“Don’t do that, Copper-Top. It would be the worst mistake you ever made.”
He was the second person today to tell me that exact same thing, only I wasn’t sure it wasn’t already too late. There was just something about him, something there that made me want to believe that in the long run, all the bad that made him who he was could be dealt with, could be loved, as long as it came with the fleeting glimpses of good like he was showing me now.
“I’m only twenty, Shane. I have a lifetime to make good decisions. Might as well get the bad ones out of the way now while I still have time to learn from them.”
He caught the hand I had put over his heart and looked at the pale skin that had faint red marks circling it in the shape of his fingers. He put his lips to the center of my wrist, right where my pulse was hammering in time to his.
“I hurt you and made you cry.”
I sighed because I knew he was right. “You also protected me, stood up for me, and made me feel beautiful and secure, which is a lot more than I can say for most people in my life. With you, taking the good with the bad just goes hand in hand.”
He shifted so that his big body was braced above me. He bent his head and placed a whisper-soft kiss on my collarbone. My body reacted instantly. I ran my hands along the ridge of his rib cage, careful to avoid his still-raw knife wound. He was so solid, all parts of him real and strong. When he wasn’t being his own worst enemy, he was the most rigid and stable being I had ever encountered in my life, which was in contradiction to the restless and careless way he lived his life.
“Is that why you call me ‘Shane’ every time I take you to bed?” His mouth landed on my breastbone. I think he was purposely ignoring the begging, plump peaks of each breast. How we had shifted gears so fast I wasn’t sure, but like with everything that came with him, I just held on for the ride.
“I call you ‘Shane’ because you’re different when we are together like this—softer, less scary. I feel like all day long Bax is who you have to be to survive this life you’ve chosen to live, but Shane is who you choose to be when you let your guard down and leave it all on the streets.”
I ran my fingers over the prickly softness of his shaved head, taking a second to rub the smooth surface of his scar.
“I’m not going to pretend I don’t like it when you’re Shane better, but Bax has his place and I can deal with him, just not in bed.”
He moved lower and kissed each one of my hipbones where they jutted upward as my belly hollowed out at the contact. He dipped his tongue into the little indent of my belly button and put a kiss that left a mark on the path of freckled skin that trailed to the apex of my thighs. He was still lying between them, so there was no cover, no protection from either his burning gaze or his questing mouth and hands.
“It’s just me, little Dove, no more and no less.”
His breath hit the damp slit that was getting achy and ready for him to take things up a notch. It made me shudder and my fingers dug into the side of his head, which had him grunting in response.
“Just you is a whole hell of a lot more than most people bring to the table anymore.”
His head dropped and everything else fell away. He had the ability to make time stand still and all the awful things that swirled and invaded everyday life just evaporate into thin air with the stroke of his tongue and the scrape of his teeth. It wasn’t the first time he had used his mouth to make love to me, but there was something in it this time, something in him that made it different. He was trying to apologize, trying to make amends for purposely trying to freak me out earlier. He was reverent, he was sweet, and oh, good Lord, was he thorough and intently focused on making sure I felt what he was doing in every other part of my body. I was so emotionally strung out that I almost shoved him away, but it felt too good and I knew there was no way he was going to let me go anyway.
He sucked hard on my clit and used his fingers to mimic what I wanted him to do with that erection that only moments ago had been insistent against the side of my thigh. When he swirled the flat of his tongue around that tightly wound-up bundle of nerves, I knew it was going to be over before he even really started. He was relentless. He was ratcheting me up so high and so tight there was nothing I could do but scream his name as I broke under the tension. I felt everything inside me let loose and I went limp as he continued to run his tongue along saturated folds and oversensitized flesh. He pulled his fingers out and used them to trace random patterns across my knee and upper thigh.
I struggled to get my eyes back open to look up at him. He was rising to his knees and working on the button to his jeans. I swore there would never in my life be anything hotter than Shane Baxter getting naked and ready to work me over. My lazy heart picked back up when the top of those flags made an appearance. The look on his face after he got me off was always the same mixture of male satisfaction and appreciation, like I had given him some kind of gift by letting him make me come. It always did something to the very core of me to realize that to him it was something special, that I was something more than what he was used to.
He shoved the denim off over the hard globes of his ass but not before handing me a foil wrapper and telling me to get to work. I was lethargic, sleepy from the orgasm and the emotional turmoil of the night, but I wanted to put my hands on him, wanted to cross this last bridge in the place that had made him go so dark on me. I was all the way in Bax’s world now, there was no more pretending I was just biding my time on the fringe until Race showed his face.
I got the latex over him, took a minute to appreciate the heated length and the weeping head, but he was done making nice, and even though I was still extrasensitive and not really all that responsive, he slid into me. It was a tight fit and made both of us gasp. He held himself up over me on rigid arms and stared down at me while I worked my legs up around his waist and my arms across the broad expanse of his tattooed shoulders.
That he asked meant everything and shook the last of the lethargy out of my blood. I arched up against him and dug my heels into his ass to get him to move.
“Better than all right.”
He swore and I saw some of the shadows move out of his eyes. He sank all the way into me and I felt consumed by him. Every part of him was hot where we touched, and the drag and pull of his unyielding flesh against my quivering inner muscles had me spiraling out of control all over again. He set a pace that was brutal and all about achieving the ultimate pleasure. We weren’t connecting on any other level than physical. Too much had been bared tonight, and this was the only way it could be.