“All right,” I say, determined to give it my best shot. “Let’s do this.”

We start our race near a tree that I marked specifically for this purpose. On the other side of the island, there is another tree that serves as the finish line. If we run on the sand, along the ocean, it’s exactly three miles from here to that point.

Julian counts to five, I set my stopwatch, and we’re off, each starting at a reasonably fast pace that’s not our top speed. As I run, I feel my muscles easing into the rhythm of the movement, and I gradually pick up the pace, pushing myself harder than I usually do at this point in the run. Julian runs beside me, his longer stride enabling him to keep up with me with ease.

We run silently, not talking, and I keep sneaking glances at Julian out of the corner of my eye. We’re halfway through the course, and I’m sweating and breathing hard, but my gorgeous captor seems to be barely exerting himself. He’s in phenomenal shape, his smooth muscles glistening with light drops of perspiration, bunching and releasing with every movement. He runs lightly, landing on the balls of his feet, and I envy his easy stride, wishing that I had even a quarter of his obvious strength and endurance.

As we get into the last half-mile, I put on a burst of speed, determined to try to beat him despite the obvious futility of the effort. He’s not even winded yet, and I’m already gasping for breath. He picks up his speed too, and no matter how hard I run, I can’t put any distance between us. He’s practically glued to my side.

By the time we get within a hundred yards of the tree, I am dripping with sweat and every muscle in my body is screaming for oxygen. I’m on the verge of collapse and I know it, but I make one last heroic attempt and sprint for the finish line.

And just as my hand is about to touch the tree, marking me the race winner, Julian’s palm slaps the bark, literally a second before mine.

Frustrated, I whirl around and find myself with my back pressed against the tree and Julian leaning over me. “Gotcha,” he says, his eyes gleaming, and I see that he’s breathing almost normally.

Gasping for air, I push at him, but he doesn’t back away. Instead, he steps closer, and his knee wedges between my thighs. At the same time, his hands grab the backs of my knees, lifting me up against him, my thighs spread wide as he grinds his erection against my pelvis.

Our little race apparently turned him on.

Panting, I stare up at him, my hands grabbing at his shoulders. I can barely remain upright, and he wants to fuck?

The answer is obviously yes, because he sets me down on my feet for a second, pulls down my shorts and underwear, and then does the same thing to his own clothes. I sway on my feet, my legs shaking from the exertion. I can’t believe this is happening. Who fucks right after a race? All I want to do is lie down and drink a gallon of water.

But Julian has other ideas. “Get on your knees,” he orders hoarsely, pushing me down before I have a chance to comply.

I land on my knees heavily and brace myself with my hands. The position actually helps me regain my breath somewhat, and I gratefully suck in air. My head is spinning from the heat outside—and from the aftermath of a hard run—and I hope I don’t end up passing out.

A hard, muscular arm slides under my hips, holding me in place, and then I feel his cock pressing against my buttocks. Dizzy and trembling, I wait for the thrust that will join us together, my treacherous sex wet and throbbing with anticipation. My body’s response to Julian is insane, ridiculous, given my overall physical state.

He brushes my sweat-soaked hair off my back and leans forward to kiss my neck, covering me with his heavy body. “You know,” he whispers, “you’re beautiful when you run. I’ve been wanting to do this since the first mile.” And with that, he pushes deep inside me, his thickness stretching me, filling me all the way.

I cry out, my hands clutching at the dirt as he begins thrusting, both of his hands now holding my hips as he rams into me. My senses narrow, focusing only on this—the rhythmic movements of his hips, the pleasure-pain of his rough possession . . . I feel like I’m burning inside, dying from the violent brew of heat and lust. The pressure building inside me is too much, unbearable, and I throw my head back with a scream as my entire body explodes, the release rocketing through me with so much force that I literally pass out.

By the time I become conscious again, I am cradled on Julian’s lap. He’s got his back pressed against the finish-line tree, and he’s feeding me small sips of water, making sure that I don’t choke. “You okay, baby?” he asks, looking down at me with what appears to be genuine concern on his beautiful face.

“Um, yeah.” My throat still feels dry, but I’m definitely feeling better—and more than a little embarrassed about my fainting spell.

“I didn’t realize you’d gotten this dehydrated,” he says, a small frown bisecting his brow. “Why did you push yourself so hard?”

“Because I wanted to win,” I admit, closing my eyes and breathing in the scent of his skin. He smells like sex and sweat, an oddly appealing combination.

“Here, drink some more water,” he says, and I open my eyes again, obediently drinking when he presses a bottle to my lips. The bottle is from the cooler I keep stashed on this side of the island to keep hydrated after my runs.

After a few minutes—and an entire bottle of water—I feel well enough to start walking back. Except Julian doesn’t let me walk. Instead, as soon as I get to my feet, he bends down and lifts me into his arms as effortlessly as if I were a doll. “Hold on to my neck,” he orders, and I wrap my arms around him, letting him carry me back home.