Of all the highhandedness, of all the arrogance, of all the bosses in the world— she had to be in debt to Marcos. Undoubtedly the most complicated.
While the jet motors hummed in the background, Virginia slipped into the slinky patterned dress inside the windowless little room at the back of the plane. Damn him. She had agreed to his request, but how was she supposed to reply to his autocratic commands? Worse, the clothes were divine. She couldn’t in her right mind stay annoyed at a man with such exquisite taste. Her knight in shining armor.
Enthralled by how slight and satiny the dress felt against her body, she ran three fingers down the length of her hips, wishing there was a mirror to let her visually appreciate the dress’s exquisite, plunging back. And how is this necessary to his plan? she wondered.
Gathering her courage with a steady intake of breath, she forced herself to step outside.
Throughout the tasteful wood and leather interior, the air crackled with the
suppressed energy of his presence. His head was bent. His powerful, well-built body overwhelmed a cream-colored, plush leather seat, and his hair—abused by his hands during the flight—gleamed in the sunlight as he read through a massive leather tome. He was clad all in black, and the short-sleeved polo shirt he wore revealed tanned, strong forearms corded with veins. Watching him, big and proud and silent, completely engrossed and unaware of her gaze, she felt like sighing.
With a quick mental shake, she walked down the wide plane aisle, noting the screen embedded in the wood-paneled wall behind Marcos’s seat. The electronic map showed the plane just three red dashes away from the little dot of Monterrey. At least one more hour.
As she eased in between their seats, intent on taking her place across from him, one huge hand shot out and manacled her wrist. She was spun around, and she gasped. Then there was nothing to pry those glimmering eyes away from her, no shield from the scorching possessiveness flickering in their depths.
“No,” he rasped, his voice hoarsened by how little he’d spoken during the flight.
A melting sensation spread down her thighs, his accent too delicious to not enjoy. No, don’t sit yet, she thought he meant, but she couldn’t be sure. No one could ever be too sure of anything with Marcos. Maybe it was no to the dress!
Aware of her chest heaving too close to his face, she tried to pry her wrist free but failed miserably. “I changed. Wasn’t that what you wanted?”
He cocked his head farther back and stared, his grip loosening slightly. “You’re angry at me.”
“I…” She jerked her chin toward the book on his lap, wanting, needing him to remove his hand. “Please. Read.”
For a woman who’d strived to become invisible for years, the last thing she felt now was unseen. The filmy Issa London dress hugged her curves subtly, the wrap-around style tied with a bow at her left hip. The fabric felt so feminine she became utterly conscious of her body—and how he peered at it in interest.
“You approve of the clothes I bought you, amor?” he said huskily.
Amor? A jolt went through her at the endearment. Panicking, she tugged with more force and whispered, halfheartedly, “You can let go of me now.”
His gaze pierced her, his unyielding hand burning her wrist. By the way his touch spread like a wildfire, her boss may as well have been touching her elsewhere. Where her breasts ached, where the back of her knees tingled, where her nerves sparkled and where she felt hot and painfully aware of being empty.
He released her. So abruptly she almost stumbled.
Still reeling, Virginia sank into her seat like a deflated balloon. Her pulse thundered. Her hands shook as she strapped on her seat belt.
His intense regard from across the aisle became a living, breathing thing. “Does a man’s interest offend you?” he asked silkily.
Blushing furiously, she propped her purse on her lap. “Did you know Monterrey has over five million people now?” She shoved the maps she’d printed at the office and lists of Spanish words back in her purse.
He slapped the book shut and let it drop with a resounding thump at his feet. “Would my interest offend you, Virginia?”
She squinted at him, expecting a laugh, a chuckle, a smile at least. He was perfectly sober. Excruciatingly handsome and sober.
Oh, no. No, no, no, he wouldn’t do this. She was prepared to do a job, but she was not prepared to allow herself to become a man’s…plaything.
No matter how much she fantasized about him in private.
