Page 42 of The Shy Bride

“Okay, it’s the master bedroom then.”

“You do not mind my sweat?”


“We are friends.”

“Ah.” But he was still clearly laughing at her.

She didn’t care. He could be as amused as he liked, but while she might not ever have his heart, she would demand every concession his friendship afforded.

Neo could not believe that he was carrying Cassandra into his bedroom with serious intent. The intent to share his bed and his body. His hold on her tightened as he inhaled her scent and reveled in the knowledge of what was to come.

His body rejoiced while his brain tried to wrap around the change in his circumstances. She wanted him and she understood the limitations of their relationship. Not only understood, but accepted.

Friends with benefits. He would have to discuss this concept with her. The idea she might decide to have benefits with another friend down the road did not sit well with him. Their case was a special one and she would need to understand that. Another man might not treat her generosity with the respect and appreciation it deserved.

But right now, Neo was going to give her exactly what he had promised. He was going to blow her mind with pleasure.

They entered the bedroom and he turned on the light with his elbow. The California king-size bed was in the center of the room and he headed directly for it. He leaned down to pull back the top sheet and duvet, then he laid her on his black Egyptian cotton sheet-covered mattress. Her beautiful brown hair fanned out on the pillows just as he had known it would.

Reaching out, he smoothed his fingers through it. “It’s like silk.”

“It flies everywhere when I don’t keep it put up.”

“And yet you left it down for me.”

She looked at him with confusion for a second, but then she smiled and nodded. “Yes, I think I did.”

“You knew I craved to see and feel it.”

“I did notice you looking at my braid rather intently by the pool.”

“I was looking at all of you intently.”

“I wasn’t sure if I wasn’t imagining that.”

“You were not.”

“I’m glad.” Her smile was sweet and, for all her innocence, full of womanly mystery. “As am I.”

“I wanted to feel our bodies pressed close together in just our swimwear.”

“I will give you better than that. There will be nothing between us.”

She shuddered, her eyelids going half-mast. “I might not survive it.”

“You are good for my ego.” And Zee had been so right. Even the bantering with her was different…he was himself, he wanted to talk.

“Does it need stroking?”

“No,” he admitted with a smile. “But it feels good nonetheless.”

“I get that.”

“Do you?”

“Yes. I know I have uncommon talent with the piano, but it still feels really nice when others express their appreciation.”

“You do get it.” She got him like no one else. Not even Zephyr. The warm approval in her pretty amber eyes went straight to his groin. “Yep.”

“Get this,” he said as his hungry mouth pressed down over hers.

Her lips gave way under his almost immediately and he took instant advantage, sliding his tongue inside to taste sweetness that was rapidly becoming addictive. Her response was complete and unhesitating. She flicked her tongue against his while her sweet lips moved with unconscious sensuality.

His body knew what to do and without even thinking about it, he started stripping his clothing away as he kept her occupied with one devouring kiss after another. He wore only his briefs when he started on the buttons of her blouse.

Her hands slid down from his head and seemed to stutter when they encountered naked skin, but within seconds she was caressing everywhere she could reach, her slender fingers mapping his torso with passionate curiosity.

He slid her blouse back, revealing her lovely body. He wanted to see, but he didn’t want to stop kissing her.

She made up his mind for him by dragging her mouth from his. “You won’t be disappointed?”

He reared back and looked down at her, taking in the satin smooth skin of her stomach and the worried glint in her amber gaze at the same time. “How could I be disappointed? You are beautiful.”

“I am not.”

“Who determines the splendor of a piece of music?” he demanded.

“The person listening.”

“And who decides what is beautiful in what they see?” She hesitated for a moment, but then grudgingly said, “The person looking.”

“So?”

“To you I am beautiful, but you’re just saying that.”

“No.”

“But…”

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