Read What's in a Name? Online

Authors: Terry Odell

Tags: #fiction, #romance, #romantic suspense, #mystery, #romance adventure

What's in a Name? (26 page)

BOOK: What's in a Name?
3.8Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads


Blake.” Her eyes
stared into his. “I want this. Really.” Her voice was
tremulous.


I know. Take your
time.”

She leaned forward, pressing her
breasts to his mouth. He suckled, nipped and teased. With a shaky
exhale, she reached for him and guided him between her legs.
Grasping for control, he resisted the need to thrust into her,
letting her take him at her pace. Hot, wet, but so tight. Almost
too tight. Afraid?

He was torn. If he stopped, would she
feel like a failure? Never be able to let herself love or be loved?
Or if he didn’t stop, was he making things worse? Crap. This was
way too much thinking for someone with no blood supply to the
brain. Right now, the closest things to coherent thoughts were,
God, yes!
and
Not yet, not yet, please, not yet
.

 

* * * * *

 

Kelli heard Blake’s voice, calm and
soothing. “Look at me. It’s Blake. Say my name.” Over and over, he
repeated the words, lying beneath her, barely moving. Blake. She
wanted him, had ached for him, knew he wasn’t Robert, but when he’d
positioned himself above her, so big, so powerful, the fear came
crashing over her like a storm surge. Her mind wanted him, wanted
this, but her body was rebelling.


Look at me. It’s
Blake. Say my name.”

Exhaling a shaky breath, she did as he
asked. And when she gazed into his eyes, she saw him. Blake. Saw
the unabashed desire in their molten chocolate depths. Knots
loosened, tensions dissolved and she lowered herself onto him, took
him easily inside her. She moved slowly, rediscovering sensations,
exploring long-forgotten pleasures.

Golden afternoon sun streamed in
through the window, bounced off the glass bricks, reflecting the
sheen of sweat on Blake’s face. She rocked, moving faster, her gaze
intent on his. Knowing he was struggling for control heightened her
arousal. That she could wield power over him, could be in control,
sent waves of desire through her. Yet she slowed the pace. Watched
his hands flex, aware he wanted to touch her, but respected her
needs.

She reached for his hands. Brought them
to her breasts. “Touch me,” she whispered. And when his palms
caressed her breasts, his thumbs rubbing circles over her nipples,
pleasure shot through her, a pleasure she hoped would never end.
Unbidden, her hips moved faster and Blake found her rhythm and
matched it.

She leaned forward, brought her lips
close to his ear. “Are we in a hurry?” she murmured, slowing the
pace again, rising above him, almost breaking their bond, then
taking him back, an inch at a time. She adjusted her strokes so his
thickness rubbed against that part of her where all sensation
centered, faster, until there was nothing else and oblivion
beckoned from a hair’s breadth away.


Sweetheart, you’re
killing me.” His words were labored, his expression almost pained.
“I—I can’t—Oh, God—” and his climax filled her. His spasms of
pleasure triggered her own release and her cries joined his. She
collapsed onto his chest and his arms wrapped around her until she
felt they were one person.

Neither spoke. They lay together, still
joined, until their breathing slowed to normal. When they
separated, he rolled to his side and spooned her into him. She
quivered as he nuzzled her neck.


I’m not sure if I
should say I’m sorry or thank you,” he whispered. “I can usually
last more than forty-five seconds.”


It was enough for
me.” She wondered why he didn’t understand how much of a turn-on
his lack of control was—the realization he was at her mercy was
almost enough to send her over the edge by itself. “But we can try
for a full minute next time, if you like.”


I’d like. Very
much.”


Hold me for a while?
Or do you have to get back to work?”


Actually, I told them
I was going to be working from home the rest of the day.” He put
his arm over her waist and she clasped his hand in hers, snuggling
it between her breasts.


You had this whole
thing planned?” She ran her thumb up and down his
fingers.


Mmph. Not planned.
Just left my options open.”


Options? Well, that
sounds romantic, Mr. Executive.”


How about I hoped,
dreamed, longed for this moment?” He nuzzled her neck.


