But today was a different day and I was going to grow some lady balls, starting right now. I shifted onto my back, and Jax stared down at me, all sleepy and sexy looking. Before I could say or do anything, his lips were on mine, starting off with a slow and sweet kiss. The slight stubble on his cheek tickled my palm as I skated my hand down his face. He shifted over me, resting one leg between mine, pressing his thigh against the softest part of me, and I could feel his hardness against my lower belly. The feel took my breath.

“Morning,” he rumbled against my parted lips.


One side of his lips tipped up.

My heart was starting to speed up for various reasons. For one thing, his mouth was on mine again, and this kiss was much deeper. His tongue was moving against mine and then it was his right hand. It was on the move and I had a feeling it was heading to where it had gone last night. To my br**sts. I tensed, like I had before, and I had to force myself not to grab his hand, like I had done before. I didn’t this time, because I knew there wasn’t a point. When he wanted to touch me, he was going to touch me.

And he touched me again.

His large hand closed over my left breast, and I knew he could feel the scars there, but the caress didn’t stumble as he zeroed onto the now-aching tip. Jax was good . . . so good that even through a T-shirt and a tank top, he had my nipple puckered when his thumb and forefinger got going, and sharp tingles arced from my br**sts to down south. I gasped into the hot kiss, raising my back, and I wasn’t disappointed when he moved to my other breast.

“Fuck, I love that sound you make,” he all but growled against my mouth. He kissed me again. “I want to hear it again.”

So he made me make that sound again, and I was done with not squirming, but I wanted to touch him. I knew I needed to act now, because if I didn’t, his hand would be south again, and hell, all bets were off.

Smoothing my hand off the back of his neck, I slid it across the rough skin of his chest, and almost forgot what I was doing when I imagined what our skin would feel like with nothing between us. Not like that was ever going to happen, so I refocused on my path, trailing my hand down his side, then across the flat expanse of his upper stomach.

“What are you up to?’ he asked, voice husky.


Jax lifted up so there was space between our bodies, and I loved the way his abs tightened with the movement. He arched a brow. “Nothing?”

Shaking my head, I bit down on my lip as my fingers skated around his navel and reached the band on his black boxer briefs. With a deep breath, I slipped my fingers under the band.

He caught my wrist. “You want to touch me?”

Warmth flooded my face and a different kind of heat hit my veins. “Yes.” I forced my gaze up, meeting his. “I want to give you . . . what you’ve given me.”

The hunger in his stare sent a shiver of awareness down my spine. “I like that. I want that.” Dipping his head, he caught my lower lip in a quick kiss. “I’ll make you a deal.”

“A deal?”

He trailed his lips across my jaw. “Yeah. A deal. You can touch me.” He moved my wrist by mere inches, lowering my hand over the short, crisp hairs. “But you got to take off the shirt.”

“My shirt?”

He kissed my temple. “Yes. The shirt. It’s got to come off.”

My heart pumped as I tensed. Taking off the shirt didn’t mean I was getting naked. I had a tank top underneath, but it would show off the scars on my upper chest and it would expose some of my back. But I was also on my back, so it wasn’t like he’d see that.

“I want you to touch me,” Jax said to me, and I shivered again. “Real bad. You want it, too.” His teeth skated over my earlobe. “Just the shirt.”

I didn’t know if I could do it, but I nodded and then whispered, “Okay.”

Jax acted fast. He drew my hand away from him and caught my shirt under the hem in one fist. His other hand slid under my lower back and he lifted me up enough to get the shirt up and then, in a second, it was over my head.

I lay back down, eyes wide and heart racing. His gaze met mine as he dropped the shirt on the floor and then his gaze slowly tracked down my face, over my throat and lower. His stare lingered on my chest, and fear pierced my belly. I moved to cross my arms.

“Don’t you dare,” he ordered in a gentle way. “There’s nothing you need to hide.”

My chest squeezed as his hand trailed over my breast. It was then I realized what he was staring at. It wasn’t the small visible patch of skin between my br**sts or the slice showing above my left breast.

It was something else.

The tips of my br**sts were aching and hard, pushing against the thin material of the tank top, and my breath caught in a half laugh, half sob. His gaze flicked back, holding my stare as he lowered his head.

His mouth hit the skin between my br**sts first and he kissed me there, then he went to the tip of one breast, also kissing me there, through the material, and he sucked deep, causing my back to arch clear off the bed as a riot of sensation rocketed through me.

God, I’d never felt that before.

“You like that?” he asked.

I panted out a breathy “Yes.”

He moved to my other breast, and that was awesome. I could barely breathe as his hand got involved, and I almost forgot the purpose behind taking off my shirt, because I had no idea how sensitive I could be there, but then he lifted his head. He got down to his side of the deal, and he was fast about it. Reaching down, he hooked his fingers under the band of his boxers and shimmied it down his hips.

I got my first complete look at him.


That was also awesome.

Jax was . . . I stared at him, taking in the thickness and length, and yeah, I really had no words.

“I don’t mind you staring at me like that, but this is going to be over before you even touch me if you keep it up.”

“Seriously?” I dragged my gaze to his.

He grinned. “Seriously.”

“I kind of like that,” I admitted.

There was a pause, then he threw his head back and let out a deep laugh. “I bet.”

Before I lost my courage, I reached between us and wrapped my hand around him. His laughter faded into a masculine moan and then his h*ps jerked as I slid my hand up his length.

I didn’t have to fumble around and figure out what he liked, because he placed his hand over mine, setting up a rhythm and pressure. He even did this thing with my thumb, where he moved it over his tip, and by the way he kissed me after, going deep, I knew he liked that. So after I made another pass from the root to the tip, I did it again.

