“Just let me hold you.”
It was a plea. She could feel the unspoken please that hovered on his tongue and wondered if his pride would ever allow him to say it. The fact that she heard it in his voice was almost enough to make her climb back in bed and burrow into his warmth.
“Why?” Bitterness colored her tone, something she hadn’t realized swirled in her gut until that moment. “You’ve never bothered before.”
His eyes burned into her bare back, but she refused to turn around. She told herself she wasn’t that desperate for his affection, but she was deep down in that soft space he touched every time they came together. Except he made her feel like there was nothing else and she was too in love with him to ask for more.
“Isn’t this just sex between us?” It needed said and she wanted to hurt him instead being hurt.
“It has been,” he replied in a low voice that echoed in her mind.
The pain searing beneath her breastbone pushed her off the bed. The sheet slithered down her body leaving her nude under the intense scrutiny of his gaze, but he’d made her vulnerable long before this one moment of nakedness. She needed to get out of there before she embarrassed herself, before she spoke about love and he messed her up.
A hand around her wrist stopped her flight. She yanked, but his manacle-like grip held her hostage. He tugged once and she tumbled back into the bed and across his naked body, pinning her against his solid warmth.
“I want you.” His hands smoothed down her back then cupped her bottom. “God, I want you, need you more than I’ve wanted anyone else.”
Eyes dark as midnight held her captive, the emotions there leached the anger from her. She opened her mouth to reply, but his lips took hers in kiss that stole the breath from her body. Everything melted as he held her, caressed her, kissed her so completely with lips and tongue.
When he pulled away, she was a bundle of sexual desire and love that threatened to bubble over. She sought his mouth again, her body rolling against his, but he denied her with a quick turn of his head.
“You need to understand something: I can’t go on like this.”
That succeeded in draining all desire from her body, replacing it with a chill so deep it froze her. “What do you mean?” The tremor in her voice frightened her, but she couldn’t control it.
He turned them so she lay beneath him and the hard length of his cock settled between her thighs. She parted her legs wide and he read her need, slipped deep into the wet clasp of her with a groan. One thrust, two, three until she arched up in a silent plea for more. The tremors swept her body then as she stared up at him. How would she function if he ended this?
But he stopped the in and out that defined their relationship, and rested inside. Intensity radiated from him as he held himself taut above her, his face reflecting whatever struggle waged in his head. One hand cradled her cheek so gently and fingertip brushing over her lower lip, his eyes following the movement closely. She parted her lips and absorbed the touch into her skin.
“I want you,” he gritted out. His eyes closed, a grimace twisting his features. “Not just for sex every other night, but all the time. I need you, need to hold you when we crawl into bed and in the morning when we get up. I want to be the one who makes you feel good and wanted, who loves you…”
She sucked in a breath. “Do you love me?”
He looked down at her and it was so clear. “I thought it was obvious.”
His hips moved again, bringing her focus back to the way he felt. The slow way he filled her, stretching her wide to receive. She wrapped herself around him, greedy to feel every inch of him taking as her body clung to his. The pleasure spiraled tighter with each thrust until she was so close to falling into the sweet oblivion, but not until she told him what lingered in her heart.
Pulling his face to hers, she kissed him softly and whispered against his lips, “I love you, too.”
And those words toppled them both.