With a nervous smile, Virginia shook a chastising finger at him, but it trembled. “Mr. Allende, the closer we’ve gotten to Mexico, the stranger you’ve become.”
For an awful second, her blatant claim—part teasing and part not—hung suspended in the air. Virginia belatedly bit her lip. What had possessed her to say that to her boss? She curled her accusing finger back into her hand, lowering it in shame.
Sitting in a deceptively relaxed pose, he crossed his arms over his broad chest and regarded her with an unreadable expression. Then he spoke in that hushed, persuasive way of his, “Do you plan to call me Mr. Allende when you’re out there pretending to be my lover?”
Self-conscious and silently berating herself, Virginia tucked the skirt of her dress under her thighs, her hands burrowing under her knees. “I didn’t mean to insult you.”
“I’m not insulted.”
She racked her brain for what to say. “I don’t know what came over me.”
He leaned forward with such control that even a glare might have been more welcome by her. “You call me Marcos most of the time. You call me Marcos when you want my favors. Why now, today, do you call me Mr. Allende?”
She looked away, feeling as if her heart were being wrung. He spoke so quietly, almost pleadingly, that he could be saying something else to her—something that did not smack her with misery.
Because I’ve never been alone with you for so long, she thought. She hauled in a ragged breath and remained silent.
The plane tilted slightly, eventually coming in for a landing as smoothly as it had flown. Its speed began to ease. If only her hammering heart would follow.
They taxied down a lane decorated with large open plane hangars, and she fixed her attention on the screen behind him, resolved to smooth out the awkwardness. “Do you believe Allende will be a safe investment for Fintech?” she asked. She knew it was all that remained of his past. His mother had passed away long before his father had.
“It’s poorly managed.” He extracted his BlackBerry from his trouser pocket and powered it on. “Transport vehicles have been seized by the cartels. Travel is less safe these days in this country. For it to become successful, strict security measures will need to be put in place, new routes, new personnel, and this will mean money. So, no. It isn’t a safe investment.”
She smiled in admiration as he swiftly skimmed through his text messages. He oozed strength. Strength of mind, of body, of purpose. “You’ll make it gold again,” she said meaningfully, still not believing that, God, she’d called him strange to his face!
He lifted his head. “I’m tearing it apart, Virginia.”
The plane lurched to a stop. The engines shut down. The aisle lit up with a string of floor lights.
Virginia was paralyzed in her seat, stunned. “You plan to destroy your father’s business,” she said in utter horror, a sudden understanding of his morose mood barreling into her.
His hard, aquiline face unreadable, he thrust his phone into his pocket and silently contemplated her. “It’s not his anymore.” His face was impassive, but his eyes probed into her. “It was meant to be mine when he passed away. I built it with him.”
This morning, between phone calls, coffee, copies and errands, she’d gotten acquainted with Monterrey from afar. Learned it was a valley surrounded by mountains. Industrial, cosmopolitan, home of the wealthy and, at the very outskirts of the city, home of the poor. Indisputably the most prominent part of northern Mexico. Conveniently situated for Allende Transport, of course, as a means to import, export and travel—but also conveniently situated for those who imported and exported illegal substances. Like the cartels.
Allende wasn’t a bouquet of roses, she supposed, but she’d never expected Marcos willingly to attempt to destroy it.
“You look as if I’d confessed to something worse,” he noted, not too pleased himself.
“No. It’s only that—” She checked herself before continuing this time. “That’s not like you. To give up on something. You’ve never given up on Santos no matter what he does.”
His intense expression lightened considerably. “My brother is a person— Allende is not.”
Mightily aware of how out of character this decision was, Virginia ached to remind him he’d dedicated his life to helping companies in crisis, had taken under his wing businesses and even people no one else had faith in but Marcos, but instead she rose to her feet. Unfolding like a long, sleek feline just awakened to the hunt, Marcos followed her up. And up.
“Virginia, this isn’t Chicago.” He loomed over her by at least a head. His face was impassive, but his eyes probed into her. “If you want to sightsee, you’ll be accompanied by me. Too dangerous to be alone here.”
