His mouth finds mine.
My eyes close.
I assume he told Molly to shut us in, and that the store is closed with the front door locked — but honestly right now it wouldn’t matter if it wasn’t. I haven’t gone from zero to sixty so quickly since the last time Anthony and I hooked up, and beyond that no other encounter has ever come close. This man is able to light a fire inside me that burns hotter than anything I’ve ever felt.
I don’t care if someone walks into the bookstore right now. I don’t care if a family of four walks right down that aisle and sets up camp chairs.
We’re only just kissing, but Anthony is right; my mind was already (and remains always) primed to explode. I’m already seeing our intertwining bodies. Nothing could stop me now. It’s become a need, like my need to breathe.
Anthony pushes us apart, his face flushed, his eyes full of lust. I won’t let our hips part even as our torsos do. His hardness is pressed against my mound, and it’s all I can do to not ride his bulge like a cowgirl on a mechanical bull.
“We need rules,” he says.
“It’s just sex. Just sex, Caitlin. Nothing personal. Right now I don’t want anyone but you. If that changes—”
“I don’t care.”
“And if you want—”
“Stop talking, Anthony. Just stop it.”
But he firms the arms between us, making me stop and meet his eyes.
“This is important,” he says. “It’s the only way it can work. I need to be sure you understand. I can’t give you more than this. Work has to come first.”
“I understand.” But I’m half-panting, unable to resist pawing at Anthony’s troublesome clothing even as he lectures me. There’s a burning between my legs. I don’t even think he’ll have to touch it to make me come. I just need his lips on mine, his kisses on the nape of my neck.
I make myself focus.
“I’m not like Aiden, or Hunter Altman, or any of the others you may have met through Jamie. They were bastards who couldn’t see that something was missing in their lives. They needed the love of a good woman. I’m telling you right here and now: That’s not me. I know who I am. I know why I’m here on the planet. I know the sacrifices I need to make, that I’ve already made. I know what my plan is supposed to look like, and it’s tight to the wire. I’m only going to do this with you if you understand.”
“I told you. I understand.” But actually this is just working me up more. What the hell is wrong with me? My hands are still wandering. I want to get on my knees. I want him inside me, one way or the other.
“It needs to be what you want, too.”
“I want it.”
That stops me. Something clears and I meet his eyes. My heart is still pounding and my neck and face are still flushed. My pussy is wetter than a water park, and it’s hard to stand. But Anthony’s hard word brings me around like a slap.
“This has to be what you want,” he repeats. “To be with a man who wants nothing that’s not physical. We’ll be friends, and we’ll fuck. That’s all. I won’t love you. I simply don’t have the time. Most people don’t have a mission. I do. I can’t compromise it. I can’t say that often or strongly enough. If we do this—”
Just his mention of doing this makes my imagination turn again, feeling the doing between my legs and tasting his this between my lips.
“—it’s to solve a problem and advance my ability to do what I need to do_. If it ever starts to subtract rather than add—”
Oh, fuck this guy and his speeches. I’m a big girl.
I take two handfuls of his shirt and pull him against me. He can’t keep talking with our lips together. There’s just a moment’s hesitation — probably because I didn’t actually agree to his lengthy terms and conditions — but then I feel his restraint fully shatter. His lips lose their reticence, mashing into mine, covering my mouth with his passionate kisses.
His hands are on me in an instant, no longer lingering near our hips. We work in frenzied tandem, me pulling his shirt off as he pulls mine off. We’re so rushed that we collide over and over, clumsy, stumbling, none of it remotely funny.
Earlier, I spied a couch at an intersection in the aisles. It looked soft and comfortable, the kind of thing I’d want to sink into. He’s either seen the couch, too, or I’ve been leading without realizing — because moments later we’re against it.
He looks down at my chest, spellbound. His hands find my breasts, caressing them softly through my bra.
“Take this off. Let me see you.”