Promised, p.31
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       Promised, p.31

         Part #1 of One Night series by Jodi Ellen Malpas
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  gut. ‘You won’t be getting any pardon from me.’

  ‘I beg to differ.’

  ‘There you go again!’ I push my bowl away from my place setting and it collides with the glass fruit bowl, knocking it out of position. ‘Begging!’ I watch as his eyes focus on the disturbed items on his perfect table, and he starts twitching, a flash of anger flying across his face. It makes me sit up and take notice.

  More calmly than I know he’s feeling, he spends a few silent moments putting everything back into position, then he stands and my eyes follow him around the table until I can no longer see him. He’s behind me, and I tense when his palms rest on my shoulders, delivering a shot of fire through the material of his T-shirt and into my skin.

  ‘It is you who will be begging, sweet girl.’ His mouth is at my ear, biting at my lobe. ‘You will accept my request because we both know that you’re constantly wondering how you will survive without my attention.’ His thumbs start massaging delicious, firm circles into my shoulders.

  ‘Don’t pretend that this is all about my needs,’ I breathe, wanting to relax into his touch but refusing to grant my body the further pleasure that it’s craving. He said he couldn’t have me in the very beginning and in actual fact, he couldn’t stay away.

  His hands are gone in a moment and I’m being lifted from the chair. ‘I don’t pretend, Livy.’ He starts a slow walk forward, forcing me to step back until I’m being gently pushed into the wall. ‘This is just as much for my needs, which is why I’m making this proposition, and it’s also why you will accept.’

  My mind is doing an amazing job of preventing the desire from steaming forward. It’s there, but so is the desire for answers. ‘You’re making this sound like a business transaction.’

  ‘I work hard. I’m emotionally and physically drained by it. I want to have you to worship and indulge in when I’m done.’

  ‘I think you might be referring to a relationship,’ I whisper.

  ‘Call it what you like. I want you to be at my disposal.’

  I’m horrified, delighted . . . unsure. For a man who’s so articulate, he has a pretty strange way with words. ‘I think I’d like to call it a relationship,’ I say, just so he knows exactly what page I’m on.

  ‘As you wish.’ He dips and finds my mouth, wrapping his forearm around the small of my back and lifting me, crushing me to his chest. I fall straight into the tender rhythm of his tongue, cocking my head to the side and sighing into his mouth, but my mind is still mulling over the weird words that have just been exchanged. Is Miller Hart now my boyfriend? Am I his girlfriend? ‘Stop overthinking,’ he mumbles into my mouth, turning and carrying me from the kitchen.

  ‘I’m not.’

  ‘Yes, you are.’

  ‘You confuse me.’ My legs curl around his waist, my arms around his body.

  ‘Take me as I am, Livy.’ He releases my lips and squeezes me to him. It’s a silent, pleading follow-up to his words.

  ‘Who are you?’ I whisper my question into his neck and return his squeeze.

  ‘I’m a man who’s found a beautiful, sweet girl who gives me more pleasure than I ever thought possible.’ He lowers me to the couch and lies beside me, his face close to mine, his palm stroking up the inside of my thigh. ‘And I don’t just mean with sex,’ he whispers, and I gasp. ‘I’ve made my intentions clear.’ His hand brushes over the hair at the apex of my thighs and his finger slips down my centre. My back bows. ‘She’s always ready for me,’ he murmurs, working the heated moisture over every inch of my flesh. ‘She’s always aroused by me.’ I push my forehead to his and close my eyes. ‘And she accepts that she can’t stop it. We were made to fit together. We fit perfectly together.’

  My breath diminishes and my legs stiffen.

  ‘She responds to me without even knowing it.’ He uses his forehead to push me back from him. ‘And she knows how I feel when she deprives me of her face.’

  Forcing my eyes to open and my head to remain still, I start involuntarily thrusting my hips gently back and forth to match his caressing of my damp, throbbing centre. He’s building me up lazily, watching me come apart. My hands are fisted on the front of his T-shirt, pulling and grappling at the cotton, making a mess of the previously creaseless garment.

  ‘She’s going to come,’ he muses, his eyes drifting down my body to watch his hand work me. My legs start shifting, trying to control the onslaught of pressure surging forward. And then he pushes a finger into me on a hitch of his breath, quickly swapping it for two when I cry out and start to shake. ‘That’s it, Livy.’

  I lose the battle to hold my eyes open and throw my head back, mumbling senseless words as my climax takes hold.

  ‘Show me your face.’

  ‘I can’t,’ I moan.

  ‘You can for me, Livy. Let me see you.’

  I yell my despair and toss my head forward. ‘You can’t do this to me.’

  He kisses me, too gently for my current frenzied state. ‘I can, I am, and I always will. Scream my name.’ He pushes his thumb onto my clitoris and circles firmly, watching me as I fight to deal with the pleasure that he’s inflicting on me.

  ‘Miller!’

