Ruby gasped, hands in my hair as I immediately pulled away, jerking the satin down her legs and off, bending to press my mouth to the sweetest slickness, burying my tongue between her legs.

Oh, the relief of it, of taking her, of tasting her this way.

Her cry came out choked, her hips left the floor and somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I needed to be gentle and loving but as I spread her open with my fingers, sucked her and fucked her with my tongue, she only grew more frantic.

“Niall—” My name disintegrated into a gasping, breathless cry. She tugged at my hair, pulling my mouth from her. “Put me on the bed,” she managed. “Let me watch you.”

I stood, kicking out of my pants and pulling my shirt over my head before lifting her, carrying her to the mattress and helping her out of the tangle of her rumpled top. My body had slowed enough that I could stop and gaze down at her, kissing her neck until she pulled me up to her face.

“I love this,” she whispered between kisses, repeating my words to her the other night, our first intimate night in her hotel room. “Love to taste myself on your tongue.”

I felt her goose bumps beneath my palms and closed my eyes, let myself enjoy the sweet sucking kisses she gave me, the way she took my hand and led it down her body and between her legs.

Pulling my lips away, I moved to her neck, her chest, giving attention to her breasts and stomach, before settling between her legs, kissing her hip.

She ran her fingers into my hair, studying my face as I let my eyes move up and down her naked body.

“You’re so quiet all of a sudden,” she whispered.

I spread her with my fingers, and relished the feel of the pad of my thumb, wet from her, tripping back and forth over her clit. “I’m concentrating.”

And why would I want to speak over the sweet, rasping sound of her breath catching, of the sheets pulled tight in her fists?

I made pressing, steady circles and her hips rose slightly up from the mattress, rocking.

“I . . .” she started, words falling away in a strangled gasp.

“Shhhh . . .” I bent, pressing my mouth over my thumb, licking and stroking her in tandem. I’d stopped letting myself fantasize about oral sex—giving or receiving—as it was never something Portia wanted to do after our first few years together. She wanted missionary sex, music in the background so our noises weren’t so obvious, eyes closed, lights off.

But I loved the taste of a woman, loved the way this act felt at once sweet and devious. Kissing a woman here always seemed like the pinnacle of fevered sensuality: a man wanting to taste the source of his pleasure. And here, on the bed, Ruby pushed herself onto her elbows to watch me with wide eyes, her lashes so thick and dark and seeming to draw her lids down under the weight.

As I swirled my thumb and circled my tongue, her chest rose and fell under sharp breaths, her mouth opened slightly, her tongue sliding back and forth over her bottom lip.

“Do you like doing this to me?” she asked, voice barely audible.

“I don’t think like is the word I would use,” I told her, kissing her, teasing. “I don’t think anything in the world would give me more pleasure right now.”

Her breathing slowed, hips pressed up and froze when I pulled my mouth away. So close.

“Please what, darling?” I nibbled her hip, the delicate skin beside my hand, slowing the movements of my thumb.

She squirmed under me. “I need it.”

“You still only want it,” I told her, relishing this return to our game when I could actually touch her, taste her, and make good on my promise to let her come against my kiss.

I saw her lip shake before she trapped it between her teeth, her eyes pleading with me.

It was so easy to bring her here, to this point. Nothing made it sink in more fully that she’d fantasized about this hundreds of times than the way her body fell so easily into pleasure under my touch.

“Tell me,” I whispered, bending to exhale over her clit.

She squeezed her eyes shut, reached out to wrap her fingers around my wrist, urging and needful. She was so wet; she shook against my hand, her body clenched so tight, breath trapped in her throat.

I was delirious for her pleasure, lost in the sight of her mouth parted, her pulse ticking wildly in her throat, the taste of her still on my lips. “Tell me, dove.”

Bending, I slid my tongue over her, again and again, and again.

Her thighs shook beside my head. “I’m so close.”

“No, tell me,” I repeated into her skin, pulling away again.

She seemed to have to force her eyes to open, and they looked down at me, confused. “Please, I—”

“I have all of these idle fingers,” I observed, giving her a tiny smile. “That seems incredibly wasteful. Tell me . . . is there something I should do with them?”

She groaned when I bent and licked her in earnest, her entire body shaking, and I could feel the way my question sent her tumbling over the edge.

I’d simply wanted her to know what was coming, and without hesitation, I pressed my fingers together and into her, deep—hard—as I sucked her into my mouth and nearly lost my mind when she screamed, back arching sharply from the bed and she came violently, legs closing against my shoulders, thighs trembling beside me.