The darkest hour, p.25
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       The Darkest Hour, p.25

         Part #1 of KGI series by Maya Banks
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Page 25


  Now to get Rachel.

  Dragging a hand over his hair and then down the front of his shirt, he sucked in a breath to steady his bounding pulse and walked back into the living room, where Rachel stood at the glass doors looking into the night.

  He came up behind her and slid his hands up her arms and over her shoulders. Her hair fluttered and caught the light. He stared for a moment and then leaned down, nudging her hair aside with his mouth as he nuzzled the side of her neck.

  Her soft sigh of contentment sent a wave of satisfaction over him. He loved the softness of her neck and the silky short hairs at her nape. And her smell. So feminine and light. He inhaled deeply and kissed the area just behind her ear, enjoying her betraying twitch.

  “Come into the bedroom with me?”

  She turned and twined her arms around his neck, leaning up on tiptoe so her mouth was close to his.

  “I’m so nervous,” she admitted. “I want you to know that. I’m not afraid. I know you won’t hurt me. I’m not even sure why I’m so anxious. I want this so much, but my stomach is fluttering like crazy. ”

  He stroked her cheek, tracing the lines of her jaw and then her lips.

  “I’m nervous too, baby. We’ll be nervous together. This matters. We both want it so much. We just need to relax and take it slow. Take it together. ”

  “Oh, I like that,” she breathed. “Together. Make love to me, Ethan. ”

  He took her hand and pulled her toward the bedroom. When he led her in, she stopped and turned in a circle, her eyes wide at all the flickering candles.

  He bent to nuzzle her ear. “I take it you approve. ”

  She sighed and leaned into his touch. “You didn’t have to do all of this. ”

  “But I wanted to. I want this to be perfect. ”

  Rachel turned and slid her hands up his chest to his shoulders. She loved the hard contours of his body, the slight dips, the ridges. Perfect. How could it be anything else? This was what she had waited for.

  “It will be, Ethan. ”

  He lowered his head. She tilted hers to the side. Their mouths were just an inch apart. The first touch of his lips sent a shiver down her spine.

  Soft. Exquisitely tender. She curled her hands behind his neck and pulled him closer. It was she who deepened the kiss, she who demanded more.

  She felt deliciously wanton, and for the first time in longer than she could remember, she felt beautiful and desirable.

  Ethan’s hands ran down her back, then lower, until he palmed her behind. He squeezed lightly, rolling and kneading the cheeks.

  She loved how he tasted. It was hard to put a label on it. Part of it was smell. Strong and masculine. She kissed a line along his jaw then pulled his head lower so she could sample the column of his neck.

  When she found his earlobe, he let out a long hiss. With a smile, she sucked the lobe between her teeth and teased it with her tongue.

  “You realize I’m supposed to be seducing you,” he growled.

  She laughed and simply let the joy of the moment wash over her.

  “How about we seduce each other?”

  He captured her lips again. “I can work with that. ”

  Their kisses became hotter, more breathless, less teasing. Deep in her belly, desire curled, tighter and tighter, spreading outward in waves.

  “First rule of seduction. At least one of us has to get naked. Preferably you,” he murmured.

  Nervous apprehension replaced some of the excitement. It was silly. He’d seen her naked. Many times. They’d made love before. But for her it was like the first time all over again.

  “Hey,” he said softly. He drew away and tucked a finger under her chin, prompting her to look up at him. “We’ll take this as slow as you need. If I could make love to you with you fully clothed, I’d do it, but I think we both know that’s not an option. ”

  She giggled and felt some of her unease leave her.

  “Let’s not take it too slow or we’ll both be old and decrepit before we ever make love. ”

  “Mmm, I plan to make love to you until they put me in the grave. That’s what they make Viagra for. ”

  She leaned into him and hugged him fiercely as another laugh escaped.

