Page 61 of Before (After 5)

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“No, of course not.”

She’s lying through her goddamn teeth.

I’m going to play with her. She practically asked for it. Her body is so warm against mine. I’ve never lain like this in a bed before, cuddling with a girl after coming in my boxers. I’ve never done that before, and I’ve also never been that connected to someone during any type of sexual activity, and I sure as hell haven’t ever slept in bed with anyone before. “So you don’t mind if I tell you a few details, then?”

She’s so quick to shriek, “No! Please don’t!” I tighten my arm around her and laugh a little. I like that the idea bothers her. I would rather drill holes into my eardrums than hear about her fucking someone else. I stare at the ceiling and try to remember if I ever even thought about what it would be like to spend my nights with someone else in my bed. Outside of a possible drunken thought or two, I haven’t. Tessa is quiet, too quiet. I think she may have fallen asleep. I reach for my phone on the table and check the time. It’s barely midnight.

“You’re not going to sleep, are you? It’s still early,” I tease.

“Is it?” Tessa’s voice is thick with sleep. She really was going to pass out on me. Honestly, I could use the sleep, but I want to spend more time with her. She yawns and I roll my eyes.

I almost lie and tell her that it’s only ten. “Yeah, it’s only midnight.”

I bet she sleeps the doctor-recommended eight hours every night. That’s why she’s always so smiley and happy and shit.

“That isn’t early.” Her yawn is even cuter the second time.

She’s usually easily persuaded, so I’ll see what I can do. “To me it is. Plus, I want to return the favor.”

Tessa tenses in my arms. I can imagine the flush of her cheeks. Her mind is probably racing, imagining how a warm, wet tongue will feel sliding up and down her pussy or drawing small circles over her clit.

“You want me to, don’t you?” I ask in my lowest voice. She shivers next to me, and that’s my signal. She looks up at me, her lips turned up into a smile. I wrap my other arm around her and softly turn her body and mine so I’m on top of her. In my mind, her mouth is open in ecstasy. Her fingers are tugging at my hair, and her sweetness touches my tongue. In reality, Tessa wraps one leg around my back and pulls me closer. My fingers graze over her thigh and up to her knee.

She feels so good under me. Her body is so tempting. I’m convinced that she was sent here just to torture me, to test every bit of my self-control. A small, soft voice in my head reminds me that maybe, just maybe, she was sent here for the opposite reason. Maybe I’m meant to be with her, to show her a new perspective on life? It’s probably complete rubbish, but maybe she’s not here to punish me—maybe she’s here to save me.

“So soft . . .” I move my hand up and down her luscious legs again. The reminder of what’s at the end of those legs is thick in my mind and my boxers. She shivers again, her skin rising into small bumps. I love the consistent way her body reacts to me. Her lust never seems to falter; her body responds to my every touch. I wet my lips and press them to the inside of her knee. Her skin is so soft and tastes of vanilla. I could devour her entire body within seconds. Self-control . . . self-control . . .

“I want to taste you, Tessa.” I watch her eyes, waiting for her to react. She has no idea of the level of pleasure I can bring her. My tongue will drive her crazy—she’ll never want me to stop.

Tessa’s full lips part, and she leans into me, waiting for me to kiss her mouth. Her inexperience is both refreshing and frustrating.

“No. Down here.” I tap her pussy over her panties, and she sucks in a harsh breath. Her chest moves up and down, and it seems like I can feel her hormones raging through her body. With gentle strokes, I tease her, and the wetness on her panties grows under my fingertips.

She’s already soaked, and I tell her so. She’s so beautiful, and her beauty is even more radiant when she’s like this, swollen and wet for me. “Talk to me, Tessa. Tell me how badly you want it,” I urge her. It’s an obsession, to hear her beg for me.

My fingers keep rubbing at her, focusing on her clit.

“I didn’t want you to stop.” She’s whimpering. I love it.

“You didn’t say anything,” I reply. “I didn’t know if you were enjoying it.”

“Couldn’t you tell?”

I pull my body up to sit on top of her thighs. I can’t keep my hands off her. My fingers trace the smooth skin on her thighs, making her body jerk under me.

“Say it,” I push her. “No nodding—just tell me what you want, baby,” I encourage her. I love hearing her tell me how much she wants me.

“I want you to . . .” She inches her body toward mine. I try to keep my hands to myself and let her come to me and tell me what she wants.

I raise my brow. “Want me to what, Theresa?” I ask her.

“You know . . . to kiss me.”

I kiss her on her lips twice. She frowns.

“Is that what you wanted?” I tease her. She playfully slaps my arm. I want to hear her beg for my tongue.

“Kiss me . . . there.” Just as I move to obey her, Tessa covers her face and shakes her head. I can’t help but laugh as I reach for her hands, lowering them. Her scowl is deep. “You’re embarrassing me on purpose.” She’s actually upset. When did this happen?

She rolls her eyes when I try to explain to her that I can’t help it, I just wanted to hear her say the words. “Never mind, Hardin.” She pulls the blanket over her body to hide from me. Damn it. She’s lying the other way now, staring at the wall.

I hate that I made anything sexual a bad experience for her. In bed with me is supposed to be her haven, the place where she can shut off all thoughts and let everything go except for the pleasure I’m bringing her. I fucked up, and now this experience is going to piss her off every time she thinks about it. I shouldn’t have pushed her this hard. She’s so new to all of this and I’m a goddamn fool.

“Hey, I’m sorry,” I say into her hair. I hate fighting with her. I was only teasing her; I just didn’t know when to stop. I’m an idiot sometimes, in case she hadn’t noticed.

“Good night, Hardin.” Her voice is tough. She’s not in the mood to play games with me, so I use every bit of strength I have to let her be. The last thing I should do is push her even further.