Melanie Daniels has her hands full trying to protect her family from the neighborhood gangster. The last thing she needs is her old flame and first love, Nicolás ‘Nic’ Gavilan, barging into her life and offering help she hasn’t asked for. But as difficult as it is to admit it, she needs him. She can’t afford to say no.
Nine years is a long time to love someone from afar. Nic stepped away from Melanie to protect her, but now that trouble is at her doorstep, he can no longer watch from a distance. He is determined to keep their relationship strictly platonic, help her and be on his way. But the heart wants what it wants, and even the best laid plans can go wrong.
“Don’t worry,” he reassured. “I’ve got people watching both of them. They’ll be safe.”
“Are you sure?”
This time he was the one who nodded.
“Thank you.” She smiled. “For that, and for coming over.”
He offered a smile of his own but didn’t let her go. And she didn’t ask him to. Her heart suddenly began palpitating as the embrace that had been innocent just a few minutes ago, morphed into something heavy with tense anticipation. There was nothing innocent about the way her nipples perked up against his chest, or the sudden tightness in her lower belly, or the hard lump gradually swelling where her thigh met his groin. Nothing innocent at all!
His dark gaze held her transfixed, incapable of speech or objection when he lowered her just the slightest bit until his warm breath brushed her lips. It felt as if her heart might flutter out of its cage if he didn’t do anything to break the tension.
This close to him, his features were stark to her perusal. She mentally traced his dark eyes, aquiline nose and lips surrounded by the light fade. Despite herself, she found herself cupping his jaw. It was just a touch, but it sent a delicious shock of excitement through her.
But it was his deep voiced, “Lanie,” that melted her insides, rendering her immobile when he brought his mouth closer to hers. Her breath faltered when he touched his lips to hers.
For a moment, her lips were still, motionless as he explored them with his own. There was no pressure to the soft exploration, almost as if he was giving her time to stop him. She didn’t. So his lips firmed over hers and he suckled her lower lip into his mouth. His sudden forcefulness unleashed the storm that had been slowly gathering inside her, triggered her own desire. She opened her mouth allowing him to dip his tongue in.
Ah, she’d missed his kiss.
It was magical. The slow touch of his lips against hers wove a spell through her that had her blood singing in her veins and her brain shutting down any rational thought. His kiss engaged her senses with teasing strokes of his tongue that speared straight to her pussy.
She needed to be closer to him.
She lifted her legs, trying to weave them around his waist but the skirt of her dress trapped her. She let out a whimper of frustration that Nic swallowed with a torturously long kiss. He eased one hand upward over her ass and squeezed the firm flesh. His strong touch immediately sending a jolt of moisture to her panties.
The tempo of the kiss increased as did its frenzy.
Nine years equaled a lot of pent-up sexual energy. Their lips, tongues and teeth locked and clashed as he yanked her harder into the web of desire. It was almost as if they were at war, each trying to inhale the other. Still kissing her, Nic backed towards the bed. He lowered himself to it with her knees on each side of his body.
His hands trembled as he searched for the hem of her dress. Long fingers scoured her thighs setting her skin on fire and igniting her even more. He shoved the fabric upwards until finally he had it to her waist. The cool night air brushed against her lower body as he pressed on her ass to bring her down.
“Aah,” they both moaned when she finally straddled his lap.
Though his jeans and her panties were between them, being so close to that hard evidence of his desire sent her body spiraling. She reacted helplessly, grinding her pussy hard against his clothed dick.
Her lips parting in pleasure, she opened her eyes to find him staring right back at her. His lips were set in a straight line and his jaw locked tight in a harsh expression of lust. The dark look in his eyes alone sent a sharp jolt of need through her. She whimpered, “Nic.”
Knowing just what she needed, he slanted his lips over hers in an impossibly deep kiss as he kneaded her buttocks. His mouth seduced her to fever pitch. Those strong hands molded over her flesh forcing her to ride him harder. Even over their clothes, the sensations were intense, fiery – a harsh reminder of how easily he could turn her on.
And an even harsher reminder of how he easily he could hurt her too.
It was this realization that shoved Melanie back into the reality of the situation and gave her the strength to tear her mouth from his. “Nic, stop. Stop. Stop.”
The kiss stopped but Nic didn’t immediately release her. Desire and passion still shadowed his gaze as he stared at her, almost mesmerizing her back for another kiss. She shoved her arms between them and pushed at his chest. “Nicolás, stop.”
This time she got what she wanted. His arms fell away from her. She didn’t miss the regret in his eyes as he let her go, but ignoring it, she scrambled off his lap. She avoided his eyes as she straightened her dress back over her thighs but she could feel the heat of his gaze on her. It seared at the fiery sensations that still warmed her blood, fanning them. She needed to get away before she jumped his bones.
“Umm.” She scrambled to gather her thoughts into some form of cohesiveness. “I left you some dinner in the kitchen. I’m just going to get it.” She didn’t even wait for his yay or nay before she scurried out of the room like a scared rabbit.
What was that? She pressed her back to the kitchen door and took in deep gulps of air in a bid to gather herself. Her harsh breaths echoed in the empty room in cadence to the quick beat of her pulse. What was that?
She needed to get it together.
It took a while but eventually the silence and isolation from him gave her the clarity of mind to gather her senses and admonish them for their lack of control. She was furious that she’d fallen into his kiss so easily, angry that she’d allowed herself to be seduced by the sparks that flared in full force when he’d held her.
What was wrong with her? What happened to he’d hurt her too much to be forgiven? What had happened to she was so angry she just wanted him out of her life?
She should’ve been stronger.
Granted, Nic kisses were magical and any woman would’ve forgotten her own name at his sensual assault. But damn it, she had willpower. That willpower, however, didn’t keep her from touching two fingers to her still swollen lips or touching her tongue to them seeking his taste again. A pang of regret twisted her heart at the memories of the times when she could’ve just walked back to the bedroom for another taste of him.
“Damn it!” she muttered to herself. At this rate she was going to fall in love with him all over again.
And she certainly wouldn’t, could not, let that happen.
By the time she came back to the bedroom carrying a plateful of food for Nic, she’d wrestled her errant her hormones into a semblance of discipline. Nic had settled on the armchair by the window.
“Thank you,” he said when she handed him the plate. Instead of digging in, he said, “I’m sorry I lost control.”
She wanted to let him take full blame for the madness between them, after all he was the one who’d left. But she couldn’t! Not when she knew that if she’d insisted, he would’ve stopped. This was much her lapse in judgment as it was his.
“We both lost control.” She sighed as she sat on the edge of the bed. Her tone hardened as she added, “It won’t happen again.”
He stared at her for a moment then inclined his head in agreement.
While he ate, she carted her towel, toiletries and nightclothes to the bathroom. A shower was just what she needed to soothe her jangled nerves. By the time she emerged from the bathroom fresh, clean and ready for bed, he was done with dinner and the plate was nowhere to be seen.
His eyes lingered over body in a heated gaze that made her feel like she was wearing the sexiest of lingerie when all she had on was a purple racer-back tank-top and navy leggings. Ignoring him, she turned down her comforter.
“Do you mind if I sleep here?” he asked.
She paused, but realizing that his being close would make her feel safer, shrugged. “Knock yourself out,” she returned flippantly. “I can’t guarantee the comfort of that armchair though.”
“I’ve slept in worse.”
Oh, how she wanted to delve into that cryptic comment. But she didn’t. He wasn’t going to answer her anyway, so why bother. She closed her eyes and drifted into sleep, under his careful watch.