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Page 41


Palms on my cheeks, thumbs beneath my eyes, wiping gently. Lips on my cheekbone, my jaw. “It’s me, Valentine. It’s Kyrie. Open your eyes and see me. Look at me.”

I heard her voice. I knew it was Kyrie. But the panic didn’t allow me to respond.

I fought it.

I am Valentine Roth, and I am in control.

Shaking all over, trembling, gasping raggedly, I forced my eyes open. Saw through the waver of unsteady vision the perfect beauty of Kyrie St. Claire. Not Gina. The weight of her body on top of me was familiar, beautiful. Her hair was blonde and thick and still damp, hanging to one side. Her eyes were blue, deep cerulean, loving and concerned. This was Kyrie. My Kyrie. I made myself stare at her, drank in the beauty of her, soaked up the reality of her here with me. Let her presence sink in, let the truth of now replace the fear of what had been.

I forced my fists to unclench from the sheets, and Kyrie took one of my hands in hers, threaded the fingers of her right hand through my left, the back of my hand against the pillow by my head, her weight resting on our joined hand. And then her left hand merged with my right, and she was leaning over me, hair a curtain blocking out the world.

“You see me, baby?” Her voice was so small, tiny but insistent.

“I see you.”

“You know me? It’s me.”

It was still hard to breathe. I couldn’t look away. Didn’t dare. The endless blue ocean of her gaze held me, and I willingly let myself drown into her.

“Don’t look away from me.” She drew her knees up, shins to the mattress, calves under her ass.

“Never.” I felt my rabbiting pulse turn to hammering thuds as she lifted her hips.

She writhed on me, sliding her core over my hardening cock. She held my gaze, moving her body in a sinuous rhythm, bringing me to raging erection with the slow, wet slide of her pussy. I couldn’t breathe and didn’t need to, because she was kissing me and giving me her breath.

“Ready, my love?” She stilled, hovering over me, the tip of my cock nestled between the lips of her pussy.

“Yes…yes.”

“Look at me, baby.” Her brows drew down, and her mouth hung open.

“I am.” I stared up at her, my hands tangled in hers, her breasts swaying so her nipples brushed my chest.

“I love you,” she said.

It was a frozen moment in time, the momentary pause before we joined, before our bodies merged, her eyes on mine, the sound of her voice echoing in my ears. And then, before I could respond, before I could summon the three syllables roiling within me, she impaled herself on me.

Kyrie ducked her head and bowed her spine out, letting out a breathy moan and grinding her hips against mine, burying me deep, deep, deep inside her heavenly slick warmth.

I let her move. I let her glide and stroke and moan and grind and slide. I held her hands and stared up into her blueblueblue eyes, and I didn’t dare even breathe. She shook, and fought for breath. She shuddered, hovering over me, my cock drawn almost out, her eyes boring and drilling into me, demanding that I see her, see her, feel her, feel the cracks between us filling, feel the broken linkage binding us together repairing.

I saw.

I felt.

But I couldn’t move. Not like this. Not with her above me. It was a war within me. The wounded portion of my psyche refused to be buried, refused to be ignored, and this, weighted down by the woman I loved, this was not okay. I wasn’t over it, I wasn’t healed, and pretending wasn’t going to work.

I was a man in control. Of myself, of my surroundings, of those whom I employed. Of my life, my emotions, my reactions. I didn’t allow anything into my life that would threaten my control. I refused. For ten years, I refused. And then I brought Kyrie to my home, brought her into my tower and let her into my life. That was the beginning of the end of my control. She had a way of worming under my control, wiggling into every crevice of my life, of my soul, of my mind, and taking over. My control, where Kyrie was concerned, was nonexistent.

Being held hostage by Gina, having every scrap of control taken away from me, that had left a deeper scar than I cared to examine. Not just mentally or emotionally or sexually, but in every aspect of my life. Of my sense of self.

I had to reclaim it, but I didn’t know how.

Kyrie was a woman who should never be sad. Never feel pain. Never ache, or be lonely, or afraid. She was too beautiful, too perfect, too lively and strong and wonderful for such negativity. Life engendered pain. Living, if you did it properly, left you vulnerable to pain. I’d spent ten years not living. Alive but moving through life empty of vitality, full of purpose but devoid of that spark which makes life worth living. Kyrie had given me that, and I now saw her own spark guttering, darkening, wetted and tamped down.

I couldn’t let that stand.

I owed her more than that.

I could foster the spark within her. Fan it into flames, and warm myself on its heat.

Sometimes, I think, when you don’t know how to take another step for yourself, you have to focus on someone else, and take the step for them. Live for them. Be strong for them, even when you have so much within yourself in need of healing.

Kyrie collapsed forward, buried her face in my neck, her hands trapped between our chests, her palm to my heartbeat, and she sobbed, her entire body convulsing as she climaxed. “Valentine…please….” She lost her voice then, choking and gasping. Her hips drove downward, and then she drew forward, hesitated, fluttered her hips ever so gently, and then pounded down, crying out into my neck. “God, oh god, oh god, Valentine—fuck, I need you. I need you. Baby, please, please, I need you.”

I slid my palms down her spine, closed my eyes, and drew a breath filled with the scent of her skin and the damp, clean odor of shampoo from her hair. I drew in the scent of Kyrie, filled my hands with the curves of her ass. I breathed her in, caressed her flesh, felt her shuddering above me, heard the plea, and felt the paralysis break.

I lunged upward to a sitting position, Kyrie still impaled on me, and I wrapped my arms around her neck, nipping at the tender hollow at the base of her throat, at the fragile sweep of her neck. Kyrie whimpered, clung to me, snaked her arms around my neck and crushed me closer as I pivoted us together and slid to the edge of the bed. She gasped in surprise when I stood, cupping my hands under her ass, supporting her perfect weight with my hands and with the tension of our joined bodies. Standing, her legs wrapped around my waist, her arms around me, her face buried in my throat, kissing, sucking, biting.

I felt the clench of her pussy around me and reveled in the pulsing squeeze of climaxing muscles. I had to move. Had to fill, and retreat. Had to hold her as if to merge every inch of our bodies, every atom and molecule of our beings.


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