A look appeared on his striking face, a tautness that tugged at my heart. “Calla . . .” The way he said my name was different now.
And I let myself admit that I didn’t just like him as I caught the thin straps and slid them down my arms. I told myself as the dress gathered around my h*ps and then with a little shimmy, fell to the floor, that I had fallen for him.
Then I was standing in front of him, in the kitchen, the bright light, in nothing more than my heels, and dear God, I was scared. Fucking terrified out of my mind, and my skin felt numb when I realized that it wasn’t because I was practically na**d for the first time in my life in front of anyone, but because I was in love with him.
I was in love with Jax.
I was trembling as I stood in front of Jax. Even my fingers were twitching at my sides. I loved him. I was in love with him. I had no idea when it happened, but it did, and it was an amazing and terrifying feeling, but damn, it was also so hopeful, because even though I liked guys in the past, even lusted after a few, I had never been in love with one and I hadn’t really thought I’d get to know a guy enough to fall in love with him.
But I had.
Jax’s eyes were fastened to my face, and it seemed like he read something in my expression because he made a sound in the back of his throat that sent a tremor through my core.
And then he was on me.
His hands clasped my cheeks and he tilted my head back as his mouth landed on mine. The kiss was deep and moving. I could taste him and another salty flavor that I knew belonged to me and that spun my senses. His tongue moved with mine and then flicked over the roof of my mouth before delving deep. Everything I needed to feel was in that kiss.
“Are you sure about this?” he asked.
I took a breath, but it didn’t expand my lungs. “I’m standing here naked. I’m sure.”
Jax chuckled and the sound danced over my skin. “I’d hope so, but honey, you haven’t done this before, and I want to make sure you’re a hundred percent with me.”
Pressure clamped down on my chest as I nodded. “I’m sure, Jax.”
He made that sound again before he kissed me. “I’m so f**king glad to hear that, you have no idea.” Then he took my hand and placed it against his chest, above his heart. “You can trust me.”
I did trust him.
Holding on to my hand, he drew me out of the kitchen, out of the bright lights, and through the darker living room, then to the stairs. My heart was racing as we went up the stairs and came to a stop in his bedroom, in front of his bed.
He let go of my hand, and I watched him walk to the nightstand. He opened a drawer and fisted what appeared to be a handful of foil wrappers. My brows shot up. Um, how many of them did he need? He grinned when he caught my look and tossed a few onto the bed. Then he faced me.
Eyes locked with mine, he reached down and pulled off his shirt before moving on to the belt he wore. Unhooking that, he flicked the button and then the zipper went down. He shucked off his jeans and the black boxer briefs quickly followed.
And he was as na**d as I was.
He was gorgeous. Every inch of him. From the top of his messy bronze hair, across the broad cheekbones and full lips, down the neck, over his chiseled pecs and the tightly roiled stomach. Farther down, he was even more magnificent. The muscles on either side of his h*ps drew my attention for a moment and then my gaze moved over the fine dusting of hair to where he was the hardest.
I sucked my lower lip in and felt a pleasant hum in my veins. Jax was so not lacking in that department.
One side of his lips curved up. “Come here.”
With my heart pounding in every pulse point, I walked over to where he stood at the side of the bed. He placed his hands on my shoulders and guided me down so I was sitting on the bed. Then he knelt, running his fingers down the outside of my legs, from my thighs to my ankles. Once he reached the strap on my sandals, he nimbly undid them.
“Next time, I want you wearing these shoes,” he said, looking up at me through thick lashes. “You got that?”
Oh my. I nodded.
“That’s my girl,” he murmured, moving on to the other sandal. Once he had that shoe off, his hands made the trip back up my legs as he rose. He didn’t stop. Skating over my stomach, the outer curves of my br**sts, he eventually reached my cheeks and he stopped there.
His lips were on mine again, moving slowly, tasting and teasing until his tongue ran the seam of my mouth. I opened to him and there was that rush again, the heady warmth. As he kissed me, his hands slipped down to my arms and then under them. He lifted me up, pushing me farther onto the bed as he climbed on, his legs on either side of me.
