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“Tahoe,” I groan, mindless with arousal.

He’s clearly aroused too. He makes sure to grind his erection against my belly, letting me know it. I’m not sure if I imagined it—did it pulse harder when I said his name?

He drags his teeth over my nipple and bends down to lick it again, rasping, “So succulent,” and then sucking gently as his hands caress me, “Touch me, Regina. Take my cock in your little hands.”

He guides my hand over his slacks and sets it over his length, and he’s stretched to the limit, hard and massive. My mouth dries up and I lick my lips as I stroke him, and he groans.

And suddenly we both lose control.

He jerks on my bra, rending it open. He pulls down my panties while I unbuckle and unzip him. I drop his pants and he lifts me, carries me to his room, and sets me on his bed. He waits at the foot of the bed, getting an eyeful of me, and in the meantime letting me get a complete and totally amazing eyeful of him.

My mouth waters as I stare at six feet plus of tanned, naked Tahoe before me.

Naked and so, so hot.

I forget everything when he leans over me and murmurs in my ear with an amused smile, “Come here.”

I hold on to him and whisper back, “I am here.”

“Yes you are. But get closer,” he says.

I try to get closer as he sets his knees on the bed, leans over me, and spreads my legs open so I have room for him.

I push him to his back and straddle him.

He sits up and runs his hands along my curves and cups the side swells of my breasts. “Closer,” he says. He plays with my breasts, with my pussy, as if they’re all made for him.

I hug him tighter, kissing him the way he makes me want to kiss him, with all of me, mouth and teeth and tongue and heart, whole body rubbing and feeling his.

He groans appreciatively, squeezes my ass. “Closer.” His voice is dark now. Textured.

A part of me wants to keep making him ask, keep my guy on his toes for me, yet I’m affected by his nearness to the extent I can feel only one thing, the urge to please him.

So I kiss him harder, filling my hands with the scrape of his beard, and when he opens his mouth with a smile, I lift my body and lower myself down on him.

“Oh god,” I groan.

His smile fades against my lips and he kisses me softly but then more urgently.

“I love you,” he says, now pressing his lips to my cheek and kissing me there.

I move over him slowly and run my fingertips over his chest. Against his lips, I whisper, “Don’t hurt me, Roth, ever.”

And when he simply and confidently says, “Never,” he grabs me by the hips and kisses me again, moving beneath me, filling me up, filling me in.

He rolls me to my back and spreads me out on the bed, and then he’s all over me, inside me, as close as he can get.

And he moves, and I move.

He whispers thickly in my ear, and I realize that I believe every word this man has ever told me and each one that he says right now in my ear.

“You feel so right…”

“I’m so wild about you…”

His hands and kisses echo what he tells me.

He takes me with precision and also with strength, our bodies flexing to get closer, his body overpowering mine enough for me to get fucked as hard as I’ve ever been fucked but not get broken.

I sense when he’s coming, because his body tightens deliciously, his sounds become more erratic and deep and primal.

My orgasm hits. My body blazes like the core of the Earth, then I’m shuddering in an explosion so great it’s almost frightening. Tahoe holds my face still and gives me the hottest kiss I’ve ever experienced as I come, devouring me gently as he quickens his pace and meets me there. The low growl that rips up his chest as he comes is the hottest thing I’ve ever heard.

We share a series of lazy, appreciative kisses as we both recover.

He pokes my nose with the tip of his finger, his dimple popping out. “You look so gorgeous like this,” he says, so much ferocity in his eyes. He takes me in with his gaze and brushes a tendril of damp hair from my forehead, then rubs my lips with his thumb.

“You’re amazing,” I say.

We sigh simultaneously and then just stare at the ceiling, dazed and at peace.

As I start to doze off, waiting for the New Year, he nudges my feet under the covers. I kick him in response. He nudges me harder to get my attention. “Hey. I love you,” he says, and then he grins at me with that adorable dimple.

In the distance I hear the fireworks blast across the city as the new year begins.

We share a smile and kiss and he says, “Happy New Year, Regina.”

“Happy New Year, Tahoe. Oh wait!” I scramble out of bed and bring the grapes we bought specifically for this occasion, along with two full glasses of champagne from the bottle we’d been chilling.

We pluck grapes and add twelve, one for each month, into our champagne glasses.

“To what do we drink?” I ask.

“Your navy-blue panties.”

“Come on.”

He lifts his glass. “To my lady. May she have success in all her endeavors, health and friendships, and may I not take my own last breath until she takes hers. May she always know I love her.”

It’s not just the words, but the way he says them and the way he looks at me, that make my eyes water. “Whatever I say now will pale in comparison,” I say.

“It won’t pale.”

“Yes, it will pale,” I say.

He looks at me questioningly, his lips curling at the corners while his eyes darken somberly. “Just tell me you love me.”

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