“Possibly,” he murmured and started walking again.
The trip to the cabin—all the way toward the edge of the property, near the thick walnut trees at the mouth of the Blue Ridge Mountains—was silent and awkward.
The moment she’d made the crack about his sex life, she’d regretted it. Saying things like that only reinforced his misguided belief that he was just like his father. It was the thing she never got about him. She knew deep down that becoming like his unfaithful father was Chase’s own personal nightmare, but he did nothing but barrel down that path with a different girl every week. She skirted around a thorny rose bush leaning into the path.
He’d been that way since high school—maybe not as bad as Chad, but Chase exemplified the playboy lifestyle.
And the fact that Chase was an equal opportunity bed jumper always stung, because he was open for business for everyone…everyone but her.
Outside the cabin, Chase held the key like it was a snake about to sink its fangs into his hand.
He hadn’t said a word on the way down. He was pissed; she knew it. What red-blooded single male came to a wedding and enjoyed getting stuck with their best friend’s little sister as their roommate? In an old honeymoon cabin on top of that?
Madison couldn’t believe it. She literally had the worst luck when it came to him.
She checked her cell phone and wanted to throw it. No service.
Finally, he opened the door and reached along the wall, flipping on the light. Her jaw dropped, and she slapped a hand over her mouth.
This was a joke. It had to be. “Your brother has to be behind this,” she said.
Chase shook his head slowly. “If he is, I’m going to kill him.”
It was no wonder the clerk had said the room was scheduled for renovation. Clearly, someone had done a rush job cleaning the room. There was a faint smell of Lysol and potpourri that lingered in the spacy cabin, but the carpet…the bed.
Several throw rugs covered the wood flooring. They were every color of the rainbow, but one was a bear rug. An actual bear rug. The walls were painted a vibrant purple and red, and the bed…the bed draped in red velvet and heart-shaped.
Chase strolled into the room, dropping his keys on a white dresser that looked like something her grandmother would have in her house. He glanced over his shoulder, one brow arched.
Madison busted into laughter. She couldn’t help it. “It’s like a seventies love shack.”
A slow smile stretched across his lips. “I think I’ve seen this room in old-school porn videos.”
She giggled as she followed him in. A quick peek in the bathroom revealed a tub the size of a pool, perfect for the frisky newlywed couple.
Looking over her shoulder, Chase shook his head. “You could fit five people in that thing.”
“That might get awkward.”
“Ah, true, but it’s definitely big enough for two.”
“I don’t know,” she said, turning away from the bathroom and strolling past him. Across from the bed were balcony doors that led to a deck and a Jacuzzi. “I never got the whole bathtub-sex thing.”
“Then you’ve been doing it wrong.” His breath was warm against her cheek, and dear God, wouldn’t he know?
Startled by how quietly he had crept up on her, she spun around and swallowed. Images of him wet, naked, and wrapped around her in that bathtub sent a wave of molten lava shooting through her veins and straight to her core.
Her knees went weak. “I’m not doing anything wrong.”
“Of course not,” he drawled. “You’ve just had the wrong partner.”
Madison wasn’t a prude, and just because no man had ever lived up to Chase in her eyes didn’t mean she hadn’t dated. And maybe he was right and she just had the wrong partners, because she couldn’t imagine not enjoying some bath time with him, but no way in hell would she ever admit as much to him.
Which meant it was time to change the subject and fast. But when she lifted her lashes and found him still staring at her beneath hooded eyes, her breath hitched in her throat.
Standing this close to him, inches away from a bed that would’ve made Austin Powers proud, was too much. The night in his club resurfaced in a rush of slippery emotions and tangled hopes that never really came to fruition.
She finally found her voice. “It…has nothing to do with my partners.”
Chase cocked his head to the side, his intense blue eyes narrowing. “Partners as in plural?”
Feigning indifference, she rolled her eyes when her heart was racing. “I’m twenty-five, not sixteen.”
“You don’t have to remind me of how old you are,” he all but growled.
“Then why do you seem shocked by the fact that I’ve had sex?”
He took a step forward, and she took one back. “With more than one person?”
Surely this wasn’t breaking news. “How many people have you had sex with? Five hundred?” she threw back. “Hell, how many in one month?”
A clear warning formed in those sapphire-gem eyes. “We’re not talking about me.”
“And we’re not talking about me.” One more step and her back hit the wall. There was nowhere to go. “So, let’s just stop…”
“Stop what?” He leaned in, his breath tantalizingly warm against her cheek, and he planted his large hands against the wall on either side of her head.
Madison’s gaze dropped to his lips, and she hadn’t the foggiest idea what they’d been talking about. Something about sex, and God, talking about sex with Chase was not a good idea. Because now she wanted sex. With Chase. She wanted to feel him inside her, only him, always him.
