Authors: Jackie Ashenden
You really need to make it up to her.
Yeah, he really did.
Stilling his hands, he said, ‘You really think I’m only doing this as a tit-for-tat thing?’
Her gaze flickered away as she lifted a shoulder. ‘I don’t know. Maybe.’
His heart felt tight in his chest. She tried to act the part of the tough chick but really, she was a vulnerable little thing at heart. ‘Look at me,’ he ordered.
She sighed, but did as she was told.
He held her gaze. ‘I’m doing this because I want you, Francesca Woodford. I’ve wanted you for years.’
Frankie couldn’t look away from him. She wanted to deny it, tell him that it wasn’t true. Tell him he couldn’t possibly want her, and yet there was no denying the heat in his eyes.
I’ve wanted you for years.
Did he mean it? Really and truly?
She opened her mouth, knowing she had to say something and not sure what. But he got in ahead of her.
‘Don’t say anything.’ His hands squeezed her thighs gently, the gold in his eyes glittering with intent. ‘Just let me prove it to you.’
Her throat was dry, an insistent ache right down low inside her. ‘I-I don’t know …’
But his hands were already moving to the zip of her jeans and she couldn’t find the will to knock them away a second time.
Oh bloody hell, she was really going to let him do this?
He pulled down the zip and before she’d even gotten a proper breath, he’d gripped the waistband and was tugging the denim from her hips, his fingers hooking into the waistband of her knickers and taking them too. She found herself lifting her hips and letting him do it, easing them down her thighs and over her knees, off over her ankles.
Her breathing was ragged. Fast. And bloody hell, she was naked from the waist down, and Mac was … Mac was looking at her …
Heat pulsed between her thighs, a wave of it prickling over her skin. Oh God, the look on his face. His eyes had gone dark and he was looking at her like he was starving.
He did want her. He really did.
Something released inside her and when he lifted his hands and took one of her ankles and hooked it over the arm of the chair, then did the same with the other, she let him, shivering all over. The position was exposing, vulnerable.
‘Easy, sweetheart,’ he whispered, looking down, his hands on her inner thighs, stroking her. ‘It’ll be good, I promise.’ He straightened and, with a smooth movement, grabbed the hem of his t-shirt and drew it up and over his head before throwing it carelessly on the ground.
She barely had time to admire all those hard, cut muscles finally bare before her, when he put his hands on her again, sliding his fingers up her inner thighs, spreading the folds of her sex wide.
Frankie gasped and opened her mouth, though her brain had completely lost the plot on whatever it was that it was going to say.
And then Mac bent his head and licked her straight up the middle of her sex.
A firework burst apart behind her eyes, glittering and brilliant, a small cry tearing from her throat. Then he did it again, and there were more fireworks, short, sharp shocks of pleasure that made her toes curl and her hips lift against his mouth, desperate for more.
Her hands came down as if of their own accord, her fingers pushing into the short, thick blackness of his hair. Held on tight as his tongue pushed deep into her and more fireworks fizzed and burst in her bloodstream.
‘Mac,’ she whispered thickly, her voice unrecognisable. ‘God …’
He shifted, his shoulders pressing against her spread thighs and the brush of his bare skin against hers was so insanely good that she trembled and shivered. And then, unbelievably, it got even more intense as he lifted his head slightly and she felt him slide one finger, then two, deep inside her.
‘Oh …’ Her hands fisted in his hair, her head falling back against the chair. ‘God, that feels so good …’
‘You taste like fucking heaven,’ Mac murmured against her skin. ‘Going to make you scream my name, Frankie.’ He shifted again and then his mouth was over her clit, his tongue moving and circling, teasing her while his fingers moved inside her.
It felt like a storm was breaking through her entire nervous system. A wild cyclone full of lightning and roaring thunder, picking her up and whirling her around and around.
She lost all sense of where she was, every sense she had entirely concentrated on the wicked lick of Mac’s tongue and the movement of his fingers, shooting her higher and higher, until the storm reached its height and she was struck full on by the lightning, pleasure exploding, wild as the cyclone itself.
And Mac was as good as his word. As the electricity of it lit her up, she did indeed scream his name.
