The Billionaire's Ruthless Intrusion (Billionaire Knights Book 1) (6 page)

Chapter 10

, she emerged from the frothy surf, water drops clinging to her fair skin and glittering like a liquid coat of Swarovski diamonds. Stuart was painfully aware of his straining erection as her breasts jiggled as she walked toward him, her red hair like a wet curtain framing her smiling face, her sparkling eyes mirroring the water whence she rose like a nymph and her smile tugging at something deep inside him that had lain dormant for as long as he could remember. Something unfathomable was happening to him, something catching at his heart, snapping free of a tightness he hadn’t even been aware of.

“The water is great!” she gushed as she stood basking in the sun to air-dry.

He nodded and stayed right where he was, his eyes still feasting on her naturally curvy frame. He marveled at the way the droplets of water on her skin reflected the sunlight and turned her luminous, as if touched by magic—nature itself clothing her in a mantle of iridescence and luminescence, like a rare gem.

“Aren’t you going in?” she asked, still panting slightly, licking her lips.

He would go in, but the hard press of his erection gave him pause, as did the feast to his eyes represented by Kirsty standing not a foot away from him. Then he caught sight of the outline of the outer lips of her sex, clearly visible beneath the wet material of her bikini bottoms, and his heart pounded against his breastbone like a hammer. With a growl, he dragged off shirt and Bermudas, and broke into a sprint for the water. He needed to cool off. If he stayed with Kirsty for one second longer he’d either spontaneously self-combust or his hands would develop a mind of their own and drag her down on top of him.

He plunged into the waves headfirst and was swimming away from the beach and from the object of his sweet torment with powerful strokes of his muscular arms, trying to rid himself of the sneaking suspicion he was falling for her and falling fast.

Kirsty sat down, chin on her knees, and watched as Stuart plunged deeper into the glittering waters, moving further and further away from shore. Soon, his dark head was a mere dot on the horizon, and she felt a twinge of worry that he wouldn’t make it back. But then she told herself that was simply nonsense. Stuart was a seasoned vet, after all, who’d braved the seething cauldron of war. The calm waters of the Mediterranean posed no threat or challenge to him.

She found her heart beating a steady drum at the memory of Stuart gazing at her as intently as he had, his eyes positively devouring her with an intensity that took her breath away. And as she watched him turn back and swim toward her, she felt the tightness in her breasts increasing, just like it had before. Her chest quickly rising and falling with quickening arousal, she happened to look down at her breasts, and saw to her surprise that her bikini top wasn’t as concealing as she’d thought it was. In fact the dark poke of her nipples was clearly visible through the wet material. Then she looked up and saw that Stuart was walking from the surf, navigating the sandy stretch separating them, his eyes hot on her.

She understood instinctively the scene was one two lovers would share. One beach towel for two, shared by two people intensely in love. Only they weren’t in love, were they? They weren’t even lovers. Did she want them to be? She couldn’t deny that she did, and marveled once more at the miraculous absence from her thoughts of Geoffrey, the man she’d pined for for so long.

She had to suppress a gasp as she took in Stuart, for the first time in her life witnessing the pure male form in all its perfection. His chest wasn’t merely muscled but packed solid, flat nipples low on taut pecs, his ripped stomach slashed with sharply defined ridges, broad shoulders over a wide upper body tapering down to narrow hips. His arms were raised, fingers combing wet strands of dark hair away from his tan face, his biceps working. She watched with fascination as the muscles in his legs rippled beneath the dark skin, then her eyes treacherously trailed upward, following the dusting of hair covering his chest down to his belly and disappearing into his swimming trunks. Unable to control herself, her eyes zoomed in on the distinct bulge she saw there, the outline of his… his erection. She gulped slightly. Her cheeks were burning, and it wasn’t from the sun but from the sudden and desperate urge to invite him to have sex with her—to take her right here, right now, onlookers be damned.

“You were right,” he grunted as he crouched down. “The water is great.” She nibbled her lower lip as she gazed up into his eyes. His large frame was blocking the sun as he remained crouched before her, and for a moment she thought he was going to kiss her. But then he eased back on his haunches and his eyes traveled to the horizon as he added, “I should have done this a long time ago.”

“This?” she queried, and found that her voice came out a squeak. She cleared her throat. “Taking a swim in the Med?”

He grimaced. “Taking a vacation.”

“Oh.” Why she was disappointed, she didn’t know. Had she really expected him to say he’d wanted the two of them to spend time together? Of course not. “You mean you haven’t had a vacation in a while?”

“Nope, unless you consider Iraq a vacation,” he said wryly.

She blushed again. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean—”

“We used to vacation all the time, remember?” His voice had taken on a dreamy note, as he gazed off into the distance. “You were quite the water rat.”

