They hit the floor in a nanosecond.
“Ready for this?” he asked.
I nodded as I opened my eyes.
He grinned, kissed me quickly, and then gripped my hips. He lifted me right off the floor and placed me on the kitchen counter.
My bare ass was on the kitchen counter.
And that was all kinds of inappropriately hot.
Jax ran his hands along the inside of my legs. As he reached my knees, he eased them apart. Air caught in my throat, and instinct demanded that I close my legs, but his thick lashes lifted, and heated eyes locked on to mine.
“Don’t close them, baby.” His voice was deep and rumbled through me.
I didn’t close them.
When he pushed a little farther, I could feel the cool air rushing over me. Warmth crept into my cheeks, turning to a flush that spread down my throat and over my chest. My heart pounded as he dipped his head, kissing me softly as his hands continued up over the top of my thighs. He snagged the hem of my dress the higher his hands traveled. I bit down on my lip as the skirt of my dress ended up tucked around my h*ps and waist. My hands tightened around the edge of the counter.
“Beautiful,” he murmured.
Oh my God. I had no idea what to do or say. I was completely exposed. Like wide open, and his eyes were focused on the lady parts in such an intense way. While I knew that what he was—what we were—about to do wasn’t anything abnormal, it was completely awe inspiring and new to me.
Then his hands started moving again, over the inside of my thighs, starting at my knees and slowly, torturously making their way up. “You really are beautiful, Calla. Don’t ever doubt that. Hell, there’s no way you could doubt that.”
My heart grew about five times too big for my chest. My skin tingled with heightened senses as he drew back from me.
“Trust me?” he asked.
Oh goodness, now my heart was about ten times too big. “Yes.”
A lopsided grin appeared and then his hands were on my hips. He dragged me across the counter—a counter I’d never look the same at again—until I felt like I would slide right off.
He didn’t touch me or fool around. One moment he was grinning at me, and the next, his lower body bent and his mouth was on me. I jerked at the intimate kiss and heat flooded my veins.
What he did was wet and hot and crushing in ways that blew my mind. Jax knew what he was doing. The way he moved his mouth over me, the way he worked his tongue in teasing tastes, building me up until my head kicked back against the cabinets and my h*ps rose clear off the counter, meeting the strokes of his tongue. The sensations pounding through me were raw and primal and beautiful.
He was doing what I asked. I wasn’t thinking about all those terrible things. Nope. My brain had checked out and my body was rocking. I was panting and these tiny noises I didn’t even know I was capable of were coming out of me. And then he was going deep, stronger and faster. I thought my fingers would break off from how hard I was clenching the counter.
“Jax,” I breathed.
My body was coiling tight as my eyes opened. I couldn’t keep them shut anymore. I wanted to see every moment of this. My chin dipped and all I could see was the top of his bronze head between my thighs.
I took a breath. It went nowhere.
The sight of him pushed me over the edge.
I cried out, and he growled against me. Release poured through me, and I was lost as every bone liquefied and the whirl of sensations pulsed and throbbed throughout me.
Jax stayed with me until my spine curved and my breath slowed, then he lifted his body, pressing his mouth to my neck. “I love the sounds you made, honey. Better yet, when you said my name like you did . . . ? Yeah, I really loved that.”
My cheek lowered, resting against his. “That . . . that was amazing.”
Those two words were so simple and sweet that it broke through something deep and muddy in me. It was like the sun breaking through after a month of nothing but dreary rain. But it was more than those two words.
Lifting my head, I let go of the counter and placed my hands on his shoulders. I pushed him back, and he went, only because he seemed caught off guard. I slipped off the counter, feeling my dress settle around my thighs.
It was so much more than those three words.
It was the weeks spent getting to know him. It was the things I shared with him and he shared with me. It was the fact that he saw me, all of me, and beyond the skin, and he knew what existed on me and inside me, and not just the physical.
“Calla?” He tilted his head to the side as he said my name softly.
God, his lips were glistening with me, and that was like taking a hit to the chest in the best way. Getting involved with anyone right now with everything so up in the air and just plain crazy wasn’t smart. It was dumb.
But it was the right kind of dumb.
As I stared into brown eyes that melted me from the inside out, I tossed my Three F’s out of the window as I reached up, caught the edges of the shrug I wore, and slipped it off my shoulders and down my arms. I let it fall to the floor.
His gaze tracked the shrug and then his stare flew back to my face.
I tossed the self-consciousness away as I reached to my side and tugged the zipper of my dress down, and I didn’t stop the dress as it loosened all around my body.
A look appeared on his striking face, a tautness that tugged at my heart. “Calla . . .” The way he said my name was different now.
And I let myself admit that I didn’t just like him as I caught the thin straps and slid them down my arms. I told myself as the dress gathered around my h*ps and then with a little shimmy, fell to the floor, that I had fallen for him.
Then I was standing in front of him, in the kitchen, the bright light, in nothing more than my heels, and dear God, I was scared. Fucking terrified out of my mind, and my skin felt numb when I realized that it wasn’t because I was practically na**d for the first time in my life in front of anyone, but because I was in love with him.
I was in love with Jax.
