The Brightest Night (Origin 3) - Page 89

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“Wait.” His hands left my skin, his arms wrapping around me as he reached for the bar of soap. I watched him lather up his hands again before placing the soap back on the ledge. His hands returned to my upper arms, sweeping down, the backs of his fingers grazing the sides of my breasts, causing me to jolt.

“Just being helpful,” he said in a gravelly voice.

“So helpful,” I murmured.

His soapy, slick hands continued on, back up my arms and then down, over my lower stomach. His hands left only long enough to soap back up, and then his palms were skating up my ribs and higher, lingering until I was clutching his legs and doing everything in me not to squirm.

“Making sure you’re squeaky clean,” he said against my ear.


He chuckled darkly as his hands slipped into the water, and then he was retracing his earlier steps, washing away the soap with a washcloth that had to have appeared out of thin air. The material did strange, interesting things to my skin, but then he had that soap in his hand again.

“Lean back.” His request was a rough one I immediately obeyed.

The contact of my back to his chest and my hips against him was a wonderful, exquisitely pleasing feeling, but it was quickly overwhelmed when his hands were making their way over my hips and my legs. He lifted one, hooking it over the edge of the tub, and then his fingers were slipping over my skin, back into the water.

I kicked my back against his shoulder, my entire body pounding. “You’re being very thorough.”

“Of course I am.” His voice was like smoke. “I’m a perfectionist.”

My hips jerked, rising out of the water as a sharp, intense throb shot through me. I reached back with one hand, clasping the back of Luc’s head.

“I don’t want to miss a spot,” he continued. “You should make sure I don’t miss one.”

I was.

My eyes were open, fixed on how the lantern light flickered over the water and our legs. I was fixated on the way the tendons along his hand flexed as I tugged on his head. He didn’t resist, kissing my neck and then blazing a trail up along the line of my jaw as I turned my head toward him. His lips met mine, and his kiss was full of hunger.

There were no more pauses for soap as my other hand cupped his, feeling those tendons I’d watched move against my palm. The aching pulse intensified as we kissed and kissed, our bodies slipping against each other and the sides of the tub. We both were taking quick, shallow breaths that were nothing more than pants. I felt like a rope stretched too tight as I pulled away and lowered my leg back to the water.

Placing my hands on the sides of the tub, I turned, sliding my knees on either side of his legs. It wasn’t at all graceful. Water sloshed everywhere, and my right knee banged into the tub. My palms were slippery, and they were trembling. His hands landed on my hips, steadying me.

“Thank you,” I whispered, switching my hands to his shoulders.

Eyes heavy-hooded, he shook his head. “I should be the one thanking you.”

“I haven’t done anything.”

“That’s where you’re so wrong.” His hands flexed, but stayed at my hips. “You’re giving me everything I’ve ever wanted or needed. You always have.”

His words rattled me to my very core, and for a moment, I couldn’t move. My heart was squeezing and expanding in the best possible ways, because I knew he wasn’t talking about just this. He was talking about me.

If I’d had any reservations about what we were doing, they would’ve jumped out the tub at that point, but I didn’t have one doubt, one hesitation. Every part of my being knew this was the right moment. This was the right time, and I thought I’d felt sure before, even with my ex, Brandon, but I’d been wrong, because I never felt like this before. Like this moment could freeze for eternity and it wouldn’t be long enough. Like this second couldn’t possibly pass fast enough and when it did it was still too slow. Like I couldn’t understand how or why we’d waited until now and yet be so very glad that we did, because this moment felt right.

I slid my knees to his hips as I sank my fingers into his wet hair. His grip tightened as I settled in his lap, shivering at the ragged sound he made.

Our lips met, and this kiss was powerful and deep as all the ones that came before it, but it was different. There was an edge of urgency to it, one that caused muscles low in my stomach to curl. My body moved in response, out of instinct, and when his hands slipped beyond my hips, tugging me more fully against him, I could feel the same fierce intensity building inside him. He trembled against me, and I could almost imagine that his control was a thin veneer, only moments away from cracking.

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Origin Romance