Read Her Charming Heartbreaker Online

Authors: Sonia Parin

Tags: #humor, #family, #family relationships, #love romance, #family and friends, #humor about romance, #humor about brothers

Her Charming Heartbreaker (18 page)

BOOK: Her Charming Heartbreaker
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A happy tune whistled
in his head. He strode back toward the bar, looked up, and met
Mitch’s gaze. Twirling his cue stick, Mitch shook his head and
stretched his lips into a grin.

The hairs on the back
of Theo’s head stood up. This isn’t going to turn out well, Theo
thought. He took a step toward the exit, and then stopped.

Mitch set his cue stick
down on the pool table and, in a few easy strides, he cut the
distance between them. Everything else happened in slow motion.

“I got this,” Mitch
said giving his brother Matthew a nod, and giving Theo a narrow
window of opportunity. A fighting chance. It was long enough for
Theo to engage his reflexes. The blow he knew was coming could be
deflected. In fact, Theo could have Mitch lying on his back with
only two easy moves but he instinctively knew Mitch wouldn’t take
it lying down. He’d get up again. And he’d keep getting up until he
made his point. In the end, Theo settled for a compromise.

Mitch gave him a
toothpaste commercial smile, drew his fist back, and delivered his
message.

The impact took a few
seconds to register sending shock waves through his body. Theo gave
his jaw a tentative brush. In a minute, it would hurt. A lot.
There’d be a bruise but some ice would help stave off the worst of
the pain. It could have been worse. Luckily, he had many years of
experience hanging around stuntmen and had picked up a trick or
two, which only worked so long as one could read the direction of
the blow.

“No hard feelings?”
Mitch asked.

Theo gave him a brief
shake of his head. “None.”

“Think of it as a
warning. If you break Eddie’s heart, there’ll be more where that
came from. Only you won’t know which one of us will deliver the
comeuppance.”

 

* * *

 

Eddie strode up to
Claire Muldoon’s front porch. The butterflies flitting around her
stomach were thoroughly intoxicated... sloshed with anticipation.
She’d kept herself busy all afternoon drawing up a list of pros and
cons.

The night before Joyce
had told her Theo wasn’t Ben’s father. Eddie had surged to her
feet, her gaze zeroing in on Theo who’d been sitting only a few
tables away from her. Then her legs had turned to noodles and she’d
slumped back down.

Why hadn’t he told
her?

Because he’d wanted to
use Claire as a shield? Because he was in Eden for only a short
while and he didn’t want to start something that wouldn’t go
anywhere? Because...

The list of questions
had grown at a rate of knots, but Theo was the only one who could
give her answers.

When he’d found her in
the office, she’d been a second away from making a firm decision.
The night before she’d talked about moving on, keeping busy,
putting herself out there. She’d decided she needed to stick to her
guns and take that first step. If Theo had wanted her...

But he had.

He’d shown her with
that kiss days before and earlier in her office. When he’d put his
hands on her...

She hadn’t known what
to do or think. Each day had been bringing her closer to accepting
the fact he was with someone else. She’d been doing really well,
and then Joyce had burst her bubble…

When the same words had
spilled out of Theo, they’d hung in the air between them, and then
he’d taken possession of her mouth as if he hadn’t needed any
assurances from her because he’d known all along how much she’d
craved him.

It had been better than
the first time.

Theo knew how to kiss,
the gentle caress of his lips engaging all her senses, inviting,
promising a rollercoaster ride of pleasure...

If she did a
blindfolded test, lining up a dozen men with Theo among them, and
kissed them all...

She’d have no trouble
picking him.

There had been
something honest about the way he’d held her, the way he’d looked
at her. Then she’d seen the flip side of the coin, the rawness of
sexual hunger, and she’d realized nothing she did or said would
have stopped him. He’d been driven by a single-minded purpose. The
subject hadn’t been open for discussion, as if she’d been an open
book, her emotions giving her away, revealing how she felt about
him.

She pressed the
doorbell and stepped back, her arms folded across her chest. She’d
get answers from him tonight.

He wasn’t with Claire.
Ben wasn’t his son...

