Authors: Opal Carew
The author and publisher have provided this e-book to you for your personal use only. You may not make this e-book publicly available in any way.
Copyright infringement is against the law. If you believe the copy of this e-book you are reading infringes on the author’s copyright, please notify the publisher at:
Kate’s heart thundered in her chest. They couldn’t be together because of something Matt did?
“Wait, I don’t understand. What about the other woman?”
“You mean Ileana? I told you, we only dated for a few months.”
She didn’t mean Ileana, but a growing dread prevented her from changing the line of conversation.
Matt’s gaze fell on her face and he paused. “Kate, I know Ileana caused you a great deal of pain, and it must be hard to know that she and I were together, but you’ve got to remember that I had no idea what happened. What she did to you.”
Kate hugged her knees and nodded. “I know. But it’s hard knowing you were with her.” She glanced around the room. “Knowing she was here with you. That you shared this bed.”
The woman had caused them so much grief.
Matt put his arms around her and drew her close to his solid body. She rested her head against his chest, taking solace in the fact she was here with him now, and that Ileana was out of the picture.
“How long exactly did you date her?”
“It started a few weeks after the party. It became clear that you weren’t going to answer my calls or e-mails. That you had decided to end it with me totally.”
At the pain in his voice, Kate took his hand and squeezed it. His warm fingers wrapped around hers.
“I was devastated and Ileana was there for me, listening, helping. I know now that must have been her plan all along. To drive you away, then insinuate herself into my life.”
“Why would she do that?” Kate gazed into his midnight blue eyes and was surprised to see his lips turn up in a smile.
considered quite a catch, you know.”
She returned his smile and stroked his cheek, loving the feel of stubble against her fingertips.
“I know you are.” She pressed her lips to his neck and kissed the whisker-roughened skin. “So why did you stop seeing her?”
He shrugged. “I was grief-stricken but I wasn’t blind. It didn’t take long to realize she was manipulative and ruthlessly ambitious. Within the space of a few months, she’d advanced from being a lawyer helping me out with a charity project, to being the prime contact between her law firm and my corporation—which was their biggest client—to being my girlfriend. It quickly became apparent to me that I was a means to an end.”
“So you broke it off with her?”
He nodded. “She didn’t love me. And I didn’t love her. I woke up one morning and realized there was nothing between us. That she was just a rebound relationship. Of course, I’d known it all along, but wouldn’t listen to the voice shouting inside me.” His lips brushed her forehead in a light kiss. “We fool ourselves at times like that. When we’re hurting. I wanted to be needed. To be loved.”
Kate’s heart ached at his totally sincere words, knowing she’d been the cause of his pain. While at the same time, she’d been in pain herself.
“But I finally figured it out, and I broke it off with her.”
“What did she do?” Kate couldn’t imagine that Ileana would have taken it well.
“Surprisingly, she took it in stride. I think what she really cared about was securing a senior position in her firm. If she could have married me and been a wealthy man’s wife, that would have been a bonus, but I suspect she wouldn’t have liked the limitations that situation would impose on her. She didn’t love me and I think she already had her eye on another man. A partner at her firm.”
“But when you broke up with her, she stayed as the contact person for your company?”
“Sure. Just because she and I didn’t work out didn’t mean I would jeopardize her job. I could work with her in a professional capacity and I didn’t have to deal with her very often anyway. Mostly she dealt with my senior staff.” He tucked his finger under her chin and lifted it, their gazes aligning. “Remember, I had no idea how vicious she’d been with regards to you. After you told me what really happened, and Ileana’s part in it, I went back and had her removed as our contact immediately. I told the senior partner of her firm that I didn’t want her having anything to do with my business.”
She nodded, and he glided his finger along her cheek, then she settled her head against his chest again.
“As it turns out, he was only too happy to replace her. It seems she’d been indiscreet while having an affair with two of the partners at the same time, causing jealousy and a lot of friction around the office. The only reason they’d kept her around was because of her connection to me. As soon as I severed that, they fired her.”
“So she’s out of a job?”
