Damn, it was ridiculous how she responded to him. Ridiculous, and just a little humiliating. “I have nothing to say to you.”
“Not even about your crush on me?”
“Ha ha.” She stalked over to her table and put her hands flat on the wood, gulping in air. Hope was okay. She hadn’t run off to do anything stupid.
And the man behind her…Well, things weren’t so black-and-white with him. The way he looked standing there on the court with Hope: big, bad, tough, and so unexpectedly sweet she almost hadn’t been able to breathe when she’d looked into his eyes.
Damn it, what was it about him? He made her think, laugh, yearn…
“Is it true?” he asked.
His hands came up, gripped the table at either side of her hips, putting them extremely close and in an unexpectedly intimate position. “Mia,” he said very softly, tipping his head so that his breath brushed her jaw, her ear, making her feel touched by him, when in truth not an inch of him touched her at all.
“I read between the lines when you were talking about your sister. She was pretty rough on you, wasn’t she?”
Mia lifted a shoulder. “All that’s in the past now.”
“Yeah. But I’m sorry I judged you for not being closer to your family. I had no right,” he said quietly. “I think you were great tonight. I think you reached her.” He sprawled his hands wide so that his thumbs just lightly skimmed over her hips. He was tall, hard with muscle from all his days playing basketball, and she felt trapped by him, petite and extremely feminine. Beneath the flimsy robe, her body reacted predictably.
“Is what true?” She had to clear her rough throat. “That I have a crush on you? Don’t be ridiculous.”
Leaning in, he let his mouth just barely brush her throat.
The hollow at the base of her neck.
And then her collarbone.
Oh, God. She had to lock her knees. She had no idea what to do with her hands, so they helped themselves to his shirt, fisting comfortably over his pecs, which were warm and solid. Real.
At her touch, he let out a low groan and stepped back, letting out a sound of disbelief. “How the hell did I end up here again?”
“I—” She was about to say it was because their bodies seemed to have a thing for each other, but she looked into his eyes—eyes the color of caramel, eyes that weren’t holding anything back—and she lost the glib words. Instead she sank her hands into his hair and dragged his mouth to hers.
Mia sank into the kiss, thrilling to the way he touched her. “God,” he murmured, taking another hot little love bite out of her throat. “Why couldn’t you be wearing a suit of armor?”
Her head fell back. The man could take her from zero to sixty with a single touch. For someone so laid-back and casual, he had a real edgy thing going when he concentrated, and when it came to her, he usually concentrated extremely well. His hair was tousled, and a lock of it fell over his knotted brow; his eyes were dark and sleepy and filled with an intense heat.
It was silly how strongly he affected her, but just looking at him, she felt her pulse skip. Her amusement at herself for that vanished in a flash when his fingers pulled open her robe. His low, throaty groan was heady stuff. He lifted her up onto the table, put his hands on her thighs, and pushed them open. “Look at you,” he murmured. “You’re already wet for me.” With a light touch that sent her pulse skittering, he stroked her, outlined her, then slowly pushed two fingers into her.
His grip on her was presumptuous, familiar, and just a little rough, and she should have kicked his ass for it. Instead, she fought to see past the sexual haze and tried to rip his clothes off. She shoved up his shirt and had his jeans half undone when he shook his head as if trying to clear it and stepped free. “Mia. We have to stop.”
“Damn it, I hate that word.”
He let out a low, groaning laugh and touched his forehead to hers, squeezing her h*ps gently. “Hope. Remember Hope. I know you gave her a half hour, but she could come in the door anytime.”
“Oh, God.” She blinked, and wanted to cry. “There are teenagers around. Does that mean we can’t have sex? I really need to have sex, Kevin. Right now.”
He glanced over her shoulder at her pantry closet, and she wasn’t so far gone that she couldn’t laugh breathlessly. “Not there. Come on.” She hopped off the table, grabbed his hand, and tugged him out of the kitchen, down the hall past the living room and up the stairs, her robe billowing behind her. Just outside her bedroom door he pulled her around, backing her to the wall, holding her there while he dropped to his knees.
“What about the kid?”
“We’ll hear her.” Then he opened her robe and her thighs and glided his thumb deliberately over her.
She gasped. Shivered. By the time he leaned in and replaced his thumb with his tongue, she was already halfway gone. Gripping his head, she let him take her the rest of the way to an explosive cl**ax. When she stopped shuddering, he sat back on his heels and looked up at her from heavy-lidded eyes.
“Come up here,” she managed.
He straightened to his full height, and she hopped up and wrapped her legs around his hips, making him groan. He leaned forward, trapping her between his body and the wall. One of her Prada mules fell to the floor with a thud.
He cupped her face and looked deep into her eyes as he slowly pushed his h*ps into hers, making it abundantly clear that he was hard as the wall at her back, and he said, “We really need to talk, about why, if I’m so awful in bed, you keep wanting me so bad.”
She closed her eyes, her own little cheap escape, and arched against his erection, making him hiss again as he staggered with her into her bedroom. One moment she was holding on to his tense shoulders, and the next she was flying through the air, then bouncing on her bed.
He locked the door, then came to the mattress, tucking her beneath him, holding her down as he crawled up her body, his eyes dark and determined, his body hot and taut. “Now. I figure we still have a few minutes. About that talk…”
As if it could be as simple for her as it was for him. He gave all, and expected the same in return. No hesitation, no second-guessing, no pretense, and sure as hell no wondering what anyone thought of him.
It was his sexiest, most arousing trait.
He didn’t care about impressing her, or even being impressed by her. He just cared about her.
And he wanted her to care back.
So simple, so terrifying.
“Later,” she murmured, and because he held her hands down on either side of her head, she arched her body into his.
He made short work of losing her robe, then his shirt and pants, stopping only to fish something from the pocket.
