“Bennett?” she said, glancing at her friend, who waved and walked to the elevator. I didn’t give a damn what the friend was thinking, but I could feel her stare on us until she got into the elevator.

Chloe was wearing a tiny black dress and heels I wanted to petition become a uniform until her internship ended. Thin straps crisscrossed all the way from her pink-painted toes midway up her shins. I wanted to peel the dress from her body and f**k her into the couch, gripping those heels for leverage.

“Hey,” I mumbled, mesmerized by the miles and miles of bare leg in front of me.

She walked closer, stopping just a few inches away. “What are you doing down here?”

I struggled to hide how she affected me, how my present thoughts could barely be torn from the fantasy of my fists in her hair, the way my thumbs could completely cover her small, pink ni**les, or how her clit was the softest part of any body I’d ever touched. I wanted to taste her from her toes to her earlobes, telling her every thought I had on the way.

I shook my head. Not the way you mean. “Someone saw me looking at you earlier.”

“I know.” She reached up, ran her fingers through my hair. “At the keynote. I saw your face.”

Chloe didn’t say anything in response to that; she just laughed, a soft husky sound.

“I’m not worried about how it looks for me. I’m worried about how it looks for you,” I said.

I heard her sharp inhale, felt her fingers tighten in my hair. When I looked up at her face, she looked bewildered.

How could she not know how infatuated I’d become? I was sure she could see it every time I looked at her. As always, I wanted to grip her from behind, spank her when she made a sound. Pull her hair when I came. Bite her breast again. Drag my teeth over her spine. Pinch the back of her thigh and then smooth it over with the softest touch.

But I also wanted to watch her sleep, and then watch her wake up and see me, and gauge her feelings from that first, unfiltered reaction.

I was starting to see that this wasn’t just sex, and it wasn’t just working something out of my system. Sex was just the fastest route to the deeper possession I needed. I was falling in love with her, and falling too fast and hard to easily find any footing.

It was scary as f**k.

I decided to give her the truth.

She sucked in a breath and stared, and only then did it occur to me that she could be feeling something very different than I was.

“Feel free to say no. I just . . .” I ran a hand through my hair and looked up at her. “I just would really like to be with you again tonight.”

Upstairs in her room, between her sheets, and with her body coiled tight and sweet, sucking me in, everything else slipped away. Her scent and noises clouded my brain, made my thrusting erratic and hard. She was drenched—all of her: skin outside and flesh inside, slick and pulling me deeper. Her legs clamped around my hips and she flipped me over with a laugh, riding me with her back arched away and her head thrown back, fingers digging in my abdomen, anchoring herself in me. Her skin shone and I sat up underneath her, needing to feel the slide of her chest over mine as she slithered and slid. I pushed her back again, hovering over her once more this time with her legs on my shoulders and her mouth quivering as she struggled to find words.

Her nails dug into my back and I hissed, telling her “more” and “yes” and wanting her to mark me, to leave something that would still be there tomorrow.

She came once, and then again, and once more, and pulled at her hair, looking wild and untamed. I collapsed on her, incoherently stringing words together as I came, trying to tell her what we both already knew: that whatever happened outside of this room was irrelevant.

We slowly returned from orbit, and with limbs tangled in the sheets, talked for hours about our day, about the meeting with Gugliotti, about his dinner and my night out with friends. We talked about the broken desk, and that I only packed enough underwear for a week, so he couldn’t ruin any more.

We talked about everything except the havoc he was wreaking on my heart.

I ran a finger down his chest and he stilled it with his hand, bringing it to his lips and saying, “It’s nice to talk to you.”

I laughed, pushing his hair off his forehead. “You talk to me every day. And when I say talk, I mean yell. Shout. Slam doors. Pout—”

With his fingertips, he drew spirals over my bare stomach, distracting me. “You know what I mean.”

I did. I knew exactly what he meant, and I wanted to find a way to stretch this moment, right there, into eternity. “So tell me something.”

He raised his eyes to my face, smiling a little nervously. “What do you want to know?”

“Honestly? I think I want to know everything. But let’s start small. Give me the history of Bennett’s women.”

He ran a long finger across his eyebrow and repeated in a laugh, “Let’s start small. Riiiight.” He cleared his throat and then looked at me. “A few in high school, some in college, some in grad school. Some after grad school. And then, one long-term relationship when I lived in France.”

“Details?” I twisted a strand of his hair around my finger, hoping I wasn’t pushing him too much.