Author: Amber Leigh Williams
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Length: Rose (240 pages)
“I thought I was too late.”
She shook her head, grinning to soothe the fear she’d seen flicker over his expression with the remembrance. “You couldn’t lose me if you tried.”
“I do everything I know is right to protect you,” he explained carefully. “I’d do everything in my power to keep you alive.”
“I think I’ve seen that.” She ran her knuckles over his cheek where stubble was growing. “Everyone I’ve ever known would’ve given up on me by now. I’ve never known someone so brave and determined. Mark, I’ve never trusted anyone like I trust you.”
He grasped her hand and brought it to his lips. He pressed them into her palm, never taking his eyes from hers. “You don’t know how hard it is for me not to touch you sometimes. You make it so hard for me to resist. It takes everything inside of me to hold back.”
“Why hold back?” she challenged. She cupped his face in her hands and leaned forward until her lips brushed his. She saw his eyes soften, narrow when her lips grazed his ever-so gently. “Do you want it?”
He didn’t pull back, but he didn’t move forward. Uncertain, he lingered, watching her. “Yes,” he admitted. “But I’m ashamed of it. I keep seeing your father standing in the alley asking me to protect you, and I feel so ashamed.”
She pulled him to her. His face pressed into her robed shoulder as she wrapped her arms around him. “There’s nothing to be ashamed of, Mark. Nothing.”
“What would he think if he knew what I want to do to you?”
She heated at the prospect. “What do you want to do to me, Mark?”
He shook his head. “I’ll never tell you. I’d scare you.”
She put a finger under his chin and tilted his face back to hers. “Try me.”
“I want you to,” she murmured, pulling him close again. “Kiss me.”
His resolve disappeared, dragging his guard in its retreating wake. He covered her mouth firmly with his. Her head fell back in yield. He didn’t hesitate to take advantage of her submission. He lowered her back to the bed.
The kiss went deeper than they’d gone before. She gave no argument as his teeth nipped over her lips, teasing them open, as his tongue tangled with hers, pulling long, soft sounds from her throat. He pressed his lips to the graceful column and then continued the kissing trail downward, following the opening of the robe. It narrowed down between her breasts and ended at her navel. He pressed a kiss to each bare inch.
When his lips found the base of her belly, she yanked his mouth back up to hers. Her skin was tingling with needs too hot to admit to. The kiss took them deeper, fanning the flame of her desire for him. “Make love to me,” she blurted breathlessly. “Make love to me now. Right now.”
He agreed without reluctance, without a passing thought. He tugged the robe from her shoulder and pressed his lips to it, following the line of it until he reached the darkened bullet wound. He rested there, caressing it with his lips and fingertips.
She turned her lips to his. Her eyes were open, resting on his and her heart pounding when she reached for the open lapels to spread them further.
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