Prince's Son of Scandal

By: Dani Collins

She frowned. The hand she’d rested on his shoulder slid down to splay on his chest as if she had the right to touch him with such familiarity, but touching him felt very natural. Her fingertips dipped beneath the ribbon of red, sliding the tips of her polished nails beneath it as she ever so slightly lifted it off the crispness of his shirt.

“I’m not a pushover. I’m normally the most contrary person you could imagine. A fighter.” Her family told her that all the time, so why was she letting this happen? Her usual streak of rebellion was absent.

Actually, she realized with a spark of insight, it was directed against the life she’d been leading, pushing her to break free of old restraints. No one was stopping her from spending a night with a man except her. All she had to do was choose to.

“I’m not trying to pressure you. I’m sincere that I wish we had more time to get to know one another, but my life has never allowed for long term relationships.” His hand shifted to splay in a warm brand against her lower back, offering a soothing caress. “For what it’s worth—” He bit the inside of his cheek, seeming to weigh what he was about to say. The shadow moved behind his eyes again, telling her that he was uncomfortable with how revealing his words were. “If you walked out of here right now, I wouldn’t go looking for someone else. You’re the only woman I want to be with tonight.”

“Why?” It came out of her with a pang of disbelief. “Please don’t say it’s because you like the way I look.” She didn’t want him to want Gili. It would break her heart—it really would.

His breath came out in a soft snort of disbelief. “Because of the way we make each other feel.”

He lowered his head to graze his damp lips along her jaw and down to her neck, making her shiver. Her nipples pulled tight so quickly they stung. He chuckled softly at the way she audibly caught her breath.

“We’re positively volatile.” His hot breath bathed her ear before his teeth lightly closed on her lobe, nearly causing her knees to buckle.

She pressed her hand more firmly to his chest.

“No?” He drew back, but held her close. Held her up, if she was honest.

“I’m trying to think,” she gasped, nearly overwhelmed by sensations that were the furthest thing from fear.

“And you can’t? Then we feel the same.” His tight smile only made the edgy fist of need inside her clench harder. “Feel, bella. Feel how much you’re exciting me.” He moved her hand all the way under the sash, so the pound of his heart slammed into her palm. “This isn’t anything I’ve ever experienced, either.”

Her scalp tingled. She dropped her champagne glass, ignoring the delicate break of crystal, wanting too badly to touch him with both hands. She slid her fingers to the back of his neck and raised her mouth, inviting him to kiss her. It was pure instinct and he didn’t hesitate, covering her parted lips as though he’d been let off his leash after having been tempted for too long.

The world stopped then spun the other way, dizzying her. She made one whimpering noise, astonished by how thoroughly such a thing could devastate her, wilting all her muscles.

She distantly heard another delicate shatter, then he picked her up, lifting his head to reveal a fierce expression. Victory? Not quite, but there was something conquering there. Something exalted.

Yet his bright gaze asked a question.

She nodded, unable to speak, just gave herself up to it, to him. She knew when to fight her body and when to surrender. Perhaps it was the silver lining to all those years of having to accept that physiology trumped logic. This was bigger than anything she could make sense of.

He set her on the bed and she watched him throw off his jacket, shaken by the feelings that were carving a valley through her. He joined her and dragged her half under him, kissing her again. Thorough, drugging kisses that set her alight, yet she felt stiff and frozen.

“What’s wrong?” He lifted his head, proving himself to be attuned to her in a way that was reassuring and disturbing all at once.

“I’m shy,” she admitted, ducking her head as she said it because that wasn’t her at all. Her eyes stung with emotive tears at how monumental this was. She was alone with a man, on a bed, and he had set the sun inside her. He made it radiate outward, filling her with such heat and joy she was going to burst. “I want to touch you, but I don’t want to make a fool of myself. I don’t know if I can contain myself.”

“Don’t even try.” His voice brimmed with graveled warning, which might have made her chuckle, but she released her breath and let her hands move to greedily stake a claim.

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