Yes, she thought, the man definitely knew how to kiss.
Just when she was on the point of making sounds of frustration, however, he appeased her need and wrapped his arms around her.
The kiss deepened, his tongue slipping between her lips to swirl within her mouth and duel with hers.
She moaned and her fingers threaded through his hair. She couldn’t get close enough to him—couldn’t get enough of him.
When he finally tore his mouth from hers, he said huskily, “Wrap your legs around me.” She readily complied and his hands splayed across her bottom, supporting her weight.
In this position, his erection pressed into the most intimate part of her and, instinctively, she rubbed against him.
He muttered an oath as he headed for the stairs leading to the bedrooms. “Do that again and we won’t make it to the bed.”
She laughed breathlessly. “What about the couch down here?”
He stopped for a second and gave her a smoldering look. “I want to see you lying in my bed. I want to see your thick, dark hair spread out across my pillow.” He leaned forward so his forehead rested against hers, then added, his voice deep, “I want to see you, I want to hear you and, most importantly, I want to taste you while you’re lying on my bed.”
“Is that an order?” she quipped.
He straightened and started up the stairs, hoisting her higher and giving her a wry grin. “No, but I hope I’ve answered your question. There is a couch down here, but we won’t be using it.”
“Can you hurry then?” she joked, almost hurting with the wanting. It seemed as if she’d been waiting for this moment forever and now need threatened to sweep her away.
At the end of the hallway upstairs, he kicked open the door to his bedroom and, in two strides, crossed the room to the bed, coming down half on top of her.
There was almost no thought then: need consumed them. They were like two people who had crossed the desert and finally come to a stream of water.
She was dimly aware of kicking off her sandals and of Connor helping her slide her top over her head. Then, with a flick of his fingers, he undid the front clasp of her bra.
“You’re perfect,” he groaned, his gaze hot on her breasts, which were capped by nipples that were tight and hard and peaked. Under his gaze, they became even more so.
“They’re just average breasts,” she muttered, embarrassed.
“Perfect,” he repeated in a low voice. Then, with his eyes never leaving hers, he slowly lowered his head to one breast. She sighed when his mouth closed around her nipple.
Waves of sensation threatened to take her under as she watched him use his mouth on her.
When he moved his mouth to her other breast, she threaded her fingers through his hair and let her eyes close. A restless longing had taken hold of her, making her limbs quiver and suffusing her with a liquid warmth.
His mouth left her breast and seized her lips and she wound her arms around his neck, meeting his questing mouth kiss for kiss until he finally pulled back with a groan and sat up.
She opened her eyes and nearly moaned in protest until she saw the desire written on his face. Raising herself on her elbows, she watched as he quickly rid himself of his plaid shirt and then yanked his white undershirt over his head.
His chest had only a sprinkling of hair, so there was little to conceal the muscles that defined his chest and upper arms.
She’d seen him shirtless several times over the years, when he’d come to pool parties at the Whittakers’, and, memorably, when she’d spied him in the process of removing his sweat-stained shirt and putting on a fresh one during a school-break construction job in Carlyle.
She’d fantasized about touching him then. Now, she sat up to run her hands along the sculpted muscles.
“Yes, touch me,” he muttered. “Make me burn, petunia.”
She reveled in the power she had to affect him. She pressed her lips where her hands had been, placing hot, wet kisses over the planes of his chest.
He stopped her only so he could rid them both of their shoes and jeans. He peeled the denim off her in one fluid movement, taking along the underwear underneath.
His hand splayed on her hip as they fell back onto the bed again and their lips met in a deep, hungry kiss.
His hand caressed her leg, then moved to her inner thigh, making her tingle with anticipation.
She tore her mouth from his. “Ah, Connor…”
“Shh,” he said as his hand slid up to the juncture of her thighs. Holding her, his eyes steady on hers, his finger parted her and he caressed her inside.
“Yes,” he said in a smoky voice. “Let me hear how it makes you feel, petunia.”
