Halting at the end of the hallway, she took in Jack sprawled on the couch. Just like last night, he looked as if he had occupied that spot a hundred times over. Despite the angry sparks flying between them last night, all day long, sparks of a different kind had kindled between them. Their flirtatious behavior had been rampant enough that even Tristan, an oblivious innocent child, had noticed a couple of times.
Now, intermittent splashes and happy hums sounded from the bathroom. Their son was occupied, and before she could talk herself out of the impulse, she went with it. Ignoring Jack’s perplexed look when she advanced so quickly, she dropped to the couch. With first one knee, and then the other, she straddled him. Using her weight to hold him, she closed each of her hands vice-like on his upper arms.
“Mmh, Mariss, what’s up…” In keeping with the surreal day, a day that felt like they were a couple, a family, the husky, sensual pitch of his words did not let her down.
“Paybacks.” Readily, she spoke against his lips.
Her tongue traced his lips, teasing the corners, and her teeth tugged at his bottom one. A deep rumble in his throat drove her to deepen the kiss, and he remained compliant, participating without taking over. It was fun and fiery being the one to plunder, to pace things, and she kissed and kissed, staring into those dark eyes whenever their eyes would blink open at the same time.
When she was able to speak, she softly jeered, “You have fun by yourself last night?”
Surprise widened his eyes, but he didn’t miss a beat of this new verbal game. “Yeah. I did. Told you, I have a good imagination.” Studying her face in that heated way he had, he taunted right back, “You?”
“Me what?” Her confused inquiry mumbled into the next kiss. So good. His tongue felt so good… “Mmh…”
The muscles in his arms jumped when she retreated from his mouth to taste the base of his throat, and instinctively, with last night’s teasing in the back of her mind, she held him fast, brushing her lips to a late evening rough jaw as he spoke.
“Did you pick up where we left off? Mariss?”
Indignantly, she straightened and then immediately dropped her imprisoning weight back to her hands. “I went to sleep!”
“Ouch! That’s cold…” He grumbled, and his eyes fell longingly to her lips.
“You are cold.” Her reply was chastising, but she couldn’t refuse the kiss he wanted, and she returned her mouth to his.
“I feel hot…” The whisper opened his lips, and her tongue seized the opportunity to slip through again.
This had begun as a game to leave him wanting as he had done her last night, but it was becoming impossible to pull away. When at last she managed it, whispering a mocking, “Goodnight Jack,” the biceps beneath her hand flexed. The amusement in his eyes, and his sudden movement had her thinking twice about the soundness of her plan.
No matter how quickly she released and attempted to get away, his reflexes would be faster. The sardonic light in his gaze, as he assessed her plight, confirmed this.
On a resigned sigh, she breathed, “You’re just going to grab me, aren’t you?”
“Damn straight,” his soft, husky answer rebounded, and a smile danced mischievously in his expression, not unlike Tristan’s when he had once gelled Bally’s hair into spikes.
Choosing that very moment in the hope that he would not expect her to escape right away, she used her hands as a pivot point to leap from the couch.
With the swift reflexes of a tiger, he made a successful grab the second she let up. Like a gator, he promptly rolled, trapping her between him and the back of the sofa. Vice-like, he pinned her and while stealing a kiss, draped a leg over hers enough to continue the roll until he was on top. Wild heartbeats slammed into her rib cage. Already breathless from the struggle, she completely lost her breath when he continued this kiss.
“Let me up…” She shifted her mouth enough to speak, and unwilling to gracefully lose, bucked against him for good measure.
“No…Uh uh…” He spoke against her ear. Catching the lobe between his teeth, he teased it with his tongue.
“Mmh… Now I see why you have a sex consent contract thing…” Her shameless words were light, but he instantly brought his face back to hers.
“Mariss, my honey, will you shut up about that paper…”
‘My honey.’ The endearment sounded so sweet from his lips, and she searched his face.
Tristan laughed in his playing, the sound echoing loudly from the tiled bathroom, shattering the spell and busting the brink they found themselves on. Grudgingly, Jack moved. Sitting up, he stared reflectively into the stained glass shade of a lamp, and when he spoke, it was not anything she expected to hear.
“A while back, some girl claimed rape. Turns out money was all it took to make it go away. She took the first measly offer.” Hastily, he assured when his eyes took in her face, “I didn’t. I swear.”
This beautiful book is part of the collection called