The word caused gooseflesh on her skin.
Remembering her research on the city, she peered out a window as two uniformed aduanales and twice as many armed militares marched up to the plane. She’d heard military men customarily accompanied the Mexican customs agents but she was still floored by the intimidating sight. The copilot unlatched the door up front and descended to meet them.
She couldn’t see much of the city at this late hour, but what she’d read online had mesmerized her. She would have even thought the setting romantic if his careful warning weren’t dawning on her. “Dangerous,” she said. “What must it be like for the people who live here?”
“Difficult.” He rammed his book into a leather briefcase and zipped it shut. “Kidnapping rate has risen alarmingly during the last couple of years. Mothers are lifted outside the supermarkets, kids out of their schools, members of both government and police are bribed to play blind man to what goes on.”
A rope of fear stretched taut around her stomach. “That’s so sad.”
She took one last look out the plane window. Nothing moved but the Mexican flag flapping by the customs building.
“It looks so calm,” she protested.
“Under the surface nothing is calm.” As he stood there, over six feet of virile overpowering man, he looked just a tad tired, and human, and so much sexier than behind his massive desk. He looked touchable. Touchable.
Under the surface nothing is calm. Not even me.
“Mrs. Fuller said you grew up here,” she remarked as she eyed the fruit assortment on a table near the front of the plane.
“From when I was eight to eighteen,” he answered. He stared, mildly puzzled, as she grabbed two green apples and slipped them into her purse.
“In case we get hungry,” she explained sheepishly.
His eyes glittered with humor. “If you get hungry, you tell me and I’ll make certain you’re fed.”
“What made you leave the city?” Leave a place that was beautiful and deadly. A place that gave out the message: Don’t trust. You’re not safe. And the one that had built a man like Marcos Allende, with an impenetrable core.
He braced one arm on the top wood compartment, waiting for the pilots to give them leave to descend. “Nothing here for me. Nothing in Espa?a either.”
She loved the way he pronounced that. Espa?a. The way his arm stretched upward, long and sinewy, rippling under his black shirt before he let it drop. Somber, he gazed into her eyes, and the concern she saw in his gave her flutters. “Are you tired?”
“I’m fine.” You’re here, she thought.
The look that came to his eyes. The way he appraised her.
Virginia could’ve sworn there could be no flaw in her entire body. Nothing in
this world more perfect to those dark, melted-chocolate eyes than she was. His eyes fell to her lips and lingered there for an electric moment.
“Virginia.” He closed the space between them. One step. All the difference between breathing or not. All the difference between being in control of your senses and being thrust into a twister.
He leaned over as he pried her purse from her cramped hands. His fingers brushed the backs of hers and a sizzle shot up her arm.
“Why are you nervous?” The low, husky whisper in her ear made her stomach tumble. She felt seared by his nearness, branded, as though he were purposely making her aware that his limits extended to breaching hers. She felt utterly… claimed. “You’ve fidgeted all day.”
So he had been aware of her?
Like…a predator. Watching from afar. Planning, plotting, savoring the prey. Why was this exciting?
His breath misted across the tender skin behind her ear. “Because of me?” Her muscles gelled. Because I want you.
She took a shaky step back, singed to the marrow of her bones but smiling as though she was not. “I always get a charge after being rescued.”
“Ahh.” He drew out the sound, infusing it with a wealth of meaning. “So do I. After…rescuing.” He swung his arm back so her purse dangled from one hooked finger behind his shoulder.
When the pilot announced they were clear, he signaled with an outstretched arm toward the plane steps. “Ladies first.”
She warily stepped around his broad, muscled figure. “I admit I’m not used to your silences still.”
His gaze never strayed from hers as she went around. “So talk next time,” he said. “To me.”
Right. Next time. Like he inspired one to make intimate revelations. And like he’d have another company to take over with the help of a “lover.”
