My Cowboy Valentine - Page 17

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His dark head dipped and his blue eyes flashed, locking with hers for the briefest second before his mouth covered hers, his lips firm and cool, almost cold from having been outside, and yet it was exactly right, familiar and good, this man with his firm, cool lips and strong, beard-roughened jaw. A shiver raced through her and she sighed with pleasure, lips parting beneath his.

He deepened the kiss just as slowly, and again she was the one who moved toward him, pressing closer, wanting more, knowing this was how a kiss should be.

After what seemed like a very long time, he lifted his head and stared down into her eyes. But it was hard to focus on anything when her legs were so weak and her belly felt as if it was flipping inside and out as pleasure surged through her.

“Wow,” she whispered, licking her bottom lip, which was tingling like mad, as was the rest of her. “Apparently some things haven’t changed.”

His lips curved but his blue eyes didn’t smile. Instead they burned with a fire she couldn’t identify. “The good parts of me are still here. It’s the drunk ass that’s gone.”

She lifted a hand to his face, her fingertips gently touching his hard, carved cheekbone, and then down to the new scar just under his chin. “I once loved you more than anything.”

His gaze searched hers. “I know I don’t have any right to be back in your life, Rache, but I want a chance to prove to you I’m different—”

He stepped even closer, narrowing the distance between them to a hairbreadth.

Her heart hammered as he gazed down into her eyes, drinking his fill before slowly, carefully, tucking one of her tendrils of hair behind her ear. “I was a fool to leave you,” he said, the backs of his fingers brushing the curve of her cheekbone and then along her jaw.

Rachel shivered at his touch.

“Hands down, the biggest mistake of my life,” he added.

“You broke my heart,” she whispered, her breath catching in her throat as her body seemed to hum, remembering him. Crazy how she only needed a touch and she was his again, her pulse pounding, the blood singing in her veins.

“Leaving you broke mine, too. Nothing was the same without you. Life didn’t mean anything without you.” He tucked another tendril of hair behind her ear, his fingertips tracing the shell of her ear and then moving lower to the little hollow beneath the lobe. “You’re so soft, so sweet.”

Then Cade dropped his head, and his mouth touched hers in a slow, lingering kiss that sent darts of feeling from her nipples to her belly and beyond.

Cade deepened the kiss, one of his hands cupping the back of her head so he could angle his mouth even closer, while the other settled in the small of her back, molding her body to his. He was warm and real, and suddenly she couldn’t get close enough. Rachel stood up on tiptoe to wrap her arms around his neck, pressing herself closer, loving how his big, hard body felt against hers. Instinctively her fingers curled into the cool crisp hair at his collar, savoring the silky texture and the warmth of his skin at his nape. “You feel so good,” she whispered against his mouth.

“I think it’d feel even better without so many clothes on.”

She drew back to look up into his blue eyes, and they were bright, hot and hungry. “I don’t remember that part in ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’”

“This is the adult version.”

“Ah.” Her lips twitched as she fought a smile.

“Is that a problem?”

“Not necessarily.” Rachel hesitated. “Tommy shouldn’t wake up for another hour.”

His burning gaze held hers. “Are you saying what I think you’re saying?”

“I’ve missed you, Cade.”

His smile slipped and pain shadowed eyes. “Darlin’, if I could go back in time and fix everything, I would.”

“Was I that easy to leave?”

“Walking away from you was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

“You didn’t come back.”

“Took me a while to get sober. And then it’s taken me a while to make peace with myself for being a loser—”

“You were never a loser, Cade. You just had demons—”

He cut off her words with another kiss, even fiercer this time, his lips parting hers, his tongue tracing the softness of her upper lip and then the fullness of the lower lip, before slipping deeper inside to tease her tongue. Rachel’s belly clenched with need and she pressed her hips against Cade’s, rubbing up against the hard ridge in his jeans. “Have somewhere more private we could go?” she asked.

“I’ve got a big bed in my room, but it’s upstairs.”

“We can leave the door open.”

“And you really think we’ve got an hour?”

“More like fifty-seven minutes now.”

“That settles that,” Cade said, easily swinging her up into his arms and carrying her out of the kitchen and up the stairs to the master bedroom, where he set her down on his bed before gently pressing her back against the mattress to kiss the side of her neck. “Can’t believe you’re really here.”

“Neither can I,” she breathed, as he pushed back the edges of her robe to kiss her collarbone and then a little lower. “Is this crazy?”

He’d been kissing his way down the slope of her breast and he flicked his tongue across her pert nipple before lifting his head to look her in the eye. “No, darlin’. I think this is the first sane thing I’ve done in years. You’re my girl. You’ll always be my girl.”

And then he was untying the sash

of her robe and kissing her and stroking her everywhere until she didn’t want anything but him. At her urging, Cade sheathed himself with a condom and settled between her thighs, and when he entered her, Rachel didn’t think she’d ever felt anything half so good in her entire life.

They made love the way she remembered...slowly, hungrily, with passion and need. And it might have been more than five years since they’d last made love, but Cade knew how to touch her and satisfy her, and he made sure she found release before he did.

Afterward, Rachel lay sleepy and relaxed in his arms, her cheek against his chest, listening to the strong, even thud of his heartbeat.

“Regrets?” Cade asked, his voice deep and slightly uncertain.

Her heart turned over. “No. I love being with you.”

“It feels right, doesn’t it?”

“It does—” And then she stopped at the sound of a door opening downstairs. “Tommy.”

“I heard him, too,” Cade said, slipping out from beneath her and leaving the bed to step into his boxers and jeans.

Rachel slipped into her robe, tying the sash tightly around her waist as she headed for the stairs with Cade close on her heels, but before she could take a step down, Cade caught her in his arms and spun her around to face him. “That was amazing,” he said, dropping a quick kiss on her lips. “You are amazing.”

She smiled and blushed. “It was pretty good, wasn’t it?”

“Next time we get together, though, it’s going to be a real date. Dinner, dancing, the works.”

“I’ll hold you to that,” she teased as he let her go, and she skipped down the stairs with him close on her heels.

They found Tommy sitting on the family-room floor with Lacey and the pups. “Dog,” Tommy said happily, smiling up at them as they entered the room. “Puppies. Tommy’s puppies. Yes?”

Chapter Nine

Cade walked Tommy’s pony around the corral on a lead, and even though Milly was slow, sweet and placid, Tommy was thrilled, his eyes wide, his lips parted in an ecstatic O.


Tags: Jane Porter Romance
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