I can feel her heart slamming against her ribcage. She's as tense as a cobra about to strike.

"Breathe for me, angel," I remind her.

She draws a deep breath into her lungs.

I bring my hands to her cheeks and lift her face to make sure she's meeting my eyes. I need to see her eyes to know she understands what's about to happen. My thumbs lightly caress her skin, and I speak in hushed tones, slowly, letting my meaning sink in. "I know you said you're not ready for more, and I know you worry about Max. But clearly you need someone you can count on. If you're sure this can't go further, at least let me be there for you. I can be a friend—a friend who supplies mind blowing orgasms, if you like."

"This sounds like friends with benefits."

"I promise you that I fuck better than any man you've been with. Aren't you curious to see for yourself?"

I know I'm pushing her—but something tells me I have to in order for us both to get what we want. She's so used to being in control all the time, relying only on herself for every decision. Well fuck that, I'm taking this decision out of her all-too-logical head. I'm letting her body decide. And judging by the way her nipples have hardened, and her pulse thrums at the base of her throat—her body wants this. Plus, I truly believe she wants a good, hard fuck every bit as bad as I do. And hell, if that was the thing that got her to see how good we could be together if she just gave me the chance, then I'd gladly sacrifice my body for the greater good.

She draws in a shuddering breath and chews on her lower lip. "You were right about one thing."

"What's that?" I ask, dropping my voice lower as I read the consent in her eyes.

"It has been too long."

"You want to feel my cock inside you, angel?" I press my hips forward, letting her feel that I'm already hard.


She lets out a tiny sound of pleasure from the back of her throat. "Is this all you want? Just sex?" she asks, blinking up at me with solemn green eyes.

"He might have thrown you away, but I'm not going to do that." The truth is I want her. All of her, including her son. And by some small coincidence, the universe had supplied me with the perfect opportunity for me bringing her home. It sucks that she broke her arm, but it gave me the opportunity I needed to bring her home and show that I could and would take care of her.

"Trust me, okay?"

She nods.

It's a start.

I take her mouth, kissing her long and deep, my tongue stroking hers, tasting the wine we shared earlier.

"God, you have no idea how sexy you are." I push my hips into hers again.

"Me? Sexy?" She looks down at herself and almost laughs. "Yes, because a T-shirt and yoga pants are the epitome of sex appeal. Throw in my usual unwashed hair in a messy ponytail, and we have the trifecta."

Watching her round ass move and sway in stretchy yoga pants all day was almost too much. "Your body is beautiful—never doubt that." My stare latches onto hers and after a few moments, she gives a quick nod.

I don’t know what she's so afraid of. I am nothing like that asshole ex of hers. I can't ever imagine walking away from her or Max. I don’t care that he’s not biologically mine. He’s part of Kylie, and that’s all that matters

A crease lines her forehead, and I know she's lost in her head again, over-analyzing every detail of me and her together. I smooth the line with my thumb. "Stop thinking so much," I whisper.

She nods and brings her mouth to mine. I kiss her deeply, exploring her mouth and sucking on her tongue. Then I kiss all the way down the side of her throat, moving lower. Kylie groans and pushes her free hand into my hair, encouraging the contact.

"That's it, angel. Let it go." I can feel her relaxing, relinquishing the control I desire over her body, her head, her heart.

After spending the day watching her cook in my kitchen, and listening to her sweet voice as she sang familiar, yet long-forgotten songs to Max? There is something I like about it. Something real. I have no desire to hit the bar scene and seduce a girl with the same words I've used a thousand times. Uttering the phrases I know will make her lick her lips and follow me wherever I want to go, which was most likely to a bathroom or my car, since I had no desire to bring a random hookup into my home. Entering her pussy rhythmically until I came, without any care or concern for her orgasm.

Kylie is so different. None of my standard operating procedures apply, and the chase is new and thrilling.

"Pace, I don’t know what I'm doing… This isn’t me," she says, pulling my thoughts back into the moment.

"Trust me, I love that," I admit. Her eyes find mine and she releases a little sigh. "Can you do one thing for me?" I ask, sensing she's right on the edge. She's on the verge of pulling away from me. And I don't want that.

"Yes," she murmurs.

"Let me make you come. I need my mouth on you. And then you can decide if you want anything else to happen."

She considers it, only for a brief moment, her eyes dropping to the floor between us and then rising to land on mine again. "Yes, okay," she says.

That's my girl. Pride bursts through me. I know this is big for her—she's taking a chance not just with her body, but with her heart.

"What about you?" she asks, as I slip my hand into the front of her yoga pants and lightly touch her over her panties.

My needs in this equation? "Not important," I say, kissing the side of her neck while my hand slides lower. Of course my hope is that she'll see how good we could be if she’d just let herself lose some of that tight control. This is my way of showing her that I'm not just some selfish prick, in or out of the bedroom. Her needs will come first. And I will be here for her.