His eyes—they were like liquid silver as they pierced her. “I’m not a guy you take seriously, Ivy?” They were in the back room now, and he was still walking toward her. She had nowhere to go but back, which she did, until her butt hit the table behind her. And then he was there, right there, his chest brushing hers, his head dipped to meet her eyes. “What about that dinner? And that kiss in my truck. Did that feel serious to you?”
She swallowed and placed her hands on his chest to push him away. Except she didn’t push. She didn’t at all. She let her hands rest there as the muscles beneath her hands quivered.
He cared. He gave a shit that she thought he was a joke. Her. This mattered to him. And she didn’t know what to do with it. She didn’t know how to reconcile everything she’d promised herself and her family in the last year with this man in front of her, whose features were softening by the minute.
The anger faded from his eyes, but what quickly replaced it was just as dangerous. He wore the same expression he’d had that night in the truck. The look that made her think he would devour her whole if she gave him the go sign.
He licked his lips, and she braced.
His placed his hands on her hips and tugged her against his long, lean body. She sucked in a breath and told herself to look away, that she was too close to the fire, but she was hypnotized.
He leaned down and brushed his lips against hers, once, twice, teasing nips, until she whimpered, and then his tongue delved inside, tasting her, claiming her. And it was so much—too much—but Ivy was caught in Brent’s web now.
“Did that kiss feel serious to you?” he whispered against her lips as his thumbs made tantalizing circles on her hips. In one swift move, he lifted her onto the table and stood between her spread legs. Then his large hands gripped her thighs. “Does this feel serious to you?” he said with a slow grind of his hips. She gasped as she felt him stiff in his jeans. She wanted to combust as the telltale heat of her own arousal bloomed. “Brent—”
“Do you think I’m a joke? Tell me now, Ivy, and I’ll leave you alone. I’ll walk away.”
She could make this go away, this torture of Brent’s body pressed against hers, this ache in her gut, the goose bumps on her skin. But her gaze was still locked with his, and her mouth wouldn’t work, wouldn’t form the words. “I-I don’t know—”
She didn’t finish her sentence because his mouth was on hers again, cutting off her air and her thoughts. She didn’t know anything right now but Brent’s touch, his overwhelming desire for her. She’d never been wanted this much, this desperately.
She’d never wanted someone back like that. Until now.
He talked as his lips coasted across her jaw and down her neck. “I told you the ball was in your court, but I’m taking it back. I’m taking it back because I’m not waiting around for someone else to cut in line to get your attention. I want it.” He latched onto a sensitive spot below her ear and sucked. Her fingers curled into his shirt, her nails digging into his skin, and he grunted. “Fuck it if it’s selfish.”
Oh, God, no.This was all backfiring in her face. Except her body was pleased as hell, every nerve ending on fire, every cell crying out for more of Brent’s touch. She wanted skin; she needed skin. She slid her hands down his back to the waistband of his jeans and slipped her hands under his shirt and . . . aaaah, there it was. Pure, soft, Brent Payton skin. It was hot to the touch, the muscles shifting beneath her fingers as his hips thrust gently against her.
She was thrusting back, wanting, needing, everything inside of her aching because it’d been way too long since she’d had pleasure from a man.
Brent’s lips were on her chest, leaving a wake of nips and kisses. His hands were under her skirt, his thumb rubbing the crease of her thigh. He lifted his head, his dark hair in disarray, his eyes glinting. “Let me touch you. Please let me touch you.”