His cock hardened even more under her ministrations, grew longer and thicker and warmer. The knowledge that she was doing that to him only increased her own want.
He pulled away when she moaned around him. He said nothing. But he simply reached down and lifted her to her feet. In one smooth motion, he pulled off her chemise, and then he pushed her back onto the bed.
Now. He was going to have her now. But even though he got on top of her—even though his chest brushed hers, and his hard erection nestled against her hip—he didn’t push inside her. Instead, he kissed her. His tongue darted into her mouth, more urgent than ever. He rocked her body with his, setting an insistent rhythm. It ought to have soothed her. Instead, it made her clench her eyes shut.
“More,” she told him. It was the first word either one of them had said, and he lifted his head and gave her a wicked smile.
“Like this?” he asked, and leaned over and brushed his mouth against the tip of her nipple. A warm rush of pleasure shot through her, and Miranda gasped. This was new, but she’d lost all sense of shyness. She simply arched into him. She pushed up, hard, feeling his tongue circle her.
“More,” she demanded.
His hand crept between her legs. And oh, it felt so good when his fingers brushed her sensitive flesh. So good when he drew a tight circle there. So much so that when he withdrew—but no, she wasn’t letting him withdraw. She reached down and took hold of his hand, pressing it back into place.
He dipped one finger inside of her, and the sensation transformed from exquisite to almost unbearable. She needed that. Precisely that, but…
“More,” she said. She rose to meet him, but even though it sent pleasure shooting down her limbs, it wasn’t enough.
It took her a moment to realize what she wanted. Not his hand. Not his mouth. Him. His whole body, pressing into hers. His cock, hard and thick, sliding inside her. This was what it meant to be ready—not just that her body was slick for him, but that she would lose her mind if he didn’t take her. She pushed his hand away and met his eyes.
“Now,” she said. “Don’t make me wait, Turner. Now.”
He gave her a fierce smile, as if he’d been waiting for only that. He adjusted himself against her. The hard ridge of his member pushed against her most private parts. He moved again, and it sent a delicious friction where they joined. It was so, so good to feel him, hard and thick, right where she wanted him most. Almost.
He made a scalded sound. She arched up into him. And like that, he slid into her.
It didn’t feel good. It stung, a hard pinch that stole her breath away. He tensed above her, holding still.
“Is that acceptable?” His hand came up to the side of her face. He stroked down her cheek, finding a little tendril of hair. Not hard and demanding, like his member inside her, but soft. Sweet. Almost…affectionate, and he’d said that wouldn’t happen.
She shook her head. He was such a rotten liar.
“It’s all right.” She moved underneath him. “It’s…it’s actually getting better.”
“Good.” His voice was hoarse. “Now let’s try this.” He took one of her legs and wrapped it about his hip. Just that little movement shifted him deeper inside her, so deep that his groin met hers. And then he withdrew.
She’d understood what was to happen. One couldn’t grow up with actors and retain any degree of innocence. But she hadn’t known it would feel so good, hadn’t known that when he slid his hands under her bottom and angled her up, that change in elevation would send him sliding inside her in a way that made her shudder. She hadn’t understood how powerful it could be to clasp him tight with her inner muscles and hear him gasp, to run her hands down his chest and feel his thrusts grow tighter, more controlled.
She hadn’t realized he would touch the deepest part of her, that he would slide up on his forearms and touch her between her legs. She hadn’t known that his fingers could make a counterpoint to his thrusts. She threw her head back and reached for his hips. Something vital coiled up inside her just as his thrusts grew more insistent. Her body was just as demanding. More. Harder. She could think of nothing but the pleasure of their joining. The sheer perfection of it had her digging her nails into his backside. Her inner muscles clamped around him hard—and then she cried out.
No words. There were no words she could use.
The pleasure passed through her like a wave, crashing over her head and tumbling her over and over until she couldn’t tell up from down, couldn’t draw breath. She was only vaguely aware when it spat her out, her legs clamped around his hips.
“Oh, my.” She smiled up at him in a haze. He was panting, his hair wet with his exertions. She’d known it could be good. But she hadn’t known it could be that good. Oh, God. She was going to get a month of this, and he was paying her for it? She wanted to laugh. She wanted to kiss him.
She did both. “Now what happens?” she asked.
His forearms tensed and he gave her a grim smile. “Now it’s my turn,” he said. He started moving again. The rhythm that had seemed powerful before, rocking her into ecstasy, became harder, more savage—like a drumbeat counting out its strokes against her body. His hands clenched on her hips, pulling her to him. He thrust inside her, hard and powerful.
It was different than before. He’d been holding back. The pace he set this time was as demanding as he was, a relentless master that insisted on more from her. More, when she was convinced she’d given him her last breath. Still, his every stroke sent pleasure rippling through her. He grew harder inside her, hotter. And when he finally pounded into her, she gasped as pleasure overtook her once more.
His hands tangled in her hair. The pads of his fingers were rough against her cheeks; his nose nuzzled the side of her face. He breathed against her neck.
“My God, Miranda,” he whispered. “God.” His fingers brushed through her hair, the movement almost wistful. As if for the first time that evening, he was unsure of his reception. Foolish of him, of course, when they’d just shared that.
She reached up and laid her hand against his face.
Slowly she let her fingers trail down his cheek in a slow caress, saying with her fingertips what she was almost afraid to whisper aloud.
I care for you.
But something was wrong. Horribly wrong. He’d not relaxed against her, as she’d hoped. Instead, he pushed himself up on his forearms. His every muscle had tensed.
“What the devil are you doing?” There was no warmth in his words. She didn’t know where that uncertain affection had gone, but it had vanished in an instant.
Her hand faltered against his cheek. Still, she pressed on. “What do you suppose?” She dropped her voice to a sultry whisper. “I’m caressing you.”
He wrapped his wrist around her hand and pushed it into the mattress. His fingers bit into her—not un
gentle, but so changed from the way he’d touched her before that she looked up at him in confusion.
“We agreed I wasn’t paying you for that.” His voice had gone hard.
For a second, Miranda almost doubted her judgment. He’d never said he cared for her. He’d never claimed to be kind. In fact, he’d insisted on almost the opposite. She’d presumed to know better, on the basis of evidence that was beginning to seem a bit thin in the face of his fierceness. He’d as much as said it was an act of commerce. Maybe…
But no. She was sure of this. She was sure of him, him and his lemon cakes and the cats that he’d fed in the alleyway. “We agreed that you couldn’t buy my affection. But that’s only because…” She choked. He’d offered her so much; she’d wanted to hold something back. Something valuable and precious, so she’d have something… She looked up at him. “I wanted to give it to you. As a gift.”
He didn’t release her hand. His chest heaved above her. She was beginning to feel trapped underneath him. Then he disengaged himself from her and pushed off.
“I told you.” His voice was as cold as steel in winter. “I’m not looking for affection. Damn it.” He started to sort through the pile of their clothing.
“I don’t believe you. Everyone wants—”
“I don’t.” Fabric rustled. “I told you already, and I meant it. That is the last thing I wanted from you.”
A slap on the face would have hurt less. She suddenly felt young and painfully inexperienced. He was older. How many women had he had? How foolish she was, to think that just because they’d shared that, it had meant something.
She should have known better. She sat up and brought her knees to her chest. He pulled on his trousers and then his shirt.
“That,” he continued haughtily, “was not what I wanted from you at all.”
She had agreed to an entire month of this. Those days seemed to stretch in front of her like an endless burden. She leaned her forehead against her knees and listened to him dress. She’d thought he would spend the night. She’d thought she was getting a lover, not a…not a procurer.