WAS IT POSSIBLE TO DIE OF HUMILIATION? Forty-eight hours ago, I would’ve said no, but as I ate breakfast across the table from Rhys, I found myself firmly in the yes camp. I would either explode from how red my face was or melt into a puddle of mortification, whichever came first. “More bacon?” He pushed the plate in my direction. I shook my head, unable to meet his eye. I woke up that morning with a pounding headache, throbbing heat between my legs, and a horrifically clear memory of the things I’d done—and said—last night. Fuck me the way you just promised. Four, have an orgasm I didn’t give myself. It’s been a while. I choked on my toast and broke into a coughing fit. Rhys’s eyebrows rose. “You okay?” He’d been cool and calm all morning, like nothing had happened, and I wasn’t sure whether I was relieved or offended. “Yes,” I gasped. I grabbed my water and downed half of it until the coughs subsided. “You should eat more carbs,” he said mildly. “Might help with the hangover.” “How do you know I have a hangover?”
“You had five shots last night, all containing different liquors. It’s a safe guess.” His acknowledgment that any part of last night happened only intensified my embarrassment. I wished I could wipe all the events post-Borgia from both our minds. Since I couldn’t, I was tempted to play it off and pretend I didn’t remember what happened, but I did remember, and if I didn’t address it, it would haunt me forever. “Listen. About last night…” I forced myself to look at Rhys. “I was drunk and not thinking clearly, and I said some things I shouldn’t have said. I’m sorry if it made you uncomfortable.” Something akin to disappointment flickered across Rhys’s face before it disappeared. “So did I,” he said. “Call it even.” I don’t want to kiss or make love to you. I want to fuck you. I want to punish you for mouthing off and letting another man put his hands on you. I want to yank up that tiny fucking dress of yours and pound into you so hard you won’t be able to walk for days. A bead of sweat popped out on my brow. I shifted on my stool, trying to ease the throbbing in my clit, but it only made things worse. I shouldn’t have said the things I’d said, but that didn’t mean I hadn’t meant them. When Rhys had me bent over the dresser with his cock pressed against me… I gulped down the rest of my water to ease the heat flaming across my skin. “In that case, the best path forward is to pretend last night didn’t happen and never speak of it again.” I really needed more water. And air conditioning. And possibly an ice bath. “Fine by me.” Rhys leaned against the counter and rested one hand on the countertop while sipping coffee from the mug in his other hand. It was a casual, everyday movement that had no business being as hot as it was. “Except for one thing.”
Oh, God. “And that would be…?” “Your bucket list.” Those gunmetal eyes drilled into me. “You really want to do all those things before going back to Eldorra?” Not what I’d expected him to say. I breathed a sigh of relief before I remembered bucket list number four and blushed all over again. “Yes, but most of it probably isn’t possible.” It was more a fantasy list than a bucket list. I knew that when I came up with the items, but a girl could hope. “What if I told you they were?” Rhys placed his mug in the sink before turning to face me again. “I’d say you were bullshitting me.” His mouth curled up into a small grin, and tingles raced across my skin. Rhys didn’t smile often, but when he did, it was devastating. “Always nice to hear you curse, princess.” Fuck me the way you just promised. The memory must’ve crossed my mind at the same time it did his, because his smile faded and his eyes heated while I sank a little lower in my chair. “No, I’m not bullshitting you,” he said, his voice rougher than it had been a second ago. “I can make your bucket list happen if you want me to.” I wasn’t brave enough in the light of day to ask him if that included number four. “Why would you do that?” “It’s my good deed for the year.” Typical non-answer from Rhys, but intrigue edged out my annoyance. “Okay, I’ll bite,” I said. “What do you have in mind?” “No what, where.” Rhys smiled again at my surprise. “We’re going to Costa Rica.”

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