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“Rachel,” he says in thick approval, cupping my face with both hands, smiling down at me with pure heat. He rubs his thumbs over my cheekbones as he pulls my face up and back as he leans forward to kiss my lips. “Do you like it?” he asks.

I nod. Stroking his thighs, up his abs, I whisper, “I want to taste you. . . .” I’m beyond happy when he sets his hands at his sides and lets me get back to him.

I stroke my fingers up the length of his shaft and kiss the wetness at the tip, my body one single throbbing nerve as I savor his breath changing, one hand reaching out and his fingers clenching in my hair, the words he whispers to me as he starts pushing me and losing control. That’s right, Rachel . . . God, that’s right. . . . Do you like it . . . ?

I don’t even realize my own hands are acting wild, rubbing up his chest, clawing at him, up his neck, the back of his head, as I try to get closer to intensify my blow job, to give him the kind of pleasure he gives me.

As I suck with more vigor, he whispers, his voice raw and low, “I come with you, Rachel,” and he pulls me up with his hands on my face, then urges me down on the car bench as I start yanking down my jeans with record speed. He strips them off my legs, and then his hungry lips nibble a path up my stomach to my breasts as he pushes my top upward and my bra downward, freeing my nipples. A soft, helpless moan leaves me as I arch my body, offering him everything I have and more.

“Oh, yes,” I moan, raking my nails over his back, wanting to feel his skin on mine.

He claims my lips. I’m not sure we can deal with this, with how we feel. No. Maybe only I feel like this, but he feels something for me too, I can feel it in his hands, his looks. So this is what we do. He nibbles my lips, urges my legs open with his palms. I’ve stopped breathing when he lowers his head. He tastes me. Firm strokes of his tongue.

He turns me into a bubbling mess, torturing me, pushing me to the brink of orgasm and then . . . making me wait as he tears into a condom packet and sheathes his glorious cock.

He covers me with his body, and the next second we’re locked, groaning in relief. His torture doesn’t end there. He drives deep and slow, forcing me to savor every pulsing, delicious inch of every thorough and perfect plunge. I can’t keep still. I can’t hold back the fierce sensation of something building inside me, straining for release. My mouth sucks his beautiful full mouth, his ear, his neck, his jaw raspy under my lips.

I’m so scared to consider what it is. I’m so scared he’ll hurt me. I’m so scared I’ll hurt him. I suck back a quiet sob as I start coming, shaking and trembling in both excruciating pleasure and quiet internal pain.

My eyes blur. I hear his loud bark as he comes, feel the long, deep pulses of his body coming over mine, and I take advantage to wipe my eyes and then kiss any part of him I can.

Saint invites me to dinner at some posh, top-rated, hard-to-get-into place, but I tell him I don’t want a crowd. So he does something I don’t expect; he gets us into Navy Pier after hours. We walk the long, quiet path that usually bustles with people; tonight it is quiet and empty, except for us. On one side are the stores, games, little shops, and on the other, the pier.

“How did you pull this off?”

“Otis knows one of the night guards.” He chuckles.

“Let’s go into one of those.” I point at the Ferris wheel, and we get into one of the empty seats, shielded from the wind as he asks me if I ever came here when I was younger.

“Sometimes, with my mother,” I say. “You?”

“My mother wouldn’t have been caught dead here.”

“But here you are. You look just as handsome in those jeans as in your suit.” I touch the collar of his crisp white button-down shirt. “I love these shirts of yours. Sometimes I want to see my lipstick on one, just because.”

He laughs, the sound full and rich. Mischievous, I lean over and press my mouth to the collar. His smile fades. “You have a rebel streak in you, Rachel.” His eyes are admiring, filling me with heat.

“You bring it out . . .” I accuse, laughing as I step back, and I swear he looks even more powerful, more unattainable, and more handsome with my lipstick on his shirt. Just a little bit mine.

He asks me to visit him at his office, teasing me on the phone that he’s got an opening. Do I want to talk about Interface? he asks.

Why, yes, I say.

I drop in at the time he indicates, and then he stands there, taking me in, his shirt up to his elbows as if he’d been knee deep in work, his hair rumpled. His voice sounds tired as he tells Cathy to leave us, and then he asks me, “How are you, Rachel?”

“Good now,” I whisper, and we start kissing, the papers on his desk shoved aside with one of his arms as he props me there like his most pressing business, and he goes right to taking care of it.

I text him in the afternoon, wondering what he’s doing tonight. Just then, he appears inside Edge, to everyone’s shock. My eyes widen, sure that my stomach just flew to my throat, and I glance over to see if Helen has seen him. She’s both pale and flushing. I hurry to ask her, “Helen, can I—?”

“Go!”

I grab my bag and come out of my cubicle. “Hey,” I say.

He smiles at me, especially at my bag. “I hope this means you’re coming with me,” he says, eyes twinkling, the entire office melting right with me. Even Valentine.

“’Bye, Rachel!” he calls excitedly.

“’Bye, Valentine,” I say, slipping my arm into the crook of Malcolm’s.

“Friend?” Malcolm asks me about Valentine. Sizing him up. The girl inside me shivers as I wonder if he’s jealous.

I nod. “Fan of yours,” I whisper.

He cocks a brow. “Not heterosexual?”

“Not fully. More like bi.”

He bursts out laughing, a sound that is rich and makes my knees weak, and I grab his face and flat-out kiss him in the elevator, pulling that laughter inside me. “I like to hear you laugh,” I whisper.

He doesn’t say anything, but I feel thoroughly liked when he looks down at me, his lips smiling, but his eyes hot and admiring.

I’m staring at my computer screen.

Every link I click about Saint is talking about him having a possible relationship with ME.

Speculation is fierce.

Somehow, people are more interested in wondering whether or not he’s in a relationship than they ever were about him womanizing.

His Twitter feed is full of questions about his girlfriend.

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