If You Were Mine

Page 16

Author: Bella Andre


She should be cheering, should be so glad that he’d just spelled things out so clearly. But even though he’d just given her precisely what she’d always said she wanted, his words felt like a knife shoved straight through her chest...as if some stupid, reckless part of her heart had secretly been wishing he would fall in love with her.

Even though she wouldn’t have trusted his professions of love if they had come.

It was yet another reason she should have been walking away from him, hauling Atlas out of the stadium, getting both of them away from the man who was more potent than any she’d ever known.

Only, she’d lost hold of her self-control at the first brush of his mouth against hers, and knowing how good it felt to have his body pressed into hers, warm and solid, had her desperate for another taste. A longer one this time, with no barriers between them, and no one and nothing interrupting the natural flow of their passion.

But at the same time that she could feel herself sinking deeper beneath the sensual spell he wound around her, Heather had run her life for too long to let a man—especially one as confident and charming as Zach Sullivan—lead her down a dark path.

If she were going to head into the darkness, she’d go of her own free will, damn it.

“Just sex,” she said in a steady voice. Wanting to be absolutely sure she was clear with him—and herself, too—she added, “That’s all this is ever going to be.”

A flash of purely male victory moved through his eyes as he immediately threaded his fingers into hers and tugged her closer.

“Kiss me to seal the deal.”

Her breath came even faster at his softly spoken command. She hadn’t realized how much she craved Zach’s brand of sensual dominance until today. She’d loved the way he’d stolen the kiss from her, had been beyond excited by the sinful feeling of wantonness as he took what he wanted from her up against the wall. And now, even as she should have been annoyed at his demand that she kiss him to finalize their arrangement, she was more turned on than she’d ever been.

She knew what he expected her to do—either give him a peck on the lips out of annoyance or let him control the kiss again.

But now that she’d made the decision to enjoy being physical with Zach, she not only wasn’t going to deny herself whatever pleasures were in store...she was also going to make darn sure he realized he wasn’t any less affected by her than she was by him.

This time she was the one reaching for his jaw, feathering out her fingers across the super-sexy dusting of stubble that shadowed his tanned skin. Desire flared in his eyes as she moved onto her tippy-toes to get closer. She slid her hand into his hair and pulled his face down to hers.

Her lips touched his a split-second before he growled and slammed his mouth against hers. It was the perfect kiss to seal the deal for their newly negotiated affair, a wonderful predictor for the incredibly passionate, no-holds-barred sex they were going to have with each other.

Nothing more.

* * *

Zach had never lost control with a woman before. Not even close.

Not until Heather.

When they both finally came up for air with the puppy squirming between them, he couldn’t bear the thought of letting her go. Giving Cuddles room to breathe while still holding her close, he asked, “Do you need anything from your place for Atlas?”

Her beautiful eyes were hazy with pleasure from their kiss as she blinked up at him and nodded.

He wanted her in his bed. It was where she belonged, where he’d needed her from the first second he set eyes on her curves as she coaxed his puppy out of the bushes at his garage.

Lord, he couldn’t wait to hear more of those little gasps of pleasure she’d been making when he’d been kissing her...and to watch her expression as she came apart beneath him.

Desperation to get her naked ASAP had him taking her hand in his, her dog’s leash in his other hand and pulling all four of them out toward the parking lot.

“I’ll follow you over to your place and help you grab what you need.”

He felt her hand stiffen in his. “It’s just one night, Zach. We’re not moving in with you. It’s just going to be sex,” she reminded him in a firm voice.

She was too firm. Too controlled, even after their second kiss.

Oh yes, he was going to enjoy making her lose control, was going to make that his sole purpose for the foreseeable future, in fact.

Atlas’s ears had perked up as if he’d just realized he was going to get to spend the night with his best friend. The Great Dane nuzzled the puppy and Zach grinned. Heather could fight the pull between them all she wanted, but he was counting on her having a hell of a time breaking up their dogs.

Using the dogs to keep her close to him wasn’t playing fair.

Then again, when had a Sullivan ever played by the rules?

Chapter Fifteen

Heather worked to slow down the overly fast pounding of her heart. Now, more than ever, there shouldn’t be anything to be nervous about. Not after she and Zach had just clearly laid out the terms of their sex-only relationship.

And yet, now that the deal had been made, she was still more than a little amazed to find herself in his bedroom. Back at the baseball stadium, she’d thought she knew what she was getting herself into.

She suddenly realized how far from the truth that really was.

Zach Sullivan was a force of nature. Not just because of his stunning male good looks, but because of his strong, yet sweet, personality. The first time she’d ever looked at him, of course she’d thought of sex. There wasn’t a woman alive who wouldn’t, not with a face and body like his.

Oh, but if he knew how nervous she was, she could only imagine what he’d do. Laugh at her, probably. Tease her mercilessly from here on out. And consider himself the victor.

That knowledge was what had her resorting to the act she’d perfected as a seventeen-year-old, the one that said she didn’t care what anyone thought of her...even if she desperately did.

