Frayed Page 59

’’F*k,’’ he mutters, biting down on his lip. His hands slide to my br**sts and he cups both of them. Feeling almost dizzy, I press myself into his palms and drop my hands from his shirt, letting the sensation of his touch slide through me. My ni**les pebble into hard peaks as he squeezes them and I can\ help moaning even louder.

He pushes the spaghetti straps of my tank farther down my arms to uncover my handful-sized br**sts. His breath hitches as his mouth dips to mine. ’’Did you wear this to drive me crazy last night?’’

I shake my head and try to catch his lips with mine, but he maintains a slight distance between us.

’’And without a bra to kill me.’’ This time it\s not a question.

But I shake my head no again.

His hands move up my thighs and his fingertips dance under the flimsy cotton of my bottoms. ’’F*k me, you\ e not wearing any underwear.’’

Again I try to press my lips to his, but he keeps drawing back. He lets his fingers only lightly graze over me and I brace my palms on the counter to keep steady. When he presses them a little harder I moan, but he pulls his hands away. He covers them over mine, lightly caressing his thumbs across my skin. ’’Tell me and I\ll put my fingers inside your sweet pu**y.’’

I\m tingling everywhere as I mumble, ’’No, I didn\ , I promise. I was trying to keep anything from touching my sunburn and besides, if I wanted to drive you crazy I would have worn that.’’ I lift my hand from underneath his and point to the skimpy swimsuit I laid out perfectly yesterday before I left for Ivy\s release party.

The wickedest grin crosses his lips. ’’Put it on now.’’

I bite my lip. ’’Whatever you say, Mr. Covington.’’

He catches my mouth with his and finally kisses me again. I rub my naked chest against his and I think he might be panting. I clutch his shoulders under his shirt and scoot off the counter. He presses his fingers into my hips and guides me down.

I saunter across the room, pick up the suit, and hold it in front of me. ’’Is this what you want to see me in?’’

He bobs his chin, but his smoldering eyes stay locked on mine.

’’I\ll be right back,’’ I say, sashaying toward the bathroom.

’’No, don\ leave the room. Show me a little of that striptease you said you learned.’’

I shrug as if it\s no big deal, but really I want to be as se*y for him as I can be, and the thrill of being able to give him what he wants makes my stomach flip. I pull the straps of my tank top back up and turn around. Just as I glance over my shoulder and start to slowly lower the straps back down, his eyes shift from ocean blue into midnight sky before me.

’’But just know I\m f**king you in your bed all day,’’ he growls.

A sudden throbbing expands from my heart to my fingertips to my core but just as suddenly dissipates when there\s a knock at my door and I hear the jangling of my mother\s keys and very familiar voice.

’’Bell, honey, are you up? Jack and I went to the market this morning and brought you a few things,’’ she says as she tries to open the front door, but the chain prevents her.

’’F*k, not how I want to meet your parents,’’ Ben mutters under his breath.

I quickly pull my top back down. Ben is fast too, moving to redo the buttons I just moments ago undid. Patting my hair and taking a deep breath, I walk toward the door and unhook the chain.

With bags blocking their view, my mother and stepfather come in.

’’So glad you\ e finally using that lock I installed,’’ Jack says.

I smile. Ben must have used it last night. Honestly, I always forget.

’’Oh, good, you\ e already up. I thought we\d have breakfast together. You left so fast last night I didn\ get a chance to ask about your day at the beach,’’ my mother says.

’’And, missy, how did you get home anyway? Xander told us you\d left. I was worried about you,’’ Jack scolds.

’’Oh, Jack, a girl is allowed some secrets.’’ My mother winks at him.

He shrugs. ’’Charlotte, you know I can\ help it. I worry about her on her own.’’

My mother dismisses his comment, but I know she worries about me too. ’’It smells like you\ e already cooking breakfast,’’ she says.

As they move toward the kitchen I know I have to say something. ’’Actually Ben is making breakfast.’’

’’Ben?’’ my mother questions.

’’Yes, Ben Covington. He stopped by to check on me.’’

My mother\s face drops and she stands frozen just looking into the kitchen.

Jack sets his bags on the counter, grabbing my mother\s from her and doing the same. Ben moves toward them and extending his hand first to my mother, he says, ’’Mrs. Tyler, it\s a pleasure to finally meet you. Bell has told me so much about you.’’

Surprise and shock seem to swamp her, but she eventually smiles and extends her hand.

Ben turns to Jack and does the same. Jack is more cordial. When he extends his hand he says, ’’Ben, I heard the announcement this morning. Congratulations on the acquisition of Sound Music. I hear you have some terrific ideas for how to boost the publication. I\d love to hear about them.’’

’’I do, sir. And I\d be happy to share them anytime.’’

I can\ decide whether I want to hide underneath the sofa or jump on top of it in celebration at the effort Ben is making.

My mother clears her throat as she turns to me. Her eyes scan my flimsy attire that is not at all appropriate for visitors. ’’You said Ben was checking on you. What\s the matter?’’


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