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Page 40


She moaned in protest. “Now. Please. I’m right there!”

But I didn’t let her. I stopped entirely, withdrawing and shutting off the water. Unfolding a huge white towel, I wrapped Kyrie in it, lifted her into my arms, and carried her to the bed. I laid her down gently and used the excess fabric to dry her off head to toe. Her skin was flushed, her cheeks reddened, her breasts rising and falling rapidly, her knees pressed together. Her eyes were wide and tender and vulnerable and desperate. She arched her spine off the bed, rubbing her thighs together. She reached for me, sitting up.

“I need you,” she murmured.

“I need you, too,” I responded. “More than you could ever know.”

Kyrie tugged the towel out from underneath herself and handed it to me, watched as I dried myself and then tossed it aside. I crawled onto the bed, scraping my palms across her tits and down her belly, and then I gripped her thighs. She let out a sigh, spread her thighs apart for me. She reached for me, sliding her fingers into the wet hair above my ear.

When I moved my face nearer to her core, she shook her head. “No, Valentine. No more of that. Please. Just make love to me.”

I paused, hesitated, and she sat forward, taking my face in her hands. She tugged at me gently but insistently until I moved upward, leaning over her. “You don’t want me to—”

She didn’t let me finish, her palms still on my face. “No. I don’t need that. All I need is you. I just need us.”

All I could do was kiss her. It wasn’t just a kiss, though. It was more. It was a plea. An admission of need, a declaration of love.

When you live with someone, your relationship inevitably moves past the honeymoon, exploratory stage where each touch and kiss is new and thrilling. It becomes more intense in some ways, though. The newness fades, replaced by familiarity. You know how she’ll respond. You know, just by the way she looks at you, that she wants you. You don’t need the buildup, the kiss that moves into desperation, the slide of palm over skin that becomes a caress and then a frantic removal of clothes. You don’t always need the foreplay. You look at each other, and you know. You just know. You reach for each other, and you merge. Rhythm is instinctive. You breathe in synch. Your hips meet, hands find flesh, foreheads touch, eyes flutter and flicker and lock. You slide into her. You don’t need to look or guide yourself in, you just fit. You match. She lifts her hips just so, and you’re there, and she lets out a sweet sigh of love as you fill her, and then everything fades and you find your rhythm and your completion together, and you don’t need to say a word.

Kyrie and I had that. Months of traveling the world together gave us the kind of intimacy and familiarity with each other that usually takes years to develop. I knew her reactions; I knew just by the expression on her face when she needed me. We made love silently much of the time. No words, no frantic cursing. Just bodies moving in perfect synchronicity.

I think her favorite moments, however, were the times when I took her exactly the way I wanted her, when I didn’t ask her what she wanted, when it wasn’t sweet or tender or thoughtful. When I just took. She loved those moments. She blossomed in those moments—she came alive, responded with fervency. She not only took what I gave—or rather, succumbed to my giving—but she pushed me, demanding more, the flames of fierce sexuality fanning hotter and hotter.

She needed that now.

Darkness fallen around us, the sounds of the unsleeping city loud beyond the window. We both needed to know, regardless of the hell we’d endured, regardless of what was still coming, that Kyrie was mine, and I was hers, and we would have each other and be okay.

So I kissed her. To reclaim us.

I kissed her and tasted the fear on her lips, tasted the tears, and breathed in the tortured doubt. I kissed her, and it wasn’t a sweet kiss. It wasn’t a slow-burning kiss. It was fiery and demanding. I let the desperate determination saturate me, let my bone-deep need to retake control bleed out of me, and I knew she tasted it on me, felt it, breathed it.

I was lying on my back, and she was on her side next to me, her breasts crushed against my ribs and her mouth demanding on mine. I gave her all of me in the kiss, let my hands catch in her hair, clutch her skull and press her closer, press her into the kiss, the kiss…. It expanded and deepened and unfolded, fracturing into a million scintillating pieces, neither of us breathing yet not needing to, needing only the kiss, our lips and our mouths and our heartbeats and our hands. Her palm strayed across my chest, arced down my waist, and never ever before had I felt the ache of touch, felt the burden of needing her so fiercely. I could only kiss her and swallow my fears, drown my nightmares in the sweetness of her lips and the influx of her breath in my mouth as we both broke to gasp and blink and clutch at each other.

The city outside our tower was silent, forgotten. Muted.

Stars, atoms, pain, orbits, politics, enemies…all faded into nothingness.

There was only Kyrie. Only her mouth devouring mine, her hair cascading around my face, tickling my cheekbones and pooling on the pillow.

I had to hold her. My hands hungered for her. I found her skin, feathered my touch across her spine, around her shoulders, down her waist and the ridges of her ribs padded by lush flesh. I curved my palm around her hip, caressed her ass and her thigh and her arm and her hand on my cheek, and the kiss stumbled and tripped and burst open into something beyond kissing, moving from starlight to nova, from incendiary explosion to atomic detonation.

She was touching me as well, her needing fingers tracing my biceps and my chest and the arc of my hip and then descending to my legs, the hair on my thigh and the curled thatch of hair around my cock, and now her hand wrapped around me in a slow, hesitant caress. I gasped, breaking the kiss, my heart hammering at the feel of her hand on me.

A stroke then, a sweet gentle downward sweep stoking the fires in my belly. The frenzy of my heartbeat becoming tympanic thunder, and her teeth pulled at my lower lip and her knee slid onto my thigh.

This was a ferocious yet fragile thing between us.

Kyrie’s hand left my cock, and her knee pressed into the mattress on the other side of my body, and the “V” of her spread thighs cradled my waist. She was above me, and I was panting and panicking, instantly weak and gasping and frantic, fists in the sheet and eyes squeezed shut.

“—Breathe, Roth…breathe for me. Come on, baby. It’s okay. It’s me. It’s me. Look at me, baby. Look at me. Can you open your eyes?” I heard her voice, but all I could feel was the weight of Gina on me, all I could feel was the helplessness, shackled for her pleasure, at the mercy of a woman who had none.

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