The way she responded, not holding back a thing, had him losing his head completely. It was just like her to be so honest with her emotions and he had a glimpse of the love and promises she would have offered to her husband. The man had hurt her, broken her, used her and discarded her. At that thought, Ethan’s hands slipped from her hair to her shoulders, somehow wanting to convey the information that he wasn’t that sort of man, that he wasn’t callous and calculating. If she’d offered him such a gift, he would do everything in his power to cherish it.
That thought was enough to break the hold the delightful taste of her had evoked upon his senses. He broke his mouth free and pressed kisses to her face. He shifted his chair, bringing it closer to hers before nuzzling her earlobe. Was that what she was offering? Was she offering herself to him? He wasn’t sure. He didn’t have a clear read on the situation. All he knew was that her hair was soft and silky to his touch as he brushed it out of the way so he could rain kisses on the sensitive hollow of her neck.
‘Mmm…’ she moaned, and shivered slightly as goose-bumps broke out over her skin. It was torture, sheer, sweet, torture, and she never wanted it to stop. With an impatience she couldn’t control she willed his lips to stop the pleasurable torment and return to her mouth. ‘Kiss me,’ she whispered, the words hardly audible, but he heard them.
Her words made him smile and helped those unwanted questions to be pushed to the back of his mind once more. It had been far too long since he’d felt this sort of desire, this sort of need, this sort of promise. Whatever this was, she was in it with him, side by side, clearly enjoying the ride as much as he. He pressed another round of kisses to the other side of her neck, enjoying the way she moaned and shivered beneath his touch. Finally, when he couldn’t stand it any longer either, he brought his mouth back to hers.
They both relaxed into the kiss, their lips eager to become reacquainted, eager to continue with the journey into the unknown, unexplored desire that had been building between them since that first day in the supermarket. Even though it was all still new, he felt as though he’d been kissing her mouth for ever. The taste of her was genuine and her scent was a powerful, natural aphrodisiac.
Never had he expected such a gamut of emotions when he’d given in to the urge to kiss her. Her tongue lightly outlined his lips and he heard himself groan, amazed again at how this woman could override all his warning signals, his brick walls, and shoot him straight through the heart.
The thought was enough to make him pull back. He cupped her face in his hands and stared down into her eyes, both of them breathing heavily. Her green eyes were glazed with pent-up frustrations and desire. Her lips were slightly swollen and pink—irresistible. Just gazing at her now had him wanting her all over again.
He wanted to give in but knew if he did, there was no way he’d have the willpower to stop things from taking their natural course. They kept gazing at each other as their heart rates gradually returned to normal. Her eyelids started to close and she rested her head on his shoulder, sighing contentedly.
‘Sleepy,’ she murmured, and couldn’t help the yawn that escaped. She stayed where she was for a while, Ethan feeling her head become more heavier than usual. Eventually, he eased back, once more cupping her face in his hands as he looked down into her exhausted face.
‘Go to sleep,’ he murmured, and couldn’t resist kissing the tip of her nose. He’d wanted to kiss her mouth again, to press promises to her luscious and addictive lips, but thought better of it. Losing control once was something he could live with. Repeating the action again and again would just be asking for trouble.
‘Mmm…’ Her eyes remained closed and she smiled at his words. ‘I’ll just clean up and—’
‘Go to bed, CJ. I’ll take care of things.’
‘You always do that. You always say you’ll take care of things.’ As she spoke, she opened her eyes and looked at him. ‘But you also need to take care of yourself.’ Raising a tired hand to his face, she caressed his cheek. ‘You’ve locked yourself away for so long, you’ve been filled with so many different emotions—anger, pain, disappointment.’ CJ yawned again. ‘Be kind to yourself, too.’ Then she put her hands on the table in order to lever herself from the chair. Ethan quickly stood and helped her up.
‘Sleep. I’ll make some food and leave it in the fridge for you, ready for your early morning snack.’
‘You don’t have to—’ She broke off as another yawn claimed her.