Chapter 7a - Trust

Impulsive.

Spontaneous.

Reckless.

Those words flashed briefly through Evangeline's mind. Then, Cris slipped his tongue between her parted lips, tantalizing her with its insistent exploration. She emitted a low growl deep in the back of her throat, overcome by the passion that Cristian Vega erupted inside of her.

Her fingers threaded his wavy, brown locks as she drew his tongue deeper inside her mouth. As his hands moved under her pajama top, Evangeline began to shake. Deep in her heart, she knew that she should be ashamed of this wild display...of her weakness, but God help her. She didn't have the strength or the will to push him away.

Their ragged breathing pounded with a primitive beat as Cris broke the kiss. His dark eyes blazed with raw passion as he looked down at her.

"If you don't want this, say so now." His voice broke with huskiness. "I want you, Evangeline. I want to make love to you. I want to lose myself inside you and I want to hear you scream my name. But what I don't want is for you to regret anything that happens between us. I want you to be sure—"

She pressed her hand to his mouth, impulsively caressing his full bottom lip with the pad of her thumb. His Adam's apple bobbed as he swallowed hard, yet his stare remained on her.

"I want you, Cris. I've wanted you for a long time, but I've been too afraid to..."

"Trust me," he demanded in a hard, gravelly tone. "Trust me to be the man you need. The man who'll stand by you and won't let you fall. Trust me, Evangeline."

His impassioned plea broke through her last emotional barriers of protection. Certainty must have shown in her eyes because a slow smile came to his lips.

"Say it." His voice vibrated with intensity. "Tell me. I need to hear you say it."

She brushed the back of her hand against his goatee. The hairs were silky soft just like the man's heart. With a long exhale, she released everything.

"I trust you, Cristian. I do." She leaned forward and rested her cheek against his. In a near whisper, she added, "Now, make love to me."

In the pale moonlight, his olive-tone skin shone so magically. Every plane and contour of his hard, muscular frame was illuminated. Evangeline planned to learn every inch of him. Shifting his body onto hers, she gasped as his fullness throbbed against her. With a swift sway of his pelvis, he pushed her thighs open. She released a loud groan upon the full contact. Without saying another word, she understood his message. He'd make love to her and it would be damn good.

He claimed her throat in hot, open-mouthed kisses before moving down to her collarbone. His teeth and mouth alternated between nibbling and sucking the tender flesh he encountered there. She shuddered as he tortured this tender erogenous zone.

"Patience," he murmured, his breath warm against her taut skin. "We have all night."

His artist's hands deftly unbuttoned her top. The chill of the air conditioner did little to cool her flesh from the heat of his gaze. His heavy-lidded eyes widened in pure, masculine appraisal and approval.

"So beautiful. A perfect blend of honey, caramel and chocolate with sweet, juicy berries on top."

His husky, accented voice sent charges of electricity coursing through her veins. His words were like poetry or better yet, the verbal description of his incredible masterpieces. Her soul soared to hear him describe her that way.

"I'd love to paint you. The anticipation in your eyes, the softness of your mouth...the enticing arch of her back... I'd love to paint you just like that, just the way you are, but..."

"But what?"

"It would be for my eyes only. I'd never want to share that with anyone."

"Not even me?"

His mouth curved into a sensual smile. "Maybe you. Maybe. But no one else. Never anyone else."

His hands skimmed across her body.

Evangeline whimpered his name, "Cris, please."

Upon her plea, he opened his mouth and ran his tongue her fevered flesh. Taking his time, he teased her.

In agony, she grabbed his head and pulled him closer.

"Patience?"

Evangeline swallowed hard. Somehow, she found the ability to respond. "Patience."

"Very good," he murmured. His goatee caressed the sensitive mounds of her breast, but that didn't compare to the torment his teeth caused.

She shivered again, tried to lie still, but failed miserably. In a wild frenzy of desire, she tore his robe off him. Logical thought fled as she clawed his back. His hard muscles rippled underneath her hands and this time, he groaned.

"It's required for both of us, it seems," he murmured before he claimed her mouth again.

In time, the rest of their clothing was ripped from both of them.

He explored her thoroughly. Evangeline dug her heels into the bed. Her hands left him to grip the headboard. Then when she thought she couldn't take another moment, her entire body tensed. A scream lodged in her throat and her body went spiraling out of control. A kaleidoscope of sensations swept over her and then his arms were around her, grounding her as she soared and guiding her as she became startling aware of everything around her.

"Mi corazón," he moaned against her neck. "To hell with patience!"

He rolled from the bed, stomped across the room and grabbed his jeans. She watched as he found his wallet and quickly removed a small, foil packet. As he returned to the bed, he offered an explanation.

"I try to be prepared...just in case."

She took the condom from him and carefully tore it open. "Do you have another one?"

"There's a box in my bag."

They shared a chuckle until Evangeline smoothed the latex protection over him. Silence filled the space between them. Humor faded and undeniable need replaced it.

She guided him to her. He stopped her from taking him further.

He cupped her head between his hands and searched her eyes. "Are you sure you want this?"

"I want you."

Three little words heightened the intensity in the room. Without further delay, they became one. It wasn't long before the first spasm hit her.

"Cristian!"

Her senses reeled and he was her rock. He grounded her while she spiraled to ecstasy. Soon, his release overpowered him, too. He pumped inside her until he trembled with exhaustion.

A short while later, Evangeline returned from the land of pure bliss to find their bodies drenched in sweat. By then, their breathing had returned to normal. The cool release from the air conditioner breezed over them, but neither had recovered the energy to cover themselves with the sheet.

He roughly pulled her into his arms. His mouth planted firm, hard kisses on her forehead. His hands stroked her arms and back.

"You're shivering."

She closed her arms around him, reveling in the solid strength of his body. "So are you."

"It's the air condition—"

"No, it's not."

"No, it isn't," he agreed. He kissed her again. "It's us. I've never experienced anything like that before."

"Me either." The confession was true. She'd had a few lovers but none had every truly challenged and satisfied her physically and emotionally the way Cristian had.

In his arms, she'd just found true deliverance.

Chapter 8

5