Pippi watched Acheron turn his gaze to hers, and the haunted look in them nearly destroyed her.
“Have I told you…everything?”
The controlled tightness of his voice said so, so much, and Pippi bit her lip hard. “You did.” Her tone shook, and her heart proved to be just as unwieldy, having lost so many pieces to Acheron’s pain that it could no longer remember the proper way to beat.
He remained kneeling before her, her very own beautiful Greek god, but for once she was blind to his perfection. For once, she couldn’t see him. Her mind was still drowning in the abyss of his past, and all she could see was a motherless fifteen-year-old boy, holding a knife under his pillow, because the monsters were real, and every night, there was that one chance they could get him for good.
“Don’t look at me like that.” Acheron’s tone was savage. “I don’t want your pity, dammit.”
“Good.” Pippi fought hard to keep her tone steady, knowing that anything less would be misconstrued. “Because you don’t have it.”
“I only needed you to understand why I can’t turn Amelia away.”
Relief had Acheron breathing hard.
“And I can’t thank her enough—”
His head jerked up, his stunned gaze flying to hers.
“Because if it hadn’t been for her, you w-wouldn’t be here, and I’d never be so lucky to m-meet—” Her voice caught. “You.”
She really was the loveliest little thing, but even knowing that she deserved better, even knowing he could only dirty someone like her –
He just couldn’t let her go.
“This is so weird,” she couldn’t help remarking an hour later. The two of them sat next to each other on the stretcher while enjoying their drive-thru meal of burgers, fries, and shakes. She couldn’t remember feeling any happier. It was the best date ever, but it was also the strangest, since they were at the back of an ambulance van.
“Are you sure we’re not depriving anyone of medical assistance while we’re using this?”
Acheron gave her an odd look. “This is mine.”
“You have your own ambulance?”
“Only as of today,” he answered with a shrug. “I thought it would make a good investment, considering the current nature of our relationship.”
Pippi couldn’t stop her head from reeling. “Are you saying you bought this today just—”
“I promised, didn’t I? No risks.”
A helpless laugh escaped her. “Oh, Acheron—ah!” Her words ended in a gasp as she suddenly found herself in a straddling position, and she, of course, was riding him.
“I love it when you say my name.” His mouth nuzzled the side of her neck as he spoke, and Pippi’s head fell back at the tantalizing sensation. “But I love it even more when I’m able to make you…”
His head moved up without warning, his tongue licking the curve of her ear, and she buckled against him.
Blast this man.
She tried to pull away, but Acheron only released a lazy chuckle that had her spine tingling. “Let go—” They weren’t alone, for God’s sake, and it would be one time too many if Wickham were to witness her melting in his arms again. “Acheron, come on—” Pippi broke off as his lips reached the corner of her lips.
“Kiss me, mikrí mou.”
Oh dear God.
The command in his words was exquisitely undeniable, and instead of repelling her, it only had her toes curling, her already pliant flesh swelling. It was as if he knew exactly what to say and how to say it to make her bow to him, and even as she struggled to deny his power over her body—
The rough steel in his voice was her undoing – it seemed to say, you know better than to disobey the man who owns you – and wrong or not, this blatant dominance demolished her control the way nothing else could.
With a whimper of surrender, she found herself falling forward, her arms locking around his neck just as their mouths fused. Instinct took over, and she found herself sucking hungrily on his tongue.
It had been so, so, so long!
With Pippi’s passionate and unconditional surrender threatening to erode Acheron’s own control, he managed to bang a hand against the thin wall that separated the van’s treatment area from the driver’s section. It was enough for Wickham, and he quickly made a turn towards the nearest parking lot.
As soon as Acheron heard Wickham’s door close, effectively leaving him alone with Pippi, the shackles were off, and he found a way to insert his hand between their bodies without breaking their kiss. His fingers found the edge of her skirt, and he pushed them up until he encountered sweet, drenched silk.
He reached the hem of her panties and dipped his fingers behind her underwear the way he would dip into the sweetest bowl of honey. The whimper he elicited from Pippi was aphrodisiac for his ears, and his fingers slowly trailed down. When he felt her flesh literally quiver under his touch, his own body clenched with need.