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Authors: Lilly LaRue

Tags: #contemporary, #contemporary romance, #sensual romance, #secret baby, #sexual tension

Nothing Less Than Love

BOOK: Nothing Less Than Love
11.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Happily Ever After
reserves all rights granted by the
author. No part of this book may be copied or shared without
written permission from the publisher. All characters are creations
of the author, and resemblances to any real person are

Copyright 2011, Lilly LaRue

Smashwords Edition

Cover Image Courtesy of:





Chapter One


Oh, Andrew,” Gwyneth gasped
when the house came into site. “The roses are in bloom.” She was
awed by their beauty as the limousine continued up the curving
drive. “I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve seen


Miss Gwyneth, they do bloom
every year,” his eyes twinkled as he gently reproved, “If you come
home once in a while.”


Gwyneth laughed. “I know. I’ve just
been so busy this last year. But I’m home now for three whole
months.” Gwyneth was practically bouncing up and down by the time
Andrew stopped the car at the front door and let her out. “Thank
you for picking me up from the airport.”


His white teeth flashed brilliantly
against his dark skin. “It’s always a pleasure, Miss Gwyneth. I
know Tasha is looking forward to seeing you.” Andrew waved then
continued on to the garage hidden behind the house.


Gwyneth hadn’t even made it inside
when her aunt Beth came rushing out to greet her. The two women had
the same shade of hair albeit a bit more gray in Beth’s. She kept
her hair in a smooth bob while Gwyneth’s was long and straight.
Beth shared the same eye color with Gwyneth’s mother, but Gwyneth
had her father’s big brown eyes. Beth gathered her into a big hug
that nearly swallowed the diminutive Gwyneth. “My darling, I’ve
missed you so. It’s wonderful to have you home—if only for three
months.” Beth had a husky voice that was deeper than Gwyneth’s
lilting tones.


“Beth, it is so good to be home,” she
answered as soon as her aunt released her. “Sorry I’ve stayed away
so long.”


Beth shrugged and gently reminded her.
“you couldn’t pass up the internship in New York for goodness
sake.” She hugged Gwyneth again. “Well, sweetie, I hate to cut the
reunion short but Howard and Lilly have guests coming tonight and
Jordan is extremely sick, but still insists on attending. To make
matters worse, the upstairs maid walked out last night with the
gardener to elope so we’re desperately shorthanded.”


Gwyneth smiled as her aunt started to
walk away distractedly. “Let me change clothes then I’ll be down to
help you out,” she called.


Beth’s mind was already elsewhere and
she half-heartedly responded. “no dear, it’s your homecoming. I
can’t let you...” as she walked back into the kitchen.


Shaking her head in amusement, Gwyneth
ran up to the third floor where her old bedroom was. The minute she
walked in, Gwyneth began to feel at home again. For her fourteenth
birthday Lilly had allowed her to redecorate the room any way she
chose, so Gwyneth had free reign. She’d picked a maroon velvet
spread for the bed and French provincial furniture in white.
Gwyneth tossed her suitcase on the bed but didn’t bother to unpack
any clothes. All of her comfortable things were still in the closet
and dresser, awaiting her latest visit. She tore off the skirt and
blazer before getting on a pair of short denim shorts and a yellow
t-shirt. She braided her hair and changed into old sneakers before
going downstairs to pitch in.




Beth was nowhere to be found so
Gwyneth consulted with Tasha, the downstairs maid, and Andrew’s
daughter. Andrew and his wife had been in the employ of the Del
Royce’s even before Tasha was born. Martha died three years ago,
and Tasha took over her position. Between the two girls they made a
list of things to do then each took half. Gwyneth studied her list
and went on her way to get things done.


A couple of hours later, Gwyneth was
perched precariously on the rim of the huge tub in the downstairs
guest room when someone grabbed her from behind. She whirled around
to confront her mysterious grabber then threw herself into his
arms. “You jerk,” she said affectionately then reached up to ruffle
Marcus’s hair. He was Howard and Lilly’s youngest son. They were
fourteen months apart, and raised like siblings.


“Baby doll, you’re home,” Marcus said
exuberantly. “How’s your college?”


Gwyneth shrugged. “Well, fifteen
hundred girls, no boys, and it’s catholic. What else is there to
say?” The university sounded like a drag, but it was truly a
beautiful campus and had one of the best business programs in
California. It wasn’t her first choice but they’d offered a


“That’s tough,” Marcus patted her
shoulder. “So what are you doing?”


Sighing, Gwyneth pushed some loose
hair off her forehead. “Cleaning. My aunt needs help getting this
place in shape for your guests tonight.”


Marcus wiggled his eyebrows. “Want to
be my date?” His seductive toned elicited a laugh for all his
efforts. “I promise everyone will adore you.”


Gwyneth snorted. “Especially your
parents and Jordan.”


“Speaking of...have you seen Jordan?”
Marcus inquired curiously.


