Mesmerized by the sight of all that sun-kissed skin, bare except for the black triangle of the string-bikini bottoms that didn’t quite manage to cover her perfectly round ass, he sat on the edge of her chaise.
This was, he decided, the perfect ending to his long day full of meetings.
The air was clear and humidity free, the sky the bright blue of aquamarines. A light breeze blew, ruffling the clumps of yellow black-eyed Susans and potted sea grasses that framed the pool area, and a stainless-steel bucket of Corona beers with limes chilled on a side table.
Best of all, his woman was nearly naked and within arm’s reach.
Life was, in short, pretty damn good.
Talia, who’d been sunbathing on her belly, levered up on her elbows, causing the untied strings of her bikini top to fall away from the toned curve of her back. She had a beautiful back. He skimmed his fingers down her spine, enjoying the way her skin shivered and her breath caught.
Even better than her back were her breasts, not that they were in sight at the moment. Alas. He had a tantalizing glimpse of them, though, and he stared at where that deep cleavage disappeared against the cushions.
He couldn’t see the dark nipples he loved so much.
If only she’d raise herself up a little bit higher—
“How was your support group?” she asked.
As usual, he had mixed feelings about discussing his vets’ group with her. The war seemed so far away from what they were building together, and he wanted to keep it that way.
“It was good.”
“Yeah?” she said encouragingly.
“But I don’t want to talk about it with you.”
“Is that okay?”
She gave that some consideration. “As long as I know you’re getting the support you need from them.”
Yeah, he thought. This one was a keeper.
“Between the group, my shrink and you? I think I’m pretty well covered.”
That seemed to satisfy her. “Good.”
“But you’re in the doghouse,” he reminded her. “I don’t think you missed me like you should have.”
Her face lit with amusement. “What can I do to convince you?”
He shrugged, now running his palm over her plump thighs to her butt, which he massaged with a firm stroke that made pleasure hum in her throat. Tugging gently, he untied the string nearest him.
“I’m not sure you can.”
“Oh, no.” She pouted, attracting his gaze to her talented and delicious mouth. “But I have some of your favorite beer for you. And it’s cold.”
“Eh,” he said.
Her slow grin stretched wider as she shifted a little to face him. She rested her head on one hand, and her bracelets clinked. As though she knew how she was winding him up tight, promising heaven but not handing it over, she rested her free arm across her breasts, smooshing them, but still keeping those nipples well out of sight, damn her. On the plus side, the wide curve of her hip was now visible, as was her taut belly.
He could work with that.
“Is that all you have to offer me?” he asked. “The beer?”
“What else do you want?”
He let his gaze sweep over her, all the way down her toned legs to her feet, with the silver toe ring, and then back up to her eyes again. They widened, the black pupils dilating with arousal.
“What do you think I want?” he murmured.
She stared him right in the face. “I’m hoping you want me.”
That was about the time his voice got hoarse and he began to sweat. His brain, which had mostly checked out by that point, did manage to hone in on one relevant question.
“Oh, didn’t I mention? I gave him the night off.”
“Good thinking.” He paused, savoring the way she could make all his secret nerve endings tingle to life with just a look. “So.”
“So.” Arching up a little, deepening that sexy curve in her spine and revealing just a bit more of her breasts, she bent her knees so that her feet hovered just above her ass. Her juicy, juicy ass. He swallowed hard, working on his control. “You do want me, right?”
Like a starving man wanted to grab a fork and belly up to the buffet at Golden Corral. “I don’t know,” he told her. “Let’s see what you’ve got.”