Seduced, p.11

Seduced, page 11

 part  #3 of  Surrender Series

 

Seduced


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  With only a few candles in the emergency pack, he decided to light only one. With luck, they’d be rescued soon, but they were stuck in this cave until the horrendous rain stopped, and no one was going to find them there. Hmmmm.

  Yes, he wanted to be rescued, but having Lia all to himself for a couple days wasn’t a bad thing, in his opinion. She’d have no choice but to admit where this was going between the two of them.

  When he was finished, he stood, and looked her way, her face barely discernible in the fading light. “Damn, you are stunning,” he gasped, loving the silhouette of her body against the dark interior of the cave.

  Her eyes widened, but it wasn’t a line, it wasn’t a way for him to gain her submission — she just took his breath away.

  “Shane…” she began, her voice barely a whisper, need pouring through it.

  “Time to get out of those clothes, Lia. We don’t need you catching pneumonia,” he said as his eyes raked across her chest.

  She narrowed her eyes, seeming to gain just a little bit of her temper back. “I’m not getting na**d in front of you again, and in this heat, I don’t think I have to worry about that,” she told him as a shiver passed through her that had nothing to do with her body temperature.

  He just smiled as he moved forward. Holy hell, he liked it when she played hard to get.

  Chapter Seventeen

  Rachel

  “No. You are doing it all wrong,” Rachel cried, emitting a flood of giggles.

  It had been five days of utter bliss, and though she knew their time was coming to an end, she refused to think about it. She was growing attached, but she pushed that to the far recesses of her mind as well. She couldn’t focus on what tomorrow would bring; she allowed space in her brain only for what the two of them had right at that moment.

  Ian was spectacular in every single way, even in his imperfections, which she liked about him. He had a cowlick that wouldn’t behave no matter how many times he brushed his hair. There was also a small scar on his forehead; she really wanted to know how he’d gotten it, but she didn’t want to ask, didn’t want to get more attached.

  Their days and nights of lovemaking were more than she could have ever imagined, and he was also funny and sexy and made her never want to leave this penthouse suite.

  But she would.

  After their time was over, she would walk away with her head held high, and she’d have an experience that she would most likely carry with her for the rest of her life. She’d gone into this with her eyes wide open, and she refused to have regrets about it.

  “I don’t see how I’m doing it wrong. This is just ridiculous,” Ian said with a scowl.

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  “Obviously you don’t know how to just let go. The whole point of Pirate’s Cove is to battle for rights so you can become the most feared and famous pirate the world has ever known. You aren’t even trying,” she said as she collected more gold. She’d won again.

  “I have better ideas of games we can play,” Ian told her as he flicked the board away and grabbed her quickly, pulling her into his lap.

  “I thought you said I was wearing you out,” she said with a grin as she kissed his square jaw.

  “When would I ever have said such a thing?” he asked in horror.

  “Oh, I don’t know. I think it was right after our shower a few hours ago. ”

  “Then I was a fool. I could never get enough of your delectable body,” he said as he began kissing her neck.

  “Mmm. You can do that for about a million more years,” she offered, leaning into his mouth, enjoying the trace of his tongue along the sensitive skin of her neck.

  He took her right there on the couch, and then she lay in his arms, sated. . .

  “You’d better not go to sleep or the walls will rattle,” he said with a laugh.

  “What?”

  “The people in the next suite over were pounding on the walls because you were snoring so loudly. ”

  “I do not snore,” she gasped in horror as she glared at him.

  “Oh yes, you do,” he teased as he kissed her neck.

  “That is an absolutely terrible thing to say, Ian,” she said with a pout.

  “I’m just teasing you. Your snore is really quite cute, very delicate like you,” he said.

  “I do not snore, and I warn you that I am anything but delicate,” she said as she sat up and climbed on top of him, already forgiving him and feeling a stir in her body.

  Ian had opened up something inside of her, and she couldn’t get enough — was greedy for more all the time.

