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Page 34

With a rough laugh, she closed her eyes to concentrate on the feel of him and he pressed into her. “Joe.”

“Don’t worry. It’s not going anywhere. I can think with two body parts at the same time.”

Well, thank God one of them could.

“Although,” he murmured, “the things I want to do to you in this closet . . .”

She shivered and then gasped when he sank his teeth into her earlobe, tugging lightly, playfully.

Only it didn’t feel playful. It felt like if she didn’t have him inside her soon she might expire on the spot. He must have felt the same because he whipped her around to face him and slid his fingers into her hair, tugging her face to his. When his mouth touched hers, all of it—Rafael, the pictures, her grandpa’s death, everything—disappeared in the heat the moment and they were back into the flames until it was to the point that they had to stop or go at it right there in the closet. She wasn’t sure about Joe but she wasn’t prepared to go there, so she pulled back. She felt him take a deep, shaky inhalation before very purposely letting it out again.

They stood like that for a moment, thighs-to-thighs, chest-to-chest, and everything in between. And everything in between included some of her favorite parts, especially as he was hard. Everywhere.

“What’s he doing now?” she asked.

Joe took a look. “Lying on his bed, lights and TV still on—but his eyes are closed. I think he’s asleep.” He still waited a full five minutes, which she knew because she counted the seconds. “Stay at my back,” he said, “and don’t make a sound.” Keeping a tight hold on her hand, he led her silently out of the closet and out the back door into the night. Then they ran for his truck and took off.

Joe usually drove like he did everything else—utterly calmly and in control. Not today. The set of his shoulders and the tightness of his mouth gave him away. Did he realize he was starting to show her the man beneath the cool, calm façade he showed everyone else? Or how thrilling that was? “You’re mad at how it went down,” she said into the tense silence of the vehicle’s interior.

“I didn’t like you being in that situation because of me.”

“I was in that situation because of me,” she corrected him. “But I did good.”

A small smile crossed his lips. “You did great.”

“Then what’s the matter?”

Without taking his gaze off the road, he reached for her hand and brought her palm to his mouth. “Kylie, you did so good, I’m hard as a rock. I told you, watching you handle yourself gets me every time.”

Their gazes met briefly and she felt the heat rise in her. Again. Heat, and a need. He kissed her palm once more and then, his hand still in hers, set it on his thigh. “I want to take you home,” he said.

A thrill went through her at that. “Then do it. Take me home.”

They didn’t talk after that. Just drove through the dark night with Joe seeming to go as fast as he could without killing them while simultaneously using every second of the ride to torture her with knowing touches. By the time he parked at an inviting-looking duplex in Inner Sunset, she was so worked up she could barely breathe.

He turned off the engine and looked at her, and she could see that for as out of control she felt for wanting him, he felt the same. It was in the heat of his eyes, the tense lines of his gorgeous body, the way he touched and spoke to her. It all added up to a sense of need and hunger and desire, for her, the depths of which she’d never felt from another man.

So much that the air seemed to crackle between them. She actually ached and if he so much as reached out and touched her, she was going to jump his bones right here in his truck. Yes, there was a little niggling in the back of her mind that she was getting too far gone over him, that she needed to hold herself back from going all in, but she ignored it because she couldn’t hold back. Not with him. But still, something of her brief hesitation must have shown on her face.

“Say the word, Kylie, and I’ll take you back to your place.”

She met his gaze, knowing her own was surprisingly steady. She wanted this. She needed this. “What word do I say if I want to go inside with you?” she asked. “Or want you inside me?”

He had her out of his truck so fast her head was spinning as they practically ran up the walk. He was working his key into the lock when she pressed up against him, going up on tiptoe to whisper in his ear, “What’s taking you so long?”

He shoved the door open and within seconds had her inside, the door kicked closed, and her entire body pressed between his and the wall. Then his mouth was on hers, their tongues touched, and she moaned. She couldn’t help it. All the heated looks, the kisses, the lingering touches that they’d shared up to this point combined, multiplied exponentially, leaving her shaky with need and just about panting for him. A situation not improved as his fingers slid up her belly, finding their way beneath her shirt. As his lips made their way back to her mouth, he palmed her breast, his thumb rasping across her nipple.

“Joe.” As she was a puddle of need, it was still all she could get out, but he heard her, heard the obvious desperation behind the single word, because he groaned and pulled her tighter into the cradle of his thighs.

Perfect, since her goal was the bulge between them. When she rocked into it, he groaned again and tightened his grip on her with a low laugh. “I’ve got the muscle,” he said. “But you’ve got all the power. I can never seem to resist you, Kylie. Even when I know I should.”

“Maybe you should stop trying.”

This got her another low laugh. “Already have.” He took her mouth with his and the night caught fire. Mouths, teeth, tongues, hands, bodies, all strained to get even closer. Joe appeared to try to devour her, which was fair game since she was currently attempting to consume him right back. Both of them together made the air heat and close around them like a dark vacuum, sucking away all thought except this, him, now. “Joe.”

He lightly bit down on her lower lip. “Changing your mind?”

Hell no she wasn’t changing her mind. She’d be crazy to. He was watching her think, his eyes burning dark with heat. It had her legs turning to jelly and she wobbled before somehow managing to lock her knees. “I’m not changing my mind,” she murmured.

“Good. Because I have plans for you.” And then he kissed her slow and deep.

With a moan, she rocked into him until he lifted her up so she could wrap her legs around his waist, her nails digging grooves into his shoulders to hold on. He braced one hand on the door frame and the other had a firm grip on her ass as they kissed and ground into each other until they were both half-gone.

“Now,” she gasped. “Oh, please, Joe. Now.”

Equally breathless, he jerked her closer. “You’re not ready yet.”

“If I was any more ready, I’d be in flames!”

At that, he flashed a wicked, bad boy grin just before lowering his head and kissing her again. In the next beat her shirt was gone and then so was her bra. And then that hot, talented tongue of his rasped over first one nipple and then the other before he dropped to his knees in front of her and stripped her out of her boots and jeans. “Nice,” he said of her lacy panties and then slowly slid them down her thighs, leaving her bare-ass naked except for her boots, which he left on. “Oh, Kylie,” he whispered, voice gruff, his heated gaze taking her in. “Open for me.” Before she could move, he lent his hands to the cause, his big palms nudging her legs apart, his calloused thumbs slowly teasing her damp flesh.

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