Bitter Sweet Love (The Dark Elements 0.5) - Page 16

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“Aw.” I patted his chest. “Were you worried?”

His brows slammed down. “What do you think?”

I laughed, unwilling to let go of the giddiness of victory. “I’m still faster than you.”

“It has nothing to do with how fast you were. You suicide-bombed it right there.”

Shaking my head, I inhaled and phased into my human skin. As always, my jeans and shirt were stretched out after the change. “Chill, buddy, I know what I’m doing. I’ve been doing it every night for three years practically.”

His mouth dropped open.

“Okay. That didn’t sound right. But I was in control.” I sighed. “I like the way it feels when I’m falling.”

He stared at me a moment longer and then phased. “That’s absolutely insane.”

“Maybe.” I shrugged. “I still beat you.”

Dez barely said a word to me as we headed up to our room. Like the night before, I commandeered the bathroom first, freshening up and changing into something to sleep in while he did who knows what in the main room. The same nervousness I’d experienced last night returned with a vengeance. Then, we’d both been exhausted, but tonight I was too amped up to go comatose so quickly.

I passed him on the way out. Grabbing the remote control, I dived onto the bed and tugged the covers up. I concentrated on finding something on TV while I heard the water come on and then shut off. My stomach dipped when the bathroom door opened and he strode out.

I believed he’d forgotten his shirt.

Nylon gym shorts rode low on his hips, low enough that I wondered what magic he was using to get those dark blue shorts to stay up. He tossed his clothes onto the floor while I eyed his chest. When he glanced at me, he caught me staring and holding the remote control like a complete idiot.

“Sorry.” He went to the other side of the bed and tugged the covers back. “It’s warm in here.”

“Turn up the air.” I watched him climb in and let the sheets linger at his hips.

He lay back, biceps bulging as he folded his arms behind his neck. The darkness of the soft sheets created a strong contrast against his golden skin. “Already did.” Pausing, he looked at me. “Does this make you uncomfortable?”

No. Yes. It made me want to drool. I shook my head.

“Fine.” His brows rose slowly. “What are you watching?”

I glanced at the screen and my eyes widened. I must’ve stopped on one of the premium movie channels. It was a sex scene. Boobs—big boobs—were everywhere. And a whole lot of breathy moaning.

I’m pretty sure my face had caught fire.

Quickly changing the channel, I finally gave up and tossed him the remote. Like an old man, he settled on a local news station. He dropped the remote on his chest. I eased down on my side, pretending to watch the news while I was really studying his profile. A muscle ticked along his jaw.

I squirmed. “You’re still mad at me.”

His gaze slid sideways. “I’m not mad.”

“Yes, you are.”

He didn’t say anything for a moment and then picked up the remote, muted the TV and dropped it on the small table beside the bed. He rolled onto his side, facing me. “When you fell, it scared me.”

“It shouldn’t have. Like I said, I knew what I was doing.”

“But I didn’t know that.” He reached over, plucking up a strand of my hair and twining it around his finger. “I had no idea what you were doing.”

I didn’t say anything as I watched him unravel the twist he’d created.

“It was a pretty cool tactic,” he admitted, and I grinned. “Just warn me next time.”

“Not if we’re racing. Then I won’t have the upper hand.”

He smiled slightly. “Wait. Do you think you had the upper hand?”

“Of course I did.”

“I’m going to disagree,” he teased, lashes lowered. “You did not.”


He inched closer, raising up on one arm. “You don’t believe me?”

“No.” I laughed, rolling my eyes. “You overestimate—”

Moving lightning fast, Dez shifted and I was suddenly underneath him. His arms were on either side of my head, caging me in. Our bodies didn’t touch, but I felt him to the tips of my toes anyway.

The teasing grin disappeared when I dragged in a deep breath and my chest brushed his. Everything changed in an instant. The playful mood faded, replaced by primal heaviness. Our gazes collided and locked. Neither of us moved. His closeness sent a series of shivers skittering across my skin and made it hard to take slow, even breaths. My body tensed when his gaze dropped to my mouth.

He tilted his head to the side. “I... I honestly have no idea what we were talking about.”

“Good. Neither do I.”

He shifted his weight onto one arm, bringing him closer. “Have you enjoyed your trip so far?”

“Yes.” I felt as if I couldn’t get enough air into my lungs.

“Good.” He lowered his head. His breath was minty as it moved across my cheek and then my lips. “I’m glad.”

I wasn’t really following the conversation and I wasn’t sure that he was fully aware of what was coming out of his mouth. I searched my hazy brain for something to say and wet my lips. I—

The sound that came out of Dez’s chest rumbled through me. A stuttered heartbeat passed and then his lips were on mine. There was nothing slow about this kiss. It scorched my skin and caused my body to stretch tight like a bowstring. The kiss deepened, spinning my senses. I shuddered when his hand curved over my shoulder and drifted down to my waist, his long fingers spreading out under the hem of my shirt, grazing the bare skin of my stomach.

I gasped, floored by the raw sensations pounding through my blood. My skin felt as if I was about to phase. Maybe I was.

“Jasmine,” he whispered, the word falling against my lips, and then his body was pressing mine into the mattress, heavy, sweet and hard.

Nothing could’ve prepared me for the weight of him or for how my body responded without thought. My hands went to his shoulders, skimming down the taut skin of his back. His muscles flexed under my palms as his mouth trailed a fiery path to my chin and then down my throat.

He paused, lifting his head. Dez’s pupils stretched thin and the heat in his smoldering gaze should’ve had me running from the bed, but all it did was make me want more. And I hadn’t wanted more with anyone else. I hadn’t even wanted a kiss beyond the curiosity of experiencing one, but with him, I wanted everything and that was frightening. Enticing. Thrilling. I moved again, and he shuddered, closing his eyes.

Those eyes opened again and met mine as he sat back. Disappointment rose swiftly, but then both his hands were on my waist, his fingers tangling with the edges of my shirt. Breathless, I lifted my upper body and he gently pulled the shirt over my head.

I lay back, eyes wide and dizzy. Cool air washed over my bare skin and tiny bumps spread across my flesh as his gaze, intense and heated, swept over me.

“You’re beautiful.” He moved his fingers with such exquisite delicacy, causing my back to arch and my skin to tingle. “So beautiful.”

I was beyond words. He lowered his head, kissing me deeply. When he pulled away, he nipped at my lip, wringing a sound from me that would most definitely embarrass me come light of day.

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout The Dark Elements Fantasy