Isn't She Lovely Page 60

She wiggles upward until our faces are even and slowly moves her head toward mine until our lips are a fraction of an inch apart. Every fiber of my being wants to roll her onto her back and kiss her senseless, but this is her moment. Her night. She had the choice taken away from her once. I won’t let that happen again. It’s the reason I wanted her to get closure. I want her to know what she’s offering me. To make that choice intentionally. Purposefully.

And I want to be the guy who helps her heal.

But I don’t want to be just that guy. If I’m totally honest, I want her to choose me because she cares, not just because I’m the first guy who’s offered to help get rid of her ghosts.

Her kiss is soft and sweet, and I let her take charge of the kiss. I let her hands move where they want, and they’re everywhere, running over my shoulders, up my pecs. We both groan a little when her fingers brush the waistband of my boxers, and she yanks her hands back as though she’s been burned.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath, fighting for control, refusing to rush her.

Cupping her face with my hands, I use my lips to play with hers, keeping it light and teasing. Letting her know that I could spend all night kissing her. Just kissing her.

But she’s making it hard, squirming against me, her hands resuming a wandering that I don’t dare reciprocate. I’m not about to be the ass**le who insists she find out if she’s still a virgin and then takes that virginity from her the very night she finds out. She means too much to me.

But then I feel her hot fingers on my wrist, and she’s tugging my hand downward until she slowly, deliberately rests my hand over her full breast.

“Stephanie, I don’t—”

She stops me with a kiss. “Make love to me. Please.”

Chapter Twenty-Three


He’s going to turn me away. Ethan pulls back slightly, his hand already moving from my breast where I blatantly made him touch me.

My face flames.

He’s rejecting me.

The first and only time I want to sleep with a guy, and he’s not interested.

“You don’t want me.” I don’t mean to say it, but there it is.

He freezes, his fingers plowing into my hair. “God, Stephanie. Of course I want you.”

“Then why—”

“You haven’t had any time to think about this. You just got a bomb of an email like an hour ago. You’ll hate yourself if your first time—your real first time—is with someone who …”

His voice breaks off, and I have to know, even though I dread the answer. “With someone who …?”

Will be gone in the morning?

Who only wants to sleep with you as part of the game?

Who may or may not look at you twice when you go back to being your real self?

I hear him breathing, and he doesn’t respond for several seconds. “I care about you, Stephanie.”

My heart thuds. “But then why …?”

“Because it won’t just be about sex. If you’re looking to get rid of your V-card on the easiest target, you’ll have to look elsewhere.”

I narrow my eyes slightly. “Which is it, Ethan? You won’t sleep with me because you’re concerned I’m making a rash decision, or you won’t sleep with me because you’re afraid I’m using you for your rich-boy body?”

He lets out a little laugh. “God, I don’t know. The first one. Maybe both. I just—”

“I’m not using you,” I blurt out. “You think it was easy to come in here? But I just got something major handed back to me, Ethan. Now it’s my choice to make. And I choose you.”

He tips his head down, his forehead resting on mine. “Why?” The question is hoarse. Desperate. Needing.

I lay my hand along his jaw. “Because I care about you too.”

He closes his eyes, but only for a heartbeat, because then his mouth is on mine again, and there’s nothing teasing or soft about it, and I know I’ve won.

As our kisses grow more frantic and more heated, he shifts, leaning toward me just slightly, giving me time and space to freak out, but I don’t. I wrap my arms around his back, my fingers playing over the muscles there as I let him roll me beneath him.

Our hands are more adventurous now, looking to give pleasure rather than simply explore, and he captures my cry with his lips as his hand finds my breast, his palm circling, putting the perfect amount of pressure on my nipple.

All of my writhing has made my tank ride up to my rib cage, and he slips his hand beneath it, moving slowly, as though I might freak out.

I don’t.

His lips are all over me, sucking and teasing, and I can do little more than hold his head to me, even though I want more. So much more.

His face moves up to mine as his hand moves downward, his fingers finding my warmth even through the fabric of my silk shorts.

“Is this okay?”

All I can do is moan.

“You can stop me at any time.”

“Ethan.” I sink my teeth into his lower lip. “Shut. Up.”

I feel him smile, and then his hand moves gently between my legs. He rubs me there until my thighs fall apart, and then he slides a hand beneath the shorts, beneath my panties, exploring the wet heat of me. I hear soft mewling noises from somewhere, and am humiliated to realize that they’re my own.

Ethan kisses away my embarrassment even as he eases my shorts and underwear down over my butt, pulling them slowly down my legs until I’m able to kick them away.

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