Frayed Page 111

’’So I saw your brother in the bathroom before I saw you,’’ I confess.

’’Xander?’’

’’No, River.’’

Her eyes widen. ’’How\d that go?’’

’’Let\s just say it went better than could have been expected,’’ I whisper in her ear.

’’Oh, that\s really good.’’

’’It\s going to be okay. They don\ have to love me, but I\ll make you feel comfortable enough that we can all be together I can guarantee you that.’’

I pull back to look at her. Her smile is wide and bright just the way I like it. There is no fear or concern anywhere on her face. Also the way I like it.

’’I believe you.’’

I step closer. The heat in her eyes flames, proof of the passion that\s always between us, and I reconsider the backseat plan. I stare at her lips but quickly raise my gaze back to her eyes. They exude such innocence and trust they make me remember I\m really trying not to always take. But f**k, this isn\ easy. With my mouth now hovering over her lips, I grab her hand and say, ’’Come on, let\s go up to your brother\s wedding. I\d like to say congratulations.’’

She yanks my hand and pulls me back to her, flush to her body. Close enough that I can feel the hardness of her ni**les through her dress and my shirt. She grips my tie and pulls the knot from it. ’’The festivities were just ending when you arrived. Xander arranged a private fireworks display for Ivy and whisked her off on some yacht to watch the show alone. They\ e actually headed to Mexico on that boat for their honeymoon.’’

’’Does that mean you\ e mine, all mine, for the rest of the night?’’ I lick my lips.

’’I am,’’ she purrs. ’’I even have a room on the fifth floor. Would you like to see it?’’

’’See it? Oh, baby, I want to do more than see it,’’ I growl in her ear.

The sound she makes in response sends my body into overdrive. My hands are skimming down her body and around to her back when the unpleasant memory of that guy\s hands in the same place as mine comes to the forefront of my mind. ’’Who was the guy with his hands all over you?’’

’’Leif?’’

My eyes drift down her body and back up. ’’I\m asking you.’’

’’That was Leif Morgan. He\s the guy I told you about that took Jagger\s place in the movie.’’

’’Oh yeah, right. Lucky for him I didn\ punch him out, then.’’

’’Ben, we\ e just friends.’’

’’I\ve told you I\m jealous as f**k, haven\ I?’’

She nods, biting her lip with an amused smile on her face. ’’Have I told you that turns me on?’’

F*k me.

CHAPTER 36

Our Song

Bell

Three weeks later

Happiness fills me, all of me, every part of me. I never thought two people so lost in this world could make each other feel found, but we have. I slip back into bed as the sun makes its way up on the horizon and look over at Ben, his bare back tan from our time out on the beach teaching me how to surf, his head buried in his pillow, and his hair a rumpled mess he couldn\ look any hotter. I know he\s tired but I can\ resist letting my tongue draw a line from his neck down.

In a flash he has me on my back. ’’What time is it?’’ He shifts a squinting eye toward the clock.

’’Six.’’

’’In the morning?’’

’’Yep.’’

’’That\s illegal for a Sunday.’’

I laugh. ’’That\s my line.’’

His mouth travels down my neck with a lick and a suck. ’’I like your lines.’’

A throaty moan escapes my throat and I shift beneath him.

He lifts his head. ’’Why are you up so early?’’

I arch my back, pressing my body into his. ’’I had to pee.’’

He pulls away with a grin.

’’What?’’

’’Nothing,’’ he says, rolling us so he\s on his back and I\m straddling him. ’’Nothing.’’

I moved into Ben\s house two weeks ago. It was the week after we got back together. He kept his promise, doing everything he could to make things with my family comfortable. And moving day couldn\ have been a bigger testament to his desire to make things work. It was definitely a family move. My whole family insisted on helping and so did Ben\s. My mom and Jack were of course really easygoing and more than welcoming toward Ben, but I already knew they would be. River, well, he and Ben didn\ actually speak to each other, but they didn\ fight either. And Ben and I both agreed we could live with that. At least they proved they could be in the same room together without killing each other. I even think I heard River mumble, ’’Nice place, cool tree,’’ under his breath when Ben was in his proximity. I got a laugh out of that. They\ll come around with each other;I know they will someday.

Once we finally leave the bed, we spend the day out. We meet my mom and Jack at the Farmer\s Market where we buy a few things for the house as well as some groceries. Once we get home and get our bags unloaded, I turn on the music, pour two glasses of sparkling water, slice a lemon, and suck on a wedge. I notice Ben\s stare as I do and a wave of relentless desire sweeps through me. I can feel my pulse racing and my breath quicken with every move around the kitchen he makes. He can feel it too, I can tell.

I lean back to watch Ben make dinner stir-fry. He finally convinced me to try it, but it wasn\ that difficult. I\ve had a weird need to eat carrots. It\s as if I\m Bugs Bunny lately. I would never admit it to Ben, though, because if he knew I wanted to eat vegetables, God knows what he\d have me eating. So instead I wrinkled my nose at the idea and hesitantly agreed. But first he had to promise a few se*ual favors in return. That part was fun. And since Ben\s always telling me what a whiz with a wok he is, I really did want to see him in action.


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