Ignited by passion, p.25

Ignited by Passion, page 25


Ignited by Passion
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  Storm shrugged. “Of course I’m interested in her. Adam was someone I cared a lot about. He was like a second father to me. He was—”

  “We’re not talking about Adam, Storm. We’re talking about his daughter. Come on and admit it. You’re interested in her as a woman and not as Adam’s daughter.”

  Storm frowned. “I’m not going to admit anything.”

  Chase chuckled. “Then why did you get jealous a few minutes ago?”

  Storm blinked, then looked at his twin as if he were stone crazy, definitely had gone off the deep end. “Jealous?” he repeated, wondering how Chase could think such a thing. “The word jealous is not in my vocabulary.”

  Chase studied his brother’s face and knew he had pushed him enough for one day, but couldn’t resist taking one final dig. “Then it must have been added rather recently. Not only is it now in your vocabulary, you should spell the word with a capital J. And I thought the reason you were acting strange had to do with work. The way I see it, that woman sitting over there definitely has her hook in and is reeling you in.”

  Storm drew in a deep breath, squared his shoulders. The eyes that stared at his twin were hard, ice cold. “You’re going to regret the day you said that.”

  Chase laughed. “And I have a feeling that you’re going to regret the day you didn’t figure it out for yourself.”

  Jayla slipped off her pumps as soon as she walked into the house and closed the door behind her. She let out a deep breath. Lunch with Tara Westmoreland had gone well and they had finalized a lot of items for the charity benefit. But what stood out in her mind more than anything was seeing Storm again.

  More than once she had glanced his way. The heat in his eyes had ignited a slow, sensual burn within her. Across the distance of the room, he had silently yet expertly aroused her, almost making concentration on her discussion with Tara impossible.

  And when he had placed their meals on the table, her eyes had been drawn to his hands and it didn’t take much to remember how skilled his fingers were, and how those fingers had known just the right places on her body to touch to drive her crazy. It was only when he had left the restaurant, shortly after serving their lunch, that her mind had become functional. Only then had she been able to zero in on the business that she and Tara had needed to accomplish.

  On her drive back to the office, she had to remind her self several times that there was nothing between her and Storm and that any future involvement with him was out of the question. They each had a different agenda. To consider a possible relationship between them would only complicate things. What they had shared in New Orleans, just great sex, was over.

  Placing her purse on the counter that separated the kitchen from her dining room, she started sorting through the mail she had retrieved from her mailbox and smiled when she saw a letter from the fertility clinic.

  Tearing it open, she quickly scanned the contents and her smile widened. It was a letter reminding her of the physical that was scheduled for the next week and information about the insemination procedure.

  Placing the letter in the drawer, she laughed, feeling elated, happy beyond words. She anxiously awaited that day—after the procedure was done—when a doctor would confirm she was pregnant. Although Lisa didn’t totally agree with what she planned to do, at least her friend would be there to support her. And, of course, Lisa had agreed to be her child’s godmother.

  In her heart, Jayla believed things would work out. She had a good friend who would stand by her and she had a good job. And as she had told Lisa, if the artificial insemination didn’t work the first time around, she would try a second and, if need be, a third time. She would repeat the procedure as many times as it took to get pregnant what ever the cost. Thanks to the trust fund her father had left for her, as well as the insurance funds that had been left after all the burial expenses had been taken care of, she could afford making her dream of having a baby come true.

  She decided to take a shower and relax before fixing dinner. Later, she would find a comfortable spot on her sofa to sit and prop her feet up on her coffee table and enjoy a good book. She tried shaking off the lonely feeling that she suddenly felt. Lisa had a date with her boyfriend Andrew tonight, which meant she wasn’t available for a chat.

  She tried not to recall that this time nearly a week and a half ago, she had been in New Orleans with Storm. Nor did she want to think about how much she had enjoyed his company. Of course, the time they had spent in bed had been great, but there had been more than that. She had discovered a fun side to Storm. Before New Orleans, she’d always assumed that he was a really serious sort of guy.