I was trembling as I stood in front of Jax. Even my fingers were twitching at my sides. I loved him. I was in love with him. I had no idea when it happened, but it did, and it was an amazing and terrifying feeling, but damn, it was also so hopeful, because even though I liked guys in the past, even lusted after a few, I had never been in love with one and I hadn’t really thought I’d get to know a guy enough to fall in love with him.
But I had.
Jax’s eyes were fastened to my face, and it seemed like he read something in my expression because he made a sound in the back of his throat that sent a tremor through my core.
And then he was on me.
His hands clasped my cheeks and he tilted my head back as his mouth landed on mine. The kiss was deep and moving. I could taste him and another salty flavor that I knew belonged to me and that spun my senses. His tongue moved with mine and then flicked over the roof of my mouth before delving deep. Everything I needed to feel was in that kiss.
“Are you sure about this?” he asked.
I took a breath, but it didn’t expand my lungs. “I’m standing here naked. I’m sure.”
Jax chuckled and the sound danced over my skin. “I’d hope so, but honey, you haven’t done this before, and I want to make sure you’re a hundred percent with me.”
Pressure clamped down on my chest as I nodded. “I’m sure, Jax.”
He made that sound again before he kissed me. “I’m so f**king glad to hear that, you have no idea.” Then he took my hand and placed it against his chest, above his heart. “You can trust me.”
I did trust him.
Holding on to my hand, he drew me out of the kitchen, out of the bright lights, and through the darker living room, then to the stairs. My heart was racing as we went up the stairs and came to a stop in his bedroom, in front of his bed.
He let go of my hand, and I watched him walk to the nightstand. He opened a drawer and fisted what appeared to be a handful of foil wrappers. My brows shot up. Um, how many of them did he need? He grinned when he caught my look and tossed a few onto the bed. Then he faced me.
Eyes locked with mine, he reached down and pulled off his shirt before moving on to the belt he wore. Unhooking that, he flicked the button and then the zipper went down. He shucked off his jeans and the black boxer briefs quickly followed.
And he was as na**d as I was.
He was gorgeous. Every inch of him. From the top of his messy bronze hair, across the broad cheekbones and full lips, down the neck, over his chiseled pecs and the tightly roiled stomach. Farther down, he was even more magnificent. The muscles on either side of his h*ps drew my attention for a moment and then my gaze moved over the fine dusting of hair to where he was the hardest.
I sucked my lower lip in and felt a pleasant hum in my veins. Jax was so not lacking in that department.
One side of his lips curved up. “Come here.”
With my heart pounding in every pulse point, I walked over to where he stood at the side of the bed. He placed his hands on my shoulders and guided me down so I was sitting on the bed. Then he knelt, running his fingers down the outside of my legs, from my thighs to my ankles. Once he reached the strap on my sandals, he nimbly undid them.
“Next time, I want you wearing these shoes,” he said, looking up at me through thick lashes. “You got that?”
Oh my. I nodded.
“That’s my girl,” he murmured, moving on to the other sandal. Once he had that shoe off, his hands made the trip back up my legs as he rose. He didn’t stop. Skating over my stomach, the outer curves of my br**sts, he eventually reached my cheeks and he stopped there.
His lips were on mine again, moving slowly, tasting and teasing until his tongue ran the seam of my mouth. I opened to him and there was that rush again, the heady warmth. As he kissed me, his hands slipped down to my arms and then under them. He lifted me up, pushing me farther onto the bed as he climbed on, his legs on either side of me.
My breath was stuttered as he guided me onto my back and I was suddenly staring up at him. Nerves exploded in the pit of my stomach. What if I sucked? What if I didn’t like it? Not every woman had a great time during sex. I knew that. What if I—
“We can stop at any time you want. Okay?” he said, voice rumbling in a way that made my toes curl. “If it hurts, you let me know. If you’re not liking what’s happening, you tell me. Okay?”
“Okay,” I breathed, forcing myself to relax.
He smiled tightly and then his lips descended on mine. This kiss was different, deeper, more shattering. His mouth worked mine until I was panting for breath, until my hands settled on his shoulders. The nerves eased away as his lips moved away from mine, traveling down my neck and over the straight line of my collarbone with a series of hot little kisses and flicks of his tongue.
God, he knew how to use that mouth of his.
I closed my eyes as his lips moved to my br**sts, over the sliced scars, to close over a nipple. My back arched off the bed when he sucked deep and the keening, sudden sound that erupted from me would scorch my ears later. He worried the aching peak as his fingers settled over my other breast. Each pull of his mouth, each tug of his fingers sent a bolt of pleasure throughout my body and straight to my core, where the ball of tension began to build all over again.
He moved his mouth to my other breast and repeated those sensual actions, getting my pulse pounding in several very interesting places. My h*ps tilted against his restlessly, nudging the hard length of him, and I gasped as a little burst of sensation rocketed through me.
His mouth continued licking, laving, tugging, and teasing as he shifted his body, working a hand between my thighs. I could feel him there, palming me, and my h*ps reacted out of instinct, pressing against him.
He lifted his head from my breast as he slid a finger inside me. I arched again, sucking in a deep breath as he added another. “That good?” he asked.