“I’m an adult,” I managed to say, although my voice shook. “You don’t get to tell me what to do.”

“And yet I’m doin’ it,” he returned, shrugging casually. “Do you really think I won’t enforce this? I’ll f**kin’ enforce it, Soph. Don’t test me.”


“I haven’t decided about the party,” I whispered. “But I’m done with this conversation. I’m going back downstairs.”

“No, you’re not,” he said, and that little, instinctive voice deep down inside me screaming to run finally won. I slid off the stool and made a break for the stairs. Big mistake, because Ruger caught me around the waist and lifted me up onto the kitchen bar, eyes blazing. Two seconds later he stepped in between my legs, one hand pulling me in tight and the other twisting through my hair, jerking my head back.

“Let me go,” I whispered. He cocked his head, as if considering the idea, then slowly shook it.

“I can’t,” he said. Then his lips covered mine and a fuse blew in my brain.


It wasn’t a polite kiss. It wasn’t slow and seductive and deeply meaningful. This was an explosion of pent-up lust … Years’ worth, to be honest. Ruger’s chest was like a concrete wall, and I wrapped my legs around his waist without a thought. His hand tightened in my hair, tilting my head to the side, giving him better access. His tongue was thrust deep and without mercy. The little ball in the center teased me, reminding me that sex with him would be different than anything I’d felt before. His c**k pushed into my stomach so hard it almost hurt.

Holy hell, I wished we weren’t wearing so many clothes.

Ruger slid his hand into my tank, pulling his torso back just enough to cup my breast. His fingers found my nipple, tweaking it through the thin silk of my bra as I arched my back, desperate for more. He tore his mouth free, and we stared at each other, panting, mesmerized.

“We decided this is a bad idea,” I reminded him rather desperately, wondering how he’d feel if I just leaned forward and sucked on his lip. I couldn’t take my eyes off it, all dark red and glistening with a sheen of moisture from our kiss. “I’m not drunk today. No excuses.”

-- Advertisement --

“You said you wanted to get laid,” he replied, pupils dark and full. “I’m here. It’s already all screwed up between us, so why not make the most of it? Damage is done, we’re totally f**ked. I can’t forget how you tasted the other night, or how you felt on top of me on that couch. I need inside you, Soph.”

Oh, so tempting …

But could I keep messing around with Ruger and still live here? I’d lusted after him forever, and there was no question he wanted me. Then I thought about the woman who’d sat naked in this very kitchen just half an hour ago. The purple panties. The green bra … All in Ruger’s house, which was supposed to be Noah’s refuge.

Sleeping with Ruger was suicide.

I felt like banging my head against something hard, but only his chest was handy and getting closer to that expanse of bare skin was the last thing I needed.

“Bad idea,” I said. His fingers rolled my nipple. His other hand lowered to brace my hips as he rubbed the rigid length of his c**k against my clit. That slow back-and-forth would only get better once he slid inside me.

I felt all wound up inside, almost dizzy. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything more than I wanted him in my body.

Except a decent life for Noah.

“If we do this, you can just move along afterward,” I told him, closing my eyes. My sex clenched tight, desperate and empty. I tried to ignore it. “Who you sleep with is nothing to you, Ruger. But I’m different.”

“You’re the one who was talking friends with benefits,” he murmured. “Why’s your story changin’ now? Scared?”

“Hell yes, I’m scared,” I replied, opening my eyes again, searching his face. I saw no mercy or understanding there, just harsh, unyielding lust. “I live with you and I don’t have anywhere else to go. I found three pairs of panties in your couch cushions yesterday, and none of them were the same size. I don’t think I can sleep with you and then nod and smile while a parade of women passes through the house. Sounds like a pretty good reason not to do this.”

“Why the hell were you looking through my couch cushions?” he asked, and his hips stilled.

I’d caught him off guard with that one.

“I cleaned your house,” I replied. “Kind of a surprise-slash-thank-you-present. Your company last night pretty much took care of that, though.”

“Jesus,” he whispered, shaking his head slowly, hips starting to rock again. Oh, that was nice … His c**k felt so good rubbing against my most sensitive spot. Could I come from just that, even with the fabric between us? “I’m sorry about that. I didn’t even know they were coming over. Don’t suppose that’s much of an excuse.”

I shrugged, unable to meet his gaze. I looked at his tattoos instead. Most of them were high quality, fanciful designs clearly put together by a true artist. He took his body art seriously, I realized. Ink wasn’t just a whim. I’d bet he had a story for each one, and I wanted to hear those stories far more than was healthy.

Ruger eyed me thoughtfully, rubbing the tip of my nipple with his finger in a slow circle. Then he took my hand and slid it down between us, pressing it against the length of his hard cock, the backs of his own fingers brushing my clit. I gasped and squirmed. My grip tightened, shaping him through the stiff fabric of his jeans. Even through the denim, I could tell he was big and broad, much bigger than my vibrator. Was that hard bump near the tip his …? I didn’t even know what to call it. I wanted to see it—to see all of him—so badly I could’ve died. His knuckles framed my clit and I moaned.

Ruger’s eyes darkened.

“You want this as much as I do,” he said, voice soft. “It’s not goin’ away. We’re just going to burn up higher and higher until one of us explodes and we get hurt. Let’s end it now. I need inside you, Sophie.”

“You needed to be inside your blonde last night,” I replied quietly. “And look how that ended. You going to kick me and Noah out if things get awkward?”

“You’re wrong about that,” he replied.

“About kicking us out? It’s not going to work, us sleeping together and you sleeping around. Some random guy I could just ditch, but I’m stuck with you.”