  She had enjoyed laughing with him, talking to him, dancing with him, sharing food with him and going sight seeing with him. He had been full of surprises in more ways than one. She couldn’t help but compare him to the last guy she had dated, Erik Turner. Erik had turned out to be an A-number-one bore and had expected they’d go straight to her bedroom when he’d brought her home from their first date. He had actually gotten pissed off when she’d turned him down.

  Frowning, she headed for her bedroom as she remembered how angry she had gotten, too, that night. Angry for having such high expectations that most men would treat a woman like a lady, decently respectable and not assume anything—especially on the first date. Erik had been included in a long line of disappointments for her, but he had definitely been the last straw and had been an eye-opener. That night Jayla realized that she didn’t want to be one of those women who were in such a frenzy to be involved in a relationship that they failed to look at the signs that said, “This may not be the best person for me.”

  Another pitfall she had avoided, which was the main reason she had remained a virgin for so long, was the mistake some women made of equating sex with love. She’d learned from listening to the women she worked with, that some women still believed that if a man slept with her, it meant he loved her. She definitely hadn’t assumed such a thing with her and Storm. It had been her hormones and not her heart that had been raging out of control. Storm didn’t love her and she didn’t love him. She hadn’t expected anything from him and he hadn’t expected any thing from her. They had communicated well both in and out of bed, and the one thing they understood and agreed upon was that their affair would be one that led nowhere.

  Sighing, she began removing her clothes for her shower. But as much as she didn’t want to think about it, she couldn’t get the memory of Storm and the way he had looked at her today out of her mind.

  Drawing in a deep breath, Storm raised his hand to knock, then pulled back as he asked himself, for the umpteenth time, why he was standing in front of Jayla’s front door. And no matter how many times he asked the question, the answer always came up the same.

  He still wanted her.

  Seeing her today had done more harm than good and what Chase had said hadn’t helped matters. The notion that Jayla had hooked him was preposterous. Okay, he would admit she was still in his system. He had discovered that a man didn’t have sex with a woman at the magnitude that he’d had with Jayla and not have some lingering effects. Lingering effects he could handle; the notion of some woman reeling him in, he could not.

  Tonight, and only tonight, he would break his rule of not performing repeats after an affair ended. But he had to make sure that the only thing that was pulling him back to her was the incredible sex they’d shared. Physical he could handle, but anything that bordered on emotional he could not.

  Taking another deep breath, he finally raised his hand and knocked on the door. As he waited for her to answer it, he hoped to God that he wasn’t making a huge mistake.

  He was about to knock again when he heard the sound of her voice on the other side. “Who is it?”

  “It’s me, Jayla. Storm.”

  She slowly opened the door and the anticipation of the removal of the solid piece of wood that stood between them sent a shiver of desire up his spine and down to his midsection. When she opened the door e
nough for him to see her, the sight of her nearly knocked him to his knees like a gale-force wind. It was obvious that she had just gotten out of the shower. Her hair was loose, flowing around her shoulders, and there were certain parts of her, not covered by her short bathrobe, that were still wet. He itched to take the robe off her to see what, if anything, she was wearing underneath it.

  “Storm, what are you doing here?”

  Her voice, low in pitch yet high in sensuality, rapidly joined forces with desire that had already taken over his body. He was almost afraid to stand there and look at her. Too much longer and he might be driven to topple her to the floor and make love to her then and there.


  Claiming that he just happened to be in the neighborhood would sound pretty lame when she lived in North Atlanta and he resided in the southern part of town. Believing that honesty was the best policy, he decided to tell her the truth as his gaze locked on hers. “Seeing you today made me realize something,” he murmured softly as he leaned in her doorway.

  He watched her throat move when she swallowed. “What?”

