I have been quite literally obsessed with both books in this series and reading them over the past few days back to back. Both standalone novels with interconnected characters, the first book (Wicked Beautiful) is a second chance romance laced with revenge, while the second book (Wicked Sexy) is a spicy, highly amusing game of cat and mouse between a former Marine, now self-employed commando and cyber-security expert, and a quirky, Hello-Kitty-obsessed computer genius who outsmarts him every chance she gets. Wicked Sexy was one of the sexiest books I’ve read this year, one I can recommend unreservedly, and today I am sharing with you one of my fave scenes from this mouth-watering page-turner. Enjoy!
Back in my room, I strip and take a long, hot shower. My thoughts are too scattered to focus on any one subject for long, and the attempted distraction is useless anyway. All I can think of is her.
My sweet, vicious, passionate, distant, marvelous, maddening riddle. If she’d let me, I’d spend a lifetime trying to figure her out.
Catching my own thoughts, I groan.
Ridiculous romantic notions like that tell me exactly how much trouble I’m in. If I ever repeat anything remotely similar to Tabby out loud, I’ll have to send out a search and rescue team for my manhood.
It’s tempting to relieve the ache in my groin, but my heart is too heavy to bother. So I ignore my erection—the fucking thing is becoming a cliché—and just let the water pound me. After ten minutes with my head bent under the spray, some of the tension in my shoulders is gone, but none of the ache in my chest. I figure it’s about as good as it’s going to get, so I turn off the water, dry off and brush my teeth. Sleep is the only thing that’s going to help me now.
If it even comes.
Towel in hand, I push open the bathroom door—
“Well,” says Tabby, reclining on my bed with her arms behind her head and her booted ankles crossed, “I must say my timing is excellent.”
Her voice is tranquil, bordering on disinterested. Her expression reveals nothing. The lines of her body are completely relaxed. Only her eyes show anything other than perfect composure. They glitter in the low lamp light, edgy and steely, like the flash of knives in a cave.
After the moment it takes me to overcome my surprise, my voice comes out roughened. “You’re angry.”
She ignores that. Her gaze drifts down my chest, over my abdomen, lingers on my groin. Still with that disinterested tone, she says, “Perhaps you should seek treatment for that. It seems to be a chronic condition.”
I move to cover my erection with the towel, but Tabby says sharply, “Don’t.”
My fingers curl around the towel, bunching it in my fist. I hold still as she inspects me minutely from head to foot.
I deserve this. For her hotel room in DC, for her house in New York, for everything I saw without permission, I deserve this. So I hold still and allow it, watching her face as she looks with cool composure at my naked body. I feel equal parts unsteady, uncomfortable, and fantastically alive.
After a moment she inquires, “Aren’t you going to ask why I’m here?”
A dozen responses come to mind before I finally settle on, “I suspect you’re about to tell me.”
Those glittering eyes flash to mine. Her hair falls loose around her shoulders, but no other sign of softness remains. She’s changed back into the black leather armor she wore yesterday in the car. I wonder if she’s hiding a cache of weapons beneath it.
“One night, you said.” She pauses, staring at me with something like rage. “I’ll take it.”
I feel the single, painful beat of my heart.
I say quietly, “No.”
Her brows shoot up. “No?” she repeats, drawing it out.
“Not like this. Not with this…” I struggle to find the word. “Resentment.”
The fierce look in her eyes softens. She drops her gaze again to my cock, standing at full attention. Her lips curve. “I’m not sure your opinion is the one that really matters.”
A gust of pent-up breath leaves my chest. “Tabby—”
“Come here,” she says, and holds out her hand.
My mouth goes dry. I feel like a teenager again, trembling with nerves on a first date.
“Connor,” she says, softer, still beckoning me with those eyes, that outstretched hand. When I don’t move, she adds, “Please.”
I close my eyes, swallow, take a breath to try to slow my pounding heart. What she’s offering is everything I want, yet a part of me is holding back, still listening to the old man’s warning: Keep yourself grounded.
I’m not grounded. I’m fucking unmoored. I’m so full of crackling, unstable energy I feel like I might break the bonds of gravity altogether and rocket off into space.
Ultimately my feet move me forward. Tabby on my bed is too great a compelling force for them, for any part of me, and so I walk.
When I get to the edge of the bed, Tabby stretches her leg out and stops me with her boot planted flat on my stomach. I halt, taken aback at the change of impetus, her sudden change of mind, but as she lies there staring at me and patiently waiting, it dawns on me that this isn’t a reversal.
It’s a command.
Without looking away from her face, I take her boot in my hands, untie the laces, and slide it off. I drop it to the floor, where it lands with a flat thud that momentarily blocks out the roar of my blood in my ears.
Her knee bent, she sets her bare foot on the bed, and then lifts her other foot to my stomach.
I moisten my lips. She watches the motion of my tongue with a flush creeping over her cheeks, but no other sign of emotion.
I drop her other boot to the floor and then stand motionless, holding myself in check with sheer force of will.
