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Home > Because We Belong (Because You Are Mine #3)(12)

Because We Belong (Because You Are Mine #3)(12)
Author: Beth Kery

She’d taken that step across the threshold that night into a world of untold emotional challenges and sensual delights . . . into a realm of indescribable love. Her life had changed forever.

And here she stood again, now as empty and bereft as the rooms where Ian had once lived and breathed and loved.

He had loved, hadn’t he?

Finding the question unbearable, she inhaled for courage and twisted the knob. The door swung open.

It looked much as it ever had: the luxurious seating area before the fireplace, the rare paintings, the decadently rich four-poster bed, the lush fresh flower arrangement behind the couch, this one of white hydrangeas and purple lilies. She couldn’t imagine how it all could look so familiar and unchanged, when she felt so different.

Five minutes later, she walked out of the bathroom, hesitating by a gleaming, antique writing desk. Moving quickly, as if she knew she must endure the pain but wanted to get it over with, she opened a narrow drawer. She flipped back a folded square of black silk and stared, her breath lodged in her lungs, at the exquisite platinum and diamond ring. She recalled perfectly how cool the metal felt as Ian had slipped it on her finger, the sound of his low, rough voice uttering those precious words forever burned into her memory.

Yes, she’d replied simply, the vision of Ian blurring through a veil of tears.

I’m afraid I’m being selfish, he’d said starkly.

She blinked and his image came into focus. Loving is never selfish. You’re taking a risk. Don’t think I don’t know it. Personally, I think it’s the least selfish thing you’ve ever done, she’d whispered, touching his hard jaw, wishing she could soften him . . . make it so that he was just a little gentler on himself.

The drawer slammed shut.

She sat on the edge of the bed wearing nothing but the tank top she’d had on under her blouse and a pair of panties. She had nightgowns in the dressing room, but she was too weary to go in there tonight, too fragile to inhale Ian’s scent. The smell that lingered there was one she always associated most with him—his spicy, unique cologne, the fresh-laundered fragrance of his dress shirts, the leather from the rows upon rows of shoes, the cedar scent from the hangers and shoe trees.

She’d dare the closet tomorrow. Tonight, she used all her resources just to perch on the bed where they’d slept in each other’s arms, whispered endearments, and made love countless times.

It hurt so much, but for some reason, she craved that pain tonight.

She shut out the bedside lamp and hurried beneath the covers before she could second-guess herself. This was good for her, she told herself. Therapeutic to confront her memories head on. Maybe after she’d stayed here for another night or two while they hashed out the details of the Tyake acquisition, she’d gain some perspective . . . some freedom for herself. It wasn’t unlike visiting a grave, was it? She needed to accept the emptiness of this suite, of this bed.

She needed to let Ian go, once and for all.

Instead of plunging the room into complete darkness, as it usually did when she shut off the light, a luminescence remained. She realized a lamp was on in the distant seating area, turned to a dim setting. She considered getting up to turn it off, but something seemed to weigh her to the mattress. It’d been hard enough getting into this bed once tonight. She’d rather not do it again.

She clamped her eyelids shut, trying to avoid the sweeping memories of sharing the bed with Ian, of his touch, his quiet, commanding voice . . . his mastery over her body. Her skin prickled with remembered sensual memories. Even though she knew the sheets were freshly laundered, she imagined she smelled his scent when she pressed her nose to the pillowcase. She inhaled deeply and made a choking sound, not because she despised the fragrance.

Because she couldn’t bear living without it.

* * *

He heard the distant moan of misery, saw the movement beneath the bedclothes. He watched, rigid with attention, willing her with all his might to throw back the bedding. She did so with a muffled, frustrated cry.

His gaze traveled hungrily over long, smooth, gleaming limbs, breasts straining against clinging white cotton, pale, frantically moving hands. Dark gold hair tinted with red spilled across the white pillow in a lush, wanton display. Shapely thighs parted. His body quickened in an instant, arousal stabbing at him when her fingers slipped beneath her panties and rubbed. He didn’t hear it, but imagined the sigh through dark pink, beckoning lips: a silent siren call. She seemed eerily focused, wild in her mission, straining for release like she might a denied breath. She had tried this before, he sensed—again and again—never to be fulfilled.

Wretched, stunning woman.

The hand that wasn’t busy between her thighs moved feverishly over her body, cupping hip, ribs, and breast. She almost angrily shoved aside the fabric. He silently cursed the dim light, wishing to see the pale, firm flesh and large, mouthwatering pink crests more clearly, wanting to feel the soft skin slipping into his mouth, craving to draw on her until her cries filled his ears.

His hand now moved just as avidly as hers between his thighs. Was it his imagination, or had the hue of her cheeks deepened, the color of them a pale echo of her lush mouth and plump nipples? And was that the dampness of tears he saw glistening on the smooth surface? It was so hard to discern with the inadequate eye of technology.

So wild. So desperate. So beautiful.

She jerked down her panties in an inpatient gesture. He paused with his hand wrapped around his swollen cock at midstaff.

Jesus. What a pussy. The color of the hair between her thighs was a shade darker than that on her head. She spread her legs, and he hissed as he inhaled. He focused the camera in closer on the delicate, flushed folds of flesh, his anticipation sharpening. Her fingers burrowed between the sex lips. She parted her thighs wider, revealing pink, wet, succulent flesh. He moaned roughly when she pinched strenuously at a nipple, her clenched white teeth flashing in the dim light as she twisted her head on the pillow. She cried out, and this time, he heard the name.

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