Kiara's pulse tripped in time with her steps as she all but jogged to keep up with the gardener's long, determined strides.
He held her hand tight, like he expected her to bolt. Not likely. Five months of wedding planning and romantic hooey meant celibacy wasn't her friend.
She needed to get laid.
He stopped at a towering hedge and faced her. "You sure about this?"
"Absolutely." She stood on tiptoe to press a soft kiss to his mouth, not surprised that desire exploded between them at the slightest contact.
She didn't spar with many guys; most didn't have the wit or intelligence for it. But trading quips with this guy had made him more attractive, as if his body wasn't enough.
Sliding his free hand behind her head, he angled it so his mouth could explore hers better. His tongue teased her bottom lip and she moaned as she tasted him for the first time. Coffee. Chocolate. With a hint of peppermint, like he'd been guzzling mint mochas before delving in the dirt. Delicious.
When they broke apart for air, wild-eyed and panting, his lopsided grin seemed at odds with his take-control attitude a few moments ago.
"You sure know how to distract a guy from his duties." He traced her bottom lip with his thumb, a sensuous sweep that made her sway towards him. "You're something else."
"If my kissing technique impresses you, I can categorically say you'll be blown away by the rest."
She rested a hand on her cocked hip in a pose designed to provoke, and he joined in her laughter.
"Care to show me the rest?" Like something out of a magical garden he pushed on a lever hidden in the hedge, making a hidden door swing open. "We won't be disturbed in here."
Not much surprised Kiara these days. She'd seen and done a lot in her thirty years on the planet. But stepping through the hedge into paradise with a semi-naked gardener by her side shocked the hell out of her.
The private garden couldn't have been bigger than a living room, the thick, high hedges making up the walls and ensuring total privacy. The grass resembled a plush emerald carpet and small Daphne bushes perfumed the air. A sky-blue day bed covered in cushions and throws lay tucked in one corner, beckoning with its decadence.
"Is this where you bring all your women?"
The corners of his mouth twitched with amusement. "No, only the wanton ones."
She whacked him playfully on the arm, the unexpected familiarity between them almost as shocking as having sex in a garden with a guy she didn't know.
"This place is beautiful," she said, with a shrug that didn't convey how utterly blown away she was.
"I like it. It's my go-to place." He stepped in close behind her and slid his arms around her waist. "It's private, which is why I brought you here."
Heat, potent and wild, flooded her body, making her throb with want. She spun in his arms, desperate to finish what they'd started with their words.
The wicked glint in his eyes alerted her to another incoming zinger. "Not a rose petal in sight, but I'm sure we can still roll around."
"You talk too much," she said, placing a hand on his chest and shoving him gently, guiding him as he took backward steps towards the day bed.
When the back of his knees hit it, she placed her hands on his shoulders and lowered him down.
"I pegged you for a control freak," he said, a second before she straddled him.
She arched a brow. "You got a problem with that?"
In response, he grasped her hips and thrust his upwards, his rigid erection pressing into where she wanted him most.
"No problem at all."
He claimed her mouth in a commanding kiss that robbed her of breath, of sanity.
She didn't care.
All she wanted was him, inside her, now.
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