Authors: Marilyn Lee
Tags: #multicultural romance, #Native American hero, #African american romance, #erotic romance, #interracial romance
Long Line of Love 4: Carae's Touch
©2015 Marilyn Lee
All rights reserved
Marilyn Lee Unleashed
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. All service marks, registered trademarks, and registered service marks are the property of their respective owners and are used herein for identification purposes only.
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Also by Marilyn Lee
Blue Desert Tales
Daughters of Takira
In Blood and Worth Loving
Long Line of Love
Women of Substance
ay I join you?"
At the sound of the warm baritone, Carae Harrington turned. A handsome male with brown eyes and long dark hair spilling over broad shoulders stood just inside the open French doors. Behind him, people, lights, and music filled the large room.
Yet once she looked into his eyes, the world behind and around them seemed to dissolve into the background. Lost in the magic of his almost hypnotic gaze, she imagined him astride a big stallion with the sun's rays kissing his bare chest and arms while glinting down on his hair.
For the first time, she understood the appeal of the many Native American capture romances her friends had devoured in high school and college. As his warm, intimate smile reached out to melt the chill she'd felt since Tommy had told her he wanted to see other women, she knew she would happily submit to any sexual designs this intriguing male might have on her.
He walked out onto the patio.
The dark suit he wore fit his six foot plus frame perfectly, emphasizing the width of his shoulders and the impressive span of his chest. He had long legs and six-pack abs. Masculinity reeked out of his pores, overwhelming her senses until all she could think of was hot, raunchy, raw, rough sex. She imagined him kissing and sucking her breasts before paddling her bare cheeks. Then when they burned and she was on fire with the need to feel him inside her body, she would turn onto her belly or straddle him and ride him hard and wild until he erupted deep inside her, filling her with his seed.
Embarrassed by her graphic thoughts, she swallowed and tore her gaze from his. Caren was right. It was definitely time she got another man in her life.
Oh, no. "Not Lelia's brother?"
He arched a brow. "Guilty as charged."
She distinctly recalled Lelia saying her brothers didn't date her friends. Still, she was a firm believer in there being an exception to every rule.
"And who do I have the pleasure of meeting?" He extended a big hand with long fingers that would feel heavenly caressing any part of her body.
"Carae Harrington," she said, putting her hand in his.
His fingers closed around hers.
She suppressed a shiver as a jolt of warmth and desire sizzled through her. Here was a man who made a woman thankful to be female.
"Carae? Lovely name." He released her hand. "Should I expect some irate male to come storming out here to inform me that you're with him?"
"You're in luck. I came alone."
He glanced over his shoulder. "There are single men of every hue here. Why aren't you inside dancing?"
She shrugged. "I wasn't really in the partying or dancing mood."
"Then why come?"
"Lelia and Caren insisted I come."
"Is she here?"
She shook her head. "I wish she were."
"You sound wistful. Is she far away?"
"Yes. She and her husband are teaching in South Africa."
"Has she been gone long?"
"Yes. Too long. I haven't seen her for over six months, although we talk at least once a week. I still miss her."
"She's your twin?"
"Yes," she nodded. "How did you know?"
He shrugged. "Maybe because I have an identical twin, I can sometimes tell when other people do as well. Why did Lelia and your sister insist you come?"
"They said it was time I got back in the game."
"Ah, getting over a bad breakup?"
After a moment of indecision, she nodded. Considering how attracted she was to him, talking to him was surprisingly easy.
"So you're Lelia's friend."
"Yes," she reluctantly admitted.
He sighed. "I see. Well, I have a feeling his loss will be some other man's gain."
She smiled. Maybe her friendship with Lelia wouldn't be a disadvantage after all. "Are you flirting with me?"
"No. I'm simply stating a fact."
"I'd rather you flirted with me."
He smiled. "Are you in the mood for a moonlight stroll?"
Even though she was starting to feel a little chilly, she nodded. "Yes." Unable to resist the lure of being so close to him, she slipped her arm through his. "Do you mind?"
He looked down at her with his lids lowered. "This way," he said.
As they walked around the beautifully landscaped grounds of the large, multi-million-dollar brick mansion, she wished she'd paid more attention on the rare occasions Lelia had talked about her many brothers.
