Tressa started to turn, then hesitated. "Nick, sometimes all a person needs is--"
He slammed down the bottle with such force, it sent a geyser of spray into the air and a cascade of foam running down its side to the table. He moved so swiftly that Tressa gasped when he shackled her wrist in an iron grip.
"You haven't the vaguest notion of what I need right now or you wouldn't still be standing here."
Tressa looked up at him in wide-eyed alarm. "Let go of me!" She struggled to wrench free, but was no match against his superior strength.
Gripped by a primal need to possess her, Nick's heavy-lidded gaze focused on her mouth.
Slow down, old man. You're scaring her. You know how to play this game. You've done it a million times. Don't hold her so tight. Be gentle. Say something nice.
Fighting for control, he loosened his hold without completely releasing her. His gaze flickered lazily. "Tressa," he said softly. "Honey, do you have any idea just how pretty you are?"
He felt a shudder course through her and shifted his focus from her mouth to her large, unblinking brown eyes. Eyes filled with apprehension ... or ... or was it intrigue. Hell he was so spaced, he couldn't tell which. And furthermore it didn't matter. Nor did it matter that there were a thousand and ten reasons why he shouldn't be touching her. He was just drunk enough to ignore what he shouldn't be doing, and concentrate instead on what he was aching to do.
He pulled her against him--intimately, reeling with the feel of her body in direct contact with his and the heady scent of her filling his senses. His hooded gaze dropped into the gaping neckline of her nightshift and another intense wave of raw lust swept through him.
"Tressa," he said nearly howling at the hunger raging through him. "I need you." A heartbeat passed before he felt the jolt of comprehension chase through her. He watched her throat work as she choked back a convulsive swallow.
"Please..." she whispered, unconsciously teasing him with her dimpled cheek.
This woman-child had walked into his life and blown his entire existence to hell with her smile, her flashing brown eyes, and her damned dimple. He had never been so driven to possess a woman as he was now. Even Linnae had never had him aching like this.
Slowly his gaze slid back to her mouth. "A kiss. That's all I ask. Just a kiss."
"A kiss?" she repeated as though not quite understanding.
"That's all, honey. One kiss."
After a long moment of thought, she went up on tiptoes and kissed him on the cheek.
Nick was so primed, he froze at the touch of her mouth brushing his hot skin. And before she could protest, he'd lifted her several inches off the floor and pinned her against the wall. "Not like that, baby," he growled. "Like this ... " He captured her mouth in a kiss that was both tender and shockingly seductive. He felt Tressa's body jerk in response when he touched the tip of his tongue to the corner of her lips, seeking entrance.
"Nick..." Her parted mouth allowed him access, and with a groan he took advantage of the moment. Tressa struggled to break free, but it was far too late for any hope of freedom. With hot desire overriding the dictates of his mind, Nick lowered his shaggy dark head and kissed the pulsing hollow at the base of Tressa's throat. "You should have gone back when I told you to," he murmured quietly and so seriously there was no mistaking his intent.
Again, with no success, she pushed against his shoulders. "Nick, please..."
He wasn't listening. Cupping her bottom, he lifted her higher and adjusted his position.
"Shhhh, baby just let me hold you," he whispered, leaning into her heavily, intimately securing her against the wall. He caught her head in his hands and once again lowered his mouth to hers, seeking--demanding entrance.
Slow down. You're frightening her again.
Leashing his rampaging emotions was not on his agenda. He wanted to ravish her, to make passionate love to her. He growled her name, and Tressa stifled an answering sob.
And then she relaxed. Suddenly. Almost as if some unseen force had taken over, she melted into his embrace.