Authors: Brenda Jackson
She tried not to notice he was now unbuttoning his shirt. “Is there?”
“Yes. I felt myself falling for you. You were too good to be true, and deep down, a tiny part of me wanted to believe you really weren’t true. So when I found what I thought was proof that you weren’t the woman I thought you were, I jumped on it. I apologized for it and you said you accepted my apology. Yet, you’re acting cold, unemotional and dispassionate toward me. I want the old Natalie back.”
“You can’t have the old Natalie back.”
He stood in the middle of her living room, shoeless and shirtless. “Do you care to bet on that?”
No, she didn’t care to bet on it, not when he was looking at her like she was a piece of chocolate he planned to gobble up. She took a step back. He actually assumed—even after everything—that he could actually just walk in here and expect things to be as they were before.
“I don’t think that,” he said as if he’d read her mind. “There are a number of things we do need to straighten out—like why you didn’t tell me everything in the beginning. We will get to that. But first, we need to get to this.”
His hand went to the zipper of his slacks. She saw the huge bulge there and remembered the last time she’d seen him in such a state and how she had taken matters into her own hands. Literally. But she didn’t want to think about that. She didn’t want to remember.
But when he began easing down his zipper, memories flooded her—every tantalizing detail—and her mind became jammed with all kinds of thoughts, jumbled with all sorts of memories.
“Will you come over here or do I have to come over there?”
She knew what she wanted to say but she couldn’t form the words. He took her silence as indecisiveness and said, “Before either of us takes a step, I think you ought to know something, Dr. Natalie Ford.”
She swallowed. “What?”
“I love you very much. I didn’t think I would or could say those words to a woman, but I’m saying them to you.”
He loved her? Actually loved her?
Before she could let her heart fill up with joy, she had to know one thing. “And what about what I do for a living?”
“What about it? Should it matter?”
She shrugged. “It did to other men. They considered me a chemistry geek.”
Donovan held steadfast to her gaze. Now he understood, at least he thought he did. But to make sure, he asked, “Did other men find what you do for a living a turnoff or something?”
She nodded. “Yes.”
“It’s their loss for not getting to know the real you. The passionate you. I don’t care about you being a
chemistry geek because in my bed you are a sexual goddess. You make me feel things no other woman has ever made me feel.”
He took a step forward. “You’re mine, Natalie. You became mine the first day I saw you in my bed. I later made you mine in that same bed. The first for me and any woman. And you’ve technically christened my entire house. There’s not a single room I can go in without thinking of you, without remembering making love to you in it.”
He glanced around. “And now I want to do the same for yours. I want to leave my mark in every room in this house, so whenever you’re here without me, you
“That’s an ambitious goal, don’t you think?”
He chuckled. “Yes, but one I plan to achieve, starting now. In here.”
She stood there, watching as he removed his pants, his briefs and then sheathed himself in a condom. Her mind barely registered what he was doing. Instead it was still fixed on the words he had spoken earlier.
I love you very much.
How could he possibly mean it? She knew how she felt about him, but how could he love her back?
“Natalie.” She blinked and then realized he was there, standing right in front of her. He had come to her. Naked. For several long moments his eyes studied her, and she felt the intensity of his gaze throughout her body.
“Now for your clothes. Strip for me,” he suggested in a soft, taunting tone.
She wouldn’t know where to start. But for him, she knew it would come naturally. She took a step back
and eased her bathrobe off her shoulders, letting it fall in a pool at her feet. Her gown wasn’t anything sexy, definitely nothing like the lingerie he’d purchased for her last week. Instead she wore white-cotton baby-doll pj’s. But from the way he was looking at her, she could have worn another Victoria’s Secret creation.
“You’re slowing down, Natalie.”
She blinked, realizing she had.
“I’m not sure how long I can hold out and behave myself,” he said.
Her gaze traveled past his chest down to his middle and saw what he meant. Amazing. She smiled. Her pj’s might be simple, but he was making her feel sexier by the minute. It didn’t take her any time after that to remove her sleepwear. Then she stood there, facing him and just as naked as he was.
He didn’t say anything, but she knew what he was thinking. He took another step forward, and her heart began beating fast. Then faster. And then he was there, right in front of her, wrapping his arms around her, sliding his palms all over her back, cupping her bottom and then returning his hands to the center of her back. And before she could blink, utter a single word, he had her off her feet and into his arms.
He stared down at her. “There’s one thing you need to know about me. About any Steele.”
“What is that?”
“We love forever,” he said.
