‘Escapism.’ I whisper. He escaped the guilt that his parents landed on him by drinking excessively and dabbling with too many women. ‘What did Carmichael think to all of this?’
He smiles. ‘He thought it was a phase, that it would pass. Then he went and died on me, too.’
‘And your parents tried to make you sell The Manor.’ I already know all of this.
‘Yes, they soon flew home from Spain at the news of my uncle’s death. They found me, a younger version of the family black sheep, lording it up, drinking and gorging on women. I’d experienced freedom, without them trying to mould me into suitable son material. I’d grown cocky and confident, and now I was also extremely wealthy.’ His lips press into a straight line. He is full to the brim with resentment. It really isn’t fixable. ‘I told them where to shove their ultimatum. The Manor was Carmichael’s life, and then it became mine. End of.’
What do I say to that? I thought so much was clear, but today’s tub-talk has put all other enlightenment to shame. Two of the most important people in his life where taken prematurely from him, both involving cars, so why the hell does he drive like a complete nut-job? I don’t know, but all of this adds to the explanation of his over-protectiveness.
‘Our children will be whoever they want to be,’ I bite his chin. ‘As long as they don’t want to be playboys.’
My bum cheeks are clenched in his palms and squeezed tightly. ‘Sarcasm doesn’t suit you, lady.’
‘I think it does.’ I retort quietly.
‘You’re right, it does.’ He slides me up and kisses my nipple. ‘My mark is fading.’
‘Freshen it up, then.’ I push my chest into him, like the little temptress he knows me to be, and he wraps his lips around my puckered bud and laps gently. I moan, long, low and deeply satisfied, my nose rubbing through his wet locks and taking a hit of his delicious scent.
‘Nice?’ he asks, clamping down with his teeth.
‘Hmmm.’ I feel peaceful, enlightened.
His lips drift across to the site of my fading mark, and he begins to suck gently, drawing the blood to the surface. ‘Ava, I’m not sure how I feel about our babies taking to your breasts.’ He releases me, and I slide back down, brushing across something very hard. His eyes expand, and he inhales sharply. ‘Oh no, we can’t.’ He shifts me and sits up. ‘I won’t, Ava. And don’t you dare kick into temptress mode, either.’
I scowl at him. ‘Cornwall.’ I threaten, and he recoils in horror, but soon matches my scowl, his probably fiercer.
‘You’re not going anywhere!’ he asserts on a growl as he stands, his beautiful, smooth iron rod of flesh just at the right level for my kneeling form. I seize it quickly before he can step out of the tub, wrapping my palm around him and clamping down. ‘Fuck, you little fucking tormenter.’
‘Are you going to walk away from me?’ I pull a long, slow draw. I’m so bad.
He shakes his head. ‘Ava, there’s not a fucking chance on this planet that I’m taking you.’
‘Sit down,’ I nod to the side of the tub and flick my tongue across the wet head of his huge cock.
He hisses and looks up to the ceiling. ‘Ava, if you leave me hanging to throw up, I’ll lose my fucking mind.’ He thrusts forward gently.
‘I won’t,’ I don’t know that for sure, but there are other ways to do this. ‘Sit.’ I push him down onto the side of the tub and kneel between his thighs, but I don’t get a chance to be creative with how I do this.
He grabs my arms. ‘If I’m sitting on this side, then you’re sitting on the other.’ He hits me with a hungry kiss and pulls away panting, his eyes completely smoked out. Anticipation is making my tummy clench. ‘With your legs wide open.’
I gasp a little, and immediately curse myself for it. He’s luring me in to that place where he takes all control. He’s goading me with those eyes which are full of promise and pleasure, daring me to refuse. Slipping his hands under my arms, he lifts me to my feet before gently pushing me back. I find my place and rest my bum on the edge of the giant tub. It’s hard under my wet flesh, not that I’m particularly concerned. I can’t seem to focus on anything, other than this man sitting opposite me, all smouldering and hard. Then he runs his tongue across his bottom lip, and I find myself mimicking him.
‘Lick your fingers, Ava.’ he orders. There is no softly softly approach, which I was dreading. He’s in dominant Jesse mode. I’m in my element. I know there will be no hard fuck to wrap this up, but it’s that look, that stance, that commanding tone.
I take my fingers to my mouth and slide them between my lips, slowly and precisely, never removing my eyes from his. I couldn’t if I tried. The usual addictiveness is hard enough to pull away from, but when they are all hooded, his lashes fanned and hunger oozing from them… impossible.
‘Slide your hand down your front.’ he says roughly. ‘Slowly.’
I comply and lazily drag my palm down my body, brushing my nipples and skimming my stomach. ‘Slow enough for you?’
‘Did I say talk?’ he asks, not taking his eyes from mine.
I pout but continue my journey downwards, arriving at the juncture of my thighs.
‘Stop.’ He rips his eyes from mine and they wander down, taking their time, drinking in his asset before they reach my hand. ‘One finger, baby. Slowly slide one finger in.’
Doing as I’m instructed, I insert one finger on a deep inhale of breath.
‘Remember, that’s mine,’ he flicks his eyes to mine. ‘So be gentle with it.’
Those words, the way he says them, and the fact that he absolutely means them, pushes me to close my eyes and mentally gather my wits.
Using breathing exercises to try and calm myself down, I follow through on his order.
‘Good girl.’ He reaches down and takes a loose hold of himself. My heart rate multiplies. ‘Taste.’
