Legend (Page 43)

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WE RIDE IN the back of the cab in this order: me, Maverick, Oz.

I’m feeling raw.

Too attracted to him.

More than ever.

Maverick sits beside me. Quiet. And I sit here. Quiet too. He watches me in the darkness and when our eyes meet, he smiles.

He reaches out and takes my hand.

His hand is rough and warm, dry, and my hand fits just right in his.

My mind and my heart and my soul seem to flutter.

I wonder what it would be like to spend all night with him, not just an hour, nothing between us. Set my lips on every inch of his skin. Rest my head on his chest. And just be there, talking. Or silent. Or kissing.

I set my head on his shoulder.

He inhales slowly.

I need to be closer, I can’t control this. It’s like a need to breathe, an impulse toward him, the body reacting strongly to what it needs to survive.

We can’t get our hands off each other. I pry my hand free to touch his thigh, and he sets his hand on my thigh, rubbing slowly up and down. There are other people here. So really, our hands probably need to stay where they are. There’s the cabdriver, and Oz. But I am only aware of ONE. One Maverick riding beside me. His shoulder hard against mine. His legs skewed open so one touches against mine.

I press closer and turn my head just as he seizes my chin, ducks, and our lips meet. His tongue, wet, slips inside my mouth. Impulsively, I slip my hand under his T-shirt. Just because I need to feel his skin. He’s hot as a furnace, his skin smooth under my fingers. I push my hand higher, to catch his heartbeat in my palm. I rub a little as he sucks hungrily on my tongue, shifting his shoulders as if to cover me.

I open my mouth wider and let his tongue lead mine.

Oz clears his throat.

Maverick tears his lips free. He glances in his direction and groans in exasperation. “Come on, Oz, you were young once.”

“Nope,” Oz says.

Maverick digs into his pocket and pulls out his phone, and then his earbuds. “Put those in and put on some music, and look away until we get there,” he tells Oz.

He looks back at me as Oz grumbles and does what he’s told.

“How do you f*****g work this?” Oz demands.

Maverick turns back to him, grabs the phone, and presses Play on the music. Then Oz slips the earbuds in and looks out the window with a grin.

Maverick looks at me again, then he curls his fingers around my skull, and my eyes are heavy-lidded, his eyes slits as he lowers his head and takes my mouth. I slip both my hands under his shirt and kiss him with all I’ve got. I rub his muscles with my fingertips, realizing I’ve missed the feel of this chest though I’ve felt it beneath my fingers only once before. . . . You’re turning me into a nymphomaniac, Maverick. . . .

And Maverick is kissing me like he has all the time in the world and like he’s never going to let my mouth go.

I feel so reckless, I want to do more, I want to feel him everywhere, touch him everywhere, be touched everywhere. . . .

Impulsively, I let my fingers wander down the planes of his chest and over his stomach, but Maverick seizes my face with one hand and as he forces me to look at him, he slips a hand into the hair at my nape.

“Look at me.”

Oh god, he’s so beautiful. I’ve never felt as naked before him as I do now.

“How do you do it?” he asks quietly. “How do you have me hanging on every word you say? Every expression on your face?” He looks intently down at me and then runs his tongue over my bottom lip. “Every look you give me,” he says.

He holds me closer against him and shifts his shoulders to keep me from being seen, and softly, tenderly, he kisses me again, running his hand down the back of my head in the most tender caress.

When I slip my hands around his neck, I nearly claw my nails into his flesh. I want him so much I’m in actual physical pain.

His lips keep tasting, hot, exploring, friendly, and also intimate. He trails his lips downward to my neck, and tugs down my shirt a bit, to kiss the top crest of one of my breasts.

He then kisses his way to my earlobe, and when I turn my head to bite on his earlobe, he groans into my ear—he sounds tormented—and he eases back to just smile at me. Smile at me as if he’s happy just to be kissing me tonight.

I can’t even smile back. What is wrong with me?

He’s turned my body into a firestorm.

I grab him, and my hands go up his back, over the exact spot where I know he has his phoenix tattoo. Then I take the back of his head and draw him back to me.

Our kisses get wilder, my control dangerously close to nonexistent.

We’re burning and fevered and then there’s no more talking. No more playing. No more training. No more anything but heat and Maverick Cage’s mouth.

Fitting perfectly on mine.

His hands rubbing up and down my back, restless. I want them to go other places. I want those big calloused hands on my breasts, between my legs, on my bare skin.

And this mouth, this mouth—I want it on every inch.

My body is on fire for Maverick.

I hurt so much I want to cry. I want his every secret, his every dream, and I want to be in one of those dreams; I want to be one of those secrets.

Soon I’m going to be in my room, alone. Alone and Maverickless.

All the nights I’ve been remembering what it was like in his bed . . . all the nights trying to do the right thing—the thing that’s right for my head and feels so wrong for the rest of me—are coming to a near boil.

He stops kissing me and stares down into my face. Maverick’s eyes have a new, possessive glimmer. Still shielding me with his body, he gives me a firm peck on the lips again. My tongue flashes out greedily, and he smiles down at me, his eyes burning with hunger and happiness.