“No, I’ve been busy,” Gwyneth said as
she went back to scrubbing. “I need to get this done,” she said


Shrugging Marcus stood up. “I just
thought you might be avoiding him.”


Gwyneth whirled around. “Why would I
do that?”


Reminding her, Marcus responded.
“After that argument you had last year.” He scratched his head.
“Let me see if I can remember...Oh, yes, he accused you of taking
advantage of our parent’s generosity and you told him he was a
stuffy old man stuck in the body of a little tin god. It only
escalated from there, and everyone in the house could hear you


Gwyneth’s face turned red as Marcus
recounted the argument, but not for the reason he thought. It
wasn’t anger but embarrassment that heated her flesh. She still had
not forgotten the way the argument ended—the sudden descent of
Jordan’s head as he took fierce possession of her mouth. The
rushing fire in her blood, and then the rise of shame as he tore
himself away from her and stalked out of the room. To this day she
could still feel his body and mouth against her. “That was a year
ago. I’m sure we’ve both forgotten by now.” After a few more
minutes of small talk, Marcus finally left her to finish her




When Gwyneth was done she went
upstairs and soaked in a hot bath full of bubbles. She was still in
there an hour later when the intercom on the wall buzzed. Gwyneth
rose from the cooling water and went to the wall without bothering
to put on a robe. “Yes?”


“Gwenny, dear, it’s Lilly. How are
you?” Gwyneth tried to answer but Lilly pressed on. “I hate to
bother you on your first night home, but I need a favor. It seems
Jordan is determined to join us tonight, but he’s nearly delirious.
Could you please keep him in his room for the duration?”


Gwyneth swallowed hard. “Of
course,” she answered with false cheer. Gwyneth put on a flowing
gold caftan and grabbed a book before going down a flight to
Jordan’s room. She forced herself to disregard the butterflies in
her stomach as she knocked on Jordan’s door and slipped into his
room. The place was definitely masculine. There was deep sand
carpeting on the floor and a navy spread on the
Accent colors
were brown with specks of gold. “Good evening, Jordan.”


Jordan frowned at her. “If it isn’t
poor little orphan girl. Come home to rob the folks, did


Gwyneth tried not to be offended as
she noticed how hard he was struggling to stand as he fought with
the buttons on his pleated shirt.


What do you want?” he


Shrugging, Gwyneth approached him.
“Your mother sent me here to take care of you. I’m not looking
forward to it, but if you cooperate, things will go more smoothly.
Why don’t you lie down while I get you something to


“Sorry, Florence, but I have a house
full of guests who—”


“Have your father to take care of
them.” Gwyneth struggled to get Jordan into bed. “He may have had a
stroke but he hasn’t lost his faculties. He’ll cope beautifully
while you recover.” As she spoke she unbuttoned his shirt and
pulled the blanket over him. When she finished there was a knock at
the door. Tasha entered with a tray of soup, orange juice, and
unbuttered toast, which Gwyneth tried to interest Jordan in but he
was already asleep. She opened her book and started to




It was a few hours later when Jordan
woke with a burning fever. For a long time, Gwyneth bathed his face
and chest until his body cooled and his thrashing stopped. He
seemed more alert, and she was able to feed him a little soup
before he protested he couldn’t eat another bite. “I want to get
up.” He struggled to throw off the covers.


Gwyneth tried to push him back down
gently. “You really should sleep some more,.” As he tried to rise
they were both unbalanced, and she fell, sprawling on top of


Jordan’s tone deepened. “I’ve changed
my mind. I’m going to make love to you.”


Laughing uncertainly, Gwyneth tried to
free her wrists from his tight grasp. “Very funny, Jordan. Please
let me up now. I’m tired and I want to go to bed.” She spoke firmly
but her insides quivered.


“Good, I want you in my bed as well.”
Jordan finally relented and loosened his hold. “Okay, kiss me
goodnight, and I’ll let you go to bed.”


Gwyneth rolled her eyes and bent her
head to place a chaste kiss on his cheek but he turned his head and
her mouth connected with his. The kiss caught her by surprise, as
did the intense wave of desire that overtook her. She looked into
his icy eyes that burned hotly for her and was lost. She failed to
notice they were blurry as she sank against him.


Their clothes disappeared and Jordan
seemed to be touching her everywhere at once. She was soon as ready
for him as he was for her. He hesitated at the threshold before
entering her. Gwyneth gasped when he tore through the barrier of
her innocence, but the pain faded quickly and was replaced by
intense pleasure as they fell into silken rhythms. She came
powerfully as Jordan surged inside her. They collapsed together on
the bed and Jordan was asleep before he hit the pillow.


Drowsily, Gwyneth drifted into sleep,
then suddenly jerked awake. The full impact of what she had done
hit her. She’d had sex with Jordan. Jordan! He hated her and was
suspicious of her affection for his family. My god, what would he
do to her tomorrow? She threw on her clothes and ran to her
bedroom, where she stood in the shower for a long time before going
to her bed where she cried herself to sleep.

BOOK: Nothing Less Than Love
11.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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