The way you look tonight, p.14
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       The Way You Look Tonight, p.14

         Part #10 of The Sullivans series by Bella Andre
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Page 14

  Author: Bella Andre

  As if he could sense she needed soothing, he slid his hands into her hair and lifted his mouth just far enough away from hers so that their lips were barely touching. She could feel his warm breath on her damp mouth, and she shivered even as he kissed her again, more gently this time, just the barest press of his lips against hers.

  His kiss was at once sweet. . . and commanding. Without a word, with just the barest of touches, he was slowing them both down, letting them savor each other rather than simply devouring without thought or appreciation.

  And, oh, how he savored.

  No one had ever kissed her like this, taking the time to taste every last inch of her mouth, from corner to corner, from the upper bow of her top lip to the lush center of her bottom lip. Her hands opened and closed on his shirt as waves of pleasure moved through her. And then his tongue was moving back inside her mouth to find hers, causing another sweet shock of bliss to shoot all the way down to her toes. Without a bra on, her full breasts were peaking hard against the bodice of her dress, and she instinctively moved her hands from his chest to wrap them around his neck so that she could press herself into him.

  That was when he lifted his head to stare down at her with such heat and more desire than she’d ever seen on a man’s face. "You’re amazing. "

  "I’ve never felt like this before. " With anyone but Rafe, she might have been shy about expressing her desire, might have been unable to put words to her erotic feelings. But she knew she was safe with him. . . even as the lust that spiked inside her was the most dangerously beautiful thing she’d ever known. "I’ve never needed anything, anyone—" His teeth bit into her lobe, and she gasped with pleasure. "—as much as I need you. "

  A moment later his mouth caught hers again. She lost herself in his kiss, in his delicious taste, in the shockingly sensuous feel of his tongue stroking over hers.

  "Tonight," he murmured heatedly against her lips, "isn’t nearly long enough for all the things I want to do to you. "

  "You can have as long as you need," she told him, her arousal ratcheting up even higher at the thought, the question, of what all of those things might be. As he lowered his mouth to the curve of her shoulder, she couldn’t wait to find out.

  His teeth nipped into her skin at the exact moment he slid one slim strap down. Oh, how she loved the slick of his tongue over the small bite, and then the incredible sensation of his full mouth sucking against a part of her body she would have sworn wasn’t the least bit sensitive or sensual. A moment later, he was giving her other shoulder the same treatment, stripping her even as he tasted her flesh with a small bite followed by the warm lash of his tongue and then a split second of suction against her skin that had her trembling in his arms.

  When he lifted his head, his eyes were blazing with the same heat and need she knew must be reflected in her own.

  "I need to see you," he said, his low voice rasping over her skin as if he’d touched her instead.

  "Yes," she whispered. "Please. "

  With the utmost gentleness, he moved his hands to her bodice and slowly slid the material down over the upper swell of her breasts, just to the point where her nipples were about to show. He stopped then and looked up into her face.

  "You’re not wearing a bra. "

  "Only the dress," she confirmed for him.

  His eyes widened. "Only the dress?"

  She nodded and boldly reached for his hands, placing them over her hips so that he could feel the truth of her words for himself. His eyes closed and his nostrils flared as he cupped her bottom, then slowly ran his hands over her.

  "So damned beautiful, Brooke. "

  She’d never heard anyone speak to her, about her, with such awe. But before she could tell him she thought he was beautiful, too, he was sliding his fingers through hers and tugging her toward the bedroom.

  "I’ve already waited twenty-four of the longest hours of my life for you. I can’t wait another second. "

  They had just walked inside the bedroom when a loud knock came at her front door. Both of them stilled and looked toward the front porch, then back at each other.

  His hand tightened on hers. "Were you expecting someone?"

  "No. Maybe if we ignore them they’ll go away. "

  But, of course, the knocking came louder the second time. Rafe ran his free hand through his hair in clear frustration. A moment later, he was pulling Brooke’s dress all the way back up and sliding the straps into place on her shoulders. He lowered his mouth to hers for one last, hard kiss that would have spiraled off into more were it not for the continued pounding out front.

  "Go answer your door before they break it down. "

  Rafe went with her into the living room, and when she saw who was standing on her porch through the picture windows, utter shock made her temporarily mute as she opened the front door.

  "Oh my gosh. " Mia Sullivan pulled a completely surprised Brooke into a warm hug on the front porch. "Look at you! You’re absolutely gorgeous, Brooke. "

  Adam Sullivan’s arms came around her next, the second Sullivan brother to hold her in the past fifteen minutes. When he let her go, his eyes were warm as they moved over her face, and he agreed, "Absolutely gorgeous. "

  The next thing she knew, Rafe was standing on the porch with the three of them, glowering at his siblings.

  Chapter Eleven

  Rafe couldn’t believe his luck. He’d waited twenty-four goddamned hours to have Brooke naked beneath him. . . and that was when his brother and sister showed up unannounced?

  It had to be some kind of sick joke, karma coming back around to kick him in the ass for every bad thing he’d ever done.

  Or, he thought with a tight clenching of his gut, was it a sign that he should keep his hands off of her?

