The House Mate Page 22

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I took a gulp of wine for courage.

“So,” he said.

“So,” I repeated, my pulse beating a quick rhythm.

“Have you thought about my proposition?” he asked.

Have I thought of anything else?

I should say no. Maybe if I say no, he’ll give me another day, or maybe a week. Enough time so that I’m not a complete chicken the next time he asks me.

“I have.”

“And what do you think?”

“I think . . .” My mind tripped through the words, picking the first few that jumped out. “I think I don’t know. I think I want to, but I . . . I also don’t want to.”

He nodded, thoughtful. “And what makes you not want to do it?”

“I’m nervous about Dylan. If something should happen between us . . .” I couldn’t bring myself to finish the sentence.

“Do you think I would let the personal matters between you and me interfere with my daughter getting the best care possible?”

“Well, no,” I admitted. “But feelings can get messy, and people behave all sorts of ways they don’t intend to. What if it gets weird and you decide to let me go? I’m sure there’s someone else just as good who can—”

“Nobody is as good with my daughter as you are. You two are inseparable. I know that, and I wouldn’t let you go for anything that happened between us, ever. Let’s get that straight.”

“Oh,” I said. The tips of my ears heated, and I knew it wouldn’t be long until the heat spread to my cheeks again, a sure tell that he’d flattered me.

His lips tilted to the side. “So that’s the reason you don’t want to. What makes you want to do it?”

I blinked at him, incredulous that he’d even have to ask. “The way you look at me. Nobody has ever looked at me like that.” I shook my head, trying to find a way to express myself that was true, but not too corny. “I’m curious, I guess. To be with a man who knows what he wants and who can make me feel . . .” Like my whole body is on fire? “Like a real woman,” I finished, my voice husky with embarrassment. “Who makes me feel desirable.”

Heat sparked in his eyes, and he nodded. “That’s only because you are desirable.”

Slowly, he took my wine from me, brushing his pointer finger gently against mine. Even at that slightest touch, my arms broke out in goose bumps, and I was practically panting as he reached across me, setting my drink on the table and allowing his masculine smell to take over my senses.

Then he turned to me, taking my hand in his and looking so deep into my eyes, I was sure he could see through me.

“Let me show you.”

Now was the moment. It was my chance. Sink or swim.

Holding my breath, I nodded, and he leaned closer until his lips were only a whisper away. Then they were on mine and I was sinking. Fast.

His mouth was warm and inviting, and he wrapped his hand around the back of my head, weaving his fingers through my damp hair. It was gentle at first, almost like he was giving me one last chance to back away, but the second I felt his skin against mine, I knew there was no chance that I’d let him go. Not now that heaven was just a breath away.

His tongue swept out, and I opened my mouth to accept his invitation. Just as gently, he brushed his tongue along the bottom of my lip, teasing and coaxing me until I met him with my own. He twined his tongue with mine, pushing the kiss deeper until I let out a little moan of longing.

Already, the kiss wasn’t enough. My heart was racing, my blood was pounding in my ears, and I wanted more. I gripped the back of his neck, willing him to understand what I needed.

As if in answer to my unspoken plea, he trailed a hand under my dress, moving past my thin lacy panties and sliding beneath my bra. With one hand, he massaged my breast, teasing and enticing, moving closer and closer to the center with each touch. By the time he finally took my nipple between his thumb and forefinger, I wondered if I might come right then and there.

His touch was electric, his kiss intoxicating, and even five minutes in, I had already forgotten why I’d had the urge to fight this perfect, pure ecstasy.

“Thank you,” I mumbled against his mouth as he pinched my nipple harder.

He smiled against my lips. “Thank you?” He raised his dark brows as he looked at me, and my cheeks burned. “You’re fucking adorable, you know that?”

Then he kissed each of my cheeks, soothing the scorching heat there, before returning to my lips and dropping his hand lower until he was at the hem of my lacy panties.

I moved to open my legs for him, to let him feel just how wet and needy he made me, but he only hooked a thumb under the elastic waistband, waiting there, teasing me until I was panting even harder than I had been before.

“Max,” I murmured, though I didn’t know what might come out of my mouth next.

“Come to bed with me.”

I searched his gaze, knowing that this was my last chance to back out. But even knowing that, I couldn’t think of a single reason to say no to him.

“Yes,” I breathed.

He took my hand in his and led me upstairs, past my room and into his. It was more spacious than mine, though the walls and dressers were bare. On the bed was a simple blue comforter, and I debated for a moment what I should do, where I should go.

With Greg, I used to slip beneath the covers and undress where he couldn’t see me, but based on the way Max looked at me—like he was drinking me in—I knew that wouldn’t be an option this time.

Not with him.

I swallowed hard, readying myself to pull my dress away, but then my breath caught and I was transfixed, watching as he peeled off his thin black T-shirt. I could see every detail of the thick black Army tattoos on each of his biceps, see the way his muscles bulged as he moved for his zipper, the way his waistline tapered into a perfect vee below his six-pack.

I felt like a complete idiot, but my mouth was watering and my knees were weak like something out of a movie. I let out a little whimper, and then he pulled down his pants and boxers in one tug to reveal the biggest dick I had ever seen.

A rush of need surged between my legs, and I considered pushing him back against the bed right then and there. It had been too long since I’d had a man, way too long, and I’d never had a man like this one. Looking at him, I wasn’t sure how the hell he was even going to fit.

His gaze followed mine and when he noticed what exactly I was staring at, his mouth tilted into a slight smile.

“Don’t you worry, baby. This is nothing you can’t handle, and I’ll make sure you’re more than ready for me.”

Chapter Sixteen

Max

I stared at her, wondering if she could see my heart beating out of my chest. But if she could, she showed no sign of it, too distracted by everything else I had to offer.

Never tearing her gaze from me, Addison licked her lips and nodded as if she’d made an agreement with herself. Then slowly, she sank to her knees in front of me and took me in her hand.

“Ah, fuck no,” I groaned, though I hated myself for stopping her.

Her eyes went wide and wild. “What? Did I do something wrong?”

“Not at all. God, it’s so fucking right. But I want to see you.” I pulled her hand away from me and urged her up until we were face-to-face. “All of you.”

Slowly, gently, I lifted her dress over her head and let it fall to the floor beside me. Her underwear was white, lacy, and simple, the perfect accent for the girl next door. It made my cock throb just looking at her.

I lowered my mouth to her throat, trailing kisses from the hollow of her collarbone to the shell of her ear as I twisted the clasp of her bra and allowed it to fall away. I wanted to pull back, to look at her, but I had to take my time.

Instead, I wrapped my hand around the back of her neck and whispered in her ear, “Now the choice is yours. If you want to go through with this, you can take off your panties.” I slid my hand over the lacy fabric, feeling the wetness that dampened the front. “If not, you can still turn back.”

She hesitated, her stiff nipples brushing against my chest, and then she lowered herself again, this time sliding her panties off as she moved and stepped out of them at last.

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