I don’t feel shy. I never have, no matter what he does or asks me to do. My brain always registers some slight nervousness, maybe even a little apprehension, too, but one look into those eyes and it’s trampled all over. My hand glides back up my body, and then I slowly, seductively, teasingly slide my finger into my mouth and shamelessly moan as I do.
‘Good?’ He’s drawing easy strokes of his arousal as he watches me. It’s sending me wild with want, but I know that I’m not moving from this side of the tub. I know who has the power.
I give him heavy, lustful eyes as I lick and suck around my finger, working myself up into a desperate wreck of trembling nerves.
‘I’ll take that as a yes.’ He jerks a little and pauses with his lazy rhythm, seeming to gather his own wits. ‘Fucking hell, Ava.’
Knowing his self-control is slipping, I take advantage and drift back down to my entrance, scissoring my fingers and beginning a measured, meticulous caressing of myself. My back arches, my legs spread further and my head rolls on a groan. I’m rippling all over and releasing uncontrolled bursts of breath as my pleasure builds with my own rhythmic touch.
‘Damn it, Ava. Look at me.’ he hisses. My eyes and head drop at his command. He’s tipping the edge, too. His body has solidified and his fist is working firmer and faster. This only encourages me, my own fingers speeding up, my own body tensing. ‘You’re close, baby.’
‘Yes!’ I’m losing it.
‘Oh Jesus, not yet. Control it.’
‘I can’t!’ I shout, the thought of him stopping this making me panic slightly. I’m brimming. It’s coming. ‘Oh God!’
‘Ava, fuck, control it!’ Now his fist is moving urgently, his head is rolling, but he’s keeping those greens right on me.
I attempt everything. I tense all over, my legs splashing the water as I jerk and fight the convulsions riding through me. ‘Jesse,’ I cry desperately. The buzzing at my core is getting out of control.
‘Ava, you look fucking amazing.’ His unrestrained movements get the better of him and he moans, falling to his knees in the water and letting out a supressed bark.
I move my hand immediately when his head falls between my thighs and his mouth takes over, while he continues to work himself in front of me. The warmth of his lips all over my sex pushes me that little bit further into ecstasy. I’m yanking at his hair, pushing him further into me. I’m going to burst at the seams with pleasure.
And then I do.
My thighs clamp to the sides of his head as I let go on an elongated shudder of comforting bliss and a heavy rush of air. My lungs burst. I go lax. He rolls and laps gently, softly flicking his tongue, and then works his way up my body until he finds my mouth. He pulls me down to my knees and takes my hand, replacing his with mine around his steel shaft. He hasn’t come. ‘My turn.’ he whispers. ‘Hold it against you.’
The wet tip of him meets my clit, pushing against me, taking the edge off the persistent buzz. I take over, holding him lightly and massaging him to climax. His hands are free now, and they are encasing my neck, holding my head firm as he works my mouth with the same care as I’m working him with my hand. This isn’t urgent and frenzied. This is controlled and relaxed. He can control it so much better than I can.
‘Just keep it like that.’ he mumbles into my mouth. ‘I could stay like this forever.’
‘I love you.’ I don’t know why I feel the need to say this now, but I do anyway.
His tongue sweeps gently through my mouth, he pulls back, he plays with my lips, and then he’s back in my mouth, flirting with my tongue. And the whole time, I just soak up his attention and keep up my seduction of his velvet hardness against me. It’s working me down perfectly and working him up just as well. ‘I know.’ he murmurs, and with a small whimper and hardening of his kiss, he comes, the hot essence of him pouring all over me as he throbs in my hold and moans around our kiss.
‘My work here is done,’ I sigh, releasing him and slipping my fingers into his wet hair, not resisting a little tug.
‘You’re a savage, lady.’ He sits on his heels, pulling me onto his lap. ‘The water’s getting cold.’
I hadn’t noticed, but now he’s mentioned it, I’m starting to shiver. ‘A little.’ I shrug and seek warmth by pushing myself into him.
‘Let me clean you down.’ He tries to pry me away from him, but I mutter a complaint and dig my nails into his back. ‘I’ll be quick. I don’t want you catching a cold.’ More effort is put in to the removal of my body from his and before I know it, I’m being sponged down. ‘My lady’s tired.’ He kisses my nose. ‘Snuggle?’
I nod, and he lifts me from the bath. We dry each other off in silence and find our way to the bed, falling in together and immediately finding our snuggle places—him on his back, me spread all over his chest, my face in his neck and his hands running all over me.
‘I’ll never love one more than the other.’ he proclaims quietly.
I don’t answer him. Instead, I kiss his neck and snuggle deeper.
I could lie here forever, just watching him sleep, the peaceful streams of minty air intermittently reaching my face, reinforcing the deep sense of belonging inside of me. The tender placing of his palm on my tummy is strengthening my love for this man. And the close perfection of his body is swelling my desire for his touch. There are a million things about this man that make me despair, but there are endless things that make me adore him. Some of those despairing things I even adore.
Unable to resist, I reach forward and run my thumb down his stubbled cheek and onto his parted lips, smiling as he twitches a little, and then sighs and settles again, his hand on my belly unconsciously starting to circle. The flawlessness of his beautiful face will amaze me until the day I die—his lightly tanned skin, his almost girly long lashes, the faint crease across his brow. It would take me a lifetime to run through all his stunning features. My devastating man, in all of his challenging ways.