He chuckled, partly because that was the only way he could contain the desire that was racing through him. "It's never seemed odd to me."

"I want to see it."

"Oh, God, Miranda." This, between clenched teeth.

"No, I do." She pushed down the covers until he was bared to her eyes. "Oh, my goodness," she breathed. That had fit into her? She could barely believe it. Still immensely curious, she wrapped her hand around him and gently squeezed.

Turner nearly came off the bed.

She let go of him immediately. "Did I hurt you?"

"No," he rasped. "Do it again."

Miranda's lips curved into a feminine smile of satisfaction as she repeated her caresses. "Can I kiss you?"

"You'd better not," he said hoarsely.

"Oh. I thought maybe since you had kissed me…"

Turner let out a primitive growl and flipped her over onto her back and settled himself between her thighs. "Later. You can do it later." Unable to control his passion any longer, his mouth descended onto hers with stunning force, claiming her as his own. He nudged her thigh with his knee, forcing her to open wider.

Miranda instinctively tilted her hips to allow him easier entry. He slid into her effortlessly, and she marveled that her body could stretch to fit him. He began stroking slowly back and forth, back and forth, moving inside her with a slow but steady rhythm. "Oh, Miranda," he moaned. "Oh, my God."

"I know. I know." Her head lolled from side to side. The weight of him was pinning her down, and yet she could not keep still.

"You're mine," he growled, stepping up the pace. "Mine."

She moaned in response.

He held still, his eyes strange and penetrating as he said, "Say it."

"I'm yours," she whispered.

"Every inch of you. Every luscious inch of you. From here"- he cupped her breast- "to here"- he slid his finger along the curve of her cheek- "to here." He pulled out until only the very tip of him remained within her and then pumped back in to the hilt.

"Oh, God yes, Turner. Anything you want."

"I want you ."

"I'm yours. I swear it."

"No one else, Miranda. Promise me." He again pulled himself almost out.

She felt utterly bereft without him inside her and almost cried out. "I promise," she gasped. "Please…just come back to me."

He slid back in, causing her to both sigh with relief and pant with desire. "There will be no other men. Do you hear me?"

Miranda knew that his urgent words stemmed from Leticia's betrayal, but she was too caught up in the passion of the moment to even think of scolding him for comparing her to his late wife. "None, I swear! I've never wanted anyone else."

"And you never will," he said firmly, as if he could make it true simply by saying it.

"Never! Please, Turner, please…I need you. I need…"

"I know what you need." His lips closed around one of her nipples as he sped up his movements inside her. She felt pressure building in her body. Spasms of pleasure were shooting through her belly, down her arms, and up her legs. And then suddenly she knew she could not possibly bear another moment without expiring on the spot, and her entire body convulsed, clenching around his manhood like a silken glove. She screamed his name, grasping at his arms as her shoulders came off the bed in the force of her climax.

The sheer sensuality of her release pushed Turner over the edge, and he cried out hoarsely as he plunged forward one last time, driving himself in to the hilt. His pleasure was intense, and he could not believe the speed with which he poured himself into her. He collapsed on top of her, utterly spent. Never had it been this good, never. Not even the last time with Miranda. It was as if every movement, every touch was intensified now that he knew she was his and his alone. He was startled by his possessiveness, stunned by the way he had made her swear her fidelity to him, and disgusted by the fact that he had manipulated her passion to suit his childish needs.

Was she angry? Did she hate him for it? He lifted his head up and looked down into her face. Her eyes were closed, and her lips were curved into a half smile. She looked every inch the satisfied woman, and he quickly decided that if she wasn't offended by his actions or questions, he wasn't going to argue with her.

"You look pink, puss," he murmured, stroking her cheek.

"Still?" she asked lazily, not even opening her eyes.

"Even more so."

Turner smiled, propping himself up on his elbows to take some of his weight off her. He ran his finger along the curve of her cheek, starting at the corner of her mouth and then winding up at the tender skin near her eye. He nudged her lashes. "Open up."

She lifted her lids. "Good morning."

"Indeed." He grinned boyishly.

She squirmed beneath his intense stare. "Aren't you growing uncomfortable?"

"I like it up here."

"But your arms- "

"Are strong enough to hold me up for quite a while longer. Besides, I enjoy looking at you."

Shyly, she averted her gaze.

"No, no, no. No escape. Look back here." He touched her chin and nudged it until she was facing him again. "You're very beautiful, you know."

"I am not," she said in a voice that said she knew he was lying.

"Will you stop quibbling with me over this point? I'm older than you and have seen a lot of women."

"Seen?" she asked dubiously.

"That, my dear wife, is another topic altogether, and one that does not require discussion. I merely wanted to point out that I am probably a bit more of a connoisseur than you are, and you should take my word on the matter. If I say you're beautiful, then you're beautiful."


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