As both pilots conversed with the customs officials, Virginia stopped a few feet from the gaping doorway. Warmth from outside stole into the air-conditioned cabin, warming her cool skin. But she found she couldn’t descend just yet.
She’d do anything to get her father out of his mess, yet suddenly felt woefully unprepared to play anyone’s lover. Especially Marcos’s lover. No matter how much she ached for the part and planned to get it right.
She pivoted on her heels to find him standing shockingly close. She craned her neck to meet his gaze. “Marcos, I’m going to need you to…tell me. What to do.”
He wore an odd expression on his face, part confusion and part amusement. The smile he slowly delivered made her flesh pebble. “You may step out of the plane, Miss Hollis.”
Laughing, she gave an emphatic shake of her head. “I mean, regarding my role. I will need to know what you suggest that I do. I’m determined, of course, but I’m hoping to get some pointers. From you.”
His lids dropped halfway across his eyes. He lifted a loose fist and brushed his knuckles gently down her cheek. The touch reached into the depths of her soul. “Pretend you want me.”
A tremor rushed down her limbs. Oh, God, he was so sexy. She was torn between latching on to his tempting, unyielding lips and running for her life. “I will, of course I will,” she breathed.
A cloak of stillness came over her—so that all that moved, all she was aware of, was his hand. As he trailed his thumb down to graze her shoulder and in a ghost of a touch swept a strand of hair back, he swallowed audibly. “Look at me like you always do.”
“You know how.” There was so much need in his eyes, a thirst she didn’t know how to appease, which called to a growing, throbbing, aching void inside of her. “Like you care for me, like you need me.”
“I do.” She shook her cluttered head, straightening her thoughts. “I mean, I am. I will.”
She shut her eyes tight, fearing he would see the truth in them. Fearing Marcos would realize she’d been secretly enamored of him all along. Since the very first morning she’d stepped into his office, she had wanted to die—the man was so out of this world. So male. So dark.
And now…what humiliation for him to discover that, if he crooked his finger at her, Virginia would go to him.
He chuckled softly—the sound throaty, arrogant, male. “Good.”
His large hand gripped her waist and urged her around to face the open plane door a few feet away. She went rigid at the shocking contact. Longing flourished. Longing for more, for that hand, but on her skin and not her clothes, sliding up or down, God, doing anything.
Dare she dream? Dare she let herself long just a little, without feeling the remorse she always did? Like she could indulge in a healthy fantasy now and then?
She wiggled free, sure of one thing: dissolving into a puddle of want was not what she should be doing just now.
“But…what do you want me to do, exactly?” she insisted, carefully backing up one step as she faced him. His eyebrows met in a scowl. He didn’t seem to like her retreating. “This is important to you, right?” she continued.
“Se?or Allende, pueden bajar por favor?”
Spurred to action by the voices on the platform, Virginia descended the steps. Marcos quickly took his place beside her.
They followed two uniformed officials toward a rustic, one-story building
rivaled in size by Marcos’s jet. A small control tower, which looked abandoned at this hour, stood discreetly to the building’s right. A gust of hot, dry wind picked up around them, bouncing on the concrete and lifting the tips of her hair.
Virginia grabbed the whirling mass with one hand and pinned it with one fist at her nape. Marcos held the glass doors open for her. “No need to pretend just now, Miss Hollis,” he said. “We can do that later.”
His eyes glimmered dangerously with something. Something frightening. A promise. A request.
Her heart flew like the wind inside her, bouncing between her ribs, almost lifting the tips of her feet from the ground. Warily she passed through the bridge of his arm, one word’s haunting echo resounding in her mind. And for the dread that began to take hold, it might have been a death sentence.
Fifteen minutes later, after a brisk “Bienvenidos a Mexico” from the aduanales, they were settled in the back of a silver Mercedes Benz, their luggage safely tucked in the trunk.
“A Garza Garcia, si?” the uniformed driver asked as he eased behind the wheel.
“Por favor,” Marcos said.