“Yeah, try telling that
to the judge.” She’d been too quick to believe him. What if his
disclosure had been a lie? People lied all the time to get what
they wanted and she’d fallen for it like the desperate fool she
was. She wanted to believe him but in reality, she knew next to
nothing about Theo Kendrick. She had no idea what he was capable of
doing and saying to get what he wanted...

The front door opened.
Her breath rushed in and out. “What happened to you?” Before Theo
could answer, she raised her hand. “Let me guess. You encountered
someone’s fist. Which one of them did it?”

Theo gave her a soft
laugh. “What are you going to do?”

“Take a riding crop to
them.”

“Which one?”

“The first one who
crosses my path. They were all in on it and whichever one of them
did it, he could have broken your jaw.”

“They needed to get
their point across. I couldn’t take that away from them.”

She stared at him.
There were times when she feared she’d never understand men. Eddie
gave an impatient shake of her head. When she saw a hint of
mischief dancing in his eyes, her annoyance with the entire male
population floundered.

“If you’re not up to
kissing me tonight, I will throttle my brothers.”

“I think the blow
damaged my hearing. I missed your words of sympathy.”

“You’re a big boy, I’m
sure you can look after yourself.” But she’d still lash out at her
brothers. They had no right to interfere with her life, shrouding
her with their protectiveness. She could fend for herself. Roll
with the punches like a well-trained Hollywood stunt—

“Are you going to come
in or do you want me to serve dinner out on the front porch?”

“Did you let him hit
you on purpose?” His father was a movie star. Theo must have grown
up around movie sets, meeting actors, stuntmen...

He gave her a crooked
smile, reached for her hand, and drew her inside.

Eddie forgot everything
she’d been mulling over since the night before. She didn’t want to
talk. She wanted to press against his chest, to slide her hands up
to his shoulders, to relive their earlier encounter and make sure
she hadn’t imagined it. To pick up where they’d left off...

“Eddie,” Theo said
against her lips. “We’ll never get to the dinner part—” His hand
shifted to the small of her back and pressed her against him,
molding her body against his, sending her heart on a wild
gallop.

They could eat later,
she thought. She would have told him so but her mouth was too busy
tasting him. After that afternoon’s sudden appearance in her
office, like an unexpected burst of sunshine on a dreary day, it
looked like she would get her third disastrous relationship, after
all. Whether she liked it or not. This man would break her heart.
Shatter it into a million pieces so minute she’d never be able to
put herself back together again.

“Something smells
good,” she said between breaths.

“Salmon.”

“You actually
cooked?”

“There’s also a bottle
of Perrier Jouet chilling in the fridge...” He growled softly and
taking a firmer hold of her waist he swirled them both away from
the front door, which he kicked shut with the heel of his shoe. “I
lit candles,” he added.

He pressed her against
the hallway wall, his mouth loving hers with steady strokes of his
tongue, strokes that increased in intensity sending an acute flow
of heat surging through her body that nearly made her legs buckle
from under her. Eddie tried to snatch back a stray thought. She’d
meant to... she’d meant to tell him off... to do her wagging finger
routine... Why had he waited all this time to say he wasn’t with
Claire?

“Candles?” she asked
instead.

“To set the mood.”

“You’re a romantic?”
And why did she make the word sound so alien? He probably sent
women flowers and held doors open for them.

“I like to think of
myself as thorough.”

She drew back long
enough to inhale a deep breath. “I’m sorry to ruin your plans, but
dinner can burn for all I care. I want you now.” Before she changed
her mind and came to her senses. She didn’t recognize her own
voice. It sounded like a purr. Husky. Luscious and thick. The words
danced around her mind and seemed to vibrate through her body in
tune with the thumping of her pulse points.

Why had he waited this
long to say he wasn’t with Claire?

Stop thinking about
that, Eddie. Telling him off now would ruin the moment. She gasped
against his mouth. “Now, Theo. Right here.”

He seemed to take
direction quite well using it as a springboard. Mindless with the
urgency of her need, she couldn’t follow what he did, how he
managed to unbutton his trousers, to pull down her panties...

“Here?” he asked as if
confirming her demand.

