Ivy uttered a hot, sweet sound in response that wrapped around his erection and squeezed . . . and they ended up in the desert.

“Sorry,” he said, the two of them already back in the apartment.

Ivy leaned her back against his chest, and turning her head, rose on tiptoe. He bent toward her automatically, used to the height difference, was rewarded by her lips brushing the side of his jaw. “As long as you don’t stop touching me”—another kiss—“you can take me to the desert and back a thousand times.”

The kisses threatened to distract him, entice him to stay in this position, but he wanted her naked. Shifting back, he reached for the hooks on her bra and undid them after figuring out how they were linked. Ivy curved her shoulders inward as soon as he was done and slid off the straps one at a time, the movement wholly feminine.

He watched the lace drop to the carpet, realized he couldn’t look at her front if he wanted to finish this. “Stay.” Gripping her h*ps until he was sure she understood, he stepped away to look at the graceful curve of her back, but he couldn’t look and not touch. He ran one hand down the expanse of skin he intended to kiss inch by inch.

“I was overambitious,” he said when she arched toward him. “I don’t think I’ll be able to explore all of you before my control snaps.”

“We can do it again.” A shy, sensual glance back at him before she faced forward once more. “As many times as we like.”

Vasic’s fingers stilled on her skin as he realized the import of her words. Before Ivy, he’d never been given anything he wanted without fighting for it. Most times it had been a stolen moment of peace in a calm place. All with a time limit. This didn’t have one.

His eye fell on the gauntlet.

Forcing his mind away from that darkness and to the pleasure of this instant when he was with a woman who denied him nothing, he ran both hands down her sides and around to her front to flick open the button of her jeans. “Tug down the zipper,” he murmured against her ear, nibbling at the curve of it simply because he wanted to.

Ivy moaned, her body soft and warm in the curve of his as she did as he asked. Then, not waiting for his request, she pushed the jeans down her thighs and to the floor. Releasing her so she could tug off the material, he wrapped one arm around her waist again as soon as she finished the task, the fingers of his other hand exploring the tiny bows of yellow ribbon at the sides of her lace panties. There’d been one on her bra, too, he remembered, in the center.

Tugging at a bow, he was disappointed to discover it was only for show. “I’m going to buy you panties with ribbons that unlace.” He knew such things existed, had seen them in shop windows and on advertising images.

Ivy’s skin turned a silky hot shade that made him want to stroke, kiss, maybe even bite. “You can buy me anything you like,” she whispered, melting back into him. “I’ll wear it.”

Vasic kissed the side of her neck. “You should be careful what you say to a starving man.” Biting at her in playful warning when he hadn’t known until Ivy that he could play, he luxuriated in her moan.

Then, pulse pounding, he slipped his hand around to her navel and under the lace of her panties to cup her flesh. “I read a book,” he said when she jerked. “A sex manual. Actually, I read two, downloaded another three for later.” Arrows always did intensive research, and he’d followed up Judd’s information with further investigation of his own. “I also watched certain recordings.”

“When?” Ivy’s voice was high, shocked.

“While you were asleep.” He read extremely fast, a natural skill augmented by his Arrow training. “One of the manuals said that for women, sexual pleasure is as much in the mind as in the body. It suggested that the male talk during sex.” Vasic didn’t really talk except when he had something to say, but when Ivy whimpered, her body going even more damp against his palm, he decided this was a case where talking wasn’t only warranted, it’d be foolish not to do it. “I like holding you like this.”

Curving his fingers, he cupped her more firmly. “I like feeling you become wetter and hotter and impatient.”

Her hands reached back to grasp at his thighs, her breathing harsh.

“According to the manuals, a woman’s clitoris is extremely sensitive and can be caressed in a number of ways.” Tightening his arm when she rose on her toes as if to escape his touch before pressing back down, he kissed the side of her throat again. “Apparently, there’s also a place inside you that can give you incredible orgasms. I’m determined to find it.”

Breasts plump and flushed, Ivy reached up and back to clench her hand in his hair. “I didn’t know we were supposed to read manuals,” she complained, a little pout to her mouth that made him wish he was in front of her. But that would end this before it began, and there were so many things he wanted to do to and with Ivy.

He tilted the heel of his hand to put pressure on her clitoris. Back bowing, she shuddered. “I’m finding a manual, too,” she gasped when the wave passed, her eyes closed.

As a result, she missed the fact that they’d ended up in the desert again before he brought them back. “Wait until I can keep us in one place.” He was already balanced on a razor-thin wire. If Ivy became expert at how to arouse his body, he’d probably take them into the heart of a volcano. “Do you like this?” He used his finger to circle the sensitive entrance to her body.

Ivy’s back arched again, her skin shimmering. When she turned her head and looked up, he knew what she wanted, though she hadn’t said a word. Gripping her jaw with his gauntleted hand, he kissed her at the same time that he reinitiated the pressure against her clitoris with the heel of his other hand. Crying out into the kiss only seconds later, Ivy melted all over his palm, her hands gripping at his upper arms and her eyes fluttering shut.

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