“I remember,” she said softly. When she was little the whole family had been very close. They’d go on holiday with the whole gang, usually to beach resorts in the UK, sometimes crossing the Channel into France. Le Touquet. Fun times. She now remembered something else. Before she’d fallen in love with Geoffrey and had started favoring him with her attentions, she and Stuart had gotten along quite well. In fact he’d often been the one to take on the role of her protector when her other cousins had teased her. Funny how the mind worked, she marveled. She’d totally forgotten about that. Back then she’d actually liked him the best, and known she could always rely on him to get her out of a jam.

“But then life doesn’t always give you what you want, does it?” he said with a touch of bitterness. “After Mum died, things weren’t the same. Dad buried himself in his work, and the time for holidaying and playtime was over. Then he got involved with La Popping…” He halted, and she watched his jaw tighten.

On an impulse, she reached out and placed a hand on his arm. His skin felt hot under her touch, and he looked up abruptly, fixing her with an intent gaze. “I’m sorry, Stuart,” she murmured, letting her fingers slip from his arm, feeling as if she’d invaded his sacred space. Instead, she saw there was a gentleness in his eyes she hadn’t seen there before, as if part of the old Stuart—the Stuart she’d known a long time ago—had returned.

His lips quirked up into a smile. “Don’t let me ruin a perfectly wonderful day, Kirsty. It’s just that, with all that’s happened…”

“You don’t have to explain yourself,” she returned, and he nodded and stretched himself out next to her and closed his eyes.

They remained like that for a long time while all around them the sounds of vacationing tourists with their gay chatter and their splashing kids provoked a sudden ache inside Kirsty’s heart for those wonderful days. The days when the family had been a gathering of loving parents and a gaggle of cheerful munchkins. Before the world intruded and had brutally torn that family apart.

She allowed her eyes to drift back to Stuart as he lay beside her, and stretched out next to him. They were almost skin to skin, their hands practically touching, and wistfully she thought how nice it would be if they could be lovers as well as friends. Surprised by this unexpected twist of her mind, she quickly tamped down on the thrill of anticipation she felt when her hand, as of its own accord, snuck closer to Stuart’s, and when their fingers finally touched the yearning that rocked through her gut was so powerful she heaved a small sigh.

Stuart heard the sigh, and felt the touch of Kirsty’s fingers. With a sinking feeling he turned his head and saw that her eyes were closed. She was probably sleeping, he thought, and dreaming of Geoffrey. His lips twisted into a grimace as he disentangled their hands. Why she would ever fall for Geoffrey he didn’t know. The man might once have been a friend, but he knew him as a weak man, all too eager to allow the desires of the flesh to hold him in their nefarious grip.

No man he knew had had as many girlfriends as Geoffrey, and had boasted of the fact that he could always have more. Stuart wasn’t like that, nor did he hold such men in high esteem. If Geoffrey had never taken Kirsty to bed it was because Stuart had made it crystal clear to him that if he ever did he would beat him to a pulp with his own bare hands. Geoffrey had gotten the message and had omitted to add Kirsty to his long list of conquests. If Kirsty found out she’d probably never forgive him, but he didn’t care. What had fueled his course of action wasn’t merely a desire to protect the family name and Kirsty’s reputation but also her heart. If Geoffrey had bedded her only to carelessly dump her, as he invariably did, she’d have been devastated, and might have never recovered.

Geoffrey had finally wised up and was about to marry Giselle Rockwell, heiress of the substantial Rockwell fortune. Whether Geoffrey actually loved Giselle or merely her wealth he didn’t know, but until he was finally married and officially off the market, he’d make sure that Kirsty didn’t so much as cross the man’s path. He’d heard plenty of stories of guys wanting to enjoy one last stag night and snatch the women who’d gotten away. He was pretty sure that Kirsty featured on Geoffrey’s wish list, even though he didn’t care about her one bit.

His face twisted into a scowl, and he traced the softness of Kirsty’s cheek and the curve of her neck with his eyes, then lower as he took in the slope of her breasts and the gentle rise of her areolae. She was his to protect, not to conquer or seduce, he reminded himself, and even though he wanted her in his bed, he would resist the urge to follow through on that temptation. For a moment he’d contemplated making her his bride, but he now knew that that was a ridiculous notion. She didn’t love him, and he would never want to lock her up in a loveless marriage. Soon Geoffrey would be wed, and then Kirsty would be on her own again, free to pursue any man she wanted.

The thought of Kirsty with another man suddenly filled him with a vicious slash of jealousy carving his insides to ribbons but he bit down on the pain, something he was very good at. After two tours of duty and a life spent fighting off both his emotional and physical pain, he’d become something of an expert. Finally he looked away from her. He might be adept at suppressing his pain, but that didn’t mean he wanted to go through life a masochist. Gritting his teeth he wondered how he was going to survive the night spent in the same bed with her.

