“I need to ask you something, honey,” he said quietly.

“I think I know what and yes, I’m a freaking virgin.” Sighing, she fell back against the pillow. Her breasts bounced softly with the movement, making his cock ache even more. Sierra covered her face with one arm and groaned. “Does that mean you want to back out of this?”

“Hell no.” Never. He stretched out next to her and propped his head up on one hand while laying his other over her flat stomach.

She dropped her arm to look at him and he saw relief in her eyes.

“How is that possible?” he asked, still astounded. She was a decade younger than him, but twenty-two was still old enough to have had a few lovers. The thought of anyone else touching her made a raw possessiveness rear up inside him but he shoved it down. Now wasn’t about that.

Shrugging, she placed her hand over his. He could see the pain in her eyes, but she held his gaze. “It wasn’t one thing. During high school the few times I thought a guy was interested in me it turned out they wanted to date my sister.”

Hayden’s lips pulled into a thin line at the mention of her sister, Shae. He’d met her once and that was enough. She was the polar opposite of sweet Sierra. “I bet she ate it up,” he muttered.

Sierra blinked, but didn’t respond. She just cleared her throat and averted her gaze for a moment. “I didn’t really care that much about the opposite sex in high school anyway. I was so focused on graduating and getting into the Culinary Institute of America and boys weren’t important. Then in culinary school I was on the fast track program. The little downtime I had, I wanted to spend with my friends. Living in New York was amazing and there was always so much to do. I guess I’m just not a one-night stand kind of girl. There was never an opportunity.” When he frowned she rolled her eyes. “Okay, there were opportunities, I just never took them. I wanted my first time to mean something… Gah, you’ve totally changed your mind about tonight haven’t you?” She started nibbling on her lower lip again.

Hayden’s eyebrows rose. “No. Why would you ask that?”

She shrugged jerkily. “I don’t know. Maybe because I have really limited experience and I know you have…a lot more.”

He wouldn’t deny that. When he’d been in the Teams getting laid had been easy when he’d been stateside. All he’d had to do was head down to a local bar filled with SEAL groupies and have his pick. Sex had always been about release though. A way to chase away the demons. Until he’d met Sierra. It was like he could divide his life into halves now. Before Sierra and after. “I don’t care about that and neither should you. There’s no one in my life except you. This thing between us—it’s not casual for me.” Those were words he’d never said to a woman. Never thought he’d want to say. Until Sierra.

She’d called him on his shit literally the first time they’d met. And the feisty woman had just looked so damn sweet when she’d done it, there’d been no way he could be rude to a woman like her. She was always going out of her way to be kind to people at work whether they deserved it or not. For some reason she liked to see the best in people. She’d definitely seen it in him.

She smiled softly. “Me neither.” The exact words he wanted to hear. He pushed out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding.

There was such a raw vulnerability in her eyes that it was like a punch to his senses. Sierra was so funny, smart and incredibly talented that her being nervous now surprised him. But after meeting her sister a few months ago, maybe he should have realized. The woman was gorgeous to be sure, but nothing compared to Sierra.

Even though his cock was aching and he had the most beautiful woman naked and willing next to him, for some reason he wanted to talk. Fucking talk. He inwardly sighed. Sierra totally owned him even if she didn’t realize it yet. Maybe he should shelve the conversation, but he wanted to know everything that made this woman tick. “When I met your sister a few months ago…” Before he’d even finished, she stiffened beneath his hand and went to pull the sheet back up. To cover herself.

Hayden grabbed it and shoved it off her. Now that she’d bared herself to him, there was no way he was losing sight of her sweet body. She made a protesting sound but he rolled over and covered her petite body with his. Her legs automatically wrapped around his hips, pulling him close. He settled against her, savoring the feel of her beneath him, all warm and soft. With his cock so damn close to her pussy it was hard to think straight but he needed to make one thing clear. “A few months ago when your sister blew into town, I saw a side of you that I never want to see again. You were a totally different person when she met up with us. You withdrew into yourself, as if you were afraid to outshine her.”

Sierra had been stiff up until that moment, but she snorted. “Outshine?”

Hayden frowned. “Yeah. Anytime I mentioned one of your accomplishments or even talked about you, you shut me down. Your sister is pretty, so what? She’s also an asshole. You’re fucking beautiful inside and out and you’re amazing. You’re fucking twenty-two and head chef at Cloud 9.”