The taste of her was better than anything he could have imagined and hearing her scream his name as she came was just the icing on the bloody cake.
Mac lifted his head, licked the salty sweet taste of her from his lips, and looked up at her flushed face. Her head had fallen back, her thick dark lashes resting on her pink cheeks. Her mouth was full and red, and he knew he wasn’t done. He’d only had a taste of her, but it was enough to know that perhaps he might not be done for some time. If ever.
Shifting back onto his haunches, he looked at her for a long moment. Then he rose to his feet and reached for her, gathering her up into his arms. She was all warm and soft and loose-limbed, her head resting against his chest. Blinking sleepily at him, she gave him the most innocently seductive look he’d ever seen from beneath those long lashes of hers. ‘Where are we going?’
‘Bed,’ he said shortly.
A fleeting expression of worry crossed her face. ‘Uh … I guess it’s not to sleep is it?’
‘What do you think?’
He headed towards the hallway, hoping like hell he had some condoms left in his dresser drawer because otherwise they were well and truly screwed. And not in a fun way.
‘Mac.’ Her hand pressed against his chest, her palm warm.
‘What?’ As he stepped into his small bedroom, he fumbled for the light switch.
‘Um, is it too late to tell you I’m a virgin?’
From the tentative sound of her voice, it was clear she thought this would shock him. But it didn’t. He already knew she was inexperienced and it did explain a few things.
‘No,’ he said, carrying her over to the bed. ‘But don’t worry, you’re not going to be one for too much longer.’
She was blushing again as he set her down on the quilt and began undoing the buttons of her shirt. ‘Look, I know most guys like experience and I’m—’
He stopped her words with a finger. ‘Be quiet, Frankie.’
She frowned, but didn’t speak as he took his finger away and pushed her shirt off her shoulders, then turned his attention to her bra. A quick flick of his wrist and that was gone too, her beautiful, perfect tits fitting in his palm like they’d been made just for him.
She shivered as he cupped them, his thumbs rubbing gently back and forth over her nipples. And then shivered even more as he bent his head, touching his tongue to one before drawing it hard into his mouth.
‘Mac …’ The husky whisper broke over him and suddenly he knew he had to be inside her.
Letting her go reluctantly, he turned to his dresser and, bloody great, there were condoms. He took a packet out, undoing his jeans as he did so. Then he tossed the packet on the bed and shoved his jeans and boxers off.
Frankie was sitting there staring at him, her eyes wide, and he loved the amazed look on her face. It made him feel like a god.
Coming back to the bed, he picked up the condom packet and ripped it open, rolling the latex over his cock and doing it fast because the way she was looking at him was making him crazy.
‘Lie down, sweetheart,’ he said, his breathing getting harder, faster. ‘And spread your legs for me.’
She pushed herself back on the mattress and lay down, letting her legs fall open. There was trepidation in her eyes, but that wasn’t going to stay there long. Not if he had anything to do with it.
Mac got onto the bed, prowling over to her on his hands and knees and positioning himself so she was lying beneath him. He looked down into her beautiful face, held her gaze. ‘You’ve got no idea how long I’ve wanted you, Francesca. No bloody idea.’ He lifted his hand and touched her throat before letting his fingers trace a line between her breasts and over her stomach, down to the tight thatch of curls between her thighs. Her breath trembled in the air between them.
No one had ever touched her like this. No one except him. Which made her his.
For a city kid who’d come from nothing, it was like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
‘You’re mine, baby,’ he whispered. ‘All mine.’
It probably wasn’t very feminist of her to find that quite as thrilling as she did. But Frankie didn’t give a crap. Because a very deep part of her had known she was his the moment he’d walked through the gates of Red Creek.
It’s the reason you’re a virgin, you idiot.
Yeah, and maybe that was true. All those other reasons were just noise. She’d remained a virgin because she hadn’t wanted anyone else but Mac.
It had always been him and always would.
She was on her back and he was on his hands and knees over her, looking as sleek and dangerous as the panther on his arm. Black hair and golden eyes, lean, powerful muscles.
Naked, he was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen in her life.
