Home > Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(34)

Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(34)
Author: Tammara Webber

I put my left arm up as he described.

“Good. Now, with your opposite arm, you give yourself leverage, and you remove his already precarious balance. Palm flat on the ground, elbow up. Shove down and roll to your side, throwing him off.”

I followed his instructions—easy to do, with no weight on top of me.

“Can we try it? I’m going to push your shoulders down and use my weight to hold you there. If you have a problem, just say so and I’m off. Okay?”

I fought my panic. “Okay.”

His gentleness as he knelt over me, holding my shoulders to the floor, was so contrary to Buck’s violence that I almost cried. He lay over me, his breath in my ear. “Arm straight up.” I obeyed. “Palm flat, and push off, hard, and roll onto your side.”

I did as he said, and he tumbled off. “Perfect. Let’s try it again.”

We went through the moves again, and again, and again, and each time he was more forceful and harder to displace, but still, I threw him off, every time. Until I mistakenly pushed up with my hips, trying to rise.

He exhaled harshly. “That won’t work, Jacqueline—though it’s the natural response to something unwanted on top of you. The only sure way to dislodge a man in this position is rolling to the side. I’m too strong for you to move me by pressing up. You have to fight that inclination.”

Finally, we tried it more for real than any other time. He shoved me down, and my arm shot up and out, but I had a difficult time getting my hand free for leverage. Finally, I switched arms and got the opposite palm to the floor, shoved and rolled, throwing him off and to the side. “Shit!” he laughed, facing me as we lay on the floor. “You swapped sides on me!”

I smiled at his praise, and his gaze flicked to my lips.

“This is the part where you’d get up and run like hell.” His voice was gravelly.

“But won’t he chase me?” We lay on our sides, two feet of carpet between us, neither making a move to sit up.

He nodded. “He might. But most of these guys don’t want challenging prey. Only a handful will go after you, if you run away screaming.”


He reached out, took my hand. “I was supposed to show you your portrait, I think.”

“So it won’t seem like you brought me here under completely false pretenses?”

His eyes flared and my breath caught. “I do want you to see the charcoal, but I admit that was secondary to what we just did. Do you feel more confident now, that it’ll work?”


He leaned up on his elbow, closing the distance between us, pushing his hand into my hair and moving it to cup my face. “I did have one other concealed motive for bringing you here.” Leaning down slowly, his lips met mine and the fire that had been embers since he left my room over a week ago flamed. I opened my mouth and his tongue pressed inside, stroked mine and withdrew. Turning his head, he moved his mouth over mine, sucking my lower lip into his mouth, caressing it with his tongue and releasing it to pay attention to the upper. His tongue ran over the sensitive space above my top teeth and I gasped.

And then his hands started moving.

Chapter 12

Cradling my head against his shoulder, both hands skimmed down to my hips, urging me closer until there was no space between us. His lips continued to move against mine, unrelenting and sweet, and my head swam as he swept his tongue through my mouth, his hand gripping my thigh, drawing it between his so that our legs were scissored together. I leaned into him and he moaned, one hand kneading my hip and the other stroking up beneath my sweater, warm fingers splayed across my lower back.

One of my arms crushed between us, I lay the other against his chest, fingering the front placket of his flannel shirt, covertly sliding buttons from buttonholes, feeling the variation between the smooth surface of the flannel and the bumpy texture of the thermal knit shirt beneath it. Shirt unbuttoned, I peeled it aside and slid my hand beneath the thermal to his hard stomach. His breath caught and I pulled away to lean on my elbow and look down on him.

“I want to see your tattoos.”

“You do, huh?” His eyes burned into mine. When I nodded, he withdrew his hand from beneath my sweater and sat up, crooking an eyebrow at me when he looked down on his unbuttoned shirt. My face warmed at his smirk and he chuckled, removing the shirt and tossing it aside.

Reaching behind his neck, he removed the white thermal the way boys do—pulled forward over the back of his head—unworried about ruined mascara, or blusher smeared on the fabric. He dropped this shirt, inside out, on top of the flannel one, and lay back on the floor, offering himself up for my inspection.

His skin was smooth and beautiful, his torso segmented with definitions of muscle and ornamented with the two tattoos I’d seen in my dorm room—an intricate octagonal design on his left side, and four scripted lines on his right. There was one other—a rose over his heart, the petals dark red, the dark green stem slightly curved. On his arms were mostly designs and patterns, thin and black like wrought iron.

I ran my fingers over each one, but he didn’t turn and I couldn’t read the poem-like lines snaking around his left side. It looked like a love poem, and I was jealous of whoever inspired the sort of devotion he must have felt to make those words so permanent. I wondered if the rose represented her as well, but I couldn’t ask.

When my fingers trailed down his abdomen to the line of hair below his navel, he sat up. “Your turn, I think.”

Confused, I said, “I don’t have any tattoos.”

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