Crescent Moon (Chapter 14)

Adam licked my chin, nuzzled my neck, then captured my rain-puckered nipple in his mouth and gently bit the tip. I decided his hair didn't matter. Right now, neither would an earthquake.

I had questions, yes. But they weren't going anywhere and neither was I. I'd save them for after I'd had sex with a perfect stranger.

Well, not exactly a stranger. I skimmed my palms over his biceps. But damn close to perfect.

He didn't speak, which was fine with me. I wanted sex, not chatter.

His body slid along mine as he went to his knees and lifted my shirt Mouth hot against my damp skin, he traced my rib cage, then swirled his tongue around my belly button.

The rain beat down on us both. I had a sudden urge to feel the droplets everywhere, so I pulled the tank top over my head and tossed it aside.

He looked at me and smiled – the first smile I'd ever seen on his face – and my heart did a funny sort of stutter. Why did he have to be so beautiful?

Reaching up, he tugged the end of my hair. "Come."

I cast a confused glance at the house.

"Nah, cher, right here. I wanna see your red hair against de grass. I wanna be inside you with de rain comin' down."

Suddenly I wanted that, too. My knees gave way, and I joined him on the ground.

As I lay back, I expected an unpleasant, damp chill. But I was as wet as the earth and the afternoon as hot as the sun. When he dragged at my jeans, I merely lifted my hips and let them go.

Somehow he managed to lose his pants, too. No doubt he'd had a lot of practice. I pushed that thought out of my head. Who he'd done in the past, even what he'd done, had nothing to do with this.

The sky swelled above us, heavy with clouds and the rain. The wild vegetation shielded us from anyone who might walk by. As if there were anyone but the two of us this far into the swamp.

The thought made me bold. I wasn't Diana Malone; I was merely a woman who wanted a man. This man. And she could have him. No one would ever know.

His hard, clever hands skimmed over me, both insistent and reverent, arousing even as they soothed. His breath brushed my breast as he licked a drop of water from the curve.

"You're so wet," he murmured, the rumble of his voice a sensation all its own. "Are you as wet here," a finger traced my hip, my thigh, "as you are here?"

My legs fell open, expecting that clever finger to discover the answer. Instead he slid down my body in a movement so fast, it left me gasping, even before his tongue swept into me.

"Mmm-hmm," he said. "Wet both inside and out."

I wanted to protest. I'd never been much for oral sex, which always seemed so personal – maybe because it was. I barely knew this man. But when I shifted uneasily, he grabbed my hips in his big, hard hands and held me still as he continued what he'd started.

Within seconds I was beyond protest, tongue-tied. Thank goodness he had no such problem.

My body tightened, quivered, and he entered me in one smooth movement. As I was already convulsing, the press and release, the enticing rhythm of flesh into flesh, skin against skin, caused a desperate moan to escape. Horrified, I bit my lip, choked it back.

He gazed at me, the clouds swirling behind his head, both the trees and his hair whipping madly in the wind.

"Don't stop, cher. Make all de noise you want. No one'll hear you way out here. Besides," he flexed his hips and stroked me deeper, leaning down to nuzzle my neck, his now-wet hair tickling my cheek, "I'm not gonna quit until you scream."

"Th-that might take a while."

I wasn't much of a screamer.

"A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. I don't care if it takes all night."

He began to move again, murmuring encouragement, telling me to touch him, take him, fuck him. The latter disconcerted me, but something in his voice, a note of desperation, a tiny quiver of need, made the word less a profanity and more of a plea.

I did as he asked, clenching around him as the tremor in his voice spread through both his body and my own. I

felt him come as the rain swirled around us, and I got so caught up in the depth of sensation, the scent, the sound, the feel of him and me together in the half-light, that I forgot I'd already had one orgasm and went ahead and had another.

I forgot a lot of things while I lay there, Adam's head on my shoulder, his body still buried in mine. He shifted, sprawling half on the ground, half on me, his cheek pressed into my breast, his breath tickling my still-aroused nipple.

He traced a lazy finger across my belly. "You do that a lot?'

I stiffened. "Are you insinuating that I'm loose?"

"Loose?" He raised up on one elbow, using the hand that had been caressing me to shove his hair out of his face. His bracelet caught the light of the moon and turned from bronze to silver and back again. "You felt pretty tight to me." His fingertips skimmed the curls between my thighs, and my skin danced. "What I meant was, come twice in ten minutes."

My face went hot I wasn't sure what to say. Was that slutty?

I'd been with one man before today. I'd loved him with all of my heart. We'd had a good sex life. The best. I'd never wanted anyone else. Until now.

Suddenly I felt as if I'd betrayed my best friend. I guess I had.

I started to get up, reach for my clothes. Adam yanked me back, and when I struggled he rolled his body on top of mine, capturing my legs between his and pinning my wrists above my head with one hand. The other held my hip still as I tried to buck him off.

"You keep that up, we'll go again. I'm game."

I could feel that he was. How could he be aroused so fast? What was he, superstud?

