Authors: Aimee Carson
She lowered her mouth back to his chest. “In a minute,” she murmured distractedly against his skin. “I'm not done yet.” Moving her hands to the front of his pants, she popped the button and lowered the zipper, knuckles sliding along his erection.
Bolts of lightning skewered his groin. “Damn it, Jax,” Blake groaned hoarsely, his pinned arms straining as the electrical shock awoke a powerful need. “Help me get this shirt off.”
For months no woman had tempted him to take the time. But Jax proved the exception as he'd watched her wild hair swing behind her back. The lissome sway of her hips as she walked. Her ever-changing scent. The palpable attraction. And right now, if his hands were free, he could touch the woman he needed more than he should.
His tone was harsh. “Jax, please...”
Frustration built as she ignored him, her tongue joining her lips on his chest, her small moan whispering across his damp skin as she pushed his pants down and they dropped around his ankles.
Sweat dotted his temples, his heart banging, and he gritted his teeth.
But the end of his patience soon came.
Her soft fingers encircled his erection and pulled the straining shaft from his briefs, her lips closing around his nipple at the same time, and the fierce stab of dual pleasure was too much.
With a deep growl and a desperate exertion of muscles, the buttons on his cuffs popped, pinging against the deck as his arms finally came free.
Cursing, Blake pushed her right knee up against the wall, using his free hand to sweep the crotch of her knit pants and undies to the side. With a harsh groan and a fearsome thrust that marked the collapse of his control, he buried himself inside her.
“Blake!” she called out, clutching his shoulders.
Heart thundering, he battled for a return to sanity, yet her sex was unbelievably tight. Hot. And oh-so slick. But he needed to stop. He needed to get a grip.
To think logically aboutâ
“Blake,” she whispered as she gripped his shoulders, gently rolling her hips as if desperate for more, and desire crushed his fight for restraint.
He pulled back and drove into her again. His breathing harsh, his body quaking with need, he closed his eyes, straining to regain his composure. Praying he could recover his mind and bring her to completion with him. But with every thrust of his hips, pleasure roared through him, and he almost came. The impossibly tight glove of her body, the satisfying pressure, was an agony of the most blissful kind.
“Jax.” His gasp for breath was loud as his mind spun to regain footing. “We need a condom,” he groaned. “We need to take this to the bedroom.”
But Jax rolled her hips again, and her muffled cry of desire speared him with a thrilling satisfaction. Despite his attempt to regain control, the terrible need won out, and he hiked her leg higher, pulled back...and buried himself to the hilt.
A sharp gasp of what sounded like pain escaped Jax's lips, and Blake's eyes flew open.
Eyes closed, Jax clung to his shoulders. “Don't. Move.”
It was the look on her face and the strained ache in her voice that finally penetrated his sex-muddled brain as, one by one, the clues slowly congealed into a single earth-shattering reality. When he glanced down at their joined bodies, the evidence was overwhelming, and the shocking realization momentarily paralyzed him. Because Jacqueline “Jax” Lee wasn't just sporting the âLike a Virgin' tattoo.
She wasâup until the moment Blake had lost his hold on sanityâliving the life of one, as well.
* * *
“Damn it, Jax. I'm sorry,” Blake said hoarsely, withdrawing and setting her back on her shaky feet, her body throbbing with intense pleasure and the lingering sting of pain.
Though his hands steadied her, the sudden loss of contact was disorienting, and Jax struggled to comprehend the shocked look on Blake's face.
But his words made his distress clear.
His expression dumbfounded, he said, “Why didn't you tell me?”
“I thought I did.”
He plowed a hand through his hair. “Your tattoo suggested that you
like a virgin, not that you
The distraught look on his face was almost as bad as Jack's when he'd first attempted to make love to her. And if Blake was this upset about her previous virginal state, imagine how he'd react when he learned the complete truth about her past....
She swallowed hard, struggling for composure. “Can you excuse me for a moment?”
And then, with all the dignity she could muster, she entered the cottage and padded down the hallway, not stopping until she was in the bathroom. Jax closed the door and locked it, her heart pounding.
