She wanted.

Ares groaned again, then shifted back. His mouth curved at the sound of protest she made, and he pulled her up from her chair. He set her briefly on her feet, but only briefly, because he moved then to lift her into his arms.

And here she was absurdly pregnant, yet he was still making her feel as if she weighed nothing at all.

“Ares, you can’t—”

“So help me God, Pia,” Ares growled down at her. “If you’re about to tell me that I cannot lift you when I have very clearly already done so, I will be tempted to drop you over the side of the balcony.”

And she didn’t think he was likely to do that.

But she didn’t finish her sentence, either.

He bore her outside, onto the balcony he had just mentioned, wide and open. He lay her down on a wide, low chaise, and followed her. Then stretched out beside her so they were finally—finally—touching, head to toe.

And that was almost too much.

But Ares took her mouth again, and they both groaned at the heat. The mad, glorious kick of hunger.

He kissed her and he kissed her, and she kissed him back with all the longing and need she’d kept inside her all this time. All that delirious fire that he stoked in her.

Only him.

Ares was dressed for one of his royal engagements, but he pulled back to shrug out of his jacket and his shirt, giving Pia access to those wide shoulders of his and better yet, his mouthwatering chest.

She took instant advantage, moving her hands over him and letting herself exult in his strength. His heat.

Each and every perfect ridge and tempting hollow.

And everything was too hot. Too good.

He found her breasts, so plump and big now. And he made such a deep, male sound of approval as he filled his hands with them that Pia forgot to be self-conscious. He pushed up the loose blouse she wore and freed her breasts from the front clasp of her bra.

Then he bent his head to take a nipple into his mouth.

And the sensation was so intense, so wild and overwhelming. It shot through her, a molten hot line from her nipple to her hungry sex, that Pia felt herself pull too tight—

Then she simply shattered, there and then.

Ares let out a laugh of dark delight that shivered its way through Pia like a new, bright flame. Then he moved to her other nipple, taking it into his mouth in the same greedy, demanding way. She tried to breathe. She tried to fight it off, but he only sucked a little harder—

And that was it. She went tumbling from one peak to the next, and broke apart all over again.

“I can’t believe how sensitive you are now,” he murmured, his mouth on her belly. “Let’s test it, shall we?”

Then—slowly, carefully, ruthlessly—he stripped her of the loose, easy clothes she wore.

And Pia was too busy falling to pieces, and gasping for breath, and crying out his name, to think about the things that would have torn her apart at any other time. Her size, for example. How fat she must look. How different than before.

But she was too busy losing herself in Ares’s mouth. Beneath his clever, wicked hands.

She didn’t notice when he stripped out of the rest of his clothes, too, because his hands found their way between her legs, teasing her slick flesh until she broke apart again.

And again.

And then, finally, Ares went and knelt before the chaise, pulling her to the edge and opening her legs wide. He held himself there, moving between her thighs. Only then did he find her soft, wet heat with the hardest part of him.

His gaze lifted to hers. Pia held her breath. And Ares pushed his way inside.

Slowly. Carefully.

Almost as if this was sacred. Beautiful.

As if she was.

“Pia,” he murmured, as if her name was a prayer.

And then he set about his devotions, one perfect thrust after the next.

And she was already coming apart. She was already in pieces. Over and over again, as if the pleasure was a wave and she was caught in the undertow, tossed and tumbling and wild with it.

She lost count of how many times he brought her to that glorious cliff and tossed her over, only to catch her on the way down and do it all again.

It was too much, and it was beautiful and perfect, and Pia never wanted to go without it—without him, without this—again.

She heard a distant sound and realized that she was saying those things out loud, but she didn’t have it in her to mind that, either. Not when she was captured in that undertow, lost in the whirl of it.

Pia shook and she shook, she came down a little only to feel him surge deep inside her again, and she shook even more.

Until she thought she might become the shaking.

And finally, when he hit his own cliff, Ares gathered her to him. He dropped his head into the crook of her neck and called out her name as he shattered at last.

And she understood, now, Pia thought in a kind of wonder when she surfaced to find herself tucked up on that chaise, Ares having crawled up next to her like a kind of warm, gloriously male blanket.