He picks up my foot and places a light kiss on the bottom of my heel. “No condoms,” he suddenly says.
“What?” I snap.
“I don’t want anything between us,” he tells me. He scoots forward, his hardness so very near, and his hands slide from my knees to my thighs. “I want to fill you, Rose, even after I pull out and hold you in my arms.” He wants to come inside you, Rose. I could stare at the ceiling and say, Thank you, Lord, but Connor would be so pissed. The thought almost urges me to do it, but the sensible part of me returns.
Because if he doesn’t use a condom that means… “We can’t…” I shake my head. “We can’t be hypocrites. Loren and Lil—”
“Are irresponsible,” Connor finishes for me. “Lily forgets to bathe and eat, and we both know she regularly forgets to take birth control, which is why we remind Loren to use condoms. And you, Rose, are the most responsible woman I know.”
His words have a way of placating worries, even mine.
I nod. This is it.
I can’t help but stare at his blue eyes that swim with a familiar ambition and passion. This is Connor, I remind myself. For ten years, I’ve known him. And not very many people ever truly do.
He’s roped to my gaze, inhaling a deep breath. He brushes a piece of damp, sweaty hair from my cheek. “I’ve wanted so many things in life,” he says softly, “but you’re the one that has meant the most to me.”
Translation: I love you.
His thumb skims my bottom lip. Oh, that thumb…
And then he plunges in, so hard and fast that I cry out. The pain comes all at once, but it’s slowly usurped by more pleasant sensations. He thrusts, pulsing each one in deep succession, the rhythm blinding my vision. I tilt my head back, my eyelids fluttering, trying to stay sane. The fullness drives me to a new place, but it’s the way his h*ps pound into me, his force as I stay bound to the headboard, that truly sends me over.
He grips my thighs for support as he pushes deeper. He lifts one of my legs higher to fit more of him inside me. I gasp and struggle against the belt restraints. Connor…
My whole world spins.
I’m drenched in sweat while a hot layer gathers across his skin. I’m also soaked between my legs, and if I concentrate on just how deep he stays, just how far he goes, how it seems like his c*ck rides into my belly, my back begins to arch. My rotating world lights on fire.
He groans as he hooks my leg underneath his arm, holding it up, rampaging my body like it belongs to him for this purpose.
Why the hell did I wait so long?
The headboard rap rap raps against the wall, and Connor breathes in low ragged breaths through his nose, the determination in his eyes f**king me just as much as his cock. I want him to choke me. To steal my oxygen for a second.
And just like that, he grabs my leather collar while thrusting, not missing a beat. And he uses the collar to lift my neck up to his face, our lips meeting. He kisses me hungrily, passionately, eagerly—and he chokes me of air this way, my lips swell underneath his, numb to the pressure, his minty taste swirling in my mouth with his tongue.
As he thrusts again, he hits a spot that breaks my lips from his and mangles my voice. It was a noise from a place five-thousand-feet high, in a cloud.
He watches my excitement, and his arousal continues to grow, his muscles tightening, never letting up. He increases his speed. Faster.
No breaks. Not even as more sweat beads our skin. We create heat like we’re gods.
I don’t know how he deepens his movement, but he does. My noises escalate until I can’t contain anything anymore. And he pulls at the collar again, kissing my parted lips once and twice before setting my head back on the pillow. Then he reaches up to my hand on a rung of the headboard. He interlaces his fingers with mine, holding me as he drives me to my cli**x.
My sex clenches around him, three or four times, my entire body writhing. My toes curling, my moans morphing into deep breaths of dizzy pleasure.
“Let it out,” he whispers in my ear as he continues his mind-numbing pace.
Tears prick my eyes as I fall down from the high, but he’s not done. I realize he hasn’t come yet. He continues to rock against me, building me back up.
I never want this feeling to leave.
As if he senses this, he makes the moment, somehow, pass like an eternity.
And then we both reach the peak in unison. When he comes, he thrusts forward, hard, and then he rocks his h*ps against me, milking his cli**x until we’re both lightheaded and breathing heavy.
As everything slows, I become acutely aware of my surroundings and thoughts again. Of what happened. I was the virgin in this scenario. He’s done this before, and I want to know if I was awful. Or if he’s had someone better. I’m competitive by nature. In bed—I want to be the best he’s ever had. It might be too much to ask.
His chest rises and falls as he tries to catch his breath. He hovers above me as if preparing to do it all over again.
I kind of hope so.
And then he begins to laugh, his smile enveloping his face—not in humor but in happiness.
“What?” I ask softly.
He stares at me like I’m the only one he wants here. Underneath him. “You and me,” he says and licks his lips. “We f**k like winners.”
I grin. He didn’t say I f**k like a winner. It was we. Us. Together.
“You have ten seconds,” he tells me, “before I take you again. You ready?”
Oh yeah. I’m ready.
[ 31 ]
We didn’t do it once. Or twice. Or even three times. After I exhausted her mind and body, I finally begin to untie her from the bed.
Her eyes flutter wearily, but she fights to stay awake, a quality I admire.
“What no more?” she asks softly, humor to her voice.
“It’s time to sleep.” I toss my belt on the floor and kiss her reddened wrist. Faint bruises and marks blemish her nak*d body, and I can’t wait to see what she thinks of them in the morning.
I place her hands gently by her side, and I carefully wipe the spot between her legs with the towel. Rose cringes just slightly. She was tighter than I expected, but she was also incredibly wet. Still, I didn’t want to take her slowly. She’ll be sore in the morning. I grin as I imagine how every time she aches and moves she’ll remember me inside of her.
Quickly, I throw the towel in the hamper and clean myself off. I find another pair of boxer-briefs from my suitcase and pull them on before I head back to bed.
