Brighter Than the Sun Page 63

He roared her name and then gathered her tightly in his arms, sliding them beneath her body until they were locked together in every possible way. He buried his face in her neck, inhaling her scent as if permanently imprinting himself with her essence. She let her head fall back, giving him free access to imprint all he wanted, simply enjoying the feel of his touch and tenderness in the aftermath of the most explosive orgasm she’d ever experienced in her life.

Several long minutes passed, Joe atop Zoe, alternately kissing and nibbling her neck and her lazily running her palms and fingers up and down his back as he went completely limp, sated and satisfied, as was she.

“That was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced,” she whispered against his ear.

His arms tightened around her, and for a moment he was silent, as if collecting himself after such an earth-shattering event.

“You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced,” he said softly. “I never want it to end, baby. Never had anything as precious as you, and never will.”

CHAPTER 19

ZOE slowly woke, remaining perfectly still as she absorbed the simple comfort not waking up alone gave her. Joe was wrapped so tightly around her that there was no space between them. She closed her eyes, reliving the beauty of his lovemaking. Tears surged and despite her best effort they leaked from underneath her eyelashes and trickled down her cheeks. She turned her head away from where it rested on Joe’s chest, praying he was still sound asleep.

No such luck.

He stirred and rolled so they faced each other, his eyes bright with worry and fear.

“Hey,” he said softly, reaching to wipe away her tears. “What’s wrong, baby? Did I hurt you? Are you okay?”

Emotion clogged her throat, nearly rendering her incapable of speech. “It was beautiful,” she whispered, echoing the words she’d used the night before. “I’ve never experienced anything so . . . perfect.”

No longer able to bear his scrutiny, she buried her face against his shoulder and sucked in steadying breaths in an effort to gain control over her scattered emotions.

He said nothing, just caressed up and down her back in a soothing motion. “Did I scare you, Zoe? Did I come on too hard and fast?”

He sounded so worried and disgusted with himself that she lifted herself from the warm haven of his body so that she could stare down at him, hoping her expression reflected all she could barely put into words. How could you explain such exquisiteness with mere words?

Her eyes glittered with tears and frustration. What had she done to give him the idea that he’d been anything but gentle, loving and so very tender?

It was when fire blazed in his eyes and a flood of emotion swamped his face and he pulled her back down until their mouths were just a breath away that she realized, to her complete mortification, that she had voiced her last question aloud.

“Honey, you did nothing wrong,” he said, smudging away the remnants of tears that had collected in the corners of her eyes. “As it is, I’ve wondered more than once if I’ve died and gone to heaven, because having you here, in my bed after giving me the honor and privilege of making love to you, is nothing short of God’s glory. I’m pretty sure I heard angels singing the ‘Hallelujah Chorus,’ or maybe that was me, in which case I probably did scare you to death,” he teased.

“Or maybe we should do it all over again, you know, just so you’re sure,” he added in a husky whisper.

Zoe’s body came to life, her nipples forming rigid points and a pulse beginning low in her groin.

“Maybe you’re right,” she whispered.

“I like the way my woman thinks,” he said, kissing her, his tongue plunging inside her mouth as he licked and dueled with her tongue.

“Am I?” she asked breathlessly. “Your woman?”

He drew away, a deep frown on his face. “That’s the dumbest question I’ve ever heard. Was it not you I was so deep inside that I could feel your every movement?”

She blushed.

“You are mine, Zoe. Make no mistake in that.”

“We need to talk, Joe,” she said in a quiet, somber voice.

“And we will. Just as soon as I convince you beyond a shadow of a doubt that you belong to me heart, body and soul.”

“But—”

He shushed her with a gentle finger and then followed it with his lips. His words thrilled and scared her at the same time. And they released a pent-up longing for things she’d never dared to dream of.

His hands drifted up and down the curves of her body, caressing, making lazy patterns on her skin, dipping lower and lower until she thought she’d go mad with wanting. Her nipples strained upward as if begging for his mouth, and he readily complied, taking one taut peak deeply into his mouth and sucking in rhythmic motion, then turning to give equal attention to the other.

Her fingers delved into his hair, her nails digging into his scalp before lovingly cradling his head to her breast as his fingers worked their magic over her most delicate, quivering flesh. He inserted one long finger inside her channel, causing her to cry out and arch her hips upward, seeking more.

“Please, Joe, don’t make me wait,” she pleaded softly. “I need you right now.”

He added another finger, stretching the swollen, slick passage, and then eased them out, raising them to his mouth to suck her moisture from each digit.

“You taste delicious,” he said in a new growl.

“Now, Joe,” she urged, twisting and rolling her head from side to side as urgency continued to mount until she feared going mad with it.

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