Secrets and Sins:Raphael

By: Naima Simone

Oh, Jesus. Had she really just thanked him for…for… Images of all he’d done for her and to her flashed across her mind’s eye in vivid detail.

A dark eyebrow arched high, joining the slight quirk at the corner of his mouth. “You’re more than welcome, princess.”

She closed her eyes, heat pouring into her face. Which was ridiculous in itself. After all they’d done, all he’d seen of her body, all the places he’d touched, kissed—oh, God, licked—embarrassment should be the last emotion bombarding her. But there it was. And damn it, why couldn’t she be more mature about this? Say good-bye like an adult? Play this off as if fucking him on a public street wasn’t a big deal?

Because it had been. To her, at least. And as silly and schoolgirl-crushing-on-the-quarterback as it seemed, she didn’t want to say good-bye. Not to tonight. Not to Raphael Marcel.

A big palm cradled her cheek, the warmth of his skin against hers like a shield against the cold night air.

“Hey,” Raphael murmured. She lifted her lashes as the pad of his thumb swept over her cheekbone. “I thought you said no regrets.”

“I don’t.” How would he react if she confessed the only regret she harbored was letting him walk away tonight and never seeing him again? No one had ever made her feel more cherished, more desirable…more beautiful. “I don’t,” she repeated softly.

“Then kiss me good night like you mean it before I have any more shrinkage.”

His last words took a moment to sink in. But when it did, she laughed, amusement warring with mortification.

“I really think you say certain things just to make me blush.”

He grinned. “Would I do that?”

“Definitely,” she said, voice wry. Maybe she’d only known him less than a few hours, but that wicked sense of humor? He seemed to get a kick out of needling her.

He lifted his other hand to her face, tipped her head back. Brushed the back of his fingers down her temple, over her jaw. “You have it wrong, princess,” he whispered. “I’m the one who needs to be thanking you. For staying with me. For trusting me with your body and pleasure. For trumping every kinky, fucked-up fantasy I’ve played in my mind over and over since the second I saw you in my office.”

She laughed once more, but this chuckle was softer, more breathless. God, he had a habit of stealing her breath.

“Now”—he swept his mouth across hers—“give me a kiss.”

Without hesitation she parted her lips, allowed him in. Even though he’d asked her for the kiss, he snatched control of it, dragging her further into the erotic world he commanded and ruled. His tongue curled around hers, sucking on it, coaxing her to get hot with him even as they stood on her doorstep. She fisted his long, dark hair, rose on the toes of her boots to delve deeper, demand more. She moaned. Almost begged him to follow her upstairs and pick up what they started and finished in his truck.

But she pulled away and released her grip on his hair, panting hard.

His hooded gaze seared her, tempted her. Urged her to invite him upstairs and indulge in an encore performance of the last few hours. She wanted to. Shivering, she almost buried her hands back in his hair, dragged his head down, and recaptured his mouth. Damn, did she want to. But at the last moment, she inched backward a step.

“Good night, Raphael,” she whispered.

The corner of his lips quirked before he gently rubbed the back of his fingers down her cheek. “Don’t forget to call your brother so he doesn’t send out SWAT after me,” he ordered, and she soaked up the satisfaction of hearing the slight rasp in his voice.

She smiled even as her mind silently screamed, Grab him. Tell him not to leave, that you don’t want him to go. Something—what she couldn’t identify—urged her to convince him to come up to her apartment, spend the night in her bed like true lovers. To not leave her alone. But she remained quiet. With a small nod, she turned, unlocked the door, and closed it behind her before she did something stupid.

Like beg.

Forcing her feet forward, she climbed the steps to her apartment, her mind still on the doorstep with the sexiest man she’d ever met. It’s for the best I walked away. She twisted the key in the front door lock. I mean, what kind of couple would we have made, anyway? She snorted to herself, knowing she was probably far more inexperienced than the women someone like Raphael usually dated. Hell, can’t I even have a one-night stand right? Only I can mentally turn a hot few hours into a potential relationship.

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