Rose’s eyes have closed, but they open a fraction when I slip underneath the covers next to her. She scoots closer, a gesture unlike the guarded girl I know. I take advantage and grab her around the waist, tucking her in my arms.
She rests her head on my chest and her lips softly kiss the bare skin. She doesn’t say anything, and my hand falls to her round bottom. I could get used to this vulnerable side of her.
“I think I understand how someone could get addicted to sex,” she says softly.
“Yes, well, your sister doesn’t have sex like that.” I stroke her damp hair, and my comment stirs her almost fully awake.
“And how would you know?” she combats, as if presuming I slept with Lily. And there goes that vulnerable side.
I smile. “Maybe we should take it slower next time,” I say. “It seems all these endorphins and hormones have made you a little—”
Her eyes burst into flames. “If you say stupid—”
I kiss her lips, cutting her off. She settles down, probably more out of exhaustion than true surrender. She is an awful submissive. But that’s what I adore about her. She’s a challenge. My challenge.
I glance down at Rose and her eyes are barely open now. “I’m glad I have you,” she tells me before her lids sink closed, and she drifts asleep in my arms. But I’m the one who should be glad.
I had no one before Rose. No true friends. No family, not really.
Now I have her. I have people I care about it. People that I want to protect.
Now I have everything.
The only thing about having everything is that you can lose it all.
[ 32 ]
I can’t walk. Literally. I am so f**king sore that the short trek to the bathroom had me moaning in pain, but when I think back to last night, I feel like a little school girl who can’t restrain a blinding, giddy smile. I used to glare at those girls, the ones who drooled over boys. But I understand now. Some things just make you overwhelmingly happy. Having sex definitely did it for me.
The aches are worth these unrestrained feelings. Plus, there’s nothing in the world like being pampered by Connor Cobalt.
He brought me breakfast in bed and alternated between kissing and biting my neck, a sensation that I have begun to love too much. I plan to spend most of the day on the couch or tucked in bed, but I had to go to the bathroom to at least do my hair, wash my face—half of my normal morning routine.
My robe hangs on my arms as I brush my teeth, careful to distance the sleeves from the running faucet. After I rinse, I wipe my lips on a cloth, and my eyes lock on the diamond collar. It’s gorgeous, even if it makes me look like his pet. I zip up my toiletry kit, and my robe falls off my shoulder. I go to lift it up, but I notice the outline of a bruise on my arm.
I inspect the rest of my body, some faint and some prominent marks all across my br**sts, arms, legs, wrists, more reddened than anything. I drop my robe completely and spot the bite mark on my hip, Connor’s teeth imprinted. My fingers graze the tender area, and I smile.
I like these bruises.
They’re like my war wounds.
I survived wild sex.
I still can’t stop smiling, even as I grab my panties and step into them, my limbs protesting at the movement. Okay, now my smile has vanished. I grimace as the fabric sits against a sensitive place that wishes to be free of touch.
I stare angrily at the bra on the counter. My n**ples hurt. The left one is red and raw, having gone through hell at the mercy of Connor Cobalt’s mouth. That bra might as well be iron spikes, and I haven’t even put it on yet.
Before I make this crucial decision, the bathroom door opens, and my arm flies to my br**sts. Not Scott. Please not Scott.
I exhale as soon as Connor shuts the door behind him.
I drop my arm, and he peruses my body quickly. I focus on the bottle of lotion he carries. “Where did you get that?” It looks expensive and feminine.
“I bought it in New York before we left,” he says, almost in disinterest. “How do you feel?”
I draw my shoulders back in confidence and mask the pain from my face. “Fantastic,” I say, combing my fingers through my hair. “Ready for round…” How many times did we actually do it last night? I’m so aggravated that I lost count. I don’t lose count of anything.
Shit. My thoughts are even pretentious.
Connor must be rubbing off on me. Or maybe I’ve always been this way.
“I’ll be the judge of when you’re ready,” he says, leaning an arm on the sink as he watches me.
I give him a look. “I think I know my body better than you.”
He raises his brows in challenge. “That’s debatable, and secondly, you’re stubborn and competitive. Two qualities that make you a terrible judge.” He uncaps the lotion and squeezes it into his palm.
“I can do it myself,” I say, regretting the words immediately. I’d much rather be indulged by him.
“But the wonderful thing about making these bruises is that I get to tend to them.” He (thankfully) ignores my statement and rubs the lotion onto one of the faint bruises on my shoulder, careful and tender, the exact opposite of his demeanor in bed.
A girl could get used to this.
He massages the bite mark, and only once does the pain intensify. I try to hold back my grimace, but I must be unsuccessful because he kisses the spot. Then he talks to me in French about everyday things. Calloway Couture. Cobalt Inc. What we’ll do when we return to Philly tomorrow.
Being taken care of has never felt so good.
When he finishes checking my bruises, he focuses on the spot between my legs. He cups my sex, and I clench my teeth, refusing to show how much it aches—and not in the “please f**k me” kind of way.
“These need to go.” He slowly removes my panties, sliding them down my legs. I hold onto his shoulders as I step out of them. He helps me slip my arms back through my robe, and he ties it at my waist. The silk gently caresses my skin unlike the cotton of my underwear.
Connor looks at my diamond collar, and reaches for the buckle.
I take a step back, possessively touching the leather at my throat.
His entire face lights up, and he holds in a laugh, rubbing his lips to stifle the sound. “So now you like it?”
“They’re diamonds,” I say like he’s insane. “And it was a gift. You can’t take it back.”
“I’m not going to return it,” he assures me. “I’ll keep it safe.” He approaches, and I don’t withdraw this time. He unfastens the buckle, my neck bare without the warm leather.