  Normally he would have been happy to see his sister and brother, but tonight all he wanted, right or wrong, was for them to turn around and go home to Seattle so that he could have Brooke all to himself.

  "What are you doing here?"

  "Surprise!" Mia said as she lifted a bottle of sparkling wine. "We came to toast your new house with cousin Marcus’s finest bubbly from Napa and to see what we can do to help you fix it up tomorrow before we head back to Seattle. Mom and Dad would have come, but they’re off sailing with Dylan for a couple of days. And for all we know, Ian may never return from London. "

  Rafe should have been grateful for his siblings’ help. Instead, all he could say was, "So you’re staying the night?"

  "Rafe, it’s late. Of course they’re staying. " Brooke gestured for everyone to follow her inside with a wide smile for his brother and sister. Where she’d been so loose in his arms just moments before, now her movements seemed a little stiff. "I’m so glad you’re both here. It’s been way too long. "

  Mia and Adam weren’t stupid—not even close—and they had to know something was up. It wasn’t hard to put the signs together: his crankiness at their unexpected arrival combined with her just-kissed mouth, flushed skin, and the fact that she was wearing the sexiest little white dress on the planet.

  With nothing underneath it.

  God help him.

  Rafe’s hands fisted as he remembered the way Adam had hugged Brooke. Everywhere his brother was big and hard, she’d looked small and soft, and all Rafe could think about was ripping his brother away from her and tossing him headfirst into the lake. Adam was a good guy, but he was no saint where women were concerned. And Rafe could tell just how much Adam was appreciating Brooke’s exposed curves and creamy skin.

  What guy with a pulse wouldn’t?

  "We decided it would be fun to surprise Rafe. " Mia’s eyes twinkled as she looked between the two of them. "And, boy, are we glad we did. "

  "Are you hungry?" Brooke asked.

  "We ate dinner on the road," Mia replied, "but I’d love to take the
bubbly outside and drink it while eating s’mores around the campfire. " She lifted another bag that held graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate.

  "That’s a great idea," Brooke said, still not looking at Rafe.

  Was she embarrassed to have been nearly caught naked with him by his siblings? Or was it simply that she was as frustrated as he was about not being able to finish what they’d waited so damned long to start?

  "Since I’m sure both of you are dying to get a look at your old house," Brooke said, "how about I meet you all out there after I change into something warmer?"

  Yes, that was a good idea. Maybe if he went next door, where he couldn’t see Brooke, couldn’t smell her freshly soaped skin mixed with a hint of arousal, he could get his shit together enough to make it through the night.

  Less than sixty seconds later, the three Sullivans were inside their old house, standing under the one flickering light bulb hanging from the ceiling that illuminated what would be the living room once he put the place back together.

  "I’m glad to see things haven’t changed much," Adam said. "I know there are some cosmetic problems, but it still feels like home, doesn’t it?"

  Though Rafe was still enormously irritated at his plans with Brooke having come to a crashing halt, Adam’s clear excitement was infectious. "Can’t wait to get to work on it, can you?"

  "I had plans even when we were kids," his house-rehabbing brother confirmed. "As soon as Mia told me you got the place, I pulled them back out. " Adam patted his pocket. "I’ll show them to you once we’ve settled in at the bonfire. "

  Throwing himself into working with Adam on plans to fix the place up was likely the only way Rafe was going to make it through another night apart from Brooke without losing it. Only, he already knew no amount of going over renovation plans was going to push her whispered confession about aching for him out of his head.

  Working hard to pull his focus back to the house, Rafe said, "You’re right that the bones of the place are good, but whoever’s owned it for the past fifteen years obviously wasn’t too concerned about maintenance. I was thinking—"

  Mia cut him off with the loud clap of her hands over her ears. "Please, stop. I’ve just had to spend the last two and a half hours in the car listening to Adam’s plans to renovate this house. Can we please talk about something other than support beams and load-bearing walls for a little while? Like, maybe, how totally freaking beautiful it is here?"

  At his sister’s urging, they turned to look out the front picture window at the moon just rising over the lake. "Still one of the greatest places in the world," Adam agreed, but he was clearly chomping at the bit to take a look over the house. He grabbed the flashlight lying on the floor by the door and said, "I’ll be back in a couple of minutes. "

  As soon as he walked away, Mia turned her gaze from the lake and pinned Rafe with it. "Are you and Brooke sleeping together?"

  No, damn it, but only because you showed up at exactly the wrong time.

  "It’s none of your business what the two of us are or aren’t doing. "

  Her gaze didn’t waver. "You need this house, Rafe. The lake. Some time to get away from all the garbage you deal with at work. " Mia’s expression was far more serious than usual. "I love Brooke, and I’m thrilled she’s back in our lives, but do you really think it’s a good idea to get involved with her when she lives next door?"

  Damn it, he hated to hear his sister echo his own concerns. . . especially when he’d nearly rationalized them away in the heat of unquenchable desire. "Everything’s going to be fine, Mia. "

  A flicker of surprise crossed her eyes. "You’re not going to listen to reason, are you? Although," she added before he could respond, "if you don’t start dating her, given how big Adam’s eyes got when she opened the door, I’m sure he’d happily step up to the plate. "
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