Understood, p.3
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       Understood, p.3
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         Part #1 of Unspoken series by Maya Banks
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  bottom lip with her teeth.

  “I don’t want to go home.”

  “Then look at me, Ellie. Tell me who you see. Tell me who’s going to make love to you in about two minutes.”

  “You are, Jake,” she whispered.

  He covered her mouth with his, his need to taste her nearly overwhelming. He’d waited years for this moment. He sucked gently at her tongue, grazing it with his teeth.

  He stared at her in confusion when she ended the kiss. Earnestness burned in her blue eyes as she pulled away.

  “There’s something I want to say too, Jake. About the other night.”

  He put a finger over her lips to shush her, but she shook her head.

  She took in a deep breath, and he wondered what the hell she could possibly have to say that was worth interrupting the moment.

  “Jake, the reason I went to that bar. I didn’t know you’d be there, you have to believe that.”

  He frowned. “That makes it better? Hell, Ellie, what if I hadn’t been there? Have you thought about that?”

  She colored and seemed to grow more anxious.

  “The reason I went…I went because I hoped that if I could go through with it, I mean I did it because I wanted you. I had to be sure I could go through with it.”

  He looked incredulously at her. “Am I supposed to be flattered that you thought you had to test drive some other cock in order to work up the nerve to climb into my bed?”

  She shook her head vigorously. “That’s not what it was about.”

  “Then what was it about?” he demanded.

  Her gaze dropped, and he reached out to nudge her chin up. “I wanted it to be perfect,” she said quietly. “I wanted you. I felt pretty positive you wanted me. I didn’t want our first time together to be a disaster because I couldn’t go through with it. I thought…I thought if I went to bed with another man, I could get past my demons.”

  Her lips trembled as the last words came tumbling out. He swore softly under his breath even as his chest tightened at her admission.

  “I’m so damn tempted to turn you over my knee and spank your ass. Of all the fool-headed, cockamamie things. Do you honestly think I’d sit back and be grateful you went to bed with another man before offering yourself to me on a silver platter?”

  Her blue eyes glimmered with a hint of moisture as she stared back at him.

  He moved his hand from her chin and stroked it over her cheek. “Ellie,” he said in a low voice. “I don’t expect you to pretend. Not with me. Never with me. You don’t have to put up a brave front and act like no one’s ever hurt you.

  “Do you understand how much I want you? Not your idea of perfection. I want you. Just the way you are. I want you so damn much I ache.”

  Her eyes widened.

  “Do you want me, Ellie? Do you ache like I do?”

  She leaned forward, reaching a hand to his face. The sheet fell once more, and this time she didn’t try to retrieve it. Her fingers slid over his jaw, and he turned his face so he could kiss the smooth skin of her palm.

  “I do want you, Jake. So very much. And you’re right. I’m not afraid of you. You’re the only person I feel safe with. But I’m afraid of me.”

  He looked hungrily at her. “Then trust me to make this perfect for both of us.”

  “I do, Jake. I do.”

  Chapter Five

  Ellie’s breath caught then released with a small hiccup. Jake stared so intently at her, his words wrapping around her and squeezing tight.

  His head bobbed close to hers. Their noses dodged, and he tilted his head until he was at the perfect angle to meet her lips.

  Heat sizzled and sparked between them. She felt him in every single cell. Her breasts tingled, and her nipples tightened painfully. Currents of desire fanned out, the sheer power making her weak.

  His hand snaked around her neck until he palmed the back of her head. He burrowed his fingers into her mane of hair, and he pulled her closer.

  “You taste so sweet,” he murmured.

  “Are you going to get undressed?” she asked.

  He smiled. “In a hurry, sweetheart?”

  Yeah, she was in a hurry. She couldn’t wait to see his body. Feel his naked skin on hers.

  He rose from the bed and stood just a foot away. With slow, measured movements, he pulled his flannel shirt from his waistband then began unbuttoning.

  Her pulse sped up as he parted the lapels and she caught her first glimpse of his muscled chest. He shrugged out of the sleeves and let the shirt fall to the floor.

