He slowed as my body calmed, and kissed my clit, my hip, my thigh, before gently pushing me so that I rolled over onto my back. I slid my hand up my stomach, over my breast, and rested it on top of my pounding heart. I hadn’t forgotten that I was probably in trouble for offering Bennett’s favorite foreplay without reciprocating, but damn, I needed a minute to relish the effects of the Mighty Bennett Ryan Oralgasm.

“That was so f**king good,” I mumbled, catching my breath. “I think your mouth is its own Greek god. Tongueseus.”

He climbed over me, eyes on fire. “I know what you’re doing.”

I opened my eyes and let the blurry shape of him form before asking, “What am I doing?”

He moved to straddle my ribs, and I smiled, running my hands up his thighs as he reached for himself, and made a long, slow pull down his length. His voice came out like liquid smoke when he said, “You think you’ll win this battle.”

He laughed, and reached for the mattress beside my head, bracing himself as he hovered over me. His c**k was only an inch from my mouth and he leaned forward and, with his free hand, rubbed the tip over my bottom lip. Without thinking, I slid my tongue out, tasting the small bit of wetness there. I felt my mouth water, my ni**les tighten. I wanted him in my mouth, wanted to see him move in, and out.

He moved back a few inches so I had to watch as he stroked himself slowly in front of me.

“I can see your pulse in your neck.”

“So,” he started, wearing a cocky smile, “I can see how much you want this.” He leaned forward again, barely touching his c**k to my lips before retreating. “You want it in your mouth.” His hand began to move faster, and I heard his breath catch. “You want it on your tongue.”

He was right. I wanted it so much my skin felt tight and overheated.

“Not as much as you do,” I said, voice strained. “You couldn’t go a day without sex.”

He paused before leaning back and pushing himself farther down my body. For a single, perfect moment, I thought he was going to spread my legs and angry-fuck the daylights out of me, but instead he tilted his head, looked down at me, and then stood.

“What are you doing?” I asked, pushing up onto one elbow so I could watch him pull on his boxers.

He walked to the door and disappeared.

“Why are you so f**king stubborn?” I yelled after him, and all I heard was his amused snort halfway down the hall. “And—if you recall—I gave you head in the shower this morning so technically you already had sex today!”

He’s coming back, I thought. Totally one hundred percent coming back. I can wait it out.

I lay back, stared at the ceiling. My skin was flushed, and between my legs I felt heavy and fevered. My body hadn’t caught up with my brain yet, and still wanted to chase after him, beg him to take me for real this time: man parts in woman parts, moving a lot and very fast.

The sound of the fridge opening cut through the silence in the bedroom, and I bolted upright. Was he getting a f**king snack?

Before I could think better of it, I was racing down the hall, completely na**d. My feet slipped on the hardwood floors and I wheeled around the corner just as he closed the fridge with an armful of food.

“Are you f**king kidding me right now?” I asked, stopping short only inches from where he appeared to be making himself a sandwich. “You’re going to have a f**king turkey wrap?”

He turned to look at me, letting his eyes move from my face and down over every one of my na**d curves—the bastard couldn’t even hide how much he wanted to f**k right now—before returning his attention to my face. “I suppose until my fiancée stops being a teasing bitch or my dick learns to suck itself, I may as well have a bite to eat.”

“But . . .” I started lamely, searching for the best way to suggest he eat me again without incurring his sexually frustrated wrath. I scowled at his amused half grin. “Rude.”

“You want sex, you do it on my terms. Tonight’s the night, Mills. Actually,” he said, giving me a self-satisfied smile, “tonight is the last night I f**k you while you still have that name.”

Now this I couldn’t let slide. “We haven’t exactly agreed on anything in the name department, Ryan. I’m still gunning for Chloe Myan and Bennett Rills.”

