Beauty and the Billionaire (Page 19)

Beauty and the Billionaire (Billionaire Boys Club #2)(19)
Author: Jessica Clare

“I know you’re a virgin, Hunter. I guessed as much. You were so young when you were hurt, I just assumed . . .”

An ironic twist flexed his mouth. Of course she knew. He was f**king obvious as hell. “I just wanted you to know that it’s not you. It’s me. It’s all me, and if I push you away it’s because I don’t know how to pull you close. I’m not . . . I’m not good with people.”

“I’m not, either,” she said in an easy voice. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I tend to blurt out the first thing I’m thinking.”

“I like that about you,” he told her honestly. “I like everything about you.”

“Mmm.” She sounded pleased.

Encouraged, he closed his eyes and rubbed that strand of hair, imagining the deep red spilling across his palm. “I can’t stop thinking about you, Gretchen. I want to touch you all over. Explore you. Give you pleasure like I’m supposed to, but every time you touch me, I just . . . lose it.”

“Hair trigger?” she said with a chuckle.

A knot of humiliation burned in his throat. He remained silent.

“Hunter. It’s okay. I don’t mind,” she said softly. “Is it me? Am I too forward for you?”

“No. I like you forward. It’s just . . .” He struggled to find the right words to say. For the first time, he wished the room weren’t so dark so he could see her face, see the expression in her beautiful eyes.

“Do you want to explore me? I don’t mind.”

He went silent. What exactly was she offering?

“Here,” she said in a low voice, moving his hand to her wrist. She then reached behind her and placed her hand on the headboard. “I’ll put my hands here and I won’t move them. You can touch me how you like, and I promise not to touch you back. We’ll go as slow as you need to. I promise.”

His breathing grew rapid. Hunter remained still, and when she didn’t move a muscle, he sat up, wishing he could see her in the darkness. But he didn’t want to turn the light on, not yet. He didn’t want to see her flinch. “What should I— what do you want?”

“Whatever you like. I’m here for the taking.” Her voice was sultry and still contained that delicious hint of fun that made Gretchen so very intoxicating to his senses. “This is your game. You’re in charge.”

It took him a long moment before he reached out on the bed . . . and discovered a smooth knee. He caressed it, marveling at the feel of her skin.

“You can go higher, you know. Nothing bites.”

“I know. I’m just . . . enjoying.” This was his first time to ever touch a woman and truly explore her. He wanted to savor the moment.

He’d never thought he’d have this. Even in his younger years, when he’d ached with need for a simple touch, he’d never considered hiring an escort for sex. To pay a woman to suck his c*ck and then watch her flinch when she saw him? No, paying for sex seemed like the worst of both worlds.

And yet Gretchen had offered herself to him. His hand trailed higher, caressing her thigh.

“Now we’re getting somewhere,” she said, her voice light but with a hint of a tremble in it.

“Are you . . . nervous?”

“I’m mostly excited,” she said, and he could hear the breathless quality of her voice. “Full of anticipation. My belly—and other parts of me—are tingling with it. I’ve been trying to get you to touch me for a week now.”

He knew. He just hadn’t had the courage until she’d more or less seduced him in the library. His exploring hand shifted upward and hit the edge of her shirt. He fisted it, drawing the material away from her body, imagining the material pulled taut against her br**sts, outlining her n**ples.

Nipples that he had carte blanche to touch. Another surge of need rose through him, and he felt pr**um sliding down the head of his cock, soaking the front of his boxers. Any minute now, he’d lose control. He had to pace himself.

Breathing deeply to calm his body, Hunter forced himself to relax.

“If you want to take that shirt off me, you’re going to have to do it on your own. I can’t help you, remember?” He heard the sound of her fingers drumming on the wood of the headboard as a reminder.

“I thought I was in charge here?” he bit back.

“You are. I’m just bossy even if I’m supposed to be all submissive,” she said, her voice saucy. “You can always spank me for being bad, if you want.”

He groaned at the visual. “Gretchen, please. I need to keep control.”

“Oh, of course. I’m sorry.” She didn’t sound sorry in the slightest. “I’ll just lay here and be quiet. All silent and needy and half-naked, but very willing to be fully nak*d if given the opportunity.”

His hand clenched tighter on the shirt, feeling the old fabric give a little. “What if I ripped this off you?”

Her breath caught in her throat. “That would be extremely naughty of you. I’m game.”

Hunter tugged harder at the fabric and heard a satisfying rip, as well as Gretchen’s intake of breath, followed by a mischievous giggle. Then he was holding the loose fabric in his hand and he tossed it aside.

“You going to rip my panties next?”

He flexed his hand, feeling her thigh next to his on the large bed. He didn’t remember what her panties looked like. They’d been swallowed up by the oversized shirt. His mind was suddenly full of mental images of Gretchen in sexy panties, an image he liked very much. “Are they sexy?”

“Mmm, not really. They’re boy shorts with a bit of lace. I wasn’t really coming here expecting to get laid, so I didn’t pack my best.”