Dumb question.

"Don't be embarrassed, cher. You think a man doesn't want a woman to come every time he touches her? I liked it."

I had, too, but I wasn't used to discussing sex in such detail with my body still humming from his. I wasn't used to discussing sex at all. I'd learned the facts of life in the locker room of my private girls' school, and to tell the truth… they'd gotten a couple of things wrong.

"Where you come from that you make love like a wild thing and get all red in de face when you talk about it?"

"Lover I blurted.

This hadn't been love, at least not for me. Not for him, either, I was certain. He didn't seem like the kind of man who fell in love.

"Figure of speech," he murmured, his voice trilling down my body, leaving goose bumps in its wake.

"Find another," I snapped, unreasonably annoyed at his cavalier attitude. Though why, I had no idea. I wanted him to be that way. I couldn't bear anything else.

"You'd rather I say 'you fuck like a wild thing'? How about 'screw'? 'Bang'? 'Boink'? None of them seemed de right word at de time."

My lips trembled, and he stared at me, horrified. Then I burst out laughing. I couldn't help myself. " 'Boink'?"

He smiled, too, then shrugged, the movement making his slick chest rub against mine in new and enticing ways. "See what I mean? Not de right word."

The laughter had been good, had made me feel almost closer to him than the sex had.


Rain dotted my cheeks, sparkled in his hair. Suddenly my hands were free, and I drew a finger down his face. "There's so much about you I don't know."

Amusement fled as wariness took its place. "There are things you don't wanna know."

He rolled off me and to his feet in a quick feline movement. Leaning over, he dug his cigarettes out of his pants, then glanced at the still-dripping sky.

"Did you kill someone?"

I hadn't meant to ask that, wasn't sure why I had. Like he was going to tell me.

The pack of cigarettes crunched as his hand clenched, then he took a deep breath, and as he let it out, his muscles relaxed, his fingers unfurled, and the shiny crumpled paper thudded to the ground.

"You know I have."

I blinked. "Wh-what?"

"Why you ask if you don't want to hear? I was in de army. I did what I had to do."

"I wasn't talking about the army."

Slowly he turned, his eyes eerily light in the encroaching night. "What were you talkin' about?"

Adam might feel comfortable standing in the swamp buck naked, but I didn't I reached for my shirt, drew it over my head, and started hunting for my underwear.

"A detective came to see me." Had it only been this morning? "There was a man killed in the swamp."

"Another animal attack," Adam murmured.

I found the white scrap of cotton and shoved my legs inside. My jeans were soaked. I debated trying to put them on and decided against it

"Not an animal this time." I looked up. "Guy was strangled."

Adam's face revealed nothing; however, he didn't seem surprised. "You think I did that?"

"Did you?"

"Who was this man? Why would I kill him?"

I didn't know the answer to either question. "The detective wants to talk to you."

"He can want all he likes."

"You aren't going to talk to him?" I asked.

"When I get around to it."

"He seemed pretty determined."

"He'll have to be a lot more than determined to find me out here."

He had a point.

I jerked my head toward the shack. "This is where you live?"



He lifted his brows. "Why not?"

"You've got a perfectly good house, if you'd only take care of it."

Adam's face became shuttered. "I hate that place. I wish it would rot, but de damn thing never will."

His vehemence surprised and confused me. "You moved out here because you hate the house, not because you – ?"

I stopped abruptly.

His mouth quirked. "You heard I lost my mind, huh? Why you come here if you think I'm nuts?"

I hadn't come here – actually I had, but not the way he meant; I'd followed him. Or at least I thought I had. "Why were you watching me at the mansion?"

He'd been leaning over, reaching for his clothes, giving me an eyeful of his terrific backside. At my question, he stilled for just an instant. If I hadn't been admiring the view, I wouldn't have noticed.

"Watching?" He straightened, but he didn't face me. Instead, he seemed to be scanning the swamp.

"By the cypress trees. When I called out, you left, so I followed you. Didn't I?"

"Mmm," he murmured, then scooped up his clothes, my jeans, and grabbed me by the arm. "I've had enough of de rain. Let's go inside."

I hung back, uneasy, uncertain. "Why did you lead me here?"

He stared at me from behind the tangled curtain of his hair. "I'm a man. Why you think?"

For some reason the idea that he'd led me into the swamp for sex annoyed me, which was stupid. I hadn't followed him for a tour of the area. I wasn't that delusional.

We were mature adults who were attracted to each other. There was no reason we shouldn't act on that attraction. Just because Adam gave voice to the truth shouldn't make me feel slutty and guilty and bad. But I did.

"I should go," I said.

"Not tonight."

"But – "

He kissed me, lips, tongue, teeth, and I forgot again. Where I was, who I was, the other questions I wanted to ask.

He lifted his head, and his gaze flickered to the swamp, then back to mine. "Stay with me. At least until de storm ends."

I found myself nodding, even though I got the distinct impression he meant something other than the wind, the rain, and the thunder.