This Man

Page 76

‘What?’ he snaps impatiently.

‘I was holding up the cake in the back of Margo,’ I remind him. ‘I got chucked about a bit.’

‘A bit?’ he gasps, running his palm across my bum. ‘Ava, you look like you’ve been used as a rugby ball.’

I laugh. ‘It doesn’t hurt.’

‘No more cake propping,’ he demands. ‘I mean it.’

‘You’re overreacting.’

He grumbles some inaudible words and kneels, planting his soft lips on each on my cheeks. I close my eyes and sigh.

‘I’ll be having a word with Kate too.’ he adds, and I highly suspect he will.

Standing again, he turns me back around to face him, sweeping the water from my face. I open my eyes, finding him staring down at me, his face expressionless, but his eyes tell a different story. He’s mad because of a few bruises? The last time he got mad over a few bruises, I didn’t see him for four days.

He leans down and rests his lips on my collar bone before running his tongue up my neck and clamping his teeth on my earlobe, tugging gently. His hot breath in my ear has me shuddering. Bloody hell, I could go again!

‘Later,’ he whispers, and I moan in disappointment. I can’t get enough of him. ‘Out.’ he demands, turning me and clenching my waist from behind to guide me from the shower.

I stand quietly, letting him run the towel all over my body and through my hair to soak up the excess water. He’s being so attentive and caring. I like it. In fact, I like it way too much.

‘All done,’ He wraps the towel around his waist without drying himself.

I really want to lean up and lick off the beads of water that are dripping over his shoulders, but my hand is grasped and I’m pulled back into the bedroom before I can follow through on my intent.

I look around the room. Where’s my dress? I can’t believe I’ve got to do the walk of shame in my short, black number. My eyes return to Jesse after I’ve scanned the room. I drawl, watching him pull on some jeans.

‘No boxers?’ I ask.

He tucks himself in and gingerly zips himself up on a dark grin. ‘No, I don’t want any unnecessary obstructions.’ His tone is suggestive and very confident.

I frown. ‘Obstructions?’

He pulls a crisp white t-shirt over his wet hair and down his rippling abdominals. I know I’m gawping. ‘Yes, obstructions,’ he confirms in a low husk. He strides over to my naked form and wraps his palm around the nape of my neck to pull my face close to his. ‘Get ready.’ he whispers, pressing his lips hard on mine. He’s got to stop this if he’s not going to see me through.

‘Where’s my dress?’ I ask against his lips.

He releases me. ‘I don’t know.’ he says dismissively, casually striding out of the room.

What? He must have taken it off because I was in no fit state to coordinate a strip. I go into the bathroom to get my underwear, at least I know where that is…no, I don’t. My bra and knickers are gone.

Okay, he’s playing games. I go to his walk-in-wardrobe and find – what I expect to be – the most expensive shirt on the rail. I slip it on and make my way downstairs, finding him in the kitchen. He’s sat at the island, dipping his finger in a jar of peanut butter.

His smile dazzles me as he looks up, his lips wrapped around a peanut butter covered finger. ‘Come here.’ he orders.

I stand in the archway, naked except for a white dress shirt, and frown at him. ‘No.’ I decline, watching as his smile dulls into a straight line.

‘Come…here.’ He punctuates the words slowly.

‘Tell me where my dress is.’ I challenge.

He narrows his eyes at me and places his jar of peanut butter, calmly and precisely, on the work surface. Those cogs are working hard again and his finger is tapping ferociously on the worktop as he stares me down.

‘You have three seconds.’ he declares, his voice dark, his face straight.

I raise my eyebrows. ‘Three seconds for what?’

‘To get your arse over here.’ It’s that fierce tone. ‘Three,’

My eyes widen. Is he serious? ‘What happens if you make it to zero?’

‘Do you want to find out?’ He remains completely impassive. ‘Two,’

What? Do I want to find out? Fucking hell, he’s not given me much time to run this over.


Shit! I bolt towards his outstretched arms, colliding against his hard body. There was no mistaking the dark look of satisfaction I got a glimpse of before my head was buried in his neck. I don’t even know what happens on zero, but I do know how much I love his arms around me, so it’s a no brainer really. Oh, that feels good. As my face nuzzles between his pecs and I trace my fingers over his back, I can hear his heartbeats slow under my ear. He exhales and stands, placing me on the island, working his way between my thighs. He rests his palms on the tops of my legs.

‘I like your shirt.’ He skates his palms over my thighs.

‘Is it expensive?’ I ask on a pout.

‘Very,’ He smirks. He knows my game. ‘What do you remember about last night?’

Oh? Yes, I was ridiculously drunk, shockingly brazen on the dance floor, and I think I might have admitted to myself that I’m in love with him. He doesn’t need to know the last revelation. ‘You’re a good dancer.’ I say instead.

‘What can I say? I’m a sucker for JT,’ He shrugs it off swiftly. ‘What else do you remember?’

‘Why?’ I ask on a frown.

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