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“You like that, kitten?” he whispered softly against my core.

I let out a ragged breath, whimpering from the loss of contact. “Y-yes . . .”

Chuckling softly at my response, he kissed me again. He read my body’s signals, using his whole mouth, his tongue, his lips, to kiss me greedily right where I needed him. He adjusted his style to my moans, flicking his tongue ruthlessly against me, increasing his rhythm as my breathy pants increased in volume. I wasn’t shy about letting him know what I liked. What I needed. With other guys, I overthought everything. I worried about my appearance, my scent, if my apartment was clean, if I’d shaved. I wondered if he’d want to stay over and if I had breakfast food in the house to make him something in the morning that would impress him—the list went on. With Braydon, I stayed in the moment. He made me feel comfortable enough that none of the superficial bullshit mattered. It was refreshing.

His long index finger penetrated me and my back arched off the bed at the invasion. God, that felt incredible. His tongue continued its lazy strokes while his finger curled toward my inside wall and lightly rubbed. The pleasure was like nothing else. His skill was too much. My whole world came undone. I pushed my fingers into his hair and tugged him closer, shamelessly rocking my hips as I came.

Dizzy and disoriented, I became aware of Braydon pulling the comforter up around me and tucking me into bed. “Good night, gorgeous. Get some sleep.”

Once again he didn’t expect anything in return. I would have felt bad if I could have moved just then. But I wouldn’t have been much use to him in that moment. I was warm and sleepy and incredibly relaxed, so I just nodded.

He pressed a soft kiss to my mouth. “Do you need to lock up behind me?”

“Yes, please.” Oops. I’d forgotten about that. I crawled from the bed and accepted his proffered hand, letting him guide me to the front door.

“Everything okay, kitten?”

“Yes, tonight was . . . interesting.”

He smiled his crooked grin that made my heart kick up a notch. “Interesting good or interesting bad?”

“Good, I think.”

He lifted my hand to his mouth and kissed the tops of my fingers, his eyes on mine. “It will be. I promise.” His words sent a rush through me. “Night. Sleep well.”

“Night,” I whispered back.

The door closed behind him and I slid to the floor in a boneless heap.

Fuck. I was already in over my head.

4

I should’ve just cut my losses but I knew I wouldn’t. Spending time with Braydon made me feel alive and desirable in a way I hadn’t felt before. I wasn’t ready to give that up. Besides, part of me felt a little guilty that both times we’d hooked up had been solely about me. I hadn’t returned the favor and I was dying with curiosity to know if the chemistry we had would translate into mind-blowing sex. I wanted to touch and explore the body I’d admired from afar since the moment I’d met him.

So when he texted me later that week, it was with shaky fingers that I pondered what to write back.

Braydon: Hey gorgeous. How’s your day?

Me: Hey. It’s fine. It’s been a long day and I could use a massage.

Braydon: Let me come over tonight and I’ll give you a gentle massage from the inside out. ;)

This was how it started. Naughty texts. Flirty comments. My heart squeezed tightly in my chest. There was no denying I wanted to see him tonight. To see his big smile light up his face and watch his playful eyes dance on mine. I wanted to poke fun at him and hear him chuckle. I just liked being near him.

I still hadn’t responded when he sent another text.

Braydon: Shall I bring dinner again?

Me: Sure. I’m craving Italian.

Braydon: One extra-large Italian sausage cumming right up. See you at 7.

I laughed out loud and stuffed my phone back in my purse. Tonight should be interesting.

• • •

When Braydon arrived promptly at seven, I was wrestling a cork from a bottle of wine in the kitchen. I needed some liquid courage tonight. When the buzzer sounded from the intercom on my wall, I abandoned the wine to buzz him in. A few moments later, I pulled open the front door to discover a deliciously polished Braydon. Gone were his beat-up Converse sneakers and his vintage tees. He was dressed in a button-down shirt and dark gray slacks, his hair neatly combed and ready to be tugged on. I held my breath as I drank him in and his lips smirked.

“Hiya, kitten.”

“Come in.” I pushed open the door and he followed me inside. I headed back to the kitchen to finish fighting with the wine bottle. Braydon chuckled at me and promptly removed it from my hands, easily finishing the job and pouring each of us a glass.

We sipped our wine while Braydon unloaded the cartons of food he’d brought. Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken, rosemary Parmesan breadsticks, spaghetti carbonara, and antipasto salad. Once again he’d brought more than enough food for just us. I could get used to eating delicious leftovers from our takeout dinners. I had just finished the Thai.

The aroma was heavenly as he dished up hearty servings into the bowls I provided. “This smells great. Where’d you get it?”

“Giovanni’s. It’s a hole in the wall, but the food is fantastic.” He twirled a forkful of pasta and held it up, intending to feed me the bite. “Open,” he commanded.

I obeyed, accepting a mouthful of spaghetti. My eyes slipped closed, savoring the subtle flavors of homemade pasta, black pepper, and crisp bacon. It was delicious. And I liked that he fed me. I accepted another bite while Braydon’s eyes watched my mouth. The temperature in my apartment seemed to ratchet up in an instant. I licked my bottom lip and chewed slowly, swallowing the bite of food while his breathing grew shallow.

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