The way you look tonight, p.20
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       The Way You Look Tonight, p.20

         Part #10 of The Sullivans series by Bella Andre
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Page 20

  Author: Bella Andre

  "Rafe?" Her fingers stilled over his ribs, near a heart that was beating too hard, too fast for the beautiful woman beneath him. "What happened to you?"

  Before he could respond, she was shifting so that she could see the long, jagged scar across ten inches of his skin. No one’s touch had ever been as gentle.

  "Who hurt you?"

  "No one that matters. "

  But she wouldn’t accept that, and when she said again, "Who?" he knew he had to tell her the full truth, a truth almost no one else knew, including his parents.

  "An ex-husband of one of my clients. "

  She gasped in horror, her eyes wide and furious on his behalf. "He came after you?"

  Knowing it would only be worse if he waited until after they’d made love to tell her, he admitted, "After I caught him cheating on my client and when their divorce was final, I ran into her again. " He wasn’t proud of what he’d done, and there was a huge chance that, once she knew, Brooke might get out of the bed as quickly as she’d climbed into it. "We ended up in bed together. " The flash of shock in her eyes came and went so fast, he almost thought he’d imagined it. "I was only that stupid once. " He hadn’t been thinking straight the night he’d broken one of his cardinal rules—never get involved with a client—but had simply been hoping a quick hit of physical pleasure could erase the churning in his gut over what his life had turned into. "Of course, she immediately threw it in her ex’s face—that she’d slept with the man who had caught him cheating on her. "

  Rafe braced himself as he waited for Brooke to respond to his admission. She’d always been an open book to him before now, but suddenly he couldn’t tell what she was thinking. . . or if she was so disgusted with him that she was a breath from ordering him from her bed.

  "How dare they?" He blinked in surprise as she said, "He might have been the one to use the knife on you, but she practically handed it to him. "

  Rafe’s breath started up again on a rush of relief. . . and the knowledge that he’d never done a single damn thing that was good enough to deserve Brooke’s sweetness or her fierce protection of him.

  "I brought it on myself. "

  "No, you didn’t!"

  He’d never heard Brooke raise her voice before, and he was suddenly reminded of the way his soft-spoken mother could emerge as a snarling tiger whenever her kids were threatened in any way. Brooke would be just as good with her own children, kids he could so easily see her playing with on the beach—jumping off the dock hand in hand with them, tucking them into bed at night with a bedtime story about princes and princesses.

  He swallowed hard as he realized where his brain had gone—and how easy it had been to go there.

  "You made a mistake by being with her, but they both took out their fury with each other on you. " Brooke slid her arms around him, warm and strong. "And that could never be your fault. "

  The gash had hurt like hell that first week before dulling to a steady throb these past couple of months. But now, for the first time since the night he’d walked into the ER, bleeding through his shirt, he could hardly feel it. Instead, his senses were entirely captured by the steady beat of her heart against his chest, the fragrant scent of her hair, and the slick heat of her arousal against his thigh.

  She pressed kisses down over his shoulder and chest, until she reached the top edge of his scar. Her lips feathered over it. "I don’t ever want anyone to hurt you again," she told him as she softly kissed the length of the skin and muscle that had been stitched back together in the emergency room.

  Something swelled beneath his breastbone, an emotion that was bigger than this night, bigger even than the way Brooke was healing him one kiss at a time.

  She reached for the zipper of his jeans, and he let her pull the denim down, but when his erection jumped beneath the light stroke of her fingers over cotton, he knew better than to let her pull off his boxers, too. All it would take was the slightest touch of her fingertips over him, and he’d lose it.

  A few seconds after removing his boxers himself, he kicked off his last piece of clothing and both of them were finally naked. He kissed her and reveled in the amazing feeling of her bare skin sliding against his for the first time.

  His.

  She was his.

  The thought was echoing over and over in his head when she told him, "I’m ready now. "

  Slowly caressing her gorgeous curves, moving his hand over her breasts, waist, hips, and inner thighs, he finally slicked his fingers through her wetness. She arched into his touch, and he bit down on her earlobe.

  "Baby, you’re more than ready. "

  He stroked her again, moving his fingers inside of her in just the right way to make her grip his shoulders more tightly as her inner muscles clenched hard over him. Her mouth was sweet against his as he kissed her with the ferocity that he wouldn’t let himself use in the thrust of his hand up against her.

  "Soon," he promised her, knowing what she really wanted. . . his body moving into her, hard against soft. "But only after you come again for me at least one more time. "

  He matched the rhythm of his tongue against hers with the plunge of his fingers into her incredibly welcoming body. He’d always loved women and sex, but nothing he’d ever experienced before compared to being with Brooke. No woman he’d ever been with had been so pure in her sensuality, so willing to give herself over to his touch, to the press of his lips on her, to the stroke of his fingertips across every sensitive patch of skin, both inside and out.

  She was still trembling, still pulsing over his hand as she said, "That feels so good, Rafe. " She cupped his face in her hands and pulled his mouth back down to hers, kissing him in her sweetly seductive way.