She says, “Well if you don’t want to fuck me, maybe you could just kiss me. Since I went to the trouble to break into your room.”
Hearing her say the words “fuck me” makes my cock twitch. Slowly, she smiles. It’s ruthless, satisfied, and now I recognize the game.
Payback. For everything I’ve done, and made her feel, so far.
But I’m not having it. I’m not playing. With anyone else, at any other time, this would be fun. A lark. But not with this woman. Not tonight.
Tonight, she’s mine.
For real, or not at all.
I slowly lower myself to my knees on the bed, between her spread legs. Unmoving, she watches me. Her breathing is coming faster and her pupils have dilated, but she makes no effort to do anything other than lie still as I crawl up her body until I’m hovering over her, our noses inches apart.
Looking into her eyes I say, “All right. I’ll kiss you. I’ll give you the kiss I should’ve given you the first time. And depending on how well you kiss me back, we’ll see what happens next.”
I watch her face change, feel the tension invade her body, watch as she struggles to keep control of her breathing, and am so satisfied with all of that I almost smile. Instead I lower my head and gently, ever-so-softly, press my mouth to hers.
Her lips yield, opening.
Outside, a distant rumble of thunder echoes over the mountains.
I’m careful, oh so careful not to rush. I want to remember this moment, every second of it, every slight restless shift in her body, every telling flush on her skin. She takes my tongue into her mouth with a hesitancy that’s so sweet it’s heady, because I know that beneath her veneer of calm, she’s exactly as affected as I am by what it feels like when we touch.
I take my time, exploring her mouth, letting my tongue learn the shape of her lips, how much pressure and suction will elicit that soft, feminine sound in her throat that I crave. When she finally makes it, inhaling and arching but then almost instantly suppressing her reaction, I feel like I’ve won a victory.
I take her wrist, press it above her head to the pillow, hold it there, captive. She flexes against my hold, but doesn’t break away. Her other hand lightly rests against my shoulder. Her fingertips are five points of fire on my skin. I’m aware of her leg drawn up against my hip, of the heat of her body beneath mine, the feel of leather against my bare skin, and purposefully restrain myself from giving in to the drumbeat of yes more deeper that has begun to pound inside my head.
When I draw back, it takes a moment before Tabby opens her eyes. She’s breathing erratically, gentle, ragged breaths that match my own. Her fingers on my shoulder slide to my neck, slip into my hair. She pulls me down to kiss her again.
This time it isn’t quite as gentle. Need—both hers and mine—is growing, and it’s much more difficult to hold myself back. My cock is trapped between us, stiff against her thigh, and when she subtly shifts her hips it twitches in reaction, an unmistakable pulse that makes Tabby smile.
“Is he always this eager?” she murmurs against my mouth.
“No,” I say, letting her hear the raw honesty in my voice. “No, only with you.”
We gaze at each other in silence as another boom of thunder rolls over the valley outside. Then her lashes lower. She whispers, “I’m wondering whether it would be possible…to ask you to…kiss me anywhere else?”
Her cheeks turn scarlet.
An invisible hand takes hold of my heart and squeezes to a fist. I’m shaken with a sudden certainty that there isn’t anything this woman could ask me, sexual or otherwise, that I could or would refuse. It surprises me and scares me in equal measure, because it’s new. And extremely dangerous.
I turn her face to mine. Flushed and faintly trembling, she opens her eyes.
“Give yourself to me, Tabby. All of you. I want everything. If we’re gonna do this and I only get one night, I want it to count. No holding back. No games.”
She swallows. “I…I’m…” Her eyes close again. Her voice comes out small. “I don’t want to disappoint you.”
My heart threatens to burst inside my chest. “My God,” I breathe, “how could you possibly disappoint me? You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”
Sounding miserable, she says, “I don’t think I’m very good in bed.”
I resist the urge to laugh in disbelief, because I know it would be mistaken for mocking, and I know how excruciating that admission must have been for her. I can’t imagine where she could have gotten the idea that she’s not desirable or perfect just the way she is, but it’s obvious the nonconcordance she mentioned earlier has been a major problem in the past with other men.
But now isn’t the time for psychoanalysis. Or for making her tell me who those idiots might be so I can break their skulls.
Now is the time to make her feel as beautiful as she is.
I lower my mouth to her ear, and very deliberately say, “I think you’re the sexiest fucking woman alive. You’ve been driving me wild since the moment I set eyes on you three years ago, and even if you just laid here snoring while I made love to you it would be the best sex of my entire life because it’s with you. Now I’m going to get you naked and eat your pussy like it’s the last supper and you don’t have to do anything but enjoy it, do you understand me?”
Her shy smile is worth more to me than all the gold in Fort Knox.
“Good.” I kiss her softly on the lips. “Oh, and one more thing.”
She drowsily blinks up at me.
“You’re not allowed to come.”
Her eyes snap open. “What? Are you joking? Connor—”
Before she can say more, I sit back on my heels, yank down her zipper, and drag the leather pants down her legs.