I tear my mouth from hers. “This is not goodbye, woman,” I all but growl, scooping her up in my arms and walking toward the bedroom.
Emma belongs here.
She belongs in this house.
She belongs in my castle.
She belongs in my life.
We’re not leaving the bedroom until she knows that.
With an elbow punch to a button, I kill the lights as we leave the living room. Once we’re in the bedroom, the glow of the bathroom light already burning is all we need. In a few fast steps, I set Emma down next to the bed.
“Jax,” she whispers, but I’m not hearing her reasons for goodbye, not now, not ever, not when it’s for all the wrong reasons.
“Jax North, baby, remember? The man who is going to make you love me too damn much to leave me.” I seal that vow with a kiss, dragging her black lace dress up her hips, squeezing her cheek. “Have I told you how much I love your ass?”
She laughs, and that sound, all sweet and feminine, is music to my ears. “No, but—”
I hate that word and I don’t even let her finish her sentence. I kiss her again, rejecting it and the quicksand that is this family war we’ve inherited, a war some might call our birthright. My hand strokes her backside again, squeezing that same cheek harder before I do what she’s feared I wouldn’t do after I found out that York raped her: I give it a firm smack. She sucks in a breath, and I tangle fingers in her hair and drag her gaze to mine. “York doesn’t decide how we fuck any more than Chance decides what we do or become together. Don’t be the yes girl, Emma. Don’t do what you say you always do. Don’t let others decide your future, our future.”
“I don’t want anyone to get hurt. I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“Then stay. Stay with me.” I don’t give her time to find another reason to worry. “You need out of your head right now.” I unbutton the top buttons on my shirt. “I need out of your head right now, because your head is taking us no place good.” I pull my shirt over my head and toss it. “Fucking is the way to get us out of your head.” I toe off my shoes. “Any problem with that?”
Her teeth scrape her bottom lip. “No. No problem with that at all.” She steps toward me.
I turn her, unzipping her dress, cupping her breasts and leaning in to whisper, “You tell me no, it’s no. You tell me to go, I go. No one else gets to tell me those things.” I slide her dress down her shoulders, unhook her bra, both ending up at her feet. I catch her waist, lift her, and kick away her clothes. When she’s on the ground again, I cup her breasts, tease her nipples and whisper, “Fucking isn’t quite enough tonight, though, is it? I wonder just what it is you need, Emma?”
She turns in my arms, and I’m folding her close, cupping her face. She wraps her arms around me. “I’m not telling you no to anything, Jax.”
What she’s telling me is that she trusts me, after everything York did to her, and despite all the ways our families divide us, she is still all in. And so the fuck am I. “And I will never let you regret that,” I promise, my mouth coming down on hers.
The instant our tongues touch, the heat between us is explosive. She presses into me, and I mold her closer, her fingers catching on my pants, mine finishing the job. In about thirty seconds, we’re both completely naked, on the bed, on our sides, facing each other, me dragging her leg to my hip; my cock pressed in the slick wet heat of her body. And I don’t know if there has ever been a time in my life when a woman affected me the way this one does. I feel her so fucking completely that it rocks me to the core.
And I’m pissed. Not at what I feel, but at all the people who want to take it, to take her, the way they took Hunter. I don’t care what that DNA test said. He was my fucking brother. And Emma, Emma is mine, even if she, and her brother, don’t know it yet. And I’ve never called a woman mine. “This is where you belong,” I say, catching her hair, dragging her gaze to mine. “With me in our bed.”
“Yes,” she whispers.
I cup her backside and drag her closer. “Say it,” I order.
“Yes. This is where I belong.”
“In our bed.”
“In our bed,” she repeats.
My fingers flex on her backside, and she catches my arm. “Do it,” she says. “Spank me. Show me they don’t matter. Show me, Jax. I need—”