Country Love - Page 36

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I duck out the back, right as the bride and groom are lighting the Unity candle, and furiously scroll through my contacts. Gordon has helped me out of a few jams before and I know his product is fresh. If I can just get him to deliver on time.

"No can do, Yahya. I've got a full house tonight." My phone vibrates so loudly that several heads turn. "Sorry," I mouth, and push my way into the vestibule, fingers flying.

"Gordon, work with me here," I type. "How can I make this worth your while?"

"Excuse me? Where are the pictures being taken?"

I whip my head up to see the bride's ten-year-old nephew looking up at me, all buck-toothed and earnest with an overpriced DSLR around his neck. Why a kid his age has a camera like that, I couldn't possibly understand, but I nod and smile anyway. "The Roosevelt Room downtown," I tell him as my phone vibrates in quick succession.

"Hmm, the light in there is not ideal," he intones pompously, looking down and fiddling with his toy.

"I'm sure you can make it work," I say smoothly and duck around to check my phone. When I see Gordon's refusal, I curse softly under my breath. This isn't happening!

I feel a steely resolve settle over me. I can't fix Otis's femur but I can fix missing fish fillets, dammit.

"That's it for the church pictures," the wedding photographer is poking me as I text in a flurry.

I need time. "Are you sure?" I sing out to the bride. "Look at the way the light is angling through the stained glass there."

The bride squeals and grabs her new husband's arm. The photographer shoots me a look and I smile charmingly.

"You win Yahya. Just give me some time."

I sigh in relief and hide a discreet fist pump behind my back. I pulled it off. But the pride is hollow and short lived. I still need to distract the bride long enough to give Gordon time to deliver. "Oh Katie, you look amazing," I coo out. "Your veil looks like a halo."

The bride smiles and her new husband whispers something dirty into her ear. The photographer and the nephew are getting in each other's way snapping pictures.

I check my phone. Nothing. Shit.

"Let's get mom in there!" I trill, grabbing the mother of the bride. "Just one more shot, the light really is perfect." Even I can hear how crazed I sound.

Katie looks at me, confused, as I shove her mother into the shot. The photographer presses her lips together in a thin line, but bends down to her camera anyway and snaps away. I check my phone again, glaring at it. "Come on, ring, you stupid thing," I mutter.

Just as I am wondering how many more family members I can shove into the shot, my phone rings loudly, echoing across the now empty church.

Gordon doesn't even say hello. "One hundred and thirteen fillets are being delivered as we speak," he barks into the phone.

I smile and heave a silent sigh of relief. I fixed this. I made it happen. "Gordon, you are a miracle worker. You just secured a lifelong client, I promise you."

Gordon grumbles, but sounds pleased. I hang up the phone and hustle the startled bride down the steps of the altar and out into the hail of rice wielding guests.

Just then my text message alert goes off. No, goddamnit!

My phone has brought me nothing but bad news today. I briefly contemplate drowning it in the baptismal font and running away. How much more bad news can I take?

But it isn't bad news at all.

"I should have kissed you."

It's Carter.

Chapter Thirteen


He is standing and waiting for me on the helipad, the casual ease of his linen shirt and khakis gone. Instead he is wearing the hell out of a suit. It's crisply tailored, hugging close to his body. A suit is lingerie for men, I think wildly, and suddenly the saying makes sense. Instead of detracting from his body, it adds to it.

His hair is gelled back, showing off the strong bones of his forehead and temple. A small bit of tension pulses there and I have to restrain myself from smoothing it away. Instead I clasp my shaking hands behind my back, a trick I learned long ago, and I smile at him eagerly, thinking of the promise of his text. "I should have kissed you," he wrote.

But now that I am here within kissing distance, he is standing stock still. My hands flutter at my sides. I can feel my lips straining towards his as I stand in front of him, and I forcibly tuck my chin back down. What the hell is he waiting for?

He looks down at my outfit. "You look wonderful," he says, stiffly, formally. I feel like he is reading from a script.

I look down, I am still wearing the simple black dress I always wear to weddings. It helps me fade into the background, but with him I feel completely on display. "I was working," I hedge. There is an energy between us that is so strong the air is practically crackling. I feel like I am about to jump out of my skin, how can he stand there making small talk like this?

