He stopped when he saw her, and he looked a little worried as he stared at the scissors in her hand.
She continued on and resumed her spot on the bed. She held the scissors up then neatly slid them underneath the leg of his shorts. “I’d be very still if I were you,” she murmured.
“When did you get so goddamn evil?” he demanded.
“When did you get so goddamn stubborn?”
She sliced through his shorts, and after a few more strategic cuts, the material fell away to bare him completely. He shifted his h*ps as if trying to escape or roll over, but she straddled his legs. She loved the hair-roughened scratch of his skin over the tender insides of her thighs.
“Now to make you beg,” she murmured.
She felt him stiffen. His muscles bunched and rolled underneath her. She splayed her hands over his hips, bent down and gently blew on his cock.
Growing bolder and more confident by the minute, she flicked out her tongue and licked the tip. His c**k jumped, and she moved her hand from his hip to encircle the base.
“Jasmine, you have to stop. We can’t do this. You have no idea what you’re starting.”
She slid the head past her lips and let her tongue dance around the edge. She smiled as he swore again. Slowly and with exacting precision, she inched lower, taking him further into her mouth. He was protesting far too much with no conviction.
He tasted rugged and hard, just like he looked. She squeezed her hand a little tighter, exerting firmer pressure as she worked her mouth up and down.
Then she sucked her way to the top and released his cock. “Do you want me to stop?” she asked huskily. “Really?”
“No goddamn you, I don’t want you to stop.”
“Tell me you want me.”
His mouth closed in a firm line as he glared at her. She moved a little higher, leaning forward. Her hair brushed across his belly, and she released his dick. The tip bumped her in the stomach as she rose over him.
“Tell me, Seth,” she said breathlessly.
His hand flew up and grabbed at the key hanging from the ribbon. He yanked and freed it. She glanced down in dismay as he palmed the key then jammed it into the lock of the cuffs.
Her hopes fell.
He jerked his arm free and flung the cuffs across the room. Then he rose up and yanked her to him. Her body fell against his hard chest at the same time their lips collided.
His hands tangled in her hair as he kissed her in breathless abandon. He rolled, taking her with him, tucking her underneath his body as her back met the mattress.
“I want you,” he growled. “Happy? Now we’ll see who begs.”
Jasmine stared up at Seth, barely able to breathe for his body pressed tight to hers. His swollen c**k nudged impatiently at the juncture of her legs. She wiggled and spread her thighs, wanting him closer. God, she wanted him inside her.
He leaned in and slanted his lips over hers. They fit so perfectly. He nibbled roughly at the corner of her mouth then licked at the seam until she opened to him.
She tasted him, feasted on him, each kiss, each touch making her want more, need more. All the waiting had been worth this one moment. Finally she had come home. To his arms. Where she belonged.
“I have to have you,” he gasped into her mouth.
His knee forced her thighs wider apart, and he fit himself to her. She moaned and arched into him as the head of his c**k probed her entrance. All the tiny nerve endings came alive and jumped as he slid forward.
He pushed forcefully into her, his impatience evident in his tense movements. She stiffened, surprised by the initial discomfort. Believing it would pass quickly, she wrapped her arms around him and held him closer.
He plunged deeper, and this time, she couldn’t stop the small whimper that tore from her mouth. He stopped immediately, buried deep within her pussy.
He raised himself off her and looked her in the eye, an expression of stunned disbelief etched on his face. “Jesus Christ, Jasmine, you were a virgin?”
“It’s all right,” she said.
“No, it’s not goddamn all right.”
She lay there, his c**k stretching her tissues painfully. There wasn’t a part of her body that didn’t feel him. It was a lot better when they were still in the foreplay stage.
Finally in Seth’s bed, in his arms, and all she could do was think about how miserable she was. Tears pricked her eyelids and threatened to spill over the rims.
Seth swore softly and lowered his forehead to hers. He tenderly kissed away the tears that trickled down her cheeks. Then he slowly eased his c**k out of her aching pussy. She flinched when he pulled free and rolled away.
