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King shook his head and tipped my chin up with his fist. “Fuck, no.” Slowly, he ran the tips of his fingers down my arms from shoulder to elbow. My skin prickling to life with awareness as his feather light touch traveled up and down the sensitive skin. My lower lip quivered in anticipation. My knees trembled. He grabbed my wrist and pressed my hand against his lips. “You and me…” I felt his smile against the palm of my hand. It was like I’d touched an electric fence. Sparks shot through my hand and up my arm, coursing through my chest before settling between my thighs. “We’re a forever kind of thing.”

“We are?” I asked, unsure why it came out as a question, because it’s something I’d known since the second my eyes had locked with his in his tattoo studio. It was something I’d spent far too much time fighting against.

I was done fighting.

My future was with King.

“Fuck yeah we are,” he said, nipping at the delicate flesh of my wrist.

If King were to dip his fingers between my legs he would find out very quickly how much he’d affected me with just a few words. One word, actually.

Forever.

“I’m going to do everything to you but let you go,” he murmured against my ear. “That’s just not an option.” He pulled back slightly, holding my head in his hands, his thumbs digging into my temples, and pressed his lips against my forehead. “Never again,” he added. Tangling his fingers through my hair he surprised me when he yanked back on it roughly, forcing my head back suddenly. Anyone else might mistake that gesture as him wanting to inflict pain, but when I looked up into his eyes and witnessed the look of pure satisfaction crossing over his face, I knew exactly what he was doing.

He was making sure I was real.

His smile turned straight. His expression serious. King licked his bottom lip, leaving it glistening under the moonlight.

Pure. Primal. Hunger.

In my life I’d been hungry before to the point where I’d felt like I was on the verge of death. Yet in front of this man, the most brilliantly beautiful and perfect creature that’s ever occupied the earth, that hunger seemed like a mere stomach growl compared to the starvation I felt for him.

I wanted to lie in bed naked with him and watch movies on a Sunday. I wanted to help him in his tattoo studio, creating art that would change people’s lives.

I wanted to raise our children in the house built on stilts.

King’s kisses moved to right underneath my right eye, and for a moment we just stayed there, our cheeks pressed together. I didn’t realize how much I missed the feel of his stubble against my face. How much I missed having to crane my neck to look up at him. I missed that he could toss me around like a rag doll, while at the same time worshipping me like I was the most precious object in the world to him.

We stayed there, lingering in the feel of one another, existing in one another’s space, breathing each other in.

Until it was no longer enough.

Because with us, it never was.

He was real, and right in front of me. I was like an addict who’d not just fallen off the wagon, but leapt off blindly, while it was still in motion. In that moment, I was willing to do just about anything to feed the insatiable hunger that was erupting inside of me, occupying every sense I had. I wanted to touch him, taste him, smell him, drink him in.

I wanted it all.

We weren’t starving for one another.

We were fucking ravenous.

We were still kissing when he reached behind him and yanked his shirt off over his head, but he didn’t do it fast enough. I needed to see him. I needed to feel his warmth against me. I needed to taste the sweat on his skin on my tongue. When he was free of his shirt he tossed it onto the dock.

King was even less patient. He didn’t remove my shirt entirely, just yanked it down to expose my breasts.

That was exactly how I felt.

Exposed.

Being vulnerable in front of King was a risk I was more than willing to take, because it was well worth the reward. His gaze dropped to my breasts. He growled from deep within his throat, looking down at me with both animalistic need and something that I didn’t expect from King.

Appreciation.

“I love your fucking tits,” King said, droping to his knees. He wrapped his full lips around the very tip of my nipple, licking ever so slightly. I moaned at the contact, needing more. So much more. King chuckled. “I got you, baby,” he said. Flattening his tongue, he slid it over my stiffened peak in a long lick that made me want to cry out. And then he did it again, at a pace that was so torturously slow, I’d rather him bite me and draw blood than continue the lazy lapping of his ridiculously talented tongue. “So fucking perfect.” He released me just long enough to speak the words against the swell of my breasts before he started back up again on the other breast. This time he started off slow but then increased the speed until he was interchanging licks for light sucking, leaving me almost unable to stand on my own. Sensing my imbalance, King held me upright by my waist. I writhed against him, holding on to the top of his head. His short hair bristled against my palms as he brought me to the edge of oblivion.

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