She continued her sensual assault down his chest, over his abs. He tightened his stomach muscles, fighting for control. Finally, she removed the last barrier between them, his boxers joining the rest of their clothes on the floor, and her mouth brushing a kiss over his erection was nearly enough for him to lose it. Right then and there, from her whisper of a kiss.
It killed him to have to shift away from her for even a second to get a condom out of his bedside table. And all the while she was pressing kisses against his face, his neck, his shoulders and chest. With a groan, he ripped open the package and shoved the condom on.
And then, she was wrapping her legs around his waist and guiding him into her--and sweet Lord, it was so sweet, so perfect. Everything he hadn't wanted to let himself dream about, but couldn't have ever forgotten no matter how hard he tried, hearing her gasp with pleasure until he was finally right where he belonged.
Finally with Sarah again. Finally holding her in his arms. Finally feeling the pure joy that no one else had ever made him feel. Finally able to give in to the deep emotions that had never gone away, that had only grown stronger with every minute, every day, every year he'd missed her. With every second he'd wished she'd come back. That he'd prayed for every secret dream he had to come true.
"I love you."
Before either of them could really react to the words he hadn't planned on saying but couldn't keep inside, nature was taking over, their tongues slipping and sliding against each other as their hips did a similar dance.
He had dreamed of this moment a hundred times. A thousand. But being with her, as adults, was so much better than it had ever been when they were kids.
All he knew, all that mattered, was that she was finally his again.
They knew each other's bodies so well, and yet there was so much innocence, everything was so fresh, so new. So many times he'd woken up in the middle of the night, dreaming he was running his hands over her smooth skin, over her gorgeous curves, tracing the lines, the swells of her body, trying to go slow so that he could savor her, trying to memorize every inch of her before he woke, before he lost hold of her again.
And now that she was real, now that she wasn't just a dream, now that she was warm and soft and moving beneath him, against him--now that she was begging him to take, to give, begging him for more more more--he could hardly believe he'd ever done anything good enough to deserve this. To deserve one more chance with her. To deserve this chance to get it right this time. To let breathless and reckless and fearless take over. To give her everything.
His mouth, his hands, his body moving over hers, inside of her, with her arms and legs around him as they tangled his sheets, as their skin grew slick with sweat, he gave everything he had to loving her. To showing her that he'd never stopped loving her. That he never would.
And then she was saying, "PleaseCalvinIneedyousomuch," in a rush of need, of inescapable desire, and he was lost, his body joining hers in an explosion of pleasure.
His climax shot through every vein, through every cell, through every part of his heart. And he knew it was the same for her, could feel the power of her release as she held him like she never wanted to let him go.
They were both still panting when he rolled back onto the mattress, taking her sweat-slickened body against his. Her lids were heavy, and he could tell by her breathing and relaxed muscles that she was already asleep by the time her head found his shoulder.
The sun was almost up completely, and it was time to get his sister ready for school. First, though, he'd steal another sixty seconds with Sarah.
And silently pray for another sixty years.
I love you.
They were the first words Sarah heard inside her head when she woke, in Calvin's bed. Three words she'd never thought he'd ever say again...but that she'd still secretly longed for. Every single second of the past ten years, if she were finally being completely honest with herself.
He'd shocked her with his profession, even if she hadn't been shocked by their explosive lovemaking. How could she be, when making love with him, when being that close again, had been inevitable?
And yet what had made being with him so amazing, the real reason his every kiss and touch took her breath away, was because of their connection. Even ten years apart couldn't break the strong emotional current that had always run between them.
Unfortunately, recognizing the steady strength of their bond didn't help anything else make sense--it didn't mean that things between them could work beyond one beautiful sunrise.
Being with Calvin would mean being a steady, stable part of his sister's life.
Being with Calvin would mean being a part of Summer Lake permanently.
Being with Calvin meant letting go of the brass ring and giving up all of her dreams for something bigger, dreams that her father had helped to nurture.
And all of those things terrified her.
Fully awake now, she needed to call over to the hospital to check on her grandmother and mother. Unable to find a phone in his bedroom--so different from the way she normally slept, with her cell phone on the mattress beside her--she found a robe on the back of his door and put it on.
She hadn't felt shy when they were making love, but as she stepped out into the kitchen wearing his robe, she did. "Good morning."
He looked up with a smile from the stove where he was turning over pancakes. Jordan sat at the breakfast bar reading a book and said, "Hi, Sarah."
It was a little bit of a shock to be greeted so casually by the young girl. Was Jo
rdan used to having women spend the night with her brother? Jealousy rode Sarah like an out-of-control Mustang hell-bent on escaping its pen, even though she knew he would never parade women in front of his sister. The sister he had given up everything to take care of.
"Your grandmother is doing great." His voice was warm, and his eyes were even warmer as he took in his robe over her naked skin. "I spoke to your mom a little while ago, and she said Olive was awake and asking for her knitting needles."
Relief flooded her as she leaned against the island. "I wish I could head straight back to the hospital to see her, but I promised to run the store today."
"I'd like to come with you tonight to see her, if you don't mind."
Sarah wanted to throw herself on him, plant kisses all over his face. But he'd already given her so much. Too much. More than she had any right to expect.
And she was scared. So damn scared.
"Can I come too?" Jordan shoved another huge bite of pancake into her mouth before adding, "I really like Olive. She comes into our class sometimes to read us books."
"Of course you can come. Both of you." Still feeling horribly awkward in their cozy family kitchen, as though she were the only piece that didn't fit in an already finished puzzle, she started backing out of the room. "If you don't mind, Calvin, I'm just going to take a quick shower, and then I'll be out of your hair."
But he was already sliding a plate of steaming pancakes on the counter. "Sit first. You need to eat."
She would have denied it in her effort to get the heck out of there, but her stomach confirmed the truth of its emptiness with a loud growl before she could, leaving her no choice but to sit on a stool and pour syrup over the pancakes.
"I'm really sorry about your grandmother not feeling good," Jordan said as she forked up another bite. "Calvin told me she was coughing a lot. I had pneumonia once when I was a little kid, and it was really awful."
"Oh, that's nice of you," Sarah said stiffly, feeling as far out of her element as she could be in the too-big robe with bed-head, eating pancakes in Calvin's kitchen with the sister he'd raised alone from a baby. Raised entirely without her help, even though he'd asked.