  “Make you a deal. We undress together. Last one naked is a rotten egg. ”

  She yanked away as she said the last and immediately began peeling her clothes off.

  “Oh hell no,” he sputtered. “Maybe you don’t remember what a competitive family you married into. ”

  “While you’re talking, I’m getting naked,” she taunted.

  A wicked glint sparked in his eyes. “I fail to see how I lose either way. ”

  To her utter shock, he was out of his clothing before she managed to get her jeans off.

  All her breath left her body as she stared, transfixed, at the lean contours of his muscular body. Narrow hips, broad shoulders, a hard chest. At his groin, a dark nest of hair surrounded his jutting erection.

  Her mouth fell open and she stared with unabashed fascination.

  “Hell, Rachel, you’ve seen me before,” he muttered.

  She swallowed and glanced back up at him. To her surprise there was a hint of awkwardness in his eyes. She smiled.

  “How on earth did you get out of your clothes so fast? I got a head start for Pete’s sake. ”

  He grinned, his shoulders relaxing. “You forget I was in the Navy. You have to be able to shuck and jive pretty damn fast. ”

  “More like you don’t have all the crap we women have to wear,” she grumbled.

  “I’d be more than happy to help,” he said innocently.

  She gestured down her body at her bra and panties. “Be my guest. ”

  He closed in on her, and she stared down once more at his cock. She wanted to touch it so bad, and then she realized there was no good reason she couldn’t.

  As he pressed against her, she reached down and circled his girth with her fingers.

  He groaned. “You don’t play fair. ”

  Fascinated by the dual sensations of hard and soft, she stroked, amazed when he grew even harder in her grasp.

  “Do you like that?” she asked.

  “Hell yes. ”

  “I’m still clothed,” she reminded him.

  “Not for long. ”

  He backed her toward the bed, his hands gliding down her sides and to her hips. His thumbs hooked into the band of her underwear and he tugged.

  One hand slipped around to the small of her back and then delved lower to where the panties had covered the spot just above the cleft of her behind. He stroked and then slid his fingers lower, along the seam, and she shivered with pleasure.

  He obviously knew all her sweet spots. In truth, she was looking forward to discovering them again with him. How odd it felt to make love to a man who remembered her pleasure points, when she herself didn’t.

  “I love your ass. I’d be a happy man if you never covered it. ”

  She flushed at his statement, but a surge of pleasure at his approval rushed heatedly through her veins.

  “I could arrange to uncover it for you on a regular basis,” she offered.

  “Mmm, you’re on. ”

  Her underwear fell down her legs and pooled at her feet. His mouth found her neck, and she tilted to the side to give him better access. As he kissed a line down to her shoulder, he moved his hands up to her bra straps and pulled them down her arms.

  Hot and warm, his mouth worked lower, just above the swell of her breasts. His fingers fumbled with the clasp of her bra and finally it fell away, baring her breasts to his mouth.

  She sucked in her breath and held it when his lips hovered precariously close to her nipple. She strained upward, wanting that intimate contact. Her nipples puckered and formed stiff, sensitive points.

  And then his mouth closed around one straining peak.

  Her knees buckled, and she clutched desperately
at his shoulders in her effort to remain standing. He sucked strongly and laved the bud with his tongue.

  Pleasure streaked sharply through her groin. Her pelvis tightened unbearably, and her clit swelled and twitched. She wanted him to touch her there, to relieve the unbearable pressure that grew with each swipe of his tongue.

  For a moment, she lost her sense of time and place. Feeling, sensation, things she’d long been void of, came rushing at her from all directions. It frightened and thrilled her in equal parts. For too long the only things she’d felt were fear and loathing. How much more powerful were sensations of being loved and cherished?

  And then he gently enfolded her in his arms, almost as if he knew how quickly she’d spiraled out of control. He was an anchor in a violent storm. Her rock. Her protection. She melted into him, holding on to him with what she could only deem desperation.

