The Way You Look Tonight / Page 16

Page 16


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Author: Bella Andre


Didn’t he know she was already about to start begging, just from the way he’d stopped to gaze at her in her bra?


"Every time I see you, I think I’m going to be prepared for how beautiful you are." He slipped her bra straps off her shoulders. "But I never am. Not even close."


Her breath was already coming in sharp pants of need when he reached around to undo the clasp at her spine. Just like that, her breasts were bare before him, her nipples peaking beneath the heat of his hungry gaze.


"Brooke."


Her name had barely left his lips before he was cupping her breasts in his large hands and bending down to take one sensitive peak into his mouth. She clutched at his head, her hands threading into his dark hair as he licked her nipple, then closed his teeth lightly over it. His right hand played with her left breast, stroking, caressing, teasing. And then his hand was taking over where his mouth had been, and his mouth was moving to cover her other breast.


"God, you’re sweet," he murmured as he lifted his head. "I need to taste more of you. Now. I need you now."


Just his mouth and hands on her breasts had been the most sensual experience of her life. But with Rafe’s hands moving to the snap and zipper of her jeans before he dropped to his knees in front of her, as he had her step out of them, she thought she just might combust from nothing more than the heat of his dark gaze on her.


His thumbs slipped into the sides of her panties, and even though he’d apologized for needing to move fast tonight, the slow drag of lace against her skin nearly drove her mad. She didn’t realize she was holding her breath until the tiny patch of fabric hit the floor. On a whoosh of air from her lungs, she started breathing again, but when Rafe leaned forward and she felt his warm breath between her thighs, she couldn’t get in enough oxygen.


Her legs were trembling like crazy, but he was holding her perfectly steady with one hand around her waist, the other caressing the side of her hip.


His dark eyes flicked up to her face. "Brooke?"


She’d never done this with any other man—stood naked before him while he knelt at her feet and asked if he could put his mouth on her. But with Rafe, there was no fear, no embarrassment, no worries. Only need...and a whispered, "Please."


But when Rafe leaned forward and slicked his tongue over her, she realized the ache she’d had earlier was nothing compared to the way he was making her feel now with the slow lash of his tongue, the sweet press of his fingers inside her. It was as if he knew her body better than she did herself—exactly where to stroke, precisely how to caress. Nothing existed but the two of them in this moment of perfect pleasure, and oh, how she wished she could stay in this moment just a little while longer to truly savor every delicious burst of sensation. But the way he was touching her—kissing her—felt too good...and she’d been waiting too long for him to have that kind of control.


Just as her inner muscles started to clench around him, she whispered "Rafe," in an urgent voice. Continuing the hard thrust of his fingers inside of her while his thumb stroked over her clitoris, he quickly stood up so that he could cover her mouth with his and swallow her cries of pleasure.


Brooke bucked against his hand as her climax took over every last cell. And though her body finally settled against his after the incredible orgasm, he kept kissing her as if he couldn’t get enough. He continued to stroke gently over her sensitive flesh when he finally lifted his mouth from hers.


"Better?"


She couldn’t yet find her voice to tell him how good he’d made her feel, but she could reach for him to curve her fingers over the thick erection throbbing behind his jeans.


"A little better," she whispered as he pushed his hips hard into her hand, and she reached for his zipper. The last thing she expected him to do next was slide his hand from between her legs and take a step away from her.


"You don’t know how badly I want you to keep doing that, but there’s no way you’ll be able to keep me quiet."


Brooke didn’t care anymore about keeping quiet. All she wanted to do was touch him the way he’d touched her, taste him the way he’d tasted her. She was halfway to her knees when they heard the front door creak open.


"It’s not fair," she protested when he pulled her to her feet.


"Since it was my stupid idea to wait twenty-four hours, I deserve the punishment of waiting for you to touch me, too."


Before she could tell him that was utter nonsense—and that she needed his pleasure just as much as he did—he was handing her her clothes. He gave her one last, hard kiss before he grabbed the stack of clean sheets.


And left her aching for him more than ever.


Chapter Thirteen


Rafe ripped out another strip of the nasty old linoleum with both hands. Up since five that morning, he’d already cleared the old flooring out of most of the house. He should have felt satisfaction at finally making some serious headway, but his gut churned whenever he thought about what he’d done to Brooke the night before.


He’d locked her in a closet, stripped off her clothes in record time, and had feasted on her...all with his siblings barely a hundred feet away. Not only had he known she was nervous about having Mia and Adam so close by, but their first time together should have been special. She was the kind of woman who deserved roses and candlelight, wooing and soft words. He’d vowed to keep control of his baser urges with her, but he hadn’t been able to hold to that for even five freaking seconds.


One taste of her mouth, one stroke of his hands over her naked skin, and he’d lost any hope of control.


And yet, Rafe had felt a connection with Brooke that he’d never felt with anyone else. Even in the cramped room, knowing they had to stay quiet and with no more than a handful of minutes together, every kiss she’d given him had rocked more than just his body. Every taste of her had only made him hungrier for more, for the chance to lay her down on a bed and take all the time in the world to learn her beauty, her scent, her sweetness, from head to toe.