His palm tingled. The one he’d touched her with. The one that had reached out to cup the lovely curve of her waist and caused Virginia to back away. From his touch.
Frowning, he checked his watch—it was ten past midnight. Wanting had never been like this. You wanted a watch, or a house, or money, but wanting this particular woman was no such whim. It was a need, something pent-up for too long, something so valued you were hesitant to have, or break, or tarnish, or hurt.
The car swerved onto the deserted highway and Virginia tipped her face to the window, lightly tugging at the pearls around her neck.
“You had a decent trip, Se?or Allende?” their driver asked.
“Yes,” he said, stretching out his legs as far as he could without bumping his knee into the front seat.
Miles away, the distant core of the city of Monterrey glowed with lights. The sky was clear and veiled with gray, its shadow broken by a steady stream of streetlights rolling by.
“It’s lovely here.” Virginia transferred her purse to the nook at her feet then tapped a finger to the window. “Look at the mountains.”
Her skin appeared luminous upon every brisk caress of the streetlights, and in the shadows her eyes glittered uncommonly bright. They sparkled with excitement.
He felt a tug at his chest. “I’ll show you around tomorrow in daylight,” he said curtly.
Her eyes slid over to his, grateful, alive eyes. “Thank you.”
A heroic feeling feathered up his chest, and he pushed it aside.
During a lengthy quiet spell, the driver flicked on the radio and soft music filled the interior of the car. Virginia remained way over on the other end of the seat.
Not near enough…
He studied her figure, becoming fixated on the rounded breasts swelling under her clingy dress, the curve of her thigh and hip and small waist. Swirly black bits of hair tickled her shoulders. Her long, shapely legs had a satin shine to them, inviting him to wrap them around his body and spill days and weeks and months of wanting inside her.
He whispered, in a low murmur that excluded the driver, “Are you afraid of me?”
She stiffened. Pale, jade-green eyes rose to his for a second before her lashes
dropped. “No. Why would you ask?”
Her shyness brought out the hunter in him, and it took effort on his part to keep under control. Go slowly with her…His heart began to pound. He patted his side. “You could come a little closer.”
Ducking her head to hide a blush, she smoothed her hands along the front of her dress. Then she flicked a tiny knot of fabric from it. “Just haven’t traveled in ages.”
“You cringe at anyone’s touch, or merely mine?”
She blinked. “Cringe? I’d never cringe if you…touched me.” The words touched me hovered between them like a dark, unleashed secret, an invitation to sin, and when Marcos at last responded to that, the thick lust in his voice was unmistakable. “You moved away when I urged you out of the plane. And when I helped you into the car.”
“I was surprised.” Her throat worked as she swallowed. Her eyes held his in the darkness. “I told you to tell me what to do.”
She was whispering, so he whispered back. “And I asked you to come closer just now.” A tense moment passed.
In silence, Marcos once again patted his side, this time more meaningfully.
After a moment’s debate, Virginia seemed to quickly make up her mind. Thrusting out her chin at a haughty angle, she began to edge toward him. “If you’re thinking I’m not good at this, I’ll have you know I can pretend just fine.”
Her scent stormed into his lungs. His nostrils twitched. His heart kicked. His temperature spiked.
Cautiously, as though petting a lion, she turned his hand over and set her cool, small palm on his. She gingerly laced her fingers through his. Lust kicked him in the groin at the unexpected touch. His head fell onto the back of the seat, a groan
welling up in the back of his throat. Crucified by arousal, he dragged in a terse, uneven breath, squeezing his eyes shut.
She inched a little closer, tightening her grip. Her lips came to within a breath of his ear. “Does that satisfy you, Your Highness?”
He didn’t let it show, the emotion that swept through him, but it made his limbs tremble. He said, thickly, “Come closer.”
He wanted to jump her. He wanted all of her, right here, right now.
He inhaled deeply, his chest near bursting with the aroma of her. Clean, womanly, sweet. “Closer,” he said, hearing the growl in his own words.