Chapter 11

ight had fallen
and a cooling breeze wafted in through the windows, allowing the curtains to gently billow in the breeze. Instead of switching on the A/C, Kirsty had implored Stuart to leave the windows open. She disliked sleeping in the artificial cold and much preferred the fresh air rolling in from the sea. Stuart couldn’t have agreed more. He was used to sleeping under the open skies. Even as a boy he’d loved camping with his brothers, and later in the military grown accustomed to roughing it, with only the stars as his trusty companions.

He now lay tossing and turning, unable to find sleep. Kirsty had retreated to her side of the bed, which was large enough so that they never had to touch, but the sight of her as she slipped between the covers dressed in only a T-shirt and panties had kicked his arousal into acute overdrive. It didn’t seem to bother Kirsty, who hadn’t stirred in a while, and who was clearly asleep by now.

Finally, he turned on his side and willed his mind to stop regurgitating the arousing imagery of Kirsty sharing his bed. He squeezed his eyes closed so he wouldn’t have to see her red hair draped provocatively across her pillow, the curve of her cheek visible in the shaft of moonlight slanting in through the windows, or the shape of her body under the sheet. Soon, he found his mind quieting down and a drowsiness coming over him that was most welcome.

It had taken Kirsty ages to finally fall asleep, but when it came it washed over her with a wonderful dream. She dreamed she was sharing a bed with Stuart, and that he’d rolled against her in the middle of the night so that he was buffeting her body with his, protecting her from harm—whatever that harm might be. The feel of his arm draped over her in a domineering gesture and pressing her bottom against the hardness of his erection had her softly moaning with desire as she gently bucked her hips and massaged her buttocks against the hard press of his girth. His arm grew animated, as did the rest of his body, his powerful fingers digging possessively into the soft flesh of her breast and his other hand resting on her thigh before pulling her into his hardness.

Turning her head, her lips soon found his and she provocatively traced the outline of his lips with the tip of her tongue. His hand on her breast dug deeper into her flesh, and she produced a soft keening sound at the back of her throat as his tongue plunged between her lips and into her mouth, darting against her own. The wetness and the heat made her turn into him, his hand now sliding beneath her shirt and then he was grasping her bare breasts, rough thumbs abrading peaking nipples, painful in their tightness. Wantonly, she ground her hips against him, welcoming his hard flesh when his legs spread hers. As their kiss deepened, the penetration of his tongue between her lips invited her to open her mouth wider, and she became aware this was no dream at all. This was really happening! The power of her arousal was now so great she was unable to retreat back into the safety of sleep, and she found herself inviting him deeper inside, wanting him to invade her sacred, virginal space.

Stuart had just dozed off when he found his body enveloping Kirsty, his hand kneading her breast as she offered herself to him with a wantonness and an eagerness that blindsided him. Before his senses kicked in his body had already made it impossible for him to retreat to his own side of the bed. She was turning into him, their tongues dueling fiercely, and he found his hands grasping her naked flesh, skin on skin. Soft and warm. He snuck one hand down between their undulating bodies to push down her panties and cup the triangle of her sex—his fingers searching and finding the hot wet strip between the moistness of her lips, parting and exploring. Her tongue darted eagerly against his lips and he rhythmically thrust into her mouth with erotic jabs, in sync with his finger slipping inside her wetness. When he touched her clitoris, she moaned into his mouth, and bucked her hips against his hand, his finger sliding deeper. Her legs enveloped him, and he rolled on top of her, stripping off her shirt while she kicked off her panties.

Her fingers hooked in the elastic band of his black Calvin Kleins, and soon they were both naked, their bodies writhing in ecstatic heat as their mouths connected, tongues engaged in an erotic tangle. His lips feathered a line along her neck, down to her breast where he sucked her swollen nipple deeply into his mouth, his hand cradling her other breast and gently rolling her tautness between thumb and forefinger. His knee parted her legs and she rode it without inhibition, pressing against his upper thigh. He could feel the slick wetness and the sensation drove him to even greater heights of arousal.

This was Kirsty, he had to remind himself as he tried to get a grip on himself and the strongest attraction to a woman he’d ever felt in his entire life. He shouldn’t be doing this, his feeble mind tried to interfere, but then she softly murmured his name, her hands curling at the nape of his neck and bunching into his hair and he was lost—the powerful roar of his instinct impossible to resist.

Kirsty’s hand sought and found Stuart’s hard flesh, and when her fingers curled around him, she gasped. What she’d already surmised was borne out by the touch of her fingers: his erection was as sculpted and perfect as the rest of him, and when she rubbed her thumb across the head, the moistness spread.