She wanted so much.
A liquid fire had spread through her veins, licking at her. Lust rose so quickly, pulsing through her limbs, hitting her fast and hard, leaving her senses spinning. A small part of her brain that still functioned fired off warnings left and right. It was insanity to even entertain the idea of anything going down between her and Chase, but as her gaze moved up, colliding with his, her heart stopped.
“Tell me,” he ordered, voice low and gravely. “How many boys have you let touch you?”
Part of her bristled at his demand, but the other incredibly stupid part was thrilled that he cared. “I’ve never been with boys, Chase.”
Anger and something far more potent flared in his blue eyes. “Oh, so that’s how it is.”
“Whatever it is, it’s none of your business.”
He chuckled deeply. The movement brought his lips close to her cheek. “It’s my business.”
“Explain that faulty logic to me,” she said.
Chase smiled. “You’re my best friend’s little sister. That makes it my business—all my business.”
And that was the wrong thing to say. Fire of a different kind now pulsed through her. “Get away.” She started to push off the wall, but Chase leaned in, his chest flush with hers. Her body went haywire. Anger. Lust. Hope. Love. Fear. All her emotions tangled together. “Chase…”
He said nothing, and all she could now concentrate on was the feel of his rock-hard chest pressed against her breasts. The thin cotton of his shirt and her blouse were no match for the heat that rolled off him or the heat building inside her. Her nipples hardened to aching, wanton pearls, and she dragged in a deep breath, biting back a moan.
His lips parted.
There was no hiding her reaction, not from a man like Chase who knew every flavor of woman. And she wanted to be his flavor—his favorite. A tight coil wound deep inside her.
She was panting now, and he hadn’t even really touched her. She tried to disconnect from her out-of-control hormones, going as far as thinking about the DC Metro, and still, her body was turning on her.
His breath hitched and then he scowled at her, even as he pressed his forehead against hers. Her lashes fluttered shut and she grew very still, barely daring to breathe as his breath danced over her brow, down her temple, and across her cheeks.
His lips hovered over hers.
“No,” he snarled.
Madison wasn’t sure to whom he was talking, but then his mouth was crushing hers, and her world became him—the touch and feel of his lips pressing down, forcing hers to respond. It wasn’t a gentle kiss or a sweet exploration. It was angry and raw, breathtaking and soul burning. Right now, she didn’t want gentle. She wanted hard and fast, him and her, on the floor, even the bear rug, both of them naked and sweating.
His tongue was a moist, hot demand inside her mouth, parrying with hers until he took complete control and flicked the tip of his tongue over the roof of her mouth. There was a delicious possessiveness in the way he kissed her, as if he were staking his claim at the same time he was burning away the memories of anyone else for her. And he did. In an instant, there was nobody but him.
One hand came off the wall and his palm splayed flat against her cheek, glided down the arch of her neck. He held her there, so gently and at odds with the fierceness of his kiss. This was how she always wanted Chase, how she always dreamed it would be, and how she had once had such a brief, divine taste. She moaned, melting into him. Between her thighs, she ached for him. Her body—
Chase jerked back, and her eyes snapped open, her chest rising and falling raggedly. He stared at her…stared at her like she had done something terribly wrong. And he…he had kissed her.
Walking backward, Chase shook his head, his hands clenching at his sides. “That…that didn’t happen.”
She blinked over the wrenching pull in her chest. “But…it did.”
His striking face went impassively indifferent, and it felt like Madison had been punched in the gut. “No. No,” he said. “It didn’t.”
And with that, he spun around and stormed out of the cabin, slamming the door behind him.
Madison blinked slowly. Oh, hell to the no, he did not just storm out of there like a drama queen. She was going to find him and then castrate him.
Okay, maybe not that extreme, but she’d be damned if she let him kiss her like that and then run.
Madison was well on her way to getting drunk.
Not fall-on-your-face or strip-off-your-clothes drunk, although without all the family around that might have sounded fun, but there was definitely a wine-induced headache in her near future.
Sitting on a bench along the sprawling deck outside the main lodge, she inhaled the scent of mountain air and grapes. Members of her family and Lissa’s chattered around her. The low hum of conversation would’ve normally been soothing as she was a lover of all sorts of background noise, but right now, she wanted to slide through the narrow spaces in the wooden rail around the deck and fade into the night. Taking another long sip, she gazed out over the lawn. Paper lanterns hung from the poles spaced along the pebbled pathway, casting a faint light across the grounds.
She glanced down at her third glass of Petit and bit back a strangled giggle. Such a lightweight, but the heady thrum in her veins helped ease the mixture of shame and unquenched lust that burned in her stomach. An all-too-familiar feeling after a rather idiotic run-in with Chase.