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Authors: Claire Kent

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Contemporary Women


BOOK: Incarnate
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Claire Kent

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.


Copyright © 2014 by Claire Kent. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means.



He was no longer a young man

Seth was approaching fifty now, and Erin knew he would never respond to her the way a younger man would. He wasn’t about speed or urgency or a quick succession of extremes. His passions were slower, deeper, longer, more powerful because of it.

He was just as intense and passionate as he’d always been. His nature hadn’t changed. But he was older now.

So was she.

She couldn’t use the kind of simplistic seduction she used to use—a flash of her breasts, a particular pose, a raunchy suggestion whispered huskily in his ear. That would intrigue him, get his attention, but it would never cause his physical needs to take precedence over his will.

His will had always been strong. It had only gotten stronger.

Any persuasion Erin wanted to pursue would have to be more nuanced, more sophisticated, more complex and multi-faceted. She would have to appeal to him in ways that went beyond the physical. Lead him into urgency slowly and from there to distraction.

Her body wasn’t what it used to be either. She still worked out—just enough to fit into the same dress-size she’d worn through her thirties. But she’d been pregnant twice, gone through childbirth twice, breastfed two babies, and dealt with the unavoidable consequences of age and gravity.

She still looked pretty good, but she didn’t look the way she’d looked at twenty-five.

So Erin didn’t change into a skimpy negligee before she went to find Seth, and she didn’t bring with her anything naughty or suggestive. Seth had never been an easy man—even in sex—and she’d be a fool to expect him to easily succumb, especially using such obvious, unsubtle techniques. Instead, she dressed with care and spent a half hour planning an appropriate strategy.

So, at ten-thirty on a Sunday evening, when she walked down the hall of their luxurious downtown apartment toward Seth’s home office, she was confident. He was an impressive man, but she wasn’t unimpressive herself.

And she’d been married to him for almost fifteen years. She could handle this.

She’d made a promise to her daughter, and she intended to keep her word.

She’d just never tell Mackenzie how she’d gone about it.

The door was half-open so Erin just stood in the doorway, watching him work.

Almost ten years ago, he’d left his cushy law firm to start his own practice, primarily so that he would have more freedom about his work schedule and so he wouldn’t have to travel so often—allowing him more family time. He was always careful now about spending enough time with her and the girls, but he still worked harder than almost anyone she knew, so he was often in his home office in the evenings.

She didn’t speak as she watched him and didn’t make any noise, but it took Seth less than a minute before he lifted his eyes from the document he was reading.

He smiled at her—the way he always did when she appeared unexpectedly—the expression transforming the focused tension on his face to something close to awe. It never failed to make her heart clench that, before he could trigger his characteristic cool control, his face would reflect an astonished delight that she was a part of his life.

The sappy feelings, which sometimes faded but never really went away, almost distracted Erin from her purpose.


She took a step inside the office. “Are you busy?”

Seth shook his head, his blue eyes giving her an automatic once-over. “No. Did you want sex?”

Erin sucked in an indignant breath. Damned man—she could never get even a step ahead of him. “How did you know? I hadn’t even said anything.”

Chuckling and leaning back in his desk chair, Seth’s expression was both fond and amused. He was still one of the most attractive men she’d ever seen—the sleek sexiness of his youth maturing into a face with more character and eyes that were far more knowing. He was just a little softer around the belly and there was gray sprinkled through the auburn brown of his hair, but women still watched him wherever they went. This evening he’d taken off the jacket of his suit, and his dress shirt was slightly rumpled. “I could smell you from down the hall.”

She gaped at him. Finally choked out, “What?
! That’s impossible—I don’t care how good your creepy sense of smell is! Besides, I’m not even that aroused yet.”

She was a little aroused, just thinking through her plan for seduction.

Seth threw his head back and laughed—long, warm, and genuine. He’d never laughed that way before they’d gotten together, and she’d always loved the sound of it.

Right now, however, it was a little annoying. “Why are you laughing? I’m serious. You couldn’t possibly have—”

“I wasn’t referring to that particular scent,” Seth explained, his voice still husky with amusement. “I smelled the scented lotion you’re wearing. You always wear it when you want to have sex.”

It was true. Erin, of course, hadn’t done anything as obvious or out of character as wear perfume, but she had wanted to make herself attractive, in every possible way. So she’d put on her favorite ginger-scented lotion in addition to choosing her most flattering bra and panties under her dress and carefully tousling her hair. She’d thought the scent was a subtle touch. Damn Seth for having noticed and correctly interpreted it.

Her annoyance at his relentless perceptiveness came close to distracting her from her mission, but she caught herself just in time.

After all, this was just a very small set-back. She’d had a whole preliminary sequence in place, but she’d just scrap that and move on to the next stage of her plan.

She gave Seth a slow, sensual smile. “I thought you liked the lotion.”

“I do.”

“So did it work?”

Seth shifted in his chair, slouching slightly in a way he almost never did, as if he were making himself more comfortable so he could enjoy what was coming. “Honestly? It did. I think I’ve connected that scent with sex so completely that I got a little hard when I smelled it.”

Erin’s mouth dropped open, in genuine, uncalculated delight. “Really?”

“Did you want to come over and verify?”

She felt a delicious pressure tightening at her center, at the sound of his textured voice and the sight of his relaxed, rumpled figure. Then she silently berated herself. Despite her carefully constructed strategy to make Seth properly receptive, she was getting more seduced by this encounter than he was.

It wouldn’t do at all.

“Maybe,” she drawled, moving farther into the office and closing the door behind her. She locked it. The girls were at home and in their rooms, but who knew when they’d decide to wander the halls. “You haven’t yet convinced me you deserve it.”

