He unfastened my jeans, and my breath squeezed too tight in my lungs. God, I was unraveling. I was always a few chocolate chips short of a functional cookie in his presence. Now, I melted at his feet. His stare was too much to handle while my memories danced through our every romantic moment and passionate embrace.
I couldn’t free myself from his grip. The zipper on my jeans lowered.
I quieted. He didn’t have to hold me. Maddox could’ve pinned me to the wall with just his raptor gaze.
“If you knew how much I missed you.” His voice boiled, a slow and dangerous rumble. He traced the exposed patch of my belly hiding under the zipper. “I spent every minute of my sentence thinking of you.”
What might have been romantic only made this so much harder. “Maddox—”
“I worried about you.” His hand tightened on my wrists. I heard the bite in his words, but it hung as a fearful question rather than a lunge for my throat. “Were you safe?”
“Don’t lie to me.”
My voice wavered. “I’m not lying. I was fine.”
“Someone burned down your store, Sweets. You almost died. I had nightmares that they’d try again and I wouldn’t be there to protect you.”
My heart pounded. “I’m not yours to worry about anymore.”
He released my hands if only so he could hold me with both of his. His lips crushed me, and he pressed me into the wall. I shivered, trapped between heat, muscle, and an undeniable desire that layered me in the goose bumps only he could create. Every shift of his body churned a deeper, desperate urge for his touch, his kiss, his…
I groaned against him. Maddox tugged my jeans down. My panties tucked inside the denim. I had only a moment to prevent this mistake.
I was too slow.
Maddox remembered everything about my body, including how to tease where I was the most vulnerable. He stroked between my legs, finding shamefully slick folds. I learned how to pleasure myself once he was gone, but nothing rocked me harder than the flick of his fingers against my clit.
Fireworks and sprinkles and a crash of desire.
It had been so long since anything felt as good as his invasive, dominating, and skillful fingers. I’d humiliate myself by coming before my jeans were even kicked off or I could reprimand him for his behavior.
Before I could tell him no.
“You’ve always been mine,” Maddox whispered, as if he could read the unspoken words falling from my parted lips. “You promised me, Josie.”
“So much has changed…”
“We’ll change it back.”
Like it was that easy. My voice trembled. He pinched and rolled and flicked my clit, doing everything he could to weaken me before I could push him away. I wasn’t strong enough to oppose him, but a single whisper would bring him to his knees.
“We can’t.” I shuddered as his finger dipped into my wetness. “We broke up. You went to jail…”
“I was innocent.”
What was more torturous—his adamant denial or his harsh strikes against my sensitive, overwhelmed clit?
“It’s complicated, Maddox.”
His voice dropped. “Is there someone else?”
Just the thought destroyed me. “No. Never.”
And that truth declared my complete submission to him. Maddox always loved that he was the first and only man who’d ever touched me. He’d taken my innocence, trained my body to accept his fierce desires, and celebrated as my arousal turned to addiction. I wasn’t myself when I shared his bed. I became someone passionate, raw, wild. Whipped with lust.
I only escaped once the world crashed around us in violence and frightening flames. Without him in my life…my head cleared, but my heart broke. It wasn’t a trade I would have ever made. Now I suffocated once more and betrayed my newfound independence with the slick promise inviting him between my legs.
Maddox lifted me, breaking my protests with a harsh kiss. He slammed me against the wall and forced my legs over his waist. I clung to him as his lips nibbled mine. My mind swirled. Everything tempted shivers, even when his teeth bit hard into my neck.
His cock swelled within his jeans, pressed against the part of me that craved it the most. We used to fuck like this—so wild and overwhelmed by each other we had no choice but to surrender to our instincts wherever we were. Everything in his arms felt so natural then.
So why was I punishing myself now? What did I protect—my heart from breaking or Maddox from…everything?
He freed himself from the jeans as he silenced me with an invading tongue. His inescapable grip on my hips would bruise. I’d heal. It didn’t matter. I panted against him.