“Tell me when you’re ready to get it, Chlo.” He held my gaze for several silent beats and then leaned down close enough that all I had to do was lean forward an inch to kiss him. I started to, but he pulled just out of reach. “When you say ‘please, Bennett, I need it’ I’m going to f**k you so hard you won’t be able to sit down for days without remembering it.”

My mouth opened and closed a couple of times without any words escaping. With a knowing smirk, Bennett turned back to his sandwich preparation.

He hadn’t bothered to put a shirt on, and his bare torso seemed to go on for miles. His skin was smooth and even, tan from running shirtless in the spring sunshine. The muscles in his arms popped and tensed as he opened the jar of mustard, pulled at the silverware drawer to retrieve a knife, opened the bag of bread. Such simple tasks, but watching him do it felt like the dirtiest and best porn. I loved his forearms, loved the dark hair, the tan skin, the carve of muscles.

I watched his tongue slip out and wet his lips. His hair was a mess and fell heavily over his forehead. When I let my eyes slide down the length of his body, I saw the one reaction he couldn’t hide. He was still so hard his c**k pressed against the low-slung waistband of his boxers.

I opened my mouth one more time and, without looking at me, he bent slightly to the side so his ear moved closer to my lips. A shaky exhale escaped and I squeezed my eyes shut.

“What’s that you say?” he asked. “I didn’t quite hear you.”

Please, Bennett, go f**k yourself was there, on the tip of my tongue. But who was I kidding? I wanted him to f**k me. So, I took a deep breath and admitted, “Please, Bennett, I need it.”

The crash came before I fully registered what happened: with a single sweep of his arm, Bennett had cleared the kitchen island and everything he’d taken from the fridge clattered to the floor. Glass shattered and the knife skittered across the tile and crashed into the baseboard. Bennett crushed me against him, bending to cover my mouth, force his tongue inside, and give me the satisfaction of hearing his deep, relieved groan.

It wasn’t playful anymore, it wasn’t gentle or careful. It was his arms hauling me onto the island, hands pushing me backward to lie flat on the cold marble, and hold me there with one flattened palm pressed heavily to my sternum. It was his other hand spreading my legs wide, his impatient fist pulling at his boxers. And before I could say how much I wanted it, how sorry I was for teasing—because I was, and something about seeing him so wild and primal scared me deliciously—he was easily pushing inside, so deep, and then pulling out just as fast, moving his h*ps in perfect, punishing stabs.

Releasing the weight of his hand from my chest, he grabbed my legs and took a step closer, pulling them over his shoulders and hitting that spot so deep that I felt the force of him reverberate up my spine. He slid his hands down to my hips, and held me in place while he fucked, head thrown back, taking his pleasure now. The island was sturdy enough to weather the force of his movements, but I reached over my head, gripping the edge so I could press myself even farther onto him. It wasn’t enough; I needed more, and deeper, and wetter, and rougher. He’d told me I couldn’t have this for days, and he knew better than anyone that his touch was the one thing—the only thing—that could keep me from disintegrating into a hurricane of stress. I needed to get him farther inside me than I ever had before, and I grew obsessed with the idea that I could, somehow.

“God, you’re f**king soaked,” he groaned, opening his eyes to look at me. “How can I keep from taking you? You’ll never know how much I need this.”

“Then why?” I asked. “Why tell me we can’t?”

He bent down, bringing my legs with him so the front of my thighs pressed tightly to my chest. “Because it’s the only time in my life I’ll be able to stop, to slow down, to relish just being near you.” He gulped at the air by my neck and then licked the skin there; his tongue, his teeth, his touch felt like fire. “I want to not be thinking the whole time about where I can take you to be alone for ten minutes, for fifteen, for an hour. I don’t want to resent anyone for keeping us apart, while they’re there to celebrate,” he said, gasping quietly. “I’m obsessed with you, and with this. I want to show you I can be measured.”

“What if that’s not what I want?”

Bennett buried his face in my neck and slowed, but I knew his body well enough to guess that he was just on the cusp of losing it, of reaching that point of no return. He ground against me, found that place, and that rhythm that distracted me from my question and made me chase the feeling building between my legs.