Her heart felt like it was going to burst and there was fear there too, because wasn’t this supposed to hurt?
But then Mac was lowering himself between her legs, using one hand to spread her wide while he used the other to position himself. Doubts began to whisper in her head and she raised a hand to his chest to keep the distance between them, to give herself some space. But there was no time because suddenly he was pushing into her and there was a strange burning sensation, sensitive tissues stretching. She gasped, but he didn’t stop, sliding deeper, invading her, filling her.
There was pain, but it was brief, gone in a second, leaving her gasping at the unfamiliar feeling of having him inside her. He felt big and she felt … stretched. Too full. She trembled.
He slid a hand beneath her, into the small of her back, tilting her hips as he pushed deeper.
‘Mac,’ she said hoarsely, pressing on his chest. ‘I can’t …’
His gaze pinned her the way his cock was pinning her, holding her motionless. ‘Yes, you can, Frankie. Move your hips, sweetheart. Show me what you’ve got.’
It was good. Intense. And she wanted to show him, she really did. So she arched her back, keeping her gaze on his like it was a lifeline she had to hold onto, moving her hips the way he’d told her to. Then they were moving, the pleasure unwinding inside her, deep and soft like a thick velvet ribbon.
He murmured her name and she lifted her hands to him, running her palms over the smooth skin of his shoulders, over all that heat and down his back, feeling the flex and release of powerful muscles as he thrust.
‘Yes …’ she whispered, unable to look away from the pleasure flaring over his beautiful face. The same pleasure that was flaring inside her. ‘Oh, Mac, yes.’
She was approaching the cliff now, she could feel it getting closer and closer, and she wanted so much to go over the edge with him. She lifted her legs around his waist, holding on, her hands moving down to his tight buttocks, fingers digging.
Harder. Yes, just there.
‘Frankie.’ His voice was hoarse. ‘Oh sweetheart.’
She looked up into his eyes, brighter and hotter than the outback sun. And as the climax rolled over in her, she whispered, ‘I love you.’
And fell off the edge of the world.
She was tight. Hot. She was the red earth of this dusty station, the burning sun, the moon at midnight, and the sweet wet when the rains came.
She was the home he’d found here and when the climax came for him, he let himself fall with her, burying his face in her hair as the pleasure burst inside him like a bomb.
It was only afterwards, as he held her shuddering beneath him, that he remembered what she’d said.
I love you.
Her breathing had slowed, her bare skin against his everything he’d been dreaming about and more. He was still buried deep inside her and he wanted to stay there. Possibly forever, but maybe the next couple of hours would do.
He shifted, pulling out of her and rolling to the side, getting out of the bed and paying a quick visit to the bathroom to deal with the damn condom, only to find when he got back, that she was already sitting up and reaching for her clothes.
‘No,’ he said flatly, moving over to her and pulling the shirt she held out of her fingers. ‘Bloody hell, no.’
She didn’t look at him. ‘I should go.’
Mac reached out and took her chin in his hand, tilted her head back to meet his gaze. ‘Why?’ he demanded. ‘Because I don’t want you going anywhere.’
She lifted a shoulder. ‘Yeah, but I—’
‘Did you mean it?’
Her mouth opened. ‘Mean what?’
‘Don’t play dumb, Francesca.’
Colour crept over her cheeks. Then her chin firmed, her blue eyes glinting. ‘What? The “I love you”?’
‘Yeah.’ He held her gaze, daring her. ‘The “I love you”.’
Her throat moved, but she didn’t look away. ‘What’s it to you?’
Prickly, this girl of his. Because she was his girl now. She always had been. And perhaps he’d been blind not to see it or perhaps he was the one who was dumb. Maybe it was both. But there was a reason he’d always been obsessed with her. Why he’d never managed to get her out of his head. And that reason was staring him in the face right now.
‘Because if you didn’t mean it, if you want me to go, I’ll leave. I’ll even give you my half of the property. You wouldn’t have to pay me a cent.’
Her eyes went wide, searching his face as if she’d never seen him before. ‘What are you saying?’
‘What do you think?’ He brushed her little chin with his thumb, caressing her soft, smooth skin. ‘You’re not the only one who’s in love.’