Could she sleep with him and keep her heart out of it? And if not, could she deal with all the complications getting involved with him would bring?
Doubt and nerves began to take the upper hand as she pulled out the plastic key card to unlock her door. Her fingers were clumsy, unsteady as she slid it in the slot and fumbled to pull it out in time. A red light appeared on the door lock mechanism, indicating she’d messed up. Blood rushed to her cheeks and she mentally cursed as she tried it again.
A warm, strong hand appeared over her shoulder and closed over hers. She stopped, every cell in her body aware of that big, powerful body standing a mere foot behind her.
“You don’t have to ask me in,” he said in a low voice.
Tess closed her eyes as embarrassment washed over her. “I’m just…I guess I’m a little nervous, that’s all,” she said breathlessly. Had she ever felt an attraction this intense before? If she had, it certainly hadn’t happened this fast, not even with Brian.
Before she could find the guts to turn and face him, Reid plucked the card from her fingers, slid it into the slot and unlocked the door for her. Pulse pounding, she walked through into the cool, air-conditioned room, the faint scent of her perfume hanging in the air. Housekeeping had been in earlier. Her bed was turned down and the bedside lamp was on, casting a warm, inviting glow over the sheets.
Tess stared at it, her mind and body at war.
Reid was right behind her as the door clicked shut, closing them in alone together and locking the rest of the world out. “Tess. Look at me.”
His deep voice was like a gentle, intimate caress to her senses. Gathering her nerve, she slowly turned around, a shockwave of desire blasting through her as she faced him.
He shook his head once, those blue, blue eyes on her face. “Why are you nervous?”
A nervous laugh bubbled up. “I don’t know.” Because I don’t do this. I barely know you.
And because I’m afraid that I could fall for you.
Even with all his baggage, even though his job was every bit as dangerous as Brian’s had been. More so, in many ways. And that scared her because she was a sensible, practical person. She liked to think things through. But Reid made her want to leap without looking.
One of his hands came up to cradle the side of her neck, his thumb rubbing over her frantically beating pulse point. “Are you nervous? Or afraid?”
“Not afraid,” she said softly. Not of him. Only of this frighteningly intense physical pull she’d never experienced before, and of the consequences she would have to face in the aftermath. All the complications that came with him would still be there, and she’d be emotionally attached and unwilling to walk away.
“Good,” he murmured, and dipped his head. She closed her eyes and tilted her face up to his, expecting to feel his mouth on hers a moment later.
Instead she gasped as the warmth of his lips touched the sensitive spot beneath her left ear. He kissed it, parted his lips and scraped his teeth across it gently before the warmth of his tongue touched her skin.
Tess made an involuntary sound of surprise and pleasure and tipped her head to the side, her hands coming up to curl around his upper arms, a thrill racing through her at the sheer power of the muscles shifting beneath her hands.
Reid took advantage and opened his mouth against the side of her neck, the delightful prickle of his stubble a stark contrast to the smooth glide of his lips and tongue. “You smell so damn good, I could just eat you up,” he whispered.
She shivered in his hold, her nipples beading tight and a hot throb pulsing between her legs. It had been so long since she’d felt a man’s body against hers. An eternity since she’d felt a man’s hands moving over her, caressing, arousing. After having only her own hands to bring herself pleasure for so long, the thought of a man like Reid touching her so intimately made her tremble.
Reid made a low murmuring sound and slid his free hand up into her hair, his fingers squeezing a fistful of it as he stepped into her body. Tess closed her eyes and let out a moan at the feel of him pressed flush to her, hard and warm, his hold both possessive and protective.
Her heart thundered out of control while his mouth blazed a path down one side of her neck, across her collarbones and up the other side. Her fingers bit into his upper arms when his tongue found the erogenous zone where her neck and shoulder met. Reid paused there, sucked at the tender spot, damn near making her eyes roll back in her head.
By the time he kissed his way up to her jaw she was dizzy and breathless, her lips eagerly searching out his. But he held her head in place, refusing to let her move as he nibbled his way across to her chin, then the corner of her mouth.
Tess made a soft, desperate sound in the back of her throat and grasped his face in her hands to bring his mouth to hers. The moment their lips connected a bolt of pure, sweet desire shot through her. Her breasts were swollen and heavy, the folds between her thighs growing slick. Aching for his touch.
Reid let out a low growl and backed her up against the nearest wall, pinning her there with his weight. She wrapped her arms around his neck, keeping one hand in his hair to fuse their mouths together. His tongue slid across her lower lip. Teasing. Making her crave more.
She met it with her own, sliding, caressing, and when he eased it into her mouth in an imitation of what was to come, her entire body clenched with need. Over and over he stroked the inside of her mouth, sucked at her tongue gently, keeping control of the kiss the entire time, never letting her take over. Some part of her had known that he would take the dominant role in bed, and she reveled in knowing she was about to experience it fully.