Filthy English (English #2)(16)

by Ilsa Madden-Mills

I shook my head. “It’s just . . . I lost the deposit on my reception—money I’d been saving for months when I worked at Minnie’s Diner. Lulu—she bought her own ticket, and she’s offered to pay for all my entertainment, but I won’t let her. When I get back to Whitman, I’ll have to find somewhere to live, pay rent, pay bills . . . stuff I didn’t plan for.”

I nibbled on my bottom lip. “Besides, obviously there are other things to worry about—like you saved my life, thank you, and you have a monstrous black eye coming up.” More details came into focus. I touched his face with gentle fingers that lingered across the scruff on his jawline. “At—at least there’s no blood.”

“For you, I’ll wear it as a badge of honor.” His eyes burned into mine.

My stomach fluttered.

What did he mean?

“Thank you,” I whispered.

He leaned his forehead against mine. “Anytime. I hear bodyguard work pays well. Maybe I should go into that after I graduate?” His hands pushed my hair out of my face, trailing his fingers through the long strands.

His touch was exactly what I needed.

Without much thought except for comfort, instinctively I pressed myself against him, fitting into his arms as easy as breathing. He leaned against the brick wall of the neighboring building and wrapped me up, sensing my need to be grounded.

I felt safe. Secure. Like nothing would ever hurt me again.

I don’t know how long we stood like that—maybe a minute, maybe five—but soon our breaths were in sync; the rise and fall of his chest in perfect accord with mine. One of his hands traced down my spine and then up. He outlined my shoulder blades with his fingertips. His hands drifted to my hips then caressed back up to my hair, massaging my scalp. I wanted to purr, and if it were possible, I sank even further into him. Not even a pin could have fit between us.

But what had started as an innocent hug changed. Fire licked my skin everywhere he touched. Of their own accord, my hands slid down to his waist and teased the line where his jeans rested on his hips. I went further, my fingers toying with the V at his hip until I felt him harden against me.

The chemistry had always been like that with us. Feverish. Ready in an instant.

That long weekend we’d been together, we’d never stopped touching each other. One glance from me and he’d been there on his knees, asking what I wanted, what I needed to feel good. I’d done the same, not able to get enough of him. Even when he wanted to tie me up or hold me down.

We’d been a bright burning sun, and we’d exploded at the end.

Lips brushed the top of my hair. “Remi . . . look at me,” he said, his voice raspy.

If you look up, you’re going to kiss him . . .

I tilted my head up and his mouth fused with mine in an instant.

Insistent.

Wild.

Hot.

Yes! This is what I needed.

Desire that had been on hold since our kiss at the bar surged through my body, weaving into every atom. I groaned, and my hands rushed to his shoulders and dug in.

He was wrong—terribly wrong—for me, but it felt so right.

I felt wonderfully alive, revved up, as if I could crush a car with my bare hands, or push Dax against the wall and fuck him senseless. I recognized the feeling for what it was—an I almost-died-and-now-I-want-to-experience-life feeling.

“Wait,” he breathed as I ran my hand under his shirt. “It’s adrenaline. You’ve been through a trauma. You don’t really want this—”

“Shhh.” I lifted his shirt and kissed his chest, my tongue flicking over his nipple. “You taste like every good thing I’ve ever wanted.”

His taut restraint snapped, and he swayed into me. “God, I can’t tell you no.”

“Then don’t.” My hand pushed against the hard length in his jeans. Stroked. “I remember how hot we were—how you loved to make me say your name. Don’t you want that again?”

His eyes blazed. “Yes,” he growled and took my mouth again, devouring me as I worked the zipper of his jeans down and slipped my hand inside. Of course he was commando.

We were frantic, our hands rushing, touching places we’d missed over the years. The press of his hands. His kisses. I wanted it all.

Finally, my body seemed to say. This. Me. Him. Fate. Meant to be.

His hand slipped down the neck of my dress and cupped my lace bra, teasing my nipple. I arched into him. All he’d have to do is touch me once in the right place and I’d detonate.

I cupped his shaft and stroked him from base to tip, ghosting my fingers over the tip, knowing exactly where he liked to be touched.

“Remi—you’re killing me,” he gasped out, laying his head back against the brick. “So many times I thought about this—”

“Remi?” A shrill voice belted out from behind us. “What the heck is going on? Our British guys ran off, and now you’re out here with Dax? I’m confused.”

Lulu.

“Yeah. What she said,” Spider added in a dry tone. “Although to me it looks like you two are flossing each other’s teeth.”

And now everyone was here. Just peachy.

My body shook from denied need as I leaned my head on Dax’s chest, trying to get my breathing under control as he discreetly zipped his pants up and straightened my dress.

Mortification warmed my cheeks.

One minute I was telling him I couldn’t be his friend and the next I was jamming my tongue down his throat.

God, I didn’t know who I was when I was with him.

Dax cupped my face, his face worried as he searched my eyes. “Adrenaline, love. Don’t be sorry and don’t blame yourself.”

I closed my eyes.

How did he have this ability to read my mind?

I nodded and we turned to face them.

I RAN THROUGH the details of what had happened with Spider and Lulu, describing how I’d found Remi fighting off Chad on the ground.

I should have come out sooner.

You aren’t her keeper, my brain said.

I reached for Remi’s hand and laced our fingers together. She tightened her grasp, and I pulled her against me as she responded to their questions, her voice low and weak, but her composure calm—better than I’d expected from someone who’d been attacked.

But then she’d always projected control.

Over the years, I’d listened in on conversations about her, just to know what she was up to. The times when I’d seen her at a campus-wide frat party and we’d come face to face, you’d never have known she knew me. With a frozen smile, she’d meet my gaze—and keep walking.