Authors: Eden Summers
“I’m not here because I want to be,” she murmured. “Nicole begged me to come. But you already knew that, right? How long have the two of you had this planned?”
“The last time I spoke to Nicole was before you walked out on me.” He scrutinized her, hoping to see regret at the mention of her departure from his life. But there was nothing. No change. No acknowledgement of the way she shoved her fist into his chest and pulled out his still-beating heart.
“So you played that fun little game with the crowd at last night’s show, too?” She raised a brow. “That screams of desperation, Mr. Hart.”
“I spoke to the ticketing manager and had your name searched against all credit card payments.”
“That’s funny.” Her lips curved. So sultry. So sexy. “Because I didn’t purchase the tickets. Nicole did.”
“Well, she’s got shit taste in seats.” He pushed from the counter and stalked toward her, unwilling to discuss exactly how desperate he’d felt playing the same game with the crowd last night. Each step he took, she took another in the opposite direction. Cat and mouse. Push and pull.
“The seats were my stipulation. I didn’t want to be caught dead here. I hoped sitting in the roof space would mean none of your staff would notice me.” Her seductive eyes turned aggressive. “As much as you think I’m here for you, you’re wrong. Nicole made me.”
He didn’t believe her. Refused to. Harper could deny it all she liked. They both knew she was here to see him. “And you couldn’t say no?”
“Not when she’s been catatonic for the last month.” She made her way to the opposite side of the room, maintaining the few feet between them. “Stefan left her. The least I could do was put up with seeing you on stage in an effort to make her happy. And now she’s out there, all alone, waiting for me.”
“She’s gone, princess. I made it known that you’d be leaving with me tonight.”
She scoffed and shook her head. “Why am I not surprised?”
“Because you know how crazy you make me.”
“Yes.” Her smile turned pained. “Unfortunately, I do.”
He increased the size of his steps, the pace too. Harper did the same, stumbling around furniture in an effort to keep space between them.
“What’s this about, Judd? Why am I here?”
“I’ve missed you.” It was barely the truth. Missing her didn’t come close to how he felt. He craved her. Yearned for her. As strong as he was, this woman made him weak, and the pain hit harder the longer they were apart.
“You expect me to believe that? I bet the first time I graced your thoughts was when you drove your shiny tour bus into Denver a few days ago.”
“Is that what you think?” He took another step and swung out a hand, his fingers drifting over her hip.
“I certainly don’t think you missed me.” She stated as fact, but she looked at him in question, demanding clarification that he couldn’t give just yet. He’d had too much pride when she left, and he was still overflowing with it now.
“As fun as this exercise is, I’m going to have to leave.” She walked the perimeter of the room, the hint of her vanilla perfume tempting his senses. He reached for her again, and she pivoted to deflect the connection. His fingers drifted over her stomach, to her hip, and into painful thin air as she continued to the door.
“No.” He jogged after her, panic infiltrating his veins as she clasped the handle. “We need to talk.” He shoved his palm against the door and settled his chest into her back. She was warm. Soft. Perfect. She was his, he only needed to remind her.
Her plea was a shock to his senses. He’d never been exposed to her vulnerability before. It was foreign and delicious. He wanted to poke for more. To make her defenseless in the exact same way she did to him.
“Please what, princess?” He smoothed his cheek through her hair, inhaling her sweetness into his lungs. “Are you asking to leave or begging to stay?” He placed his lips below her ear and trailed a path to an unfamiliar silver chain resting against her neck.
A whimper brushed his ears as she placed her head against the door. “What do you want from me?” She pushed back and turned to face him, her eyes now glazed with lust and something less inviting that he refused to believe was sorrow.
“I told you, we need to talk.” He leaned in to take her lips but she turned her cheek, denying him.
She’d never denied him before.
She was as addicted to his kiss as he was to hers. Unless… “Are you with someone?”
She looked at him, holding him in place with unblinking eyes. Thoughts flickered behind those mesmerizing irises, he could read them, could tell exactly what she was about to say.
“Don’t lie to me, Harper.”