“I . . . don’t know what boy shorts are.”

“Then yes, they’re incredibly, ultra sexy.”

“Then I shouldn’t rip them.” He was starting to get the hang of her teasing. In the darkness, it was a bit easier. Maybe she’d known that, and that was why she’d insisted on the lights being off.

He reached for her on the bed and, after a bit of awkward fumbling, touched a soft material that crossed over her thighs. He hooked his fingers into the waistband and began to drag them downward, his mind full of thoughts of earlier this afternoon, when he’d done the same thing and buried his face between her legs.

She’d liked that. God, he’d liked it also, but he had to pace himself. Had to. He intended on making this last long enough for him to get his fill. He might never have such an opportunity again. So he slid them down her legs and tossed them onto the floor.

His mind was suddenly filled with images of Gretchen, stretched out and nak*d on the bed. For him. His c*ck was rock hard in his boxers. She’d said he could explore her. Would it count as exploring if he ripped off his own boxers and sank deep inside her? No. She’d given him permission to touch. No more, no less. He’d take that and be grateful.

“You’re quiet,” she said.

“Just thinking.”

“Uh-oh. Good thinking or bad thinking?”

“Thinking about you. Good thinking.”

“Sexy thinking, I hope.”

“Thinking about where to touch you next.”

“Wellllll,” she drawled. “I’m told my feet are quite ugly. I’d advise against heading in that direction.”

“Nothing on you is ugly,” he said, meaning it. He’d change nothing about her.

“Perhaps you did not see my feet,” she said, amused.

He reached for her foot, determined to prove her wrong, and cupped her heel. He was immediately distracted by the size of her foot. She was small in comparison to him. His thumb ran along the underside of her foot, and then he slid his fingers over the arch. “Feels lovely to me.”

She shivered underneath his touch. “Your fingers are ticklish.”

“Should I stop?”

“No. It’s not a bad ticklish. Just . . . makes me shiver.”

Hunter felt an insane urge to lean in and kiss the top of her foot. Would her skin be soft there? He leaned in and brushed his lips over it to find out.

Her breath whooshed. A soft moan touched his ears. “Oh, okay. That feels pretty good.”

His fingers slid up her calf, exploring her skin. “You’re very soft, Gretchen.”

“Mmm, yeah. I’m pretty soft all over, I hear. All those hours at the computer and stuff. It doesn’t exactly lend itself to tons of muscles. Gardening seems to be working for you, though. That’s one amazing six-pack I saw when you got out of the shower.”

Her endless chatter was light and irreverent, and he suspected she was keeping up a steady stream of conversation to keep him at ease. It was working, too. He chuckled. “I don’t just garden, you know. I have a gym and I work out daily.”

He felt her shift, and she was suddenly sitting up in the bed. Her hands reached out, patting his shoulders in the darkness. “Holy crap, Hunter. Did you just laugh?” Her searching fingers touched his cheek. “I’m so bummed. I finally got you to laugh and I didn’t get to see it.”

Hunter stilled under her touch. Her fingers were touching his scarred cheek. The urge to push her hands away was strong, and he had to fight to remain still.

Her fingers hesitated on him. “Does this bother you? My touch?”

Yes, he wanted to say. He forced himself to swallow and answer instead, “Go ahead.”

Her fingers lightly touched his cheek again, tracing the line of his jaw, and then moving over the crease of one of his deepest scars. She continued, moving to his mouth and where the line of it extended unevenly. It’d been reconstructed during surgery, and he knew it twisted his smile. That was one of many reasons why he never did smile.

“I don’t find you ugly, Hunter. No one who knew you could.” Her voice was achingly soft. “If anything, I’m grateful that you have these scars, because they saved you for me—for this moment in time. And that’s a little selfish of me, isn’t it? And yet I can’t help but feel that way.”

His heart ached with the sweetness of her words. Hunter reached for her, cupping Gretchen’s cheek in his hand and drawing her forward. He wanted to kiss her. Their noses mashed together awkwardly, and he heard her giggle. He didn’t care. He liked that nothing was ever serious to her—it made him feel like there was less pressure on him to be perfect, to do this right. His Gretchen wouldn’t mind.

Hunter’s mouth slanted over hers, his lips placed in haphazard fashion against her own. It didn’t matter—she still tasted sweet, her lips soft. This time he was the aggressor, sucking on her lower lip until she parted her mouth, and then he stroked his tongue inside.

She moaned, and her tongue met his. Her hands curled in his hair, and she pressed her body up against him, even as they continued to kiss. Her n**ples scraped against his chest, and his breath exploded in a rush.

She gasped, pulling back from him. “Too much?”

He groaned. It had almost been. Pressing a hand to his forehead, he took a moment to recover. Her fingers stroked and petted him, trying to comfort. Instead, it was just driving him crazier. He pried one of her hands off him and kissed her palm. “Isn’t this supposed to be on the headboard?”