Home > Trashed (Stripped #2)(9)

Trashed (Stripped #2)(9)
Author: Jasinda Wilder

I force myself to remain motionless as he approaches me at an easy jog, even though he’s so huge it’s scary. He exudes power and threat and confidence and I shiver all over in his presence, he steals my breath and my capacity to make sense. I’m not that girl; I’m always totally unaffected by guys.

But Adam? He’s all man, all masculinity and raw sexuality and aggressive beauty. And I just don’t know what do.

I want to back away from him, creep deeper into the shadows and hold still and hope he doesn’t see me, as if I were a mouse and he was a tomcat hunting me and toying with me. But I’m not that girl either. I don’t back down for anyone. I don’t let anyone control me or push me around. I am my own person, and I will not be cowed by anyone.

Especially not movie stars who happen to be far too gorgeous for their own good. No matter how interested in me he seems to be.

So I stand my ground as he stops in front of me just within arm’s reach, and I lift my chin to meet his eyes, and I resist the urge to fit my fingers in the grooves of his abdominal muscles. My breath sticks in my throat as he erases the inches between us until his chiseled, rugged features are all I can see, until his scent is in my nostrils and his heat is billowing against my skin. His hands cup my upper arms momentarily, and his palms are rough and his hands are the size of dinner plates and callused, and though his hands feel strong enough to crush stones into powder, his touch is gentle, so gentle. And then one of his palms slides up my arm, missing the wet cotton of my shirt and he cradles the side of my neck, a thumb tracing over my ear. Surely he can feel the hammering of my pulse in my throat? His other hand moves to the back of my head and eases me forward, and I cannot for the life of me remember why I ran away from him, because I know all too well what he’s about to do, and I want it and have absolutely zero chance of stopping it.

The rain is a cascade, harder rain than I’ve ever experienced in my life, and the wind is a brutal, raging force, knocking us sideways, blowing rain in sideways curtains, and thunder is banging and crashing in explosive tympani, lightning crackling and spearing and sparking.

Adam twists so his back is to the wind, taking the brunt of the storm’s force upon himself, and I fit inside the cavern of his arms just perfectly.

A kiss is the meeting of lips, an expression of tenderness and affection, a physical demonstration of emotion. A kiss is a mutual act, two people giving and taking in equal measure.

What comes next—it’s not a kiss. It’s a statement of possession. A claiming. His mouth demands mine, his tongue seeks out mine, and his hands clutch at me, refusing to let me escape, and his arms encircle me, imprisoning me.

I should beat him away, push at him, curse at him. Flee. Call him names: Brute; Oaf; Cave man; Troll. But I don’t do any of that. I only press closer, melt into him, burrow deeper into his warmth and his protective shelter, and I kiss him back.

I let myself be claimed, possessed in that single kiss.

I’ve known him for two hours, max.

He pulls away enough to move his lips, and I feel his words more than hear them. “I won’t ask you any more questions, Des. I promise.”

Not what I was expecting him to say. “Okay,” is all I can manage.

“Come on.” He pulls me into a walk, away from my dorm, in the direction of the Grand Hotel.

“Where are we going?”

“My room.”

“That’s a fifteen-minute walk.”

“So?” He tilts his face to the sky, baring his teeth. “We’re already as wet as we can get.”

I don’t bother arguing. I just let him pull me back to Main Street until it turns into Lake Shore, and then I nudge him onto Market Street and then left on Cadotte Avenue. He doesn’t speak and neither do I, although I have a million questions and a billion doubts and I know what he’s going to expect from me and I can’t let that happen, because I’ll get attached and he’ll go back to shooting a movie and it won’t mean a goddamned thing.

But I can’t take my hand from his, because his fingers are laced into mine, and he’s absolutely sure I’ll follow him, rightly so because I am following him, and anyway something tells me he’d just pick me up and carry me with him if I tried to escape. And I don’t want to escape, that’s the part that has me shaking with fear. I want to follow him, I want to see his room, want to let things happen even though I know I can’t go through with what he wants from me.

A bolt of lightning shears the air mere feet in front of us, thunder shaking the ground beneath our feet. Just ahead is The Little Stone Church and I pull him across the street, jerk open the doors and we’re in the foyer, dripping on the carpet. The air in the church is musty and old, and it’s darker in here than outside, no lights lit, and only a couple stained glass windows for ambient light. I can’t see him, can’t see a thing. Wind and rain batter the windows and rattle on the door, and he’s a warm solid presence in behind me.

“What is this place?” His voice rumbles in my ear.

“The Little Stone Church.”

“Smells weird.”

“It’s old,” I say.

He spins me around, his mouth is suddenly and fiercely moving on mine, his hands firm and unrelenting on my back, spanning my spine and sliding down to the small of my back. I’m being pulled against him, body flush to body. It’s inexorable, like the tides. My breasts touch his chest, and then they’re crushed between us, and my heart is pounding against my ribs so hard the bones become drums, and I know he can feel it.

Where are my hands? I’ve lost all sense, lost track of what’s happening, of what I’m doing, what he’s doing. All I know is his mouth, his lips scouring mine, his teeth nipping at my lower lip and then the upper, and I can feel his hands too, inching downward and downward, into dangerous territory, to the upper swell of my ass and I don’t know how I’m tolerating this, how I’m doing it, how he’s erasing my doubt and my fear and my lack of trust in anyone—especially men—and somehow igniting inside me this…heat. This need. This ravenous hunger, this desperation the likes of which I’ve never felt, never knew I could feel, especially after—

No. No. I will not allow that monster control over me, not anymore. Not again. Not ever.

Adam has a double handful of my bottom, clutching me against him possessively, as if he has a right to me, a right to touch me, hold me, grope me, caress me, squeeze me. I don’t know which word is right, because he’s doing all of them at once, and I’m letting him.

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