“Sometimes I forget how much you look like her.”
I smiled and swallowed back tears. Now that I knew my father, I could appreciate a little more how closely my features favored my late mother’s. We shared the same blond locks and fair skin, but my father’s eyes stared back at me.
I tensed suddenly at the thought of seeing him tonight. Nothing about that relationship was simple.
“Well, she had incredible taste.”
Her eyebrows rose slightly. “Actually, Daniel bought this for her. She wore it to our senior ball.”
“But she left it with you.”
“She left a few things, out of convenience I suppose. Told me to donate them. But this was too beautiful not to keep. I’m so glad I did. Look at you.” She slid her hands down my upper arms and gave them a little squeeze.
“It’s perfect.” I ran my hands over the fabric, loving the mix of soft and rough textures, from the velvet to the silk. The dress fit me so well. Somehow my mother had managed to give me a truly beautiful gift without even knowing it.
Before I could get emotional again, the door buzzed in the kitchen. I shuffled out of the bedroom to answer it. A few seconds later I let in the courier. He was holding a pink box with a black sheer bow. His eyebrows rose as he examined my too-formal-for-midday outfit.
“Sorry, wardrobe change,” I joked nervously.
“No apologies needed.” He gave me an obvious once-over before fishing a piece of paper out of his pocket. “Um, I just need you to sign for this.”
I scribbled my signature and took the box. I shut the door behind him and set the box on the table, eager to open it. I retrieved the tiny card tied to the bow and read it.
Spoil me and wear this tonight.
My heart sank a little. Shit, what if he’d bought me a dress? I couldn’t part with this gown. The gala was still hours away but I already didn’t want to take it off.
Reluctantly, I tugged the edge of the bow and pushed away the layers of pink tissue paper until I reached a pile of delicately folded black lace garments. I took out a strapless bra with matching panties and lace topped silk stockings. The man had expensive taste, and lingerie was no exception.
Marie came up behind me and let out a whistle.
“Okay, that’s my cue. My work here is done.”
Suddenly embarrassed, I dropped the garments back into the box.
“You’re officially my formal attire savior. Thank you so much, Marie.”
“Anytime, baby girl. I’m glad I could help. Please take pictures! Oh—actually on that note. I forgot to tell you that Richard will be there with a photographer who’s covering the event. Maybe he’ll give you a plug in his piece.”
“Awesome, I’ll keep an eye out for him.”
“He’s tall, dark, and unwilling to commit. You can’t miss him.”
“Seriously though, he’s seen photos of you all over my apartment, so I’m sure he’ll introduce himself at some point.”
“Got it. I’ll be on the lookout.”
She gave me a quick kiss and headed out, leaving me alone with nothing but the overwhelming anticipation of the night to come.
I’d slipped on the lingerie that Blake had given me and did a little spin in front of the mirror, assessing myself. My hair was pinned up, and loose curls framed my face. I wore diamond studs that had been my mother’s and matched the diamond bangles that Blake had given to me.
What a lucky girl I am, I thought, giddy with anticipation. But trying to network with all this sexual anticipation was going to be interesting for sure.
Alli had taken off for New York already and Heath was now staying with Blake. Maybe that was a good thing. He’d mentioned props recently, and the thought of being subjected to his arsenal of dominating toys intimidated me a little. We could do enough with our bodies alone. Surely we didn’t need help.
Just then, Blake’s silhouette filled the doorway. My breath caught as I sized him up. The green in his eyes glowed against the stark black and white of his perfectly tailored tuxedo.
I watched his reflection as he walked slowly toward me, drinking me in from the back.
He stopped behind me, catching my gaze in the mirror. “I may have underestimated how tempting you would be in this little getup. Those panties do fantastic things for your ass.”
“Serves you right,” I teased, taking a step back so I could feel the heat of his body, perilously close.
He sucked in a sharp breath through his teeth. He rested a hand at my hip and pulled me back so our bodies met.
“I couldn’t wait to see you in it.”
“I missed you too.” I smiled and leaned in, rolling my hand back, relieved to have him with me again. My body relaxed into his. Any time away from each other really dragged. Could you sound more hopeless and dependent? I ignored the little voice, and at least for now, gave in to being completed in his presence.
My smile faded when he trailed his lips up my neck, took my diamond stud in his mouth, and bit my earlobe gently. I let a moan escape my lips and my body tensed in heated anticipation. He roamed my curves. Sliding his palm over my belly, he moved south and slipped into my panties and over my mound. He stopped suddenly and his eyes widened.
He spun me around, hooked his thumbs under the strings of the panties and pulled them down without ceremony, revealing the results of my very first Brazilian wax.
I bit my lip, nervous and shy to be so bare. “Do you like it? I wanted to surprise you.”
“Color me surprised.” He pushed me back up to my dresser and dropped to his knees, bringing the panties to the floor with him. “Sweet Jesus. You do love me.”
My giggle segued into a gasp when he slung my leg over his shoulder and dove into me, licking me, spreading me with his fingers so he could tantalize the sensitive flesh. The man had a brilliant mouth, and everything felt so…different down there. More intense, like I was being touched for the first time. An exposed nerve bared only for him. I shivered at his breath over me. The sensations of his lips and tongue as they tantalized my bare flesh had me trembling.
I glanced to the side, catching our reflection in my floor-length mirror. My face was flushed and my breasts heaved, heavy and tender up against the bra. Watching him eat me with such passion, this flawlessly beautiful man in his flawless tuxedo, pleasuring me like his life depended on it, was possibly the most erotic thing I’d ever witnessed. My heart swelled at the sight of it. Warmth washed over me, spreading like wildfire until I was burning with love and arousal.