Author: Jill Shalvis


“Decide anything yet?” he asked, his voice thrillingly rough when he pulled back.


“Another minute.” She tugged him back to her.


Apparently that worked for him because he kissed her, his mouth open on hers, igniting flames along her every nerve ending. Her purse clunked to the floor, and her arms wound up around his neck, her hands gliding into his soft, silky hair.


His hands were just as possessive, going straight to her bottom, squeezing, then lifting her up.


The only barrier between them being his pants and her sundress, which was hiked high enough now that it was really only her panties. “Toby? Where’s Toby?”


“Already on the bus.” His mouth was busy at her ear, his movements masculine and carnal, arousing her almost beyond bearing.


“Anna—” she gasped.


“In her cave, probably still sleeping. Or stirring her cauldron.” He slapped his hand to the lock on the door.


The click of it sliding home hung in the air along with their heavy breathing as they stared at each other.


“So we’re doing this?” she asked. “We’re—” She broke off on a startled gasp when the halter top of her dress gave.


He’d untied her.


“Okay,” she breathed on a shaky laugh. “So we are. We’re doing this.” She let the material slip away from her, baring her breasts.


With a rough groan, he dipped his head and kissed her collarbone. Then lower. When he licked a nipple as if she were a decadent dessert, she heard herself sigh in sheer pleasure.


He pulled back just enough to blow lightly on her wet skin, eliciting a bone-deep shiver. “You’re going to be late for work,” she murmured, unbuttoning his shirt. In her impatience, she tore off two buttons.


His mouth was on her, gliding from one nipple to the other, then gently nibbling, and he didn’t respond.


Quivering from head to toe, she arched back against the wall, giving him more access. “Josh.”


“You’re right,” he said silkily, giving her a teasing nip as he moved between her thighs, rocking against her. “I’m going to be late.”


She let out an unintelligible sound, and Josh lifted his head. “Tell me you want this, Grace. Because I do. At this moment, I’m right where I want to be.” He kissed his way to the outer shell of her ear, his breath hot, chasing a shiver down her spine.


At the moment…


She understood the words, understood the meaning behind them. “I want this,” she said, pressing against him. “I want you.” She tugged off his shirt, running her fingers over his abs, which quivered at her touch. Her dress was pretty much a belt around her waist by now. No deterrent for Josh, who dipped his head, taking in her bright red thong with a U.S. flag front and center.


“God bless America,” he said.


She laughed. He had one hand on her ass, the other on her breast, which was still wet from his mouth. She was halfway to orgasm, and she was laughing.


So was he.


Then their eyes met. The laughter faded, replaced by a driving need to do this. Turning, he gently pushed her to the couch. He followed her down, covering her body with his own as he kissed her, his warm hands shoving her dress up a little more, his fingers sliding to the edge of her panties.


And then beneath.


“I love your sundresses,” he said against her mouth. “You always look so cool and calm, except for your eyes. Your eyes show it all.”


“My panic?”


“Your passion,” he breathed. “For everything.”


“I—” She gasped when he slid a finger into her. Then again when it left her, but before she could make a protest, he was back with two fingers, his thumb stroking right over the center of her gravity. “Oh my God.”


“Good?”


She bit his shoulder rather than cry out with exactly how good it was.


“So wet,” he said hoarsely, his fingers working magic, stroking her just right so that the pressure built shockingly fast.


“Josh—”


He kissed her deep, his tongue mimicking his fingers, moving in the same unhurried motion as she writhed beneath him, lost, completely gone. When she came, it shocked her into crying out his name as she rode the wave.


He stayed with her to the end, patient enough to let her come down at her own speed. When she blinked him into view, she didn’t know whether to be embarrassed or thank him. “Has it really been a whole year for you since you did this?” she managed.


“And two months.”


“You don’t seem out of practice.”


“Like getting back on a bike…” He slid down her body. Before, he’d simply scraped her panties aside for quick access, but now he hooked his fingers in the material low on her hips and slowly pulled them down her legs.


“I—” she started, with no idea where she was going with that sentence because he put a big palm on each leg and spread them for his viewing pleasure. Leaning in, he kissed first one inner thigh, then the other.


