“I’ve spent a lot of time letting others make me feel like the redheaded bastard stepchild,” she said, “like the easy throwaway.”
“Soph.” He shook his head and held her gaze. “You’re not either of those things.”
“Not when I’m with you, I’m not.” She paused. “Do you still want me, Jacob?”
Always. He held up his forefinger and his thumb, an inch apart. “Little bit.”
She bit her lower lip.
“Or, you know, this much.” And he spread his arms as wide as he could.
She smiled. And then she dropped her towel.
Sophie blamed Jacob’s shower for her bravado. All that gloriously hot water had gone to her head—and her good parts—as she’d run Jacob’s soap over herself. And then she’d used a faintly damp towel that told her the last person it had touched had been him…
By the time she’d stepped out of his bathroom, she’d been shaky with need, her heart galloping so hard that her ribs were rattling.
She’d heard the low rumble of Jacob’s voice and for a crazy moment she’d wondered what would happen if she went out there and pressed herself up against his big, strong frame and begged to be held.
Just until she felt alive again. Until she felt whole again.
She didn’t have that right. Not when she’d set the boundaries.
But then Jacob had turned to face her the moment she stepped through the doorway, his expression unguarded and…and she’d needed him so much she could scarcely breathe.
When she’d admitted to eavesdropping, he’d looked amused. When she’d strode toward him with a confidence and bravado that was pure Academy Award–worthy acting, his eyes had gone molten-lava hot.
And then she’d dropped her towel.
He took her in with eyes gone dark. In just those board shorts riding low on his hips, his skin was darker than hers and stretched over enough muscle on muscle that her mouth went completely dry.
Without thinking, she straddled him, burrowing her face into his neck, taking a long, slow breath of the essence of Jacob Kincaid.
It should be bottled.
No, scratch that. She didn’t want to share him with anyone. She ran a hand down over the sculpted landscape of his chest to rest over his heart, feeling the beat of it through her palm, steady. Rock steady. Her fingers stroked a little, liking the feel of his heated skin, the way his nipple hardened beneath her touch.
“Sophie.” The underlying emotion in the way he said her name took her breath. His voice was low, more than a little strained, and beneath her fingers, his heart pumped a little faster.
Not so steady now. Don’t stop me…Leaning in, she nuzzled the soft skin just under his ear, enjoying the way his hands tightened on her. She felt him take a deep breath and let it out slowly.
Please don’t stop me…
“Please,” she whispered. She sank her teeth into his earlobe and then flicked her tongue over it, a full-body shudder racking her when Jacob hissed in a breath. “Please, Jacob.”
At her plea, he groaned as his hands slid to her bare ass, squeezing, making her stomach clench with anticipation. She lifted her face to say it again, but he cupped the back of her head and covered her mouth with his.
Had she been cold to the core only a few minutes ago? Because now heat suffused her, starting from her center and working its way out, tightening her nipples into two hard little beads, spreading southbound to rev up ground zero. Had she ever felt like this with anyone else? Never.
She’d been doing her best to resist him, but that was turning out to be like trying to hold back the tide. No matter what you did, it was going to come in. And something else was coming…a massive tidal wave of desire, trying to pull her under.
Jacob gently nudged her back so he could stand and drop his board shorts, and…sweet baby Jesus. She’d thought she had the image of his perfect, naked bod imprinted and permanently etched on her brain, but her recollection was flawed. He was even better than she remembered.
Smirking at what was probably a dumbstruck expression on her face, he hit his knees, his eyes dark and intense and locked on hers before traveling slowly down the length of her body. “Mmm,” rumbled from deep in his throat as his hands glided up the backs of her thighs. “Pretty.”
She felt such a rush she shuddered. Catching it, he smiled a very badass smile, cupped her ass in his hands, leaned in, and put his mouth on her.
Her head fell back and her mouth opened because she needed it that way just to breathe. She felt him smile against her as he worked his magic with his very talented, ingenious tongue and diabolical fingers.