  ‘That’s the only man’s name you’ll ever scream, Olivia Taylor.’ He tackles my mouth, kissing me to orgasm as he moans and pushes his chest into mine, his body absorbing my shocked trembles. ‘I promise that I’ll always make you feel this special.’ He brings his fingers to my mouth and runs the moisture across my lips. ‘No one will ever taste that, except me and you.’ His face is expressionless, but I’m beginning to recognise his emotional frame of mind through his mesmerising eyes. Right now, he’s sanctimonious, satisfied . . . victorious. I’ve confirmed all of his claims with my low moans and bodily responses to his touch.

  Miller Hart rules my body.

  And it’s fast becoming obvious that he rules my heart, too.

  Chapter 19

  My legs are cold and my body stiff. Miller isn’t on the sofa with me, but I can hear him close by, the sounds of cupboards opening and crockery gently clanking, quickly telling me where he is and what he’s doing. Stretching out on a happy groan, I smile as I look up at the ceiling, then sit up to remind myself of the beautiful art that graces the walls of his apartment. After switching my eyes from one to another, and then another a few times, I give up on trying to pick my favourite. I love them all, even though they are distorted and bordering ugly.

  My head is only fuzzy with sleep, as opposed to alcohol, and despite my slightly achy muscles, I feel perfect. Getting to my feet, I go in search of Miller, finding him wiping down the countertop with anti-bacterial spray. ‘Hi.’

  He looks up, pushing his hair from his forehead with the back of his hand. ‘Livy.’ He folds the cloth and lays it next to the sink. ‘Are you okay?’

  ‘I’m fine, Miller.’

  He nods. ‘Excellent. I’ve drawn a bath. Would you like to join me?’

  We’re back to gentleman mode. It makes me smile. ‘I’d love to join you.’

  He cocks his head curiously as he walks towards me. ‘Have I said something amusing?’ he asks as he takes hold of my nape and turns me.

  ‘I find your manner amusing.’ I let him lead me to his bedroom and into the bathroom where the huge, claw-foot bath is full of bubbly water.

  ‘Should I be offended by that?’ He grasps the hem of my T-shirt and lifts it over my head, then neatly folds it and places it in the laundry basket.

  I shrug. ‘No, your habits are charming.’

  ‘My habits?’

  ‘Yes, your habits.’ I don’t elaborate. He knows what I’m referring to, and it’s not just his gentlemanly ways – when he chooses to use them.

  ‘My habits,’ he muses, pulling off his T-shirt and going about the same folding routine. ‘I think I am offended.’ He slides his shorts down his thighs, folding and placing them neatly in the laundry basket, too. ‘After you,’ he says, gesturing to the bath, his naked perfection sending me di
zzy. ‘Need some support?’

  I glance up, finding smugness in his eyes and his hand held out. ‘Thank you.’ I tentatively take his offered hand and climb the steps before lowering myself into the tub.

  ‘Is the temperature okay?’ he asks, following me in and taking the opposite end so we’re facing one another, his legs bent, his knees breaking the surface of the deep water.

  ‘Sure.’ I lie back, and the soles of my feet slip along the bottom of the tub until they’re wedged under his arse. He raises his eyebrows, making me blush. ‘Sorry, it’s slippery.’

  ‘No need to apologise.’ He collects my feet from beneath him and lifts to settle them on his chest. ‘You have cute feet.’

  ‘Cute?’ I have to stop myself from laughing. I never know what words or tones are going to fall from Miller Hart’s lips, but they affect me in one way or another every time, whether it be amusement, irritation, lust, or confusion.

  ‘Yes, cute.’ He dips and kisses my little toe. ‘I have a request.’

  His declaration makes it very easy to stop the threatening laughter from surfacing. Another request? ‘What is it?’ I ask nervously.

  ‘Don’t look so apprehensive, Livy.’

  Easy for him to say. ‘I’m not apprehensive. I’m curious.’

  ‘So am I.’

  I frown across the bath at him. ‘What are you curious about?’

  ‘How it will feel to be inside you without anything between us.’

  ‘Oh . . .’ I breathe.

  He reaches into the water and locates my hand, pulling me to my knees and leading it to the solid rod resting on his abdomen. ‘You must be curious, too.’

  I am now. ‘You’re speaking like this is long term,’ I say hesitantly, bracing myself for his reply.

  ‘I’ve already told you that I want more than our remaining four hours, which I believe have expired now.’ He positions my grasp around him and lays his hand over mine, then starts guiding me up and down slowly under the water. My whole being relaxes, peace settling over me in response to his words. The movement of his chest visibly changes, the rise and fall increasing dramatically. He feels like velvet, but my view of our combined movements is hampered by the gallons of water surrounding us. I can only see the swollen head of his penis, so I lift my eyes and let them indulge in the subtle parting of his incredible lips.

  ‘I am curious,’ I confess, shifting forward on my knees. ‘But I’m not on the pill.’

  ‘Are you prepared to rectify that so we can both feed our curiosity?’

  I nod my agreement as I allow him to control the strokes of my hand over his erection. He feels sublime – smooth, firm and large. He looks sublime, too, and breathing some confidence into myself, I flex my hand until he releases on a frown and watches me climb up his body.

  ‘What are you doing, Livy?’ he asks warily, but he doesn’t stop me from finding my way until I’m sitting on his lap, his arousal resting perfectly beneath me. In fact, he helps me.