When she didn’t, he glanced down at their joined hands. Hers was tiny and fair, nearly engulfed by his larger one. He ran the pad of his thumb along the back of hers, up the ridge of her knuckle, down the tiny smooth slope. She felt so good.
And he felt eighteen again. “Soft,” came his trancelike murmur.
Transfixed, she watched the movement of his thumb, her breasts stretching the material covering them as she inhaled. He dipped his head and discreetly rubbed his nose across the shiny, springy curls of her hair. Christ. Edible. All of her. He could smell her shampoo, wanted to plunge all ten fingers into her hair, turn her face up and kiss her lips. Softly, so he could savor her breath, go searching deep into her mouth.
Ducking his head so the driver wouldn’t hear him, he whispered, “You might try to appear to enjoy my touch.”
Their bodies created a heat, a dark intimate cocoon in the confined car interior, enhanced by the warmth of their whispers. “Marcos…”
His hand turned, capturing hers as she attempted to retrieve it. “Virginia.”
Their gazes held. Like they did across his office, over the tops of people’s heads, in the elevators. Those clear, infinite eyes always sought out his. To find him looking right back. Their fingers brushed at the pass of a coffee mug, a file, the phone. At contact their bodies seemed to flare up like matches—tense, coil, heat up the room. Even with a wall separating them, his awareness of her had
escalated to alarming levels. And she’d been more fidgety with him than she had in months.
“We’re pretending, remember?” he said, a husky reminder.
Pretend. The only way Marcos could think of that wouldn’t involve her feelings, or his. The only way they might be able to—hell, what was this? It had been going on so long it felt like surrender—without anyone hurting in the end. Without their lives changing, breaking or veering off in separate ways because of it.
“Yes, I know.”
“Then relax for me.” Lightly securing her fingers between his, he delved his thumb into the center of her palm with a deep, intense stroke, aware of her audible intake of breath as he caressed. “Very good,” he cooed. “I’m convinced you want me.”
“Yes.” Her voice was but a whisper, hinting at how the sinuous, stroking circles of his thumb affected her. “I mean…I’m trying to…appear that I do.”
But she seemed as uncertain and startled as a mouse who didn’t know where to run to, and Marcos was very much taking to the cat’s role. He wanted to play, to corner, to taste.
He glanced up. “Don’t tax yourself too much, hmm.”
Her warm, fragile fingers trembled in his. The excitement of a new country had left her eyes, replaced by a wild, stormy yearning. “I’m trying not to…get bored.”
His thumb went deep at the center then eased back. “Hmm. Yes. I can see you’re fighting a yawn.” His eyes ventured up along the top of her head, taking in its gloss. “You have pretty hair. Can I touch it?”
He did. It felt soft and silky under his fingers, tempting him to dig in deeper, down to her scalp.
She made a sound in her throat, like a moan. A hunger of the worst, most
painful kind clawed inside him. She had a way of staring at him with those big eyes like he was something out of this world. It was a miracle he’d resisted her this long.
“A man,” he gruffly began, massaging the back of her head as he greedily surveyed her features, “would be lucky to make you his.”
Her eyes sealed shut so tightly she seemed to be in pain. She squirmed a little on the seat and, unbelievably, came nearer. “You don’t have to convince me. I’m already pretending.”
Her breasts brushed his rib cage, and the heat of her supple body singed his flesh through their clothes. He intensified the strokes of his fingers. “A man would be lucky to make you his, Virginia,” he repeated.
Her lashes fluttered upward, revealing her eyes. Pale green, ethereal. Distrustful. “What are you doing?”
His gut tightened. What does it look like I’m doing? He wanted to yank her onto his lap, feel his way up her little skirt, and kiss her mouth until her lips turned bright red. Her face blurred with his vision. With his need. He had to force himself to leave her hair alone.
She exhaled a string of broken air, then relaxed somewhat, shifting sideways on the leather seat. Facing him. Her smile faded. “Who are we fooling, Marcos, with this charade?”