She winced and the cutest puff of breath left her lips. “I’m not with anyone.”
Perfect. “Then you’re mine.”
She shuddered as his mouth descended on her neck. He sank his teeth into her, scraping her skin like he knew she loved. There was no time. No air. No thoughts. There was only touch and taste and smell.
There was only Harper and her need that couldn’t be denied.
He unbuckled her belt and expected a protest that didn’t eventuate. He’d won her over. Her body at the very least. Her delicate hands gripped his upper arms and he closed his eyes at the sense of belonging. He’d been adrift for too long. He’d been alone.
She wouldn’t walk away again. He refused to allow it.
“Have you thought of me?” he spoke against her skin. “Have you touched yourself and pictured me in your mind?”
“Of course,” she drawled, heavy with sarcasm. “Every night.”
He chuckled and shoved at the waistband of her black jeans, lowering them a few inches. “That’s good. Because I think of you every damn time I come.”
She growled, losing the battle to hide the way her body became soft against his.
“Just touch me,” she demanded, all anger and defiance, “and hurry up.”
“Let me see you first.” He gripped the hem of her shirt and lifted.
“No.” She grabbed his wrist, her eyes wide with panic. “This is all you get. I’m not taking off my clothes.”
That was new, too. His woman wasn’t shy. Maybe it was punishment. Retaliation for winning her over with his touch. “Fine.” He’d look his fill in time. For now, he’d be content staring into those defiant eyes.
He released her shirt and snaked his fingers into her panties, over her smooth pubic bone and lower, to the tiny bundle of nerves at the top of her pussy. His dick demanded precedence, his thickening shaft pulsing against the zipper of his pants. He wanted to be all over her. To be inside her. But that would come later.
“What are you waiting for?” She jerked her hips, sending his fingers through the slickness of her arousal and moaned.
He could come from the mere sound alone. Through the creation of all his songs, the profound melodies and impeccable lyrics, nothing had ever sounded as endearing. He’d missed hearing her pleasure. He’d missed everything, especially the feel of her core clamping down on him like it did as he sank his fingers deep inside her.
“At least your pussy knows how to welcome me home.” He breathed in her groan and licked the salt from her skin. This was what his pride needed—confirmation that what they shared wasn’t a figment of his imagination. “Nothing’s hotter than seeing you like this.”
He grazed his shaft against her hip, needing the friction to keep him sane. He refused to miss a second of this moment due to the mindlessness of his own release.
That would happen later.
Right now, he wanted to appreciate those sounds she made in the height of pleasure. He wanted to see the way she lost control. He wanted to breathe deep of her sweet scent, so deep he’d never fully exhale all he had of her.
He’d put her needs before his. And that wasn’t just for today or tomorrow, but next week, next month and in ten years’ time.
“Nothing’s hotter than having your ego stroked, you mean?” She gyrated her hips with the pulse of his fingers, moving faster, demanding more movement. “God, I wish I could deny you.”
“Don’t say that.” He leaned back to look at her but she turned her cheek. The emotional barrier made him pause. He’d never been more aware of her than he was right now, and whatever was going through her head was heavier than the spite in their playful game. She seemed fractured, and he couldn’t tell if that worked in his favor. “There’s no way I could ever deny you.”
“Ha.” Her smile was a glimpse of brilliance that faded to pain. “Why don’t you stop messing around and finish me off.” She gripped his naked shoulders, clinging tighter with every kick of her hips.
He smirked, running his lips back and forth over her skin. “Beg me.”
“That’ll come later.” Her venom was sexy as hell, her words speaking to his basest desires.
She gyrated against his fingers, whimpering as she did so. “There is no later.”
“Don’t kid yourself, princess.” He stroked her clit with his thumb, knowing Tank and the other two guards could hear every word, every breath. “This is merely the beginning.”
She began to rock harder into him, her exhalations short and sharp.
“Do you know what I’ve got planned for you?” he murmured in her ear.
“Does it involve letting me go home?”
He snickered. “Not at all.”
“Then I don’t want to hear it.” She mewled, her fingers digging deeper, her hips moving in a frantic pace. “I don’t want to know.”