A shiver racked his frame as he supported himself on his powerful arms, his chest grazing and mashing her breasts, his tongue plundering her mouth. She clasped her legs across his bunching buttocks, willing him to invade her most sacred space—the heart of her womanhood—where no man had ever entered.

Still he resisted, croaking against her lips, “Are you sure you want this?”

She nodded fiercely. She’d never envisioned Stuart to be her first, always reserving that particular honor for Geoffrey, but never before had she been so sure of anything as she was of the fact that she wanted Stuart. Right now.

When he plunged into her, it was with such gentleness tears sprang to her eyes. For such a massively built man he was surprisingly tender. And as he entered her she felt the spreading sensation that had her breath catch in her lungs, then release on a quivering gasp. Slowly, he moved deeper, increasing the pressure, his flesh uniting with hers and sinking himself ever more inside her. And when the slight twinge of pain came and went, she felt as if something burst not only inside her belly but also inside her heart. A tightness that had been there snapped and it was as if she was finally able to breathe freely.

She clung to Stuart, pulling his face closer to hers, opening her lips to invite his tongue as she’d opened herself to invite his pulsating hardness to slide down deep inside her throbbing channel. And as he plunged deeper inside her, she moved with him, her hips rolling to welcome each thrust, her fingernails digging into his back as starburst upon starburst of exquisite pleasure exploded inside her, finally culminating in delightful spasms fluttering through her belly and setting off a chain reaction of explosive contractions. Her muscles squeezed around his burrowing flesh, sucking him in and enveloping him with a sheath of wet heat, her muscles erratically spasming around his burgeoning hardness.

Stuart felt the climax that tore through Kirsty’s body as she quivered and shook in his arms. And as her muscles contracted, he fought for control of his own release, only now remembering they weren’t using protection. The transition from dream to wakefulness had happened so gradually and naturally that the thought never occurred to him until now when it was too late. For a moment he was on the verge, teetering on the precipice, but then Kirsty arched her back on a wild cry, pressing her soft breasts against his chest, her nipples scraping his skin, her sheath enveloping him like a velvet glove, drawing him into the delight of her wetness, and he reached his peak on the heels of her orgasm as his life-giving seed flowed deep within her contracting womanhood.

As Stuart spilled his release inside her, Kirsty felt an ancient recognition echoing through her body, shivers of delight and ripples of pleasure bursting into life. There was a brief notion of something sacred—a barrier crossed—and then the moment passed. She reached out, her hand gently on Stuart’s cheek, then caressing a trail along his corded neck along his broad shoulders and down the bunched muscles of his back. They were both panting, glistening with sweat in spite of the breeze wafting in from the Mediterranean. In the moonlight she watched Stuart raise his head, his features tightening as he stared down at her.

To her surprise she didn’t see love reflected in his face, or tenderness—all she could see was the hooded seclusion of a man who regretted bitterly what he’d just done. In shock, she recoiled, and as if on cue, he retreated from her.

Too shocked to respond, she rolled onto her side, turning her back on Stuart while tears sprang to her eyes. She’d seduced him and in spite of himself he’d given in to her seduction, and now he regretted what he’d done. Of course—what did she expect? He disliked her, after all. Perhaps even hated her. What did she think? That he would suddenly grow to love her? Love… This wasn’t love. To him this was merely sex. The physical act of lovemaking, and as far as Stuart was concerned love didn’t feature into it at all.

Stuart watched her bare back shaking with the tears she was shedding. He longed to take her into his arms and comfort her. Hold her close and cradle her against his shoulder. It was obvious why she was crying. The moment she’d opened her eyes and seen his face she’d realized her mistake. She’d realized that she’d made love to him and not Geoffrey, the man she loved. Bitterly he rolled onto his own side of the bed, cursing a fate that had landed them in the same bed and had infected him with the kind of obsessive need for her that had made it impossible to resist her. Obviously she now wished to turn back the tide, to demand from him the return of that precious gift she’d saved to offer Geoffrey: the gift of her virginity. That it would be her least favorite person in the world to take that gift obviously stung her badly, but that couldn’t be helped. She was a virgin no more, and there was nothing he or she could do about that. He just hoped that he hadn’t fathered her child, for that would be the cruelest twist.

The thought of Kirsty being pregnant with his child delivered him such a vicious kick in the gut that he gasped, for he suddenly discovered that he wished nothing more than that she would have conceived. That she would carry his child. His mind fought valiantly against an instinct that welcomed such an occurrence, even relished in the fact. If she had conceived she would never carry the child to term, he knew, for she would never want a child with him as a father. Not with the cousin she so abhorred, even though his body had very briefly stood in for the man she really wanted. Before long, sleep gripped him, and with it the balm of oblivion, even as his body was still vibrating in the aftermath of the most profound experience he’d ever shared with a woman.

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