Beneath This Man (This Man #2)(9)


by Jodi Ellen Malpas

My body wins.

I blank out my screaming conscience and surrender to him like the slave that I am. He wraps his arm around my lower back and eases me back down to the bed, sealing our mouths on the way, my entire being jumping to life as his hot, wet tongue slips gently between my lips and glides slowly around my mouth. We’re in gentle Jesse mode, and as if he knows it, this is the best place to take me right now.

His slow, steady breaths tell me he is in complete control as he rests on his forearm and uses his good hand to run his fingertip from my hipbone, all the way up to my breast, a steady wave of tingles traveling up my body in time with his touch, leaving my breath shallow and erratic. He finishes by tracing the edges of my nipple wistfully to match the gentle motions of our tongues.

I hold on to his shoulders, feeling all of the misplaced emotions flooding back into me under his gentle touch, his attentive mouth and his hard body flanking me. My fear was completely justified; I’m lost in him again.

I whimper as he pulls his lips away from mine and sits back on his heels before he uses his good hand to drag my shorts down my legs, taking my underwear with them. ‘You need reminding.’ he says, looking down at me.

‘This is not the conventional way.’

‘It’s how I do things, Ava.’ He throws my shorts and knickers to the side and pulls me up, sealing our mouths. ‘We need to make friends.’

I can’t fight him anymore. I hook my fingers in the waistband of his boxers and press my lips further to his as I push them down his thighs. He lets out a long moan, easing me back down onto the bed, causing me to lose my grip of his shorts, so I place my foot into the band and extend my leg to take them the rest of the way. He’s leaning half on me, half off, his hard, lean body spreading the length of me as he claims my mouth, pushing his body further into mine.

Weaving my fingers through his hair, I relish the friction of his long stubble against my face. It’s too long to be sharp or coarse, so it feels more like a soft brush is being glided across my face.

He separates our mouths and buries his face in my hair as he cups me between my thighs and draws his palm up the centre of my body, slowly over my stomach and then gradually up between my br**sts, finishing against my throat.

‘I’ve missed you, baby,’ he murmurs against my neck. ‘I’ve missed you so much.’

‘I’ve missed you, too.’ I hold his head to me. I feel completely cocooned in strength, but he’s not strong at the moment. I feel protected and safe, but I’m aware that it’s me who’s playing the carer at the moment. I’m feeling overwhelmed too – completely overwhelmed with intense feelings for this troubled man.

He moves himself so he’s cradled between my thighs, and I soon feel the wet, slippery head of his morning erection pushing against me. My mind is a jumble of mixed thoughts, but then he rests on his elbows and gazes down at me, like I’m the only thing that exists in his world. Our eyes are fused and saying more than words ever could. I move my hands from the back of his head so my palms are on either side of his handsome face.

‘Thank you for coming back to me,’ he says softly as I stare up into his eyes, drowning in them, emotion flooding my entire being.

I smooth my thumb across his moist lips and slide it into his mouth, withdrawing slowly and resting the tip on his bottom lip. He plants a light kiss on the end and smiles down at me as he lifts his h*ps while maintaining our eye contact, my pelvis shifting to meet him.

I sigh in pure, unapologetic pleasure as he slowly, unhurriedly and reverently slides deep inside of me. I close my eyes and slip my hands to the back of his head as he fills me completely. He holds still, beating and kicking inside me. His change in breathing to quick, fast bursts of breath is a familiar trait. He’s struggling to maintain control.

‘Look at me,’ he demands between pants, and I force my eyes open and gasp a little when I feel him jerk inside me. ‘I love you.’ he whispers, his voice cracking.

I inhale sharply at the words I’ve desperately needed to hear for so long, but does he think that’s what I want to hear? Does he think that’s all it takes? ‘Don’t, Jesse.’ I close my eyes, my hands falling away from his head.

‘Ava, look at me, now.’ he demands harshly. I drag my swimming eyes open and meet a straight, expressionless face. ‘I’ve been telling you how I feel the whole time.’

‘No, you haven’t. You were hijacking my phone and trying to control me.’ I retort.

He circles his h*ps into me, drawing a collective moan from both of us. ‘Ava, I’ve never felt like this before.’ He withdraws and pushes deep and high. I try to rein in my scattered thoughts, but a moan escapes. ‘I’ve been surrounded by n**ed women with no respect for themselves all of my life.’ He places his hands over mine, pinning my wrists on either side of my head.

Thrust.

‘Jesse!’

‘You’re not like them, Ava.’

Thrust.

‘Oh God!’

He pulls back and rams back in. ‘Jesus!’ He stills on a few deep breaths. ‘You’re mine, and mine alone, baby. Just for my eyes, just for my touch and just for my pleasure. Just mine. Do you understand me?’ He withdraws and slowly plunges back in.

‘What about you? Are you just mine?’ I ask, shifting my h*ps up to capture the delightful penetration.

‘Just yours, Ava. Tell me you love me.’

‘What?’ I cry, when he hits me with a hard drive.

‘You heard me.’ he says softly. ‘Don’t make me f**k it out of you, baby.’

I’m stunned. I’m melting beneath him, crippled by pleasure and now he’s demanding I tell him that I love him? I do, but should I confess under duress? It’s completely as I expected, though. He’s been trying to make me the opposite of everything he knows, keeping me covered, preventing me from drinking, insisting on me wearing delicate lace instead of harsh leather. But what about the sex?

