This Man Confessed (Page 114)

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‘Twenty,’ I confirm quickly.

‘Correct. And I’ll stick, so I win.’ He gathers the cards back up and starts shuffling them again. ‘Get it?’

‘Oh, I’m gonna whoop your arse, Ward.’ I rub my hands together and make myself comfortable.

He smiles at my competiveness, probably thinking that I’m deluded. After all, Jesse Ward is amazing at everything. ‘We need to talk about stakes, baby.’

‘I’m not hungry, thank you. You’ve fed me enough today.’

His head falls back again as he laughs really hard. I’m trying to keep a serious face, but I so love him when he laughs. ‘I mean what we’re playing for.’ His green eyes land on me. ‘God, I f**king love you.’

‘I know. What are we playing for?’ I’m liking this game more and more.

‘How many items of clothing do you have on?’ His eyes run the full length of my body, as if he’s mentally working it out.

Playing cards doesn’t seem so bad now. ‘Three. Dress, bra and knickers. Oh, and shoes, so five.’ I point to my flip-flops.

‘Take the flip-flops off.’ he commands. ‘I have two.’ He pulls at his t-shirt and his shorts.’

‘What about your boxers?’

‘They were too much of an obstruction.’ he flips casually, dealing us two cards each. I absolutely know where this is going. No obstructions. ‘The first one naked loses,’ he grins at me. ‘The winner takes the power.’

I gasp at his amused expression. ‘What happened to wherever, whenever?’

‘I’m being reasonable.’ He shrugs, nodding at my cards. ‘Don’t push it. I could always withdraw my offer of potential power.’

I snatch my cards up carefully and hold them close to my face. He’s as confident as ever, giving me an extra item of clothing. ‘There is nothing reasonable about bargaining for the power in our relationship.’ I glance down at my cards, seeing two sevens. ‘I’ll twist.’

He slides a card over to me, maintaining his grin. ‘It’s all part of our normal, lady. There you go.’

‘Thank you.’ I reply politely, pulling my card from the floor and placing it with my others. It’s an eight. I dramatically huff and toss them between us. ‘Bust.’ I grumble.

He smiles and turns his own cards over, revealing a Jack and a nine. ‘I think I’ll stick.’ he muses. ‘You lose.’ I shake my head as I watch him put the cards down and slowly crawl towards me, his eyes burning into mine with rapt intention. My heartbeat is quickening at the sight of his prowling frame nearing, and when he’s up close, he slowly raises his hands to the back of my neck. ‘Let’s lose the dress.’ he whispers, pulling the straps free of the knot. ‘Up you get.’

I force myself to stand when all I want to do is collapse onto my back and let him take me right now. He can keep the power. I don’t want it. Ever. I watch with lust filled eyes as he grasps the hem of my dress and lifts it up over my head, standing as he rises and chucking it onto the couch when it’s separated from my body.

Leaning into my ear, he bites my lobe. ‘Lace.’ he murmurs, blowing a soft stream of hot air onto my skin. I tense, despite my best efforts not to, and just like that, he leaves me standing like a built up bag of desire and resumes position on his arse. ‘Sit.’

I close my eyes and collect my senses. I need to be strong because this really is a game to him. I sit back down in my lace and like the complete temptress that I am, I spread my legs wide and lean back on my hands. If he’s going to play games, then so am I. ‘Deal again, Lord.’

The knowing smile that creeps across his handsome face indicates his awareness. His temptress is living up to her reputation. He deals the cards, I cautiously look, and then immediately declare my intention to stick. He nods thoughtfully and turns his own cards over. He has a nine and a Queen. ‘Stick.’ He looks at me, and I grin, chucking my two Kings down cockily before making my way over on my hands and knees.

I straddle his thighs and take the hem of his t-shirt. ‘Lose the t-shirt.’ I whisper, pulling it up. He lifts his arms willingly, and I throw it behind him, sighing and leaning in to kiss his chest. ‘Hmmm, hard.’ I grind myself into his lap wickedly, instigating a sharp intake of breath from him, but then I remove myself from his lap and resume my position across the rug. ‘Deal.’

It’s quite obvious he’s fighting the urge to tackle me to the rug. I can tell from the discreet adjusting of his groin area and the vicious biting of his lip. He’s really concentrating, and I’m really loving it. The view is improving with each hand I win, too. Just one more, and he’s mine, power and all.

He deals again, and I sweep my cards up, quickly calculating a total of fourteen. ‘Twist, please.’ I gesture for him to pass a card. A two. Total: sixteen. Crap, I really don’t know what to do now. ‘Stick. No twist!’ He goes to pass me another card on a smile. ‘No! No, I’ll stick.’ I wave away the card, and his smile turns into a grin.

‘Indecisive?’ he asks, taking his leaning body back upright, putting way too much emphasis on that chest.

I blink back my peeping eyes, determined not to lose my concentration. I’m not being distracted, but it’s hellish resisting the urge to steal a look. Or even just gawp at it. ‘No, I’m sticking.’ I affirm snootily.

‘Okay,’ He’s desperately fighting a smile as he turns his cards over. ‘Hmmm, sixteen.’ he muses. ‘What to do?’

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