  Holy moly. He had the most gorgeous chest she’d ever seen on a man, bar none. Broad shoulders, bulging arms, an abdomen with a pronounced six-pack. She nearly had to wipe the drool from her mouth. Never. Never had she imagined anything close to the reality staring her in the face.

  He lowered his thumbs until they hooked into his waistband. His fingers worked at the snap. Then she heard the bite of the zipper.

  She didn’t realize she was holding her breath until it all came rushing out. He lowered his jeans, his underwear coming with them. The thatch of dark hair at his groin came into view and then the thick base of his cock.

  The material of the jeans pulled at the straining flesh until finally he sprang free. Her eyes widened in shock. Her gaze shot up to meet Jake’s.

  He grinned. A cocky, self-assured grin. “I’ll fit, sweetheart. You’ll take all of me. And you’ll love every minute of it.”

  Heat flooded her, rushing to her cheeks. Her clit hummed and strained. She shifted to try and alleviate the discomfort between her legs. She ached. Jake had asked if she ached. But she wasn’t sure if the word did justice to the very real pain she felt.

  The bed dipped as Jake crawled up beside her. His big body hovered over hers until finally he collected her in his arms and pulled her up tight against him.

  “You’re beautiful. I’ve dreamed of this moment. Longer than you’ll ever know.”

  Her lips were temptingly close to the curve of his neck, and she gave in to the urge to sink her teeth into the corded muscles that formed the ridge between his shoulder and the base of his head.

  He flinched and emitted a low moan. Emboldened by his response, she nibbled a path to his ear where she swirled her tongue around the lobe before nipping sharply at it.

  “Goddamn, Ellie!”

  She smiled and continued her assault.

  “You’ve got to stop, sweetheart. I won’t last a nanosecond if you keep that up.”

  He gently pushed her away until her head rested on the soft pillow. He positioned himself above her, his green eyes blazing with a need she knew mirrored her own.

  She reached up a hand to trace the lines of his face, stopping when her fingers reached his lips. He sucked one of the digits into his mouth, nibbling lightly at the tip.

  He seemed patient, something that surprised her. Jake wasn’t the patient type. He was demanding, sometimes even surly. He tended to be abrupt, and he had no tolerance for procrastination. Yet, he lay there, regarding her with a lazy air.

  “Why are you staring at me?” she asked.

  “You’re beautiful, that’s why. I’ve never met a woman who makes me shake like you do.”

  She smiled. She couldn’t help it. What woman wouldn’t want to hear that she affected a man like Jake?

  “I want you to love me, Jake.”

  With a harsh groan, he bent and slid hot, hungry lips over hers. Gone was the patience. He devoured her like a man starved.

  She twisted restlessly underneath him. Her skin burned. She wanted. God, she wanted. It consumed her, tore into her like a jagged blade.

  His mouth worked fervently down her neck to her chest until his lips closed around one pointed nipple. As he sucked the tip into his mouth, she cried out.

  She felt the pinch between her legs as streaks of electricity raced from her abdomen.

  “Feel good, sweetheart?”

  “Oh God…”

  He chuckled before slid
ing his hard body down hers, kicking the covers back as he went. He stopped when his mouth was even with her sensitive belly, and he ran his tongue around the indention of her navel.

  Tiny goose bumps prickled over her flesh as his tongue trailed lower. And lower still.

  Her breathing sped up until she was panting. His fingers trailed through the curls surrounding her pussy and gently spread the folds.

  He touched his tongue to her clit, and she bolted upward, a sigh of pleasure escaping tightly compressed lips. Over and over, his mouth feathered across the quivering little bud until she was mindless in her ecstasy.

  One finger circled her opening before dipping inside the slightest bit. Then with a quick movement, he sucked her clit between his teeth and nipped as he plunged the finger deeper.

  She went wild, her hands curling tightly into the sheets. Her head flailed from side to side as her eyes closed tight against the burst of sensation that swept over her.

  “Jaaake!”

  He ignored her, easing another finger in to join the first.

  She was close. She was on the brink of something truly wonderful. But before she could reach out and take it, he stopped.