And then he lowered his mouth to hers, kissed her in a way that only he could, giving her all of his love, his emotions, his heart.
She kissed him back, tasting his urgency. She
murmured a soft moan when he placed her on the sofa, breaking off their kiss.
He dropped to his knees and gazed down at her. “I will cherish you and your body for as long as I live, Natalie. That is my promise to you. I will love you, be there for you and I will always be proud of what you do. Admire your work. Honor you. And belong to you. Only to you.” Then he leaned closer to reclaim her mouth, as he continued to stroke the flames of desire. Doing what he’d said he would do, restirring her emotions.
Donovan kissed her with all his heart. If he was doing so with the fervor of a starving man, it couldn’t be helped. He was starving for her, to savor her, taste her, claim her irrevocably as his. After tonight there wouldn’t be any questions, no lingering doubts about what they meant to each other. They still had some talking to do, reassurances to make, but right now, at this moment, more than anything he wanted to restore her passion, passion he had foolishly taken from her.
He broke off the kiss and settled his mouth near the curve of her neck and placed a passion mark there, officially claiming her as his. And then his mouth moved lower to her breasts. The moment he latched on to a nipple, her lips parted and she released a soft moan.
Hungry for her in a way that he had never been hungry for another woman, he sucked her nipples shamelessly and with a desperation he felt in his engorged sex. She began shifting restlessly about as passion began to build. Then his hands, which had brought her to climax so many times he’d lost count, stroked her feminine core. She was wet. She was hot. She was ready.
With the force of a magnet, his mouth was pulled
lower, down to the center of her legs where he buried his tongue, replacing his fingers deep inside of her. She nearly came off the sofa but he held tight to her hips, refusing to let her go anywhere.
He heard her say his name over and over again, coherently and incoherently. It didn’t matter. What mattered was the fact that she was no longer emotionless with him. He had rebuilt her fire, her passion, with one hell of an intimate seduction.
And when her body seemed primed for an orgasm, he pulled away and joined her on the sofa, positioned his body in place over hers. He glanced down and whispered softly, “I love you, Natalie.”
And then he eased his body into her, penetrated her hot, wet folds, lifting her hips with his hands to assure a snug fit.
He threw his head back. Being inside her felt good. It felt right. This was where he belonged. And then he began moving, thrusting in and out of her, losing himself in her passion.
The more he stroked, the more she squeezed him, clenched him with her inner muscles, pulled everything out of him.
They climaxed together. Simultaneously. And with an intensity that took his breath away. The orgasm shook him to the core, as waves of pleasure washed over them. And he knew inside of her would forever be his home.
“Will you marry me?”
Natalie opened her eyes and looked up to see Don
ovan gazing down at her. They had moved from the living room and were now on her stairway. Their bodies were still connected and not surprisingly, he was still hard inside of her. He had an intense sexual hunger, and she enjoyed feeding it.
She wrapped her arms around him tight. “Only if we can have a long engagement.”
He lifted a brow. “How long?”
“Um, at least until June. I need to wrap up the school year here before I can move to Charlotte.”
“You don’t have to. I can move here and telecommute. That shouldn’t be hard to arrange.”
She appreciated him considering doing such a thing but he didn’t have to. “No, I want to move back to be close to Aunt Earline. With Eric out of the country, it’s for the best and besides, it’s time I come out of the classroom and do other things. I like babies.”
He smiled, thinking about his newborn niece. “I like babies, too.”
She shifted to sit up, and he couldn’t do anything but ease himself out of her. For now. She looked over at him. “Tell me why you thought I had betrayed you, Donovan.”
As best as he could, he told her about Gleeve-Ware and, not surprisingly, with her chemical background, she understood and gave Juan high praises for his achievement. “That product will revolutionize the rubber and plastics industry,” she told him. “That’s wonderful. I can’t wait to see everyone’s reaction come November.”
They talked some more, and she shared with him why she had been reluctant to tell him that she was a college professor, about how in the past men had always felt threatened by her achievements.
“Where they felt jealousy toward your work, Natalie, I can only feel admiration.”
She fell into his arms and he held her tight. She twisted her head a little and met his lips. Pleasure tore through her the moment he inserted his tongue in her mouth.
Moments later, he pulled back. “Time to make it to the bedroom, sweetheart.”
She chuckled. Just as well. They had made love in the kitchen, dining room and bathroom downstairs. “Which one? I have three.”
He chuckled as he stood with her in his arms. “Tonight we will hit all three.”
And she had no reason not to believe him. She had a man who was forged of steel.
Copyright © 2009 by Brenda Streater Jackson
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
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