  ‘I want to feel you.’ I lower my face to his, the sensation of him pulsing under me injecting more confidence. I’m losing my mind, my body acting without instruction.

  He shakes his head lightly and homes in on my lips, kissing me adoringly. I might be teasing and tormenting him, but he’s the one in control. ‘That can’t happen, Livy.’

  ‘Please,’ I breathe, finding his hair. ‘Let me.’

  ‘Oh, Jesus, you’re ruining me.’

  I take his weak, breathless words as defeatism and reach down between our bodies while keeping up our kiss. ‘It is me who’s ruined.’ I bite his tongue gently. ‘You’ve ruined me.’ My hand finds what it’s looking for, and I lift to position him at my opening.

  ‘I haven’t ruined you, Livy.’ I feel his hand wrap around my wrist, halting my reckless intention. ‘I’ve awakened a desire in you that only I can satisfy.’ He pulls my hand away, his lips straight in warning. ‘And it seems one of us needs to keep our head before we find ourselves in a situation.’

  I’m pent-up on lust, but his cautionary face soon drags me back to reality. ‘Your fault,’ I mumble, embarrassed and feeling unreasonably rejected.

  ‘So you keep telling me,’ he says, rolling his blue eyes. It’s a sign of exasperation, a rare show of emotion. In an attempt to restore my slighted state and distract Miller from scorning me further, I start to shift down, keen to taste him again. But I don’t get very far.

  He halts me, looking almost nervous, and pulls me up, completely crowding me with his body and falling back against the bath, settling me on his chest. ‘Thing.’

  Despite my confusion at his decline, I hum happily and embrace his iron hold, clinging onto him everywhere and relishing the sound of his breathing as the water around our bodies laps gently. ‘I have a request, too,’ I whisper, feeling brave and comfortable asking.

  ‘Hold your thought.’ He turns his head and kisses my wet cheek. ‘Let me have my thing.’

  ‘I can ask while you’re having your thing,’ I counter on a smile.

  ‘Probably, but I like to see you when we’re conversing.’

  ‘I think cuddling might be my thing now, too.’ I squeeze some more, causing our bodies to slip. The comfort and peace that engulfs me during these moments makes me want to superglue myself to him.

  ‘I hope you mean with me.’

  ‘Exclusively,’ I sigh. ‘Can I voice my request yet?’

  I’m reluctantly released from his chest and pushed up on his lap. ‘Tell me what you want.’

  ‘Information.’ My bravery diminishes at the sight of his straight lips and tight jaw, but I find the courage to continue. ‘Your habits.’

  ‘My habits?’ He raises his eyebrows, almost in warning.

  I push on carefully. ‘You’re very . . .’ I stop myself to choose my words wisely. ‘Exact.’

  ‘You mean tidy?’

  This is more than tidy. This is obsessive, but I’m getting the feeling that he’s sensitive about this subject. ‘Yes, tidy,’ I relent. ‘You’re very tidy.’

  ‘I make sure I take care of what’s mine.’ He reaches forward and pinches my nipple, making me jerk on top of him. ‘And you are now mine, Olivia Taylor.’

  ‘I am?’ I sound shocked, but I’m secretly delighted. I want to be possessed by him every moment of every day.

  ‘Yes,’ he says simply, taking my waist and pulling me down until our foreheads meet. ‘You are also my habit.’

  ‘I’m a habit?’

  ‘You’re an addictive habit.’ He kisses my nose. ‘A habit that I never plan on giving up.’

  I don’t hesitate to let him know my thoughts on him and his new habit. ‘Okay.’

  ‘Who said you have a choice?’

  ‘You said you’d never make me do anything I don’t want to,’ I remind him.

  ‘I said I’d never make you do anything that I know you don’t want to do, and I know that you really want to be my habit. So this is a pointless discussion, wouldn’t you agree?’

  I scowl at him, stumped for any comeback. ‘You’re cocky.’

  ‘You’re in trouble.’

  I retreat on his lap. ‘What do you mean?’ I ask. Is he warning me?

  ‘Let’s talk about yesterday evening,’ he suggests, like we might be discussing where to have dinner. I’m instantly on my guard, and my chest falling onto his and my face hiding in his neck is evidence of this.

  ‘We’ve already talked about it.’

  ‘Not at length. I’m none the wiser as to why you behaved so recklessly, Livy, and it makes me uncomfortable.’ He wrestles me out of his chest and holds me in place. ‘When I’m talking to you, you look at me.’

  I keep my head down. ‘I don’t want to talk to you.’

  ‘Hard luck.’ He’s moving, making himself more comfortable. ‘Explain yourself.’

  ‘I got drunk, that’s all.’ I don’t mean to, but I’m gritting my teeth and looking up at him through pissed off eyes. ‘And stop talking to me like I’m a delinquent chi
ld.’

  ‘Then stop behaving like one.’ He’s deadly serious. I’m stunned.

  ‘You know what?’ I push up and get out of the bath, and he does nothing to stop me. He just lies back, all relaxed and completely unaffected by my little tantrum. ‘You might make me feel
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