  He slid back up her body, his muscular thigh parting her legs. His cock, heavy and thick, nudged into her slick folds.

  She stiffened for a moment, a tendril of panic squeezing her chest.

  “Relax, sweetheart. We’re going to take this nice and easy.”

  He propped himself up slightly with one knee and framed her face with his hands. He stared down at her, his expression so gentle, devoid of the hard-ass persona he exuded ninety-nine percent of the time.

  He held her as he fitted his mouth to hers. This time, she sucked at his tongue, coaxing it inward. His taste was different from before, and she realized the sexy musk was her, the evidence of her pleasure.

  One of his hands left her face and reached between them. He reared back and rubbed his cock over the sensitive layers of her pussy. Now coated with her moisture, the head slid easily inside as he pushed forward.

  “Ahhh,” she exhaled as he gained more depth.

  Slowly, methodically, he worked his way deeper. She stretched to accommodate him. Ripple upon ripple of joy coursed through her system.

  Finally his hips pressed tight to hers. Her eyes flashed wide in astonishment. Above her Jake smiled, his eyes gleaming predatorily.

  “Told you I’d fit.”

  “Smug bastard,” she muttered.

  He laughed and worked his hips, flexing his cock against her vaginal walls. “You were made for me, Ellie. Only me.”

  She reached for him, wanting to hold him as he’d held her. He gave in to her need, lowering his body until he lay flush against her.

  He placed his forearms on either side of her head as she raised her legs to circle his waist.

  “That’s it,” he whispered against her cheek. “Hold on tight, sweetheart. Ride with me.”

  She loved the contrast of their skin—his dark brown, work-roughened skin to her softer, paler sheen. She relaxed her legs and let her ankles slip until they hooked underneath his ass. Then she slid her palms down his back and over his firm buttocks. They tightened with every powerful thrust, the muscles contracting underneath her fingertips.

  The tension in her pelvis grew. His movements became more forceful, and he increased his speed. Their ragged breathing spilled into the quiet room.

  She closed her eyes, holding on to him for dear life. She felt as though she were a balloon being inflated impossibly large. Every muscle strained to near bursting. Soon she’d pop, and yet the pressure continued to build.

  “Jake!”

  “I’m here, sweetheart,” he rasped in her ear. “Come for me, Ellie. I’m so close.”

  Her cry was lost as he captured her mouth in a passionate brand of ownership. She convulsed wildly, bucking upward to meet his pumping thighs.

  The room grew dim. Blackness edged in her vision. The slap of flesh on flesh ricocheted. Then she broke apart. She simply exploded, unable to bear the mounting frenzy any longer.

  Exquisite bursts of pleasure overwhelmed her until she truly feared passing out. She tried to catch her breath but found she couldn’t force air into her lungs.

  Jake crushed her against him, slipping his arms underneath her body and holding tight. He grunted next to her ear then collapsed onto her, driving her further into the bed.

  He lay there for a long moment, his chest heaving as he sucked in great mouthfuls of air. Then he propped his body up with his arms and gazed down at her.

  “Are you all right?”

  She smiled and traced a pattern on his face with her fingers. “What do you think?”

  “I think you nearly killed me, wench.”

  She laughed, astonished at how relaxed and joyful she sounded.

  He rolled to her side and stared up at the ceiling. “We didn’t use protection, Ellie.”

  She turned on her side so she could better look at him. “It’s okay. I’m on the pill.”

  He cocked one eye at her. “Still, I had no business not using a condom. I didn’t even think beyond getting between your legs. You make me as crazy as a horny teenager.”

  She smiled and placed her hand on his chest. He put his hand over hers and brought her palm to his mouth.

  “I’ll take care of you, Ellie. I promise.”

  An odd rush hit her square in the chest. “I know you will, Jake.”

  Silence descended between them for a few seconds. He tucked his arm around her and pulled her down until her head was pillowed on his shoulder.

  “Why are you on the pill?” he asked. “I know there hasn’t been anyone since Ray.”

