Ever since the day I was dropped at her family’s door
HUNGRY, DIRTY, and TORN,
I’ve wanted her.
But to taint her perfect skin with my black touch would be a SIN.
So I made a pact with myself--
NEVER TOUCH NICOLE PALMER.
However, when she returns home from college, she’s different, and I’m not sure I can trust myself to keep my pact. I can’t submit to her TEMPTATION no matter how sweetly she begs because she’s the GOLDEN CHILD and I’m the BLACK SHEEP.
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HEAVEN AND HELL.
I’d crossed the holy pinnacle and entered a place full of softness, light, and beauty, but while her hands on my skin felt like a miracle, I also felt like my flesh was being ripped from my body. Irrational fear struck me deep.
Nicole would never hurt me—at least not physically. Mentally, she’d fucked me up over the last seven years, but she didn’t know she was doing it.
Still, her mouth was heaven, and the devil didn’t belong in Heaven—I didn’t belong in Paradise. I knew that, but my brain ceased all functions the minute my lips touched hers. I was beyond all rational thinking.
My lips brushed against hers.
Before I moved in for more, losing myself in her so completely, I forgot about her hands on me. I forgot she was touching my scars inside and out—soothing them and breaking them open again all at the same time. Her lips made me forget all the promises I’d made to myself over the years—made me forget about the pact I’d made with myself.
Never touch Nicole Palmer.
Each strike of her hot breath against my cheek was like an electric shock to my body, and I couldn’t hold myself back any longer. Her frame felt even smaller than it looked in my grasp when I wrapped my arms around her and pulled her to me. She was soft against my hardness, limp in my arms as she let go with me.
I’d never felt anything like it. Usually, I pinned a girl’s arms above her head to keep her from touching me. Typically, I took control and remained in power, but when my tongue met hers, everything inside me exploded.
Her soft, cautious touch changed, and she clawed at me like a wildcat, tugging at my shirt and pulling me to her as if she couldn’t get close enough.
She’d never be close enough.
And while her sudden movements and touches were freaking me out, I wanted more.
I wanted to feel her all around me—beneath me—inside me, lighting all the dark places where I hid my feelings for her—all the dark places where the memories and monsters lived.
Her fingers no longer scared me … they fueled me, forcing my black memories to the forefront and allowing her to slowly destroy each one. She took away the pain and cleared my mind in the strangest, most shocking way.
She tasted like sugar, like melted candy on my tongue as I savored her. My craving for her, the one I’d tamed over the years, grew, as I pulled her to me and thrust my hips. Seeking relief, I rubbed against her, her body feeling better than anything I’d ever felt … even with our clothes between us.
I wanted her.
Hell, I’d always wanted her.
Over the years, in my mind, every girl I’d climbed inside had been Nicole.
The only girl to ever tame me, and she was clueless about it.
She was leaving me, and I wasn’t taking it well. I hadn’t been okay with the situation since the day she got her acceptance letter to Juilliard. She was a beautiful dancer, one with grace and limbs that went for days, but knowing she was going to New York alone left a sick feeling in my gut.
I couldn’t be there for her. I couldn’t protect her from the sick and demented fucks in the world. I’d go wild thinking about the terrible things that could happen to her while she was hundreds of miles away from me. And while I knew how badly she wanted Juilliard, I also knew how badly I wanted her. How badly the desire to keep her safe burned through me on a daily basis.
She reached between us, palming me through my jeans. Stopping my thoughts completely, her touch caused me to release an agonizing growl into her mouth. I’d had women … too many, actually, but none of them had ever touched me this way. Their fingers had never graced my dick, no matter how badly I wanted it. My mind would never allow it.
It was different with Nicole.
It had always been different with her.
My fingers covered hers, pressing her palm harder against me as I thrust myself into her hand, seeking what I knew I could never have with her. Every second I touched her, I darkened her with my shadowed sin.
Clarity broke through my lust and slammed into me. Tension crawled down my back, tightening my spine and making my entire body stiffen.
It was wrong.
Everything we were doing was wrong.
Her mother and father had taken me in, made me a part of their perfect family, and given me a life I would’ve never gotten without them. If it weren’t for them, I would’ve grown up on the streets, begging for food with only the clothes on my back, and this was how I was repaying them.
By touching their only daughter.
By tainting her with my blackness.
The broken sickness I was born with could be contagious, and the last thing I ever wanted to do was pass it to her—contaminate her perfection. If I ever climbed inside her, she’d never be the same. Her light … I’d extinguish it, bringing her into my darkness. That was the last thing I wanted since Nicole’s light had always been a beacon for me, leading me to do the right thing when the right thing was the last thing I wanted to do.
Bad decisions were in my blood—passed down from a father who ruined me—and touching Nicole was the worst decision I’d ever made. The addiction was instant, and I knew one day I’d overdose on her. Just like my father and his heroin except with more pleasure and more pain.
I pulled back, my body and heart feeling her loss the second I pushed her away.
“Fuck!” I cursed, as I gasped and rubbed roughly at my lips, trying to rid myself of her taste.
I’d never be able to walk away with her flavor on my lips. My craving would never let it happen.
She moved toward me, and I held my hand out to keep her away. I was too weak for her. I’d always been too weak for her.
Her big blue eyes stared up at me, full of trust and lust. Her white blond hair spilled from her bun, curtaining her beautiful face and skimming her flawless skin. She was everything, and I was nothing. The two could never mix.
Rage and disgust slammed into me.
How could I touch her?
How could I taint her perfection with my sin?
“That shouldn’t have happened,” I breathed, trying to catch the air she’d stolen away from me.
“Why not?” she asked, her cheeks flushed and her lips reddened from my rough kisses.
I hated myself for marring her delicate flesh with my touch. She was too good, too perfect for anyone, especially me.
“Because I don’t want you that way!” I yelled, not thinking of who else could hear our conversation.
It was the biggest fucking lie I’d ever told...
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