“Marissa Galvez, Allende Transport’s owner.” And maybe you. Definitely me.
He retrieved her hand from where it had gone to wring the hem of her dress and secured her wrist in his grip as he raised it. He turned it over and set a soft, lingering kiss at the center of her palm. A tiny, breathless gasp came from her.
“We must practice,” he murmured, gazing into those deep, bottomless eyes. “Oh.” She shivered. Not moving away, and not moving closer, she allowed him
to drag his lips along her open palm. She watched him through her lashes, her
lips shuddering on each uneven breath.
“And why must we fool her?” Her question was a silky wisp.
“Because she wants me,” he huskily answered. She tasted divine. Her skin was smooth and satiny under his lips, and he predicted every inch of her body would feel just like it. Perfect. “It wouldn’t do to insult her.” Against his mouth and lips, he felt the vibrant tremor that danced up her arm. Emboldened by her response, thirsting for more, he opened his mouth and gently grazed his teeth at the heel of her palm. “I happen to want someone else.”
“I’m sure—” she began, swallowing audibly. “I’m sure you can have anyone you want.”
“If I want her bad enough and put myself to task, yes.” His lips closed and opened against her hand. Before he could restrain himself, he gave a lick at her palm. Pleasure pummeled through him. “And I’ve grown to want her…bad,” he strained out, swallowing back a growl.
“Oh, that was…” Her hand wiggled as she tried prying it free. “I don’t think…”
He held her wrist in a gentle grip and raised his head. He watched her expression soften, melt, as he whisked the pad of his thumb across her dampened palm, getting it wet. He lifted the glistening pad of his thumb to her lips, his timbre coated with arousal. “Pretend you like it when I do this.”
A sound welled in the back of her throat as he stroked. She nodded wildly, her lips gleaming at each pass of his thumb. “Yes, yes, I’m pretending,” she breathed.
He’d never seen a more erotic sight, felt a more erotic sensation, than playing with Virginia Hollis’s quivering pink lips in the back of a moving car. “Umm. Me, too. I will pretend…you’re her.”
“And I very much want her.” God, he enjoyed her unease, enjoyed seeing her pupils dilate, her breath shallow out.
His thumb continued glancing, whisking, rubbing, right where his mouth wanted to be. He bent to whisper, to conspire together, just him and her. “Let’s pretend…we’re lovers, Virginia.” His voice broke with the force of his desire, came out rough with wanting. “Pretend every night we touch each other…and kiss…and our bodies rock together. And when we find release—”
“Stop!” She pushed herself back with surprising force, sucking great gulps of air. “God, stop. Enough. Enough pretending tonight.”
He tugged her closer. They were breathing hard and loud. “You should kiss me,” he said gruffly.
“Kiss you.” She absently fingered his cross where it peeked through the top opening of his shirt. He went utterly still—the gesture too sweet, too unexpected, too painful.
Her fingers reached his throat, then traced the links of the thick chain.
Too aware of this now, he dropped her hair and squeezed her elbow meaningfully. “Virginia. Your mouth. On mine.”
They’d had foreplay for a year—with every glance, every flick of her hair, every smile.
She drew back and laughed, a choked, strained sound. “Now?” She couldn’t seem to believe her eyes and ears, seemed stumped for words to deny him.
The car halted at a stoplight. A few cars drove up beside them. Marcos went still, glancing at her quietly until their car continued.
He had never wanted to feel a body as much as he wanted to feel hers.
And her mouth—he’d give anything to taste that mouth, was being for the first
time in his life reckless, selfish, for that very mouth. A mouth that promised all the innocence he’d never had, trust, beauty, affection he’d never had.
Without any further thought, he pulled her close. “One kiss. Right now.”
“But you’re my boss,” she breathed, clutching his shirt collar with a death grip. But her bright, luminous green eyes gazed up at him. And those eyes said yes.
Her lips were plush, parted, eager for his. He brought his thumb back to scrape them. “Just pretend I’m not him.”