“Yeah, you do.” He nipped at her jaw and swirled his fingers inside her until her legs trembled against his. “It involves fucking you. It involves dirty, nasty, sweaty sex that will make you so breathless you can’t even scream my name.”
Her whimpers mimicked the rhythm of his movements, pulse after pulse after pulse. “Judd?” She gripped his hair, holding him in place at her neck.
“Shut the hell up and make me come.”
He stilled his movements out of spite. “Beg me.”
“No.” She shook her head in a mindless frenzy. “Never.”
“Then kiss me.”
Her hips stopped and those delicate whimpers disappeared. He pulled back and watched the heavy convulse of her throat as she swallowed.
The shake of her head was subtle this time. Defenseless. “No.”
The barrier between them came up again, hard and fast. He didn’t like it. Not one bit. Maybe she didn’t enjoy these games anymore. Or maybe she lied about being single.
“Let me kiss you,” he repeated, leaning closer as he began working his fingers again.
She met his gaze, her chest rising and falling. “Judd…”
“Just one kiss.” He placed his mouth on her cheek, then the corner of her lips. “Just one.”
She closed her eyes and leaned her head back against the door, wordlessly succumbing.
was why he’d been blindsided by her walking away.
intoxicating, undeniable attraction wasn’t meant to be ignored.
They were meant to be together.
There was no one else. It was only her. Only him.
All that stood between them was the time it would take to convince Harper of the truth.
He slid his mouth over hers, and clamped his eyes shut at the burst of sensation far deeper than arousal. Her lips parted and instinctively their tongues began to dance. She was everywhere. She was everything. And he’d never get enough.
He pressed his body harder against hers, enjoying the feel of her breasts against his chest. Slowly, he worked his fingers again, stroking the inside of her pussy, pressing firm against her clit.
Her arms circled his neck and those beautiful hands were still in his hair. She clung to him, made him her savior, and he was more than ready for the role. He added another finger to her heat, stretching her. His reward was instantaneous, with the first shuddering spasms of her core.
She sucked in a breath, her pussy clamping down on his digits over and over again. He leaned back, watching her, taking in every part of the show. As crazy as she was, he was equally crazy for her. He didn’t need another timid and polite partner. He craved her angst and spite and venom.
Nobody made sex look this good. She was a temptress with her teeth digging into her bottom lip and the luscious strands of her hair tangled about her shoulders. The pulse of her hips slowed, and she sighed, long and weary.
She slumped against the door and lazily blinked as she stared straight ahead. There was no bliss in her features. Any glimpse of release vanished under her stony expression.
Her lips began to tremble; her hands, too. “Are we done?”
He jerked back at her meek tone and struggled to come up with words to soothe the pain in her features.
. Who was this woman, and what had she done with his strong, callous Harper? “Did I do something wrong?”
She stepped to the side, elbowing him out of the way. He was too stunned to stop her. Maybe he didn’t know her limits after all. Maybe he didn’t know much of anything, because at the moment he felt entirely clueless.
“I succumbed. That’s what you wanted, right?” She raised her chin and knocked him on his metaphorical ass with a sadness he’d never seen from her. “Now let me go home.”
Harper blinked the betraying moisture from her eyes. To hell with that. To hell with him. It was shock, that’s all. She hadn’t expected to come face-to-face with him tonight, let alone have him delving into her underwear to pull out a mind-blowing orgasm.
A few deep breaths and she’d be fine.
“What’s going on, Harper?”
Tell him you can’t do this again. Tell him you’re sick of playing the role of this feisty, psychotic woman. Tell him you can’t live with the pressure of being the partner at his side.
Tell him before you become addicted to the lust in his eyes all over again and it takes you too long to walk away.
“I. Want. To. Leave.” She pronounced the words succinctly. She’d been too fearful of rejection when they were last together, and those feelings hadn’t changed with time. She continuously had to bat above her average with Judd. He was a celebrity after all. And his popularity didn’t come close to how daunting it was to be with someone overflowing with his amount of talent. “How hard is that to understand?”