My breath was stuttered as he guided me onto my back and I was suddenly staring up at him. Nerves exploded in the pit of my stomach. What if I sucked? What if I didn’t like it? Not every woman had a great time during sex. I knew that. What if I—
“We can stop at any time you want. Okay?” he said, voice rumbling in a way that made my toes curl. “If it hurts, you let me know. If you’re not liking what’s happening, you tell me. Okay?”
“Okay,” I breathed, forcing myself to relax.
He smiled tightly and then his lips descended on mine. This kiss was different, deeper, more shattering. His mouth worked mine until I was panting for breath, until my hands settled on his shoulders. The nerves eased away as his lips moved away from mine, traveling down my neck and over the straight line of my collarbone with a series of hot little kisses and flicks of his tongue.
God, he knew how to use that mouth of his.
I closed my eyes as his lips moved to my br**sts, over the sliced scars, to close over a nipple. My back arched off the bed when he sucked deep and the keening, sudden sound that erupted from me would scorch my ears later. He worried the aching peak as his fingers settled over my other breast. Each pull of his mouth, each tug of his fingers sent a bolt of pleasure throughout my body and straight to my core, where the ball of tension began to build all over again.
He moved his mouth to my other breast and repeated those sensual actions, getting my pulse pounding in several very interesting places. My h*ps tilted against his restlessly, nudging the hard length of him, and I gasped as a little burst of sensation rocketed through me.
His mouth continued licking, laving, tugging, and teasing as he shifted his body, working a hand between my thighs. I could feel him there, palming me, and my h*ps reacted out of instinct, pressing against him.
He lifted his head from my breast as he slid a finger inside me. I arched again, sucking in a deep breath as he added another. “That good?” he asked.
“Yeah,” I breathed, and then nodded in case he didn’t get the point.
His smile turned devilish as he dipped his head, sucking on the tip in tandem with the thrust of his fingers. The dual sensations was like opening lightning in a bottle. A fire started in my blood and my fingers dug into his shoulders. A flutter started deep inside me, pulsing around his fingers. His hand twisted, pressing his palm against the bundle of nerves, and I rocked my h*ps against his hand shamelessly. The release built quickly and when it broke, I kicked my head back, my cry hoarse as release powered through me for the second time that night.
Jax moved away quickly, reaching for a wrapper on the bed. Tiny little shocks of pleasure were still darting to the ends of my nerves as he rose above me, lining up his h*ps with me. I felt him there, against my damp flesh, and my eyes shot open.
I was barely breathing as I stared into his eyes.
“You sure?” he asked again, his arms shaking from where he had them braced on either side of my head. “Tell me you are, honey.”
He closed his eyes briefly before staring down at me. “Thank f**king God. I want you so bad I’m coming out of my f**king skin.”
I would’ve laughed except he shifted his weight onto one arm as he reached between us, guiding himself into me. The first point of pressure stole my breath, and I jerked. He couldn’t even have made it in an inch, but I felt myself spreading. There was a burning sensation I wasn’t sure I liked or not. I bit down on my bottom lip.
His gaze held on to mine as he moved his hand to my cheek. “Still with me?”
I nodded, because I wasn’t sure I could speak. His thumb swept over my bottom lip, drawing it from between my teeth. He moved his hips, a small roll that pushed him in deeper. My thighs clamped on him as the burn spread and increased, tinged in something that wasn’t quite painful, but more of a pressure.
His arm beside my head trembled with the control he was exerting. “You’re so tight. Damn, Calla, you’re killing me.”
An apology was on the tip of my tongue, but then his pelvis moved again, and the words came out as a gasp.
He stilled, his hand curving around my jaw. “I need to hear you’re ready, honey. I need to hear you say it.”
My mouth was dry, but I forced the words out. “I’m ready.”