In the dark, the condom packet seemed to glimmer.
Her entire body quivered, the searing reaction startling her. “A well prepared man,” she murmured. “I like that. Let me—”
He lifted it out of reach, smiling down at her in a way that wasn’t entirely friendly. “Not until you talk to me—”
“Please,” she said softly. “Just love me.”
He looked down at her for a long beat, clearly torn. She knew what he wanted. He wanted the words, he wanted her to tell him how much she needed this. Him.
But holding that back was her last weapon, her last line of defense against him, and she wouldn’t.
How about that? The fearless Mia Appleby, scared spitless by a silly little emotion which she couldn’t even begin to name. Because that irritated her, she surged up, snatched the condom away from him, and tore it open. With her teeth. She knew he was watching her, felt him reining himself in. With a sexy smile, she pushed him flat to the mattress, straddled him, and protected them both. “This’ll have to be quick—Hey!”
She was flat on her back.
Pinned by his big, tough body.
Unable to move an inch.
“I know you’re in a damn hurry.” He danced his fingers up her side, then down. “Always are.”
“Seriously. We have like three minutes left.”
His fingers glided over her hips, between her legs, and she jumped as if shot.
“I can make you come in three,” he murmured.
Damn it, that was true, but she didn’t like that he knew it. “Prove it, big guy.”
“Hang on then.”
She slid her hands down the sleek, hard, contoured muscles of his back and cupped his ass. Squeezed. “I’m hanging on.”
“Good.” He nipped at her chin, her lip, and when she opened to him, he slid his tongue possessively to hers at the same moment he plunged inside her, filled her.
“Oh, my God,” she panted in tune to his roughly uttered “Oh, yeah.” His hands fastened on her h*ps as he rode her just the way she wanted, hard and fast and well, his eyes locked on hers; and in that beat of time something happened, something deep and unexplainable, and when she came, exploded really, his name tumbled from her lips as she fell.
She felt him tremble as he pressed his face into her hair and followed her over, and for the first time in recent memory, for the first time maybe ever, she clung to him hard, not in a hurry to do anything but be right here where she was.
Kevin was happily floating, his toes slowly uncurling, when he felt Mia sat up beside him.
“Yeah,” she said. “Sorry. But you’re still no good at that.”
Sprawled facedown on her bed, he didn’t bother to move a single muscle. “You are such a little liar.”
“Already was,” he muttered into her pillow. It smelled like her, which he liked. Too much. “But give me a minute and maybe—”
“I meant up off the bed.” She added a playful slap on his ass.
He cracked open an eye and leveled it on her. “You’re playing with trouble, woman.”
She laughed, and in one smooth motion he sat up, snagged her around the waist, then put her over his knees, smiling down at the view.
“You wouldn’t dare,” she said with a shocked laugh, struggling to get up, wriggling all over the place, giving him more of the enticing, tantalizing peep show every time she scissored her legs.
He clamped his hand down over her bare ass and squeezed.
“Let me up,” she said on a laugh. “Right this minute.”
“Or I’m going to kick your ass—”
He brought his hand down, not exactly lightly, then traced the outline of his nice red handprint while she squirmed. “You’re going to kick my ass? Really?”
“Yes, I’m—” This broke off on a moan when he took his fingers on a tour between her thighs now.
“Oh, my God,” she gasped and opened her legs farther.
He dipped in, played for a moment, then sighed. “We don’t have time.”
She sat up. “I knew that.”
He watched as she slipped her amazing body into her robe. “You know what I think? You’re crazy about me.”
She snorted, and he grinned.
“Yeah, that’s right,” he continued. “You’re so crazy about me you need me to get the hell out of here before you admit the rest—that not only am I not bad in bed, I’m the best you’ve ever had.”
Tossing back her head, she laughed, a full-belly gut laugh that stopped his heart.
She bent to pick up his clothes. Reflexes a bit slow from the mind-blowing orgasm, he didn’t manage to catch his shirt before it hit him in the face. He was still pulling the material from his mouth when his pants hit him next.
“Hurry,” she said, belting her robe. She tossed back her hair and smoothed it down with her fingers, the mass obediently falling into place as if she’d spent hours on it. She slid one foot into a high-heeled mule, then looked around for the other.
Kevin slid his legs into his pants and kept watching her. He couldn’t help himself: she moved in quick, economical movements, always the fastest, bestest way from point A to point B—even in bed.
It fascinated him, but he wanted to see what happened when she let go of that amazing control. He wanted to cause it.
Clearly, he was insane.
He’d promised himself he wouldn’t do this again with her, and here he was. “Hallway,” he said.
She had bent over to see beneath the bed, giving him a very fine view of her very fine ass. He wondered if his handprint was still on it. “Excuse me?”
“Your shoe. Hallway. We left it there when—”
“Oh, yeah.” When she would have brushed past him, he caught her arm, pulled her back around. “So,” he said. “That was pretty nice back there—”
“Yeah, yeah. It was nice. It was great. Now we don’t have time for the cuddle stuff, move it!”
He laughed. What else could he do? “There’s always time for the cuddle stuff,” he murmured and took the time to pull her in closer and kiss her softly. He could feel her jolt of surprise at the tender touch, the way her breath hitched.
She kissed him back, then stepped clear, licking her lips as if wanting to get every last taste. “You have to go,” she said and shoved his shoes against his chest. “They can’t catch us—it’ll give them ideas.”
He dropped his boots and stepped into them without bothering to lace them up. “I think they’ve already got ideas.”
She went still and stared at him. “You think they’re having sex? My God, why didn’t you tell me? We have to stop them.”
“I just meant that they’re thinking about it. It’s what teenagers do. At least teenage males. They wake up thinking about it, they eat thinking about it, they sleep thinking about it.”