‘Forget it,’ I say sharply. ‘It doesn’t matter. I’m not getting in the middle of it.’
‘She’s engaged to someone else,’ he says throatily, and I hear the emotional rawness in the words. ‘There is no middle.’
‘But you’re still in love with her?’
The question catches him off-guard. It’s as if he realises the inappropriateness of talking to me, the woman he’s most recently-fucked, about the woman he loves.
‘Hell, no. Right now I think hate would be a better word to describe what I feel for her.’
I discount that. I know that pain. I’ve felt it. ‘You can love at the same time as you hate.’
‘Speaking from experience?’ he prompts.
‘Yes.’ It’s both an admission and a warning. I’m shutting the conversation down.
He seems to understand that. ‘Not with Sienna. Not after this.’
‘Sienna Di Giorgio?’
Now I remember. It was in the papers at the time, and on news websites, and people were gossiping about it. It was a big deal to people who cared about that kind of thing—which was almost everyone.
‘Have you spoken to her?’
Jealousy curdles inside me. ‘Maybe that’s what you need? To get some closure?’
He laughs. ‘Talking to Sienna isn’t going to give me “closure”.’ And he stands up, his manner completely animalistic, wild, untamed, as he prowls to my side of the table. ‘I want to fuck you.’
I startle at the bald-faced honesty of the statement.
‘Rebound sex?’ I prompt, some sense of self-preservation forcing me to face up to what he wants before this goes any further.
His eyes glint and I feel the determination of his heartbreak. I recognise it.
‘Something like that.’
And I want to agree. To acquiesce. To give him all of myself.
But is there danger here? Am I being foolish?
‘Just sex.’ He nods, reaching for me and pulling me to stand.
We are body to body...so close. I hesitate and he strikes, moving even closer, speaking low and throaty.
He brings his mouth to my ear.
He sucks my lobe between his teeth and then bites down on it. I pull in a breath.
His fingers find the bottom of my dress and push it up my thighs until it’s at my hips.
His hands curl around my ass and thrust me forward, holding me tight to his arousal. He grinds his hips and I groan as I remember how good he feels inside me.
He hasn’t even said the last word before my fingers are searching for the buckle of his belt and pushing it open. I want that too.
His ex. My ex. They cease to exist.
There is no one in my mind but Ethan Ash as I push at his jeans until they’re open and then reach in and wrap my fingers around his cock.
‘Shit...’ he groans.
‘This is crazy.’
‘No,’ he grunts. ‘This is a proposition. You. Me. Sex. It’s easy.’
He rubs his cheek against mine, his stubble coarse, and then he kisses me—hard, achingly, his tongue punishing mine, as though our four days apart were my fault. It is crazy and it is reckless and I know I might regret it, but I will regret stopping even more.
He pulls me as we kiss, in through the doors, but we’ve barely made it inside before we tumble to the hardwood floors, a tangle of clothes and hormones, of need and lust. He pushes me onto my back and I’m shaking as he slides a condom in place. I’m pushing at his jeans and he’s sliding out of them, and all the while I’m chasing his mouth, not wanting our kiss to end.
He doesn’t remove my underwear—who has time for that? He pushes the flimsy lace aside and thrusts into me hard and fast, with all the desperation in the world, as though he knows how ready I am for him. And I am. So ready, so wet, so hungry. I cry out at his possession and arch my back, inviting him to touch me.
He doesn’t need the invitation.
His hands are under my dress and he finds my breasts, rolling my nipples as he drives into me, and I am moving higher and higher above the earth with every touch, morphing out of this very plain of existence. I am all his...all this...all need.