  He said it with such confidence, but then Jake was nothing if not self-assured. And he knew her well. Better than anyone else ever had.

  Oddly enough she didn’t flinch at the mention of her ex-husband’s name. Most people who knew her beyond a general acquaintance tactfully avoided mention of him or her marriage. She liked that Jake was so blunt with her. It proved he wasn’t treating her like half a person. One damaged and scarred beyond repair.

  “I started taking them when Ray and I were still married,” she said quietly. “I was desperate not to get pregnant.”

  Jake’s arm tightened around her then he turned until they were nearly nose to nose.

  “Ellie…that night. Was it the first time he hurt you like that?”

  She swallowed, unsure of whether she should admit the truth. Jake looked intently at her, so much feeling in his eyes, she had difficulty sorting out the various emotions she saw reflected.

  “No,” she finally said. “It’s why I started taking birth control pills on the sly. I would never have willingly gone to bed with him, and I would have died rather than bring a baby into our marriage.”

  Jake’s eyes closed, his face creased into an expression of pain.

  “Jake, don’t,” she whispered. “Let’s not think of him. Not right now. He’s the last person I want between us when I’m in bed with you.”

  “I hate myself for not seeing him for what he was,” Jake said bleakly.

  She leaned in to kiss him, effectively halting anything else he might say. “I don’t hate you. I hate him. You’re not to blame. He is.”

  He pushed his hand into her hair, running his fingers through the strands. Then he pulled her to him again. He kissed her lightly, several times in succession. Each time he touched a different part of her mouth.

  When he finally eased away, his eyes were glazed with need. She glanced down his body to see his semi-aroused cock coming back to life.

  “Jake?” she asked, a little breathlessly, a little unsure.

  “Yes, sweetheart?”

  “I want to touch you. I want—I want to make love to you. Can I?”

  Chapter Six

  All the breath left Jake’s body in one harsh wheeze. “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, woman. What the hell kind of question is that?”

  Her lips, swoll
en from his kisses, spread upward into a shy smile.

  “Please have your wicked way with me. I’m not too proud to beg.”

  Her gaze fell to his dick, and he felt a bolt of arousal as he imagined what she had in mind.

  “Touch me, sweetheart,” he said huskily. “Before I go nuts.”

  She sat up and shoved at him until he was flat on his back. He folded his hands behind his head, content to lie back and let her do her thing.

  She had the look of a hungry woman ready to feast. There wasn’t a nerve ending in his body that wasn’t jumping like a frog on speed.

  He flinched when she bent down and pressed her lips just two inches above the thatch of hair surrounding his cock. Her tongue swept out and swirled a trail to his navel, and every one of his muscles rippled in response.

  His cock stood fully at attention now, begging for her touch. For her mouth. God, he wanted her mouth. Her tongue. Hell, right now he just wanted her to touch him.

  She petted him, brushing ever so lightly over his chest. Down to his thighs. His hips. He arched, trying to guide himself toward her hand, but she moved her fingers down his legs.

  “Miserable tease,” he complained.

  “What do you want me to do?” she asked, a devilish twinkle in her eye. Ah, hell. She knew exactly what she was doing.

  He snagged her fingers and pulled them to his straining cock. He curled her palm around the base and moved it up and down.

  “I want to taste you.”

  He groaned. “God, sweetheart, I want you to taste me, too.”

  She dipped her head, her silky curls falling over his thighs. He released her hand and shoved his fingers into her hair, pulling it away so he could see.

  He flinched and moaned again when her pink tongue flicked out to swirl around the head. Her lips parted, and she slowly slid her mouth over the tip, down the base until he was lodged against the back of her throat.

  “Mother fuck,” he swore.

  His fingers tightened in her hair as he arched into her. She made the sweetest sucking sounds as her mouth worked up and down. Her tongue felt like a velvet glide, slightly rough, hot. The ache began deep in his balls and swelled upward.

  She eased her lips up from the base until the head popped out of her mouth with a wet sucking noise.

  “Tell me you’re not finished,” he said, not giving a damn about the fact he was pleading.

  She grinned. “Oh, I’m not finished.”

 
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