Sierra’s eyes widened. “I can’t believe you just said that.”

He rolled his hips, dragging his erection over her belly. He wanted to shift positions and move lower but once his cock touched her pussy, it would be over for him. “You are beautiful.”

Now she rolled her eyes, frustration clear on her face. “Not that. I mean about my sister.”

He shrugged. “I didn’t like the way she treated you. She talked down to you and made you feel like shit. Siblings shouldn’t do that. And you put up with it. I…It’s why I left early that night. I couldn’t stand seeing it and I knew I’d say something I’d regret if I stuck around. Fair warning; if that ever happens again, I won’t sit back and watch.”

She watched him carefully for a long moment, as if assessing him. It looked as if she might say something, but then she cupped his face with both hands and leaned up to kiss him. Relief slammed into him that she didn’t care what he’d said about her sister. If Sierra wouldn’t stand up for herself, he damn sure would.

Sierra didn’t know when it had happened, but she’d completely fallen for this man. When he’d said this wasn’t casual for him, she was relieved but she hoped that meant the same thing for him that it did for her.

But she wasn’t going to worry about that. At least not at the moment. No, she was going to take exactly what she wanted. Hayden was right about her letting her family treat her wrong. Growing up with such a gorgeous sister and a mother who placed a priority on looks had taken a toll on her self esteem. Moving away for school and developing her own circle of friends had made a huge difference in the way she looked at herself. Intellectually, she understood all that but when her sister had stopped in town for a few days, Sierra had felt like that chubby fifteen year old again. It hadn’t helped that Shae had flirted mercilessly with Hayden.

He’d barely tolerated Shae. Something that hadn’t gone unnoticed. She’d been secretly pleased, and had fallen for him a little more that night. Sierra just hadn’t been sure why he’d acted the way he had.

Until now.

As she held his face in her palms, Hayden’s hands started roaming her body in a way she’d only fantasized about. After the orgasm she’d just had, she wasn’t sure if she could have another but she didn’t even care.

She wanted to feel him inside her, to be completely possessed by this man. When one of his hands cupped her breast and began rubbing her already sensitized nipple, she arched her back, pushing into his grasp.

As his other hand cupped her mound and slid two fingers into her slick opening, she felt as if she could combust on the spot. Feeling that thickness inside her made her entire body tingle because she knew soon it wouldn’t be just his fingers.

He pulled his mouth back from hers and she started to protest, but his lips trailed down her jaw to her neck and he lightly tugged her earlobe between his teeth all while continuing the soft thrusting of his fingers. When he added another, she instinctively arched her back again, enjoying the fullness of him stretching her body.

Reaching between them, she wrapped her hand around his cock, amazed by the thickness and heat. She wanted to touch all of him, to stroke him the way he was her. Even more, she wanted to pleasure him, to learn his body and what he liked.

He groaned against her ear, the sound almost guttural as his entire body shuddered under her hold. “No touching,” he growled.

“I never agreed to that.” She barely rasped the words out as she continued stroking him. Just the feel of him in her hand made her feel powerful and sexy.

The hand that had been cupping her breast suddenly moved and encircled her wrist. He sat back so he could look down at her, hunger on his face as he moved her hand away from his hard length.

“This might hurt the first time.” He looked so stricken she couldn’t fight a smile.

“I know.” She didn’t care because she knew it wouldn’t last. So many times in school she’d worried that she was an idiot for waiting but now she was glad she had. No one could ever compare to Hayden. It just wasn’t possible.

His expression softened before he leaned over and snagged the condom. After sheathing himself, he covered her mouth with his. As his tongue danced against hers, he settled between her thighs, his cock nudging her opening. She clutched onto his shoulders in an attempt to ground herself. He slowly pushed into her a fraction, then stopped, letting her body adjust to him.

With his size, she’d worried it would hurt but she was so slick, so turned on, her inner walls were tightening, just waiting to be filled by him.

Rolling her hips, she tried to force him to move deeper but he just laughed lightly against her mouth. His lips trailed lower once again, nipping and teasing until he found her aching breast.

Sierra slid her fingers into his dark hair, clasping his head as he flicked his tongue across her nipple. Almost simultaneously, he began rubbing her clit again in a slow motion designed to torture her, she was sure. His thumb and forefinger increased in pressure when his tongue did.