‘Ava, answer me.’ He pushes high and grinds firmly, a sweat breaking out across his brow. ‘Don’t hold out on me.’

His words hit me like a lightning bolt. Hold out? He’s tried to f**k a love confession out of me before – in the en-suite last Saturday when he rammed into me repeatedly, demanding I say it. I thought he was looking for reassurance that I wasn’t leaving. I was wrong. How did he know?

There’s another perfect grind and my internal muscles start to spasm, tremors inching their way into the epicentre of my nerve endings. My legs stiffen. ‘How did you know?’ I cry, throwing my head back in despair, both mentally and physically.

‘Damn it, Ava, look at me.’ He hits me with a full, hard strike, and I drag my eyes open on an angry yell. ‘I love you.’ he shouts, reinforcing his words with yet another slow withdraw and hard fast attack of his hips.

‘I love you too!’ I scream the words that are literally punched out of me.

He stops his movements completely, our breaths rushed and frantic as he holds my hands in place and looks down at me. ‘I love you so f**king much. I didn’t think it was possible.’ His words penetrate me deeply, the intensity of our joining having my heart kicking into a higher gear as he looks down at me, tears pricking the backs of his eyes. He smiles faintly and slowly withdraws himself. ‘Now, we make love.’ he says quietly, rocking gently back into me and capturing my lips in a slow, sensual kiss, full of meaning. He releases his hold of me and my hands fly to his back, slipping across his damp skin.

His tactic has changed completely. Slowly and leisurely, he drives in and out of me, pushing me up towards complete rapture as I clasp at his damp back, holding as tight as I can. Sex with Jesse has always been beyond compare, but this moment holds a significant power that I never thought possible. He loves me.

I struggle to keep my emotions in check when he pulls back and holds his face to mine, nose to nose, eyes full of sentiment. I’m coming apart. The consistency of his controlled, deep thrusts has me shuddering and tensing around him as my core convulses and grips his shaft on each and every plunge. The sheen of sweat across his brow and his frown line deep with concentration tells me he’s tipping the edge too. Tilting my h*ps up on a thrust, I moan as he fills me to my absolute limit, the feel of his rhythmic, meticulous tempo having me wanting to squeeze my eyes shut, but I can’t drag them away from his.

‘Together.’ he says, his hot breath spreading across my face.

‘Yes,’ I gasp, feeling him expand and throb in preparation for his release.

‘Christ, Ava.’ A rush of air escapes his lips and his body goes rigid, but he doesn’t remove his eyes from mine. My back arches on reflex when the spiraling rush of pleasure reaches its cl**ax and sends me tumbling into a hurricane of uncontrollable feelings. I cry out in complete despairing pleasure, my body trembling in his hold. I close my eyes to blink back the tears that have developed as my orgasm begins to recede slowly and lazily with his continued even strokes.

‘Eyes,’ he commands softy, and I obey, opening my eyes again.

He moans deeply and I tighten all of my muscles at my core to grip him and extract his release from him. How is he keeping his head up and his eyes open? I can see the battle he’s having with his instincts to hammer into me and throw his head back, but he’s keeping a rein on his control. And then, you can almost hear the snap of his release as his cheeks puff out and he pushes himself into me, long and hard, holding himself there, my muscles obliging his throbbing erection and continuing with their slow, easy constrictions as he pours into me.

‘I love you.’ I say quietly as he looks down at me, his chest heaving. There. I’ve put it out there. My cards are well and truly on the table, and he didn’t technically f**k that one out of me.

He rests his lips on mine. ‘I know you do, baby.’

‘How did you know?’ I ask. I know I’ve never told him. I’ve screamed it in my head a thousand times, but I have never actually voiced it.

‘You told me when you were drunk,’ He smiles, ‘After I showed you how to dance.’

I do a quick run through of the night when I got ridiculously drunk and relented to his persistent pursuing again. I remember admitting it to myself, but I certainly don’t remember blurting it out to him. Mind you, I don’t remember much after Jesse escorted me from the bar. I was in a state. That’s his fault too.

‘I don’t remember.’ I admit. I feel bloody stupid.

‘I know you don’t,’ He grinds his hips.

I sigh.

‘It was so f**king frustrating.’

It all comes flooding back. He really was trying to f**k a love confession out of me. He watches me as I figure it out, and his mouth forms an O on a small smile.

‘You knew all along.’ I say quietly.

Drunken confessions.

I had beaten myself up about it for days and days, and he knew all along? Why didn’t he say something? Why didn’t he just talk to me instead of trying to f**k it out of me? So much could have been so very different.

His smile disappears and is replaced with a stoic expression. ‘You were drunk. I wanted to hear the words when you were of sound mind. Women get drunk all the time and confess their undying love to me.’

‘Do they?’ I blurt.

He almost laughs. ‘Yes, they do.’ He drops his eyes, ‘I wasn’t sure if you still did after…’ His teeth start a vicious workout on his bottom lip, ‘Well, after I had my little meltdown.’

I inwardly laugh. Little meltdown? Bloody hell, what would be a big meltdown? Women tell him they love him? What women and how many are there? I screw my face up in my own private disgust. I’m extremely uncomfortable with how resentful I’m feeling about any other woman having him or loving him. I need to put these thoughts right out of my mind and fast. No good could come of me knowing.