“I’m going to kiss you now and I won’t stop unless you tell me to.”
“I won’t say a word,” she breathed.
He lifted his free hand to her hair, sliding out the elastic band holding the low ponytail she typically wore. He gripped the strands. “Soft as silk. Just like you.”
“I’m not soft, Dax.” She didn’t want him to think she was like the other women he’d been with. They likely had been sweet, feminine creatures. Holland couldn’t afford to be.
“Yes, you are. You can be strong and soft and silky all at the same time. That’s who you are and one of the reasons I find you interesting. I want to know every single facet of Holland Kirk. I want to be the man you explore with, experiment with, be true with.”
She had the feeling he wasn’t merely talking about sex. This was why she’d always hesitated. Dax wanted all of her, even the parts of herself she’d shut down and hidden and told herself didn’t matter. He wouldn’t accept anything less than the whole of her soul.
But if he gave her back the whole of his, wasn’t that worth it? If they were both vulnerable, they could learn to trust.
She leaned in and his lips finally met hers. Slow and steady. He took her mouth like a man indulging in decadence, as though knowing they would share the pleasure of sex made him willing to stretch this moment out to something rich and sinful.
Gently, he fisted a hand in her hair, lighting up her scalp with sensation as he took her lips more fully, clasping her body against his own. She softened, giving in to the demand of his mouth, his hands. And when his tongue slid over her lower lip, demanding entry, she couldn’t stop herself from flowering open for him.
Dax pulled her up and onto his lap. She clasped her arms around his neck, bringing him closer. She could feel his erection pressing against her, thick and hard. So big. She couldn’t help but wriggle a little, trying to get closer to him.
His arms tightened on her. “Stop it, sweetheart, or we’re going to have a problem. I want this to last. After waiting this long, I want to savor tonight.”
But she was already on the edge, dying for him to be on top of her, inside of her. “We should go to my bedroom.”
“We should set some ground rules first,” he growled against her neck. “Holland, I’m crazy about you, but you’re going to let me control sex. I’m not foolish enough to think I could control anything else in our relationship but I need you to let me handle this.”
“Why does anyone have to be in control?” She’d always been in the power position with the men in her bed. Ceding it to Dax both excited and scared her.
“Because, as you pointed out, I have more experience. And I’m wired to take control. We’re not going to go at it like two teenagers. Not this first time. Maybe later, when I know exactly how to touch you to get you hot.” Heat melted his dark eyes like chocolate. “But right now I have to figure out how to handle you, how to steer you the right way.”
“I’m not a boat, Captain.”
“Aren’t you?” He brushed a big hand over one of her breasts, cupping her flesh in his broad palm and making her gasp. “Everything that’s worth doing is worth doing right. Making love to you is definitely worth my best effort. See, this little nipple is begging for attention.” He dragged his thumb across the sensitive bud so slowly she bit her lip to hold in a moan. “Take off your shirt and your bra so I can give it the proper attention.”
His voice had dropped an octave and gone velvety. Holland found herself obeying him. Her fingers shook as she reached for the buttons of her shirt, twisting each and releasing it before moving to the next. She didn’t leave the comfort of his lap, but he sat back like a king watching the show, mentally undressing her with those eyes. There was something a bit forbidden about baring herself while his erection pressed so intimately against her.
Holland unfastened the last button and let her shirt fall away before she unhooked the front clasp of her bra. Her breasts were nothing special. She hit the gym three or four times a week to stay in shape. She considered herself more athletic than sexy, but the way Dax’s breath hitched and he affixed his stare to her bare mounds, as if he’d never seen anything sexier, made her rethink all that.
He dragged his heated palm down the valley between her breasts. “Sweetheart . . . I always knew you would be gorgeous without all those clothes. So beautiful.”
Until him, she hadn’t felt that way. Her body had been a tool to use in service of her job, a way to move about each day. When she’d had sex, she preferred to go to the bedroom, get the deed done, and get to sleep. Her few longer-term boyfriends hadn’t seemed to mind, but she got the feeling Dax would take exception to that routine.
With him, it meant far more to her than a rote activity, too.
He kissed her again, their tongues tangling as he explored her breasts, caressing her nipples, plying them with his touch. Fire licked through her system. She could feel herself getting wet and ready.
“Lean back for me. I’ll hold you and keep you safe.” His words rumbled over the sensitive flesh of her neck as he gently leaned her back, resting her over his arm until she arched and thrust her chest up to him like an offering.
“Yes, these little pearls need affection.” He tongued one, laving and sucking it.
She had to bite her lip to hold in a cry. She’d never thought her nipples were particularly sensitive, but that was because they’d never experienced Dax’s clever mouth.
She heard herself whimper as he sucked one bud deeper between his lips. He didn’t satisfy himself with a little lick, a short few seconds of suckling. Not Captain Dax Spencer. He indulged. He reveled. He caressed her with his tongue, tracing her areola before he sucked the tip back into his mouth and gave her the bare edge of his teeth. A tiny bite of pain flared before he soothed the bud with a soft laving. Her body balled into an ache, her sex throbbed as he shifted his attention to her left breast and gave it the same loving treatment.
“I want to kiss and lick and taste every inch of you, Holland. Do you know how long I’ve waited to be here? Years. Fuck, sweetheart, even before I met you, I dreamed about you. I’ve always known you’re the one woman who could make me feel, make me want forever.” He nuzzled her, the stubble of his hard jaw gently abrading her skin. “Stand up and take off your pants. I don’t want anything to stop me from touching you.”