The Hating Game Page 82

“It’s a Shortcake-sized soap,” he comments, taking it from me and biting the package. He pinches the little coin of soap out and holds it up between forefinger and thumb.

“I am going to enjoy this.”

I am so dazzled by the sight of his velvety gold skin being streaked with water I can’t do anything for a few minutes except stare, my tongue peeking out the corner of my mouth like a hungry dog. The water channels down between each muscle, before overflowing and sheening the flat planes.

The shading of hair begins in the center of his chest, fanning outward to his nipples, and moving downward in a thin line toward his navel. After being bombarded with a million billboards of shiny men in their underwear, I nearly forgot men have hair. I follow the water down, the thicker hair, the imposing jut of his erection. All of it wet. Beautifully veined, enough to make my knees lose their strength. He was inside me. I need it again. I need it so many times I lose count.

“You are . . .” I shake my head. I have to close my eyes, to remember how to speak English. He’s too much. I can’t have possibly captured this big golden creature inside a glass hotel shower, and he’s looking at me with those eyes I love so much.

“Oh, no, I’m hideous,” he whispers, mock tragic, and I feel the soap press against my collarbone. It starts to swirl in a little circle, sticky then slick.

“My personal trainer was so sure this disguise would help with women. What a fucking waste of time and energy.”

I drag my eyes open, and they must look like I’ve been in an opium den because he laughs.

I press my thumb into the smile line on his cheek. “You’re gorgeous. Beautiful. I can’t believe you.”

I back away until I’m pressed against the tiles, to get a better view, and now it’s his turn to look at every wet inch of me. My arms ache with the effort it takes to not cover myself. His perfect muscles make me look very squishy in comparison. His eyes darken as he looks at me from head to toe.

“Get over here,” he says faintly. I take his hand when he holds it out.

What a way to start the day. Showering with my colleague and nemesis.

As soon as the thought materializes, I know it’s so outdated I can’t keep lying to myself. He tugs me away from the freezing tile and faces me toward the spray, rechecking the temperature before he pushes me under. Then he puts his arms around me from behind and gives me what can only be described as a cuddle. I press back firmer against his arousal to feel him groan.

“How You Doing? Not weird? Freaking out?” He smoothes lather under my breasts, down my ribs. He lifts my arm to inspect it, and we compare hand sizes.

“No, I’m fine. How come we don’t have to worry about you getting weird? Most girls have to worry about guys making up an early-morning training session so they can escape. And in this case it’s not implausible.”

“I’ve been ready for this for a lot longer than you have,” he says. He seems to know I don’t want to get my hair wet, and turns us a little. His slippery hands coast along my hips.



“How long?”

“A very long time.”

“I never guessed.”

“I’m very secretive.” He is gently amused.

I capture the soap, which is fast on its way to becoming a translucent sliver. I stick it to my palm, and it gives me a good excuse to stroke over his body, while his tongue licks at the water droplets on my jaw.

We look at each other, nose to nose, eyes half shut, and everything spirals out. The edges are nothing but cold air, but underneath this spray we get hotter and hotter, until I’m sure I’m nearly sweating. It’s this kiss.

The minutes and hours fade away when I’m kissing Josh Templeman. There’s no arc of the sun rising into the sky, no emptying hot water tank, no checkout time. He takes his time with me. He’s a rare man; achieving the almost impossible. He kisses me into the present moment.

It’s something I’ve always had difficulty with in past relationships: turning off my brain. But here, it’s only us. Our lips find a rhythm; the gentle upswing of a pendulum, dropping away to the lightest curve, again and again, until there’s nothing left for me in this world but his body, mine, and the water spilling over us, destined to refill a cloud.

He makes words like intimacy seem inadequate. Maybe it’s the way he uses his thumb to tilt my face, the other fingers splayed behind my ear, into my hair. When I try to gasp a mouthful of air, he breathes it into me. My head rolls to the side, dreamy and heavy, and he cups my jaw. I look up at him, and a starburst of emotion expands inside me. I think he sees it in my eyes, because he smiles.

Nothing reminds me of how big his hands are like having them on my body. He cups my ribs in his palms, then slides up to show me how perfectly I fill his hands. When I can’t handle much more, he turns me to the wall and his fingers splay wings across my shoulder blades.

Nails scratch down smoothly and he’s whispering against my neck.

He’s telling me I’m beautiful. The most delicious strawberry shortcake. I’m the taste he’ll never get out of his mouth. And that he wants me to be sure, completely sure, before I make a decision about us.

He’s licking the water from my shoulders as he eases one broad palm in between my thighs. I feel my foot slide across the tiles an inch. Two. I shiver and he puts an arm across my collarbones.

At the first touch of his fingertip, I hear the sound I make echo around us. He begins to wind me tighter with each gentle circle he draws, and I reach behind me, capturing him in return. Our joint moan creates a cavernous buzz against the tiles.

“Give everything to me,” he says into my ear. I repeat it back to him. I’ve got nothing but wet, hot muscle against me, all around me, his mouth nipping at my earlobe and his strong thrust into my inadequately small hand. He doesn’t seem to mind; in fact, he’s starting to groan.

I’ve got problems of my own. Like trying to not make so much noise people outside our room can hear me. It’s surprisingly difficult, given the heavenly amount of friction he is giving me. Shush, Josh half laughs. I begin to teeter, and his teeth scrape the nape of my neck. I tighten my grip on him. We both stretch taut and snap at virtually the same moment.

This one is an unfurling bloom. His cheek is resting on the tile above me, and we wordlessly look at each other as we shake. It’s a strange thing, watching each other come apart. I have a feeling I could get used to this.

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