We stumble inside the hotel room, clawing at each other’s clothes. Our kiss deepens until I’m breathing Arthur’s air and he’s feasting on mine.
We fall onto the huge, soft bed amid countless pillows. Arthur imprisons me between his iron-clad thighs as he kisses his way along my jaw and to my collarbone. He sucks and nibbles on that sensitive spot in my throat, causing pleasure pools between my legs.
“I missed you,” he grunts against my ear as he tugs on my clothes. His fingers skim over my scorching skin while he unbuttons my shirt. My pulse explodes in my ears until it’s everything I hear.
The mere feel of his hand awakens a searing fire that’s been sleeping for years. He unclasps my bra and yanks down my skirt in impatient movements that mirror mine. His fingers spark burning trails in their wake. My nipples harden and tighten underneath his feral gaze as if beckoning him over.
I reach out for his shirt, but he all but rips it away, a few buttons scatter around us, hitting the floor with finality He almost ruins his belt, too, as he steps out of his trousers, remaining in black boxer briefs.
My fingers itch to touch his defined chest muscles and his cut abdomen. He’s become a lot lither and agile since the last time I’ve seen him.
He’s become irresistible, too.
Knowing he doesn’t like me – or anyone – touching him, I grab a fistful of the sheets instead.
Arthur captures both my wrists in one hand and slams them above my head on the mattress. I yelp as his head lowers to my throbbing nipple. A shot of pleasure rushes through me. His tongue laps around the sensitive peak until I’m squirming and tingling all over.
As if the onslaught of his wicked tongue isn’t enough, Arthur’s hand trails down to the curve of my hip and to the apex of my thighs. His finger dips inside me, and my entire body jolts with the force of it.
It’s been so long.
Arthur lifts his head, eyes darkening when moisture coats his hand. His digit moves in and out in a ravenous rhythm. Another finger follows the first, re-enacting the torturous pattern.
“Arthur…” I croak, my stomach tightening.
“Say my name again.”
“Arthur…” I’m breathless and molten. The words barely leave my mouth.
His grip tightens around my wrists as his eyes shine with a sheen of possessiveness and adoration. His thumb finds my clit, and he rubs the sensitive spot with an enchanting determination. My walls clench.
Waves of ecstasy crush into me. My head rolls back, and I scream his name. The constriction he has on my wrists adds to the endless shocks of arousal. They carry through me for what seems like an eternity.
When I come down from the daze, Arthur still has his fingers seated deep inside me. His darkened eyes are watching me with that satisfied, primal gleam, but there’s something else.
A vulnerability. A hunching in his broad shoulders.
His clutch on my wrists tightens more, refusing to let me go. It’s like he’s afraid I would leave again.
I’m so confused and pleased right now, I can’t think straight. The only thing I know for sure is that I want and miss him like no one is supposed to miss another human being. Worse, the feelings I always had for him might have strengthened during this separation.
My gaze dips to the straining in his boxer briefs. My tongue darts out to lick my lower lip. “Arthur, please.”
The smouldering in his intense eyes knocks the breath out of me. “Please what?”
“Please make me yours.”
All tension leaves his shoulders. A low grunt rips from the back of his throat as he pushes his boxers down. He’s all hard and lean and man. I’ve never seen anyone who rivalled his raw, masculine beauty.
Not that I’ve been looking.
He crawls atop of me, imprisoning me between his thighs. He then parts my legs and settles between them. Anticipation builds inside me like a fire that’s slowly but will surely burn me out. Hot lips trail kisses on my throat, my mouth, and along my breasts. His erection teases my wet folds until I’m a squirming mess beneath him.
With a shaky sigh, he releases my wrists.
For the first time since I’ve known Arthur, since he first touched me and ruined me for everyone else, he doesn’t restrain my wrists above my head or behind my back.
“You’re the only one I would allow to touch me like this, Eva.” There’s a slight vulnerability in his hungry gaze as he lifts my palm and places it on where his heart rests. The thundering beat underneath my fingers almost matches mine.
I run my hands from his rock hard muscles to his back and to his face while he watches with that blazing expression. I know how much he needs control. It means a lot that he trusts me enough to let me explore him.
He’s finally opening the door for me. It took years, long wretched years of separation, but he’s allowing me to touch him to my heart content – as I always asked to.
