I danced with him, moving against him, working my hips in what I hoped was an enticing way. Knox’s eyes followed my movements and his hands remained planted at my hips.

I’d just told him I wanted his friendship and now I was grinding against him on the dance floor. I knew I was sending mixed signals, but so was he. He’d suggested I be with Brian when all along he’d been possessive about the idea of my male roommate. I should have walked away, gotten some air, but air was the last thing I wanted.

The few disappointing experiences I’d had with a man made me pause. Knox’s dominant side gave me hope that he could take control like I craved, allow me to feel like a woman and completely at ease in the bedroom. Was I really ready to walk away from that? I’d spent twenty-one years single, all while fielding questions from nosy friends and relatives about Brian and why I never had a boyfriend. God, I was delusional. Knox wasn’t boyfriend material. He wasn’t the type of man you gave your heart to. Still, I felt I owed it to myself to find out if he could make me feel this alive on the dance floor, what would it be like in the bedroom? Something in his nature called to mine, and I couldn’t turn away.

Chapter Five

Knox

I watched McKenna sway and twist her hips to the beat of the music. She looked beautiful. Pink cheeks, soft curves, and waves of shiny hair flowing around her face. Her eyes were focused on me, and despite asking for my friendship, I knew she wanted more. And somehow I knew it wouldn’t be hard to talk her into it. She felt this intensity between us just like I did.

The desire to explore her body, to f**k her until she cried out my name, was getting stronger. And the alcohol clouding my system wasn’t helping. The more time I spent with her, the more difficult it became to resist her. And what scared me even more was that the more time I spent with her, the urge to f**k other girls evaporated. There was only McKenna. Her sweet scent, her gentle nature, and her quiet strength to make the world a better place were like a drug to me. I had to have her.

So why was I trying to push her into the arms of another guy? Because I knew it wasn’t what she really wanted. She was here in my arms, grinding against me. She might have convinced herself that we wouldn’t work, so why not let her see that neither would her and Mr. Perfect with his nice car and good job. She needed someone like me – someone f**ked up and broken. She just wouldn’t let herself believe that yet, so I was giving her a little shove, hoping to expedite the process. And shit, after she said tonight all she wanted from me was friendship – I might have been a little hurt and pissed off and this was my way of rebelling. None of that changed the fact that I had her in my arms and it was my thigh she was currently grinding on. I was taken straight back to that night in my bedroom when McKenna had done this same thing and I’d rubbed her clit until she came. I went instantly hard.

I curled my hands around her waist, pulling her body close to mine. “You’re so f**king sexy.” Her chin dropped down to her chest, and she fiddled with the little silver bracelet on her wrist. She didn’t believe that she was sexy. But everything about her was turning me on. The fast inhalations causing her br**sts to rise and fall, her flushed skin, the way she completely turned her body over to me… Fuck.

It wasn’t lost on me that McKenna’s interest in me – in my family – was likely because of her need to serve and take care of others. I still didn’t know where that need came from. Right now, I didn’t care. I needed this girl like I’d never needed anything. “Let’s go,” I growled. She took my hand and let me pull her from the dance floor.

I proceeded to have an internal argument with myself the entire walk home. The right thing to do was to keep my dick in my pants. But when had I ever done the right thing? It wasn’t exactly my specialty and ignoring my instincts put me on edge. I wanted her. Badly.

When we reached the house, McKenna quietly toed off her shoes and followed me up the stairs. Once inside my dark bedroom, McKenna paused just inside the doorway, uncertainty written all over her in the pale glow of moonlight. Indecision coursed through me. My own needs would have to take a backseat. I just wanted to make her comfortable.

Wrapping her in my arms from behind, I pressed the brush of a kiss against the bare skin at the back of her neck. “You okay?” I whispered, letting my chin rest on her shoulder.

“Fine,” she whispered. “Just…thinking….”

“Overthinking,” I whispered back. “You tired?”

She nodded, her cheek resting against mine. “Am I sleeping over?”

“Do you want to?”

She hesitated and I spun her in my arms. As turned on as I’d been on the dance floor, I wanted her to see that she could trust me to go slow. She’d once requested that I be a gentleman with her and I wouldn’t betray that trust. She’d done too much for me, taken a leap of faith on even being here and I couldn’t f**k this up. Not for me and McKenna and not for my brothers either.

Brilliant sapphire eyes looked up into mine, so trusting and full of hope. She gave a tight nod. Even if she knew she shouldn’t want this with someone like me – she did. That was all the reassurance I needed. I wouldn’t lure her into my world or force anything on her. The fact that she was choosing to be here meant everything. She knew my f**ked up past, and still she was here.

I placed a soft kiss on her forehead and gathered up some pajamas for her. A pair of a sweatpants and an oversized T-shirt I knew would be huge on her. “For you.” I left the clothes in her hands and headed into the bathroom to give her some privacy. After brushing my teeth and waiting for McKenna to do the same, we crawled into bed together.

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