Tempting the Best Man (Gamble Brothers 1) - Page 11

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Chase could feel her body tremble as he kissed her, as his hand glided to the smooth, soft skin of her thigh. Even though he was hard as granite in his jeans, he struggled to stop this catastrophe from happening. Because in the end, could he really have her? She was so far above him, and she didn’t even see it.

But it was like he didn’t have control of his hands. His finger nudged under the straps of her tank top, lowering them down her arms, baring the soft swells to the cold air and his hungry gaze.

“God, you’re beautiful.” He cupped her breast, losing a little more of himself in her softness as his thumb brushed over the hardened peak. “So perfect…”

Her breathy moan of denial shattered him as his hand traveling farther south, beyond the flare of her hip.

Then her back arched, the skirt sliding farther up her thighs. “Please, Chase, please.”

How was he supposed to deny her? How could he ever?

His head dipped to one rosy tip, his tongue flicked out, and he drew her into his mouth. Her skin was too tempting to resist. The taste of her…blew his mind.

Chase’s hand teased under her skirt, along the curve of her taut ass, to the moist, slick petals of her sex. He drew his finger along her core, and she felt like satin. He was in awe, enthralled and captured by her. Honestly nothing new, but…

Christ, she was soft and yielding in his arms, and so very damn perfect.

And he wanted her, all of her—

Footsteps on the other side of the door knocked him out of this fantasy like being blasted with a nuclear weapon.

Jerking back, he caught Maddie before she tumbled down the stairs. She stared up at him, the look on her face so shell-shocked and demanding that he wanted to bar the damn door shut and do this, keep doing this.

In a miraculous feat, he readjusted her clothing seconds before the door swung open. Spinning on the step, he used his body to block hers, giving her time to regain her composure.

The tour guide stood there, holding a key. Behind him, Chandler arched a knowing brow. Great.

“Ah,” Chandler said, “there you are. I’m guessing the little shadow behind you is Madison? We’ve been looking everywhere for you two.”

“Well, we’ve been here the whole time. Locked in.” He said it with emphasis and glanced over his shoulder, finding a wide-eyed and flushed face staring back. Steeling himself, he faced his brother’s mocking stare. “Took long enough.”

Chandler snickered. “For some reason, I have the exact opposite impression.”

Chase ignored his brother’s snide comment. He was more concerned with how in the hell he was going to keep his hands off Maddie now.

Chapter Six

What the hell just happened? Madison was lost. One moment they were arguing and the next, they were kissing and doing way, way more than that. Really hot stuff that had strung her tight as a bow, so close to shattering, and then…

Then Chase’s brother showed up. Awkward wasn’t even the word for that.

She was still in a daze when they were ushered to the hillside where the picnic had been set up. Chase had returned to stoic silence while his older brother had a smirk affixed to his handsome face the entire way back, and Madison… She honestly didn’t know what to do.

She felt like a bipolar zombie—a horny bipolar zombie.

Her mom rushed up and squeezed the daylights out of her the moment she was spotted. Madison almost took a hat to the eye. “We were so worried, honey! I thought you fell off the truck or something!”

Squeezing her mom back, she reassured her. “I’m fine. Just got locked in the wine cellar.”

“Oh, that’s terrible!”

Her father frowned. “Actually, in the event of nuclear fallout, the wine cellar may be the best place.”

“Da-ad.” Madison groaned.

Mitch grinned from his seat next to Lissa. “At least you had Chase to keep you company. Couldn’t have been that bad and hey, you didn’t kill each other.”

Madison stiffened.

Strolling past her, Chandler glanced over his shoulder and winked before adding, “Which makes one wonder what they did do to each other.”

Tugging down her hair to hide her flaming cheeks, she shrugged and settled on a blanket, busying herself with what was left of the food. Right now, surrounded by family and friends, she couldn’t even begin to analyze what had happened, but she couldn’t stop herself from checking out how Chase was hanging in there.

He was over with his brothers, his long legs stretched out in front of him, smiling now like he hadn’t a freaking care in the world.

Okay. So this could be good. At least he wasn’t brooding and coming up with an apology. Her heart flip-flopped. If he wasn’t coming up with an apology, what did that mean? That he didn’t regret what happened? That maybe there could be some sort of future? That maybe she was jumping way ahead of herself? But it was hard not to when she’d loved him for so long.

God, she sounded like a thirteen-year-old. “FML,” she muttered.

“What, honey?” her mom questioned.

“Nothing—nothing at all.”

After the picnic, the rest of the tour set into motion. Thankfully, she wasn’t left behind again… Or maybe not thankfully, she thought as she glanced over at Chase for the hundredth time.

