I couldn’t seem to pull enough breath into my lungs, and my words came out as a gasp. “She won’t. And I don’t want to stop.”
I imagined we had at least a couple hours, but still, it felt like we threw our clothes onto the floor in a frenzy, teeth and chins knocking in sloppy, undressing kisses. He asked me again, and again—while we kissed, and touched, and explored—whether I was sure.
I’d never been naked with someone before, and I’d also never been more sure about anything.
He kissed down my body, loving my breasts, kissing between my legs until I was crying out into a pillow and holding him there by a fist in his hair. And then he was over me, massive and bare, asking me one more time.
“You trust me?”
It was strange, but this question drew the moment to a quiet standstill. I could tell by his expression that I could take my time to answer, that I could say no and we would put ourselves back together and go out to the garden, or down the street for lunch. He wasn’t just asking if I trusted him to be careful with my body, but whether I trusted him to be careful with me.
With a nod, I pulled him back down over me, closing my legs around his hips. I felt him press against me, warm and inflexible, but he moved away before I could react, jogging toward the bathroom. I was unable to look away from the architecture of him, the sheer bulk of muscle and height. When he reappeared, my eyes dropped below his navel . . . and then over to the towel in his hand.
“Just in case,” he said.
He tucked the towel beneath me, kissing my chest, my neck, my mouth so sweetly, and he returned over me, climbing between my legs and kissing up my neck.
The sheets beneath me were so soft, so perfectly white. Sun slanted into the room, trapezoiding across our naked skin.
“You okay?” he asked one last time.
“Yeah.” I ran a hand up from his stomach to his collarbone. “Are you?”
“I’m nervous,” he admitted. “But yeah. I’m good.”
“You’ve done this before, though.”
“I’ve never done it with you.”
I was shaking. I could feel it, and I knew he could, too. But he just kissed me over and over, like he did at the park, until I was hot, and squirming, until I’d forgotten the pleasure he’d already gifted me and was demanding more, for the press of him, that instinctive desire to feel him inside.
He had a condom—thank God, because where was my head?—and I watched him roll it on, suddenly questioning my sanity, the logic that he’d somehow fit inside me. He put a gentle hand on my hip, guided himself with the other. With his eyes on my face, Sam went slow, so slow, careful to stop when I made a squeak of pain, slow again, and then deep, and then he was moving and it was okay, I was okay.
I was better than okay. I was lost in him, in the feel of his back growing slick under my hands, and his mouth on my neck, and his waist against my thighs. Lost in the feel of the sun on my skin, the way it poured in from the window to spill across the bed. I was lost in the sense of pleasure flirting under the pain, and his breath growing hot and hungry on my neck.
He was telling me it was good,
it was so good,
did I think I could come again?
Did I want him to finish?
I did but I didn’t, because I knew we wouldn’t ever be back in that exact moment, my first—our first—and I knew, too, that as soon as it was over I’d have to face myself and this wild decision. So I told him to wait, please, I didn’t want it to end.
He did wait, or at least he tried to, with gritted teeth and fingers that pressed almost too hard and still not hard enough. But when I hooked my ankles at his back and moved with him from below, he groaned out an apology and swore, shaking under my hands.
We fell still, and the ache in me turned sharp, more discomfort than pleasure. Sam carefully pulled back. There was blood on his fingers when he took off the condom, but he didn’t look worried. He just cleaned me up, bent to kiss my forehead, and walked to the bathroom.
I was shaking so bad I pulled the covers over me, all the way up to my chin.
I barely heard the toilet flush above the ringing in my ears. I didn’t even feel like the same person. Tate Jones wouldn’t have sex with a guy she knew for a matter of days. Tate Jones wouldn’t fall for someone so fast, so immediately. But apparently Tate Butler would.
Sam walked into the bedroom, pulled on his boxers, and climbed back onto the bed, bracing over me on all fours, sweetly trapping me under the blankets.
“Are you cold or hiding?”
With a little growl, Sam climbed under the covers with me and curled on his side, bracing on an elbow to look down at me. He was smiling like an idiot, but—to my horror—I felt the burn of tears across my eyes. I was so scared of the moment he left this room, and hesitation pushed out the certainty that this had been the right thing to do.
“Tate,” he said, eyes flickering across my face, worried now.
I pressed a hand to his bare stomach. “Yeah?”
He closed his eyes and then bent so his head rested between my breasts. “You’re crying,” he whispered.
“I’m just overwhelmed,” I admitted. “With good feelings, I swear.”
“I don’t want you to feel weird about doing this.”
Struggling to put myself back together, I promised him, “I won’t.”