“It’s okay. I’ve never been that inclined to go in.”

“But you’re missing out.” She started hurrying toward the crossing and Craig had no choice but to follow her across the street to the library. “When I was a kid and things were really bad I’d go the library,” she said, and he felt that pang in his chest again picturing her as this lonely wee girl searching for solace somewhere. “It was just a building, but inside was magic.”

They stopped and stared at the library entrance.

“I could be a kid in America who was part of this amazing babysitters club, or I could be the Count of Monte Cristo seeking revenge. I could be a pirate in the Mediterranean or Wendy in Neverland or Lucy in Narnia. I could be anyone but who I was. And back then I needed it.”

“Rain,” he said, the word sounding hoarse because there was a large lump of emotion in his throat caused by her retrospection.

She seemed to shake herself, throwing him an offbeat smile. “I don’t need the place so much anymore, but I’m taking you in here just so you can smell it.”

Her playfulness relaxed him. “The smell?”

“The smell.” She strode forward, the automatic door opening for them, and they wandered into the library.

“I just smell new carpet,” he said as they wandered into the main reception where you could check your books out by yourself with the self-serve machines or at the counter, where a librarian gave them a cheery smile.

“It does smell like new carpet,” Rain said, wrinkling her nose in disappointment . . . and then just as quickly as it appeared the disappointment melted into an “Aha!” expression. “This way.”

He followed her past aisles of stacks, through the DVD library, and into the very back of the building into the reference section.


A smell of mustiness hit them as soon as she began walking down the stacks. It was darker here.

“I thought the books in this section might be older and less used. They’ve got that wonderful musty smell.” She stopped, turning to face him in the small space.

He immediately became aware of the fact that they were alone and her body was mere inches from him.

“What do you think?” she said.

“I think it smells a little nasty,” he admitted with a chuckle.

Rain giggled and looked around them. “I guess the smell can only be charming if it triggers pleasant memories.”

Lust rushed through his whole body. Lust, need, and an overwhelming surge of tenderness for this woman. “I guess,” Craig said, as he reached for her box of cupcakes, and ignored her questioning gaze. “That means . . .” He placed the box out of the way on one of the shelves. “I should make a pleasant memory here, then.”


Without warning Craig’s lips came down on mine in a hard, greedy kiss that demanded a reaction. We teetered back against the wall.

The heat and strength of him overwhelmed me as his large hand gripped the back of my neck and his other slid around my hip, pressing our bodies as close together as possible. I wrapped my arms around him, my hands digging into his back, my legs trembling with adrenaline and need as he caught hold of his desperation and gentled the kiss. His tongue teased my own, making me shiver with delight. The smell of him, the taste of coffee on his tongue, the feel of his warm hands gripping me tight . . . it sent a bolt of lust straight between my legs and I wobbled in my high heels.

Craig’s hand tightened around my neck and he groaned, the vibration of it surging through me, skimming down my body and teasing my nipples. His kiss grew harder again, more demanding. My nails dug into his back in reaction as he tried to destroy any semblance of control I had left.

He succeeded.

The feel of his erection digging into my belly sent me spinning off the edge of the earth. Arousal was sizzling throughout my blood, suffusing my skin until I was flushing like mad. The need grew hungrier as Craig’s hand slid up my waist. His thumb caressed the curve of my breast and I sagged deeper into his hold. He broke the kiss, pulling back only an inch to gaze into my eyes. His own were filled with so much heat and need I felt a surge of power rush through me. I’d never felt that way before. It was intoxicating.

I reached for him, forgetting everything but the euphoric way he made me feel. I kissed him, nipping hungrily at his mouth. Craig groaned into me and flexed his hips against me so I could feel how hard I was making him.

He broke the kiss suddenly. “Let me take you home?” he murmured sexily, his lips trailing lush kisses along my jaw. This time we both knew what he was suggesting.

I shuddered with want at the thought. “I don’t know,” I breathed out softly, fragments of my concerns slowly piecing themselves back together after they were blasted to smithereens by his seduction.

“You do know, Rain. Stop over-thinking this.”

“I’m not.”

Both his hands were suddenly cupping my breasts. He squeezed them as he pressed his dick deeper into my belly. “Do you want me inside you?” he growled in my ear.

Yes, yes, YES!

“I—I— I don’t know,” I stammered.

He flicked his tongue against my earlobe. “I think you do know. I think you want my mouth between your legs, my tongue making you come first, and then my cock.”

Excitement flooded me in a torrent of shivers, and I gasped. “Craig . . .” I moaned, suddenly not so sure which one of us had the power anymore.

His lips brushed mine and I reached to transform the kiss into something deeper, something wetter, but he pulled back. “Admit it, Rain. Admit you want me inside you.”

“Don’t hurt me,” I found myself begging all of a sudden.

Craig pulled back to stare at me, the heat now mingled with tenderness. “I will never intentionally hurt you.”

Was that good enough?

Say yes! Oh my gosh, say yes before you expire on the spot!

Just staring into his beautiful, smoldering eyes was making me ravenous for him. I tugged his head down, our lips crashing together. His arms encircled my waist, fusing our bodies together as our kiss turned hungry again. Craig’s kiss turned deeply sexual, voicing his impatience for him, and his strong hands slid their way down my back and under my butt, squeezing me harder against him. I gasped into his mouth. “Yes.” I broke the kiss, breathing hard. “Yes, I want you inside me.”

*   *   *

I barely remember getting back to my flat. I do remember fumbling so much with my keys that Craig had taken them out of my hand and opened the door. As soon as we were inside I strode down the hall toward my bedroom, hearing his footsteps following behind me. I stared at my bed—a studded, upholstered boudoir bed with a curved headboard and curved footboard. Very feminine. Very me. I glanced over my shoulder at Craig. He was so very masculine. Perhaps the most masculine man I’d ever kissed in my life. The idea of him on my bed sent a possessive thrill through me.

Rain, you are so screwed.

A flutter of nerves mingled with anticipation awoke in my belly as I stood in my bedroom, feeling his intense energy at my back. I wasn’t a virgin by any means, but as the heat of him pressed against my back, as his fingertips coasted lightly over my bare arm and his breath whispered across the back of my neck, it seemed more than it ever had before . . . everything was heightened to a level of sensation I’d never experienced.

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