I’M DIMLY AWARE of a fist pounding heavily on the door and I sit up, disoriented. Beside me, Ansel bolts upright, looking at me with wide eyes before tossing back the covers, pulling on boxers, and sprinting out of the room. I hear his voice speaking to whoever is there, thick with sleep and so deep. I’ve never heard him sound stern before. He must have stepped out into the hallway and close the door behind him because his voice disappears after a heavy click. I try to stay awake. I try to wait for him and make sure everything’s okay and tell him how much I enjoy his voice. But I must be more exhausted than I thought and it’s the last groggy thought I have before my eyes fall closed again.
I FEEL THE air slide under the sheets and sweep over my skin as Ansel climbs back into bed. He smells like him, like grass, like salt and spice. I roll to his side, my mind still foggy and full of heated dream images . . . and as soon as his cool skin touches mine, longing flares low in my stomach. I want him with a kind of instinctive, barely awake yearning. The clock beside the bed tells me it’s nearly four in the morning.
His heart is pounding under my palm, chest smooth, hard, and bare, but he traps my wandering hand with his, stilling it so that I can’t slide it down his stomach and lower.
“Mia,” he says quietly.
I gradually recollect that he had to go to the door. “Is everything okay?”
He exhales slowly, clearly trying to calm down, and I sense more than see his nod in the darkness. The skylight over his bed lets in a bright slice of moonlight, but it cuts across our feet, illuminating only the very edge of the bed.
I press my body along his side, sliding my leg up over his. The muscles of his quads are defined and firm beneath smooth, warm skin, and I stop when I’ve reached his hip, gasping slightly when he arches up into me and groans. He’s still wearing only boxers, but beneath my thigh he’s semi-hard. Beneath my palm, his heart is slowly returning to normal.
I can’t be this close to him—even half asleep—and not want to feel more. I want the blankets tossed away and his boxers shoved down. I want the heat of his hips pressing to mine. As I hum quietly against his skin and rock against him—half conscious, half instinct—it’s several long beats before I feel his body fully stir.
But it does, and with another quiet groan he rolls to face me, shoving his boxers down his hips just far enough for him to pull his erection free.
“J’ai envie de toi,” he says into my hair and rubs the head of his cock over me, testing, before pushing inside with a tight sound of hunger. “I always want you.”
It’s sex without words or pretense, just both of us working to get to the same place. My movements are slow, full of lazy sleepiness and that middle-of-the-night bravery that makes me roll on top of him, rest my head on his shoulder as I slide along his length. His movements are also slow, but because he’s being intentionally gentle, careful with me.
He’s usually so much more talkative. Maybe it’s that it’s so late, but I can’t shake the feeling that he’s working to pull himself out of the hallway and back into the bedroom.
But then Ansel’s hands drift down my sides, clutching my hips, and any uneasiness dissolves, replaced with a mounting, crawling pleasure.
“You fuck so good,” he growls, rocking up into me, meeting my movements halfway. It’s no longer sleepy and relaxed. I’m close, he’s close, and I’m chasing the sound of his orgasm as much as I am the pleasure I can feel sliding up my legs and down my spine. I’m so full of him, so full of sensation, it’s all I am anymore: crystalline and hot, hungry and wild.
He pushes me so I’m sitting upright, his hands jerking my hips back and forth over him, urging me to ride him roughly as he shoves himself deeper and harder into me.
“Fuck me,” he growls, reaching up with one hand to grip my breast roughly. “Fuck me harder.”
And I do. I find anchor with my hands on his chest and let go, slipping down onto him over and over again. I’ve never been so wild on top, never moved so fast. The friction between us is amazing, slick and rough, and with a sharp gasp I start to come, my fingernails digging sharply into his skin and tight, desperate sounds falling from my lips.
Oh my God
My incoherence tears a savage growl from his throat and he sits up, fingers clamped to my hips and his teeth pressed to my collarbone as he pushes roughly up into me, coming with a hoarse shout after a final, brutal thrust.
His arms form a tight band around my waist as he presses his face to my neck, catching his breath. I feel dizzy; my legs are sore already. He doesn’t seem to want to let me go but I need to shift my position, and I gingerly lift myself off and slide down next to him on the bed. Without speaking, he rolls to face me, pulling my leg over his hip and slowly rocking his still-hard cock along my clit as he kisses my chin, my cheeks, my lips.
“I want more,” he admits into the dark room. “I don’t feel done.”
I reach down, slide him carefully back inside me. It won’t last long, but there’s something about feeling him like this—just barely rocking, no space between us, the black of night spread across the bed like a velvet blanket—that makes my bones ache with how intense it is between us.
“I just want to make love to you all day,” he says against my mouth and rolls on top of me. “I don’t want to think about work or friends or even eating. I want to exist on you alone.”
With this, I remember wanting to ask him what happened at the door. “Are you okay?”
“Yes. I just want to fall asleep inside you. Maybe our bodies will make love again while our brains sleep.”
“No, I mean,” I start carefully, “who was at the door?”
He stills. “Perry.”
Perry. The friend who wasn’t in Vegas with the rest of them. “What did he want?”
He hesitates, kissing my neck. Finally, he says, “I don’t know. In the middle of the night? I don’t know.”