faintly against my shoulder as he pulled at my collar and the first button on my blouse gave way, the material parting for him. The gentle abrasion of light whiskers on skin was a blissful contrast to the soft waves of his sable brown hair tickling the lobe of my ear, sending a warm shudder down my spine along the same trail as the icy tremor just a moment before. This was the way it always was when Adrian touched me, rough mixed with soft, burning need and bone-racking shivers. How could I do without it now, or ever?
Though reluctant to give up the heat of his breath in my long hair, to interrupt the feathery kisses of those plump, firm lips along my shoulder, I pivoted to read Adrian’s mood. The hard angles of his GQ-handsome face seemed to have worn down with fatigue, his eyes less piercing, disconcerted and exposed instead. Under other circumstances, perhaps in his arms in bed after a…session, I would have caught my breath at that look, at the heart-melting emotional vulnerability some women waited all their lives to see from the man they loved.
Perhaps it was selfish of me, but I wanted my Dom—narrowed eyes and wicked smile and a presence of will that could not be shaken. A man who could not be shaken. I wanted it—the island and Adrian and us—to be like it was before Daniel Vaz and Penn Ellison had stormed Ilha de Flor and shattered its peace, before the media and the federal prosecutors had closed in on Adrian, before I’d lost faith in him and fled back to my hollow existence of law books and mitigation reports and corner offices as though I could ever be satisfied with so small a life after this. When I’d had that silly three-month agreement to act as Adrian Knight’s sexual submissive to use as an excuse for how much I wanted to be here with him.
My fingers acted of their own accord as they slid from one small button to the next. Adrian stood as close to me as he could without actually touching me, though in a way he did—with his breath swirling against my scalp and forehead and the suggestion of heat from his body as all six-foot-two of him leaned over the five-foot-three that was me. It was intentional, I was sure. His nearness made me hyperaware of the rise and fall of his chest behind that debonair, perfectly tailored tan suit. Of the citrus and fine champagne edge to his cologne. Of the slightest flutter of his thick black lashes as he watched my face while I undressed before and for him.
My every movement had to be slow and smooth, careful and deliberate, if I wanted to avoid bumping or brushing him before…before I was ready. Before I was completely naked and in the appropriate mindset. Before I could be sure I wouldn’t simply dissolve into a mess of sobbing pleas and pathetic, desperate groping at his first kiss. God, but I was still undone by those penetrating sorties of his lips against mine, his tongue filling my mouth.
I tossed my blouse over one arm of the couch beside us, then my lacy bra and black pencil skirt. My PDA phone slipped out of the skirt pocket and threatened to burrow between the cushions, and I made a mental note of where to look for it later. As the sudden, rough encounter with Adrian in the conference room at the Natal courthouse had already relieved me of my panties, once I had stepped out of my heels and swept them aside with a nudge from my bare foot, I was nude. Skin-prickling, sex-aching, hands-trembling nude. The way Adrian had kept me whenever I had been alone in the villa with him, before…everything.
Chancing a glance into his eyes, I was absurdly relieved to see a steadier gaze directed back at me. Was it the submissive in me calling out the Dom in Adrian? Did he recognize as I did the seemingly paradoxical truth that these sessions of domination and submission between us, these hours when we submerged ourselves in such overpowering sexual hunger and sensual intensity, were what kept us solid, firm, fixed in a world where boundaries were either too few