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Page 4

Whether she loved him or not... Well, love was a complication they'd be better off without. He could live with just this - her hot and luscious body in his bed, taking everything he could give her with unrestrained abandon. It was too easy to picture her in his penthouse in Manhattan, spread out on his gray silk sheets, sobbing his name as he fucked her with the nightscape of the city displayed thru the floor-to-ceiling windows behind the bed.

"Umm... Miguel." Her hands slid over his damp back, her lips pressed against the sensitive spot just in front of his ear. "I did miss you."

He caught one of her hands, then the other, dragging them over her head. With his knee, he nudged her leg over, widening the cradle of her thighs. He lifted his head and looked down at her, his aspirations for the result of this visit altering by the moment. His tongue traced the curve of his lower lip, his gaze sweeping over her face, taking in the dazed pleasure in her eyes and the cat-like smile of contentment. He rolled his hips just to feel how soaked she was.

She inhaled sharply. "You're still hard."

"Are you surprised, mi querida? I've missed you, too."

He felt the sole of her shoe rub up and down his calf. A gruff sound of pleasure escaped him.

Looking up at him with the blue eyes that haunted him, she gave him a taunting smile and wriggled suggestively. "Take me, then, mi tesoro. I'm yours."

No, you're not, he thought as he withdrew slowly, only to thrust home hard and fast. Not yet. But you will be.

Chapter 3

Watching Faith shift gears in her classic Corvette was so arousing, Miguel's dick stirred with appreciation even though he was presently wrung dry. That was why they'd left the bungalow, why they were driving to a sports bar with a late-night kitchen.

She made him feel like a teenager again, hopeful and vigorous. He'd had her in bed twice, then again in the shower. When she sat on the couch in a plush terrycloth robe with her hair hanging in wet tangles around her shoulders, he'd wanted her again. The domesticity that he avoided with other women had been an aphrodisiac with Faith. He'd sat on the couch beside her and pulled her over him, his head falling back into the cushions as she slid her slick, hot cunt onto him. They'd gone easy on each other the last time, neither of them in a rush. He could tell she was getting sore and guessed she'd been without a steady partner in a while.

Yet she'd come willingly to him when he asked.

The pleasure he could give her was a vulnerability he was prepared to exploit. He would do or say whatever was necessary to get her to come home with him. The world was at his fingertips. He could meet whatever demands she might make of him.

"You're thinking hard," she said, pulling deftly into the parking lot and claiming at space. "But at least you're not scowling anymore."

"I'm too relaxed to scowl."

"Well, then, the food and a beer might put you to sleep."

He climbed out of the passenger seat and looked over the roof to where she stood on the driver's side. "Don't count on it."

"Promises, promises," she teased.

He met her around the front, raking her with a head-to-toe glance. She'd lost her makeup and hairstyle in the shower, but he didn't see her as any less stunning now. The dress was amazing for its simplicity, allowing the woman inside it to take center stage - a woman who was presently commando in public, which drove him insane every time he thought about it.

For the last dozen years he'd hungered for this, spending time with her, being teased by her, feeling wanted for something other than his money and power. His mother had warned him that Faith was a gold digger, and while it took one to know one, he'd never believed it. In fact, he'd come to wonder if his father's money had actually been a sticking point between him and Faith. While she'd never said so aloud, Faith had grown noticeably uncomfortable whenever he talked about the things he wanted to buy her and the places he wanted to take her.

As they entered the sports bar with his hand at her lower back, he felt the same pride at being seen with her that he'd felt as a kid. She was beautiful, with a body built for sin, but she was also down to earth and self-effacing. She had a wicked sense of humor and a keen sense of fair play. He found it sexy as hell that she could diagnose and repair any car trouble, had minor plumbing skills, and could put together any home electronics system, regardless of how many cords and connections were required. His best friend in high school had said she would be the perfect girl if only she liked sports. Miguel knew she was perfect even without that interest.

They slid into a booth, and ordered some beer and hot wings to start. After the waiter moved away, Miguel leaned back and opened conversation. "It looked like business is doing well at the shop."

"It is. Although the town has grown, it still has that small town mentality. Even after they built the auto mall and the dealerships moved in, most of the residents trust us more. And they send a lot of referrals our way."

