Page 15 of The One

Deeper breath and she blows it out slowly. Then she takes another, and a soft smile curves lips that are again turning pink. I hate myself, but the flash of those lips around my cock hurtles through my depraved mind.

“Thank you.” It comes out as a croaking half whisper, and I can’t help myself.

I bring my lips to her forehead, whispering back.

“You’re welcome, baby. You’re welcome.”



I LICK MY DRY LIPS and pull air into my lungs, thankful for the simple act of breathing again.

Van is still sitting on the edge of the bed, his hand over my heart, and if I didn’t have my coat on still, I know my nipples would be clearly visible beneath the thin silk of my top, pressing out through my bra.

“I’m going to untie this.” He nods and glides his hand up to the bow of silk at my neck.

The other hand that was on my cheek moves downward, and a chill cascades through me making me shiver.

“You’re still cold,” he says as he unties the silk at my neck. I don’t protest, still weak from the attack and knowing anything around my neck right now only feels more constricting.

“I’m okay.” I croak, trying to clear my throat; my lungs still feeling that familiar burn.

He finishes with the bow, laying the long lengths of fabric down over the center buttons of my blouse, then stands and walks to the closet in his enormous suite, pulling out a blanket that is on the shelf.

As I watch him walk back, I see once again what I have to say is the most enormous erection pushing out on the front of his pants. It has to be an erection because if that is him flaccid, there is a horse somewhere missing his cock.

The thought makes me blush, and I force my eyes back upward, taking in the rough confidence that seems to pervade every part of him. His walk, the way he moves his hands, his clothing. Even though I know he’s probably dressed up tonight, there’s still something about how his clothes hang on him that screams man.

Unapologetic, testosterone filled man.

“Here, let’s swap your coat for a blanket. More comfortable that way. And I’ll turn the heat up.”

He lays the blanket down and helps me out of my coat. I should protest, but I am freezing, and there’s something about him I already trust.

“There.” He settles the blanket over me, and I work to draw a deep breath. “I like the sound of that.” He raises his eyebrows, and I see a deep silver scar along the side of his face. He finally strips off his canvas work jacket, tossing it on the upholstered chair by the window before reaching down to the heating and cooling unit and adjusting the temperature.

I lick my lips, and when he turns our eyes connect. Completely this time, neither of us looking away, and he closes the space between us as I swallow hard and press my thighs together.

His eyes don’t leave mine as he takes up his previous position on the edge of the bed, but he doesn’t say a word, just stares at me with those charcoal gray gems, dark but shining like ice on a lake at night.

The sleeves of his shirt are rolled up, and I see thick forearms with more scars and the deep, classic indigo of a tattoo half hidden under the fabric. My breath catches, but it’s not the asthma this time, it’s his scent.

I don’t know exactly, but I swear it’s a hint of diesel fuel, an uber-manly spicy cologne, along with a hint of the red wine he was drinking at dinner. It’s intoxicating, a contrast like him. From our dinner conversation, he’s intelligent but with a working man’s heart and body. My heart is racing when he reaches over and pushes my hair behind my left ear, deliberately exposing my port wine birthmark and looking directly at it.

“It’s beautiful. Sorry, I needed to say that. I didn’t like you trying to hide it. You may not give a shit what I like or don’t like, but I still needed to tell you. Do with the information as you wish, but please, around me, don’t ever hide. Not this.” A rough fingertip traces around my left eye, then he finishes. “Not anything. You’re a fascinating girl. Woman. Whatever you want to call yourself, don’t ever hide anything about you. You’re…” He trails off, his finger lowering down my cheek before he pulls his hand back to grip his knee.

Guilt covers me when thoughts of what he looks like under his clothes bangs around in my head.

He’s going to be my step-brother.

I see his eyes trail down to my chest. Then lower. All the way to my feet, then back up to my face. And I swear, when he takes a ragged breath, I see him shake his head slightly as if he’s in pain. I’m clothed and covered in a blanket, but I feel naked.