How the hell was she supposed to relax if he wasn’t going to leave? She bolted straight up, which was a mistake, as she felt a sharp jab in her ribs. As gracefully as she could, she stepped out of bed and over to the window above the kitchen sink, which overlooked Diana and Jed’s house. She watched as her long-legged husband, all lean and sexy, strode over and up to the wraparound front porch Jed had recently built. It was one of many upgrades, including the extension that had added three more rooms and a family room to the back of the house. Jed stepped out, and a minute later Diana did, too.
Jed didn’t allow his wife to linger beside him. He always swept her close to him, his arm around her shoulder, hugging her to him. That was what Laura envied about Jed and Diana, their love. Just being around them, she was pulled into that radiance. She wanted that, but Andy had never once treated her that way, because he loved Diana. She wondered if Jed knew where his cousin’s thoughts went. Laura was pretty sure Diana didn’t have a clue, but she’d never asked. Andy’s concern for Diana had always been over the top. In the beginning, she’d chalked it up to the fact that she was family, but, come to think of it, that was just plain stupid. Andy wasn’t just overly concerned about his cousin’s wife—it was obvious he had the hots for her.
It took a second for Laura to realize that all three of them were staring at her from where they stood. Andy looked none too happy, and his normally neat dark hair was sticking up here and there as if some woman had just run her fingers through it. The thought made her blood boil, but she was embarrassed for staring out at them, so she stepped back away from the window, feeling as if she’d just been caught doing something she shouldn’t. Well, actually, spying on Andy, Diana, and Jed was a pretty low thing to do.
Laura glanced at a now sleeping Gabriel, tucked into his cozy single bed with the comforter pulled up under his chin, and had taken one step back to bed when the door opened and footsteps pounded up the stairs.
“What are you doing out of bed?” Andy snapped in a low, sharp tone as he glanced at Gabriel, who was still soundly sleeping.
Laura couldn’t think of what to say, because blurting out that she was standing there ogling him was the last thing she wanted to admit. Instead, she crossed her arms, tucking her fingers into the warm brown sweater, and said, “You’re still in love with Diana, aren’t you?”
There, she had said it, but she felt like an absolute idiot as he said nothing, glancing away as if he couldn’t figure out what language she was speaking.
“No, I’m not in love with my cousin’s wife.”
She wanted to yell and scream and hit him, but instead she clenched her fists tighter in her sweater and stepped around him “Bullshit,” she whispered as she stepped back to the bed, but Andy, being Andy and never walking away from a fight, was right behind her. Hell, he was right in her space again, her tall, muscular, very male husband. Inside him lurked a strong alpha and dangerous predator that he controlled on a very loose leash. She could feel it sizzle now, just below the surface, and she knew she was provoking it in him much like a fool would poke at a poisonous snake. She kept her back to him and pulled back the covers of the bed, doing her damnedest to remain calm, but inside she was shaking so hard she wondered if he could feel it.
He didn’t just touch her; he slid his arms around her, one just under her breasts and the other over her hips, just under the swell of her belly. He pulled her against him, and she could feel the hard ridge of him pressed into her. She froze as he slid his lips against her and whispered, “Does this feel like I’m in love with Diana?” He brushed his lips over her ear and into her hair.
Like an inexperienced fool, she gasped and leaned into him, and he didn’t stop as his hand pressed lower into her curls and over her sex. He held her like a prisoner against him. She couldn’t have stepped away if she wanted to, as her legs would have given out. His warm breath was a whisper on her neck, which she couldn’t help but offer to him. Then he stopped in an instant, his arm loosening under her breasts from where he had held her up. The hand that had touched her so intimately fisted at his side as he stepped back, but when her knees buckled, he scooped her up as if she didn’t weigh more than a feather and set her on the bed with ease.
“I’m sorry,” he said. He didn’t try to touch her now, stepping back and pressing his fingers into the space between his brows, shutting his eyes for a second. Good. Maybe he was as rattled as she was.
“I’m tired. I’d like to go to sleep.”
“Fine. I’ll get in the shower.” His tone had a rough bite to it.
“You can’t stay here, Andy. You have a home, a big one, to go to.” She was feeling desperately overwhelmed because she feared a long, sleepless night, and the last thing she wanted was all that male hardness pressed up against her in this small, cozy, double bed, not because she feared him or didn’t want him, but because she was freaking out inside. She wanted to toss all of her self-respect out the window and say to hell with fighting him, hiding from him, and running away from him. She wanted to sleep with him, to touch him, to be with him, but when she looked up at him, he wasn’t smiling. His handsome face seemed to be made of granite, immovable, and then he leaned forward, putting his face just inches from hers so that she shared his breath.
“No,” he growled, and then he was gone into the bathroom.
She listened as the shower came on, and she sagged as if releasing her breath. “Oh my, now what?”
The cold hard fact was that she was about to get her wish, the one thing she shouldn’t have wanted.
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