“Kate, you can’t tell me you feel sorry for her.”
“No, it’s not that. When she was here, she wanted to get the ring, saying it was hers and she shouldn’t have given it back to you.”
“It was never hers.”
Kate nodded. “But do you think she would actually have taken the ring? She’d said something about moving to California to start again, and that the ring would go a long way toward a down payment on a house.”
“She would certainly have trouble finding work in New York again after the problems she’s caused. I wouldn’t put it past her to take the ring. Then, if I tried to charge her with theft, she might find a way to turn it around on you if you had let her take the ring, or just deny that she had it.” He shrugged. “Or she probably just expected that I couldn’t be bothered going after her for it.”
She tightened her arms around him. “I’m just glad she’s no longer a part of our life.”
She gazed up at Matt. She so much wanted a shared life with him. She loved him so much her heart ached.
But there was something standing in the way of that, and she had to know what it was.
“Matt, last night you wouldn’t talk about it, but I really want to know about the woman you bought the ring for.”
“No, please. I know she hurt you. And I assume you still love her. But you need to move on with your life. You need to get over her.”
“Kate, that’s what I’ve been trying to do.” He placed his hands on her shoulders and pressed her back. Their bodies parted and the comfort of being close to him slipped away. He stared at her, pain emanating from his eyes. “But it’s harder than you know.”
“Why, Matt? Who is she? What did she do to you?”
“She didn’t do anything. It’s what I did.”
She looked at him, confused. She couldn’t imagine Matt doing anything that would drive a woman away.
He tucked his finger under her chin and tilted her face toward him. “And the woman is you.”
She shook her head. “I don’t understand.”
“Kate, I bought the ring for you. Before the party. Ileana came with me to pick it out. I was going to propose the following weekend.”
Her chin trembled as she gazed at him. “You were going to propose…to me?”
He nodded. “I had it all planned out. I booked a romantic getaway and I was going to propose on bended knee under the stars. I bought this house for us to live in.” He stroked her cheek with yearning in his eyes.
“Oh, Matt.” She surged forward and kissed him, her lips moving on his passionately.
His arms swept around her as he answered her loving kiss.
“Oh, Matt, I love you.”
His eyes turned guarded and he tried to draw back, but she tightened her arms around him.
“Kate, I shouldn’t have told you that. It was selfish and—”
She stopped his words with another kiss, wanting to break down his resolve.
“No, I won’t let you take it back. You love me. No matter what else you have to say, no matter what happens in the future, right now I know you love me.” She stroked his cheek, tenderness flooding through her. “And I love you. Give me this.”
Emotions warred in his eyes, then he relented and dragged her against his solid chest again. His mouth consumed hers, his tongue delving deep. She opened, welcoming him. Her heart pounded in her chest as their tongues danced. She ran her hands along his cheek, stroking his stubbly chin, elation flooding through her.
“No, Kate. There’s more. I need to tell you—”
She covered his mouth again, at the same time grasping his shoulders and pushing him back on the bed.
She locked gazes with him. “No, you don’t.” She ran her hands along his shoulders, then down his muscular chest. “Not now.”
Because she knew she didn’t want to hear it.
“Right now, I want this.” She leaned forward and nipped his shoulder, then kissed her way down his chest. “Knowing you love me. Sharing that love.” She dragged her tongue over his tight nipple. “I won’t allow anything to ruin it.” She licked his other nipple, then sucked, eliciting a groan.
“Kate.” He rolled her over until his solid masculine body hovered over her.
For a moment, she thought he was going to release her and roll away, but then his lips swooped down and claimed hers again. When he released her mouth, she was breathless.
“I do love you, Kate.” His dark gaze pierced her. “And I want this just as much as you do.”
The passion of his kiss unnerved her, but she opened to him, then glided her tongue inside his mouth, exploring the hot depths. Their tongues tangled until finally she drew back and sucked in air.
“I love you, Matt.” She pressed on his chest and he allowed her to roll him onto his back, then she prowled over him, resting her knees on either side of his thighs, his swelling shaft a hard ridge against her aching wet flesh.
