Love Me Harder

Excerpt

One more chapter, then she’d go to bed. It was after two in the morning and Nate would be picking her up in four hours for their flight to Billings. But she could always sleep on the plane. The book she’d bought, intended for the flight, was too good to put down. She was about halfway through, so absorbed in the thriller she hadn’t heard Nate’s truck or the fall of his boots on her porch steps. When he used the hide-a-key she’d told him about, the scream ripped from her throat before she had a chance to think.

“Sweet baby Jesus, Cupcake!” Nate clutched his chest, his hat knocked askew.

“Nate!” She jumped from the couch and ran to him, smacking him in the shoulder with her paperback. “You scared the hell out of me. What are you doing here?”

He rubbed the place where she’d smacked him and stared down at her with wounded puppy eyes. “I was lonely. I’ve gotten used to falling asleep with you in my arms and waking up with your legs all twisted in mine.”

She exhaled a loud breath, her heart still galloping at a racehorse’s speed. “You could’ve called or texted, warned me.”

“I thought you’d be asleep,” he groused, hanging his hat up on what she now referred to as his hook. “I’d planned on stripping down and climbing in next to you all stealth-like so I could wake you up with my kisses.”

“Aw, that would’ve been so sweet,” she breathed. “Much better than the coronary you triggered.” She whacked him again.

“Ouch!” He grabbed the book out of her hand and tossed it over his shoulder.

“Hey! I was reading that!”

She tried to muscle past him, but he hooked an arm across her waist and pulled her back against him. His mouth found the tender spot at the crook of her neck and with one little nip, one tiny suck, she melted like a Popsicle left outside on a summer day.

“You can finish it on the plane.” He held her in place, using his free hand to glide down her bare shoulder and snake its way inside the sleep tank she wore. She moaned while he stroked, her nipples hardened into stiff peaks at his touch.

“I missed you,” he whispered in her ear, his teeth biting her earlobe. “I can’t sleep without you.”

For the past ten days, they’d been inseparable, insatiable. Since Nate hadn’t yet found a permanent place, something he was planning to do after the grand reopening, it made more sense for them to spend their private time at her place where they wouldn’t be under the scrutiny of the Point’s gossip mill.

She’d told him abou the spare key, not out of symbolism or anything, simply for practicalities sake. There were times she stayed later at the restaurant than he, and it made sense for him to come straight to her place to make dinner and get settled in for the night. She’d been getting accustomed to having him here in her space, which was weird because previously, the thought of sharing her home, her things, her precious time with another person would have sent her spiraling into a minor panic attack.

Maybe things were moving a little faster than she’d anticipated. But while Nate’s lips blazed a hot path along her throat, he continued to roll and tug her nipples between his thumb and forefinger. His other hand dipped into the waistband of her baggy sleep shorts, sending shocks skittering across her skin, and when one long, thick finger found its way into the slick heat hiding behind her short curls, it wasn’t panic or anxiety rising within. In fact, as he held her pinned to his body, giving her only the smallest leeway to roll her hips and tilt her head, she’d never felt more unencumbered, more free than this moment. Small, fevered gasps fell from her lips.

He tipped her head back and leaned forward, sealing her mouth with his, swallowing her moans while his hands slid over her. She tried to twist around, but he held her still. His hard ridge pressed against her backside, and she wriggled against him.

He growled in her ear. “I need to be in you now.”

He removed his hand from her breast and quickly unsnapped his jeans, still clutching her around the waist. He fumbled a bit, then yanked her shorts down. They pooled at her ankles and his hot steel twitched against her skin. With a hand between her shoulder blades, he gently pushed her forward. She took his cue and placed her hands on the wall opposite them, just to the side of the door. Foil ripped, latex snapped, then he nudged her legs wider and gripped her hips before plunging into her.

She cried out and he stilled. “Are you okay?”

“Oh, God, yeah. Do it again,” she rasped.

He placed a kiss at the back of her neck and slowly withdrew himself, then bucked his hips to spear her again. She rose up on her toes, changing the angle of the next thrust and cried out once more. “Faster,” she panted.

His fingers dug into her skin, the pleasure-pain paradox sending her flying higher, higher, until she let loose another shattering scream. He followed her over the precipice, pumping into her until they were both spent. With a final shudder, he collapsed against her, hot breath drifting over her cooling skin.

“I missed you, too,” she said between breaths.

His laugh rumbled against her back. “Can I take you to bed now?”

“Please.”

He adjusted himself, but left his pants undone, then scooped her into his arms and marched down the hall to the bedroom. She could get very used to this.

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