He trailed his fingertips along the swell of her breasts, the soft flesh above the fancy white lace of her bra.

"You know one of the really great things about women?" he said conversationally as his fingers danced down over lace and back again. "Not just that they have breasts—which can't be over-appreciated—but all the cool things they put them in."

It made her laugh even as her skin began to shiver. "Like lingerie, do you?"

"Oh yeah." He toyed with the right strap, then nudged it off her shoulder. "On women, that is. I used to swipe Anna's Victoria's Secret catalogues so I could… Well." He nudged the left strap. "Probably shouldn't get into that at such a moment. You wearing panty things that match this?"

A quickening of power began to throb under the nerves. "I guess you'll just have to find out for yourself."

"I just bet you are" He leaned in to rub his lips over her shoulder. "You're a coordinated sort of woman. You know what other part—anatomically speaking—I really like about you?"

His lips were gliding along her throat now, rousing and soothing at the same time. "I hesitate to ask."

"This right here." His fingers stroked the nape of her neck. "Drives me crazy. I'll warn you I'm going to have to bite it in just a little while, so don't be alarmed."

"I appreciate you… mmmm." His teeth scraped along her jaw, closing lightly over her chin before they nipped at her bottom lip.

"You were starting to relax," he whispered when her breath caught. "Can't have that."

This time his mouth took hers, hot, hard, in a proprietary kiss that was almost a branding. The leap from playful to possessive was so fast, so high she could do nothing but cling while he ravaged.

Steady, she thought as her mind reeled. Had she believed she'd needed to be steady and sure? Oh no, this breathless race was better. So much better.

Her legs tightened around his waist, her body strained. On a jolt of need she answered the demand of the kiss with demands of her own.

No, this wasn't just want, she realized. This was craving.

She shoved at his shirt, pushing it off his shoulders so that her fingers could dig into flesh, could mold muscle.

Her scent was everywhere, as if she'd bathed in wildflowers. The delicacy of it, the silky texture of that fragrant skin misted his mind. The quiet, throaty moans she made when he touched, when he tasted, sprinted through his blood.

The light was changing, softening toward evening. He wanted to see that gentle sunlight glow over her, watch it catch in the green and gold of her eyes.

Her breath trembled out, and she arched back when he feasted on the long line of her throat. Flowed back, as if boneless, when his tongue slid toward her breast.

Struggling not to rush, he lifted his head to look down at her.

"Flexible, aren't you?"

"I take"—she shuddered, bowed—"yoga. Twice a week."

"Mother of God," was all he could manage as the long, lean length of her stretched back with her legs still locked around his waist.

Almost reverently now, his hands moved over her, exploring the slope of shoulder, curve of breast, the line of torso. He flipped open the button at her waist and eased the zipper down. Slowly.

"I was right." He tortured them both by slipping his fingers just under the elastic of white lace panties. "Coordinated. In more ways than one."

Tucking his hands under her hips, he lifted them. And nuzzled at her belly. He felt the muscles quiver under his lips, then jerk when he pressed his mouth to the lace between the V of cotton. The thrill coiled inside her, tight as a fist, then spread, fingers of pleasure that stroked toward an aching. When her legs trembled, he nudged them down, then drew the trim, tailored slacks away.

"I need to work my way up to the nape of your neck." His lips and fingers played over her legs. "It may take a while."

"That's okay." Her breath caught, then released on a sigh. "Take your time."

He didn't rush. As the aches built she fisted her hands in the sheets to stop herself from begging. She wanted to comb her fingers through his hair, to run them over his body, but was afraid if she released her anchor, even for an instant, she would fly out of this pool of swirling pleasures. She wanted to drown in it. He nipped lightly at her thigh and had her turning her face into the mattress, choking back a moan. His tongue slipped and slid along the edge of lace, turned moan into sob. Then stroked under it so sob became quick, gasping cries.

Her need was his need, and still his hands were easy as he rolled the lace down, as he brushed his palm over the heat. Watching her rise up, seeing her eyes go shocked, go blind as he urged her up, was glorious.

When she went limp, he moved up her body with lazy kisses. He wanted her to tremble, to call out his name, to clamp around him as if life depended on it.

And she would, he promised himself as he suckled her breast through the lace. Before they were done, she would.

Her heart was thudding under his mouth, and its beat kicked higher when he pulled the lace away and took flesh.

