THIRTY-SEVEN

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Claire dove onto the bed and pulled the blanket over her head. What had she done? What had possessed her to do that? She'd noticed the state he was in—it had been pretty damned impossible not to—and she had taken advantage of it. "How could you," she hissed into the cocoon that surrounded her. Her mind flashed to the feel of that hard bulge in her palm. With a groan, she turned to her other side and squeezed her eyes shut.

Oh, God, his face. His reaction had driven her on, the way he had closed his eyes and tilted his head up, then the deep swallows down his throat, the muscles on his neck tightening and releasing, his lips parting with a low moan. God help her, she'd wanted to know what he would look like as she took him over the edge.

Hearing a click, she sat up, clutching the cover to her chest. Silence. He's gone, you idiot. You scared the poor man away.

She switched on the lamp by her bed, not yet ready for sleep. With all the twisting around, her nightgown had shifted, bunching up above her waist. With a muttered curse, she grabbed its hem, wiggled it over her head, and tossed it to the floor before easing back down under the covers. The blanket felt rough against her bare skin, and her nipples reacted to the friction, tightening almost painfully. Don't, she told herself, but goddamnit, she pulled at the covers again, the tips puckering even more. Closing her eyes, she brought her hands to her breasts, feeling their weight.

Without warning, her mind decided to go on a little joy ride and suddenly it was Bruce's hands on her, warm and possessive, molding and teasing. He hovered above her, bare-chested, his hair wet and messy, the way it had been the day she caught him coming out of the shower. Her eyes skimmed over the hard muscles on display. She reached out to touch him, but her hand only met air.

Crap. She pouted.

Her legs spread wide, pushed apart by the man above her. Rolling his hips, he pressed into her. "You did this to me, Doc," he growled.

Claire's eyes shot open, expecting to find the real Bruce at her ear. She glanced around, seeing the room just as it had been. Man, her imagination might be lacking in the special effects department, but it could have won multiple Oscars in the categories of direction, cinematography, and sound with the way this fantasy was going.

She closed her eyes again, shifting further under the covers, hoping dream Bruce would return with the same vividness as before. She didn't often partake in self-pleasure, hating the depressing, empty feeling it left in its wake, but sometimes it was necessary. Either that or spend the night tossing and turning.

Another low groan in her ear was followed by a whispered, "So beautiful."

He was back! Feeling brave inside the safe environment of her own mind, she reached for his fly, planning on releasing the impressive erection she had been stroking earlier. Again, only air.

"Uh-uh," he muttered.

She moaned in frustration.

"We will have our moment, soon, I promise, Doc," he whispered. Seeming to float down her body, he trailed soft kisses across her breasts and along her stomach, her fingertips showing him the way. "But for now, you'll have to settle for my mouth on you." His hands came to rest on her knees, his intentions clear. After pushing her legs further apart, he lifted one to drape over his shoulder.

Settle? If this was considered settling, she was going to have to learn how to let a lot more things slide. His pathway of kisses had stopped at the apex of her thighs and she jumped when his tongue made contact. Kicking her head back on the pillow, she concentrated on muffling the soft moans and gasps that passed her lips as she got caught up in the sensation, losing herself to the fantasy that was Bruce.

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