  “We need to leave this room for a while. I think I’ve forgotten what the rest of the world looks like,” Ian told her as his hands gripped her h*ps and he pushed his wakening arousal against her heat.

  “I’m happy to stay right here,” she countered, pushing down against him in temptation, not wanting for him to let her go. They had only two days left, and she was battling sadness at the thought. She wasn’t ready. A week just wasn’t long enough.

  “I am, too, but I have a surprise planned for you,” he said, piquing her interest. Rachel always had loved surprises.

  Though he was saying the words, he was now hard and pushing against her core.

  Rachel moaned as he surged inside of her. Yes, she would certainly miss this.

  Ian made slow, sweet love to her, almost bringing her to tears as he looked deep in her eyes while his body moved within her.

  Her pleasure overtook her in a sweet wave, and she collapsed on top of him, feeling drained emotionally and physically.

  An hour passed as she lay there in his arms, on the cusp of sleep and consciousness. His hand held her behind and squeezed as he kissed her lips, and then he sat her up.

  “We are leaving this room,” he said with a laugh. “Go and take a shower…alone. ” He added as he set her on her feet.

  Rachel practically floated into the bathroom; she stepped beneath the shower spray and quickly lathered herself with sense-entrancing body wash. As much as she didn’t want to leave their small haven, she was looking forward to whatever he had planned. It would be one more memory for her to carry with her when her mysterious lover disappeared forever.

  They didn’t talk of exchanging numbers or speaking again after their week was up. This was a fling only — they’d both made a firm agreement on that, and she considered it the smartest course. Even if he asked, she’d have to say no.

  Her thoughts burst forth in a jumble. Her life was moving in a new direction. She was going back to Italy. They didn’t have a future together. All they could possibly have was meeting once in a while in foreign places. Though that idea was appealing, she could see only heartbreak coming her way if they went that route.

  It was going to be hell on her to let Ian go after only a week, but meeting with him every few months would make her crave him more. She wouldn’t do that to herself.

  When she stepped back into the living area, dressed and ready to go, she was happy to see him in a pair of fitted trousers and a tucked-in dark blue dress shirt. He looked incredible no matter what he wore, but in that attire, his appeal was sinful indeed.

  “That was quick. I guess you are eager to get started,” he said as she walked up to him and looped her arms around his neck.

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  “I can’t seem to get enough of you,” she replied, and her lips found his. Ian didn’t hesitate, but took her mouth in a possessive kiss. Oh, how he could kiss, stirring low in her midsection, and making her melt against him.

  “Yes, you have me quite bewitched, Rachel,” he said, pulling back and looking into her eyes. His dark pupils dilated and she wanted to crawl back into bed with him. “What a spell you have me under, woman. We must leave now, or we’ll be late,” he said as he gently pushed her from him, then took her delicate hand in his, placing a gentle kiss on her fing
ers so she wouldn’t feel rejected.

  The two of them walked from the room and took the elevator down, then slipped out the back door, where a limo was waiting. She found a bit of guilty pleasure in the ride, but was frustrated since she was trying to ease away from such an extravagant lifestyle, trying to fit in more in normal society. Ian was really pulling out all the stops on this adventure, though, and she couldn’t fault him for showing her what he considered the ultimate in romance.

  “Where are we headed?”

  “That is a surprise,” he said as they drove through the city.

  When they arrived at the heliport, she raised an eyebrow but didn’t ask any more questions. He wasn’t going to tell her, so it wouldn’t do any good.

  She’d flown many times with her brother in a helicopter and felt no fear as Ian helped her get situated before speaking to his pilot. Then he sat next to her in the luxury machine, and she sat back and waited for the fun to begin.

  Yet they were flying out across the ocean, and Rachel was thoroughly confused. She’d expected him to be taking her somewhere in Florida, but they went instead farther and farther out to sea.

