His lips brushed across hers, firm and delicious, the taste of him lingering, teasing her already heightened senses.

Her tongue traced the curve of his lower lip, seeking more of it. The quiver of fear in her belly intensified, and then turned into something else.

He exhaled harshly and pulled away, resting his forehead against hers, his hair dripping water down her cheek. The mood around them altered, the anxiety she felt turning into a very different kind of desperation.

His eyes slid closed, then he began to free the buttons of his shirt. She stepped backward and gaped as a deep, strangely familiar heat spread through her chilled limbs.

Stacey kept a Chippendale's calendar on the wall at the clinic. Not one of the men displayed on those pages could hold a candle to Aidan Cross. He was solid rippling muscle. Every line, curve, and plane flexing with latent power and pure masculine grace. He was more lean than bulk. More sinew than bulging mass. .

"Gorgeous," she breathed, before she could turn her brain on enough to keep her mouth shut. Chad had never once made her feel this hunger. She hadn't even known it was possible to crave someone like this.

The look Aidan gave her in response to her praise was scorching, needy. And unmistakable.

She wasn't a slouch in the figure department, but Aidan was perfection in a way that unsettled her. There was something about him, a foreign quality that called to her, a sense of being… more. More beautiful, more intense, more sexually charged. More than a mere man, though she couldn't see where that thought came from. A god.

Suddenly shy, Lyssa turned slightly to the side.

When he caught her by the elbow and tugged her back around, she blinked in surprise.

"I'm looking at you," he rumbled arrogantly.

She raised her brows. "Yeah, I'm looking at you, too."

"Stop trying to hide."

"Stop being so bossy."

His gaze narrowed. Then he released her and reached for his belt. Thoughts of anything else were impossible when her brain was fully focused on him and the fact that he was about to be naked.

The end of the belt slapped against the wall when Aidan yanked it free. Despite the closed fly the pants fell from his lean hips into a soggy puddle at his feet. Part of her brain wondered why his clothes were so damn big. The other part could care less, far more interested in the cock that curved upward to almost touch his belly button.

Her mouth went dry. Long, thick, and pulsing with veins, it was a wet dream come to life.

Where did you come from?

Your dreams.

And he was dripping wet and getting wetter. She giggled.

He leaned back and arched a brow, his mouth slightly raised in a half smile that urged her to cup his cheek. He was too arrogant and self-assured to take her momentary amusement as anything to do with the size of that impressive cock, and she loved him for it.

"Let's get cleaned up," he said, tugging her closer again. Then he reached for the liquid soap, squirted some into his palm, and went to work. On her body.

She jerked in surprise when his slick hands cupped her breasts. He tried to look innocent, but with the mischievous gleam in his eyes, it didn't work. Never one to back down from a challenge, Lyssa scooped up a trail of bubbles from her tummy and grabbed his cock.

He arched a brow and washed between her legs.

She arched her own and tugged at his balls. Her chest rose and fell rapidly in response to how intimately and possessively he touched her. Aidan took note, adjusting his movements with unparalleled skill. There was none of the hesitation or silent query that other men displayed with a new partner. And she showed none with him, washing his cock and balls as if it was her right to do so.

Aidan laughed, the severity of his expression softening with obvious affection. ""You're a handful, Hot Stuff."

"So are you." She shot a pointed glance at her overflowing hands. "More than a handful."

Leaning forward, he pressed a kiss to her forehead, the tender gesture so at odds with the sinful way he stoked her desire. As he moved around her, running his hands all over her, her eyes slid closed on a sigh. Her blood was hot and sluggish, her mind lost in the sensual spell he wove so well. Low and deep within her, she ached, clenching in emptiness and expectation of what she knew was coming.

If this was a dream, she didn't want to wake up. Never in her life had she known wanting like this, a need so intense she was panting with it, her knees weakening until he was forced to hold her upright with easy strength.

"Was it spring break in Cabo?" she asked breathlessly.

"Huh?" He pulled back to look down at her, revealing half-lidded eyes that couldn't hide the burning lust within.

"When we met. Cabo San Lucas. That's the last time I remember that I can't remember."

"Ah … I get it. No." Catching her shoulders, he spun her away from him, and a moment later, his strong fingers were rubbing shampoo into her scalp.

