Mind spinning, muscles straining, she marveled at his strength. At the hard body that pushed her to the brink, exposing her even as he held her close. The hips that drove her closer to a dangerous ledge, his arms providing security.
Laying her open even as he protected.
Until she burst through the barrier, crying out from the force of her orgasm. And clung to Hunter as he joined her, the quake shaking her body with a ferocity that rocked the very foundation of her world.
* * *
“Looks like that cloud is bringing rain,” Abby said.
From the lounge chair beside her, Carly shaded her eyes from the glare. “I think we’ll be fine,” she said, staring at the single gray ball of fluff blotting the horizon.
The noontime sun sparkled in the brilliant blue Miami sky—clear except for the single offending cloud—and the lingering cold weather added a slight nip to the breeze. The utilitarian concrete rooftop of Carly’s apartment building was strictly for maintenance access. It wasn’t as nice as her multimillion-dollar childhood home overlooking the Atlantic. But Carly had added a few potted ferns, along with some used patio furniture, and with the city sprawled out in front she considered it heaven. After about a week of wondering where she stood with Hunter Philips, right now she needed the tranquil haven.
“Pete Booker asked me to spend the weekend with him,” Abby said.
Carly sent her a pleased grin. “And you said he wouldn’t ask you out after the last date.”
“Yeah, well...” Abby picked at her black leggings and smoothed her hand down the dark top with sleeves that flared at the wrists. “There’s always a chance he’ll change his mind.”
Carly studied her friend, her tone soft. “Not every relationship ends in catastrophe, Abby.”
“All mine have.” She twisted to face Carly, her black hair in pigtails. “And unless you’re holding out on me,” she shot her a meaningful look, “so have yours.” Carly resisted the urge to wince at the truth, and Abby went on. “Speaking of questionable relationships—have you heard from Hunter?”
Carly’s heart took a tumble. “Not since my dad’s party.”
“You’d think by now he’d, like...you know...actually ask you out on a date.”
Carly slunk down in her chair and pulled her sun visor lower, shading her eyes. Too bad she couldn’t block her concerns as easily.
Confused, emotionally and physically exhausted from the evening, the moment she and Hunter had rejoined the party Carly had left. And she’d spent the last seven days wondering what Hunter would have done if she hadn’t begged him to make love to her. No longer sidetracked by his disturbingly delicious presence, it was impossible not to scold herself for continuing to pursue a man who didn’t trust her. Wasn’t it enough to beat her head against the stubborn attitude of her father?
Must she continue to seek approval from those who doubted her the most?
After deliberating for hours, she’d decided it was time to cut her losses. Apparently self-control was impossible when it came to Hunter. She had no choice but to face him on the third show, but she could stay far, far away from him until then.
As plans went, it was all she had.
“And speaking of catastrophes,” Abby said in a grim tone, as if she’d read her mind, “you put a lot of effort into getting approval to write a piece on Hunter Philips. Now that our boss has finally said yes what are you going to tell her?”
Carly stared at her friend, and tension flooded her faster than she could reason away her fears. The look on Abby’s face reflected all the dark predictions she’d made from the beginning. For the first time Carly feared her friend wasn’t so much a pessimist as a realist.
And then Hunter’s voice came from behind. “Hello, Carly.”
Carly’s heart plunged to her stomach, and Abby shot from her chair, mumbling excuses about rain, getting wet, catching pneumonia, dying and burning in hell as she made a beeline for the exit. Gathering her courage, Carly twisted in her seat to watch Hunter approach, clad in a sleek leather jacket, pants and a dress shirt. He looked fresh and rested, but she hadn’t slept well for a week, reliving every moment with Hunter in her father’s house.
He sank into the lounge chair vacated by Abby. “Nice view,” he said, nodding at the city.
She doubted he was here to take in the sights. “How did you find me?”
“I saw your car in the garage and asked your neighbor where you were.”
They stared at each other, and silence fell. After her tumultuous family reunion , not to mention their sizzling interlude in the study, she was unable to play games or pretend to be polite—her nerves were too raw for her usual charm. She needed peace—which meant she needed him to leave. “What do you want, Hunter?” she said bluntly.