“Fuck,” he growled, burying his head in my neck; kissing and licking and touching him already had my turned-on body revving into high gear. When he got a hand between our bodies, careful of what I was doing, I spread my legs for him. “God.”

His finger moved over the center of my undies and then his fingers were inside. At first contact of his skin against mine, I cried out, and when I said his name, he ground out another “Fuck.”

He moved his hand and then he lifted my hips, dragging my panties down my legs. My hand tightened on him as I really started to get breathless. I opened my eyes and tension coiled tight in the pit of my belly.

What I saw was like a blast to the hormones. My hand wrapped around him, and he was swollen, pink, and hard. But beyond that, my undies were down my thighs, almost to my knees, my legs open and his hand between them.

Then he slid a finger inside me, and my body reacted. My h*ps punched up and my head kicked back.

“Calla, baby, you’re so tight,” he muttered, and by the heaviness in his voice, I figured this was a good thing. He moved his finger slowly—a lot slower and smoother than what I was doing and then I stopped doing everything, because he picked up pace. “I’m thinking you like this.”

“I . . .” I didn’t know what to say to that, but I knew I wanted more. I wanted him. The finger was great, but I wanted more. I didn’t stop to think about where I was taking this. “I want you.”

“I know.”

My eyes narrowed, and he chuckled as my hand tightened around him. I could feel him pulse against my palm. “I want this,” I told him in a thready whisper. “I want this in me.”

His h*ps thrust halfway through what I said, and he made that deep sound again that curled my toes. He dropped his forehead to mine, and the next kiss was sweet and soulful, a different kind of kiss. As that kiss shifted into something far more sensual, he added another finger.

“Oh God,” I gasped against his mouth.

“I want nothing more than to be in you. God, I could come just thinking about it.” He moved slowly, dragging out the feel. “But this thing of yours has to come off.”

His words cleared the haze. “My tank top?”

“Yep, baby, it’s got to go.” His tongue trailed along the seam of my lips. “You ready for that?”

Okay. Today was a different day, but it wasn’t that different and some things would never change. My shirt might come off, but the tank top was never, ever coming off.

“No,” I whispered.

“That’s what I thought.” He kissed the tip of my nose. “But you need to understand something, honey, I’m not going to get in you until we’re skin to skin.”

My pulse thundered at his words, but the look I gave him said we’d see about that, and he answered with an amused chuckle and another scorching hot, wet kiss. His hand shifted between my legs, putting his thumb right over the most sensitive part of me. It wasn’t long before my h*ps were moving against him, following the pace he set, and then setting my own. He gave me what he could with those two fingers sliding in and out, his thumb pressing on the bundle of nerves.

“That’s it.” He lowered his mouth to mine, slanting his head and kissing me deeply as the knot built to a point. “Ride my hand.”

Any other time, I would probably die of embarrassment hearing those words, and maybe later, I’d care, but right now? I did what he said. I rode his hand as I moved mine over him. Then there was only a subtle warning—a deep flutter—and then the knot whipped out, unraveling inside me, and I cried out as I came. He kept up, prolonging the sensation until my legs went weak.

Then he slowly eased his fingers out of me and then circled his hand around mine. I watched him—I watched us—through heavily hooded eyes. There was something wholly intimate about this, something that nestled in my chest and got lodged there. His body moved beautifully, full of masculine grace. Muscles along his h*ps flexed and rolled as he thrust against my hand.

His mouth was on mine when he came, and that had to be the most awesome thing out of all of this. Feeling the tremors in his body, the grunt of release that was caught on my tongue, and the way his h*ps slowed. But the most amazing part was the minutes immediately following.

Jax stayed with me for a few moments, half his weight on me, and the kisses went back to something sweet, a tenderness that meant more, and further lodged that feeling in my chest. When he did get up, he strutted into the bathroom in his na**d glory and returned quickly with a damp washcloth. He cleaned up what he left behind and then he slid my undies back up my hips, but he wasn’t done there.

Wrapping his hands around my wrists, he forced me up into a sitting position, and it was too late when I realized that this exposed my back and everything he could see that the tank didn’t cover.

Panic exploded in my gut and I started to throw myself under the covers, but Jax was quick and the f**ker was clever. He slid in behind me, sitting up against the headboard, and then he wrapped his arms around my waist. He tugged me between his spread legs and against his chest—my back completely flush with his chest.

I knew he could feel the rougher scars on the back of my shoulder blades, because the tank top was one of those damn razorbacks. And I also knew he’d seen them before he pulled me against him. Maybe not a good long look, but he had to have seen them.

Muscles tense, I focused on the window across the room as his arms folded around my waist and he dipped his chin, resting it on my shoulder.

“Did I tell you about the first time I met Clyde?” he said.

Shaking my head, I whispered, “No.”

“It was on a Sunday. Met him at the bar. He ended up making me tacos.” He paused, chuckling softly in my ear. “Said it was tradition if I was going to be a part of his family.”

The next breath I took was sharp as a little more of that drowning weight lifted off me.

It was later in the day and Jax was finishing up with his shower before he took me back to the house so I could get ready for our date.

Our date.


It seemed odd to be going on a date, with everything that was happening, but Jax operated on his life-is-short mentality, so I wasn’t too surprised by it. And in spite of all the craziness and my hang-ups, I was feeling good about the date—about this morning and about us.

Since he was busy, I tried calling Teresa and I was thrilled when she answered on the third ring. “Yo,” she chirped into the phone. “I was just thinking about you.”

I sat on the edge of Jax’s couch. “You were?”

“Yep. I was wondering if you were still bartending, and if so, were you going to become our official drink mixer when you get back to Shepherdstown.”

I laughed. “I don’t know if you want that. Most of the people up here order straight from the tap, the bottle, or shots, which is a good thing because I’m not that good at mixing drinks.”

“I still can’t believe you’re bartending.”

Line : 86

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