The first crack of the hairbrush knocked her forward. Everything inside her settled. Yes. Unprompted, she added, “Thank you.”

He was methodical as he applied the implement to her skin. As promised, he covered her inner thighs, making her sway. Then he caught her pussy with his bare hand. Though he’d been gentle, she whimpered. The scorch of pain receded almost immediately, leaving her more turned her on more than she could have imagined. “That was…” She couldn’t complete the sentence.

Jax continued until her arms gave out and she collapsed on the mattress in a pile of sobs. He hadn’t taken her to subspace, but he’d made her vibrantly alive.

Suddenly, he tossed the brush aside, then smoothed his palms over her heated flesh. She needed this. Him.

With tenderness, he helped her up and turned her to face him. She was still wobbly, so she reached for his shoulders for balance. “Will you make love to me?”

“Princess, I’d do anything for you. Anything.”

She tugged his shirt from his waistband, reveling in his honed, sexy abs.

With a ridiculous grin, he lifted his arms so she could finish undressing him. “Are you sure you’re up for it?”

Even after her long soak last night, her pussy was sore from the immense size of his cock. But she didn’t dare tell him that. Instead, she settled for, “I’ll take another bath afterward.”

“You can’t get enough of me, can you?”

“There should be a way for us to put your ego in a box or something.” She dropped his shirt.

Catching her off guard, he captured her wrists and linked them behind her.

His eyes were dark, beseeching. All traces of teasing vanished. “I’m falling in love with you, Willow.”

Her pulse surged.

“Tell me you’ll marry me.” The tremor of doubt in his voice was endearing. This really did matter to him. With his expression and tone, he revealed another part of himself, one vulnerable to being hurt. Her emotions softened.

Still, she hesitated a little. “Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, like you said. But I need some time to get used to the idea.

“More than a month?”

This time, his persistence made her laugh. “Three.”