She turned into a boneless puddle. He knew just how to touch her, kneading the tense muscles of her shoulders and stroking the length of her spine until all the anxiety of her nightmare washed down the drain. She felt the calluses on his palms and the strength he wielded with such care. When he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her backward into the spray with him, she leaned against him with a trust she shouldn't feel, but did.

"But we've had sex," she persisted, shivering at the thought of what it must have been like. He was in no rush, taking his time, as if he had an eternity, as if time didn't exist for him. If he took the same care when making love

He licked the wet shell of her ear. "Something like that."

Turning in his arms, Lyssa leaned her head back and met blue eyes fringed with thick, wet lashes. "Something like sex?"

"Yep. Wash me." He thrust the bottle into her hands. "I want to feel your hands on me."

She shook her head as she reached for the soap. She almost told him no, just to curb his arrogance, but she wanted to touch him. So much that her palms itched with the need.

With soap-slicked fingertips, she slid her palms across his chest, marveling at the feel of his skin stretched taut over muscles that were hard as stone. His eyes closed on a low groan, his hands cupping her hips, his head falling back in a gesture of supplication that took her by surprise. Aidan was wallowing in her caresses, absorbing them, relishing every time she lingered in an especially susceptible spot.

It was riveting, the sight of so large and dangerous a man turned to putty in her hands. And he was dangerous, she knew. There was something in his eyes. They were ancient, wizened, jaded beyond his years. And something in the way he watched her, the way he moved, the note of command in every casual phrase. This man was never without his guard. Yet here he was. Bared to her in more than his appearance.

So she indulged, taking her time, washing his front from his head to his toes, then turning him and paying the same attention to his rear, which was just as magnificent.

When he faced her again, Lyssa positioned him beneath the spray and shifted her fingers through his hair, making sure every bit of shampoo was gone. She was so much shorter than he was, she had to lift onto her tippytoes to reach him. The loss of balance forced her to lean against him, her breasts to his chest. The hard, heavy length of his erect cock pressed into her stomach, but he made no move to take things further.

"I think I'm clean." He stilled her roving hands with his own before pushing her gently away.

Lyssa bit her lower lip in embarrassment. Nodding her agreement, she pushed open the floating glass door and reached for the towel closest to her. She didn't bother to dry herself. Instead she wrapped the towel beneath her arms and moved to the linen closet, taking out a fresh towel, which she thrust backward without turning her head.

She heard the knobs turn and the water stop.

"Now you don't want to look at me?" he asked softly, his fingers curling around hers, sending sharp awareness up her arm.

She tugged free and moved toward the door, restless and edgy with confusion and unsatisfied arousal. She didn't know what to make of the fact that he had touched her so intimately, then pulled back. The hardness of his cock betrayed him, as did the dark hunger in his gaze, but he'd put on the brakes.

So why was he here at her house, driving her crazy, if he didn't want to get laid?

"I'll give you some privacy," she muttered.

Her hand was reaching for the knob when Aidan caught her in a full-body embrace—his arms pinning hers, his bare chest behind her, his erection an unmistakable pressure against her lower back.

"Talk to me." His lips were hot against her neck.

She shuddered with the force of her craving, her heart leaping into a mad rhythm.

"What's the matter, Lyssa?" One arm crossed upward between her breasts, his biceps bulging beneath her gripping palms, his fingers angling her jaw toward his waiting mouth. He kissed her at the same moment he rolled his hips with practiced grace, inundating her from all sides with the feel of him.

"I was trying to save my sanity," he whispered into her mouth, "not discourage you."

Moaning, she spent the space of one breath resisting him, and then she gave in, her tongue meeting his, then chasing his, as he advanced and retreated with deep licks.

"More," she demanded, her nails in his flesh.

His hand at her throat shook. "Not in here. Take me to your bed."

"I'm not sure I can make it." She writhed against him, stroking that thick, hard cock with the upper curve of her buttocks.

"It's on the other side of the door."

"Too far."

He bent his knees, notching himself between the cheeks of her ass, and began to rub against her. His free hand touched her thigh, then slid up beneath her towel. A hungry sound vibrated against her back when he cupped her wet pussy.

"You're so slick and hot," he purred. "I could slide into your cunt from behind. Ride you hard, right here, just the way you like it. Just the way I like it." His fingers mimicked the actions he described, slipping into her, pumping knuckle-deep and fast.