Play My Game (Stark Trilogy, #3.7)(2)

He slides one hand down over my shirt until he finds my bare thigh, then slowly trails his fingers up, under the light cotton. “It’s our last day before we go back to the real world.” His voice is as soft as his caress, and I moan softly as his hand moves between my thighs and his fingers stroke and tease me. “I want to spend it making love to my wife. Touching her. Caressing her. Burying myself deep inside her.”

My knees are weak, and it’s a good thing that Damien is holding me up. “I approve of your plan for the day. I approve so much, in fact, that I think we should get started on that right now.”

The tip of his tongue traces the curve of my ear, sending shivers racing through me. “But first, we’re going to go get breakfast.”

It takes a moment for my fuzzy brain to register his words. “Go?”

“I told you. I can fix this.” He kisses me lightly, then releases me. I sigh in disappointment at the loss of contact even as Damien nods at the rather unappetizing mess I’ve made in the kitchen. “Pastries and coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice. After all, we’ll need energy to survive the rest of the day I have planned.”

“I like the sound of that,” I admit. We’ve been back home from our honeymoon for a few days, but neither one of us has gone back to work officially yet. I’ve done some coding at home, but not much. Just minor tweaking of a few of my smartphone apps. And Damien, of course, has fielded dozens of phone calls and read god-only-knows how many emails. But considering all he usually handles in the course of running the universe, his work activities over the last several weeks have been nonexistent by comparison.

He takes my hand to lead me out of the kitchen and toward the bedroom, then pauses in front of the stack of cat food that I’ve moved from the pantry to the counter.

“Please tell me that’s not your secret ingredient.”

I know he expects me to laugh, but I just can’t manage it. Instead I lift a shoulder. “I’m going to box it up to take to Jamie.”

Damien presses a soft kiss to the top of my head, obviously understanding my mood. “I know, baby. I miss the fluff ball, too.”

Technically, Lady Meow-Meow belongs to both Jamie and me. More technically, she belongs to Jamie, who was the one who actually rescued her from the shelter when she was a one-month-old ball of white fur. I’d taken temporary custody when Jamie rented out her condo and set off for Texas to get her shit together.

That didn’t work out as planned, though. Texas turned out to be more of a pit stop than a relocation, and not long after she’d moved in with her parents, she was back in LA. She’d come for my wedding. She’d stayed because of Ryan Hunter, Damien’s security chief, who as far as I can tell is head over heels for her. And the feeling, thank goodness, is mutual.

Now, it’s the two of them and the cat living in the tiny Venice Beach house that Ryan has rented for years. According to Jamie, it’s a temporary arrangement until her tenant moves out in a few months. Then she’ll move back to the condo.

She hasn’t said as much, but I expect that Ryan will go with her. We had drinks with them the day after we got back to California; I’ve seen the way he looks at her. More important, I’ve heard the way she talks about him. And I couldn’t be happier for both of them.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not sad about losing the cat.

I tilt my head back and smile up at Damien. “I’m fine. It’s all fine. I just saw all the food in the pantry and it made me sad. Besides, it gives me an excuse to have lunch with Jamie,” I add with a devious lilt in my voice. “I haven’t seen her alone since we got back, and I have to fill her in on just how spectacular our honeymoon was.”

Damien laughs. “Two best friends discussing a honeymoon. Why do I feel like I’m facing a performance review?”

My grin is pure wickedness. “Don’t worry, Mr. Stark. As always, you scored a perfect ten.”

He kisses me again, long and lingering, then pulls me close. I sigh happily and lean against him, trying as always to absorb the fact that this is my life now. He is my life now.

“I love you,” I say softly, then feel the tightening of his arms around me in response to my words.

“You’re my everything, Nikki. And I love you desperately.” He takes my hand and leads me back to our bedroom. He tugs the apron over my head, then slowly unbuttons the shirt I am wearing. He eases it off my shoulders, and it falls gently to the floor behind us. I’m naked beneath it, and the material caresses my back as it falls, making me shiver from both the sensuality of the moment and the anticipation of Damien’s touch.

He doesn’t disappoint. He tilts his head down as if to kiss me, but then only brushes his lips across mine in the lightest of touches. I want to protest, but the words die in my throat as he moves to trail kisses down my body. The curve of my neck. The sensitive skin along my collarbone.

He pauses at my breast long enough to tease my nipple with his tongue. It is as if he has opened a conduit, and threads of electricity go racing through me, making my nipples tighten with need and my clit throb with demand. I close my eyes and part my lips, concentrating on breathing. On not losing all control and begging him to just take me right there.

But then his kisses move lower, and his tongue dances down my abdomen, then over my pubic bone, and then—oh, dear god—his tongue flicks over my clit, and I have to reach back and grab the iron footboard of our bed in order to remain upright.

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