Stripped Read online

Page 22

“You’re a public person,” I say. “So if I wasn’t willing to be seen by the whole world, I wouldn’t be with you. It was scary, but…I think a cliché proposal at a fancy restaurant just wouldn’t have been you. ”

  “You mean the whole ring at the bottom of a glass of champagne thing?” I laugh, and he shrugs, seeming almost embarrassed. “I almost did that, too, actually. I’ve spent so many months trying to figure out the best way to ask you that it turned into this whole snowball thing. I was freaking out. No lie. Then when I got the Best Actor nom, I knew that was it. I just wasn’t sure if you’d, like, pass out or something. ”

  I laugh, remembering all too vividly how close I came. “I nearly fell over!”

  His gaze turns to mine. “I’ll never let you fall. ”

  “I know. ”

  He kisses me then, and, as always, I get lost in it, tumble willingly into the bliss of his mouth on mine.

  And then we’re under the arch and Greg is opening the door for us. Dawson sweeps me off my feet, into his arms, and Greg trots ahead to unlock the door and let us in, but he doesn’t follow us. I hear the door close and the limo driving away. My heart is pounding again, because he’s staring at me with moss-and-bark eyes, hot, hungry eyes. He carries me through the house, to the door that leads to his—our—garage. I hold still and wonder, wait.

  He licks his lips as we pass car after car. Old, new, shiny, battered, in various stages of completion. We come to the end, the Bugatti. The mirrored finish reflects the soft white glow of the overhead lights, and our shapes as we approach. He sets me down on my feet at the hood end of the car. I stare up at him, waiting and expectant.

  I’ve learned him, over the past year. He’s never satisfied, never sated. He always wants me. He wants me seconds after he finishes inside me. He wants me in his sleep, in the shower, in his study, on the set.

  And he’s had me in most of those places. Including the set of Tara, during filming of Gone With the Wind. He brought me there late one night, to the front porch of the full-size plantation house built in the countryside near Atlanta. He took me right there on the porch, lying on a blanket he’d brought with him, stars shining and frogs singing in the warm fall night.

  I went on birth control while we were in Macon, and I’ve come to love the feeling of him bare inside me, nothing between us.

  “Anything?” he asks again.

  I don’t hesitate. “Anything. ”

  There’s only one thing we haven’t done. I’m still not comfortable with any of the normal terms for things, and Dawson thinks my clean and proper speech is cute. I’m willing to let him do that, but I’m not sure he’d bring me to the garage for it.

  He smiles, a predatory, erotic gleam in his eyes. He brushes a strand of hair away from my eyes, and then his hands glide over my shoulders, around to my back. I’m wearing a Givenchy Couture gown that Dawson surprised me with for tonight’s appearance. It’s both modest and sultry, showing off my curves while not revealing too much skin. Since I stopped stripping, I’ve found my own style, a meeting of sexiness and taste. I’m gradually finding out who I am.

  I’m Grey Amundsen, and I am desired.

  His hands go to the zipper between my shoulder blades and pull it down so slowly, I shiver as his knuckles brush my skin between the widening gap. He slides the thin straps off my shoulders with a flick of his hands, and the dress billows with a soft whoosh to the floor, pooling at my feet in a slowly settling pile of lace and chiffon. My surprise for Dawson is revealed: I’m not wearing anything under the dress. His breath leaves him in a slow sigh, and he gnaws on his upper lip as he drinks in my body.

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  Instead of touching me, he backs away, turning at the last second to face the wall where a built-in iPhone dock is located. Those speaker docks are in every room of the house, including the bathroom. He sets his phone on the dock, scrolls through his songs until he finds the one he wants. A fast electronic beat fills the garage, and I immediately recognize the song. It’s “Palladio” by Silent Nick, one of Dawson’s favorite songs to work out to, and one of my favorite songs to dance to. He approaches me with a sway to his hips, a bounce in his step. Of course, he can dance. He can do pretty much anything.

  He takes my bare hips in his hands and moves my body with his, a sensual writhing of our bodies to the music. In rhythm to the music, I reach up and pull his slim black necktie free, drape it around my neck, and then slide his coat off. I slip his buttons free, one by one, popping them loose to the beat as we dance together, and then toss the shirt to the floor on top of his coat. As we move, his hands slide up my sides, hold my ribs just beneath my swaying br**sts. His eyes lock there, so I accentuate the movement of my upper body, making them jiggle and sway even more, and his lips curve in a smile. I unbuckle his belt, whip it free of his pants, toss it aside, far from the car, and then slowly work his pants open. His body ripples in time to the music, his sculpted abs shifting and tensing as he dances with me, cupping my backside, tangling his fingers in my hair, tracing the curve of my belly to hips. I let his dress slacks fall to the floor, and he steps out of them.

  He’s in nothing but his boxer-briefs, dark maroon cotton molded to his taut backside, bulging where his manhood strains at the cotton. There’s a dot of moisture where his tip touches the fabric. I run my fingers around the gray elastic waistband, gradually working it down his hips to the beat of the music, swaying my hips, shaking my cle**age at him, leaning in to steal a quick kiss, and then I grow impatient and shove the underwear off him and he steps free, kicking it away.

  And now we’re both naked in the garage, dancing, our bodies reflected in the mirror-finish of his Bugatti, his darker skin blending with mine. The song has shifted, another entrancing, quick-beat house song. We keep swaying, keep dancing, our bodies closer. My br**sts brush his chest, and he dips at the knees to take a nipple in his mouth. I gasp, and he suckles until my knees flex, and then he’s back upright, dancing chest to chest with me. His hand steals between our bodies and I shift my legs apart to let him in. By the song’s end my cheek is pressed to his and I’m panting as we sway together, losing the rhythm as I come apart under his touch.

  Dawson turns me in his arms as I come. He’s still moving to the music and all I can do is let him hold me as waves shock through me. He leans me forward over the hood of the car, his erection hard against my backside. I’m anticipating him inside me, but I’m still not sure what his plan is.

  “I’ve wanted to do this since the first day I met you,” he growls in my ear.

  “Do what?”

  “Make love to you on the hood of this car. ” My body is pressed to the cold surface of the hood. “Open your eyes,” he commands. “Look at us. Watch us. ”

  This close, our reflections aren’t distorted. My breath has fogged the mirrored surface where my cheek was pressed to the metal, but I can see him behind me, all brawny bulk, ripped stomach and massive shoulders and thick arms, and my breath is lost as it always is by how perfect he is. I see me, my face, my cheeks flushed red, my hair coming loose from the up-do Luisa, my stylist, put it in. Thick strands flutter around my cheeks and mouth. My eyes are wide and my neck is curved as I watch us, and the reflection of my br**sts merging with my flesh as I’m bent over the hood.

  His hands are on my shoulders, and his eyes meet mine in the reflection. He caresses my back, my spine, my shoulders, my ribs, my hips. He settles his grip on my hips and pulls me hard against him, and I can’t help grinding into him, needing him inside me now. I need it. I’m as insatiable as he is. I never take the lead, though, not until we’re in the moment together. When I feel him close to release, that’s when I take over and bring him to climax. Otherwise, I let him take me as he will, let him decide how he wants me. I love the mystery of it, because he’s always inventive and creative and always thinks of my pleasure before his. He’s never come before me, unless I use my mouth on him. So now I’m still, and wa