"I'm not surprised. You're the best mechanic there is."

Her eyes sparkled in that way that made him feel like a king. He wanted to give her everything, spoil her to excess, just so he could see her look at him like that every day.

"Thank you."

"Are Russell and Jason still there?"

"Of course. They love it, too. It's in our blood." She thanked the barback who brought their drinks and the young man's appreciation of her beauty was evident in his returning grin. His expression sobered, however, when he looked at Miguel.

Faith laughed. Even over the blaring music he heard it and the sound tightened his chest. "I see you're still possessive."

"Only with you."

Her smile faded slowly. "Don't waste the energy on me."

One brow arched. "Why not?"

"Because when I'm with you, you're the only man I see." Her words were accompanied by a Mona Lisa smile that left him wondering if there was any truth at all to her words, or if she was teasing him.

"Then maybe I should stick around."

She took a long pull on her beer, choosing to drink from the bottle rather than use the frosted glass next to it. He found that erotic. Of course, everything about her was erotic to his mind.

"You'd go stir crazy around here," she said.

"Probably," he agreed, knowing he was addicted to the adrenaline rush inherent in his line of work. The closest he came to relaxing while conscious was when he was with Faith. "Are either of your brothers married?"

"Jason came close once, but the gal joined the Coast Guard and he wasn't willing to leave Rio Penasquitos. Russell has never come close. I'm beginning to doubt he ever will. He's got commitment avoidance syndrome."

Miguel picked at the label on his bottle. "He just hasn't found the right woman yet."

"That's what my mother says."

"I've been told I have commitment issues." He held her gaze. "But I was prepared to marry you. Was desperate to, actually. So everyone would know you belonged to me."

She paled.

He pushed forward. As always, he was playing to win. "You didn't ask me why I'm here. Aren't you curious?"

The hot wings arrived at the table. The large round plate was set between them, but neither of them moved to eat.

"Yes," Faith said, so quietly that he read her answer on her lips rather than heard it. "I'm curious."

"I recently broke up with someone I'd been seeing for several months. She was pressing for... more. And I couldn't give it to her. Our last night together wasn't pretty. She was upset and said some things that weren't pleasant. But the only thing that stuck with me was her assertion that she was perfect for me. That we were compatible in every way and I was just too fucked up to see it."

"Ouch." But her eyes were hard, her mouth pursed with jealousy. She may tease him about his possessiveness, but she was equally so. Always had been. It had taken her months to believe he was really interested in her and several more months beyond that to convince her that while he wanted into her pants in the worst way, that wasn't why he was dating her. Once she'd come to believe that the rich boy with the good looks, Aston Martin, and deftness with a football was really interested in a poor girl who worked a dirty job and was never part of the "in" crowd, she'd become a tigress. He was her man and anyone who forgot that was swiftly reminded.

He couldn't wait to see her at a company party, her lithe legs in heels and a champagne flute in her hand. She'd have her arm around his and a look in her eyes that said, Yes, he's my arm candy. Only I get to taste.

"She was right," he said with a dismissive shrug. "There wasn't anything wrong with her - aside from the fact she wasn't you."

Faith's eyes were so dilated; the blue of her irises was a mere sliver around the black center. "Miguel, I..." Her voice trailed off, as if she didn't know what to say.

"I came back to prove to myself that being with you couldn't possibly be the way I remembered." Lifting his beer bottle, he dipped the neck toward her in a toast. "And I was right. It's better."

He cursed his inability to read her thoughts. She looked shaken, but not overly pleased about his confession. He reminded himself that she'd dumped him - callously. Maybe being with him long term was something she still didn't want. Maybe he was just a hot fuck.

"It was always good between us," she said finally, pulling herself together and arranging wings on a plate before handing it to him.

"So what happened?" he asked, detesting the gruffness of his voice that gave too much away. It was time to be honest, but ripping himself open wasn't how he wanted to manage this.

Wiping her hands with a napkin, she looked at him, her features soft and her eyes impossibly sad. "You were going to Princeton; I wasn't. I knew a clean break was the only way you would go without me holding you back."

Miguel froze from the inside out. His hand tightened with white-knuckled force on the bottle. With his gut churning with anger and confusion, he seized the one thing out of the mess of his emotions that mattered to him. "Did you love me?"

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