“So help me, if you
insist on finding a bed I will use one of my moves on you.”

“Where’s this
aggression coming from?” he asked reaching into his back pocket and
retrieving a condom.

She’d heard that once
too often lately. Maybe all this abstinence was bringing out the
worst in her. Yes, years of doing the right thing, of being
deluded, of expecting the obvious outcome of a happy-ever-after
conclusion had brought her to this point of cut to the chase
desperation. She wouldn’t get a wedding ring out of this. That
would come once she’d freed herself of the dark cloud that had been
hovering over her.

“Focus, Theo.”

“I feel I’m being
used,” he said ripping open the packet.

“You’re such a girl,”
she said on a gurgle of laughter.

Theo pressed himself
against her, robbing her of her next breath, his eyes blazing with
the heat of intention.

“Okay, I take it back.
You’re all male.”

“Too late.”

“What are you going to
do?”

“I’m not telling you,”
he growled against her mouth, his hands whipping around her bottom
and lifting her up against him.

“I feel I’ve awakened
the giant within you.”

His open mouth kiss
drew a gasp of elation out of her.

“Hold on,” he said.

“Don’t drop me.”

“I’m holding you.”

Their limbs tangled,
their breaths mingled. Hers felt hot enough to lift a hot air
balloon off the ground. The thoroughness of his kiss told her he’d
been wanting this for a while.

He’s got you, she told
herself and relaxed into the rhythm he set. One minute she was
kissing him and the next she stilled, sensing something different,
like a shimmering light rising inside her, glowing brighter and
brighter, spinning and twirling.

He’s got you...

 

 

 

Chapter Fourteen

 

 

“Where did this come
from?” Eddie asked as she took a sip of the champagne Theo had
poured for her. “I know we don’t stock it at the pub. And you
didn’t have the time to drive half way to Melbourne for something
like this. It’s top of the range vintage.”

They’d just ripped each
other’s clothes off and she wanted to talk about the champagne?

She looked delectable
in his shirt. She looked even better out of it.

Theo sat beside her on
the couch where they’d settled after their frenzied, up against the
wall, lovemaking. “Getting the champagne was a stroke of luck.
Trying to buy liquor from the pub would have been an exercise in
futility. It would definitely have earned me a black eye to go with
my bruised jaw.”

“So where did you get
it?”

“I met Luke Sterling
today. He bailed me out.” The local cattle baron had actually
approached him as Theo had made his way out of the pub, engaging
him in easy conversation.

“That explains it. He’s
bound to have a well-stocked cellar.” Eddie tucked her feet under
her. “Did he recognize you?”

“Recognize me? As in,
did I give myself away as the man who intended having monkey sex
with you?”

A light blush rose to
her cheeks. Was her conversation geared toward avoiding talking
about the fact they’d just had sex in the hallway?

“He’d heard there was
someone new in town and had been meaning to introduce himself.” And
tactfully inquire about his business here. “One thing led to
another and I asked if he knew where I could find some good
champagne. He invited me over to his place and kindly offered free
access to his cellar.”

She took a sip of her
drink. “I’m sorry about ruining your soufflé. You probably had it
timed to be ready for my arrival.”

“You won’t hear any
complaints from me. Although, the way you said it sort of erodes my
masculinity. Again. I feel like I should perform a ceremonial
burning of my apron.”

“There’s nothing
unmanly about you. But I do feel guilty about wrecking your plans.
At least the salmon won’t go to waste. You could have it with
scrambled eggs for breakfast.”

“Breakfast in bed? That
sounds like a splendid idea.”

“I wasn’t fishing for
an invitation... or offering...” She played with the button of his
shirt tantalizing him with a glimpse of her breasts. “Besides, are
you actually willing to risk it? You know my brothers will know if
I don’t go home tonight.”

“Are you daring me to
keep you here?”

She shrugged. “You
should be prepared for trouble. I’ll do my best to put them off
your trail, but they’re thickheaded. Maybe I should make the best
of tonight. Ruined meal and all. You might not live to see another
sunset.”

BOOK: Her Charming Heartbreaker
11.55Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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