He made her come that way, loving the breathy way she moaned his name. And when her knees gave out he caught her, lifting her to his desk. Sliding his palms up the insides of her thighs, he pushed them open and stepped into the vee of her legs. “One of these days we’ll actually make it to a bed.”

“That will be hard to do since after this we’re going back to staying the hell away from each other.” She sank her teeth into his bottom lip and then slowly let it slide free and kissed him softly, which he felt all the way down to his toes and back.

“Condom?” she whispered.

He froze, eyes locked on hers, wondering how she felt about seeing a grown man cry. “I don’t—Christ.” Had he seriously forgotten about a condom for the first time in his entire life? “We used my emergency stash from my wallet the other night.”

“I see.” She hesitated, eyes on his. “Before that, I hadn’t been with anyone in over two years. I’m on the pill.”

His heart was in his throat. “Two years?” He cupped her face. “Why?”

Her eyes shuttered. “You want to talk about that or do this?”

Good point. “I’ve not done this without a condom . . . ever,” he said.

She rocked against him again, taking him into her hands, giving a playful tug to bring him right where she wanted. Leaning into her, his hands on the desk on either side of her hips, his breath decidedly uneven, he teased them both until she moaned and wrapped her legs around him.

“So what’s the holdup?” she asked, impatient to the end.

Gripping her sweet ass in his palms, he jerked her forward and slid into her.

Their twin gasps comingled in the air and he was pretty sure he blacked out for a minute. “Oh fuck, Elle,” he whispered, only vaguely aware of her nails digging into his shoulders where she was holding on for all she was worth, her head back, her hair brushing his forearms, her throat bared for his mouth. Her lips were parted, her breath came in little whimpery gasps and he felt her clenching tighter and tighter around him.

God. He already couldn’t remember what it’d been like before her. He’d thought everything was great in his life but then he’d been thrown a curveball in the form of this gorgeous, passionate woman who he suddenly couldn’t get enough of.

Which made it official. He was hers, completely. “You’re beautiful, Elle,” he said, pressing tight against her. “The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

She shuddered, whimpering against his mouth as she came, and while she was still clenching and pulsing around him, he lost himself in her. When he was with her like this, he found himself. It was as simple and terrifying as that.

 

 

Chapter 15

 

 

#DidIShaveMyLegsForThis?

 

After, when they were still entwined, hearts pounding against each other as they attempted to recuperate, Elle tried to memorize everything about the moment. The way his arms wrapped around her tight, protective, one hand cupping her the back of her head, the other settled possessively on her ass.

It’d been such a bad idea, she knew this, but somehow she always lost focus of that when he touched her the way he did. Things were unbearably complicated between them. Always had been. But not this. This was easy.

And she didn’t know what to do with that.

Hopping off the desk, she gathered up her clothes and escaped into the bathroom connected to his office and stared at herself in the mirror.

She had Hair Gone Wild and her mascara was smudged. Her lips were bare but curved, like she was a woman who’d been well and truly taken care of. Business handled.

That it was true didn’t help. And how was it that he seemed to know her body better than she knew her own? She didn’t know whether to be horrified or amazed.

A little bit of both, she decided as she pulled on her clothes. She smoothed down her dress and stared at herself some more. Wow. Sex was good for her skin—she was glowing.

But it didn’t change the fact that she’d decided to take control of her life. She’d also decided against Archer and yet she’d fallen right back into his bed. What was wrong with her?

One glance in the mirror at the after-sex glow told her what was wrong with her. She was in denial.

Dammit. She hated when that happened.

It didn’t matter. She’d been in worse spots before, far worse, and she’d managed to pick herself up. This time would be no different. Yes, maybe a mistake had been made, a big one, but she’d learn from it if it killed her.

The way she saw it, she had only one choice here, if she wanted to save any face at all. She would gather her dignity the best she could, give him a kickass smile and walk right out the door, playing it as cool as he always did.

Her heart started pounding again at the thought, but she fixed her hair and slid a finger beneath each eye, sweeping away the smudged mascara. Without her purse, she couldn’t do anything about the bare lips and suddenly she felt more naked than she had without a single stitch of anything on her except Archer’s body.

Since that thought made her inner thighs quiver in memory, she turned away from the mirror, took a deep breath, and walked out of the bathroom and back into Archer’s office, heading straight for the door.

Archer was dressed and back to his inscrutable self. “Hey,” he said with a smile. He had his cell phone out. “I’m going to order us some food. What do you feel like?”

A mess. She felt like a mess. “Can’t,” she said.

His smile faded. “Don’t run off, Elle. Give this a shot. Give us a shot.”

Her heart just about stopped. “Us?” she asked in shock. “There is no us. There’s a you. And there’s a me. And okay, so sometimes we get crazy and become a very momentary us but it’s not real.”

“It could be,” he said.

She gaped at him, completely gobsmacked. “You pushed me away for a year.”

“I was wrong.”

She shook her head, unable to process this. “So now what, we live happily ever after?”

“Depends on you. What do you want?”

What did she want? Had he lost his marbles? “Okay,” she said slowly. “I thought you were kidding but now you’re scaring me because I don’t think you are.”

“I’m not.”

Who was he and what had he done with Archer? “Is this so we can keep having time-outs that involve naked time?”

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