He got up and strode to his dresser. Yanking out a pair of shorts, he pulled them on and looked back at her. “I’ll be right back, don’t move.”
She watched as he disappeared from the bedroom then she closed her eyes as more tears spilled down her cheeks. It wasn’t supposed to have hurt so damn much. In her mind, she’d figured he wouldn’t even realize she was a virgin, and he probably wouldn’t have if she hadn’t made such a scene.
Seth returned a few seconds later, and she wouldn’t look at him as he walked back over to the bed. She gasped in surprise when he put a cool washcloth between her legs and tenderly cleaned her flesh.
He reached out his fingers, slid them underneath her chin and forced her to look at him.
“Are you okay?” he asked quietly.
She swallowed and nodded.
“I’m sorry, Jasmine.”
The anger in his voice gave her pause. She stared up at him, trying to figure out who he was angry with.
“I should have told you,” she said in a low voice.
“Yes, you should have,” he agreed. “But more than that, I never should have damn well touched you.” He paused and looked away briefly before returning his gaze to her. “Damn it, Jasmine, I thought you had slept with Zane.”
Her eyes widened. “He told you that?”
Seth frowned. “Of course not. Zane wouldn’t talk about you like that.”
“Then where would you get that idea?”
“I saw you. In bed with Zane. Both of you were na**d and wrapped tight around each other. What was I supposed to think?”
Heat bloomed in Jasmine’s cheeks. She wasn’t supposed to feel guilty. In fact, she needed to be upfront about the fact that she loved both of the brothers. Otherwise how would she have a chance of making the relationship work?
Seth’s jaw was drawn in an angry line. “What the hell were you trying to prove, Jasmine? What’s gotten into you?”
Her mouth dropped open. “Why are you so angry, Seth? What does it look I was trying to do? I was trying to get you to see me as something more than the pathetic little girl you’ve been looking after. I wanted you to see me as a woman. As someone you might care for, damn it.”
“It’s obvious you’re not a little girl anymore,” he said through gritted teeth.
“Do I never have a chance at making you care for me, Seth?”
He looked at her in confusion. “What do you mean?”
“I love you. I’ve always loved you. I came back because I wanted the chance to make you love me.”
Her announcement hung in the air as shocked silence followed. He didn’t look happy with her declaration. If anything, he looked even more pissed.
She wished she could call back the words. He wasn’t ready to hear them, and she hadn’t been ready to say them. Not yet. She shrugged indifferently, trying to shield herself from the hurt crowding her chest. “We had sex, Seth. I don’t see what the big deal is.”
He stood, seething. He stared at her, a storm cloud gathering in his eyes. “No big deal, Jasmine? If it was no big deal then why did you save yourself all these years? I had no right to touch you. Not after…”
“Not after what?” Jasmine asked quietly.
Guilt and self-loathing shone in his expression. “I swore I’d never touch you after that night in Houston. Swore you’d never feel like you had to offer your body to me for payment or repayment. You offered yourself to me for sex when you were sixteen, something no girl should ever have to do. I refused then, but I still took you up on that offer. Just six years later. What kind of a man does that make me?”
He turned away, and she gasped in shocked anger. He started to walk out. Her words stopped him for a moment.
“If you can’t tell the difference between the girl I was then, and the woman I am now… If you can’t tell the difference between a girl offering herself to you out of desperation and a woman giving herself to you because she loves you, then there’s not much I can say, is there?”
He stiffened, his back to her. His fingers curled into balls at his sides, and then he walked out of the bedroom, leaving her there to stare after him.
Jaz looked sad, a sight that didn’t sit well with Zane at all. Her beautiful eyes were shadowed and reserved, not at all expressive and vibrant like they usually were.
He watched her eat breakfast and nod occasionally at what Carmen was chattering about. Every once in a while Carmen would stop and hug Jaz to her as if she, too, could see how unhappy Jaz appeared.