"Me too," he nods. "The burdens of being self-employed. You don't really get to keep normal hours, do you?" He chuckles nervously.

What the hell is happening here? Stop making small talk and kiss me!

"No, I guess not," I smile, ever professional. If frustration was visible, it would be rising off of me in green, noxious waves.

Carter blinks and looks around over my head. His stance reminds me of a trapped animal, looking for an escape. There is a palpable fear about him, and I find myself looking around as well. There is no one on the helipad but us. I see it, and I think he must see it too, because he visibly relaxes. The tension drains from his face, and when he looks down again, I am startled to see naked hunger in his deep blue eyes.

He holds out his hand. I take it, expecting him to help me into the helicopter.

Instead he yanks me to him and presses his whole body flush against mine. His fingers snake around the back of my neck, holding me firm. "I should have done this last night," he murmurs, his lips brushing against my forehead as he speaks. "I shouldn't have let you leave without kissing you goodbye." He tilts my chin upward. "I guess I'll settle for kissing you hello."

I gasp, parting my lips, just as the warmth of his mouth covering mine makes me gasp again. His kiss is slow and searching, taking his time teasing me so that when his tongue finally meets mine, I almost swoon with relief.

Carter's lips are soft, softer then I could have ever imagined, and he uses them with incredible skill. His huge hand is holding me in place, gently but firmly, the better to own my mouth with his tongue. I can taste him, the essence of him, sweet and earthy, as his tongue slides around mine in an intricate dance that has me moaning before I realize the noise I hear is coming from my own mouth.

When he breaks the kiss, I hear myself make a tiny noise of frustration and he laughs a little. "Hello, Sanniyah," he says. His words are polite, but his voice is ragged, gravelly. As my body brushes against his, I can feel his desire pressing against me. The flood of wetness that surges down inside of me is so violent that it leaves me feeling weak.

"Hello...Carter," I gasp.

"Would you like to have dinner with me, tonight?"

I can't even understand why he is asking, I am already halfway into his helicopter. "Yes, I would very much," I say, then pause. "I thought that was pretty clear from the kiss."

He darts a look over my shoulder again. "Then let's get going." He brushes his hand down my back, resting it on my ass for a moment before giving me a boost into the helicopter. It's such a possessive gesture that I blush instantly, and then all the harder when I feel how wet it makes me.

The instant the pilot closes the door, Carter is on me again. The lurch of takeoff has us tumbling into each other. The earth falls away beneath us and the ocean rises, glittering in the last vestiges of sunset as he clasps me to him, crushing me into his chest and twining his fingers into my hair. The searing heat of his lips on mine is all the hotter when he trails them down my neck to pepper my throat with tiny, sucking kisses. "Fuck," he growls. "I thought I had fucked everything up with you last night. God your skin is incredible, I could just devour

you, Sanniyah." He looks back up again, his eyes darting across my face, a wicked smile playing on his lips. "That gives me an idea." He deliberately places his hand on my naked thigh, brushing upward to gauge my reaction. I bite my lip as a million objections dash through my brain. We just met, I barely know you, I'm a professional, but my body answers for me, spreading my legs wider so that his hand slips easily between my thighs.

Maybe it didn’t make sense to go on, but it sure as hell seemed like the right thing to do. Carter made the stress in my life melt away. I could pretend there weren’t a million tiny problems pinning me down. There were no expectations or rules.

"Oh my god, you're so wet," he snarls into my neck. "I love how wet you are for me...."

"I never would have guessed you were so dirty, Carter," I pant into his hair. " I feel like I am seeing two different Carter Eastons. He switches from cool and reserved to hot and hungry so quickly that I cannot keep track of who I am with.

"How dirty do you want me to be, Sanniyah?"

I moan slightly. I don't know. My sex life resembles my personal life; coolly professional and only interested in results. The few lovers I've had have amounted to nothing more than a means to an end. A quick fuck to scratch the itch and then long stretches of solitude. "I'll tell you when to stop," I say.

"When I'm done with you, you're going to be begging for more." He says it and I know he's not just boasting. It's a promise.

Chapter Fourteen


There are no paparazzi hiding in the bushes. No reporters with telephoto lenses nudging their way into my private moment.

Tags: Mia Caldwell Erotic