Adam walked inside just as Rafe finished pulling out the last of the old flooring. "Boy, am I glad I went for a swim this morning. Never did like pulling up linoleum. You should have come out swimming with the rest of us. It felt really good to jump into the lake."


Rafe hadn’t trusted himself around Brooke in her bikini, so he’d locked himself in the house with dirty linoleum instead. Now he took the cup of coffee his brother handed him and drank it down in one big, hot gulp.


"Can I use your truck to go pick up some new flooring and kitchen cabinets?"


"Sure. I’ll go with you."


The brothers were halfway to the hardware store when Adam finally addressed the white elephant in the truck. "You were inside ‘helping’ Brooke for quite a while last night."


Rafe hadn’t been surprised when his sister had called him on the situation last night. But his brother wasn’t exactly big on talking about feelings. Of course, Rafe knew Adam wasn’t talking about feelings now, either. Sex was all his brother cared about. Normally, Rafe would have agreed wholeheartedly.


But Brooke was different.


"Whatever you’re going to say next," Rafe told Adam in a warning tone, "I’d be careful about it."


His brother’s eyebrows went up. "In that case, I guess getting the details on just how hot she is without her—"


Rafe didn’t care that Adam was behind the wheel or that he’d driven in from Seattle to help with fixing up the house. He was never going to let anyone get away with talking about Brooke like she was just some tramp he was screwing around with for a little while.


Rafe clamped his hand around Adam’s throat. "I said to be careful."


His brother lifted one hand from the wheel as if it were a white flag, and Rafe slowly slid his own away from his brother’s windpipe.


"Jesus, you know I like her." Adam rubbed his throat and coughed, wincing as he swallowed. "She was a cute kid and now she’s—" He cut himself off before Rafe could come at him again for saying the wrong thing. "Definitely not a kid anymore." Adam paused before asking, "You sure messing around with the girl next door is a good idea?"


Rafe was anything but sure. Which was why he answered his brother’s question with a question of his own: "If you were in my position, could you walk away from her?"


Adam pulled into the parking lot of the local hardware store. "There’s no point in bothering to answer that. She’s only ever wanted you." With that, he headed in to check through the store’s selection of flooring as if his brother hadn’t just been strangling him over a pretty girl five minutes earlier.


* * *


Brooke and Mia were both bent over paint cans in the living room, opening up the perfect shade of blue that Mia had brought with her. Rafe and Adam were at the hardware store, and it was the first time they’d been alone, just the girls, since Mia had arrived the night before.


"Remember that time we got into the paint in my parents’ basement and drew pictures on the walls?"


Brooke laughed as she shook her head at the memory of what naughty little girls they’d once been. "I still can’t believe Claudia and Max were so nice about it. Instead of yelling at us and making us clean it all up, your parents even added to our drawing and then asked my grandparents if they wanted to paint with us, too."


Brooke stirred the paint with a long wooden stick, then carefully poured it into a clean plastic tray. The two of them had been good enough friends that Brooke was more than a little surprised that Mia hadn’t brought up Rafe yet. Mia had never been the kind of person to hold things in, something Brooke had always envied about her. Envied, and was trying to emulate more and more.


Which was why she decided to break the ice by saying, "When we were friends as kids, we were never quite old enough to talk much about boys."


Out of the corner of her eye she could see Mia’s brush still where she was painting the trim along the ceiling. "We didn’t need to talk about it for me to know that you had a crush on Rafe."


Brooke felt a flush creep into her cheeks. But she had to do more than be brave enough to bring up Rafe with Mia, she had to follow through with the rest of the discussion...wherever it led.


She put down her roller and admitted, "My crush never went away."


Mia laid her brush down, too, and climbed halfway down the ladder. "He obviously seems to feel the same way."


From the look on her friend’s face, Brooke prompted, "But?"


Mia sighed. "I love my brother, even though I want to punch him sometimes. You’ve probably noticed he’s changed since we were kids."


Brooke nodded. "He told me a little about the work he does as an investigator. I can’t imagine how awful it must be to catch that many people cheating on their marriages."


"Wow," Mia said, "I can’t believe he even told you that. He never talks about work. Not even with us." Her worried expression fell away, to be replaced by a wide smile. "Then again, you’re not like any of the other women he’s been with."


"We haven’t exactly—" Brooke cut herself off as she realized they actually had, at least on her end, last night in the linen closet. She let out a strangled laugh. "Is this conversation as awkward for you as it is for me?"


Mia laughed and said, "The really awkward thing would be if you started giving me the dirty details."


"No," Brooke promised, "I swear I’m not going to do that. Ever."


"Not that you’ve asked for my blessing," Mia said, "but I want you to know that you have it. Although there is one condition. Well, two, actually."


Knowing how close Rafe and his sister were, Brooke felt her heart thudding in her chest as she asked, "What are they?"


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