Page 21 of The Shy Bride

“Ten inches,” she guessed aloud.

“What?”


“How far,” she said before she thought and would have bitten her own tongue in reprimand, but she was too busy simply trying to keep it still.

“How far what?” he asked, looking both confused and yet like he might have a glimmer what she was thinking.

“Never mind.” She wanted to look away, but couldn’t make herself do so.

She’d lamented the fact of her loneliness, the fact she would probably never have a family of her own. But never having been plagued with desires to kiss or touch another man, she’d also come to terms with her lack of sensuality.

Now she had to wonder, if she simply had never met the right man. She had never met Neo.

“What is ten inches?” he asked in silky demand.

And somehow she could not help telling him. “The distance between our mouths.”

He didn’t ask why that mattered, or laugh, or look at her like she was deranged. He didn’t do any of those things. He simply lowered his head, closing those ten inches in slow-motion intensity, and then his lips were covering hers.

Shock coursed through Cass, seizing her to immobility. Neo Stamos was kissing her. And it was wonderful. More than wonderful, it was amazing, fabulous, stupendous.

Her first kiss.

Pure, unadulterated pleasure washed over her in one tropical warm wave after another. Neo’s lips were firm and all male as they moved confidently against her own.

She could smell his aftershave, an expensive musk that made her knees turn to water. Or was that the feel of his tongue teasing at the seam of her lips, requesting, maybe even demanding entrance?

She moaned, loving the alien feeling of his tongue on her lips. The sound of his jacket rasping against his shirt as he put his arms around her sent a shiver of alien need shimmering through her. It was not a sound she had heard very often in her life, never in this context, and certainly she had not expected to hear it with him. It brought home the reality of their circumstance as his lips on hers did not.

They were too delicious. Too tingle-producing. Too amazing. Too outside her realm of catalogued experiences.

But the sound of the fabrics moving against each other was more mundane, easier to comprehend and proof positive she was indeed being held by him. Neo Stamos. The most utterly gorgeous man she had ever met, or seen even. The feel of his suit trousers against her silk-covered legs was something else altogether.

His hands roamed over her, caressing her back and hips through the thin, slippery fabric of her robe. When his large, strong hands cupped her backside, she whimpered against his mouth, her lips finally parting of their own volition to let him inside.

He deepened the kiss immediately, his mouth laying claim to hers with both the skill and strength of a seasoned campaigner. If this was how he kissed all his women, no wonder he had a different one on his arm each night.

Even the thought of the revolving door in his bedroom could not dampen her ardor. She’d never known anything like the passion escalating inside her. She wanted to devour him. She wanted to be devoured by him. She wanted everything she had never had and so much she had never even thought about before.

What she got was a skilled mouth taking her to heights of pleasure while sure, steady hands kneaded her backside, dipping between her legs to barely caress the apex of her thighs. She cried out into his mouth at the slight touch. Naked. Yes. Naked would be good.

Only she couldn’t make herself break the kiss long enough to say so. And the tiny, still-functioning part of her brain was grateful.

No part of her was happy when he tore his lips from hers though.

“No. Don’t stop,” she pleaded.

He set her away from him, his expression so intense, she shivered from it.

CHAPTER FIVE

HE FROWNED, not appearing in the least bit happy. “I should not have done that.”

“Why?” She’d liked it, but maybe he hadn’t? No, he’d been enjoying himself, or doing a wonderful job of faking it.

From everything she’d read, that wasn’t the man’s job. To fake it. Of course, women weren’t supposed to do that, either, but some did. She wouldn’t have to. If they made love. She was certain of it, regardless of the fact that she’d never actually had any practical experience in that regard.

She recognized a master when she met one and this man was a master at the art of touch. And kissing.

He blew out a long breath. “We are friends.”

“Friends don’t kiss?” she asked, not entirely conscious of the words coming out of her mouth, but truly confused nonetheless.

“I do not know. I have never had a female friend.”

“That makes two of us.”

“You have never had another woman as a friend?” His tone said he didn’t think she was telling the truth.

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