forearm, anchoring him in place. Not that he had any desire to escape. He’d gladly stay caught in this one perfect moment with her.
His fingertips grazed the soft swell of her breast and he felt the rhythmic rise and fall of her breathing as she slept. His raging hard-on was a testament to how much he wanted her. He always wanted her; that never diminished, not even after they’d made love. He was never sated where Haven was concerned, but it was more than that. Sleeping with her, knowing she trusted him to keep them both safe while she let go for a while touched him in a way nothing else could.
These few stolen hours in the dark, hidden from the world outside, felt like so much and not enough at the same time. The closer he got to winning the nomination, the farther he got from being able to have her. Every victory moved Haven that much farther out of his reach—made the risk to both of them but especially her that much greater. Alone with her in the middle of the night without all the distractions of the campaign made it impossible to ignore the truth and made the hours they managed to steal together that much more precious. Knowing they’d have to be enough to sustain him until the next time made him want to hold on that much tighter.
He tightened his grip on her reflexively and she wriggled back against him, making any thought of sleep impossible. He pressed a kiss to her temple, needing to touch her but not wanting to interrupt her sleep. Her breath hitched, and he felt her cheek bunch as she smiled against the brush of his lips. He’d been content simply to hold her, running through delegate counts and primary maps to keep from pressing her for more, but she had her own ideas. Turning in his arms, she pressed her lips to the hollow of his throat.
“What time is it?” she asked, her voice hoarse from sleep.
“The middle of the night.” He didn’t want to quantify it. As soon as he said the number, their stolen hours together would start ticking down to fractions of an hour, then minutes and then the end. “We still have time.”
He felt her head nod against his chest and he slid his hand up to tangle his fingers in her silky hair. He stroked her back with his other hand, giving himself over to the feeling of her soft skin and gentle curves under his palm. She arched into his touch, taking what he offered and demanding more. In an instant, the sleepy caress turned into something hotter, something hungrier. His fingertips grazed the cleft of her ass, dipping lower to find her center. She opened for him, wrapping her leg around his hip and pulling him closer.
Gripping her hip with his hand, he raised her thigh over his waist, fitting himself into the sweet V of her body. His cock rode the slick seam of her sex and for a moment they rocked against each other, caught in the aching pleasure of in-between. He felt her breath hitch as the ridge of his cock hit her clit and he pulled her tighter to him, needing to take her higher. Cradling her in his arms, he repeated the motion, drawing out her pleasure, driving her on until he heard the needy little whimpers that tore at his heart fall from her lips.
“Shep, inside me, please,” she said, her voice barely more than a whisper.
Hearing her say his name stole his control, and he rolled them both, bracing himself over her on his elbows. Cupping her head with his hands, he shifted his hips until he was wedged against her tight opening.
“I love you, Haven. I love you.” He repeated the words that bound him to her and set him free as he thrust inside her, joining them together in one perfect moment in time.
“I love you, too,” she said, arching up to meet him.
Her body clenched around him as he drove them both on, spiraling higher and higher until he was lost in the fleeting pleasure of his body wedded to hers.
M ATT GLANCED AT THE ADDRESS on his phone one more time before turning down the street and heading for the bar on the corner. When Steve sent