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Hands On

Written by Clare Connelly

Chapter Nine

WE ARE IN PARIS again. It is that morning with the lukewarm sunshine and the coffee-stained shirt. Only this time, he doesn’t stand staring at a wall, because this time, it is just a dream. A shard of memory; a nocturnal hope of what might have been.

This time, he does what I was so desperately wishing he would that morning. This time, he turns around, and his eyes study me as I slowly peel my clothes from my body.

There is no one waiting for him or me. It is just Jack Grant and me alone in a hotel room, a king-size bed that promises untold pleasures.

“Do you like what you see?” I whisper, as his eyes fall to my lips and I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he is thinking of kissing me. Good. I want that. I want to feel his lips on mine, but more than that, I want to feel them dragging down my body. I press my fingers against my flesh, finding the softness of my throat, my touch inviting him.

He stays still, though, and his eyes are locked to my every movement.

I run my hands lightly down my body, to my breasts, and his sharp intake of breath speaks of his own barely contained needs.


I should not be the only suffering here, in this pit of all-consuming need.

“Touch me,” I say.

He stands still.

I run my hands lower, to the flimsy fabric of my lace underwear.


He swears, a guttural sound of desperation, and then he is moving to me, his stride long, his look determined.

His hands on my body are beyond anything I could have prepared myself for. He touches me and my skin trembles. “Jack.” It’s a whisper. A husky plea.

What the hell are we doing?

His lips curve into that smile of his, the one that never fails to flip my world upside down.

His lips buzz mine, lightly, temptingly, promising me what he’s going to do. I feel his breath against me and I open my mouth, inviting him. Needing him.

Needing this torture of denial to end.

It’s not smart.

It’s not what we should be doing.

But hunger is throbbing through me. Hunger I have denied, that I now want to admit. Hunger that is leaving me very little say.

“You’re not burned.” He murmurs the words. They throb across my flesh, spreading lust in their wake.

“No.” Not yet, anyway. But I suspect that will come next, when he takes my mouth with his.

For the moment, all of me is focused on us.

It is as simple and as complicated as that.

We are fire and flame, and one kiss will never be enough. I know that. Combustion—fast, not slow—is inevitable.

His lips glance across mine. Just enough to make me moan, low in my throat. I hear his name from inside of me, a word that seems to shake through my body, to throb out of me without my consent. I lift my mouth higher and he laughs. “Soon, Gemma…”

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Clare Connelly

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