The trouble with mistlet.., p.16
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       The Trouble with Mistletoe, p.16

         Part #2 of Heartbreaker Bay series by Jill Shalvis
slower 1  faster

  “I come up here when I want to be alone,” she said, emphasis on alone. But then she took in the sheen of perspiration on his face, the way his chest was rising and falling like he’d just run a marathon. “Are you afraid of heights?”

  “No,” he said, still not moving a single inch.

  “No?” Her gaze was glued to his lips, the ones she wanted hers on again now that she was thinking about it.

  “No, I’m not afraid of heights.” He paused. “I’m terrified of them.”

  This ripped a laugh right out of her. Her own troubles momentarily forgotten, she leaned over his big, long, tough body, the one she dreamed about at night. Every night. “And you still came all the way up here to save me?”

  “At the moment, I’m the one that needs saving. Pretty sure I’m going to die of lack of oxygen.”

  Still leaning over him, she lowered herself until she nearly-but-not-quite touched him from head to toe. “Don’t worry, I know CPR.”

  He kept his eyes closed but his mouth curved. “You’re teasing me. And I’d make you pay for that but I can’t because seriously, dying here.”

  Keane both felt and heard her laugh at him as she kissed one corner of his mouth.

  “Take it from me,” she whispered. “When facing your worst fears, all you need is something else to concentrate on.” Then she kissed the other side of his mouth.

  He liked where this was going. “Like a distraction,” he said.


  He opened his eyes. “I like the sound of that,” he said, knowing the logic was more than a little faulty but unable to concentrate with all sorts of dirty, wicked scenarios of how they might “distract” each other playing through his mind. “Maybe I’ve already died and gone to heaven.”

  She lifted her head with a smile. “You think this is heaven?”

  “You’re touching and kissing me,” he said. “So yeah. I think this is heaven.”

  He felt the brush of her hair on his face and then her teeth sank into his earlobe, making him groan. The dilemma—let her continue, or stop her before they took this where she hadn’t intended to go . . . ? Before he could decide, her hot, sexy mouth made its way back to his and her hands slipped under his shirt, landing on his abs, her fingers spreading wide.

  “You’re hard,” she whispered against his lips. “Everywhere.”

  True story.

  Her fingers danced up, up, up, teasing his nipples for a beat before heading southward, and he stopped breathing.

  She shifted and then jumpstarted his heart by straddling him.

  “Willa,” he said but she was kissing her way down his throat and he was having trouble drawing air into his lungs. Fisting his hands in her hair, he tugged her face up so he could look into her eyes. “Willa—”

  “That’s my name,” she agreed and bit his lower lip, tugging a little bit so that he mindlessly rocked his hips up into hers.

  Jesus. He sat up and caught ahold of her hips, tightening his grip to keep her still. “What are we doing?”

  “Oh, sorry, I thought you knew.” She took his hands in hers and brought them up to her breasts. “Any further questions?”

  She filled his palms perfectly, her nipples pressing through layers of clothing for his attention. Yeah. He was most definitely in heaven.

  “I’m ready now,” she said softly.

  She had his full attention and he searched her gaze. For the first time he could see her expression clearly and it was filled with heat and need and banked anger.

  She was looking to defuse that anger, on him. And he was okay with that. More than. She needed him and God knew he needed her. “Come here,” he said, nudging her even closer, his hands taking over, cupping her breasts, his thumbs rasping over her tight nipples as she let her head fall back, a gasp escaping her.

  “More,” she demanded.

  “We’re outside, Willa, on the roof. Anyone could come up—”

  “No,” she said against his mouth, “that fire escape’s nearly a hundred years old. No one’ll use that rackety old thing but me and the gang, and they’re all in the pub.”

  His life flashed before his eyes again. “You mean I could’ve died on that thing? Is that what you’re telling me?”

  “You’re in heaven, remember?” Her hands were on the buttons of his Levi’s, popping them open one at a time.

  And he was rapidly losing the ability to think rationally. “What if someone uses the inside stairs access?” he asked.

  She shoved his jeans and knit boxers out of her way and wrapped her fingers around him so that his eyes crossed with lust.

  “Those stairs are noisy as hell,” she murmured. “We’ll hear anyone coming a mile away.” She tipped her head down to watch what she was doing to him.

  He looked too and at the sight of her hands on him, he groaned, not recognizing his own guttural voice when he spoke. “Willa, be sure—”

  “Oh, I’m sure.” Her own voice was soft and husky, sounding more than a little breathless now too. “But if you’re worried, you could work faster.”

