“You’re an asshole, you know that?” I tug, but he doesn’t let go.
He grins, but a moment later, that amusement is gone. “Our marriage will be consummated.”
I falter momentarily but catch myself. I can’t give him everything. I need to control some part of this. “I have a better idea. How about if we don’t fuck and say we did?”
“You don’t back down. I like that about you, Dandelion. It may be my favorite part.”
“Should I be flattered?”
“Rules are rules. You can blame the church. Get undressed.”
“You know what? I think I’ll have that drink after all. It’ll help tamp down the nausea.”
He releases me and walks to the table to pour me a glass. “I don’t recall you feeling nauseous when I touched you before.” He pauses, and I think he’s finished, but he continues. “Or when I kissed you.”
His tone is different during that last part. The kiss. I’m surprised he brings it up and glad he has his back to me so he can’t see my face. But I wonder, given how he sounded, how he’s not looking at me, either, if it impacted him like it did me.
It’s my turn to look away when he carries the glass to me. I try the door, knowing it’s locked, and if it isn’t, I’m not going anywhere anyway. He holds the champagne out for me when I face him again. I take it, swallowing it all down then immediately coughing because the bubbles are too much.
He grins. “Take it easy, Dandelion. We have all night. No need to rush things.” He takes the glass and sets it aside.
“That’s not what I was doing.”
He sets one big hand over my stomach. My back is to the door, and he’s as close as he can be without our bodies touching. His face grows serious. “This has to happen. You can fight it and make it hard for yourself, or you can enjoy it and make it easy. Either way, I’ll be sure to make you come. Ladies first and all.”
“How romantic you are. I don’t want to come.”
“We’ve talked about this. Everyone wants to come.”
“I don’t want to come with you.”
“Is there someone else? My brother, perhaps? He’ll have his turn.”
“This isn’t a joke,” I say only after a long pause to process the last of what he said.
“No, it’s not a joke, Dandelion,” he says seriously. “But it does need to happen, and it will happen.” He studies me, dark eyes searching my face. “I won’t hurt you. You don’t have to be afraid.”
I blink at his words. And when I understand his meaning, I have to laugh. It’s a strange, unhinged sort of sound, and it clearly throws him off.
He is expecting me to be a virgin. Should I tell him? Prepare him for disappointment?
Amadeo eyes me, but I keep my face expressionless. I will give him nothing. The woman he glimpsed in my eyes when he kissed me, I won’t give him that. Not when he will take what he plans to take from me.
He shifts his gaze to my top and begins to unbutton it. I watch his fingers work. They sear my skin at every touch, and I remain perfectly still when he pulls the shirt open and displays my bra.
I drag my gaze up to his.
“Very beautiful.” He leans toward me, kisses me. It’s a stolen kiss that doesn’t last long enough for me to have to respond. To decide if I’m fighting him or kissing him back. I’m grateful for that.
His focus moves back to my body, my bra. I watch his big, calloused hands as he tucks the lace cup of each beneath my breasts, exposing them. The small, round mounds stand high, the nipples turned upward and taut as if already submitting to him. He dips his head, making me gasp when he licks one, then takes it into his mouth and sucks.
My hands come to his shoulders, fingers weaving into his hair, and when he sucks on that nipple, I feel sensation move straight through the center of my body and explode at my core. I can’t help the low, deep moan that comes from inside my chest.
He straightens with a grin. He is victorious. “No nausea then?”
I swallow hard, trying to remind my body how it should feel at his touch. But when he draws his shirt over his head and tosses it onto the bed, I can’t help how my eyes move over his shoulders, his arms, that dandelion tattoo, his muscular, scarred chest. It takes all I have to drag my gaze back up to his.
“Will you make me?” I ask.