Lost With Me by J. Kenner
Series: The Stark Saga #5
October 23, 2018
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His name dies on my lips, but I hear it all the same in my head. Damien. My voice breathy. Full of need.
He eases me back so that my body is flush against his, and I close my eyes, losing myself in the way his touch makes me feel even while fighting the urge to step away. To tell him to stop. That we’re in public, and we can’t do this.
But I don’t. I stay, and as I close my eyes in acceptance of my own desires, I hear his low, soft moan of satisfaction and feel the swell of his erection against my lower back, his arousal growing with my acquiescence.
Because while I may not want to be the kind of woman who gets turned on by her lover’s touch in a public gallery, I can’t deny the heat building between my thighs any more than I can deny the basic truth that where Damien is concerned, there are no limits. Not because I have none, but because he knows how to take me right to the edge. To make me breathless and needy and desperate. But never to push too far.
I’d changed before meeting Jamie for lunch, and now I’m wearing a knit tank that hugs my body and a wrap style skirt that fastens with a single button at my hip. His hands are pressed against the curve of my waist, the heat of contact burning through the black knit of my top. I make a small move as if to turn around, but he tightens his grip, his utterance of noso soft that I may have only imagined it.
But I know I’m not imagining the motion of his hands as he slowly eases them up my body, making my heart beat faster with each millimeter of progress higher and higher. My breath is shallow, and I whisper his name, “Damien,” not certain if I’m acknowledging the moment, pleading with him to stop, or begging him to continue.
His hands curve under my breasts, his palms lifting them as he presses his thumbs down until my nipples are pinched tight between his thumbs and forefingers. He increases the pressure, and I suck in air, squeezing my legs together, my clit throbbing as I bite my lower lip and fight the urge to surrender to the heat that is building inside me.
“You’re wondering if it’s pleasure she’s feeling,” he says, and my mind has traveled so far from these walls that it takes me a moment to realize that he’s referring to the woman in Blaine’s painting. “Pleasure or embarrassment,” he adds as his right hand eases lower, his fingers finding the flap of material where the ends of the skirt overlap.
He slips his hand in, his palm sliding over the brushed cotton, his fingers slowly tugging the interior layer toward him. It bunches within his hand, and I bite back a gasp when his fingertips graze the bare skin of my thigh. “Was she turned on by the knowledge that so many would see her portrait?”
His fingers slowly ease higher, closer and closer to my bare sex. I bite my lower lip and close my eyes, my entire body aching with need, craving his touch. I can imagine his hand cupping my sex, his fingers sliding inside as his lips brush my ear while he whispers to me, his sensual words making my imagination soar as my body quivers and tightens and explodes around him, and taste blood from biting down so hard to keep from crying out.
I imagine all of that. Craving it. Desperate for it.
And at the same time terrified of it.
“Not here,” I murmur, resting my hand over my skirt. Over his hand. “Not now.”
His fingers still, but he inches closer, his heat burning into my body, the beat of his heart reverberating through me.
“I got your note. And your present.” His whisper rumbles through me, his words making me even more aware that I’m bare beneath this skirt. “I missed you by just ten minutes.”
“How did you find me?”
“I have my ways. And I’m willing to use all my resources to get what I want.”
There’s a tease in his voice, and I smile in realization and amusement. Because it didn’t actually take too many resources. Just the app that’s installed on both our phones as well as our cars—and Bree’s, of course, in case we need to find her and the kids.
He would have checked his phone, seen that I’d parked in Beverly Hills, and remembered that I was going to check on the girls’ cakes today. Presumably he was following my route and saw me step in here.
“Do you really think I need a tracking device to find you?” he counters, after I tell him all that. “Don’t you know that you’re always in my heart, and how can I lose track of that?”
I smile and sigh happily, his words delighting me. And, who knows. Maybe it’s true. My husband is a remarkable man.
“I wanted to see you.” There’s a tone of finality in his voice. As if the details simply don’t matter. As if his will alone is enough to find me.
Maybe it is.
“To touch you.” The fingers of his hand that still cup my breast tighten on my nipple, sending a new shock of desire running down to my core.
“I wanted to know if you’re still bare, or if you’ve put on a fresh pair of panties.” His hand stays perfectly still, but, damn me, I relax the pressure of my own hand that’s been keeping his in check.
“We can’t.” It’s a public gallery. Anyone could come in. But even as I think that, my eyes roam the room. The section we’re in has no windows. And the gallery is empty and echoey, with a bell over the door. We’re alone, except for Emily. And if she came this way her heels will undoubtedly click on the floor, giving us plenty of warning.
The thought—the fantasy—makes my body tighten. “We can’t,” I repeat, as much to underscore the point as to remind myself of that very basic truth.
“No?” His mouth brushes my ear, his breath disturbing my hair and sending shivers down my spine. “What if I told you that Emily was busy at her computer. That she’s locked the door for lunch. That I’m certain we won’t be seen.”
I swallow and say nothing, afraid that if I speak, my desire will betray my common sense.
“She won’t want to disturb us. Not when we might be contemplating a purchase. Destroy the moment, and she could lose a sale. She knows that. Knows that a client needs to get lost in the art. In the moment.”
His thumb has been making small circles on my breast, and my heart is beating so hard now that I’m surprised Emily can’t hear its echo on the far side of the gallery. On my legs, his fingers move subtly. Not rising, but neither are they still. Instead, his fingertips brush my bare flesh in sensual movements designed to entice and tease.
“What do you want, Nikki?” His words are as tender against my flesh as his fingers. “Do you want me to move higher, millimeter by millimeter, up your wet thighs as you hold your breath in anticipation? Would you cry out if I stroked your clit, unable to hold back the explosion?
“Or maybe I shouldn’t stroke you there at all. Maybe I should slide my fingers deep inside you. Feel how slick you are, the way your body will clench around me, drawing me in as I use my thumb to tease around your clit. Never quite touching, but drawing you up and up, until you can’t take it anymore.”
I can’t take it right now, and I’m certain he knows it. I want to tell him to stop—except I don’t want him to stop.
And so all I do is whisper his name. A plea. A prayer.
“That’s right, baby.” I hear heat in his low, melodic voice, a passion now equal to my own. “Would you scream my name when you explode? Or would you be so quiet as you tremble in my arms, that I’d be the only one who knows the force of your orgasm rocking through you?
I’m trembling now, so close to the explosion he’s describing that my skin seems to sizzle. The thin whisper of air from the ducts above does nothing to cool my heated flesh. I want the release, crave it, and yet I can’t quite let myself go. Not here. Not like this.
Damien knows that, of course. His real purpose isn’t to make me come—it’s to take me to the precipice. Pleasure, yes, but underscored by frustration. By need. And, ultimately by anticipation.