Good God . . .

Those words almost sent me over the edge, and I was close, so close. The guy had magic fingers, and if he kept going like this, it would be over before we got started. “Like this,” I gasped out.

“Fuck yeah,” he grunted.

My undies were at my ankles and then, over the thunder of my slamming heart, I heard the tinny sound of his zipper going down. The condom was off the counter and on him before I had a chance to grow impatient.

Nick gripped my hips and lifted me up on the tips of my toes, then one hand disappeared and a second later I felt him between my legs. I didn’t have to see to know that he was large. Then I felt it. He eased himself into me, inch by inch, and so slowly that every nerve ending felt raw as he seated himself fully. The pinch of pain faded and the pressure was almost overwhelming.

One arm circled my waist, drawing me up against him. His groan was deliciously harsh in my ear, mindlessly drugging. He started moving his hips, rocking in and out of me. There was nothing slow about this. Each thrust was deep and fast, wholly precise. This was . . . this was about fucking, and that’s what he did—that’s what I did. Pushing back, meeting each stroke just as fiercely.

I didn’t get a chance to even aid the release along. Both my hands were flattened on the counter and the space between us grew until he curved his body over mine, pushing my upper body down on the counter. The coolness of the laminate was a shock against my heated skin.

The sounds of our bodies coming together, of my gasps and moans and his rough grunts filled the kitchen. The tension built and built, tightening up until my toes started to tingle. One hand slid up the center of my back, balling in my hair as he pinned me there, his hips slamming into mine.

I came in a burst and it was fast, powerful, and damn near blinding. I cried out, my body stilling as if I was being stretched, and his hips kept moving, kept pounding, until he pressed in, grinding against me. Pleasure poured into me, intensified with each thrust. His hoarse shout joined mine and he jerked, his body going still.

Aftershocks sparked. Tiny spasms shook me. Dazed, I let the coolness of the counter seep through my flushed cheek. After what felt like forever, I opened my eyes and found myself staring at the stovetop. My lips curled up at the corners in a lazy smile.

Huh. Never thought I’d be breaking in the kitchen this quickly.

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Nick eased off me, his hand dragging down the center of my back, lingering on my hip for a few seconds, and then there was a rush of cool air against my skin. “You still alive?” he asked.

I didn’t want to move. “I don’t know yet.”

His chuckle caused the grin to spread. Pushing myself away from the counter, I bent down to grab my undies.

“Damn,” he groaned, and I realized I was giving him quite the eyeful. “No words,” he continued. “No fucking words.”

Shimmying my undies up, I turned around. His pants were already buttoned as he disposed of the condom in the trashcan. I reached for my top, and as I bent again, I was surprised by the amount of wetness between my thighs.

It had been a while since I’d had sex, but geez, that felt a wee bit ridiculous.

I dragged my top on, straightening out the hem. My gaze lifted to his, and he gave me the lopsided grin. “I don’t have words either,” I admitted.

“Looks like we’re still on the same page.” Snatching my jeans off the floor, he came to me, and much to my surprise, helped me put them on, his hands straying in the process. When he was finished, he stepped back. “It’s late.”

“It is. You good to drive?”

A flash of momentary surprise flickered across his face. “I think I got just enough brain cells left to make it home.”

“Fucking your brains out can be dangerous,” I replied. “I’m sure there’s an operating machinery and driving warning involved.”

Nick tipped his head back and laughed as he reached for his jacket, shrugging it on. “God, I really do like you.”

“Of course.”

Still grinning, he shook his head as he grabbed his helmet. “You’re welcome to what’s left of the beer.” He headed for the door while I slowly trailed after him. He opened the door and then turned to me. His gaze met mine, and the green of his was light and warm. “Tonight was . . .”

“Just tonight,” I finished for him. “I had fun.”

“Of course,” he mimicked, and I laughed.

“Be careful,” I told him.

Nick opened his mouth as if he were going to say something, but seemed to change his mind. He moved quickly, swooping down before I knew what he was up to. He pressed his lips to the corner of mine, the touch brief and yet entirely startling. It knocked me out of my bliss and forced my eyes wide as he lifted his head. “See you around.”

I didn’t respond, was totally incapable of it, as he turned around and walked out the door, closing it behind him. I don’t even know how long I stood there, but at some point I had lifted my hand to the corner of my lips. The skin tingled.

That was the closest any guy had gotten to kissing me in a long time.

Chapter 3

“I’m good. I’m great.” In the rearview mirror my blue eyes seemed way too wide as I clutched the steering wheel until my knuckles bleached white. “I got this. I totally got this.”

Ignoring my pep talk, my stomach churned uneasily. I let go of the steering wheel and reached over, grabbing my purse. Prying it open, I pulled out the small bottle of Tums and popped one. The last time I’d been this nervous was eight years ago, and I ended up hurling all over my best friend’s open-toed shoes.

I would not hurl today.

Not on my first official day of the rest of my life.

Okay. That was a bit overdramatic. Today was a big deal, though, as it was my first day as an executive assistant at Lima Academy. After all the education, I really had no idea what to expect. I could actually be doing the work I had spent years in college preparing for or I could be stuck with getting coffee and dry cleaning for my boss. If the latter was the case, it would suck, but I would do it. No matter what, you had to start somewhere. You had to put your time in.

Taking a deep breath, I snapped my purse closed and stepped out of my car. I smoothed my hand over my pencil skirt, drew in another shaky breath, and started across the parking garage, the clicking of my heels echoing my pounding heart.

Lima Academy was in a huge building downtown that had once been a factory but now was completely upgraded and converted into one of the premiere training facilities in the United States.

I’d already been to the building several times, during the interview process and then afterward, getting a basic layout. The first floor was a state of the art gym, equipped with practically every cardio and weight machine one could think of. On the second and third floors there were multiple rings, cages, and areas where mats covered the floor as far as the eye could see. Lima Academy didn’t just focus on mixed martial arts or cage fighting. They trained boxers, kick boxers, karate, Brazilian jujitsu, Krav Maga, and during the evening, on certain nights, they offered self-defense classes to the public. The fourth and fifth floors were currently under construction. Andrew Lima, the owner and founder of the academy, planned on adding more training rings. The offices were all on the sixth floor, with the exception of Lima’s office, which was the seventh.