He loved her smoke-curling, rich laugh. She rose from the bar, hooked her index finger in the waist of his jeans, and pulled him close. Her voice lowered to a witchy whisper. “Definitely. But it is my turn, and I want to play. Keep your hands to yourself.” She nipped at his bottom lip, tugged off his shirt, and touched him.

Dalton gritted his teeth at the feel of her hands coasting over his skin. She stroked every inch of his chest, raked her nails down his arms, licked his nipples. He groaned and let her take charge, keeping his hands fisted because if he touched her just once, he’d bury himself between her thighs in record time.

Those same legs he dreamed about suddenly wrapped around his hips. He jerked forward, and then she plunged her hand down the front of his jeans, found his dick, and squeezed tight.

Ah, shit. It was too good. It was too much. It was too . . . perfect.

Her satisfied laugh only stoked the fire. “I love a man who doesn’t wear underwear,” she murmured. “And I love the way you feel—hot and silky and so damn big.”

Sweat broke out on his forehead. He was known for his stamina. It wasn’t an ego thing, he’d just never had a problem giving a woman release numerous times, not needing it as much for himself. For him, sex was a journey, not the culmination most men believed it to be. But right now, he was about to explode, and she’d only given him a half-assed hand job.

“Raven.” He grated out her name as she managed to cup his balls, stroke, then massage back up his shaft. “You feel too good. Can I move my hands now?”


The zipper rasped in the air, and she pulled down his pants. Those firm hands continued playing, this time giving him more needed pressure and a steady stroking that would tip him over the edge. Without the constraints of his jeans, he jerked freely in her hands, eyes half-shut, filthy curses dropping from his lips along with her name. Rocketing toward orgasm, he grabbed her hands, pushed her back on the bar, and lowered his head.

Fuck this.

Her panties ripped with one good pull. She squeaked and tried to fight him, but he had a grip on her inner thighs and managed to keep her firmly in place as he took his first delicious taste of her.

She cried out his name. Yes. This was what he’d dreamed of—hearing her whimper with pleasure from the stroke of his tongue. Drunk on the musky taste of her arousal, he took his time, watching her swell and tighten, nibbling on her clit, her smooth bare skin like heaven against his lips. She twisted, begging, ready, and he sucked hard, flicking her with the tip of his tongue with the perfect pressure.

She fell apart.

Fumbling for the condom in his pocket, he sheathed himself quickly and dragged her body to the edge of the bar. Dazed, pupils dilated, she tried to reach up for him, but he didn’t wait. Placing her feet over his shoulders, he reared up and speared her with his gaze.

He waited a second. Two. The acknowledgment of what they were about to do hit her full force, judging by the parting of her lips, the loss of her breath, the need in her eyes.

He drove into her with one thrust.

Something crashed over him, under him, through him. A swirl of emotions washed into his head, and voices seemed to echo from a long distance away. What the hell was happening? He fought for control, but it was already gone, given to this woman the moment he first saw her.

She’s the one.

Fear tugged at his gut and he tried to pull back, but it was too late.

She squeezed him, tight and hot and wet. Gripping her hips, he moved, her body welcoming him like an old lover he’d returned to. He drank in the beautiful lines of her face, caught up in her drive for orgasm, her swollen red lips, hard nipples, tumbling inky hair. But most of all, her eyes, pulling him in as tight as her body, wrapped around him in comfort and heat.

Dalton was lost. In her body, her gaze, her voice. She chanted his name, arched up for more, and his hand slipped between their bodies to rub her slow and easy, building her back up, staggered by the battering of sensations wracking him at once.

He exploded.

Her sobs confirmed she was right with him, but Dalton was too caught up in the power of his orgasm, shooting through his body like lightning. He jerked, emptying himself, and felt a strange burning behind his eyelids, almost like the threat of tears.

What the hell was going on?

Her body shook underneath him, and he quickly pulled her up, gathering her in a tight embrace. She laid her head against his chest, and they remained still for a while. Would she panic? Freak out? Get angry? Declare it a mistake?

The questions rushed in his head, but he swore he wouldn’t let her walk away from this. Not yet. Something had happened between them, and he needed to figure it out.

“I didn’t want this to happen on the bar, you know.” A touch of shame hit him. His real dream had been to spread her out on her bed and dedicate hours to servicing her, pleasuring her, wringing out every last moan and scream and cry she had trapped in her body. Instead, he’d practically taken her with all his clothes on. “You deserved more than a quickie the first time. I’m sorry.”

Her soft laugh vibrated against his chest. “You keep forgetting you’re not the only one in charge here, Slick. I wanted it this way. I made this choice, and if I had wanted a damn bed, I would’ve demanded it. Besides, it was hot.”

Some of the tightness around his heart eased. This woman took responsibility for her own needs and sexuality. It was one of the elements he adored about her. But what was next for them? Could he convince her not to walk away now that she’d scratched her itch?

“Can I ask you a question that’s been bothering me for a while?”

He tried not to stiffen. Head whirling with the possibilities, he swore to tell her the truth, no matter how difficult. “Absolutely.”

“Do you whiten your teeth, or are they natural?”

He pulled back and stared down at her. The dancing glint of mischief in her dark eyes soothed him, promising she wasn’t ready to walk away, either. For now.

He shook his head, a smile tugging at his lips. “You’re a real brat.”

“So is that yes or no?”

He grabbed her and lifted her up in his arms, tickling her under her armpits until she yelled for mercy, half laughing and struggling for escape. He stopped it by kissing her deep and long. She clung to him and he was hard again in seconds.

“Did you wring me out of your system yet?” he asked.

She bit down on his earlobe. “Not yet. One more round?”

“I’m sure that will do it.”

Chapter seventeen

She’d slept with Dalton Pierce.

Her once sworn enemy. The man she’d planned to spy on to retrieve information to better understand why her father had left. A man who was a well-known womanizer, noncommitter, and overall perfect antithesis of anyone she’d choose to get involved with.

God, it had been so damn good.

She tried to stop smiling as she prepped for poker night. After she’d spoken with numerous women inquiring about poker, one thing had become clear: most had no idea how to play. Though that shocked her to the core, since her father taught her cards when she was about eight years old and the stakes were Oreos, it didn’t make sense to open the games to everyone until the women knew how to play. She’d changed her original plan and decided to hold a training night on Monday, when the bar was officially closed. Over a dozen women signed up to learn, and Raven had whipped up a few different cocktails she needed feedback on. Once the women felt comfortable, she’d unveil regular poker nights on Wednesdays and be able to recruit more ladies. Then she’d open it up to mixed groups. Her vision included almost a Zootopia of perfection—men and women playing poker together in perfect harmony.

She’d always dreamed big.

Raven belted out a stanza by Nick Jonas, a familiar song from her time with Dalton. Her new appreciation for boy bands must remain a secret, but she was gloriously alone at My Place and could sing like no one was listening.

She wiped down the bar, and the images hit full force.

Dalton pressing her back, spreading her legs, thrusting in to fill her completely. The intense expression on his face as he claimed her, the bruising grip on her hips as he took what he needed, demanding she give him her orgasm again, and again, and again . . .