  He could have watched, listened to, felt her come all night long. But both of them had been more than patient for the past two days. Shifting away from her just enough to reach the condoms he’d pulled out of his jeans, he was about to rip one of the packages open when Brooke said, "Now that I did what you told me to," she said with that sexy spark in her eyes, "I can’t wait to be kinky with you. "

  Forgetting all about the condom in his hand, Rafe almost exploded right then and there. God, she had no idea how close he was to taking her hips in his hands and thrusting into her to lose himself in her softness, in her beauty, in the look in her eyes that told him he could do absolutely anything he wanted with her.

  No. Damn it, he needed to stay in control. Somehow, some way, he needed to remember that Brooke was different. Special.

  And far more precious than any woman he’d ever been with.

  "I told you," he somehow managed to grit out, "I’m not going to do that kind of stuff to you. "

  Her full lower lip pouted slightly at him, and he had to nip at it, even as she said, "But I want you to. " Sweet Lord, she needed to stop saying those things, but then she added, "You told me last night you’d make me beg. "

  "No, Brooke," he pleaded with her, "don’t beg me. "

  Everything stilled between them in that moment as she looked up at him, her eyes full of desire, but also clear. . . and decided.

  "Be wild with me. " She stroked her hands down his chest, her nails lightly scoring his chest. "Please. "

  Rafe had never been particularly gentle in bed, but he wanted to be gentle with Brooke. Tender, too, because of how special she was to him.

  Of course, the irony was that just when he was trying to be gentle and tender, she was asking for wild. For kinky.

  Still intent on doing whatever he needed to do to resist her pleas, though he wanted that wildness just as badly as she did, when she reached for his shaft, the only way he could keep the game from being over right then and there was to grab her wrists and pull them as far away from his erection as he could.

  It was in that exact moment that he gripped her arms tightly above her head—a
throaty moan leaving her lips as if he were already inside of her—that Rafe realized the power Brooke had over him.

  He’d vowed not to let himself go crazy, had sworn that he wouldn’t let himself forget to be gentle. He could never forgive himself for stealing Brooke’s wide-eyed innocence, for sullying any part of her sweetness.

  But the way she was begging was more than enough to drive a guy crazy. . . and to have him losing what was left of his patience.

  Needing her now, Rafe used his knees and thighs to push her legs open wide, and then wider still. She writhed sensuously beneath him, her eyes cloudy with desire, her pretty mouth plump from the kisses with which he’d ravaged them, her skin flushed with arousal, her breasts so full and soft and sweet that he had to close his mouth over one peak again.

  He pulled back from her breast with a scrape of his teeth over her sensitive flesh that had her begging again. Her words shouldn’t have made any sense—Need. Please. Take. Want—but he had no trouble deciphering them at all because they were the same ones playing on repeat in his head.

  He’d planned on taking her slowly. He’d warned himself to be gentle with her. But as her heat, her scent, the sweet taste of her mouth pushed him to the edge, with her wrists still tightly restrained above her head in one of his hands, Rafe used the other to shove on the condom. He pushed into her in one hard stroke, so deep that she gasped aloud.

  Oh God, I’ve hurt her.

  He tried to still himself inside of her, but before he could manage anything even close to it, or apologize for being too rough, she was moving beneath him, her soft curves and muscles working hard to take him even deeper. Her neck was arched back, her eyelids fluttering, her strong fingers opening, then clenching above where he was holding her wrists. A sheen of sweat gleamed on her skin, and he could have sworn she was glowing.

  Just as her inner muscles began to pulse around him, her lips curved up into a smile. One so full of bliss, so pure and heartfelt, he could hardly believe he was lucky enough to be the one to see it. . . and to be the man who had made her that happy.

  Watching her giving herself up entirely to pleasure and perfect joy beneath him, Rafe couldn’t do anything but give himself up to the unbelievable pleasure, too.

  No longer holding anything back, he thrust into her hard, and then harder still. Sweat dripped from his body to hers, one drop running down between her breasts as wet skin rubbed against wet skin.

  "Now, Brooke. " Her eyes flew open, so dilated with arousal that the black of her pupils had pushed out nearly all of the green. "Now. "

  As if she’d simply been waiting for his command, before either of them could take their next breath, she was exploding beneath him, around him, holding nothing back at all as her climax rocked them both.

  Chapter Sixteen

  "That was better than chocolate!"

  Rafe lifted his head from the crook of her neck. "How much better?"

  Uh-oh, she hadn’t realized she’d said the words aloud. But how could she be embarrassed with him after how close they’d been? How close they still were, actually, with his wonderfully large body pressing hers into the mattress.

  "Way better," she replied. "Especially that last part. "

  He looked surprised when he saw that he was still holding her arms over her head, almost as if he hadn’t realized he’d done it at all. Cool air rushed over her wrists as he quickly let her go. "Did I hurt you?"

  She frowned at his question. "Of course you didn’t. " But when she looked at her wrists, she could clearly see the imprints of his fingers across her skin.

  "Damn it, I did. "

  She shook her head. "No, it’s just that I’m so pale. My skin always marks a little when something’s pressed up against it, but it disappears really fast. "

  When he got up to throw away the condom, she knew he was going to blame himself for something he hadn’t done, but she wouldn’t let him do it. Not to himself. And not to her, either.
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