Room Service Read online

  They walked up the three flights of stairs, and at his door, he tried to turn on his legendary charm. “I can make a late-night snack, maybe a—”

  “No, thank you.”

  He blinked. Had anyone, ever, since he’d begun cooking, turned down his offer of food?

  Not once.

  “Are you sure?” He nudged her inside. “Because—”

  “I’m fine.” Still hugging herself, she looked around the apartment without letting a thing show on her usually so vivid face. Not a single inkling of her thoughts.

  He looked around, trying to see the place as a stranger would, a glimpse inside his world. And yet all he saw was the huge glass windows, the stark black lines of his leather couch and table, the utter lack of color.

  And he saw something else, something more revealing. There was nothing of himself here, no pictures, no personal effects. It wasn’t any different in the bedroom, where he had a huge bed, expensive furniture and barely anything else.

  Had he thought the place warm and homey?

  He showed her the kitchen.

  “Oh,” she breathed, stepping into the one room in the house he’d made his. Here he had his favorite pots and pans hanging from the ceiling within reach, his utensils in a big copper holder on the counter, his beloved cookbooks out for easy access.

  All personal effects.

  He felt like sagging in relief at the sight. He had put something of himself here. He walked over to a big, fat file near the phone and pulled it out. “This is pretty much a full representation of the best restaurants in the best locations in the city. There are brochures, pictures, reviews…”

  She glanced at the file, and then without taking it, looked into his face. “Why did you keep all that?”

  He scanned through it. “I don’t really know.”

  “I do. You kept it because you didn’t see yourself staying at Hush for longer than it took to get comfortable and settled. You never see yourself staying anywhere, even here.”

  “I like it here.”

  “Really?” She moved back into the living area, huge and lush and utterly devoid of…him. “Then where are the pictures of your friends? A fish? Even a plant? Where are the signs that a loving, caring, wildly passionate, beautiful man lives here?”

  “You want a sign that I’m here, living and breathing and wildly passionate?” He hauled her up on her toes. “How’s this?” And he covered her mouth with his.

  THE MINUTE HIS MOUTH touched hers, Em’s frustration melted. It had no chance against the onslaught of need and yearning and love she felt for him, none at all. His body was big, burning up with heat, and the easy strength of him such a damn turn-on.

  “I need you,” he murmured in her ear, then bit down on her lobe, sending waves of erotic desire skittering down her spine. “God, I need you.”

  A thrill raced through her. Not want, but…need. “Really? You need me?”

  He went still, then pulled back. “I want you,” he said carefully.

  She shook her head. “You said need.”

  He stared at her. “I did not.”

  “It’s okay to need me,” she whispered, and touched his face. He hadn’t shaved that day, and she loved the rough feel of his day-old growth. She ran her fingers over it and sighed. “Because I need you, Jacob.”

  Still, he just stared at her, stricken. His tough body quivered with tension; whether it was desire, or frustration, or even fear, she had no idea.

  Nor did she have any idea how to soothe him, other than wrapping her arms around him.

  Not a hardship when his body was like a pagan god’s, and so perfectly suited to hers, so able to pleasure her that she was already wet for him as he reached for her sweater. “Want me,” she said softly. “Need me. Just take me.”

  “Em—” he murmured against the tumble of her hair, sounding staggered.

  She closed her eyes, absorbing that voice, memorizing it. This was it, their last time. It might have left her hollow but she’d save that for when she was alone again. For right now, feeling him was a relief and a pleasure she wouldn’t deny herself. His body felt so good against hers, and that was because it was him. No other man would do. With a slow burn taking root deep in her belly, she put her mouth to his throat.

  He made a sound, a rough one, his hands sweeping down her body to her bottom, palming it tightly, rocking her against him.

  He was hard, so hard it made her catch her breath. His kiss was demanding, a little rough, as if he was not pleased with how much he wanted this, wanted her.

  “Here. I want you here,” he demanded gruffly, his hot mouth on her jaw as it worked its way back to her lips, then claimed them in a kiss, a fierce, untempered kiss. Finally his tongue stroked one last time along hers and pulled back. “Now.”

  “Yes. Here,” she gasped when his hands streaked over her already fevered body, beneath her sweater, her skirt, and his fingers slipped in her panties. “Now.”

  “Take it off, then. Take it all off.” Then, before she could, he lent his hands to the cause, doing it for her, stripping her so fast her head spun.

  Still fully clothed, he took her hands and held them out at her sides as he looked her over slowly, thoroughly, his eyes twin balls of heat. “You take my breath away,” he said hoarsely.

  Feeling incredibly vulnerable, she closed her eyes.

  “No,” he said. “Look at me.”

  Somehow she managed to open her eyes again.

  “Amazing,” he said in a reverent whisper, as if he couldn’t believe she was here, for him. Then he slid his hands into her hair and tugged her close again, kissing her long and wet and deep.

  She had to touch him. She slid her hand beneath his shirt, and he shuddered, breathing her name. She whispered his, as well, or at least she tried, though it came out more a moan than anything else because his hands were stoking the slow burn within her into flames.

  Somehow she got his trousers opened. He was fully erect, hot to the touch, needing release as badly as she, and she wrapped her hands around him.

  “God, Em. You slay me.”

  “Do I? Do I really?” she mused, and stroked him.

  They were both lost then. He dropped to his knees and tugged her down with him, tumbling her to the soft rug in front of the fireplace. While he tucked her beneath him, she pulled his shirt open. His body was magnificent, and she had to touch, had to taste, one last time.

  Because that thought threatened to intrude, to cool her down, she squeezed it out of her head and licked his nipple, scraped her teeth over it, absorbing the rough sound that came from deep in his throat.

  Her insides were trembling, her fingers less than steady as they skimmed over his chest, over the hard muscles of his pecs, over the tapering line of hair down his middle, and the abs she could never get enough of, all the while finding herself more and more aroused. Because this was Jacob, this was the man who could take her right out of herself. She loved touching him, loved having him touch her, loved how his body was tense and trembling.

  She loved him, and bit her lip rather than let it escape again.

  He looked into her eyes and knew. “Em,” he said in a ragged voice, lacing his fingers through hers, anchoring them by her shoulders. “Don’t.” He eased her legs farther apart. “Don’t hold back because of me.”

  She looked into his eyes, knowing what she felt was reflected there. Heat and need and so much more it backed the breath up in her throat. Eyes burning, she shook her head. “I won’t.”

  He squeezed his eyes shut, his face tightening in a grimace. “Tell me again.”

  “I love you.”

  His eyes opened, deep, dark and suspiciously bright.

  “I love you,” she said again.

  He groaned, then thrust into her, keeping his gaze on hers, letting her see him, see into him, and there was so much there, she let out a small cry and arched up.

  He sank into her, again and again, in a connection so heartbreaking and mind shattering, she lost