Authors: Carolyn Thornton
"How Did I Get Mixed Up In This Stupid Scheme?"
He raised his eyes to the ceiling. "Why me?"
"I thought—I thought—" she sniffed, "you had some compassion."
"Compassion?" He laughed. "Me?" And then his eyes turned serious again. "Just because I won't be the father of your child."
"I'm not asking you to." She lifted her chin and that curious dimple appeared. "All I'm asking is for you to be my husband, for a while."
"For Eric's sake," she whispered.
CAROLYN THORNTON combines a southern heritage with her love for far away places she encountered while writing travel articles. She states that "the question
led me to write the kind of novel I enjoy reading."
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have written in with your comments on Silhouette Romances.
We are always delighted to receive your letters, telling us what you like best about Silhouette, our authors, or indeed, anything else you want to tell us. This is a tremendous help to us as we strive to publish the best contemporary romances possible.
All the romances from Silhouette Books are for you, so enjoy this book and the many stories to come. I hope you will continue to share your thoughts with us and invite you to write to me at this address:
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Copyright© 1983 by Carolyn Stromeyer
Map by Ray Lundgren
First printing 1984
ISBN 0 340 35111 X
Brandy Logan looked down at the dark, masculine head lying on her breast and wondered how she was going to explain
He stirred, and snuggling closer, threw an arm across her bare midriff. Beneath his hand she felt a funny sensation deep within her body. Although not unpleasant, it was unfamiliar and frightening.
, she prayed, trying to ignore the reaction of her body to his caressive touch,
help me to be convincing
For Eric's sake.
Slowly he awakened, his thumb moving circularly over her hip, across to her navel, then lower. Breathlessly curious, she waited for his next move, wondering what all the subtleties of lovemaking involved. She had to keep a strict control on herself. His hands alone could cause her to forget her purpose. Reason reminded her he had probably made love to many women. For him, she was just another body.
She wriggled away from him, dragging the sheets up around her neck.
He came fully awake and smiled up at her. "Morning, beautiful."
Brandy smiled a bit uncertainly, wondering how much of last night he remembered. At least he wasn't surprised to find her in his bed, but then, he probably
slept alone. She guessed he wouldn't be smiling at her right now if he recalled the circumstances which led
Her heart pounded so rapidly she thought he would surely see the action through the thin barrier of the sheet. "Good morning," she whispered and turned away, embarrassed by the look in his green eyes.
He laughed, and reached up to touch her cheek with the back of his hand. "I didn't think women blushed anymore," he said.
"Why not?" she asked.
Anything to keep him talking
, she thought. If she didn't, he might take up where he left off last night.
"Women's lib," he answered, cocking his head, admiring her deep set brown eyes, full lips and soft dark brown hair framing her sensuous face. "You women are so busy trying to even the numbers, hopping in and out of bed with whoever is conveniently near, that there's very little mystery left, and certainly nothing to blush about."
Her color deepened as he spoke. She was guilty, but not in the way he thought. "I don't sleep around," she asserted.
"You spent the night with me." His eyes sparkled with amusement.
She wanted to slap the grin off his face, but remembered he would soon be angry enough. She lamely answered, "That was different."
"Hmmm. That's what they all say." His hands found her body again beneath the covers. Brandy wished she were at least wearing the slight protection of a nightgown. She had never slept in the nude, or even with a man before, but she couldn't tell him that. It was all part of her scheme.
"Please," she whispered, half of her loving the way his hand smoothed around the curves of her body where no man had touched her before.
"Please what?" he asked huskily, and pulled her up against the length of his hard warm body, taking her lips with his own.
Brandy wanted to put her arms around his neck and pull him down to her as his lips left hers to travel across her cheek and nibble at her ear. But she had to remember all of his moves were calculated for just that kind of reaction. He knew how to make women respond to him. His lovemaking was deliberate, calculated to satisfy his masculine image. Besides, she'd already gotten him where she wanted him. Now she had to convince him of the importance of her situation and why she had to stay there.
"Please what?" he prompted, his breath warm in her ear. "Please make love to you?"
Even his husky voice could set her body on fire with yearning. It would be so easy to give in to him, just for the moment; she had no doubt he would make every second pleasurable. But it would be selfish of her to invite him to continue, especially when there was Eric to consider.
"Please don't," she whispered, and wondered, when he didn't immediately stop his caressing and kissing, if he had heard her at all. She almost wished he hadn't.
Her body was hard with arousal, just as she could feel his own on top of her. His light touches made her wriggle with delight. It was as if he were strumming her like a fine musical instrument. She lifted her arms from beneath the covers to pull him even closer to her, wanting more than he was giving, but not understanding what she was asking.
As the flat of her palms came in contact with his smooth bare back rippling with muscles, he raised his head. His eyes, glazed with passion, stared into her own.
"What the hell—" he muttered, levering himself away from her and seizing her left hand to stare at the plain wide band he had felt when she touched his back.
Brandy blushed at the thought of how intimate he had become, and of how little she had done to stop him.
"Is that what I think it is?" His tone said it was a crime to wear a wedding ring, especially in his presence.
Brandy forced it up and down over her knuckle. "I am having a little trouble getting used to it. It's too tight."
He moved away from her as if he'd just discovered she had measles and was in the quarantine stage. "Look," he growled, "I may not think too much of marriage personally, but one thing I don't do is fool around with another man's wife."
Her heart pounded almost audibly. He did not remember all the details of the previous night. And he
have some set of standards. "It's okay. You don't have to worry about a jealous husband," she assured him.
"Now don't tell me he's out of town and will never find out. I wouldn't care if he's on the other side of the globe right now. I don't seduce married women. It's a principle with me."
Brandy wanted to smile. From what she'd heard about him, it seemed incongruous to hear Shaw Janus talk about principles where women were concerned. But the fact that she had glimpsed compassion in him had initially given her the courage to involve him in her problem—and maybe there
more to the man than his image implied. She was trusting enough to give him the benefit of the doubt. "That's very commendable of you," she said. If he noted the sarcasm in her voice, he didn't comment on it.