When everyone departed from the truck and headed back to their cabins to rest up before the formal dinner that evening, Madison headed toward the main lodge to knock out the wedding programs. Hopefully the mindless task would get her brain back on track. And it was probably a good idea she wasn’t going back to the cabin. Being alone with Chase again so soon would likely end in disaster. She already had a mad case of nerves, having no idea how he was going to act or how she should behave. Would they argue? Would they act like nothing happened? Or would they pick up where they left off?

Door number three, please.

Before Madison made it to the steps leading to the sprawling porch, her mother wrapped an arm around her waist. “Honey, are you feeling okay?”

As frazzled as she was, the truth was bursting to come out. Well, at least a half-truth. They were far enough away from the rest of the group for some privacy, but she kept her voice low. “I really don’t know, Mom.”

Her mom took off her hat and smoothed her hands over the wispy dark hairs sticking out haphazardly. “Is it the wedding? Work?”

“No.” Madison laughed. “I’m happy for Mitch and Lissa. It’s not that at all. And work is perfect.”

“Then what is it?” She clasped Madison’s hand. “You haven’t been yourself since you arrived.”

She wanted so badly to confide in someone, but what could she tell her mother? She’d die before she admitted what had happened in the wine cellar.

“It’s really nothing.” She smiled and then her stomach dropped as she caught a glimpse of Chase stretching. In the afternoon sun, he looked amazing. His shirt rode up, revealing the dip and roll of his abs. She had to tear her greedy gaze away.

Her mom may say and think some crazy stuff at times, but man was she observant. “Yes, I see.”

“You see what?” Madison frowned.

Her mom chuckled softly. “Chase—it’s always Chase.”

As offensive as the statement was, there wasn’t anything Madison could say. Too nervous—too anxious—about what had happened, what might happen between them, she kept her lips glued shut.

“You two have played cat and mouse for far too long,” her mother said softly.

More like they played cat and cat. Madison shook her head in denial.

“Honey, I know your heart has always belonged to that Gamble boy, from the moment you started seeing him as something other than Mitch’s friend—which I think was when you turned ten.” Mrs. Daniels glanced over to where he stood with the guys. She tilted her head to the side. “But he’s always seen his father in himself. Poor boy has no idea that he’s nothing like that jackass.”


“What?” She laughed. “That man was a horrible father and worse husband. What that boy needs—what all the Gamble boys need—is a good woman to show them they’re worth loving.”

Madison opened her mouth to change the subject, but something else entirely came out. “He’ll never see himself as anything different, and he’ll never see me as anything other than Mitch’s sister.”

“No, my dear, he already sees you as something other than Mitch’s sister. He just doesn’t realize it yet.”

Her mother’s words lingered long after Madison settled into the small room in the back of the main lodge, seated on the floor, legs tucked under her. Two heavy boxes sat in front of her. One full of programs and another stocked with little cards and holders.

Maybe she should’ve asked for help… She was going to be here all night.

Glancing at the deer head mounted on the wall, she shuddered. Sighing, she reached for the programs and began tri-folding them.

He just doesn’t realize it yet.

Could that seriously be the only thing holding him back after all these years? He wanted her, cared for her, but hadn’t come to accept it all yet? There was no way she believed that. And she also didn’t think it was his father’s influence. Either you wanted someone or you didn’t. In her mind, there was no in between.

She’d considered calling Bridget, but her friend would just rant and rave over how idiotic Madison was being, which she probably deserved. Doing the non-platonic thing with Chase was stupid. But damn it, she had no willpower when it came to him.

There was a neat stack of ten folded programs by the time someone knocked on the closed door. A second later, it swung open, and Chase stood in the doorway. “Hey.”

Shocked to find the object of her angst standing in front of her, all she could do was stare and remember how freaking wonderful he’d felt pressed against her. “Hey?”

Running a hand through his dark hair, he squinted. “Your mother thought you could use some help.”

Damn that meddlesome woman.

Taking a deep breath, she plotted about a thousand ways to stitch her mom’s mouth shut. “It’s okay. I got this. I’m sure there are other things you’d rather be doing.”

He raised one brow suggestively and she blushed. And now she was thinking there were things she’d rather be doing, too. Damn him.

He motioned at the full boxes. “From up here, it looks like you need help.”

She shrugged as she folded a program, ducking her head and letting her hair shift forward and cover her flaming red face.

Inching into the room, he nudged the door shut. “At the rate you’re going, you’ll be here until the wedding.”

“Hardy-har-har.” She watched him sit down on the other side of the boxes. “Chase, I appreciate this…but you don’t have to.”

He shrugged and grabbed a program. A frown creased his forehead. “What the hell?” Turning over the stark white paper with crimson lettering, he shook his head. “This layout makes no sense.”

Laughing softly, she set hers aside and leaned forward. “See these faint dots?” When he nodded, she sat back and picked up her own. “You have to fold them at the dots, going in a different way, like a pamphlet. See?”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Gamble Brothers Erotic
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