Home to Me (The Andrades, Book 2) (5 page)

BOOK: Home to Me (The Andrades, Book 2)
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She’d seen firsthand the dangerous temptations that came with being wealthy. More than a few of her old friends from high school cited boredom as the reason they indulged in self-destructive behaviors. Well into their twenties, they still wrecked cars, slept with each other’s boyfriends, and partied in VIP areas where they could do as they pleased without the prying eyes of the public.

Nick was part of that world.

The door to the balcony on the left was open. Rena took a step inside the room and looked around. Nick was standing beside a table with his back to her, just back far enough from the wooden railing that he wouldn’t be visible to those below.

Her breath caught in her throat as she soaked in the perfection of the mostly nude man before her. His dark boxer briefs clung to his tight ass and hugged his muscular thighs. She wouldn’t have been human if she hadn’t taken a moment to appreciate the cut of his bare back and the breadth of the strong shoulders above it. Apparently he worked out as hard as he partied.

Oh, God.

I told Serge he was wrong; I lied. I’m a bad, bad friend. I do want more.

I always have, no matter what I’ve told myself.

The intensity of her attraction to him made Rena nervous, and she began to babble internally.

Hello, I’m lost. Can anyone tell me how to get back to denial?

It’s a beautiful place located in the land of sanity. You know, where things make sense and I don’t leer at men in their underwear?

Nick picked up a glass of clear liquid and the napkin beneath it fluttered to the floor. He bent to retrieve it. Rena bit her lower lip as he did. The movement rippled the muscles in his back and thighs. Mouth dry, Rena imagined running her hands over both.

She let out a wistful sigh that echoed through the room.

Nick froze, straightened, and turned. Their eyes met across the room. Unable to deny herself, Rena let her gaze slide down his lightly haired chest, over his well-defined abs, to a part of him the dark briefs outlined lovingly.

Damn, no wonder women lined up to date him. Even in an unaroused state, his size was enough to make her jaw go slack. She knew she should look away, but he stirred beneath her scrutiny and an answering heat swept through her.

Whoa.

Just, whoa.

In slow motion, Rena raised her eyes. She expected him to be amused, but the expression on his face was anything but jovial. He’d never looked at her that way before. One kiss had changed everything.

And nothing, she reminded herself harshly.

It’s not surprising he wants me.
She shook her head and squared her shoulders.
I’m a woman and I’m breathing—that’s his criteria. Add to that how he was told I’m off-limits and I’m suddenly on his who-to-do list. Do not read anything into it. This is Nick we’re talking about. He’d do a nun just to say he had. And he either just screwed someone or was just about to. Either way, I need to stop looking at his amazing abs and start reminding myself why being with him, even one time, would be a mistake.

And I will, right after I give myself a moment to enjoy how it feels to be wanted by a man like him. Yeowza.

Rena swallowed hard as Nick closed the distance between them. He stopped less than a foot from her. Close enough that, had she raised her hand, she could have touched the smooth muscles of his chest. Close enough that she could feel the heat emanating from his body.

“What are you doing here, Rena?” The warm timbre of his voice made her skin tingle with anticipation. A woman couldn’t be blamed for the naughty thoughts that raced through her head when he used that tone.

I’m here because he needs tough love. Focus.
Rena gathered her inner resolve, calmed her libido, and asked, “Can we talk?” She quickly scanned the room. “What I have to say won’t take long. Then you can go back to your
party
.”

“No party,” he said, his expression becoming guarded. “I’m alone.”

The way he said
alone
sent her thoughts scattering, and she frowned. Her feelings for him were a complicated mix of yearning and caring. She wanted to hug him and tell him that everything was going to be okay. She wanted to throw herself into his arms and lose herself in his kiss again. Her body had never hummed for a man the way it did right then for Nick. She licked her bottom lip.

He’s a piece of chocolate cake in my fridge at midnight. Regret will trump any pleasure found in giving in to the temptation of him. Not to mention, he’s half naked for someone else.
“I’m surprised your date left so early.”

“I didn’t have a date.”

“Really?” She looked down at his boxers again, which were now straining to contain his growing excitement. She’d thought he was big before, but the current size of him took her breath away, and she blushed as images of what he’d look like without that thin layer of cotton filled her head. She looked off to one side. “Go put your pants on.”

A sexy chuckle rumbled in his chest. “Are you finding it difficult to concentrate?”

Rena took a step back and put her hands on her hips. “This isn’t funny, Nick.”

A roguish smile spread across his face, revealing dimples rarely displayed. He took a step closer. “I’m not laughing. Why are you here, Rena?”

Rena held her ground and straightened her shoulders defiantly. “I told you. We have to talk.”

“About the kiss?” He raised a hand and traced the line of her jaw lightly with the back of one finger. “The only reason you’d come all this way to discuss it is if you wanted another.” His finger moved upward to gently trace the outline of her lips.

She opened her mouth to deny it, but his finger slid inside and traced the wet softness just inside her bottom lip. She flicked the tip of her tongue across his finger. His eyes darkened and his breathing deepened.

I did not mean to do that.

He held her eyes and moved his finger deeper into her mouth. He circled the tip of her tongue playfully, caressing it, exploring it. “Do you even know what you want, Rena? Do you want me to show you?” She closed her lips around his finger.

He withdrew his hand and pulled her fully against him. He held her there, pressed against his need for her, and growled sexily into her ear, “I was thinking a little lower.”

Rena raised her hands to push him away, but when her hands met his bare shoulders her fingers dug into them. He felt so good beneath her hands. She wanted to touch more, but instead she kept her hands still while she fought for sanity. “This isn’t why I came here.”

“We’re not children anymore.” He took one of her hands from his shoulder and slid it beneath the band of his boxers. “You can take what you want.”

