“For what it’s worth”—his lips found my temple, hovering over it as he spoke—“you are the best half person I’ve ever met, Maddie Goldbloom. Imperfections and all.”
By the time I left Ethan’s bedroom, dawn was breaking over the horizon. The dark morphed from velvet into powder blue through the high windows. I stumbled out to the hallway, heading for the kitchen to get a glass of water. My mind was still buzzing with the realization I needed to find my missing piece in myself.
I was almost at the end of the hallway when Chase came out of his room. He wore gray sweatpants and those Kanye West–type sneakers that looked like expensive spaceships. He was bare chested and ready for an outside jog. His hair was a mess, his eyes bloodshot, though I was getting used to Exhausted Chase. It was somehow even sexier than Regular Chase.
Our gazes tangled in the unlit hallway.
His eyes dragged to Ethan’s door, then back to mine. He popped an eyebrow in question. I shook my head. A barely visible gesture.
He caught it. His throat bobbed. A bubble of excitement swelled in my chest.
The bubble popped when Chase pounced on me, his lips crashing down on mine with hunger that stunned me. There was nothing calculated, cold, or in control about that kiss. My back slammed against the wall with a loud thud, but I couldn’t feel anything other than his tongue invading my mouth and his hands climbing up my thighs under my chemise, tracing the outline of my panties teasingly. When he found the wet patch of fabric at the center of my panties, he groaned into our kiss, squeezing his eyes shut as if experiencing something painful.
I snaked a hand between us and did what I’d wanted to do for weeks. Ran my fingers along his rock-hard abs, fingering the coarse happy trail of hair under his belly button until I found the outline of the part of him I’d always missed and never hated.
Chase grabbed my ass and hoisted me up so my legs wrapped around his waist while I was propped against the wall. He captured my jaw, extending my neck to kiss me more deeply. No. What we were doing wasn’t kissing. He fucked my mouth ruthlessly, and I clenched against nothing, feeling my thighs locking in on his narrow waist with need.
“Bed,” I groaned into our kiss.
“Not gonna try to talk you out of it,” he groaned, his lips still not disconnecting from mine as he carried me back to his room and kicked the door shut. He was still kissing me when he toed his sneakers off. Then his lips dragged down my neck as he lowered me onto his bed, which was full of delicious Chase smell—of pine and rain and a dark forest where magical things happened. I felt so unexpectedly content that happy tears clung to my lashes.
“Chase,” I moaned.
His hands ran up the sides of my thighs, hitching the thin fabric of my chemise up. His fingers danced on my skin—was he shaking?—with barely restrained urgency.
“Chase,” I croaked again, desperate.
His mouth reluctantly unlatched from mine. He examined me warily. He thought I was going to stop it. To change my mind. Our hearts were slamming against one another through our chests.
“I broke up with Ethan. For good.”
He blinked at me. I thought maybe he hadn’t heard. Maybe all the blood had rushed down to his groin area. Based on the mammoth thing that was nestled between my legs, it wasn’t exactly far fetched.
“Why?” he demanded. He sounded . . . angry.
Because you are worth the risk, and I’m the idiot who is about to take it. Again.
“Because of your offer.”
“Be more specific?”
A temporary forever.
He was pulsating against my inner thigh. I thought I’d die if he didn’t enter me.
“To be your fake girlfriend . . . until . . .” I groaned when his teeth found my nipple through my chemise, clamping on it. “Is the offer still standing?” My teeth chattered.
“It is,” he murmured into my flesh.
“Then I accept.”
He froze completely. I thought he’d misheard me. Why else would he stop all the deliciousness that was happening between us? Then he laced his fingers through mine, curling them against my engagement ring with one hand, and ripped the chemise from my body with the other. He did it easily, like ripping clothes was his regular gig. The punishing pain of the fabric snapping against my flesh stole my breath away. A thin pile of satin pooled beneath me on his bed. He nudged my panties aside—the one clothing item he probably should rip, I thought in amusement—brushing his index finger along my slit, dipping it inside me and curling it. He hit my G-spot without as much as a blink, grinning sinisterly as I sucked in a breath, my abs contracting. I’d forgotten how good he was at this.
Actually, no. I remembered very clearly how accomplished he was between the sheets, which was why I’d tried to stay away.
Chase kissed his way down my body, taking each pert nipple between his teeth and giving it an appreciative tug. The chill of his cold breath against my wet nipples made delicious shivers run down my body.
He continued his way south, kissing, dragging his teeth, nibbling. He halted at my belly button, dipping his tongue into it and giving it a swirl. I ran my fingers through the black crown of hair as he french-kissed the insides of my thighs.
Chase Black was glorious to look at from every angle, but especially when he gazed up at me with his pale eyes while sliding his tongue inside me, his half smirk still intact. His tongue began to flick inside me, and the crushing weight of an impending orgasm—and heartbreak—descended on my body like a ten-ton brick.
I grabbed one of his pillows and moaned into it, eager to keep our long-awaited reunion a secret. I felt my thighs quivering, every muscle in my body tightening, and knew I was close. My toes began to tingle and my breathing became labored as he continued tonguing me, reaching up to twist one of my nipples playfully.
“I wonder if my dad would get my insurance money if I spontaneously combust,” I half whimpered, half pondered.
“Only you would say that right now.” He chuckled into me as he went harder, deeper, faster, pushing two fingers into me as he devoured me. I clenched, every single muscle in my body tight and frozen. Pleasure swept over my body in hot waves.
My breath shook when I came down from the high. Chase’s mouth was still pressed to my entrance. He licked his way up my stomach, then shoved his tongue into my mouth in a dirty kiss. I tasted myself and didn’t feel like slipping under a rock and living there for the rest of my life. He had this thing about him, Chase. No matter how badly we bickered with each other, he always made me feel goddess-like in bed.