Better.” She relaxed,
aware of his warmth, his steady breathing and the comfort of his
heartbeat against her back. Right before she drifted into a sated
doze, she realized she couldn’t—or wouldn’t—remember the last time
she’d felt so secure, so safe. Memories of Charles had no place
here, nor did they intrude. She was with Blake.

She didn’t know what time it was, but
the sun hadn’t disappeared when she became aware of Blake’s fingers
stroking her breasts and his hardness pressing against her
buttocks. She did know that this time, he lasted a lot longer than
a minute.

At six p.m. they stood under the hot
spray of the shower. Blake stood behind her, lathering her body.
His hands, slick with sandalwood scented soap, caressed as they
slid over her body.


If you keep that up,”
she said, “I’ll pass out and drown.”


Can’t have that. And
I think you’ve drained me.” His hands disappeared for a moment.
“Duck your head,” he said.


What?”


Get your hair wet. I
want to wash it.”

Strong, nimble fingers lathered and
massaged until she moaned with pleasure. He patted her buttocks.
“Rinse.”


Remind me to leave
you a big tip.”


The pleasure was all
mine.” He spun her around and pulled her against him while the
water cascaded over them.

She laughed. “I can tell. I thought you
were drained.”


What can I say? You
bring me to life.”


Much as I hate to
disappoint your friend, I don’t think I can handle another round.
Rain check?” She tilted her face up and he bent to kiss her. Before
they both choked on the shower stream, he reached behind her and
turned off the water.


Fair enough. But I’m
going to hold you to it. Hell, I want to hold you to me. For hours.
Forever.” He opened the glass door of the shower enclosure and
reached for a towel. She let him wrap her in its oversize
plushness, then watched him grab a second for himself. He started
at his head, towel drying his hair, then worked his way down his
body. His magnificent body. She’d forgotten about the cuts at his
torso and she stopped him to inspect them.


The bandages can
probably come off,” she said. “Does it hurt much?”


Soap stings a little,
that’s all. I can handle it.”


I wish I knew how
Jack is.”


Does he know where we
are?”


No. If someone asks,
he doesn’t have to lie.” The towel fit twice around her body and
she padded into the bedroom looking for her clothes. She found
clean panties in her bag and when she stepped into them, Blake
stood beside her, his towel hooked around his hips, holding a silk
shirt—the one she’d left lying on a chair.


I’ve been thinking
about you in this.”

She took the shirt from him and let the
towel fall to her feet. The sleeves were still rolled up and she
slipped into them, savoring the feel of the expensive fabric
against her skin. Braless, she felt her nipples pressing against
the silk. She watched Blake as she fastened each button, his lips
parted and his face flushed.


God, you’re
beautiful,” he said.


Don’t. I’m not. It
sounds like a line—like you’re hitting on me.”

He stepped forward and straightened her
collar. “It’s a little late for that, don’t you think? And you are
beautiful. I can’t imagine anyone more appealing.” He kissed her,
his lips brushing against hers—a gossamer touch, yet she felt the
passion.


I’d like to dry my
hair,” she said, sidling past him into the bathroom. She
concentrated on the drone of the hair dryer, wishing it could drown
out her thoughts. Riding in the cab from the restaurant, she’d
convinced herself she would succumb to her physical desires. That
she needed to prove she could feel again. Nothing more. That being
one in Blake’s string of women was fine.

But she hadn’t bargained for how deeply
he’d make her feel. That he’d forged a bond with their lovemaking.
Her breath caught. In the cab, she’d been thinking about having
sex, not making love, with the man. She should have known she
couldn’t have sex unless there was something much deeper behind it.
Casey hadn’t. Why should Kelli?

She shut off the hair dryer, fluffed
her hair and peeked out the bathroom door. Blake had left the
bedroom. She found him standing behind the kitchen counter, pouring
two glasses of straw-colored wine, still wearing nothing but a
towel.

He extended a glass to her. “It’s a
Clos du Bois Sauvignon Blanc.”