It was officialâBlake must think she was a raving lunatic.
Forcing herself not to hyperventilate, hands clumsy, she shed her pajamas and turned on the hot water in the shower. She stepped into the spray, trying
to picture the confounded look on Blake's face. She steadied herself against the wall and let the warm water sluice down her trunk a moment before washing off.
And when she stepped from the shower and reached for the towel bar, her reflection in the mirror caught her eye and she paused, touching a scar on her belly. Her stomach rolled, but she fought the nausea.
She'd been thrilled with the way Blake had taken her. But of course, you can't make love to a man without getting undressed. At least not forever. Eventually during a round of sex you had to remove your clothes, or at least explain why you wouldn't take off your shirt.
Jax closed her eyes, seeking a sense of calm, but the pounding that suddenly came from the door made achieving a state of Zen impossible.
“Jax,” Blake called through the door. “Are you okay? Damn itâ” The pounding grew louder, but it was the concern in his voice that pushed her to consider following through on his command. “Open up.”
Sucking in a breath, she hastily tossed her pajama top on, ensuring it covered every inch. Her wet skin molded the cloth to her body. As the pounding escalated, she jerked the towel from the bar and wrapped it around her waist.
She opened the door a crack, lifting her chin and meeting Blake's thunderous expression with as much cool as she could muster. Guilt and a self-directed anger were stamped on his face. He took one look at her, swore and began to pace the hallway. Oddly enough, the vision brought a serenity she hadn't thought possible.
Because someone needed to remain calm, and, for the first time, it looked as if Blake Bennington wasn't capable.
And she'd been right. He wore briefs, the fabric stretched tight across a mouthwateringly firm, very taut backside. Her body throbbed with memory, and when he pivoted to pace back, she forced her gaze to his face. This conversation was too important to gawk like a schoolgirl.
Do not look down, Jax. Do
Shoving a hand through his hair, he stopped short and raked his eyes down her form, as if checking for wounds. But those were well healed, thank you very much, and had nothing to do with the awkwardness now.
“I'm fine,” she said in her most reassuring voice. “I shouldn't have walked away. I'm sure you could have done without all the melodrama. So I apologize.” She pushed the door open the rest of the way and leaned against the bathroom doorjamb. No man should have to deal with all of her crazy. “You deserved better.”
The height of his eyebrows was almost comical. “What are you talking about?” He threw out his hand, gesturing toward her bedroom door. “For God's sakes. You should have been made love to in a bed.”
“I liked our circumstances.”
Dark was good. Clothed was
He ignored her response. “If anyone deserved better, it was you.”
She crossed her arms. “I was getting exactly what I wanted. Why did we have to stop just when we were getting to the good stuff?” She let out a wistful sigh. “I was having a pretty nice time until you decided to freak out on my behalf.”
Blake's eyes went wide. “A nice time?” he said. “You were wincing with the pain.” He folded his arm across his bare chest, and Jax forced herself not to ogle the man with the well-muscled torso and iron-hard thighs on display.
He enunciated each word clearly as he said, “And I did not freak out.”
“Well, I wasn't wincing with pain,” she said. He tipped his head and shot her a you're-lying look. “Okay, I'll admit I was wincing a little with pain,” she went on with a resigned sigh, stepping closer as she met his gaze. “But it also felt good.”
The pause was heavy, and she knew Blake still wanted her. She could see it in his eyes.
But the overly responsible man couldn't seem to let go of his guilt. “And it could have felt even better if I'd known you weren't kidding about being a virgin,” he said. “I would have slowed down.” His voice shifted lower. “I'd have chosen a position that might have been a little easier on a first-timer's body.”
Ignoring her own throbbing need, she sent him a small smile. “I liked that position,” she said, pleased when a flicker of heat reappeared in his eyes.
“It was too much for you,” he said softly.
Her heart sounded loud in her ears. “Why don't you let me be the judge of that?”
The four-heartbeat pause lasted forever.
