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Kyler groaned, and his hands…well his hands were everywhere, paying homage to my curves and sensitive areas.

He took his time, seeming to commit every inch of my body to memory. I didn’t know how he could go so slowly. I was burning up with need. I was so ready that, when his fingers brushed me between my legs, my entire body moved into the touch, arching and aching.

“Damn, baby, you make it so hard to stay in control.” His body shuddered as I slipped my fingers inside his sweats. “So fucking hard.”

I didn’t want him to stay in control.

His breathing quickened as I tugged down his pants. He was totally commando underneath, and for some reason I found that sexy as hell. He sat up, sliding out of his sweats, and then his mouth traveled down, following the path of his hands. Every brush of his lips, flick of his tongue, or tiny bite felt like he was branding himself into me.

My fingers clawed at his hair as he dipped his tongue into my belly button. A strangled sound escaped me, and then he went lower still, kissing me in my most sensitive part. It didn’t take long before I was thrashing under him, crying out as he nuzzled and nipped and licked. He drew every breath out of me, every moan and whimper. I shattered apart, my body buckling and my heart racing.

Aftershocks rocked me as he sat up, grabbing a foil package. I hadn’t realized he’d slipped a condom on until his body covered mine—chest to chest, hips to hips. I expected him to flip me over—the way he said he liked it—but he didn’t. He settled between my legs and I could feel him hard and ready.

“Are you sure, baby?” he asked, his voice deep and husky and so damn sexy. “We can stop right here.”

“I’m sure.” I slid my hands to his hips and hooked a leg around his, bringing us closer together. “Please, Kyler. I want this. Please.”


That one word broke me.


Like she had to beg me to do this when I’d been dying to get inside her? I should be the one begging her.

I reached down, plucked up her trembling hand from where it rested over my heart and pressed a kiss in the center of her palm. The way her body shivered against mine had me almost coming right there. My gaze flicked up, meeting hers. Pressure seized my chest. Her eyes were so blue they almost seemed unreal.

Lust, rife and powerful, slammed into me. The kind I’d never felt before. My body demanded that I thrust into her, fall all the way into her. I ached to do so, to lose myself in the rush of pleasure I knew was coming, but I forced myself to slow my roll. She’d only done this once before, and I didn’t want to hurt her. I didn’t want there to be one moment that wasn’t sublimely perfect for her.

Slipping a hand under her slim hip, I lifted her up until I poised at her entrance. My heart stuttered a beat, and then sped up. She pulled her hand free and cupped my cheek.

I was fucking lost.

Capturing her mouth, I slipped my tongue into her warm recesses as I slowly thrust into her, and holy shit, I felt each inch in every nerve ending. Amazing. Sliding into her felt like the first time. And in a way, it was. I’d never done it this way before—face-to-face. I was like a damn virgin all over again. Didn’t even think it was possible to feel that way, but it did. My body shook with the effort it took to stop myself from plunging into her and from the feeling, from the emotion behind it. Lifting my mouth from hers, I pushed in farther. She was so incredibly tight. Every inch gained was a fucking beautiful miracle. An eternity passed, and I was all the way in and completely surrounded by her. Overwhelmed. Completed. My hips rolled, and I groaned as acute sensations pounded through me.

Syd whimpered, and I stilled, my heart tripping up. “Am I hurting you?”

“No,” she whispered, her eyes so bright and so wide. “It’s just you’re…” A sweet flush covered her cheeks, and God damn, the feels. “You’re big and I haven’t…”

I bit back a grin and a surge of dumbass pride. “I know.” I smoothed a thumb along her jaw. “It’ll take a couple of moments for you to get used to it.”

She nodded and she smiled, but the hue of her eyes was too clear, too sharp. She was wet and she was warm, but her body was rigid. Shit. She wasn’t enjoying this. Not as much as I was.

Determined to fix this, I kept my hips sealed to hers as I lowered my head, kissing her softly. Syd kissed me back, but I could feel her trembling underneath me. I bit back a curse, knowing I should’ve taken it even slower.

I slid a hand between us, moving it along the fragile line of her collarbone, and then down, over the swell of her breast. I cupped her, skimming my thumb over the tip. Her nipple pebbled, and that was a good sign. Her reaction sent an immediate pulse through me.

Deepening the kiss, I stayed still inside her, letting her take the next step. And she did. Her hips twitched, just a tiny movement at first, but I felt it like a shockwave. Moving my head down, I captured a rosy tip and suckled. Her hips moved again, and I lifted my head, grinding my teeth together. Her fingers curled in my hair as her eyes unfocused and she wrapped her leg around mine, a silent urge. Her hips rose again, and I let out a harsh gasp. Syd moaned, and my blood simmered.

Now that was a damn great sign, but I needed to make sure. “You’re okay?” I asked, barely recognizing my own voice.

She wrapped her arms around my neck. “Yes. It…it feels better.”

“Better?” My lips twitched into a half smile. “We can do better than ‘better.’”

