His by Design(67)By: Dani Wade
He eased his hands up her back. When he buried his hands in her hair, pins clattered to the tile floor. He ran his fingers through the thick silk, searching for any remaining pins, then massaged her scalp until she relaxed, tension easing from her muscles. She melted against him. Tipping her face up to meet his, he was surprised to find silent tears trailing down her cheeks.
“Oh, baby, don’t cry,” he murmured.
“I’m not,” she insisted. Swiping a hand at her cheeks, she stared at the moisture on her fingers in disbelief. He barely caught her whisper. “I’ve never cried, not since I was fourteen years old. Until I met you.”
He guided her gaze up to meet his with a finger under her chin. “There’s no need to, because I believe you. I believe in you.”
A hopeful expression lit her darkened eyes just as her legs gave out. He clasped her to him, picking her up and striding down the passageway toward his bedroom.
He laid her on the bed, then explored her slowly, tracing every tantalizing curve through the soft fabric—her shoulders, neck, hips, calves, then back up to her stomach and breasts. Every hitch of her breath, every tremble in her limbs drew him closer, tightening the connection that bound them together—mind, body and soul.
“I can’t believe how this feels,” she whispered. “How you feel. I never want it to end.”
“Me, either,” he said before burying his face between her breasts. The round, soft weights tempted him, and were almost as distracting as her dark, tight nipples. Pulling the cups aside, he savored them as much as he did her silent declaration. One day she’d be ready to speak her true feelings. Though he had a reputation for pushing to get what he wanted, this time he’d wait as long as necessary.
Finally, widening her thighs with his knee, he settled over her.
“Now I know why having you is so different for me,” he said, lifting his gaze to watch her in the shadowed moonlight.
“Because I love you.” With those words, he pressed inside her, savoring the slick heat of her body, the arch of her back and the gasp from her lips.
No other words were spoken between them as they strove for release, each giving as much as taking until the world exploded around them. Long moments later, Sloan opened his eyes to find Ziara staring at him. He quirked a lazy eyebrow, savoring their still-connected bodies. “What is it?”
Her words were hushed, as if in reverence to the intimate connection between them. “I can’t believe you believe me, after all she must have said to you. How can you still love me?”
He thought for a moment, choosing his words with care. “I should have remembered that Vivian has her own kind of ruthlessness. I’d already started to suspect, but never dreamed she’d lose her cool enough to admit her involvement with your mother.” He looked into eyes surrounded by the thickest lashes he’d ever seen. “I never dreamed I’d be stupid enough to fall for it.”
Trailing his knuckle along the curve of her cheek, he said, “My father was right.”
“He said loving my mother was pure magic.”
He felt her awe in the softening of her body, the tiny smile that visited her lips. As he settled once more within her arms, his hand stroked along her thigh. His mind soaked in her presence. “I love you, Ziara,” he said.
“I love you, too, Sloan.”
Joy burst under his skin. He brushed a tender kiss along her temple, pausing a moment to savor her declaration. Tonight truly was magic. He’d fought for what he believed in and won. As he whispered erotic intentions in her ear, he vowed to turn their dreams into reality.
For all eternity.