Page 11 of Hardline (Hacker 3)

“Trust me, he’s not going to destroy your business. I won’t let him. And as hate-filled as they are, the two of them are no match for the two of us.” He brushed my cheek with his knuckles. “It hurts, but it’s business. You can’t lose faith. That’s what they want. If I gave up every time someone took a sucker punch at me professionally, I’d have been done long ago. You’re too strong for that.”

“I just can’t believe someone could be so devious, so hateful. I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to do this to someone, anyone, no matter how much I despised him.”

“I hate to say this, but get used to it. As soon as you start to do well, someone will want to take that shine away from the things you do, lessen it or make it their own.”

My eyes went wide. “You’re not making me feel so hopeful about a future in entrepreneurship.”

“You’ll toughen up. And you have me.”

“But what can we do? We have no control over what they’re doing. This feels like sabotage, but I’m totally powerless over it.”

He was silent a moment, as if he were strategically thinking his way through this one. “Well, I could always hack their site.” The corner of his mouth lifted.

I rolled my eyes. “Great. Dueling hackers. I think we can both agree that solves nothing. Beyond that, it’s beneath you.”

He laughed. “Is it?”

“You said you only use your powers for good, remember? Even if they are terrible, I can’t see you destroying their site.”

He pursed his lips. “Maybe you’re right.” He wrapped an arm around me and brought me down to him, kissing me gently. “No more talk of Max. This weekend is for us. What do you want to do?”

I glanced at the clock; it was nearly lunchtime. Our schedule was all kinds of mixed up. Time didn’t really matter when it was just Blake and me.

“What do you want to do?”

His eyes darkened with a knowing smile. “If it were up to me, we’d never leave the bed.”

I pushed myself up and straddled him. “We didn’t come all this way to stay in bed all day.”

He groaned, raking over my nakedness. “You’re not making a very good argument for leaving.”

He followed the path with his hands, palming my breasts and teasing my nipples into hardened points. The carnal appreciation in his stare warmed me instantly. I ached for his mouth, squirming despite myself.

As if he could see my resolve melting away, he cupped my ass and ground me down against the hard erection that strained through the sheets between us. I bit my lip and rolled into the motion, seduced by the unavoidable truth that I wanted what he wanted, and just as badly. My head fell back as the contact rubbed over my clit in just the right way. Fire licked over my skin, heating me through to my core.

He lifted me with his hips, ripping away the sheet the separated us. His cock was as hard as I’d imagined, thick and ready for me. More than ready. His narrowed gaze told me refusal was a lost cause. Finding the slick heat between my legs, he fingered me gently.

“Always ready for me,” he murmured.

Answering the silent pleas my body gave, he lowered me down onto the rigid length of his cock. I gasped at the depth, the sharp edge that we always seemed to walk with each other.

“That’s it, baby. Take all of me.”

My eyes fell shut as I gave myself over to it. All my senses tuned in to the way our bodies fit, all the ways this man owned my pleasure.

* * *

We left the privacy of the house and wandered into town. The island buzzed with activity. We wasted the rest of the afternoon perusing shops, trying to avoid the now unavoidable throngs of summer tourists. We talked, but never about work. We laughed, always touching in some way. I needed it, and maybe he did too, because I couldn’t remember a moment when we weren’t connected. Most of the time we were simply together, without words, but in the comfort of being with each other.

We’d been ravenous for each other lately, some all-consuming hunger that only grew stronger once sated. I needed him. And that need pulsed through me every waking hour. In the background of my days, in the demands of our nights, and in the quiet wordless moments that we shared in between. I’d lost all control over it, and I’d given up trying to harness it. We’d spent too much time apart. I couldn’t deny any fleeting chances to be together.

From the day Blake derailed my presentation months ago, he’d captivated something in me. What had grown between us since I could no longer be without. Maybe he felt the same way, and that ever present need—to touch, to hold, to be lost in each other through the long nights—was a manifestation of that nameless emotion between us.

Between our afternoon romp, the activities in town, and the fresh air on the island, I was exhausted by the time we pulled up to the house. I shivered when we stepped into the cool air. I much preferred the breezy summer air over the climate control of the indoors. I’d spent too many months cold, yearning for summer. The warm sun was not something to waste.

Always so in tune, Blake rubbed my arms, coaxing some warmth into the chill that had worked its way over me.

“Are you hungry?”

“A little, yeah.”

“Go relax on the deck. I’ll grab something for us to eat.”

I agreed and stepped out onto the deck that gave an unobstructed view of the ocean beyond. I sank into one of the Adirondacks and propped my feet on a stool. I closed my eyes and let the warm breeze dance over my skin as the sun set. The sounds of ocean waves lapping against the sandy shore might have lulled me to sleep if I’d been alone a few minutes longer.

Blake joined me then, setting a plate with cheeses, crackers, and meats on a table. He poured white wine into two glasses and handed me one.

“Thank you,” I said.

His eyes glittering warmly. I met his smile, wondering what had inspired that look since I saw him moments ago. “You’re happy.”

He sat back, smirking before taking a drink. “I am very happy. You have that effect on me, you know.”

My heart sang. I tipped the glass, and as the fruity liquid hit my tongue, I knew this had been a great idea. Three days of peace and quiet with Blake was already pure heaven. I relaxed into the chair.

“This is amazing, Blake. I could stay out here forever. It’s so peaceful.”

“Careful what you wish for. I’ll have us moved out here by the week’s end.”

I laughed. “No kidding. I can’t make a wish without you rushing in to make it come true.”