  He let out a low laugh—which was a first, laughing with his personal favorite body part in a woman’s hands. “Fast isn’t my style.”

  “It probably should be tonight—” She broke off on a breathy gasp when he unzipped her bright red sweater and nudged it off her shoulders, letting it catch on her elbows, pinning her arms to her sides. While she became preoccupied with freeing herself, he happily realized she wore only a bra beneath, a sexy, lacy, mouthwateringly sheer number. He tugged the cups down, and not wanting her to get cold, cupped one bared breast while he sucked the other into his mouth.

  A shuddery sigh escaped her and she cupped his head, holding him to her like she was afraid he might try to escape.

  Not a chance. “How much did you have to drink tonight?” he asked.

  She thought about that for a minute. “Enough to know I want this, but not too much that I’ll have to kill you in the morning.”

  He stared back but who was he kidding, that totally worked for him. Sliding his hands up her skirt, he palmed her ass. “You’re wearing too many clothes.”

  She laughed breathlessly as fingers wriggled their way beneath her tights and panties, where he found her hot and wet, very wet. He spent a glorious moment teasing panting little whimpers out of her while her hips oscillated against his touch and her nails dug into his biceps. “You like this.”

  She moaned something inaudible but he got the gist.


  With one arm banded low on her back, his mouth busy at her breasts, his fingers stroked her in the rhythm she wanted. Using her body as his compass, he rose up and swallowed her cries as she came for him, her body shuddering in his arms.

  Brushing his lips over her sweaty temple, he held on to her, stroking her back until she finally lifted her head. “Not exactly how I saw my evening going,” she said, still a little breathless as she slumped against him.

  “Not sure who could’ve foreseen an orgasm on the roof.”

  “I meant you.” She put a finger to his chest. “I didn’t see you coming.”

  “That’s because I haven’t.”

  She laughed, and loving the sound, he pulled her in by the nape of her neck and kissed her. “Ditto,” he said against her mouth. He hadn’t seen her coming either, not until she’d hit him over the head, knocking him out with her vibrant, sexy, adorable self.

  She flashed a smile at him, warm and also filled with trouble—which he really hoped boded well for him.

  She went to work, wrestling off one of her boots. By the time she wriggled a leg out of her tights, he’d lent his hands to the cause. Then she wrapped her fingers around him and was guiding him home when he barely managed to catch her.

  “Condom,” he managed.

  She stilled, eyes wide on his. “Oh my God, I can’t believe I almost forgot,” she whispered and fisted her hands in his shirt, going nose to nose with him. “Tell me you were a Boy Scout, that you’
re prepared, that you have a damn condom.”

  The thing was, he hadn’t expected to need one and he still wasn’t exactly one-hundred-percent sure he should even go there now. He met her gaze. “I wasn’t a Boy Scout.”

  She groaned and dropped her head to his chest.


  She jerked her head up, face hopeful. “Yeah?”

  Sitting on the roof with her straddling his lap, he somehow managed to pull his wallet from his back pocket, thinking please have been smart enough to leave a condom in there . . .

  “Yes!” she burst out with when he came up with one.

  Laughing, he tore the thing open and started to roll it down his length, but she pushed his hands away.

  “Me,” she said. “I want to . . .”

  By the time she got him halfway covered, he was back to sweating and trembling like he was a seventeen-year-old kid with zero control. “I’ve got it,” he said, putting his hands over hers to finish the job.

  “Because we’re in a hurry?”

  “Because I’m about to lose it in your hands.”

  She snorted but the laughter seemed to back up in her throat with the sexiest little gasp when he pulled her closer so that the insides of her thighs snugged tight to the outsides of his.

  “You’re going to let me drive?” she teased.

  “This rooftop’s too rough for you to be on your back,” he said, cupping her bare ass. “Up on your knees, Willa.” And then before she could move, he lifted her himself, urging her to sink slowly onto him.

  They both gasped, mouths locked on each other’s, kissing deep and wet, hands clutching whatever they could reach, moving slowly at first, then faster and harder, until Keane completely lost himself. Winding his fist in her hair, he forced her head back, suckling on her exposed throat, marking her.

  She came first, digging her fingernails into him, the combination of pleasure and sweet pain sending him skittering into the void right along with her.

  Chapter 15


  It was a very long time before Willa managed to catch her breath and her world stopped spinning out of control. Or started spinning again. She couldn’t figure out which. In either case, she was completely dazed as she realized something shocking.

  Several somethings, actually.

