We’re silent as Lily enters my hotel room, her gaze scanning the interior, as if she’s looking for clues. Hints of what makes me tick. I’m sure she’s disappointed by the cleanliness of the room, the fact that my suitcase sits on the folding stand they provide for it, zipped closed and packed, ready for my early morning departure that she has no clue exists.

Whereas her villa was always a bit of a mess every time I was there, with clothes everywhere, jewelry scattered on the dresser, shoes kicked off by the front door, and an array of beauty products spread all over the counter in the bathroom.

The mess had been telling. A hint of chaos in her life, not a surprise. She claims she likes control but her habits, her behavior, prove otherwise.

I could be the one to control her. To calm her. Growing up, my life hadn’t been mine. I’d wanted to meet my father’s expectations. I’d had no choice. It was his way or no way. I’d learned that fast. When I was a teen, I hadn’t understood my need for control with a girl. Not that I was an abusive asshole, but I was intense. I’m still intense.

Now I understand it, run with it. Find a woman who understands my needs, too. I can see it in them sometimes. The way they lean into me, the words they say, the look in their eyes.

I couldn’t with Lily, not at first. She presented a challenge. One I pursued doggedly.

“Do you have a good view out there?” she asks as she draws closer to the sliding glass door that leads onto a balcony.

“Not as stellar as yours, princess. But it’ll do,” I answer, smiling at her when she glances at me from over her shoulder.

She looks nervous. Unsure. I plan on easing all that nervousness right out of her, so I’ll let her look around, do what she needs to do to get comfortable. I need her comfortable, trusting, open. Then I need to exhaust her and slip out of this room while she sleeps.

Fuck, talk about doubling the risk.

Lily opens the sliding glass door and steps out onto the balcony, her voice carrying on the breeze that slips through the room. “It’s beautiful out here,” she calls out.

Stopping in the bathroom, I grab a condom from my travel bag that still sits by the sink and shove it into my pocket. I want to be prepared. She’s so nervous, I’m afraid one wrong move and she’ll run. And I can’t have that.

I join her outside, the cooling air washing over my skin, carrying with it Lily’s addictive scent. She’s leaning against the railing, staring out at the ocean in the near distance, the palm trees that line the resort property swaying to and fro, their fronds rattling with the wind. “You like the view?” I ask. I know I’ll miss it when I return home. This island is truly a paradise, and the view from my bedroom window in my apartment is the brick building across the street.

“I do. It’s gorgeous. The way the moon shines on the water, it’s so bright.” She stiffens when I stop just behind her, as if she can sense my nearness though she never looks back. I hope I don’t make her too uncomfortable. The last thing I want is her being afraid of me. “You can see everything this high up. Imagine if you were higher.”

“I can’t afford higher. No penthouse for me,” I joke, settling my hands on her bare shoulders. They tense up as she breathes deep and I whisper close to her ear, “Relax. I’m trying to show you how sorry I am for what happened earlier.”

“I’m sorry, too,” she whispers as she bends her head down, offering me a tempting view of her neck. I give in, pressing my mouth against her nape, trailing light kisses to her shoulder. She softens with every touch of my lips, gooseflesh rising in my wake, a quiet sigh escaping her. I crowd in closer, my hands going to the railing as I box her in.

“What are you doing?” she asks, turning her head toward mine just as I take her mouth in a deep kiss. I don’t want to talk. Talking causes problems between us and tonight I plan on finishing what I started. Her hand goes to the back of my head, fingers threading through my hair as she holds me close, and I drink from her lips.

“I just want to make you feel good,” I whisper against her skin, satisfaction filling me when I feel her shiver. My cock is already hard, just being this close to her. Tasting her, feeling her, smelling her again. I break the kiss and she turns her head, facing toward the ocean once more. A couple passes by down below, holding hands as they walk along the winding sidewalk, and I slip my arms around Lily, reaching my hands up so I cup her breasts.

“Someone could see us,” she whispers as she pushes her breasts into my palms. Her automatic responses to my touch build the need already roaring inside of me to a near frenzy. How can I walk away from her?

How can I let her go?

“Max,” she whispers urgently, though she hasn’t pushed my hands away. “I’m serious.” She doesn’t sound serious. No, more like she sounds keyed up. Turned on.

I smile. I think she likes the idea that someone might see us. “I doubt they’d look up.” I tug on the elastic that keeps her strapless top up, pulling the fabric down so her breasts are bared. A gasp escapes her as I brush my palms over her hard nipples, kneading her abundant flesh, and she leans into me with a soft moan, her ass rubbing against the front of my pants, teasing my dick.

“What if they do?” she asks breathlessly.

“Then we’ll put on a show for them,” I whisper in her ear, then kiss and lick her neck. With my right hand I reach for the fabric of her skirt, gathering it, lifting it up. Leaning away from her, I watch as I pull her dress up past her perfect ass, hissing out a breath when I reveal her to my gaze.

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