Seth’s smiled broadened, and he ignored her last comment. “In the office? Really?”

It had been ages since they’d made love anywhere except their bedroom. “Why not? Getting staid and boring in your old age?”

Seth narrowed his eyes as his smile faded, just as she’d known it would. She knew he wouldn’t be genuinely insulted by her comment—they were far too familiar with each other for him to take it seriously—but he’d know a challenge when he heard one. “What did you have in mind?”

Now he was in the right mood. His gaze had grown focused and intent, and his shoulders and abdomen had tightened. She knew he wasn’t fully aroused yet—those days were long since gone—but he would get there.

Sooner rather than later, if she had anything to do with it.

She moved one of her hands to the tie on her dress. She’d been wearing the dark green wrap dress earlier that day—which turned out to be very convenient. When she saw his eyes were fixed on her hand, she pulled loose the tie.

One side of her dress fell open, leaving only the inner tie keeping her dress in place.

Seth licked his lips as he watched her, a naturally sensuous gesture that made her inner muscles clench instinctively.

She unfastened the second tie with slow precision. Her dress fell open completely, revealing her blue lace bra and panty set.

Seth was staring at her, still slouched in his office chair. His eyes raked over her exposed body, and he took a deep breath, causing his chest to rise and fall. “Nice.”

Very slowly, Erin let the dress slide down her body to the floor. She was still wearing her high heels—higher and sexier than she normally wore. “They’re your favorite shade of blue.”

“I can see that.”

She wanted to giggle at his expression, but she managed not to break the mood. “I thought you’d like it.”

His eyes were devouring her—not with the sudden flame she remembered from their early years but with a smoldering fire, slower but every bit as hot. “I do.” Then his eyes flickered up to her face. “I’m just wondering what prompted this little striptease, no matter how much I appreciate it.”

He’d always been smart. Always been clever. Of course, he’d question her motivations for breaking out of their normal routine.

She would have to be careful.

Erin moved over closer to Seth’s desk, feeling a pang of self-consciousness despite herself. With the support of the bra, her breasts looked quite good but the flesh of her belly, thighs, and butt jiggled a little more than it should.

But all she said was, “Why not? I’m not even forty-five yet. I can still manage to be sexy occasionally.”

She’d reached Seth now, and she positioned herself between his chair and the desk. She wasn’t touching him yet.

Seth reached out and touched her, his hands sliding down her back until they were cupping her bottom. He pulled her closer to him, spreading his legs to make room for her. “Never doubted in for a minute. Women in their forties are the sexiest things ever created.”

She couldn’t help but snort at that. “You only say that because you’re married to one.” She put her hands on Seth’s shoulders but resisted when he tried to pull her into an embrace.

Seth’s eyes narrowed as he considered her statement. “Maybe you’re right. I over-generalized. I’ll rephrase.” He cleared his throat and gave her a decidedly wicked look. “Erin Thomas in her forties is the sexiest thing ever created.”

Erin couldn’t help it. She burst into laughter, reaching down to hug her husband with a wave of warm affection. “You’re full of crap,” she told him as he pulled her securely into his lap. “Plus, you’ve painted yourself into a corner. What will you do when I turn fifty?”

He nuzzled the side of her head. “Change my mind.”

Seth was a criminal defense attorney and a legal powerhouse in Atlanta—notorious for his ruthless attitude in court and even more intimidating now than when he’d been younger and a media darling. But he was also an intensely loving man, more so than anyone who didn’t know him well would ever guess. And Erin knew he loved her and their daughters with all the blinding intensity of his deep, conflicted soul.

But he wasn’t always cuddly or openly affectionate. They had sex fairly regularly—at least, what she thought must be regularly for a couple in their stage of family life—but it wasn’t as often as it used to be. And it had always been through sex that Seth was able to express his love for her most easily. When sex became less frequent, so did the consistent reassurance of his continued passion for her.

Which made times like these all the more precious to Erin.

She dropped her carefully calculated seduction scheme, without a second thought. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she snuggled into his warm chest. “You are so full of crap, it’s not even funny.”

He laughed softly, his breath blowing against her hair. But he was still Seth, and his tone was shrewd as well as fond when he asked, “So what’s going on?”

Erin might have given up her elaborate seduction scheme, but she wasn’t going to let Mackenzie down completely. So she extemporized. “Why do you ask that? Can’t I be spontaneously sexy?”

“Yes. But I’ll always want to know
you’re being spontaneously sexy.”

He knew her far too well. One of the drawbacks of being married so long.

Erin huffed, “Fine.” She readjusted so she could reach one hand down to the front of Seth’s pants. She palmed his groin, pleased to discover that—despite the distractions and his obvious suspicions—he was farther along than she’d expected. Massaging his growing erection through his pants, she continued, “Then I guess you aren’t interested in reaping the benefits of my spontaneous sexiness.”

Seth closed his eyes and breathed deeply through his nose. She knew he was concentrating on the feel of her hand as it teased him into deeper arousal.

Deciding she might as well follow through with some of her original plan—if only because she’d enjoy it as much as Seth—she slid off his lap and positioned herself on her knees in front of him.

His eyes flew open at her shift in position. Then widened when he saw what she was in the position to do.

Inordinately pleased that she’d surprised him, Erin reached up to his belt and started to unfasten it, parting his knees as she fit her body in between them.

Seth groaned deep in his throat as she slid his belt out of the belt loops. When she started to undo his trousers, he asked with breathy interest, “What did I do to deserve this?”

BOOK: Incarnate
3.99Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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