Her fingers tangled in his hair, pressed him closer, then streaked down his back.

"Let me." Her voice was thick and dreamy as she tugged at his jeans. "Let me."

The music was a low, pumping, primal beat, as urgent as her pulse. She rolled as she dragged denim away, pressed her body along the length of his. Found his mouth in a desperate kiss.

She needed, needed to fill herself with him, and took her lips on a wild journey over his face, his throat, his chest. God, so hard, so lean, so male.

She wanted, wanted him to fill her, to know that shock, that wonder of being invaded, of being joined. But when she would have straddled him, have taken him into her, he reared up. "Not yet." And flipped her over on her stomach. "I want—"

"So do I. Christ, so do I."

When he closed his teeth over the nape of her neck, the erotic shock had her crying out. Her hands closed over the iron rungs of the headboard, but there was no anchor this time.

She went wild.

She bucked under him, felt herself hurtling toward something like madness. "God. Oh God. Now."

His hand shot under her, and those clever fingers plunged into her, into the heat and the wet. She came on a violent leap that left her helpless and shuddering.

When her hands unclasped the rungs, he pushed her to her back. "Now," he said, and crushed his mouth to hers, swallowing her scream as he drove into her.

She closed around him, arched to him. A fast rise and fall, flesh pounding damply against flesh. Each time her breath would catch, his blood beat.

So he watched her as the last glints of sunlight glowed on her face, caught in the green and gold of her eyes as they hazed with tears.

She lifted a hand to his cheek, and there was a kind of wonder in her voice when she said, "Seth."

The beauty of it all but drowned him.

He watched her still as everything inside them shattered.

THE NEXT BEST THING to making love, in Seth's opinion, was floating along on the warm river of satisfaction after making love. There was something incredibly soft and lovely about a woman's body after completion that made it the perfect resting place.

They'd lost sunset and were drifting toward dusk. Somewhere along the way, he realized, his last CD had finished playing. Now there was only the sound of wind rising up and Drusilla's breathing.

Rain was coming. He could smell it—could sense the storm dancing on the air.

He'd have to shut the windows. Eventually.

He lifted a hand to stroke it along the side of her breast. "I guess you're relaxed now," he murmured. "Whether you like it or not."

"I guess I am."

He certainly was, she thought. That was a good sign. Wasn't it? She hated herself for being stupid. Hated knowing that now that her mind was clearing again, the doubts were creeping in.

She could hardly ask if it had been good for him without sounding like a ridiculous cliché.

But


it didn't stop her from wanting to know.

"Thirsty?" he asked her.

"A bit."

"Hmm." He nuzzled in. "I'll get us something, when I can move again."

She combed her fingers through his hair. He had such soft hair, so straight, so full of lights. "Ah… you're all right?"

"Uh-huh. Rain's coming in."

She glanced toward the windows. "No, it isn't."

"I mean rain's coming." He turned his head to look out at the sky. "Storm's blowing in. Your car windows up?"

Why the hell was he asking about her car windows when she'd just had a life-altering experience? "Yes."

"Good."

She stared at the ceiling. "I should go, before it rains."

"Uh-uh." He wrapped her close, then rolled over with her. "You should stay, and we'll listen to the rain when we make love again."

"Again?"

"Mmm. Did you know you have this little dimple right at the base of your spine?" He skimmed his finger there as he opened his eyes, and saw her face. "Something wrong?"

"I don't know. Is there?"

He caught her head in his hands, and considered. "I know that face. You're mildly peeved and working toward seriously pissed. What's wrong? Was I too rough?"

"No."

"Not rough enough, what? Hey." He gave her head a little shake. "Tell me what's wrong, Dru."

"Nothing. Nothing. You're an incredible lover. I've never been with anyone as thorough or exciting."

"Then what is it?" he demanded as she pulled away and sat up.

"I said it's nothing." She could hear the testiness of her own voice. God, she thought, she'd whine in a minute. The first threatening rumble of thunder seemed the perfect accent to her mood. "You might say something about me. Even the standard, 'Oh baby, that was amazing.'"

"Oh baby, that was amazing." He might have laughed, but he saw the glint in her eye wasn't just temper. "Hold on." He had to move fast to grab her before she could scoot off the bed. And to avoid a tussle, just rolled on top of her again to keep her in place. "Just what happened between you and that guy you were


Tags: Nora Roberts Chesapeake Bay Saga Romance
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