She knew the Grayhawks were Cherokee and that they were tri-lingual, speaking Tsalagi, English, and at least one other language. She knew they valued education and that most of them held a master's degree at a minimum. If memory served, at least three of them held doctorate degrees.
When she'd arrived, Lelia had introduced her to five of her brothers, three of whom were married to African-American women of various body types with looks ranging from plain to supermodel gorgeous. Although younger than all three Grayhawk wives, she knew most men considered her worth a second look and generally viewed her curves favorably. So there was no reason she shouldn't be able to hold Brandon Grayhawk's interest for more than a few hours.
After a half hour of walking in silence, he led her to a sheltered, moonlit glade that contained several chairs, tables, a portable mini-bar, and a beautiful covered swing.
"Would you like a drink, Carae?"
He gestured to one of the chairs.
She shivered as a breeze touched her bare arms and sat on the swing.
He removed the jacket of the dark suit he wore and placed it over her shoulders. "Is this better?"
Losing herself in the warmth of his jacket, she smiled up at him. "Nothing like a warm, cologne-scented jacket on a chilly night."
He sat across from her and stared at her in silence for several moments.
They were close enough to the house that she could clearly hear the music. Maybe he'd ask her to dance. "You're staring," she said.
"Are you hungry?"
She shook her head. "No. Thanks. Tell me why you're staring at me and why you singled me out for a moonlight stroll."
"Why does any man stare at any woman or want to walk with her in the moonlight?"
"I'm not interested in why any man does anything. I'm interested in your motivation."
"Clearly, I find you worth walking in the moonlight with and staring at."
She smiled, delighted that the last dress she'd bought hoping to rekindle Tommy's ardor had captured Brandon Grayhawk's attention. It was a cream-colored A-line dress with spaghetti straps and a V neck that offered just a hint of her cleavage and fell around her calves.
"The feeling is mutual."
"Tell me about yourself."
"What do you want to know?"
He glanced at her left hand. "Everything, but start with your marital status."
"Why? You interested in marrying me?" She asked, holding up her left hand to show it held no ring.
He smiled. "Does that mean you're single?"
He nodded. "But I want to hear about you. Tell me everything."
"I'm a Real Property Evaluator, single, twenty-eight, and I share an apartment in Fairmount with a friend."
"A female friend?"
She hesitated before shaking her head. "No."
His gaze narrowed. "Male?"
"And are there any benefits attached to this friendship?"
"We have separate bedrooms," she said, hoping he wouldn't make it necessary for her to admit that she and Jim had slept together several times in the past.
He stared at her in silence for so long that she almost felt he knew of her deception by omission. Finally, when she was about to look guiltily away, he spoke again. "Are you seeing anyone?"
She shook her head. "No."
"Who was the bad breakup with?"
"Do you give every woman you meet the third degree or should I feel special?"
He smiled. "You didn't answer my question."
"Is there any reason why I should?"
"Is there any reason why you shouldn't?" he challenged.
"You mean besides the fact that it's really none of your business?"
He shrugged. "That's never stopped me from asking questions to which I wanted answers. And the answer is?"
She found his self-confidence attractive. "We broke up about six months ago."
"Did it ever occur to you that this might be a painful subject I'd rather not discuss with you?"
He gave her a probing stare. "Is it?"
"No," she admitted. "If you must know, he said after two years things between us were a little stale and he wanted to see other women." She paused, realizing the sting that admission usually caused was absent.
"He hurt you?"
"I thought we were...I was clearly more into him than he was into me so it stung when I realized he wanted more than me. But I'm over him now."
"And back on the market?"
Big time. "Yes. Now that you've wormed all of my secrets out of me, let me grill you."
He abruptly rose and turned his back to her. "Why don't I save you the trouble and tell you that if you think you're interested in me, you'll be even more interested in my twin, Bancroft."
As a woman with an identical twin with whom she had virtually nothing in common, it annoyed her when people assumed that Caren and she were interchangeable. "Why?"
"Because Bancroft is everything that I'm not."
"What can he possibly have that you don't?"
"He's charming, inclined to find something attractive in every single woman he meets, and he generally has a more agreeable temperament than I do. Plus, he tells me he's the better looking twin."
"Some might say he sounds perfect."
"I thought you'd think so."
"I didn't say I thought so. I said some might say he was. Even if he's everything you say he is—"
"I assure you he is."
"Even so, you're the one I want to hear about, Brandon. Not him."