Nick lifted his head, peering up through thick dark lashes. Those green eyes were bright with heat. “I think I could spend years right here.”

“On your knees?” My voice shook a bit.

One side of his lips kicked up. “As long as you’re standing above me.”

My laugh was dry, shaky. “You’re too much.”

“No. I’m not.” His lips skated over my upper thigh. “I think I . . . yeah, I need to change that.”

I didn’t understand what those words meant, or maybe I did and I was too afraid to believe them, but then I wasn’t really thinking about it because his fingers were inching the satin down my hips, over my thighs, and then they were gone and I was completely bare, just like him.

And then he explored there, with his hands and his fingers, and finally that beautiful mouth of his. My head fell back on my shoulders, and when he worked me, tasted me, my hips moved in tandem.

Nick pulled away right before I exploded. He rose, swallowing my whimper of frustration with a kiss. One hand roped my hair, tilting my head back. The kisses turned deeper, became more urgent and fierce. My hands slid over him and down, my fingers wrapping around his thickness. His hips punched out, and then my back was pressed into the bed.

His hands curved under my arms and he lifted me up, dragging me up the center of the mattress, and his mouth claimed mine. We were a tangle of arms and legs, of greedy hands and even more ravenous kisses. Sex . . . sex had never been like this before. Sure, it had been fun and I’d experienced my fair share of orgasms and good times, but this was mind-blowing, because it wasn’t just about two people who wanted to get off. There was a passion in the way his lips moved over my skin, a desire in the way my hands familiarized themselves with the many dips and hard planes, and a shattering intimacy when he lifted himself up onto his forearm, his gaze holding mine as he guiding himself into me.

My hips arched and my hands clenched his arms as he began to move, slowly at first, a teasing rhythm that was just too much. I pressed the heels of my feet into his calves. My nails skated over his skin. Pressure built inside of me, and his thrusts picked up, his hot breath dancing off my cheek, the provocative words he spoke into my ear urging me on. He was on me, around me, and in me—a part of me. Skin on skin. Nothing between us. The tension rapidly spun, coiling tight and tighter.

This wasn’t two people fucking.


That was the last thought at the knot in my very core bursting, whipping out. Wave after wave of pleasure crashed into me. My head kicked back and I cried his name and God only knows whatever words. I tightened all around him as he thrust an arm under me, sealing my body to his as his hips ground against mine. His other arm caged me in, holding me in place. He was moving wildly, his hips bucking, and the pressure was too much. The aftershocks shattered again and the world seemed to splinter as another release powered through me.

Nick shouted hoarsely a second before he buried his head in the space between my neck and shoulder. He stilled, his hips pressed into mine. A great shudder rocked him as I held him, and several long moments passed before he moved.

He lifted his head as my hands slid down his sides. His lips pressed against my temple, a heartbeat later gliding over my brow. There was a quick peck on the tip of my nose and then he kissed me sweetly.

And something about that lazy, soft kiss was more powerful than any of the others.

Nick eased out of me, and out of past experience I expected him to hop out of the bed and the awkward search and rescue for clothes would begin. But he didn’t. With his one arm still under me, he tugged me along with him as he rolled onto his back, gathering me up so my front was pressed against his side and my leg tangled with his. We were damp and flushed, but as my cheek came down on his shoulder, there wasn’t a place more comfortable. His hand idly roamed up and down my back. Neither of us spoke.

As I lay there, my heart pounding and my breaths still coming too fast, an earlier thought resurfaced. Was I falling for him?

Nick turned his head toward mine and his lips brushed my forehead.

No. I wasn’t falling for him.

Because there was a good chance I had already fallen for him.

Chapter 20

At some point Nick had gotten up and made his way into the kitchen, completely naked and totally at ease being so. He returned with two glasses of water, turned off the light, and rejoined me.

Curled up against him, on my side and with the comforter tucked around our waists, I was in total snuggle mode. And I was also . . . absolutely content. Although snuggling was completely foreign to me, everything about this felt right, like we’d been doing it for years. That feeling was a bit unnerving, but I didn’t shy away from it. I sort of wanted to roll around in it.

Tracing the thin line of hair underneath his navel, I smiled. “Thank you.”

“I feel like I should be thanking you, but I’m curious.” His fingers were dancing along my back and ribs. “Why are you thanking me?”

My smile grew. “For coming over. You didn’t have to do that. You could’ve waited. It was sweet.”

“I’m a sweet guy, but don’t tell anyone. I have a reputation to keep.”

I laughed softly. “It’ll be our secret.”

Nick turned so that my cheek was resting on his arm and we were facing each other. His hand drifted from my waist to my lower stomach. “Are you excited about the doctor’s appointment?”

In the darkness, I could make out just enough of the faint line of his features to tell he was smiling. “I am. I’m a little nervous, because I don’t know what to really expect,” I admitted.

His hand flattened along my stomach. “Sometimes it doesn’t feel real, does it?”

My heart tripped. “No. And that’s so crazy, huh?”

“Probably normal. I guess after we go to the doc, reality kicks in,” he said. “How’s your mom handling everything?”

I placed my hand over his, liking the feeling. “She’s really supportive. I’m lucky. Too bad she doesn’t live here, because I’m pretty sure we’d have a built-in babysitter.” I paused as a thousand questions about his family surfaced. Now was a good enough time, if any, to start asking. “You don’t talk about your family a lot. I remember you said your mom died. Can I ask how?”

Nick didn’t respond for a long moment, and I held my breath, waiting. If he really wanted to make something out of this, he was going to have to open up. So was I. This was an important moment between us, definitely more so than what we’d just shared.

“My mom died when I was a freshman in high school,” he said, and I let go of my breath. “She died of a broken heart. And yeah, I know how stupid that sounds, but after my father died, she just gave up.”

My chest squeezed. I’d figured his father wasn’t in the picture since Nick had said his family wasn’t around, but I hadn’t automatically assumed that he died. Curving my hand around his, I drew it away from my stomach and pressed it close to my chest, along with his.

“She barely ate,” he went on. “Didn’t take care of herself at all. Stopped going out and she basically just stopped everything. My grandfather—her father—tried to get her help, before he got sick. He got her into counseling, but she didn’t take any of the meds prescribed. She just didn’t care, couldn’t deal with living without Dad. It took years.” His hand tightened around mine. “I was at school. It was in the morning, and my grandfather had come to get me. After my dad died, we’d moved in with him. He’d gone out that morning to get groceries and came home and found her dead in bed.”