I was trapped beneath him and he began to focus on my pleasure, pushing into me and against me, getting me there until I was clutching at his shoulders, digging my nails into him and meeting his thrusts from below. My back was sore and the countertop was stony and cold on my spine but the increasing urgency of his movements made me not care. I could be bruised from it, and it didn’t matter. I didn’t want anything else but to fall apart with him inside and for him to fall with me.

When my orgasm hit, the sensation that took over my body was a silvery thrill unleashed across my skin, sliding over and inside until I wasn’t sure I could handle the feeling of being filled, of being ravaged, and coming so hard I saw black. I screamed, pulling him tight, needing to feel the full weight of him over me.

His movements sped and grew wild and then he arched away. “Fuck!” he shouted, his voice echoing off the vaulted ceiling as he came, freezing over me and holding still. “Fuck!”

Despite the chill of the countertop, we were sweaty and breathless. Bennett pushed himself up, and continued to slide in and out, slower now. As if he didn’t want to stop even if he had to, he pressed and retreated, eyes moving across my flushed skin.

He’d come already, but he didn’t seem to be done. Instead, he looked like a predator who’d had a small taste and now wanted to take stock of what was in front of him before diving back in. I loved this side of him: the Bennett who seemed to barely grasp control, who seemed so unlike his composed, daylight self. His eyes were dark and almost unseeing. Hungry hands touched the friction-warmed place between my legs, up over my hips, up my sides to where they roughly teased my nipples. His hands surrounded my br**sts and squeezed, plumping me for his mouth as he bent and sucked forcefully at my skin.

“Don’t leave a mark, you menace,” I said, and my voice sounded tiny and hoarse. “My dress . . .”

Pulling back, he looked at me and his eyes cleared at this reminder that we lived in a world with other people, and that we would be required to interact with these other people in the near future for our wedding. A wedding where I would wear a strapless gown that would show all of the bite and suck marks he was about to deliver.

“I know.” I ran my hands into his hair when he trailed off and pulled him over me, wishing we could stay like this forever: me on my back on the kitchen counter, him standing and leaning over me.

He exhaled deeply, pinning me beneath his weight. Suddenly he seemed exhausted. The last few months he’d not only helped with every stage of the wedding planning, but he’d also done everything he could to keep me sane and it had to wear on him. I ran my fingers into his hair and closed my eyes, loving this reminder of Bennett as mortal, as a man who could—and did—become worn-out or needed a reminder to be gentle. He was the perfect lover, the perfect boss, the perfect friend. How could he manage it? I’m sure some days he just wanted a quiet girlfriend, a woman who didn’t argue with every thought he had. A tiny thread of doubt slipped beneath my skin and wove its way into my brain, but then I stopped, feeling my lip pull up in a smirk.

Bennett Ryan was a perfectionist, demanding, stubborn, power-hungry asshole. Any other woman would last about two seconds with him before he chewed her up and spit her out.

And hell, some days I would love a pliant manservant, but no way was I trading in my Beautiful Bastard.

He stood, kissing down between my br**sts and, with a reluctant groan, pulling out of me. Bending, he reached for his boxers and slid them back up before looking me over, eyes raking across bare, damp skin.

“I’ll finish the programs and tie the goddamn candy ribbons,” he said, running his hand over his face. “You’ve got a kitchen to clean up if you want more of that in our bed later.”

“Uh, no,” I protested, pushing up on one elbow. The kitchen was a disaster. “I’ll do the programs.”

“You’ll do the kitchen,” he said, voice firm. “And hurry, Miss Mills. Mustard stains.”

We’d been in San Diego exactly two hours and I was already regretting not taking Chloe up on her Vegas elopement.

As if equipped with some kind of Bennett mood ring embedded in her brain, the woman in question turned in the seat next to me. I could feel the weight of her attention, her pressing gaze as she watched me and tried to dissect each frown or sigh.