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  out a breath and relaxed into him a little. “You’ve read your press, right? You know they call you a hard-ass.” She lifted her hand and touched his face. “But they’re wrong.” She pressed her face to his throat and inhaled him in, like maybe he was her air and she needed more. And when her hands slid around his waist, beneath his shirt, and up his back, he knew he was a goner.


  RAINEY WAS LOST in Mark’s kiss when her phone vibrated.

  Mark groaned.

  “I’m sorry,” she gasped. “I have to look.” She pulled out her phone and eyed the text from a number she didn’t recognize.

  Are you up for a walk on the beach and dessert? Cliff

  One of Mark’s big hands cupped the back of hers and his thumb hit delete.

  “Hey. Maybe I wanted dessert.”

  “I’ve got your dessert,” he said, moving her backwards until the couch hit the backs of her knees and she dropped into it.

  Following her down, he took both her hands in one of his and slowly drew them up over her head, pinning them there as he pressed his lower body into hers before hooking one of her legs around his waist, opening her up to him.

  She moaned and he breathed out her name as he cupped her breast, his thumb gliding over her nipple, causing her to arch up into him like a puppet on a string.

  His mouth nipped at her ear, her jaw, then finally, oh God, finally, her mouth, and when he started to pull away, she whimpered.

  “Shh,” he murmured, and then her clothes were gone, and their hands were fighting to rip off his. He tackled the buttons on his shirt, shrugging out of it, revealing a torso and chest she wanted to rub her face against like a cat in heat. His short hair was mussed, his mouth wet, his eyes at half mast, a sexy heat to them that said her pleasure was his. She pushed him and then followed him to the floor, straddling him.

  “And you say I have to be in charge,” he murmured, chuckling low in his throat as his hands went to her butt. “You have a serious queen bee issue—Jesus!” he gasped when she slid down his body and licked him like a lollipop. She couldn’t fit him all in her mouth but she gave it the old college try, and given the rough, raw sounds coming from him and the erotic way he writhed beneath her, she was doing more than okay. After a few minutes, he gasped, “Rainey, stop. I’m going to—”

  She didn’t stop. Swearing, he hauled her up his chest and rolled them again, pinning her beneath two hundred pounds of very determined Latino sex god. “You don’t listen very well.”

  “Maybe I just wanted you to wrestle control away from me again.”

  He laughed roughly, then sank his teeth into her lower lip and tugged. “Rainey?”


  “We’re done playing.”

  “About time.”

  He produced a condom, then slowly entwined their fingers and drew her hands above her head, then he kissed her long and deep and hot. When they eventually tore apart to breathe, he stared down into her face. “Still mad I deleted Cliff’s text?”

  “Cliff who?”

  With a smug smirk, he kissed her again, then slid into her. Pleasure flooded her, so intense it arched her back and had her crying out, clutching at him. The teasing and fun vanished in a blink, replaced by something so intense she could hardly breathe. Mark’s eyes were dark and sultry, and she reared up to press her mouth to his. He took control of the kiss, making her melt into him all the more as he buried himself in her over and over, deeper, harder, faster, the entire time holding her gaze with his, letting her see everything she did to him.

  It took her right over the edge. She was still quivering when he grabbed her hips and thrust one last time, holding himself tight against her as he came hard.

  When she could think again, she realized he’d lain down beside her and was holding her close, running a hand over her heated, damp skin, waiting while she caught her breath. His wasn’t all that steady either. It was her last thought before she drifted off to sleep, comforted by the sound of his heart beating wildly against her ear.

  RAINEY WOKE UP entangled in a set of strong, warm arms. Dawn had come and gone. The sun crept in the window, highlighting the form of the man lying next to her.

  His eyes were closed, his decadently inky black lashes brushing against his cheeks. His dark hair was tousled, his jaw shadowed by a night’s beard growth.

  They hadn’t slept much. Damn testosterone. In spite of herself, the need for him had called to her, over and over again.

  It’d been an amazing night. She could replay every touch, every moan he’d wrenched from her, each moment of ecstasy.

  And there’d been lots.

  The sheet rode low on his hips and she soaked him up, the broad shoulders and wide chest tapering to that stomach she still, after licking every inch of him last night, wanted to press her mouth to. His chest was rising and falling steadily, but as if he sensed her perusal, he drew in a deep breath. The arm he had curled around her tightened, drawing her in closer. “Mmmm.” The sound rumbled up from his chest as a hand slid into her hair. He had an obsession with her hair, she’d noticed, he loved touching it, burying his face in it.

  His other hand slid down her back and gripped her butt, squeezing. She arched into the touch and felt herself practically purr with contentment.

  And hence the danger. The sleeping portion of the night had given her a sense of intimacy—a fake intimacy. It’d brought contentment, warmth, affection. She didn’t want to feel those things for him, but just like when she’d been a love-struck teenager, it’d happened. Only this time she’d known better.

  This could be fixed, she hurried to assure herself. She just needed a time-out. Now.

  He stirred when she slipped out of bed, opening his eyes. “Rainey.” His voice was low and rough from sleep, and he was lying in her sheets like he belonged there, long sinewy limbs at rest, eyes warm and getting warmer, heating all her parts equally.

  “You need to stop giving me orgasms,” she said.

  “Aw, you don’t mean that. Come here, I’ll show you.”

  She actually took a step toward him before stopping short. “Oh my God. I think I’m actually addicted to you—”

  This sentence ended with her letting out a startled scream because suddenly she was airborne. Mark had risen from the bed and tossed her to the mattress. He followed her down, crawling up her body. They were both naked, and at the contact, she arched up and moaned.

  His smile was pure trouble.

  “Oh, no,” she said, scooting backwards. “I’m going to work.”

  He grabbed her ankles and tugged.

  She landed flat on her back, legs spread wide, held open by him. “I’m not playing,” she said, having to try real hard not to be turned on. “We’re having another car wash today, and I have a staff meeting about the formal dinner and auction next Saturday. Busy day,” she said, breathless from just the way he was looking at her. “And besides, you wanted a day to day, right? Well it’s a new day and I have plans. Gotta go.”

  “I think I’m missing something,” he said, slipping his hand into her hair, tugging lightly until she looked into his eyes. “What’s the real problem here?”

  “The problem is that I have thirty minutes to get into work! Let go.” She attempted to leave the bed, but he merely tightened his grip, pulling her to him until their faces were so close that she could feel his warm breath on her lips. She could see the heat in his eyes, and also a curiosity. Probably the man had never been kicked out of a woman’s bed before. “It’s nothing personal,” she said.


  She sighed. “Okay, you’re right. It’s personal. It’s just that…remember when I said I had to instigate or I’d get screwed up?”


  “Well, it happened anyway. I’m screwed up.”

  “What are you screwed up about?”

  The fact that I’ve fallen in love with you… She fought to get free and rolled off the bed. “I have to go, Mark. Don’t make this hard