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His words sent a trickle of unease through me. He wanted to take care of me? Give me pleasure? Without satisfying himself?

He tugged the panties that shielded me to the side, one finger slipping along my moist heat—and I forgot everything else. I practically came out of my skin. I had never felt anything like it. He stroked me expertly, his finger burying deep and then pulling out, circling that really sensitive pleasure point, inching closer but not touching. I writhed, panted, small incoherent sounds bubbling up from my throat.

“Please,” I begged, hating myself—him—for making me want this so badly. It was clear to me that he could have me. If he wanted sex, I couldn’t resist. He could take me now.

He finally gave my body what it craved. His thumb landed on my cl*t and pushed down, rolling it in a swift circle at the precise moment he eased a second finger inside me.

I arched off the bed with a shriek. He moved his fingers, thrusting inside me with deep, slow drags. He caught my lips in another searing kiss, drinking the sounds from my mouth as he worked his hand against me, his thumb pushing and circling, his fingers working in and out of me.

“You feel so good, Emerson. So warm. So tight.” I brought my hand between us, reaching for him, determined that I push him to the edge the way he was pushing me. My fingers brushed him, but he dodged out of the way and seized my hand.

“No touching, remember?” His gaze pinned me.

I growled my frustration but soon gave up. I couldn’t even think with the intense sensations he stoked in me. The deep, twisting pressure built and my head fell back on the bed again.

“C’mon, baby,” he murmured against my mouth. “I know you want to let go.”

I shook my head, denying it. Denying him. Myself. I couldn’t let go. Ever.

I never had.

And then his lips were gone. His chest lifted off from my chest. Blinking, my head came up off the bed, bewildered.

“What are y—”

All speech fled on a strangled shriek as his mouth landed expertly down there. I tensed and shoved at his shoulder. His lips closed around that nub and sucked, his tongue laving the sensitive pearl until I fell back on the bed with a low, keening moan.

Pleasure exploded inside me, centered directly where his mouth was fused to me so intimately. My orgasm washed over me in waves. Hot ripples that seemed to go on forever as he sucked me into his mouth.

I buried my hands in his hair and tugged hard on the ends, not for him to stop but for him to never stop. His hands slid beneath me, gripping my ass and bringing me up closer to his mouth. His mouth kept working its magic until the last shudder left me.

I fell back on the bed, panting, chest heaving like I’d just finished a marathon. He came up over me, grinning in the most smug, satisfied way. He looked sexy as hell with his arms braced, one on either side of me, his biceps flexed taut to support his weight.

“That was hot,” he murmured. He lifted a hand and traced a finger down my cheek to my mouth. If possible, his eyes grew darker. Unbelievable or not, the simple stroke of his finger over my bottom lip brought the intense ache between my legs back and I wanted to go another round with him. I clamped my thighs together as if I could somehow assuage the throbbing there.

His voice continued in a deep purr. “Aren’t you glad you let me do that?”

Let him do that? I guess choice had been involved. He was no sadist. I could have stopped him at any time. He would have listened to me. And that made me even more enraged at myself. Because I should have stopped him.

I shoved at his chest, pushing him off me. I sat up, pushing my skirt down with fumbling hands and sliding my bra straps back in place. “You should go.”

The smile slipped from his face. He stared at me, his expression unreadable, but there was something there in his eyes. Surprise, maybe?

“Really.” I nodded, my voice coming out less shaky. There was that at least. I sounded in control even if I didn’t feel like it. “Just go.”

I searched the bed for my shirt, grateful for the excuse not to look at him. Finding it, I pulled it on over my head. From the corner of my eye I could see he was moving now, straightening his own clothing, tucking himself back in his jeans and yanking the zipper up with angry motions as he muttered indecipherable words under his breath.

He was mad. Good. So was I. And I needed to stay mad. Nurse my anger so that I didn’t let him weave another spell around me again.

He faced me. “I should have known better than to get involved with some spoiled little princess.”

I flinched before reminding myself that this was for the best. Let him think that. Then maybe whatever this thing was between us would just die. I inhaled thinly through my nose and tried to ignore the sudden ache in my chest that that thought ignited.

I needed to stand my ground. Let him think whatever bad thing he wanted to about me. Because I couldn’t handle another repeat of what just happened between us and still keep my distance. At least emotionally. The last thing I needed was to fall for a guy like him. For God’s sake, he was a Marine. Not exactly an easy-to-manipulate kind of guy.

“That’s right,” I agreed. “You should have known better. But now you do.” I lifted my hand and performed a small wave. “So bye-bye.”

He stared at me, his eyes hard. “You’re a real piece of work.”

I smiled, telling myself he was no different from any other guy I kicked from my bed. So why did I feel terrible? Why did the disgust in his eyes tear at me?

Then he smiled, slow and almost sinister. He approached almost stealthily, sinking back over me on the bed. I fell back, flattening a hand against his chest as if that could ward him off.

“Go ahead,” he whispered in a lethally soft voice. “Pretend I don’t get to you.”

“You don’t.”

He cocked his head sideways, studying me like I was some bug beneath a microscope. “You know what I think?”

I shook my head. “I don’t care.”

He continued as if I hadn’t spoken, and suddenly his hand was there, inching along the inside of my thigh. I gasped, incredibly turned on despite the voice in my head telling me to stop him. My body knew him and responded, arching under him.

His deep voice rippled across my skin. “I think that deep inside you’re dying for someone like me. You’ve been waiting for a guy to come along and shake up your world and touch you the way you’ve been aching to be touched.” His fingers rubbed against the damp crotch of my panties. “Do things to you that all your pretty college boys can’t do.” With a quick yank, his fingers were right there, playing against me, parting me, teasing at my entrance and working me into a frenzy beneath him. I fisted the covers and thrust against his hands, opening myself wider for him.