Ultimatum: Marriage(10)

By: Ann Major


Despite his part in bringing her father down, she’d remembered his kisses and lovemaking longingly, and every night she’d dreamed of him and had awakened in the dead of the night, her body aching for his mouth and hands to caress her like this again, even though she denied it.

“I want you,” he said softly. “Despite everything, I want you on my kitchen table. On my foyer floor. In my bed. On my couch. In my shower. I want to repeat everything we did before. I want to do it again and again and more…until I’m too weak to stand and you have to feed me by hand in bed to revive me. And when I do revive, I’ll want you all over again.”

“God help me, I want all that, too,” she admitted shakily.

In that moment she actually believed she would never want to die anywhere else but in his arms.

Then he kissed her again, nibbling her lower lip at first. Gradually his kiss lengthened and grew hard. He fused his mouth to hers endlessly, his tongue mating with hers until she felt she was burning up like a star. She could hardly breathe when he pulled away at last.

“You are beautiful,” he said gently. “Unforgettable.” His hand slid over her body until his fingers closed over her plump breast. “Easy to talk to. And fun. I’ve thought about these breasts, their softness and the tightness of your nipples many many times these past few weeks. In fact I couldn’t stop thinking about you or them, no matter how diligently I tried.”

“Which means you don’t really like me…if you don’t even want to think about me,” she said, struggling to regain her senses. “All you feel is lust.”

Part of her wished he’d deny it.

“Call it whatever you like, it’s very powerful,” he said.

“Let me go,” she whispered. “Please…. This will only make an impossible situation worse.”

“But I want you,” he insisted.

“We have more serious things to think about. Plans to make. We’re already in over our heads as it is.”

“Have you ever had a habit you couldn’t break?”

“Is that what I am to you—a bad habit?”

Pulling her closer even as she fought to resist him again, he gripped her arms hard. But just as he brought his mouth down to hers and she thought she would soon be lost on a wild, dark tide, he froze.

For a long moment he stood as immobile as a statue. He stared down at her as if he were struggling as hard as she was for control. Then he cursed low under his breath and pushed free of her.

Feeling hurt and rejected, which made zero sense, she jerked the edges of the robe together and spun away.

Hot color flared in his cheeks, too; a savage muscle was jumping along his jawline. His devouring gaze flamed with a fierce blue light.

“Sorry,” he finally muttered in an edgy, unapologetic tone. Then he rubbed his jaw where the muscle twitched. “I don’t know what…happened. I…I just lost control there for a second. Sorry.”

He looked down at the floor and raked a hand through his mussed dark hair. Then he clumsily jammed the edges of his shirt into his waistband. “If I can’t trust myself around you, even knowing what you are, I’ve got to get the hell out of here.”

One minute he’d been out to prove she desired him; in the next he was running as scared as she was. And all because he’d lost his precious control.

She clenched her teeth and then unclenched them. “But we have to decide what to do.”

He took a deep breath. “First we have to find out if we have a problem or not. You need to call your doctor, make an appointment as fast as possible.”

“I need a place to stay tonight. Because of you, the feds took my apartment, all my furniture…and my car. I have no friends left in Louisiana.” She paused. When he didn’t say no immediately, she said, “I’d need a litter box and litter for Gus.”

“Okay. Of course, you can stay here if you like. But if you do, I’m moving out.”

“Where?”

“I don’t know.”

“You mean I’ll be here alone?”

“Just for tonight. Trust me. You’re better off with me gone. I don’t know what just happened between us or why. But I’ll be fine once I get off to myself, do some thinking and get a grip. I don’t like feeling trapped in this situation with you.”

“And you think I like it?”

“I’m not a mind reader, so I can only take your word for how you feel.”

She envied the way he could compartmentalize, the way his deep voice sounded almost cool and contained now when her heart was still racing.

Trying to copy him, she took a deep breath and tried to push down her emotions. It was probably better that they spend the night apart.

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