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“I don’t know what you’re saying,” Bronwyn all but screamed in frustration, and he smiled, a feral showing of teeth that bore no resemblance to his normally beautiful smile. He signed again and quite abruptly grabbed her upper arms and kissed her. Hard! His tongue forced its way into the tender interior of her mouth, assaulting and insulting rather than caressing and loving. There was nothing remotely affectionate in the embrace, nothing but contempt and anger.

“I said,” he told her scornfully, when he lifted his head to end the vile kiss. “That since you refuse to leave, you might as well make yourself useful!”

God, what on Earth had made her think she could deal with this man on an equal footing? Whenever she tried, he moved the goalposts and left her floundering. She couldn’t take him on and win; she couldn’t even hope to try. More fool her, for thinking that she could.

“Not so eager to stick around now, are you?” he taunted when she took a step back. “Then again, you never were any good at seeing things through, were you? Important things like your studies and our marriage.”

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“You’re the one who abandoned our marriage, Bryce. And then you compounded your sins by believing, and telling, the most despicable lies about me!”

“Will you ever stop singing this same pathetic tune over and over again? Your self-righteous indignation does not sit well with me, Bronwyn. This air of injured dignity is wearing thin and getting on my nerves.”

“Since we’re apparently ‘forced’ to make a life together, don’t you think we should try to set our differences aside and be a family?”

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“Then let’s be a family Bronwyn,” he muttered smoothly. “Let’s be man and wife.” He took hold of her thin upper arms again and dragged her toward him, securing her lips in another kiss. This time the kiss contained all the elements the former had lacked—heat, sensation, and desire. Bronwyn moaned in despair, but his mouth captured the desolate little sound and swallowed it hungrily. His lips were soft but insistent against hers; they opened her mouth with the skill that she had always been unable to resist, and his tongue flowed in, skilfully subduing any protest she may have made. But Bronwyn was beyond protest, hadn’t even thought of protesting. She knew that this wouldn’t solve any of their problems—would probably worsen them if anything—but she had always melted at the first sign of tenderness from him, and this mocking kiss was so humiliatingly tender.

His hands moved up to cup her face, thumbs caressing her jaw as he coaxed her to open up a little more, to respond despite herself and, God help her, did she respond. She kissed him back, parried with his tongue, and ran restless, seeking hands over his shoulders, his neck, and his face. He made a satisfied little sound when her questing hands burrowed beneath his T-shirt and found the silky hot skin beneath the cotton. Somehow, together, they managed to rid him of the T-shirt without once losing contact. Her blouse soon followed suit. Before she knew it, the rest of their clothes were off, and they were skin-to-skin, with nothing between them but a fine sheen of sweat. He closed his hands around her waist and lifted her up. Bronwyn immediately knew what he wanted and obliged him by wrapping her long legs around his waist and her arms around his neck.

He staggered toward his desk, her weight throwing him a tad off balance, but his mouth never lost contact with hers. There was a terrible clatter as he swept stationery from the surface of the desk, nearly sending his computer monitor toppling over the side in the process. He lifted his lips from hers as he laid her down on the desk and plunged into her in the same fluid motion.

Someone sobbed in relief. Bronwyn didn’t know which of them it was, but she suspected it was Bryce. He rested there for a while, bearing her down with his weight. He felt big, hot, and hard inside of her and showered her face with worshipful little kisses as he began to move. Her legs had fallen away from his waist and now dangled over the edge of the desk with her thighs spread wide to accommodate his powerful thrusts. His hands were flat against the desk on either side of her head as he focused all of his formidable attention on their mutual pleasure.

He was starting to groan, and his long, smooth strokes were becoming choppier and less controlled. Bronwyn drew her legs up and wrapped them around his waist again, lifting her bottom from the desk to allow him easier and deeper access. He lowered his head to her breasts, licking, sucking, and kissing them hungrily. One of his hands dropped down to where their bodies were joined and he touched her in a way that had always driven her wild. This time was no exception—she grunted in surprise, breathing his name, before squealing with pleasure as she shuddered, then shuddered again and fell apart all around him.

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He moaned, moving his hands to her slender hips to hold her steady as he focused fiercely on her contorted face. Sweat was beading on his brow as he slammed into her. Bronwyn, who was just descending from her climax, tensed up again as yet another powerful orgasm crept up on her.

Bryce’s back arched and he lifted her clear off the desk with his frantic plunges. He held her close as he shuddered violently and poured himself into her, as they came simultaneously. They cried out their pleasure and desperately clung to each other as the world receded. Bryce collapsed onto her and she briefly bore his full weight before he braced his hands on the desk and relieved her of some of the burden. His eyes were searching her face almost desperately, and Bronwyn wasn’t sure what he was hoping to find.

He kissed her sweetly and the part of him that was still buried deep inside of her pulsed lazily in reaction to the gentle caress. Bronwyn gasped as she felt the movement and wondered if they could do it again so soon after the mind-shattering bliss of just minutes before. But he ended the kiss abruptly and lifted himself off and out of her without any warning. The suddenness of the separation left her feeling ridiculously vulnerable. He swore, his face darkening with anger.

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