“So, this is the legendary bedroom.” She deliberately kept her body language loose and easy, hooking a thumb into the pocket of her shorts as she raised an eyebrow to scan the room.

Zach, who was standing in the doorway, said, “Legendary, huh?”

Darn it, that had been exactly the wrong word to use on a guy with an ego like Zach Sullivan’s. But she knew better than to try to backtrack. Instead, she pulled her sweatshirt off, putting it over the leather chair in one corner.

“So,” she said when she slowly turned back to him, “are you ready to do this, or what?”

His dark gaze heated up, causing ripples of electricity to move across her skin with nothing more than one look. “There somewhere you need to be?”

God no, she wasn’t planning on leaving any-time soon. Heck, she could barely remember the rest of the world existed when she was with him. But boy, would there be trouble if he ever realized that.

His beautiful mouth moved up into a small grin just before he added, “Or are you just in that much of hurry to finally have me?”

“Just ready to be impressed with your patented moves before my next birthday rolls around.”

Any other man would have acted like she’d just called his entire masculinity into question, but not Zach. Instead, he simply continued to grin that way-too-gorgeous grin.

“Box number two it is,” he said as he made a small check mark in the air. “You can’t wait another second to have me.”

Heather would have made it a point to contradict that ridiculously arrogant—and pathetically true—assumption, had it not been for the soft click of Zach closing his door to keep the dogs out of the bedroom. The bedroom lights went off a beat later.

She heard her swift intake of breath as his bedroom went immediately dark. Despite the large windows, the moon was hidden behind a thick layer of fog tonight and her heartbeat ratcheted up even higher.

She’d never much cared for the dark, had never seen the romance, the sexiness, in having the control of her eyesight taken away. Not when it felt like it took away her choices, too. One of her lovers a few years back had wanted to blindfold her, but she hadn’t been even the slightest bit interested.

She worked to fight back her innate panic as she said, “What are you doing?”

Heather couldn’t see Zach in his bedroom, but she could hear him moving slowly toward her from the doorway.

“Getting ready to impress you.”

Why did his voice sound even deeper than usual in the dark...and why couldn’t she stop herself from holding her breath as he came closer and closer?

She’d spent so long in control that even the few moments of standing in an unfamiliar room waiting for Zach to kiss her, touch her, were too long.

She couldn’t keep the slight tremble out of her voice as she said, “Zach, I don—”

Before she could finish admitting to weakness, he was there with his hands on either side of her face, touching her so gently she could hardly believe it was the same man who’d practically been born with a wrench in his hands.

The pads of his thumbs stroked over her lips, whisper soft, and she instinctively opened for him to lick at the tip of one finger. His low groan rumbled through the room, the only sound apart from her breathing.

She was panting even though she was standing perfectly still, but there didn’t seem to be any way to get her breath back when Zach was sliding his hands slowly down from her cheekbones to her neck. She wanted to arch into his hands, but even though his touch was barely skimming the surface of her skin, it was as if he was holding her completely captive.

“Such soft skin,” he murmured, and she wanted to feel the almost reverent words against her lips, wanted desperately for him to kiss her.

She’d always been an equal opportunity lover, never believed in waiting for a man to make the first move, never hoped for the chance of pleasure if she could act to take it for herself. But that was sex.

This was seduction.

One she’d never seen coming.

Because how could she have predicted the feel of his calloused hands lighting every inch of her skin on fire so slowly, so sweetly, that she was barely aware of them working on the few small buttons at the top of her long-sleeved shirt so that he could more easily pull it over her head?

And how could she have known that he’d smell even better up close in the dark, a clean all-male scent that had her senses racing to drink it in.

“From the way you talk about the lines and curves of your cars—”

He made his way from one button to the next without so much as grazing her breasts. She’d known he loved to tease, but she hadn’t realized that trait would transfer over to the bedroom, too.

“—I thought you’d want to see everything.”

It was too dark for her to see more than the faint outline of his shape, but she swore she could feel his smile. “You’re right, I do like looking at pretty things,” he confirmed softly as he moved to the hem of her shirt and pulled it up over her head to let it fall to the ground behind her. “Good thing I have great night vision.”

“I can barely drive in the dark,” she said, knowing she was babbling now, but standing there in only her bra and shorts had her nerves bubbling up all over again.

This time she didn’t have to guess if he was smiling, she could hear it in his low chuckle. The warmth of his laughter washed over her the way it always did and helped settle her down some.

For all the times he had irritated or frustrated her, the truth was she’d always liked being with him. More than she could ever remember enjoying being with a man, which was precisely why she’d made sure they didn’t end up in his bedroom before now. Not without a list of rules and regulations about what was allowable.

Great sex was obviously on the menu. Emotional entanglement wasn’t.

But where, she had to wonder, did seduction fall?

Only, as Zach’s hands spanned her waist before moving to stroke over the taut muscles of her back, she couldn’t hold onto the question.

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