“No,” he said with a laugh, mouth open on her throat. “Last time I nearly killed you when my legs gave out.”

She pointed to his worktable across the vast expanse of the room. Then she began to pull him toward it. Halfway there she apparently gave up on trying to walk and kiss at the same time because she threw herself at him. He carried her to the worktable, where he kicked the stool out of his way and, holding her with one arm, swiped a hand across the surface, sending the tools, everything, to the floor.

“Sam,” Becca gasped on a laugh, a thrill racing through her entire body as he lifted her to the table. “It’ll hold, right?”

“Yeah.” He stepped back to look at her sprawled out on the table. “Oh, yeah,” he said, voice thick. “It’s perfect.” He yanked his shirt over his head, as always rendering her stupid with the sight of his bare torso. He made quick work of her shirt as well, and then her shorts and her senses with equal aplomb. Between his mouth and his hands, she was quivering from head to toe in two minutes flat.

She knew she was supposed to be keeping track of time, but honestly she couldn’t do anything except melt over what he was doing with his tongue between her legs. In fact, she might have fallen right off the table with all her writhing but Sam had a firm grip on her thighs, preventing her from moving anyplace but closer to his mouth. “Sam—” She stopped when he swirled his tongue over an exceptionally good spot. “Oh, my God. I love that.”

He did it again.

And then again.

And then he added a well-placed stroke with the pad of his callused thumb, and she just about screamed his name. “And that,” she gasped. “I love that, too.”

“How about this?” He slid a long finger into her, timed with another swirl of his tongue.

“Yes! God, Sam—I love that so much—”

“And this. . .?” Another finger, and another pass of his tongue, all of which melted her into a puddle of desperation. “Tell me, Becca,” he commanded.

“Yes,” she whispered, shuddering. “I love it when you do that—” She’d been trying to last, straining to hold on, but she couldn’t. She came, just as he’d intended.

When she could breathe again, she realized he’d set his head in her lap and was pressing a soft, hot, open-mouthed kiss low on her belly.

“In me,” she whispered. “I love it when you’re in me.”

Lifting his head, he looked right into her eyes as he pulled a condom from a pocket and protected them both before sliding into her. “This?” he asked, voice thick with his own need.

Half-delirious with desire, on the edge of yet another orgasm, her mouth disconnected from her brain. “Yes,” she gasped. “That. I love that. And you, Sam. God, I love you.”

Chapter 26

Becca heard the words escape her but she was too far gone. With one of Sam’s hands fisted in her hair, the other possessively on her ass holding her close, buried deep inside her as he was, she felt it when every inch of him froze.

Felt it, but couldn’t stop the freight train of the orgasm hitting her full blast. She rocked into him, clutched him hard, and let go.

From some deep recess of her mind she was aware that she took him with her, felt him shudder in her arms. She let herself get lulled by that into a puddle of sated bliss.

But then Sam didn’t lift his head and flash his sexy smile, as he usually did. He didn’t press his mouth to her temple, or drag it along her throat. Or cuddle her in close.

He didn’t do any of things he normally did postcoital. In fact, he slid out of her, pulled his jeans back up, and vanished down the hall, presumably into the bathroom since she heard the click of the door shutting.

Letting out a breath, Becca hopped down off the worktable. It took her a moment on shaky legs to straighten and fix herself, not to mention gather her wits. Scratch that, she couldn’t gather her wits, not even a little bit.

She opened her eyes and startled. Sam was there, right there in front of her, big and silent. Too silent. “I didn’t hear you come back,” she said inanely.

He held out her keys, which she’d clearly dropped.

Taking them, she stared up into his face, which was utterly cool and composed.

“You’ve got to get to the rec center,” he said.

“What’s wrong?”

He didn’t answer. Or move.

“Sam,” she said, heart in her throat. “I said I love you, and you . . . well, I don’t know what exactly, but one minute you were right here with me, and now you’re gone.”

He slowly shook his head. “You shouldn’t say things that you can’t possibly mean.”

She stared at him. “And how do you know I don’t mean it?”

“Look, I get it,” he said. “You were in the heat of the moment. But you need to be more careful.”

There were so many things wrong with those two sentences, she wasn’t sure where to start. “And you weren’t in the heat of the moment?”

“I was,” he said. “You know I was.”

She moved onto the more problematic statement. “And . . . careful?” She was as confused as hell, and hurt because he was maintaining his distance with a cool ease she couldn’t begin to match. “I just told you that I love you. Love isn’t careful, Sam.”

He looked at her for a long beat. “You called Lucky Harbor a pit stop. You don’t fall in love with a pit stop.”