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I grip his shoulders to brace myself from the delightful dizziness taking over me. “Who do you think?”

“I’ve been waiting for this for months, princess. Months.” He tweaks my nipple in his big hand and lifts the swell of my breast to his lips, covering the peak with his mouth.

His tongue rubs against the hard little point, and I die. I die as he suckles, gently first, then harder, causing a rush of desire to shudder down my spine.

I know Greyson is not a man used to loving. I don’t think he’s ever loved another human being since his mother got taken away from him over a decade ago. A decade of feeling nothing . . . until he met me.

He’s hungry now. I have felt his hunger building in him as our return to Seattle approached and my release from the hospital finally happened. He’s hungry and male enough to not give a shit about anything but this hunger of his tonight; for without thought or hesitation, he tugs down the sleeve of my dress to bare my br**sts and moves to suck on my other breast. Quaking in a mass of lust, I grab his thick, copper-streaked hair and pull his head up so his lips meet mine. “Kiss me,” I groan.

He surveys my mouth first—already very well kissed by him. He rubs his index finger across my lipstick, rubbing what’s left of it off.

He takes his goddamned time—his sweet, long time—and I whimper and then sigh when he lowers his mouth to nip my lower lip. We groan and start kissing, his mouth melting everything around us but him.

He takes my hand and slips it around his neck, where he wants it, forcing my fingers to curl around his nape. “Someone could come out any moment . . .” I whisper.

The breeze caresses me softly. The salty scents of recent rain and damp cement and grass reach my nostrils. But more than anything, I smell him: wet forest. Metal and leather. His scents.

“I posted Derek by the doors. Nobody’s venturing out here.”

His whisper is more breath than voice, more groan. He edges back just a fraction, only enough to take me in with hazel eyes that sparkle like all the stars in the sky above.

“What if my friends want some fresh air,” I counter.

“Well, my girl’s taking up all the freshness there is out here.” He smirks and takes in my state of complete disarray. My hair is whipping around me, I can feel tendrils of it on my cheeks. My dress is exposing everything indecent. My heels are digging into the small of his back, my legs curled around him.

“Look at you, all sexy and undone just for me,” he whispers huskily, visually devouring me.

Shivering, I whisper, “What if I forgot how to do this?”

“Then I’ll just have to teach you what goes where. My tongue . . .” He rubs it over my top lip. “You see, my tongue goes here . . .” He eases it, wet and scalding, into my mouth. “My fingers like it here, where it’s warm and wet and clenching around me. Greedy for me.”

“Oh, Grey.” I rock my h*ps when he fingers me with one long, knowing finger.

“I have no problems teaching you. You have this beautiful, perfect cunt that was made for my cock. You’re not bedridden anymore, Melanie,” he murmurs between kisses, rubbing that finger deep inside me. “You’re very alive . . . as alive as you’ve ever been, those green eyes sparkling with life, this body pulsing for me. And this lovely bare pu**y . . . .” he murmurs as he bends down . . . lower . . . and lower . . . and his head dives between my legs.

He flicks his tongue over my cl*t and pleasure rockets through me. He’s stroking a hand down my back while pulling my cl*t into his mouth, rolling his tongue over the sensitive flesh, playing with me.

I’m burning and I need him, need him desperately. I fist my hands on the back of his head, locking him against me by the hair.

Now I feel his lips nipping on my clit, lightly tugging, and my heartbeat gallops faster as he inserts two fingers into my pu**y.

It’s been weeks, over three months . . . in the hospital; first the coma, then the rehabilitation. All this time, he was there for me. He was there for me when I woke, and there every time I fell asleep. My eyes sting as I feel an overwhelming desire to cl**ax at the same time I feel an overwhelming need to make love to him.

“Grey!” I cry out, pulling him back by the hair.

He eases back and meets my gaze, straightening his black tie and smiling at me.

“I love you like this, all f**king hot and wet for me.” He slides his h*ps between my thighs and pulls me into his arms, raining kisses on my face as he embraces me in his thick, muscled arms.

My eyes drift shut. He’s hard against my bare pu**y. Straining the zipper of his dress slacks. But I know he’s waiting for something special tonight. He’s been telling me how he craves to sink in me . . . lose himself in me . . .