He was hard and ready and the width of him sent her heart beating wildly in her chest. Her hand automatically ran up and down his pulsing cock, exploring the length of him. She’d never been with a man of his size, and in a frenzy of desire she wondered if it would be as good as magazines claimed it was.

Take what you want.

Sex was something that happened between two people who had reached a certain level of commitment. It was gentle and sweet. And that’s how Rena liked it. Or at least that was what she had always told herself.

This was different.

This was lust. Pure and simple.

It overshadowed everything else.

She tried to withdraw her hand, but he laid his hand over hers, holding her there against him. Rubbing her hand up and down along pulsing shaft. “Are you afraid, Rena? You don’t have to be. I would fuck you until you couldn’t remember the name of anyone before me. I’d make you come so many times you’d think of me every time you pleasure yourself.”

She wanted to be offended by how he was talking to her, but she couldn’t deny how it aroused her. “I don’t do that,” she whispered. Her admission was rewarded by an excited clench of his hand over hers.

“You will,” he promised, and his mouth swept down and claimed hers. His tongue boldly pushed between her lips and claimed hers. He sucked gently, rhythmically, until hers engaged with his fully in an intimate dance. Meanwhile, his hand moved hers up and down against him until she was caressing him urgently on her own.

Rena gasped when he expertly unbuttoned her blouse and kissed his way down her neck to her nipples, which were pointing eagerly through the thin silk of her bra. He nipped at them, tugging on them, even through the material. Rena threw her head back and with one hand held his head to her.

There was a crash of a chair behind them and Rena jumped out of Nick’s arms. She turned in time to see a blushing cocktail waitress righting a chair and picking clothing off the floor. “I’m so sorry,” the woman said. “I didn’t see you at first. I was going to leave the clothes on the table for you, Mr. Andrade, but I can bring them back later.”

“Leave them,” Nick growled.

The intrusion was a splash of reality for Rena. She hastily rebuttoned her shirt and tucked it back into her skirt. She wasn’t the type who embarrassed easily, but then she’d never done anything like this before.

What the hell am I doing?

What was I thinking?

I wasn’t.

That’s the problem.

I let one kiss completely unravel me.

I’m at a club, for God’s sake. I don’t do things like this.

She stole a glance at Nick after the waitress left but couldn’t decipher his expression. Was he angry? Frustrated? “Sorry about that,” he said.

“Sorry about what? That you mauled me?” She was unable to keep anger out of her voice. When he approached her, she retreated and said wildly, “Don’t touch me.”

He advanced and she backed away until she was against the side of a table. He took her chin in one hand and forced her eyes to his. “You came to me, Rena. Don’t pretend you didn’t enjoy that kiss or you weren’t open to where it was going. I’d be inside you right now if we hadn’t been interrupted, and you’d be digging your nails into my back and calling out my name.”

She couldn’t help but imagine them intimately entwined the way he described.
Would I have gone that far? Shamelessly? Right here?
She licked her bottom lip nervously. “That’s not true.”

He bent closer, and her eyelids lowered in anticipation of his mouth claiming hers again. The first touch was the briefest of touches, just enough to make her quiver with need. “Oh, my little Rena, you know it is. And there is no reason we can’t continue what we started. I’ve wanted you for a long time, and tonight I could use the distraction.”

Distraction? That’s all it would be to him?

A myriad of unpleasant emotions swelled up and stamped back the desire raging within her.
I am such an idiot.
Rena raised her hand and slapped him across the face. His head reeled back and his nostrils flared angrily.

She’d never hit anyone in her whole life. “You deserved that,” she said, trying not to sound sorry even though she’d instantly regretted her action.

He rubbed a hand thoughtfully over his reddened cheek. “Maybe.”

Rena hugged her arms protectively around her waist. “I’m sorry I hit you.”

A rueful smile curled one side of his lips. “Don’t be, because then I’ll have to say I’m sorry I kissed you, and I’m not. I’m not sorry at all.”

“Stop. I don’t want to play this game. I don’t know if you’re coming on to me because you think being with me would upset Gio, or if I’m some stand-in for whoever walked out on you. I don’t know, and I don’t care. This . . .” Rena waved one hand between them wildly, “cannot happen.”

Nick’s jaw tightened and his eyes narrowed. “I would never use you to get back at Gio.”

Rena closed her eyes and sighed, then opened them and said, “I want to believe that.”

“You can.” He rubbed a hand harshly over his forehead with frustration when Rena stared at him silently. “What are you waiting for me to say?”

Giving herself an internal smack, Rena shook her head.
What am I waiting for? Some explanation of why he is in his boxers that has nothing to do with being with another woman? I am royally screwed up.
“Nothing. Not a damn thing. But I do expect you to listen to me for a minute. You need to call Gio tonight. You need to apologize to him and work this out. You’re almost thirty, Nick. Look at you. Is this really all you want from your life?”

“What gives you the goddamn right to come here and judge me? Just who the fuck do you think you are?”

His words stung, but Rena didn’t let them stop her from saying what she’d come to say. She held out a hand. “Who am I? Nick, we’ve been friends for most of our lives. I love you”—Nick’s eyebrows shot up, then his head snapped back as she continued—“and your brothers. I hate to see any of you unhappy.”

Nick let out a long audible breath. “Go home, Rena.”

Rena hesitated. She didn’t want to leave, but she knew she couldn’t stay. “Nick . . .”

“Do us both a favor and don’t come back.”

There was a finality to his tone that shook Rena. A tear rolled down her cheeks as she inwardly cursed herself for believing she could convince him to do anything—and for how close she’d come to making a monumental mistake.

BOOK: Home to Me (The Andrades, Book 2)
3.89Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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