  He picked her up. Her feet left the floor, and he carried her back until the mattress clipped the backs of her calves. Then he lowered her ever so carefully. His eyes bore into her. His expression was a study in fierce concentration. And determination.

  Her back met the plush softness of the sheets. She shivered when for a moment he left her. Immediately she felt bereft of his warmth.

  But he returned, crawling onto the bed. He loomed over her, his gaze so intent that she felt the heat to her toes.

  “I wonder if you even know how beautiful you are to me,” he whispered as he straddled her body.

  Sudden tears swam in her eyes, and she smiled up at him. She reached up to touch his face, her fingers shaking with the force of her emotions.

  “Right now I feel beautiful. ”

  He captured her hand and pressed her palm to his lips. “I don’t want a day to ever go by where you don’t feel as beautiful as you do right now then. I’ll consider it my job to remind you at every opportunity. ”

  Her heart melted.

  He took her hands and slowly lowered them to the mattress. He slid them high, just above her head, until he stared down at her, and she lay underneath him, completely vulnerable.

  The thought should scare her. Logically. But she’d never felt safer. She smiled and arched her body invitingly.

  With a tortured groan, he kissed her hungrily, loosing some of his tightly held control. He didn’t just kiss her, he ravaged her mouth.

  Hot. Deep. So breathless she could never catch up. His tongue slid over hers, tasting, delving until all she could taste was him. All she could feel was him.

  His body came down over hers, his hardness melding to her softer curves. His erection prodded impatiently at the juncture of her thighs, but he didn’t press forward. She cradled his hardness, the delicious sensation of him sliding over her most tender flesh, so erotic, so immensely pleasurable.

  She opened her legs, and his cock jumped, bumping against her swollen, throbbing clitoris. She moaned softly and twisted restlessly underneath him. He swallowed up the sounds she made. Devoured them and her with his hungry mouth.

  The past year slipped from her mind. There was only now. Only the indescribable feeling of being back in her husband’s arms. He moved over her, big and urgent. She felt small underneath him but so very protected and cherished.

  He swallowed her. No part of her was left untouched. His hands slid down her waist to her hips. His fingers curled underneath her buttocks, and he held her as he inserted his thigh between hers to spread her farther.

  Then he slipped a hand between them and tenderly pushed his finger between her folds. The tip fluttered across her clitoris, and she reacted immediately, arching up. A whimper escaped her mouth.

  He propped himself up with one hand while he carefully explored the delicate tissues of her femininity. He eased one finger inside her, testing her readiness.

  It was almost enough to send her completely over the edge. She clamped down around his finger, her body so tight that she feared bursting.

  He worked his thumb over the taut nub hidden within her folds, as he slid another finger inside her.

  “Ethan, please. ”

  It didn’t sound like her. This needy, mindless woman wasn’t her, was it? She wanted to beg. Wanted to force him to thrust inside her. She wanted him more than she imagined ever wanting anything else.

  As if sensing how far gone she already was, he shifted his body back over again and reached to position his cock at her opening. He took the time to stroke her with his fingers once more before moving his hand up to lace his fingers with hers.

  “Tell me if I hurt you,” he said hoarsely. “I want you with me all the way, baby. If anything I do scares you, tell me. I’ll stop. ”

  In response she lifted her hips, wanting him to slide inside.

  He closed his eyes, as if fighting for control, and inched forward. She gasped at the sensation of him opening her, of her body stretching to accommodate him. It was the most magnificent, overwhelming sensation.

  Her eyes went wide, and her breath caught in her throat when he probed deeper.

  He stopped and looked down at her, his eyes worried.


  She nodded, too wired and senseless to form a coherent response. Her nails dug into his shoulders as she silently urged him on.

  Finally he moved. In one hard thrust, he went deep. Her mouth opened in a silent exclamation. Her vision blurred. She shivered uncontrollably and held onto him for dear life. She wasn’t going to last. It was too much. It had been too long.