“But you are him—”
“I don’t want to be him, I want to be…just Marcos.” Their relationship had been wrapped in rules, limited by their roles. What if Virginia had been just a woman? And he just a man? She would have been his, might still be his. “Only Marcos.”
The passing city lights caused slanted shadows to shift across her face—she looked splendid, wary, wanting.
“A kiss is harmless, Virginia.” His vision blurred with desire as he stretched his arm out on the seat behind her and dipped his head. Their breaths mingled, their mouths opened. “People kiss their pets. They kiss their enemies on the cheeks.
They kiss a letter. They even blow kisses into the air. You can kiss me.” “This is a little unexpected.”
“God, I’d hate to be predictable.” His arm slid from the back of the seat and went around her shoulders, loosely holding her to him. His fingers played with the soft, bouncy curls at her nape. His accent got unbearably thick—like his blood, a terse string of lust flooding his veins. It took concentration to give her a smile meant to disarm. “Stop thinking about it and kiss me.”
Her curls bounced at the shake of her head. “We don’t have to kiss to pretend to be…together. I can pretend convincingly without kissing.”
No kissing? Christ, no. He had a fascination with her mouth, the delicate bow at her upper lip, the ripe flesh of the bottom one. He’d been kissing that mouth
for days, weeks, months, in his mind. “You’re wrong, amor.” He bussed her temple with his lips, aware of his muscles flexing heatedly under his clothes, his skin feverish with pent-up desire as she continued clinging to his shirt. “We must kiss. And we must kiss convincingly.”
“I—You didn’t mention this before.”
He caressed her cheekbone with the back of one finger and noted the frantic pulse fluttering at the base of her throat. Christ, once again she was fixated with his mouth, and he wanted to give it to her. Now. Right now. Slam it over hers, push into her, taste all of her. “Kiss me, Virginia. Kiss me senseless.” He barely held himself in check with his ruthless self-discipline.
She hesitated. Then, in a burdened breath, “Only a kiss.”
His heart rammed into his ribs at the realization that she had agreed. To kiss him. Ay, Dios.
He urged himself to ease back on the seat and stifled the impulse to take matters into his own hands. He was a second away from losing his mind. A second away from tearing off her clothes, the necklace at her throat, his shirt, everything that separated them. Still, he wanted to be sure, sure she wanted this. Him. Them.
He groaned and said, “Kiss me until we can’t breathe.”
“I… The driver could see us.” She sounded as excited as he, and the breathless anticipation in her voice plunged him even deeper into wild, mad desire.
“Look at me, not him.”
“You’re all I’m looking at, Marcos.”
He didn’t know who breathed harder, who was seducing whom here. She laid her hands over his abdomen. He hissed. The muscles under her palms clenched. His erection strained painfully.
Her hands slid up his chest, a barely there touch. Fever. She cradled his jaw with two cool, dry palms…and waited. Hesitant, inexperienced. In a ragged plea,
she croaked, “Close your eyes.”
He did. Not because she asked, but because her fingers lovingly stroked his temple, down his jaw. Her hands drifted lower and curled around his shoulders, rubbing along the muscles so sensually he gritted his teeth. This was murder.
She had to stop. She had to go on.
“Do it. Do it now.” The helpless urgency in his voice startled him as much as the other emotions coursing through him. Arousal ripped through him like a living beast.
Then he felt the warm mist of her breath on his face, sensed the nearness of her parting lips, heard through the roaring in his ears her tremulous whisper. “I’m a bit out of practice—”
He didn’t let her finish. He reached out and slipped a hand beneath the fall of hair at her nape and hauled her to him. “Virginia,” he rasped, and slammed her mouth with his.
He Has Changed Three
The He Has Changed by https://abooklover.com has been updated to Three
In He Has Changed Three,The plot has begun to change, and the relationship between the male and female protagonists is in crisis. What will they do next? Follow He Has Changed Three novel and the updates in the next chapter by https://abooklover.com.
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