Blue-Eyed Devil Page 74

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"Hardy," I muttered, sweating at the roots of my hair. "Please . . . "

"Please what?" He licked at my upper lip, then the lower one.

I rocked against him and pulled my mouth free long enough to gasp, "You know."

He pressed his mouth into my neck. I felt the curve of his smile. Yes, he knew. But he continued to hold me locked against him while I clenched over and over, pulling at the deep pulse of him. Finally he gave me a hint of a thrust, more a suggestion of movement than an actual rhythm. It was enough though. It tipped me past the flash point, inner muscles contracting to gather sensation, and I came in rough shivers. Hardy drove upward in one strong shove and held, filling me with lustrous heat.

He continued kissing me in the aftermath, his lips wandering sweetly while his fingertips coasted over my chin and cheeks and throat. After a while he pulled me out of bed and into the shower. Feeling drugged, I leaned on him as he washed me. His hands were gentle as he soaped and rinsed my body. Slippery, veiled in steam, I rested my cheek against the hard plane of his chest. He reached down and slipped two fingers inside me. I was sore and swollen, but it felt so good that I couldn't help pushing my h*ps forward. I heard a low crooning sound in his throat, and his thumb swirled tenderly around my clit. With infinite skill, he eased me into another cl**ax, while the hot water rained over me and his mouth ate at mine.

I barely remembered drying off and going back to bed, only that I was soon drifting to sleep with his solid presence beside me.

But some time later, I woke from a nightmare, my body alarmed by the awareness of a man sleeping nearby. I woke with a start, thinking for a moment that I was back with Nick, that I hadn't escaped after all. There was movement beside me, a masculine weight, and I sucked in my breath sharply.

"Haven," came a dark murmur. The sound calmed me. "Bad dream?" His voice was sleep softened and thick, like crushed velvet.

"Uh-huh."

His palm stroked a circle on my chest to soothe my rocketing heartbeat.

I sighed, and quieted in his arms. His lips moved down to my br**sts, kissing the tender, hardened tips. I put my arms around his head, his hair soft against my inner wrists. He worked his way down slowly. My knees bent, and I felt his hands grip my ankles like warm, living manacles. Even in the darkness, I saw the broad span of his shoulders and the outline of his head, anchored between my thighs. He lapped at me languidly, feeding off my pleasure, sending me into long, helpless shudders.

And when I fell asleep this time, there were no more dreams.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

I knew I looked like hell when I went into work the next morning, with dark circles under my eyes and whisker burns on my throat. I didn't care. I felt more at peace than I had in months. Years. Maybe ever.I could still feel the imprint of Hardy's body on mine, not to mention a trace of soreness that reminded me of all we'd done. And despite all the things I could and should have been worrying about, I decided to enjoy the simple human satisfaction of having been thoroughly made love to.

"Call in sick," Hardy had whispered in the morning. "Spend the day in bed with me."

"I can't," I had protested. "They need me at work."

"I need you."

That had made me grin. "You've had enough for now."

Hardy had pulled me up on his chest and kissed me lustily. "I haven't even gotten started," he'd said. "In fact, I've been holding back on account of you being out of practice."

We had finally agreed that we would both go to work, since it was Friday and we both had things that needed to be done. But at five-thirty that evening, the weekend would start.

Before Hardy had left that morning, I made him a five-egg omelet with cheese and spinach, a rasher of bacon, and three pieces of toast. He'd eaten every crumb. In response to my comment that he'd cleaned out the contents of my refrigerator, Hardy had replied that satisfying me took a lot of work, and a man had to keep his strength up.

Smiling, I went into my cubicle and opened my laptop. I reflected that I was in such a good mood, nothing could spoil it.

Then Vanessa appeared. "I've sent you some e-mails about the latest maintenance contracts," she said without preamble.

"Good morning, Vanessa."

"Print out the attachments and make copies. Have them on my desk in an hour."

"Absolutely." I watched as she turned to leave. "Wait, Vanessa. There's something we need to discuss."

She looked back at me, stunned by my crisp tone, not to mention the absence of the word "please."

"Yes?" she asked with dangerous softness.

"I don't want you giving out my personal information to people. So if anyone asks for my home address or home number, do not give it to them unless you've checked with me. I think from now on that should be standard office policy for everyone's protection."

Her eyes widened dramatically. "I was trying to do you a favor, Haven. Your ex-husband said he had some things he wanted to return to you. Evidently you left him in such a hurry, you forgot to pack everything." Her voice turned soft, as if she were trying to explain something to a small child. "Don't try to put me in the middle of your personal problems. That's not professional."

I swallowed hard, longing to inform her that I hadn't left Nick, I'd been beaten up and thrown out. But one of Vanessa's favorite tricks was to make accusations in her gentlest voice until I ended up saying things I hadn't meant to say. I wasn't going to fall for it anymore. And there were some things in my private life that were going to stay private.

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