.”

Her skin came alive, crawling and edgy with need. Theron planted his elbows on either side of her head and held his body off her enough that she didn’t bear the full brunt of his weight as he moved between her legs.

Breathing became hard. She panted against his lips as their mouths met again.

“Come with me,” he whispered.

Helpless to do anything but follow the winding pleasure building so earnestly, she cried out as he stiffened above her. He gathered her softly against him, crushing her to his hardness. Murmured words fell against her ears, some she understood, some slipping away.

And then he collapsed, pressing his warm body to hers. For several long seconds, their ragged breathing was the only sound that filled the room.

/>   Then he raised his head to stare down at her. He kissed her lightly then shifted, easing his body from hers. “I’ll be right back.”

She watched lazily from the bed while he strode nude to the bathroom and returned a moment later with a washcloth.

“Did I hurt you?” he asked in a low voice.

She sat up and reached for the cloth, but he held it out of her reach and then brushed it gently over her skin to clean her.

“No, you didn’t hurt me,” she returned quietly.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

There was no recrimination, no accusation in his voice.

“I wasn’t entirely certain you’d believe me.”

“And so you let me ravage you when you should have been handled gently? Made love to and cherished?”

There was genuine regret on his face. Not that he’d made love to her, if she had to guess, but for what he considered his rough treatment of her.

She reached out and touched his face, enjoying the feel of the slight stubble on his jaw. “You didn’t hurt me, Theron. It was perfect.”

He dropped the cloth on the floor and then framed her face in his hands. “No, it wasn’t perfect, but I can make it that way.”

He lowered his mouth to hers, kissing her with a tenderness that made her chest ache. Desire fluttered deep within, awakening and unfolding, reaching out.

He took his time, lavishing kisses and caresses over every inch of her body. He murmured endearments and praise, each one landing in a distant region of her heart that she’d reserved only for him.

She soaked up each touch, each word like parched earth starved for water.

And when he cupped her to him, sliding carefully into her wanting body, she knew she’d never loved him more than she did at this moment. For so long she’d waited to have him like this. Focused on her, seeing her, touching her and loving her as she loved him.

This time he urged her to completion before taking his own, and only when she quivered with the last vestiges of her orgasm did he sink deeply within her and hold himself so tightly that she could feel the tension rippling through his body.

He dropped his forehead to hers, their lips just an inch apart as he dragged in deep breaths. She tilted her chin upward so that her nose brushed against his, and then their lips met in a sweet kiss that she felt to her soul.

“Better?” he murmured.

She smiled. “Better.”

Theron woke to a sweet female form wrapped tightly around his body. As he opened his eyes and blew a tendril of dark hair from across his lips, he realized that Isabella was more draped across him than wrapped exactly.

Her breasts were pressed to his chest, and one arm was thrown across his body possessively. Her limbs were tangled with his, and she slept soundly, her soft even breathing filling his ears.

Reality was swift to come, and with it, the weight of what he’d done. It wasn’t unexpected, this guilt and resignation. He could blame it on passion, lust—a whole host of things—but he knew the truth.

He’d wanted her and he’d taken her, and he’d certainly known what he was about in the heat of the moment. Not once in his thirty-two years had he ever lost all conscious thought when making love, and he wasn’t likely to start now.

He hadn’t even used a condom, and for the life of him he couldn’t dredge up a plausible excuse for his stupidity. It wasn’t even that he didn’t have one on him at the time. He lived his life in a state of preparedness, and he always had not one, but two condoms in his wallet.

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