  One, she was sitting on Keane, wrapped up tight in his warm, strong arms, arms that still quaked with the seismic rockings that came after some really great sex.

  Really, really great.

  And two, she felt both wildly alive and . . . safe, two things she’d most definitely never felt at the same time in her entire life.

  Since that invoked some worrisome emotions, all of which tried to encroach on her momentary blissful haze, she shoved them all back and lifted her head.

  Keane’s dark eyes were on her, intense and yet steady. God, she loved that. Her axis was tilted and she was in danger of losing her grip, but he had her. And just looking at him, she calmed. “So, that was . . . something.”

  His low chuckle reverberated from his chest to hers.

  She smiled. “Was that a good enough distraction for you?”

  His answering smile was slow and lazy and incredibly sexy. “If I say no, will you try to distract me again?”


  “I thought I’d seen and done it all,” he said, “but this was a first for me.”

  She let out a low laugh and tried to right her clothing. “I can bring out the best or the worst in just about anyone.”

  “What would you call this?”

  She didn’t need to even think about it. “The best.” She was failing at putting herself back together. Keane took over while she sat on his lap like a limp rag doll. Since she couldn’t resist his delicious mouth, she leaned in, lingering—just for another moment, she told herself—kissing him one last time. But before she could break it off and get up, he banded his arms around her tightly and took over, kissing her long and deep and hard until she was back to a panting, needy mess.

  When he slowly pulled back, she let out an unhappy moan of protest and her mouth chased after his.

  This had him letting out a low laugh. The warm look in his eyes made her remember that she wanted things for herself. Things she’d never wanted before. Things she’d set aside because she knew he didn’t want them. Suddenly more confused than ever, about the night, the holiday season, her damn life, everything, she crawled off of him and went back to her original pose, sitting, hugging her knees close to her chest.

  He seemed happy to hold the silence as well, there in the dark beneath the half-ass moon.

  “I could use some popcorn,” he finally said.

  She laughed a little and met his gaze. “That was some animal magnetism.”

  “Yeah,” he agreed, tucking a lock of her hair behind her ear. “It was.” He pressed a single soft kiss along her jaw. His breath was warm against her skin, sending a shiver through her, and she found herself leaning into him, closer to that calm aura that always surrounded him. “So. You kicked Santa out of the bar for me.”

  “How did you know?”

  She smiled wryly and patted the phone tucked into her pocket. “A text came in from Elle before you got up here.” Turning her head, she met his gaze. “You’re a good guy, you know that?”

  “Just don’t let it get out.” He took her hand and brought it up to his mouth, brushing his lips over her knuckles. “I’m not really much of a talker,” he said quietly. “But you are.”

  She snorted. “Tell me something everyone doesn’t already know.”

  “Exactly what I was hoping you’d say. So talk to me, Willa. Tell me about the Santa thing.”

  Well, she’d walked right into that one. She tried to pull her hand free of his but he held on, doing the same with her gaze. “Look,” she said. “Just because we . . . did that,” she said with a vague wave of her hand to the rooftop behind them, “doesn’t mean we have make to small talk.”

  “What I want to talk about has nothing to do with that.” He gave her a small smile. “Also known as the hottest rooftop sex I’ve ever had. Not to mention, the only rooftop sex I’ve ever had.”

  She let out a low laugh, but looked away.

  With a hand to her jaw, he brought her face back to his.

  “Okay,” she said. “I agree the rooftop sex was very hot. But as per our previous agreement, we don’t have to do this. I mean there’s a me, and there’s a you. And sometimes there’s this crazy, stupid”—she waved her hand vaguely again—“thing. But it was just a one-time thing. And it’s probably out of our systems now.” She met his gaze with difficulty. “So really, you don’t have to do the whole awkward-after with me.”

  “Maybe I’m a sucker for the awkward-after.”

  With a laugh, she dropped her head to her knees. “I’m trying to give you an out here, Keane.” Hell, she was trying to give herself an out. Her heart needed it, bad.

  Because she got it: he didn’t get attached. But she sure did, and hard. And she was going to have to be very careful to protect herself.

  “Humor me,” Keane said. “Pretend I’m irritable to talk to.”

  Not much pretending required there . . .

  “Tell me what happened tonight,” he said.

  “Well,” she quipped in a last-ditch effort to lighten up this conversation. “It’s about the birds and the bees—”

  “You know what I want to know, smartass.”

  She sighed. Yeah, she did. He wanted to know why, if she was afraid of Santa, she celebrated Christmas like she was still five years old, and he wasn’t going to accept the nonanswer she’d already given him.

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