“We can?” She sounded breathless.

“Uh huh,” I murmured, sliding my hand along her thigh and guiding her other leg around my hip. Her gasp of pleasure was what I needed to hear. “How about that?” I kissed her as I pulled out slowly, and then slid back in. She shuddered as I pulled halfway out. “And that?” I asked.

Her eyes were only half open. “That’s…that’s good. That’s…oh…” Then her eyes drifted shut and she rocked her hips up, reclaiming the inches. “Oh, wow.”

“Yeah,” I grunted. “Wow.”

Syd did it again and I slammed my hand into the pillow beside her head. I let her set the pace and dear God, once she got the hang of it, she curled those damn legs around my hips and my restraint broke. I thrust into her deep, over and over again. Her soft moans rose as the intensity and pace became feverish. I moved faster, grinding my hips against hers and lifting up, getting leverage and going deep. Her movement became frantic, and I was mindless, swept away as she cried out my name and her body spasmed around mine in tight, sensual waves. I couldn’t hold back. Not any longer. With two more thrusts, I buried my face in her shoulder and pounded into her as I came.

As I shuddered in her, I finally got it. Hell. I got in that moment what had been so elusive to me this entire time. Sex mattered—oh, holy shit, it mattered—when it was with a person who meant something.

It mattered with Sydney.

Chapter 17


My body ached in all the right places in a really, really great and unfamiliar way. God, I got why everyone freaked out over sex now. What we’d done had been amazing. I wasn’t so naїve that I didn’t know it wasn’t always that sublime, but I’d never felt that way before, never came like that or felt so—God, I can’t believe I’m thinking this—full and complete.

I had no idea sex could really feel like that.

It took forever for my heart rate to slow down, and I knew it was the same for Kyler, because when he’d pulled out he rolled onto his back and tugged me along with him. I was half on him, half off. One arm and leg were thrown over his body, and my cheek rested over his heart. We stayed like that, his hand moving in a slow circle over my lower back. I was snuggled as close as I could be, more content than I could remember.

Everything seemed unreal. To be lying next to a fire on a snowy day after doing something so wonderful. How many romance novels featured passionate sex by a fireplace? More than I could count. I almost laughed, but…

But Kyler hadn’t spoken yet.

Opening my eyes, I watched the flames wrap around the logs and told myself to not freak out and ruin this, whatever this was. Of course, my brain didn’t listen to me at all and started spewing out questions like an annoying child. Why hadn’t he said anything? Did he regret it? Had he enjoyed it? Did I come across frigid and he couldn’t wait to get the hell out of here? On and on my thoughts went until I was ready to punch myself in the face, but the truth was, Kyler had said nothing, and shouldn’t he have said something? Even Nate had spoken afterward, telling me that he enjoyed it, which had turned out to be a lie, but he still had opened his mouth.

Oh God, what if this had been a mistake?

I squeezed my eyes shut. I’d never see what we had done as a mistake. No way, but Kyler…? His hand stilled along my back, and I realized I’d gone completely stiff.


Part of me wanted to bury my head, but the blanket was tangled along our hips and that would look real awkward shoving my head down there. I forced myself to lift my head and look at him. His eyes were lazy slits, but I knew he saw me—saw everything.

“What are you thinking?” he asked.

Heat swamped my cheeks, and I started to sit up. “Nothing. I mean, I’m just thinking about everything. What we did? It was awesome. Really. And I hope you feel—”

“Hold up.” His arm tightened around my waist, keeping me in place, and his eyes were wide open now. “You hope I thought it was awesome?”

Feeling way too exposed, I crossed my arms over my chest and nodded.

“Are you insane?”

My brows shot up. “Excuse me?”

“Did I think it was awesome? No. It wasn’t awesome. It was the fucking best thing I’d ever felt, baby.”

I gaped at him.

“And that’s the truth. So don’t go filling your head with bullshit. Being with you? Yeah, nothing has ever compared to that.” In one fluid motion, he sat up and pulled me into his lap. “You feel me?”

Gripping his shoulders, I gasped. Oh, I felt him. A ball of molten lava formed in my belly. “I…I feel you.”

“Good, because it’s the truth.” His hands slid to my hips, and my heart fluttered in response. There was a glint to his deep brown eyes and a mischievous tilt to his sensual lips.

He couldn’t be…

Kyler shifted slightly and he pressed against my core, hot and ready. Holy crap, he was inhuman. He chuckled when he saw my expression. “What? You look surprised, babe.”

“You’re ready to…um, go again?”

His lips tipped up in a half-smile. “I’m always ready when it comes to you, but I don’t—”

“You don’t what?” I’d been stuck on the whole “always ready when it comes to me” thing. “Want to do it again?”

He tipped his head back, eyes searching my face. “There’s nothing I want more than to do it again, but we don’t have to.” He cupped my cheek, sliding his thumb along my lower lip. “We can just chill.”