When John kissed her, Lacey’s world exploded.
His lips were hot and sweet, and as his tongue swirled against hers, sparks of pleasure shot through her body, making her breasts heavy and her nipples tight as desire coiled low and deep in her belly.
She shouldn’t want this. Couldn’t.
But she did. She’d never stopped wanting this. And as he kissed her, as he held her firmly against his powerful, muscular body, she was lost in all those nights of hungry, aching dreams. For this. For him.
The world seemed to whirl around their embrace, leaving the two of them in the eye of the whirlwind. She closed her eyes, clutching his shoulders so she didn’t fall.
Against her will, she kissed him back. Desperately. With her heart on her lips.
If he realized how she truly felt…
If he realized the power he had over her, even now…
Horrified, Lacey ripped away from him with a gasp. Her eyes lifted to his. “You can’t think—”
“Can’t think what?” Ruthlessly, he pulled her back, tight against his body, her breasts against his chest, his hands gripping her shoulders. “Think I want to kiss you? To hold you naked in my arms? Think I want to make love to you until you gasp and cry out my name?”
She was shivering with need. “John, please—”
“Please what? Make love to you? Yes, Lacey,” he growled, running his hands over her hair, over the warm skin of her bare shoulders above her sundress, down her back. “Yes.”
He lowered his mouth to hers, and when she felt the velvet steel of his lips against hers, she could no longer resist. She kissed him back passionately.
She’d wanted him for so long—for all this past year, and the year before that. She’d loved him. The truth was, she’d never stopped loving him.
What would he say if he knew?
No. He must never, ever know.
“Tell me you want me,” he demanded against her lips.
“I want you,” she breathed. “Heaven help me. But I do.”
His black eyes glinted in the shadowy light of the penthouse suite as he looked down at her. “And you’ll marry me.”
Her heart stopped.
“It would be a mistake,” she choked out, by which she meant, You’ll break my heart.
Cupping her cheek, John looked down at her in the moonlight.
“The choice was already made, Lacey,” he said quietly. “By fate. We are already bound. You know this is true.”
She looked down at the glossy black floor.
“Yes,” she said in a small voice. They were bound by their child. Nothing would change that now.
“We’ve lost the chance to choose any other path.” His words burned through her heart. She knew all too well that John would have preferred to marry anyone but her. He ran his hand down her bare arm. “But we’ve also gained something we desperately want.”
“What?” she asked, searching his gaze.
“Each other,” he whispered. Reaching up, he pulled out her ponytail, and her long black hair tumbled over her shoulders. He ran his hand through her hair, looking down at her with a sudden sensual smile.
Each other. Though she knew he spoke of desire, not love, she shook with the ache, not just of her body, but her heart.
John glanced one last time at their sleeping baby, still tucked snugly in the stroller, and then lifted Lacey into his arms, against his chest. She could not resist. He carried her past the windows, past the sparkling view of midtown Manhattan at their feet, and into the bedroom.
He gently set her down on the bed, beneath a beam of silvery moonlight. For a moment, he looked down at her. Then, deliberately, he unbuttoned his black shirt and dropped it to the floor. She caught her breath when she saw the curves and shadows of his hard-muscled form.
Then he climbed over her. He lowered his mouth to hers, and when she felt the weight of his hot, naked body over hers, she was lost.
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