This thing between them had gone on long enough. Screw Seth and screw acting like a dickhead. He didn’t want to distance himself from Jaz. He’d spent the last few days analyzing his feelings, analyzing goddamn everything, and enough was enough. The last thing he wanted to do was drive Jaz away or make her unhappy.
He strode forward into the kitchen to where Jaz was sitting. As she looked up in surprise, he gathered her in his arms and gave her a big hug. Then he dropped a kiss on her upturned lips. She blinked in shock, and he smiled at her reaction.
He brushed his thumb across the smudges beneath her eyes. “You look tired, Jaz.” He cupped her cheeks and pulled her face to his again so he could kiss her. Her lips were deliciously soft against his, and he swallowed her sigh of contentment, held it close to him as he did her. He felt an odd sense of satisfaction, as if the decision he’d made had brought him peace.
He let her go and gently tucked her hair behind her ears. “Get some rest today and let Carmen take care of you. I’ll be out with Seth for most of the day, but I’ll see you when I get back.”
Unable to resist one more taste, he brushed his lips across hers. He touched her cheek with his fingers then turned to walk out to where Seth waited.
Jasmine watched him go and wondered if she was having some bizarre dream. She raised her fingers to touch her tingling lips.
Carmen looked at her with a smug smile. “Maybe he is coming around, eh niña?”
“Maybe,” she murmured.
What had gotten into him? Not that she was complaining. After Seth’s rejection, one of the many that had been piling up lately, she’d spent the night in restless despair.
“What is wrong, Jasmine?” Carmen asked quietly. “You are not yourself today. You look sad.”
Jasmine sighed. Sad. She wasn’t sure that word covered it. Carmen wrapped her arms around her and hugged her to her ample bosom, and Jasmine clung to her, needing the comfort she offered.
Carmen stroked her back and murmured in Spanish near her ear. Several long minutes later, Carmen pulled away to look at her.
“What has happened, niña? You can talk to me, you know.”
With little hesitation, Jasmine poured out the entire story, detailing the events of the last night and Seth’s reaction. Carmen sat on the stool next to Jasmine, a look of sympathy creasing her round face.
“You weren’t prepared for your first time.”
Jasmine shook her head, embarrassed to admit her naivety. She wasn’t ignorant of sex. She’d done plenty of experimentation and more than a little observation. But she had been caught off guard by what had happened last night.
Carmen sighed. “The first time is often painful, and if not painful, it’s certainly not comfortable. It would have been better, I think, if he had known. There is much a man can do to make it easier for a woman if he knows and can prepare for it.”
“Yes, but if he had known, he never would have touched me,” Jasmine said ruefully.
Carmen nodded. “You are probably right.”
“I don’t know how to make him love me, mamacita. Maybe I never will. I love him and Zane so much. I don’t want to imagine not being with them.”
“Well, it would seem you’re making progress with at least one of them,” Carmen pointed out.
“It sounds greedy and selfish and manipulative,” Jasmine began. “But I love them both so much that I cannot imagine a life without them both. As much as I love Zane, I’m not sure I could ever be with him with Seth on the outside, always there but not. The same goes for Seth. I couldn’t be with him without Zane. So much rides on their acceptance of that fact,” she said glumly. “Before I came home, I was so sure of myself. I imagined it would be easy to bowl them over. It’s easy to think of how things will go when you’re so far removed from the reality.”
Carmen smiled. “You are very honest, niña. That’s a start. Admitting your shortsightedness.”
“Oh, I have no problem admitting my many faults,” Jasmine said wryly.
Carmen patted her lovingly on the hand. “I’ve never known you to give up, niña. I don’t always agree with your methods, and I’ve not completely approved of what it is you want now, but I know you have a pure heart and that you love those boys. And that is the most important thing. So if you love them, you mustn’t give up. Love is worth fighting for.”
Yes, Seth and Zane were worth fighting for. Jasmine just hoped that in the end she wasn’t defeated.