Legend (Page 44)

“It’s as hard to keep my hands off you as it is to keep from looking at you,” he whispers.

Touch me, see me. . . . I want to beg, but I’m so out of control that it takes every ounce of me to be quiet. Instead I wrap both my arms around his neck and I breathe in the scent of his warm skin.

I want you, Maverick Cage. . . .

I bury my lips against his throat, and as I peer past his shoulder, I recognize the passing scenery and I realize we’re almost a block away from my hotel.

He groans as he forces his mouth away from roaming over my temple.

God.

I think about the fact that our kisses nearly pushed him over the edge.

When will we be alone again?

Will we ever be alone again?

“Maverick . . .”

He laughs softly to himself and rests his head against mine, his intimate stare only confirming that he knows that I recklessly wanted to do more. I feel my ears start to get red.

I glance at Oz, and thank god he’s facing the window, snoozing as he listens to the music.

Maverick watches me run my fingers down my hair.

I look back at him. His eyes are absolute flames and I want to tear his clothes off and memorize every hot, hard inch of him.

He makes me so reckless, I don’t know this girl. I like it, but I’m afraid of it too. “I want to spend the whole night with you. I want to know what it’s like to lie on your chest. And talk about things.”

God. I don’t know why I said that, but I blurted it out. I force myself not to take it back. To own it.

We stare at each other as the cab slides to a stop in the hotel driveway.

Maverick helps me out, then leans toward the cabbie. “I’m walking her up, stay put.”

“Keeping the meter running,” the cabbie says.

Maverick nods and shuts the door behind us. His fingers press into the small of my back as he leads me across the lobby, pushes the Up button, and we wait for an elevator. When it tings and a couple shuffles out, he steps inside with me. And then we ride, all alone, to the penthouse.

He takes my hand in silence, dipping his thumb into my palm and staring down at me in smoldering male satisfaction.

“I should be embarrassed. I’m never this reckless,” I admit.

“Good. But I want you to be reckless with me.”

I laugh and duck my head, really embarrassed now. There are lights above us, and they feel brighter than usual after the shadows of the cab, and I’m utterly mortified.

“You know who I am. And I know who you are, Reese. And none of it has to do with what you said just now, or with who our fathers are.”

He pulls me so close that I can feel what our make-out in the cab has done to him, and his lips cover mine again, softer now, achingly soft.

A feather of pleasure ripples down my back as he shifts me and we end up flat against the wall. I’m sandwiched between the elevator wall and tons of Maverick.

We’re so hungry for each other that we can’t get our mouths off the other.

“You make me drunk, Maverick,” I say worriedly, as we kiss.

“I take it”—he frowns—“that’s a bad thing?”

I search his face. “I don’t know.”

“You make me want to go all out, Reese. Do everything.”

We kiss a little hotly again.

“You bring out a different me,” I confess, gripping his chest as I try to catch my breath. “I wanted to be her. But I don’t know this new me. I’m a stranger to this new me.”

He eases back with this slow, adorable smile. “I can see her perfectly.”

When the elevator arrives, he follows me out to the big doors of the three-bedroom suite. As I fish out my key, he says, “Hey. Find out where you’ll be staying next location.”

“Why?”

“I want to stay at the same hotel.”

I stare.

He nods soberly. “I want to find out what it’s like to have you lie on my chest. Spend the whole night with me. Talk about things.” He smiles as he quotes me.

I think I fell just a little bit deeper.

I inhale.

For two people who don’t talk a lot, this is huge.

To want to spend a night together. And talk.

“Hey,” he says quietly, lifting my gaze to his, “I want you in bed with me.”

I laugh.

“I’ve never spent a complete night with a woman, not in my life.”

I stop laughing.

Oh god. He’s emotionally a virgin too.

What are we doing?

His expression intensifies, and he takes my hand and kisses my knuckles. Knuckles, which are the way he makes a living, probably one of his most prized body parts after the obvious one. “I liked what just happened in the back of that cab, Reese.”

“I liked it too.”

“Then don’t regret it,” he whispers in my ear.

He heads to the elevator.

“Maverick.” I stop him.

I want to kiss him for luck.

I want to kiss him for me.

“I wish I could be at the next fight,” I say instead.

He stops by the elevator, hot and delectable, laughing softly as he rakes his hand through his hair. “I’m glad you’re not.”

“Why?”

He shakes his head woefully. “I need my head with my opponents.” He sends me a meaningful look, as if I f**k with his head.

“Riptide is undefeated, Maverick. He’s . . . unstoppable. I don’t want either of you to get hurt.”

He comes back and tells me gently, “One of us will.” He chucks my chin. “Don’t worry about me. I can take a beatdown. I learn best when I’m on the ground ’cause I f*****g hate it there.”