I sit up and trail kisses on his neck, letting my mouth linger for a moment. My lips draw a path from his collarbone and to his pectoral muscles. They flex under my mouth, and a rumble rips from his chest. Revelling in his reaction, I use my tongue to draw circles on his nipples. A shudder goes through his body, and he twitches at my entrance.
That’s when I know his patience is running low. As much as I love exploring him, my patience isn’t boding that well either.
Arthur leans over and cages my face with his warm hands. The deep swirl of his dark eyes implores mine, and he doesn’t seem like searching for my secrets. Instead, he’s letting me in on his.
He’s really opening up. Isn’t he?
A surge of happiness I haven’t felt in years engulfs me like a warm glow on a peaceful morning.
“Eva,” he rasps in that tone that melts my insides. “Do you have any clue how much I missed you? I thought I would go mad.”
“I missed you, too. So, so much.”
Tears form in my eyes as all those nights I spent alone slam back into me. At that time, he closed doors in my face and I did the same. I was a fool and so was he. None of that matters now.
He kisses my tears as he slides inside me, slowly, too slowly. It’s nothing like he’s ever done before. It’s like he really wants me to feel how much he misses me – how much he cares.
His eyes never leave mine the entire time, dark and deep. The intimacy alone nearly sends me over the edge. His width stretches me. I moan, long and loud, and probably his name.
Goodness. It’s been such a long time. I’m hanging on the verge of so many emotions and thoughts.
Arthur’s movements start measured and unhurried. Soon, his hips rotate and he thrusts into me with a frenzied rhythm that translates his passion, his madness. For me. Only me. With every slap of flesh against flesh, I turn into a puddle. I come undone, unravelling into a million threads. My walls clench around him with crippling force.
His back muscles turn rigid. A guttural growl rips from his throat. The pure male sound is music to my ears as he spills inside me. I dig my nails into him, trying to remain afloat, to not drown, although it doesn’t seem like a bad idea to drown in him.
I ran away from this. From the knowledge that Arthur can suck me into him until there’s no way out. I ran away from his darkness, from his overwhelming presence and the fact that he can become everything.
He was beyond what I was ready for, and since he pushed me away, I wasn’t confident enough to stay.
However, running away from him meant I’ve been running away from myself, too. The last three years were a repeated routine. I might’ve been living, but I never felt alive.
Am I ready to stop running? To take an irrevocable step?
Arthur lies on his back and pulls me to his side with a possessive arm around my waist. I’m splayed over his hard chest and thighs. I wrap my leg around his and rest my cheek on the crook of his shoulder.
This level of intimacy was so rare before. He always found a way to pull away. Work. Family. Meetings. It’s probably why we always met during the day – it was more convenient to push me away.
“Are you opening up?” My voice a little above a murmur, and I hate myself for the weakness. I hate that he can make me feel this way.
His fingers glide through my hair, creating a sensual caress. “I figured that’s the only way to make you stay.”
“Why did you push me away when all I wanted was to come close?”
“I was scared.”
The confession strikes a deep chord within me. The low tenor of his voice, the tensing of his muscles, and the way his hand stiffens around my waist tell a lot more than his words.
“I had countless women in my life,” he continues. “They loved me, or they thought they did. For the power, my family name, the looks, or even my coldness and cruelty. Whatever the reason was, they only saw my exterior and decided that was enough.” His voice drops to a shiver-inducing range. “You’re different, Eva. You dug through my defences and saw the real me. The ugliness, the nothingness, and anger. But that didn’t stop you or make you run away. Until it was too much and I finally repulsed you.”
“You never repulsed me and never will, Arthur.” Tears spring to my eyes again, and I wipe them with the back of my hand. “I was also scared. No, scratch that. I was terrified of losing myself to you. But when I started considering it, you kept pushing me away so I surrendered to my fear and fled.”
“Will you…” He trails off. Arthur never trails off. He clears his throat. “Are you going back to New York?”
“I don’t know.”
That fear is still gnawing at me. A man like Arthur is an enigma. He’s a patch of the darkness swirling in his eyes. He’s power. A thrill. A drug. I’ve been addicted to all that, and I need my fix again. However, if I decide to stay, there won’t be any going back.
“Give me time to think,” I close my eyes and inhale his addictive scent.
I missed this embrace. Arthur might be frightening to the rest of the world, but for me, his arms are the safest place to be.