He didn’t know why he’d done it. He’d ordered himself to steer clear of trouble. True, he’d been thinking about Emma Shore a lot. So much so, in fact, that he’d cautioned himself to stay away. She wasn’t for him—something so fresh and unexpected for something so jaded and tired?
He didn’t think so.
He wasn’t denying his lechery toward her; it wasn’t that. That was impossible to deny. His sleepless night had been haunted by her form. Her smile. Her eyes.
It was like being a teenager all over again, his mind obsessed with graphic, imagined sexual scenarios, his body burning like it hadn’t in a decade. He’d masturbated repeatedly like a teenager, that much was certain. As unpleasant as unrequited lust was, it strangely felt like he was coming to life again. His body was prickly with sensation, primed with need.
But it hadn’t been biting lust that had made him step forward and take Emma Shore into his arms. It had been instinct. Maybe it was the fact that her pale, delicate face and dark eyes held so much bewilderment and hurt. Or maybe it was seeing the way she fought like crazy to contain that pain. It’d wrecked him a little, that expression, like seeing the face of a good, strong child who had just been uncharacteristically backhanded by a loved one.
She didn’t feel like a child. She felt good against him, slender and svelte, firm and supple beneath his stroking hand. Her head cuddled against his chest, the gesture striking him as natural. Sweet. He glanced down and saw that small spray of freckles across the bridge of her adorable nose. Those freckles epitomized the paradox in her that he found compelling: freshness and raw sensuality. He could smell the light, fruity smell of her golden hair and wanted to touch the soft waves. A shudder went through her, and he stroked the length of her spine, wanting to give comfort but feeling woefully inadequate to the task. He sensed all the emotion trapped inside her. It seemed to resonate into his hands until he felt like he held it—her confusion, her pain. He didn’t like feeling it, but he hoped he lessened it for her by absorbing it, so he didn’t let go.
A tightness grew in his chest, but he couldn’t say why. It had something to do with how unexpected she was, or the sharp knowledge that a girl with a smile that could light up a room could ever be sad. Life really was a cruel, ruthless bitch if it could randomly lash out at someone like her, at something so fine and undeserving.
His fingers stretched, mapping the beautiful curves he’d admired in the past that led from her narrow waist to her hips. How incredible it would be to sink into the sweetness of her taut little body, to watch her troubled expression transformed by bliss.
His cock stiffened with unprecedented vigor.
Irritation spiked through him. How foul could he be to have the urge to fuck rise up in him like a striking snake in this situation? He despised the evidence that he was no better than his father, but didn’t darkness and selfishness beget the same?
He knew she’d felt his cock harden. It was hard to disguise the evidence, as close as they stood. She stiffened against him, but almost immediately softened, pressing tighter to him, her hips pressing closer, as if she wanted to feel the contours of his arousal.
“Emma?” he asked warily, not fully trusting his senses, all too aware of the lust boiling just beneath his surface, straining to erupt.
Her whispered “yes” was so sweet, he couldn’t resist leaning down to taste her acquiescence on his tongue.
* * *
It was a like being abruptly plunged into a pool of boiling sensation. His mouth shaped her flesh to his, a firm, insistent master. His hands molded just as his lips did, pressing her flesh against his. He groaned and dipped his knees, aligning them. Emma cried out softly at the exquisite feeling of his groin fitting between the juncture of her thighs. As if he’d sensed the give in her flesh, he penetrated her mouth with his tongue at the same moment that he pressed his sex to hers. Emma flamed high at his stark possession. She grasped at his shoulders and strained closer, wanting more, tangling her tongue with his.
The sweet residue of a peppermint candy or gum lingered in his mouth, but beneath it, she tasted something else, something complex, intoxicating and new. He seemed just as fascinated by her taste. His sleek tongue explored her thoroughly, the primal edge to his hunger sending a thrill streaming through her veins. His hand opened at her middle back as he leaned down over her, his kiss seguing into a dark demand. She bowed her spine, answering his call, pressing her hips closer to his erection, circling slightly. His hand lowered to her ass, cupping her against him even more firmly. He groaned roughly, his teeth finding her lower lip and scraping it between them. A jolt of electrical arousal went through her at the evidence of his arousal. Somehow, his kiss was more exciting than any full-out sex she’d ever experienced.