So do I!

My pu**y is still damp and gives a little squeeze at the thought of my guy, the only man I’ve ever loved, making love to me. Finally. After months of what feels like a whole life waiting. He’s told me he needs to make love to me without a condom. We’ve talked to the doctors, and I’m on low-dose birth control for a while. They mentioned it could only be for a little while because I’m also on long-term kidney transplant reject medication. But that’s okay. We will make use of these months like nobody’s business.

I’m so ready to feel him, to be with him . . . I didn’t want the party. I just wanted to come home and lie in bed with him. But Greyson can’t seem to get past the fact that he missed my twenty-fifth birthday and he’s making up for it in style.

He helps me arrange my dress, pressing one hot kiss on the top of my ear. “Ready?”

“I used to solve everything with a party. Sad? Party, girl. Mad? Party, girl. Bored? Just party, girl! How come it’s lost its old allure?” I scowl at him, then poke his hard chest with my finger. “It’s your fault, you know. The best parties now are the private ones with only you and me.” I slide down the railing and to my feet, my voice playful to hide the lust winding inside me. “Don’t look at my ass when I walk away.”

“Why, can you feel it?”

“Yes!” My limbs tremble as I head to the arched doors leading into the ballroom.

“Your princess looks f**king edible,” Derek says as he opens the door for me.

Greyson smacks the back of his head as he passes. “Apologize.”

Derek looks at me with a silver-toothed grin and I wave a hand in dismissal, laughing. “You’re forgiven.”

Greyson slaps the back of his head again. “Don’t think about her, don’t look at her, and definitely don’t tease her. That’s my f**king job.”

I’m terribly amused by his jealousy as I sweep into the ballroom. Long white columns welcome us and I can already see the crowd inside, all of them curious about the CEO of the new King Yacht Corp—rumored to also be the head of one of the top Underground fighting circuits. He’s like some sexy JFK Jr. figure and suddenly, I’m his Carolyn . . .

I spot Pandora and Kyle by the champagne fountain, helping themselves to a new glass. They spot me almost at the same time. Kyle waves; Pandora smirks and lifts the glass in toast, her eyes shining warmly. The room’s only spot of color tonight, apparently, is me. Everyone is dressed in black and white, while I’m wearing red. “It’s a black-and-white gala?” I’d asked Greyson when we arrived.

His lips quirked. “It’s never black and white for you.”

Greyson rubs his hand up and down my back as he reaches me, and my pulse starts accelerating as I remember little glimpses of our past.

My name is Greyson, Melanie . . .

I close my eyes, savoring this memory. When I was in a coma, I didn’t remember anything, but when I came to, all my memories slammed me almost to the point I couldn’t peel apart one from the other.

I love my memories now. What a treasure to know who you are, who you love, what you did yesterday, what you hope for yourself for tomorrow. What a treasure to remember the day I met the man I love.

And I remember it—every bit of it.

When I finally open my eyes, I feel his gaze on me.

As if he’s waiting for something . . .

That’s when the canopy that makes an artificial ceiling high above our heads, white and elegant, bursts open and a mass of white, red, and black balloons starts raining down on us.

Squealing, I tip my head back and watch them fall on us, stretching out my arms so I can feel them bounce on my palms. It feels magical, special, unforgettable.

Some of my friends take the long, sleek feathers adorning the tables and use the tips to start popping the balloons. Greyson is happiest when I’m happy—I’ve noticed this. Now he watches me with a curl to his lips, leaning back with his legs spread apart and his arms crossed, watching as I join the fun and start popping balloons. The music starts up as most of the balloons have fallen on the dance floor, and as the band starts playing, people try dancing around them while others are making a game out of popping them with their feet.

I’m laughing and lifting my dress, digging the heels of my shoes into a balloon.




When I look up, he’s still watching me.

I sense his happiness like it’s mine.

The song “This is What It Feels like” by Armin van Buuren rocks around us, and I start dancing to the music in the middle of the room, feeling it run through me, and I watch as Greyson pulls out a chair and sits down, leaning forward, elbows on his knees, brilliant, narrowed eyes fixated on me as I dance by myself.

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