“But right now, you want me naked.” It was a question, innocently buried in confidence.

She hooked her thumbs in her shorts, daring me again to stop her.

I nearly had to shove my fist into my mouth to keep from groaning aloud. The drink made me bold: “I do.”

She slid her shorts down her hips, swaying seductively for me, easing the silk down her thighs. She wore no underwear beneath, and her naked form was smooth, soft. I’d never seen anything more beautiful in my life.

“You like looking at me,” she said, but this one wasn’t a question. No doubt my expression telegraphed my every thought to her.

Like how I wanted to climb over her, be as greedy and filthy with her body as she suggested.

Like how I wanted to do something as innocent as touch the slickness between her legs with my fingers.

Swallowing heavily, I told her, “You’re the only thing I want to look at, darling.”

Ruby lowered herself onto the bed, pushing her body to the middle of the mattress, and then lay back, letting her knees fall to the sides. “So . . . look.”

Without shame, I stared between her spread legs. Blood pounded in my ears and I leaned against the armoire for support. “Christ.”

She ran her fingers up her legs, from her knees to her thighs. And then, while I watched, she ran the fingers of one hand along the wet skin of her sex.

“You like to taste me, too,” she whispered.

I could only swallow and nod. Nothing in the world would pleasure me more.

I looked up at her face upon hearing the pout in her voice, feeling my brows draw together. “I do?”

“Yes,” she whined sweetly. “It’s awful. You make me beg for your mouth on my clit.”

Her . . . clit? I wiped a palm down my face, dizzy. All of this—all of it—was spinning so quickly out of control. “What . . . that is to say, how do I do that?”

Offering a tiny one-shouldered shrug, she said, “You kiss my thighs, and my lips just here.” She circled her fingers between her legs. “You lick where I’m wet, too.” Sliding her index finger lower, it soon glistened with her arousal. “See where I get wet?”

I nearly pitched forward onto the bed. My voice was barely audible: “And quite.”

“But that’s how you tease me. You never lick me here.” She moved her fingers higher, circling her clitoris only once. “At least not until I’m nearly crying for it.”

I took a step closer to the bed. “That seems a bit unsporting of me.”

Ruby giggled, tipsy, smiling up at me. “It does, doesn’t it?”

With blood pounding through my veins, I began to feel the power I had over her body. Simply look at her. It was impossible to ignore how she was responding to this. “But it’s only because I love the flush of your skin when you start to need it, darling.”

Her lips parted, letting out a sharp exhale. “But I do need it.”

“No . . . you still only want it,” I corrected her. “And I rather like the taste of your thighs instead.”

Her hips lifted from the bed, fingers obediently moving to her thighs.

My heart hammered against my sternum. I wanted so much to join her in this game. “Your breasts are perfect.”

“I always keep one hand on your breast while I kiss you here.”

“You do,” she agreed, sliding a hand up her torso, cupping her breast in her palm. “I love that. But your teasing makes me crazy. Please let me feel you.”

With a relieved moan, Ruby grazed her fingers over her clitoris again, crying out.

“Let me slide my tongue into you.”

Her eyes flew open and she watched my face as she eased her finger inside. I watched it disappear, in and out of her, before looking up at her face. She seemed almost on the verge of tears.

I was lost in the game, drugged by the sight of her. I wasn’t myself. I wasn’t anyone I knew. She made me this way. “Do I love your taste?”

With apparent effort, she said, “You know you do.”

“It makes me wild, doesn’t it? Makes me . . .”

“Hard,” she finished for me.

I laughed, stepping so my knees touched the mattress, only a foot away from her. Bending, I placed a hand beside each of her hips, careful not to touch her. “I’m already painfully hard, darling. I was going to say it makes me possessive. Makes me want to fight any other man who’s ever tasted you.”

She let out a softly ragged breath. “You’re hard?”

Her eyes dropped to the zipper of my trousers, seeing the ridge pressing there.

“Let me see,” she said, licking her lips.

I shook my head but ran my hand over the front of my zipper, letting her see the shape of me.

Christ. What is happening? What am I doing?

She started to sit up, mortification slowly cooling her expression.

“Because I wouldn’t be able to stop,” I assured her quickly. “I’m barely hanging on, Ruby, please don’t stop what you’re doing.”

“Is this okay?” she asked. Her cheeks pinked, sobering.

I nodded, not wanting her to break this moment. “It’s more than okay. It’s a bloody dream.”

“I want to touch you,” she said, barely audibly.