  Lights appeared on the ocean surface, and her eyes widened in pleasure as the chopper began making its descent. She turned to grin at him as they landed on a giant yacht in the middle of the ocean. The vessel they’d just landed on made her brother’s boat look small.

  “Is this yours?” she asked. She’d known Ian was wealthy, but this was a whole new level of wealth, at least equal to that of her brother’s, and she found that hard to believe. Ian had a certain arrogance about him, but he didn’t seem like others she’d met in the billionaire class she’d been around her entire life.

  “No. It’s a friend’s,” he replied.

  They’d agreed on not asking personal questions, but curiosity was eating her alive. But caution dragged her more firmly into the opposite direction. If she asked him questions, she reminded herself, Ian might answer. The problem? The price would be her own story, and she didn’t want to tell it. So she kept quiet.

  “It’s beautiful,” she said instead.

  “Yes, she is a beauty. My friend has excellent taste. Right this way. ” He leapt from the craft, then reached for her hand to assist her, and led her from the landing to an elevator that took them down a couple of levels.

  When the doors opened, she laughed in delight at the dim room with a candlelit table set up in one corner, and a small group of musicians on the opposite side playing classical music.

  “You are quite the romantic, Ian,” she said as he led her to the table.

  “Only when I’m inspired,” he whispered in her ear. Chills traveled down her spine.

  If she had only two nights left, then this was the way to end things.

  “Do I inspire you?” she asked, knowing she shouldn’t fish for compliments, but unable to help herself.

  “Oh, yes. You have greatly inspired me, Rachel. I fear letting you go won’t be such an easy endeavor. ”

  The serious look in his eyes had her heart racing.

  No. She had to change the subject. They must keep their affair light and brief. It was the only way. Looking around, she saw that no one else was in the room with them yet, making her bold.

  “Well, then, you’d better hold on tight while we still have time,” she said as she rose from the table, and slowly walked to him, sitting down on his lap.

  “I will learn your secrets, Rachel. I have decided I want to know them. ”

  Rachel leaned in and kissed him, needing to distract them both before she made a fool of herself.

  Chapter Eighteen

  Ari

  “…Then my wife took all the furniture and I walked into the house to find nothing but dust balls all over the place. It wasn’t bad enough that she had to clear me out, but she was a slob on top of it. I can’t stand filth. A woman should care enough about her home to want to keep it clean. ”

  Ari had to fight to keep from chewing out Dr. Lynn Sherman, the world’s most boring podiatrist, who just happened to be sitting across from her at the nice Italian restaurant. She was thankful for the decent wine, because if she hadn’t had it, she might not have been able to hold her tongue. Not that she should have had to.

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  She was also ready to kill her friend Amber, who had set her up on the date. Paybacks were definitely in order!

  “I’m sorry to hear that,” she finally replied when she was sure she could say it with as little sarcasm as possible.

  “Do you cook, Ari?”

  “Um, well, I guess I cook. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I cook well, but I know the basics,” she said with a chuckle.

  His mouth didn’t turn up even the slightest.

  “Don’t worry too much about it. There are classes you can take. Any woman can learn to cook well with enough training,” he said as he reached over and patted her hand.

  Did he seriously just say and do that? She was ready to punch this man in the face.

  “I wasn’t worried,” she said through gritted teeth.

  “I know. I know. You can learn. So, you said you are teaching a class at a community college. That must be a nice pastime. Of course, when you have children, you will want to focus on them, right?”

  “Pastime?” Ari said, her eyes rounding in anger. So far she’d put in six years of college, maintaining a perfect GPA, working hard, and achieving her dreams. She still had a doctorate to complete, and was working her tail end off on it. For him to call that a pastime completely infuriated her.

  “Well, yes. I think it’s cute that you want to teach, but it’s not a real job. For women, work isn’t necessary, though. Your husband will take care of you. ”

  Dr. Lynn returned his attention to his plate, cutting a piece of salmon and taking a bite. She wanted to shove the fish down his throat — too bad there were no bones in it — then push him to the floor while she impaled him with her three-inch heels.