And then in between.


“Um—” Again, she broke off, unable to remember what the hell she’d wanted to say. She couldn’t even remember her own name. She was rocking up into his mouth, biting her lip to keep herself quiet. This wasn’t quite effective; she was still making noises, horrifyingly needy noises and little hurry-up whispers and pants as she burst again.


Two orgasms.


Always she’d had to strain for even one, and he’d just given her two with shockingly little effort. “Oh my God.”


He crawled up her body and kissed her. “Oh my God good?”


“Amazing.”


“Amazing works. Grace…”


She met his gaze and saw the seriousness in it. “What?”


“I don’t have any condoms.”


She stared at him. “What?”


His laugh was low and a little wry. “You heard the part about a year and two months, right?”


She let out a very disappointed breath, body still humming, mind whirling. “I’m just off my period. It’s been a long time for me, too, and I’m clean. We could—”


“No,” he said softly but with utter steel laced beneath. “I’m clean, too, but no. No taking chances.”


She figured this had something to do with how he’d gotten Toby, so she nodded and blew out another breath. It didn’t help. She wanted him, bad.


“It’s okay.” His smile was tight as he shifted, making her extremely aware that he was still wound up tight, and hard. Very hard. Sitting up, she pushed him back and straddled him.


“Grace—”


“Shhh,” she said, kissing her way down his incredible chest, paying special homage to every muscle she came across, and there were many. “Since you’re already late…” When she scraped her teeth over one of his flat nipples, he sucked in a breath. His head thunked back to the couch as he let out a heartfelt groan, his hands going straight to her ass.


Clearly, it was his favorite part of her anatomy.


As for his anatomy, she couldn’t possibly pick one favorite part. His entire body was an erotic playground. She spent a moment on his abs, licking him like a lollipop, then slid farther to her knees on the hardwood floor. He was straining the front of his pants, a situation easily remedied. She unbuttoned, unzipped, and slid her hands inside, wrapping them around a most impressive erection. This elicited another rough sound from Josh. Leaning over him, she began to kiss her way up his length, prompting him to slide his hands in her hair and—


His phone went off.


“Ignore it,” he said hoarsely.


She nodded and readjusted her grip, starting again at the base with her tongue. His fingers tightened in her hair, more a show of need than domination, as he didn’t try to direct her. He groaned, and then…his phone buzzed again.


“Fuck.” He let go of her to fish through his pocket, pulling out his phone, glaring at it. “Fuck.” He sagged back and stared up at the ceiling.


She rose up on her knees and looked at him. “Problem?”


“I have to go.” But he didn’t move.


“Josh?”


“Yeah.” He let out a slow breath and straightened, pulling her off the floor and into his lap. He held her close for a minute, kissed her shoulder, then her neck while he straightened out her dress for her. When he was done with that, he kissed her mouth. He sighed again, then set her on the couch next to him and got to his feet. He stuffed himself back into his pants, which appeared to be very uncomfortable. Shaking his head, he made an adjustment, then grabbed his shirt from the floor. He put it on inside out, swore, yanked it off, then righted it and tried again.


“You going to work like that?” she asked.


He looked down at his hard-on. “That bad?”


“Boy Scouts could camp in there.”


He snorted, and Grace found herself laughing again. She was trying to remember that they weren’t well suited, that he was the opposite of everything she’d ever wanted, but it wasn’t working.


Not even close.


She wanted to tug down his pants and finish what she started.


“Christ, Grace,” Josh said on a groan. “Don’t look at me like that.” He closed his eyes. “I’m standing here trying to mentally recite chemical elements to calm down, and you’re looking at me like you want to eat me for breakfast.”


She slapped a hand over her eyes. “Oh my God. I was not.”


“Yeah, you were.”


Okay, she had been doing exactly that. “Sorry!” She paused, lowering her hands. “And you can recite the chemical elements?”


His hands gripped her arms and hauled her up against him. He kissed her and said, very quietly, very seriously, “We okay?”


“Well.” She gave him an embarrassed smile. “I am…”


Letting out a laugh, Josh let her go and turned for the door. His cell phone was vibrating from the depth of his pocket again. He was already on it before the door shut behind him.

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