He was nibbling on her ear, and then his mouth was at the hollow of her shoulder, his teeth tugging at the thin strap of her chemise. "How do you feel?" he asked huskily.

"Hot." The one word seemed to describe every inch of her body.

"Mmm, good. I like you that way." His hand stole under the silken fabric and cupped her bare breast.

"Oh, dear God! Oh, Turner!" She arched her back beneath him, inadvertently giving him a bigger handful.

"God or me?" he said teasingly.

Miranda's breath was coming in short gasps. "I…don't…know."

Turner slid his other hand under the hem of her chemise and pushed it up until he felt her softly curved hip. "Under the circumstances," he murmured into her neck, "I think it's me."

She smiled weakly. "Please, no religion." She did not need to be reminded that her actions went against every tenet she'd been taught in church, school, home, and everywhere else.

"On one condition."

She opened her eyes wide in question.

"You must take off this blasted thing."

"I can't." She choked on the words.

"It's lovely and soft, and I'll buy you a hundred of them, but if you don't get rid of it now, it'll be shreds." As if to demonstrate his urgency, he ground his hips closer to her, reminding her of the intensity of his arousal.

"I just can't. I don't know why." She gulped. "But you can."

One corner of his mouth lifted in a knowing grin. "Not an answer I was expecting, but certainly one I endorse." He knelt above her and pushed the chemise higher and higher until it passed her breasts and slid over her head.

Miranda felt the chill air blow over her bare skin, but strangely, she no longer felt any need to cover herself. It seemed perfectly natural that this man should be able to see and touch every last inch of her. His eyes raked possessively over her glowing skin, and she thrilled at the fierceness of his expression. She wanted to belong to him in every way a woman could belong to a man. She wanted to lose herself in his heat and strength.

And she wanted him to surrender to her with equal totality.

She reached up and laid her hand against his chest, allowing her fingertips to brush over his flat brown nipple. He flinched in reaction.

"Did I hurt you?" she whispered anxiously.

He shook his head. "Again," he rasped.

Imitating his earlier caresses, she caught the very tip of his nipple between her thumb and forefinger. It hardened under her touch, causing her to smile with delight. Like a child discovering a new toy, she reached out to play with the other. Turner, realizing that he was rapidly losing control under her curious fingers, clapped his hand over hers, holding it immobile. He stared down at her for a full minute, his blue eyes fierce. His gaze was so intense that Miranda had to fight the urge to look away. But she forced herself to keep her eyes level with his. She wanted him to know that she wasn't afraid, that she wasn't ashamed, and most importantly, that she'd meant it when she said she loved him.

"Touch me," she whispered.

But he seemed frozen in place, his hand still holding hers to his chest. He looked odd, torn, almost…afraid.

"I don't want to hurt you," he rasped.

And she wasn't sure how she had come to reassure him, but she murmured, "You won't."

"I- "

"Please," she begged. She needed him. She needed him now .

Her impassioned plea broke through his reserve, and with a groan he pulled her up against him for a hard kiss before lowering her back to the bed. This time he came along with her, the hard length of his body pressing her breasts flat. His hands were everywhere, and he was moaning her name, and each touch, each sound seemed to stoke the flame within her.

She needed to feel him. Every inch.

She yanked at his makeshift kilt, wanting to get rid of the last barrier between them. She felt the friction of it sliding away, and then there was nothing there…except Turner.

She gasped at his arousal. "Oh, my God."

And that made him chuckle. "No, just me." He buried his face in the hollow of her neck. "Told you that already."

"But you're so…"

"Big?" He smiled against her. "That's your fault, sweetling."

"Oh, no." She squirmed beneath him. "I couldn't have done that."

He pressed himself more firmly against her. "Shhh."

"But I want to…"

"You will." He silenced her with a hot kiss, not even sure what he'd just promised her. Once he had her moaning again, he dragged his mouth away from hers, forging a searing path down to her navel. His tongue traced a circle around it and then dipped scandalously inside. His hands were at her thighs, easing them open, spreading her for his invasion.

He wanted to kiss her. He wanted to devour her, but he did not think she was ready for such an intimacy, so instead, he pushed one of his hands up…

And slipped one finger inside.

"Turner!" she cried, and he could not help but smile with satisfaction. He flicked his thumb over the soft, pink folds, reveling in the way she was writhing beneath him. He had to hold her hips firmly down with his free hand just to keep her from rolling off the bed.

"Open for me," he groaned, dragging his mouth back up to hers.

He heard her let out a little cry of pleasure, and her legs seemed almost to melt, sliding farther apart until the tip of his arousal was pressing against her, probing her softness. Turner moved his lips to her ear and whispered, "I'm going to make love to you now."

Breathless, she nodded.

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