Bound By Marriage(5)

By: Nalini Singh



“Fine. I’ll train you myself.”

Stunned, she swiveled in his arms. “That had better have been a joke.”

He bent his head until his lips were a hairsbreadth from hers. “I thought you knew—I don’t have a sense of humor.” His kiss was nothing soft, nothing gentle.

Pure male arrogance and resolve, he made her open her mouth for him and when she did, he took her.

No mercy. No holds barred.

As at the airport, Jess froze. But this time, the kiss didn’t end in a hard flash. It was an inferno and she found herself clinging to him without knowing how she’d gotten there, her body pressed to his, her mind awash in unadulterated need. When he did release her, it was only so she could gasp in a breath. Then he claimed her again.

And her thoughts scattered like a million grains of sand under a thundering surf.

Gabe took his time tasting Jess, enjoying the lush softness of her mouth. There was no doubt in his mind that she was responding to him on a primal level. It was exactly what he’d set out to achieve. Jess might love another man but she was going to be screaming her husband’s name in bed.

What he’d never expected was the exquisite pleasure she gave him in return. That didn’t make him happy. Passion had a way of sabotaging the best laid plans, of pushing things off-kilter. In choosing Jess, he’d made the deliberate decision to steer clear of desire. But here she was, wildfire in his arms.

Breaking the kiss, he watched her try to regain control, her breasts rubbing against his chest as she took several ragged breaths. Her lips were wet, her eyes closed and her body pliant. It was tempting to initiate another kiss but he had no intention of ceding power in this arena. Or any other.

Her eyes opened.

Rubbing his thumb over her lower lip, he dropped his other hand to rest on the curve of her hip. “We’ll have no problems in bed.”

The sweetly feminine submissiveness disappeared in a split-second. “Let me go.

You’ve proved your point.”

Releasing her, he stepped back and dropped his eyes to the pebbled hardness of her nipples. A flush streaked up her neck but she didn’t make any effort to cover them. Stubborn. He’d delight in taming her. “Get some sleep. It’ll be a busy day tomorrow. And Jess, remember, I’m not a man who lets go of what’s mine.”

Mrs. Croft, the cook and housekeeper for the main house on Angel Station, was bustling about in the kitchen by the time Jess came downstairs at around seven the next morning.

“What’s with the sleeping in, Jess my girl?” The older woman bussed her on the cheek. A friend of Jess’s mother, she’d known Jess a long time.

Jess rubbed at her face, skin tingling from the cold water she’d used to wash it. “Blame it on the time change. Where’s Gabe?” She tried and failed in her attempt not to think about the ruthlessness with which he’d demonstrated her susceptibility to him last night. She shouldn’t have been surprised. Gabe had a reputation as an iron-willed adversary in business. Why had she supposed he’d be any different as a husband?

“Gone to check on the stock with Jim.” Mrs. C. named the foreman. “The man doesn’t seem to realize it’s his wedding day and he should be nervous.”

Jess almost laughed at the idea of Gabe being nervous about anything. Except today, she had no laughter in her. “Is there anything I can do to help you?”

Maybe keeping busy would stop the thoughts pinwheeling through her mind.

The older woman waved away the offer. “Just sit and eat some breakfast. Then you’ll be free to pretty yourself up for the wedding.”

Jess ate the food that was put in front of her, but had anyone asked her what she’d eaten, she wouldn’t have been able to tell them. Her mind was too full of other things. The heart of her, the part that had loved Damon forever, kept insisting that she was making a terrible mistake, that she should walk away from this wedding. Maybe Damon…

No.

Kayla was pregnant. Jess wouldn’t be able to live with herself if something happened to either mother or child because of her actions. And the truth was, Damon had had more than two decades to fall in love with Jess. He’d always chosen someone else.

What about that phone call? The madness in her whispered again. Don’t you remember what he—Stop! Screaming silently at her self, she pushed aside the empty plate. “I think I’ll go for a walk to clear my head.”

Mrs. C. nodded. “Gabe’s out by the east barn.”

Smiling, Jess thanked her, walked outside and headed west. After last night, her husband-to-be was the last person she wanted to see. Because in those few explosive moments on the verandah, he’d destroyed everything she thought she knew about herself. What kind of a woman loved one man and kissed another with such passionate need?

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