Home > Forged in Steele (KGI #7)(9)

Forged in Steele (KGI #7)(9)
Author: Maya Banks

God, she sounded like a complete moron. Her cheeks were flaming as she took another hasty step backward.

Steele’s features tightened and his lips formed a grim line as he stood to his full height and loomed over her. He leaned his head, just enough that his mouth was closer to her ear.

“If you think my hard-on has nothing to do with you, then you’re deluded.”

Her mouth gaped open as he pushed past her and stalked from the room.

“Ooo-kay,” she murmured.

Not what she’d expected him to say at all.


MAREN let herself into her cottage and softly shut the door behind her. When she scanned the room, she let out a startled exclamation when she saw Steele sprawled on her tiny couch.

“Jesus, you scared me,” she breathed.

He sat up, his stare intense as he locked onto her. She shivered and a knot formed in her throat. The way he was looking at her was . . . different.

“Do you always walk back to your cottage by yourself?” he demanded.

She lifted one eyebrow. “How the hell else would I ever get home?”

“Let me rephrase that. Aside from the times that we pull you out at all hours of the night, do you routinely walk back to your cottage alone after dark?”

“You know, I think that’s the most words that have ever come out of your mouth at one time,” Maren said thoughtfully.

Steele raised a hand to run raggedly through his hair, and he growled. Actually growled! Then to her utter shock, he closed the distance between them and hauled her against his chest. She landed with a soft thud and he cupped her chin with one hand and slid the other around her nape, anchoring her in place so she couldn’t move. As if she wanted to!

“Steele?” she whispered nervously.

“Shut up,” he muttered, just as his lips came down over hers.

His kiss was an absolute shock to her system. Electric. Fierce. Demanding. His warm tongue slid like velvet over her lips, coaxing her to open. As soon as she gave in, he deepened the kiss and pushed inward, tasting her, letting her taste him.

She shivered from head to toe. One continuous quake, her knees turning to jelly.

His hold on her was strong and possessive. She sighed into his mouth and he swallowed it up. This was crazy. Insanity at its finest. Steele was in her living room kissing her. A man who never even spoke directly to her. Yet he was obviously attracted to her. The erection earlier. He was kissing her now. Yeah, there was definitely something here and she wasn’t going to question it too hard.

Or maybe he was coming off a mission and any woman would do.

That put a damper on her enthusiasm. She went still as she pondered that very real possibility. Proximity was a definite factor. Steele and his team had just worked a tough assignment, gotten shot at, cut and God only knew what else. They were stuck here for the night and she was female, reasonably attractive, and she had all the prerequisite equipment to sate his needs.

He drew away, his brows drawn together as he stared at her in question.

“What’s wrong?”

She would have laughed but she was too unhinged to do more than just stand there gaping at him.

“You just kissed me and then you ask me what’s wrong?”

He frowned. “Was it that bad?”

This time she did laugh. “I think you know it wasn’t bad. Why did you kiss me, Steele? What the hell is going on here?”

“I want us to have sex,” he said bluntly.

She blinked owlishly and stared back at him in silence. Though her glasses were fogged with the heat from their kiss and she itched to remove them so she wouldn’t miss any part of this exchange.

“Ooo-kay,” she began slowly. “You want to have sex with me. You want to have sex with a woman to whom you’ve never spoken more than a few words at a time. Tell me something, Steele, is this one of those situations where any pu**y will do? Is it a guy thing, coming off a mission and you’ll dip into the first available well you can find?”

He looked completely taken aback by her blunt language. Surprised even. Then he seemed to figure out that it was possible he’d just been insulted.

“I don’t f**k around,” he growled. “I’m clean. I use condoms. I haven’t had sex in a year.”

“All righty then,” she said, more than a little surprised at his admission. “Maybe a little more than I needed to know.”

“If you’re sleeping with me, you need to know.”

This was true. But wait, was she sleeping with him? Was she entertaining the idea of sleeping with him? The mind boggled. A man she’d spent plenty of time fantasizing about was here in her living room calmly discussing the matter of sex between them as if it were something they did on a regular basis. Not that she’d have a problem with that. But she definitely had questions because this was shaping up to be the most bizarre day in a very long time.

“Why?” she asked softly. “You don’t even like me, Steele. You can barely stand to be in my presence.”

He pulled her back close, trapping her in his arms, his gaze boring into hers. “Why do you think that is, Maren? You’re an intelligent woman. You saw the hard-on I had for you earlier. Put two and two together and I bet you’ll find your answer.”

“You’re attracted to me,” she whispered.

He stood a long moment without saying a word. Finally he broke the silence, his jaw clenched. He was positively ill at ease. Cool, unflappable Steele was agitated.

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