  “Look —”

  She was about to lay into him when his pager went off. Who the hell did this guy think he was? At first he’d just been boring; now he was downright insulting.

  “Sorry. I need to return this call. You are never off work when you’re a doctor,” he said, his satisfied laugh slaughtering an already sad attempt at self-depreciation.

  She wanted to yell at his back that he was a flipping foot doctor. The world wasn’t going to end if he took a night off. How she held her tongue, she would never know.

  Several moments passed and Ari sat there toying with her food. She was seriously considering sneaking away from the restaurant.

  “I apologize, but I have an emergency at the hospital. I need to cut our date short,” he said as he returned.

  “What possible emergency is there with feet?” Ari clamped her mouth shut too late. In her defense, he’d been rude first.

  “Feet are very important, Ari,” he scolded her as he stood there looking indignant.

  “Yes, of course,” she responded, trying really hard not to laugh. She wasn’t in the least apologetic, but she was afraid that if she didn’t seem at least a little repentant, he might feel the need to lecture her. She would lose it completely then, and end up screaming at the man, making a spectacle of herself and getting hauled from the restaurant.

  “You enjoy the rest of your meal. I will call you tomorrow. The evening went exceedingly well, and I look forward to doing it again,” he said. To her surprise and horror, he leaned down and kissed her before she was able to stop him.

  As he turned and walked away, Ari lifted her arm and attacked her mouth with her napkin, wanting to get any trace of his flavor off her lips. Picking up her wine, she took a big gulp, then licked her lips, seeking out and destroying any remnants of the taste of that pathetic man.

  It took her a few moments before she realized that he’d left her with the bill — af
ter ordering a two-hundred-dollar bottle of wine.

  Crap! That was a bummer, to use language that she’d left behind in her teens. It would seriously hurt her budget. She couldn’t bring herself to care too much, though. It was worth it to be rid of his company. She might as well drink up, finish her meal and then order a decadent dessert to drown out her woes.

  “Good evening, Ari. ”

  Her heart sped up at the sound of Rafe’s deep voice behind her. This couldn’t have been a coincidence.

  “Rafe. ”

  She hoped he hadn’t heard the excitement in her voice. She didn’t want to be happy to see him, but she was anticipating her first glance. She didn’t turn — she’d wait for him to come around her. It didn’t take long, and her breath became erratic as she gazed at him in his dark Armani suit and the bright blue-and-purple tie, which matched his eyes to perfection.

  “It looks as if you could use some company,” he said as he sat down, lifting his hand to summon a waiter, who rushed over and cleared away the poor doctor’s setting before placing new dishes in front of Rafe.

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  Ari wondered what the other patrons of the restaurant were thinking. Maybe they thought she was on a speed date, going through as many men as possible in a two-hour block. At least this one was a vast improvement over the last, even if she would never admit that to Rafe.

  “I’m on a date, Rafe,” she said. Technically she was, even if she’d been ditched.

  “Not anymore, Ari. He was paged to the hospital. ”

  Her eyes narrowed as she watched the satisfied smirk on Rafe’s face. She had no doubt that the page had come from Rafe. She hadn’t realized Rafe’s determination — which made her the fool. She should have known this man better by now.

  If she weren’t so darned happy to be rid of her date, she’d be seriously pissed off.

  “Though my dinner companion is no longer here, I don’t necessarily wish to dine with you, Rafe,” she said as she took another bite of her pasta. Suddenly her appetite had returned. She could at least say that she was never bored in Rafe’s presence.

  “Ah, but I couldn’t let such a beautiful woman dine alone, could I? What kind of gentleman would I be?”

  The waiter approached and Rafe ordered for himself, including another very nice bottle of wine.

  “I am perfectly happy to eat on my own. I’ve been doing it a long time,” she countered as she sipped the last of her wine, then reluctantly accepted as the waiter offered a glass from Rafe’s bottle.

 
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