His mouth moved down, kiss by kiss, until he met her hardening nipple. He closed his mouth around the bud, sucking her and the fabric into his mouth.
Charlotte closed her eyes and let him run. He hadn’t run away from the intensity like he had this morning. He was falling into it. Into her. But still she felt that distance. His refusal to acknowledge the boy she’d known.
As as he ran, so did she. She ran from the past, from the present, to be right there in his arms. In the moment. Alive and living. She let herself enjoy the pressure of his mouth on her.
The cave wall was hard against her back, but she didn’t care.
This was life.
She had chosen life.
Her fingers slipped into the hair at the base of his head and she moaned. Low and deep.
‘Oh...’ Her hands reached for his shoulders, holding on as need ravaged through her. ‘Oh, my...’
He stroked his fingers firmly down the valley between her breasts, to the bodice of her dress where the skirts flared out. Her insides throbbed as he put his hand beneath her skirt and trailed his fingers up the length of her leg, to graze gently against the fleshy inside of her thigh.
He put his fingers to her core, moving over her centre in a tantalising swipe. ‘Do you want me to touch you here, Charlotte?’
‘Yes,’ she said. ‘God, yes, I do.’
He didn’t hesitate. He swiped her panties aside, pressing his fingers down along the wet folds of her to part her sex and open her up to him. He thrust a finger inside her.
Her core clenched around it. ‘Akeem!’
‘I know my name,’ he told her, and eased another finger inside her. Everything tensed—pulled tight like a stretched elastic band.
She looked up into his face, everything in her body urging her to bear down on his hand. ‘Do you?’ she husked. Did he even know that the man between her legs was not the Crown Prince?
He didn’t answer. Deft fingers undid the choker at her throat and it fell to their feet. Charlotte didn’t hear the tear of fabric, only felt the heat of his mouth on her. He moved down her throat, sucking and nipping as he came to her breast. His free hand tugged down the red lace covering her breasts and bared them to him. The hard nubs were waiting for him to claim them. He sucked, bringing a nipple deep into his mouth, and feathered his tongue over the tight bud.
Her hands dived from his shoulders to his hair, pushing and digging their nails into his scalp. He worked her body, her flesh. An explosive need made her push down on to his hand, seeking more, seeking friction.
‘Please...’ she begged.
Please, please, please,she wanted to say, because it was his word now. It belonged to him. It was only his face she saw. He was the only one she would ever beg for release.
And he didn’t deny her.
He pushed another finger inside her, imitating what she wanted him to do with the bigger and harder length of him pushing against her stomach.
He answered by pressing more deeply inside her, his fingers sliding smoothly in and out and his thumb moving against her in a hypnotic circling motion. She moaned into his mouth, giving herself up to the pleasure, to the feel of him against her and his fingers between her thighs.
‘I...’ She closed her eyes. She was too many sensations. Too much everything. She reached for him. ‘I want to touch you.’
She moved her hands over his shoulders, over the taut muscles of his back. His chest. Lower.
He caught her wrist. ‘No.’
The pad of his thumb moved over her clitoris and he leaned into her, keeping her trapped between the wall and the hardness of him.
‘I want to touch you,’ she pleaded. She ached to touch him. To bring him the pleasure he was bringing her.
The tempo of his fingers increased. ‘I’ve dreamt of this moment for too long to find release at your touch like an inexperienced teen,’ he answered, his voice dry and hoarse. His words weren’t a compliment, but a statement—a breathless sentiment acknowledging his need.
Her body grew tight with the thrum of his fingers. She couldn’t help it. She said, ‘Then don’t. I want you inside me.’
The noise that left his mouth was half roar, half battle cry. He pulled his fingers out of her with a quickness that caught at her breath. He grabbed her by the hips and picked her up, pushing her against the wall until the hardest part of him, still concealed by his trousers, pushed at her centre.
‘When I take you,’ he told her. ‘When I push myself inside you because you beg for me—and you will beg,’ he promised. ‘It will not be against a stone wall. It will be in a bed. My bed.’
His tongue plundered her mouth and he rocked against her. Harder. Faster.
She screamed. ‘Akeem!’ His name was a plea. A gasp, a moan—a guttural cry of need. It was animalistic to her own ears. A primal call for her mate. Her secret confessions hadn’t made her feel uncomfortable, she recognised. They had set a primitive part of herself free... And Akeem needed to confront his past too, not hide it, or he’d never be able to let it go as he’d instructed her to do.
He was hiding his true self in plain sight. He was hiding behind the version of him that was the future King. But this Akeem, bringing her pleasure and ignoring his own... This Akeem listening to her tales of woe because he wanted to, because he wanted to know her... This was the Akeem she wanted to know.
The man of fire and passion between her legs.
The Akeem she’d known...the Akeem she knew still.
He pushed harder, grinding against her throbbing core and taking her to an edge she’d never leant over. A pulsing, electrifying edge.
‘Come for me, Charlotte.’
Her body tightened, her nails clawing into Akeem’s shoulders as convulsion after trembling convulsion burst through her and tore her apart.
She sagged against him and splintered into a million pieces. He stilled, and she couldn’t stop trembling.
He was so warm against her. Hard. But there was a softness in the hands holding her to him. Shielding her...protecting her as she came back down from the heights of ecstasy. And it was all too easy to let him hold her up.
Maybe, when they found this bed of his, she could set Akeem free, too.