  “That I didn’t get enough of you in New Orleans. I want you again.”

  He heard her inhale sharply and the sound triggered the memory of how her voice would catch just seconds before she came. His mind was remembering and his body was, too. He was tempted to pull her close and let her feel just how hard she was making him. “May I come in?” he decided to ask when she didn’t say anything.


  “I know I shouldn’t have come and I’m just as confused about showing up here as you are,” he quickly said. “But seeing you today really did do something to me, Jayla, and it’s something that’s never happened to me before. It was as if my body went on overload and you’re the only person who can shut it down. Since returning from New Or leans, I’ve been constantly reminded of the best sex I’ve ever had, and tonight I couldn’t handle things any longer.”

  He sighed deeply. There. He’d said it. He’d been honest and upfront with her, although it had nearly killed him to admit such a thing. Even to his ears his predicament sounded almost like an addiction. His blood was pumped up a notch. Every muscle in his body ached at the thought of making love to her again and a part of him knew the look in his eyes was just shy of pleading. He might even go so far as to follow the Temptations’ lead and sing out loud, “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg.”

  It was all rather pathetic, but at the moment there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it. Jayla Cole was under his skin…at least temporarily. Just one more time with her should obliterate this madness. At least, that’s what he hoped.

  He watched her as she tried to make up her mind about him, but patience had never been one of his strong points and he couldn’t help asking, “So are you going to let me in?”

  Silence filled the air.

  Moments later, Jayla sighed deeply. Her mind was in battle over what she should do versus what she wanted to do. She knew what she should do was send Storm packing after reminding him of their agreement. But what she really wanted to do was give him what she knew they both desired.

  Just one more time, she decided. What could possibly be wrong in giving in to an indulgence just one more time? However, more than just once would be a complication she didn’t need. Her heart hammered hard in her chest. She knew once he stepped inside and closed the door behind him, that would be the end of it…or the beginning. But as her body began to slowly tremble, her control began slipping. She knew that tonight she needed him just as much as he seemed to need her. He was right. This was madness.

  “Yes,” she finally said, taking a step back. “You can come in.”

  He entered and closed the door behind him. Locked it. The click sounded rather loud in the now awkward silence between them. That small sound was enough to push her heart into overdrive, making it beat that much faster.

  “Thirsty?” she asked, deciding she should at least offer him a drink.

  “Yes, very.”

  She turned toward the kitchen and was surprised when he reached out, gently grabbed her, pulled her close to him and wrapped his arms around her. “This is what I’m thirsty for, Jayla. The taste of you.”

  When her lips opened on a breathless sigh, his tongue swept into her mouth as if he needed to taste her as much as he needed to breathe. His lips were hot and demanding, and his tongue was making love to her mouth with an intensity that overwhelmed her. Helpless to do anything else, she looped her arms around his neck and held on while the heat of him consumed her, breaching any barrier and snatching away any resistance she might have had.

  Too late. He was inside and intended to fill her to capacity in more ways than one.

  She pushed good judgment, initial misgivings and any lingering doubts aside. She would deal with them later. Right now, being in Storm’s arms this way was most important and demanded her full concentration. And every thing about him—his scent, his strength, his very sensuality—permeated her skin, seeped into her blood and sent her senses spinning.

  When he tore his mouth away from hers, she drew in a long audible sigh. She looked up at him and the air surrounding them seemed to crackle with ardent awareness. He reached out and traced a slow path down the center of her neck, then slowly pushed aside her robe to reveal what was underneath.


  She heard his sharp intake of breath and he pushed the robe off her shoulders to the floor. “A few moments ago, I was thirsty for your mouth, but now I’m starving for this,” he said reaching out and stroking her between the legs. “Once I get you in bed, I plan to make love to you all night.”

  His voice was low, uneven and so sexy that it sent shock waves all through her body. She met his gaze, saw the deep darkening of his eyes and any grip she had on reality slipped, joining her robe on the floor.