Until he said, “So...what do you want?”
She studiously ignored the masculine cut of his body that had driven her to such a state of distraction that she, for once, had been too caught up in the pleasure to pull away. The sprinkling of dark hair on his chest was the perfect accompaniment to the well-defined abs, tanned skin stretched over the hard plane of chest that tasted as good as it looked.
And, for as long as she livedâno matter
came nextâshe'd relish the memory of Blake coming unglued and driving into her with a passion that was electrifying.
Her need shifted higher. “I want to finish what we started.”
The fire in his eyes returned with a vengeance, stealing Jax's breath.
“Okay,” he said, his voice rough. “But this time we do this in a bed. And you're on top.”
“Every woman's dream, I'm sure,” she murmured. “But I was kind of hoping my first time I could just relax and enjoy the ride, so to speak.”
He ignored her horrible attempt at humor, clearly oblivious to the fact that she wasn't kidding. His gray eyes radiated an insistance that, this time, she would follow his directions.
“You're on top,” he repeated. “That way you control the moment. Keep it more comfortable.”
She bit her lower lip, considering her options.
And then his face softened, as if he suddenly clued in to her dilemma. “I can still guide you.”
Two heartbeats later, she managed to respond. “Okay,” she said. “Count me in.”
The desire that flashed through his eyes was fierce, and he reached for the hem of her pajama top. Instinctively, she placed her hand on her shirt, thwarting his attempt.
“But the top stays on,” she said.
The pause that followed was long.
She could see the question in his eyes. She'd reveal the complete truth later, but right now she also couldn't risk another round of explanations. A second too-close-to-the-bone discovery would kill the moment for good. And if she didn't get to finish what she'd started with Blake, and soon, she just might die of want.
“The shirt stays on,” she repeated in her best matter-of-fact tone.
Eyes dark, he ran a finger up along the curve of her breast, her damp shirt plastered to her skin, and her heart thudded hard.
“Wet shirts are fine by me,” he murmured, and then his face grew concerned. “But I have to get a condom from my pants pocket.”
“I have a couple on my nightstand.” As his brow crinkled in surprise, she said, “I was hoping you'd break the no-kissing rule eventually.”
His expression settled into one of pure desire. “Oh...” He tugged the towel from her waist, and it slipped to the floor. “That's one of many rules I'll enjoy breaking.”
The mind-melting thrill resurfaced, and he linked his fingers with hers, leading her down the hall and into the bedroom. He shed his briefs and stretched out on the bed, his naked body lit by the light of the moon.
She'd died and gone to heaven for sure.
A touch of nerves returned, but, eyes on Blake, taking comfort in his gaze, Jax straddled his hips. “Careful, Suit,” she said as she ran her hands up his muscular torso, relishing the hard feel. “First it's the no-kissing rule. Next you'll be running red lights at night when no one is looking.”
But it was that sense of responsibility that made him perfect for her first time. She knew he was dedicated to making things right again.
Bracing her hands on his chest, she leaned in for a kiss. The lips that fascinated her moved firmly beneath her mouth even as he let her set the pace. But the tongue that rasped against hers spoke of a barely leashed restraint, hinting at the fire to come. He tasted of desire. Of
. A sensual mix of moist heat and hard lips. Hands cupping her breasts, he began to rake his thumb across the tips over and over, as if to prime her body, and she moaned, already wet from their aborted first attempt. And growing needlessly wetter from the profound pleasure.
“You don't look confused by your feelings,” he murmured against her mouth.
Still engaged with his, her lips quirked at the reminder of her words on the boat. “I'm not.”
In response, he raked her nipples harder, making her groan.
Eyes dark, he pulled his mouth away. “But are you outraged by my touch on your chaste skin?”
“Yes, I am,” she whispered. His hands working their magic, the heat between her legs grew hotter. Demanding release. “I'm pissed off because you aren't going fast enough.”
With a low chuckle, he raised his head and took a nipple in his mouth. The stab of pleasure was fierce, and Jax arched her back, crying out.