She stroked his chest with both hands, loving the feel of solid muscle under her fingertips. He ran his hands over her shoulders, then down her chest, his fingertips sending electrical impulses of pleasure rippling through her. When his thumb brushed her nipple, she gasped and arched toward him. He drew her forward and licked her nipple, then suckled lightly. Her head spun as she moaned at the exquisite sensation.
She glided her body forward, then back, dragging her slick opening over his growing shaft. It was so hard and solid. Stroking her. He drew her down until her breasts crushed against his hard chest and he cupped her cheek, then their lips met again. She glided her tongue inside him, reveling in the warmth of him, and the magic of sharing this closeness.
“Matt, make love to me.”
He smiled, lighting up his whole face. “I will, my sweet.” He stroked her cheek, then rolled her over until she lay trapped beneath his solid body. “But after I taste you.”
He prowled downward with a beaming smile, then pressed her legs wide. His mouth lightly brushed her upper thigh and she arched. When his tongue grazed her slick folds, then pressed into them, she moaned.
“Oh, Matt. Yes.”
He licked inside her as his fingers explored. Two slid inside, just a little, and his tongue found her clit. A thin, trailing moan erupted from her as he licked and cajoled. His fingers glided deeper and she arched. Her fingers twined through his hair as her nerve endings blasted her with pure sensation. She drifted on a cloud of bliss.
Matt loved her.
He suckled her bud and she gasped again, then exploded into ecstasy, her fingers tightening around his scalp. He continued sucking and licking as pleasure blasted through her.
Finally, she collapsed, and he gazed up at her, his eyes gleaming.
A deep need pulsed within her. She needed to join with him. To feel his hot, hard shaft inside her. Her need must have shone brightly in her eyes, because he kissed up her body, then settled his knees between her thighs.
“I want you, Kate.”
She nodded. “Yes.” She stroked his shoulders. “Fill me, Matt. I want you inside me.”
His lips found hers in a potently gentle kiss, as his rock-hard flesh brushed her opening. Slowly, his solid erection pushed into her, her soft flesh stretching around him as she accepted him into her body.
“Oh, Matt.” She gazed into his midnight eyes and could barely believe the depth of the love shining there. It blazed like the noonday sun, filling her with warmth.
He surged forward, until he was fully immersed. She clung to him, holding him tight against her, wishing she could keep him this close forever. He twitched inside her and she laughed in pure joy. He nuzzled her neck.
“My God, you are so soft.” He kissed her, his tongue gliding deep.
She stroked it with her own, reveling in the powerful intimacy of the moment. Then their gazes locked and it was as if the world around them melted away. Only the two of them existed in this place, in this time. In a brief moment of eternity.
Kate knew she would never stop loving this man. No matter what happened. No matter what he told her.
“Kate, what is it?”
She realized a tear had welled in her eye and she shook her head. “Nothing, I just love you so much.”
A shadow flickered in his eyes, but he melded his lips with hers and the intensity of his kiss took her breath away.
“And I love you.”
Then he drew back and surged forward again. His hot, hard shaft filled her and she tightened around him, trying to keep him inside her, but he glided away, then surged deep again.
“Oh, Matt.” Her reedy words ended on a whimper as his hard, masculine body crushed her to the bed.
He moved back and forth within her, his powerful thrusts driving her to heaven. She whimpered again, clinging to his shoulders.
“Kate, come for me, sweetheart. I want to see your face in the sweet state of bliss.”
The pleasure already swelled within her, but his words sent her spinning over the edge.
“Oh, yes. Oh, Matt.” She wailed as blissful streaks of pure ecstasy glided through her. She arched against him.
He thrust again and she wailed as an orgasm exploded within her, with Matt deep inside her, his arms wrapped around her, the two of them joined as one.
She squeezed his hard flesh inside her.
“Kate. Yes.” He groaned and hot liquid filled her, driving her pleasure higher.
They rode the wave of ecstasy together, clinging to each other. Finally, they collapsed together, gasping for air.