She clutched his shoulders, his look of possession the last thing she saw as her eyes closed and her world spiraled beyond everyday sensation in response to the sure and steady rhythm of his hand.
“Connor!” The cry was torn from her as she entered oblivion.
When Allison floated back down to earth, Connor was lying next to her, facing her, his arm bent and his head propped up on his hand. His other hand was drawing lazy circles on her thigh.
She looked down and he followed her gaze.
“Yup, I still want you,” he said, a hint of humor lacing his voice.
She looked back up at him. He was looking just a wee bit too pleased with himself, she decided. Giving him a coy look through her lashes, she said, “Well, thanks for everything,” and made to rise.
Laughing, he pushed her back onto the bed. “Not so fast, princess. I think we have some unfinished business.”
“Really?” She feigned innocence. “And that would be…?”
Instead of responding, he drew her to him, his mouth coming down on hers, and she was lost again in the sea of emotion and sensation between them.
He was the most magnificent man she’d ever been with. Connor’s physical size made her feel small and dainty despite her statuesque five-foot-eight frame. His scent—the warm muskiness of all-male—enveloped her.
He kissed her deeply, hungrily, his mouth plundering. She opened her mouth to him even as he parted her legs, making room for himself.
She reached down then and grasped his erection, stroking him until he released her mouth with a growl. “I’m about to come out of my skin, petunia.”
“That’s what I was hoping for,” she teased.
“You don’t have to hope anymore,” he countered, then smiled so wolfishly he made her giggle.
He opened a drawer in the nightstand and retrieved a small foil packet. Turning back to her, he cleared his throat and said, “Before you jump to conclusions, I’m going to tell you that you’re the only woman I’ve ever brought out here with me.”
She opened and shut her mouth.
“And secondly,” he went on, “I didn’t bring protection along because I was sure of myself. I just thought being prepared wouldn’t be a bad idea given the fireworks exploding between us lately.”
She felt ridiculously pleased about being the only woman he’d brought to his refuge in the Berkshires. She took the packet from him and, ignoring his surprised and then delighted look, rolled the protection slowly onto him.
“Ah, Allison,” he sighed.
She gave him a quick peck on the lips.
He spread her legs then and positioned himself. “Last chance, princess,” he said and, despite his lighthearted tone, she knew he was holding himself tightly in check.
In some ways, it seemed she’d been waiting for this moment her whole life. She’d be darned if she’d beat a retreat now—the consequences for tomorrow be damned. She was about to find out if the reality lived up to all her girlhood fantasies.
“Not a hope, Rafferty.” She wrapped her legs about him and raised her hips.
He groaned as he slid into her. “Ah, petunia—”
She gasped, then sighed.
He set a rhythm that she took up, meeting him with counterpoint thrusts, the momentum building in tandem with the tension between them until it burst forth and sent her spiraling into a starry darkness, her hands clutching spasmodically on Connor’s shoulders and feeling the thin sheen of sweat that had broken out on his skin.
Dimly, she heard him give a hoarse groan and take his own release.
Connor came back to reality slowly. He felt as if he’d been passed through a wringer; he was spent, his muscles weak with release. Paradoxically, he felt gloriously alive.Before tonight, he’d thought the sexual tension between him and Allison was a strong sign they’d be explosive in bed together.
He hadn’t been wrong.
He looked over at Allison. Her eyes were closed, their ebony lashes flickering against her fair skin. A slight smile played at the corners of her lips.
She’d blown him away. If he’d had any clue, he wondered whether he could have resisted her as long as he had, even with the many reasons it made sense to do so.
And that was the problem, he acknowledged. Those reasons had not gone away.
His job was to protect Allison, not bed her. She was still the daughter of the couple who’d treated him as if he were a surrogate son. She was Quentin’s baby sister. Someone whom he, along with her brothers, had treated for years as if she were a spoiled brat.
He closed his eyes. He didn’t—couldn’t—regret what had just happened. It had been the most glorious sexual experience of his life. But what was he supposed to say to Quentin next time he saw him? I slept with Allison and, hey, it was better than I ever fantasized?