Jax held my gaze for a moment and then he kissed me. My lips were sealed tight at that point, but he worked at them until I opened for him, and as the kiss deepened, he thrust forward, all the way in. The kiss swallowed the cry as a burst of pain radiated out from between my legs, followed by an intense burn. He was in me, not moving, and I knew the very second I was no longer a virgin. Yep. Sure did.
“You okay?” His voice was guttural.
I swallowed. “Yeah.”
And that much was true. The pain had faded. The burn was still there. It didn’t really feel bad. It just was kind of there.
“Well, I’m about to turn it from something okay to something great,” he said against my lips, and I wasn’t so sure about that.
But as he kissed me again, he started moving, slowly pulling out until he was halfway in and then pushing back in. The fullness of him stretching me was an odd feeling. Again, not painful, but something else, something that every time he pulled out and rocked in, I felt in my entire body.
Jax kept it slow and steady until the burning pressure really wasn’t something at all painful, something else entirely different. That burn turned into a low simmer of pleasure that ratcheted up with every pull and push.
Feeling more comfortable with this, I slid my hands down his sides to rest on his h*ps as I moved my h*ps with his next thrust.
“Damn,” he groaned, and I found out pretty quickly that moving in tandem with him was a good thing, a really, really good thing, so I did again and then again, and his next word exhale was harsh against my mouth. “Fuck.”
I moved my hips, rolling them at the pace he let me set and that ball of sensation was back, building and building. I moved my legs, wrapping them around his hips, and somehow he got deeper. His kisses turned wild, his tongue thrusting in tune with his hips, and my nails scoured the flesh along his hips.
“More,” I heard myself whisper, having no idea where that word came from, but he answered.
He gave more.
His movement picked up and his head dipped into the space between my neck and shoulder. The pressure in my core became everything. Any remnants of pain were long, long gone. Our movements became frantic and whatever rhythm was there was completely lost. He grunted into my ear as my back arched, my hands pulling him down.
“God, Calla, I love the way you feel,” he whispered into my ear. “I can feel you tightening. Fucking beautiful.”
My breath caught. I was on the edge of something bigger, something beautiful and powerful happening in my body, and he seemed to know because his thrusts turned to his h*ps grinding against mine. The friction was intense, consuming. I whispered his name as my grip on him tightened. Tension coiled tightly and then it exploded outward, the pleasure forceful and nothing like the times before. It was deeper, more concentrated.
His h*ps slammed into mine, all pretenses of control gone as he buried his head in my shoulder. He pushed, going deep, and then he stilled for a moment before his h*ps jerked. My name was a hoarse shot against my skin as he found his own release. I clung to him, moved more than I thought I’d ever be from sex, squeezing my eyes shut as he breathed deeply.
It felt like an eternity before he moved, lifting his head enough to press a kiss against the side of my throat, just below my sluggish pulse. “You okay?”
“Yeah,” I whispered. “That was . . .” There were no words for how that felt. None whatsoever.
He rose onto his forearms and dipped his mouth to mine. Still inside me, he kissed me slowly. “That was . . . f**king perfect.”
I opened my eyes. “It was. I didn’t . . .”
“What?” he asked when I didn’t finish.
“I didn’t know it could be like that,” I admitted, feeling a bit foolish. “I just didn’t think it could be like it.”
A smug sort of smile appeared on his lips and then he kissed me again before easing out. There was a twinge of discomfort and a weirdness at the feeling of losing the fullness.
My body was boneless as he rolled off the bed and headed into the bathroom. When he returned, he’d gotten rid of the condom and was carrying a damp cloth. As he settled on the bed beside me and gently swiped at the proof of what just went down, I was shocked by the intimacy of the moment. Somehow it seemed more than what we’d just done. My throat was tight as he left to pitch the cloth in the bathroom.
I said nothing as he climbed back into bed with me and tugged the covers up over us. He positioned me so I was facing him and his arm was lying over my waist, our knees curved and pressing against each other. He played with the strands of my hair, twining them around his fingers. The silence stretched out for so long that I began to worry that he hadn’t liked it as much as I had, that he wasn’t as moved as I was.