  “That’s a promise I intend to hold you to, Storm Westmoreland,” she said on a breathless sigh, just seconds be fore he swept her into his arms.

  Chapter 8

  “Which way to your bedroom?”

  “Straight ahead and to your right.”

  Storm didn’t waste any time taking her there and immediately placed her naked body in the middle of the bed. He took a step back to look at her. For a moment, he couldn’t move, too overwhelmed by her beauty to do anything but to take it all in…and breathe. He ached to make love to her, and sink his body into the wet warmth of hers.

  Love her.

  Air suddenly left his lungs in a whoosh and he summoned all the strength he could not to fall flat on his face. The thought that he wanted to love her had been unintentional, absolutely ridiculous, outlandish and totally absurd. He only did non-demanding relationships and short-term affairs. He wasn’t into strings, especially the attached kind. He suddenly felt a tightening in his chest at the same time that he felt a bizarre quickening around his heart.

  Hell! Something was wrong with him. Then, on second thought, maybe nothing was wrong with him. He was merely imagining things. He was aching so badly to be with Jayla again that he wasn’t thinking straight. That had to be it. When he got home later tonight, on familiar turf, his mind would be clear. And spending a day at the station tomorrow around the guys would definitely screw his head back on straight.

  “Are you going to stand there all night, Storm?”

  He blinked, attempting to clear his mind and immediately became entranced with the warmness of Jayla’s smile and the teasing heat of intimacy in her eyes. He swallowed deeply and tried to get a grip, but all he got was a harder arousal. “Not if I can help it,” he said, suddenly needing to connect with her that instant. He needed to touch her, taste her, mate with her.

  Right now.

  He yanked his T-shirt over his head and then began fumbling with the fastening of his jeans, and became irritated when the zipper wouldn’t slide down fast enough be cause of the size of his erection. Finally, he was able to tug his jeans down his legs and quickly stepped out of them. He reached d
own and took a condom packet out of the back pocket of the now discarded garment.

  After he took the necessary steps, he looked at her and one corner of his mouth quirked up. “Now to keep that promise.”

  Simply looking at Storm caused Jayla’s blood to pump rapidly through her veins. The look in his eyes said that he would hold nothing back. Her pulse quickened as he slid his body onto the bed. He moved with the grace of a leopard, the prowl of a tiger and the intent of a man who wanted a woman. Overhead, the glow from the ceiling light magnified the broad expanse of his chest. He was perfectly built, his flesh a chocolate brown and every muscle well defined.

  When he joined her on the bed she couldn’t stop her self from reaching out to touch him. Her fingers trembled as she ran them through the dark, tight curls on his chest, and she smiled when she heard his breathing hitch. Hers did likewise when she felt the hardness of him press against her thigh. Her gaze was drawn to his nipples. They were hard, erect, and she wanted to know the texture of them under her tongue. He had tasted her breasts many times, but she’d never tasted his.

  Leaning forward, her mouth opened over a stiff bud and her tongue began sliding around it, tasting it, absorbing it, sucking it. But for her, that wasn’t enough. Reaching down she took hold of his hard heated flesh and her thumb and forefinger began caressing the hot tip. This was the first time she had ever tried to bring a man pleasure, to drive him insanely wild with desire with her hands. And from the sounds Storm was making, it seemed she was doing a good job.

  When she heard him groan her name, the sound forced from deep within his throat, she lifted her head, but continued to let her hand clutch him, caress him, stroke him. “Umm?” she responded as she moved her mouth upward to take a tiny bite of his neck, branding him.

  “You’ve pushed me too far, Jayla,” Storm growled, as the need within him exploded. With one quick flick of his wrist, he tumbled her backward, ignoring her squeal of surprise. But she didn’t resist and instead of moving from him, she moved to him, reaching up and looping her arms around his neck as he placed his body over hers, pressing his erection against the heat of her feminine core.

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