She remembered when they’d shared a
bottle of wine at the cabin. How careful he’d been not to touch
her. Definitely not hitting on her. But today, she’d certainly sent
enough signals. This was why she preferred her reclusive lifestyle.
No questions, no confusing, Does he or doesn’t he? Should I or
shouldn’t I? Get up every day, do the work, and take satisfaction
in that. None of the anxiety. None of the pain.

Yet, she admitted, none of the
exhilaration either. She accepted the glass, letting her fingers
slide down his. And when she felt that spark pass between them, she
realized the exhilaration might be worth some of the pain. Might.
But she wasn’t ready to decide and his rugged chest, with the red
reminder of what he’d gone through for her was too unsettling. She
had to break things off. One way or another, people she loved
died.


Umm … You can get
dressed now. I’m done in there.”

His expression was unreadable and he
broke their gaze. She heard a drawer open and he dropped a stack of
papers on the counter. “Pick something. Unless you want to go out.
I’m afraid I kind of destroyed our leftovers when I kicked the bag
inside the door.”

She smiled, remembering their haste.
She looked at the pile of menus. “No, this will be fine.”

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Twenty

 

Blake picked up the hair dryer and
aimed its hot airflow across his chest before moving it up to his
head. Once more, he remembered why he never brought women to his
place. Why he never stayed the night at theirs. The “afterwards”
was too damn awkward. Let ’em know up front it’s not going any
further than some mutual itch-scratching. Some very pleasant, hot,
itch-scratching, but not the sort that ended up picking out china
patterns.

He’d vowed never to end up like his
father, who had lost his wife and never fully recovered. Saddled
with two young boys, doing his best, but unable to let anyone else
inside. Someone who might have cared about them. Always moving,
always avoiding the chance to settle down where someone might make
him remember what it had been like to love someone completely.

He flung the towel on the dressing room
floor and dug a pair of plaid flannel drawstring pants from the
bottom drawer of his built-in wardrobe. Stepping into them, he
couldn’t help but laugh. The last time he’d worn them, he’d had a
whopping case of the flu—and right now, he didn’t feel much
different. Six-thirty p.m. might not be the “next morning” but that
was a mere technicality.

Once she’d relaxed, Kelli had been wild
with passion. He realized she’d made him give everything of
himself. The part he’d never released before—the part he kept
buried so he could walk away and not wake up next to a woman the
next morning.

He pulled a black t-shirt over his
head. Holy crap, he was falling in love with her. And suddenly his
knees felt like mashed potatoes and he had to lean against the
wardrobe to catch his breath. Scratch falling. The fall was over.
He’d hit ground zero like a sack of potatoes. Somewhere between
being drugged, hit on the head, sliced with a knife, and pretending
to be someone he’d never heard of, he’d dropped his defenses and
Kelli had sneaked through. Worked her way inside through some
unseen crack in the shell he kept between himself and his
emotions—the shell that made him so effective in the boardroom.

As for being able to read people—Kelli
was a chameleon. He never knew exactly what was her and what was
the skin she put on for the rest of the world. Leave it to him to
fall in love with the one person on the planet who could keep her
thoughts and emotions from him.

When she’d come out of the bathroom,
scrubbed and fresh-faced, wearing his shirt, sleeves rolled up to
her elbows, hem hanging below her knees, she’d looked so pure and
innocent and so scared of something. Not of being discovered. He’d
bet his next paycheck on that. Of him?

After they’d bared their souls to each
other all afternoon? And it hadn’t been one-sided. She might have
been hesitant at first, but she’d held nothing back after the first
time. Was she regretting it? He remembered the look on her face
when she’d climaxed. For that alone, he had no regrets. Putting on
his best boardroom face, he stepped back to the living room.

Kelli sat on the couch, swirling the
wine in her glass. She looked up at his approach, leaned over and
picked a menu from the coffee table. He recognized it immediately
as his favorite Chinese.

BOOK: What's in a Name?
3.8Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Song Remains the Same by Allison Winn Scotch
Beyond the Edge of Dawn by Christian Warren Freed
A Pox Upon Us by Ron Foster
The Lady's Choice by Bernadette Rowley
Coco Chanel Saved My Life by Danielle F. White