Moonlight Sins (de Vincent 1) - Page 48

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“Julia.” He groaned her name as if it were a curse and prayer.

She lifted her gaze to his, and the searing intensity in his stare nearly brought her to her knees. Julia leaned forward, bringing her mouth to his. She kissed him, reveling in the way his body suddenly trembled. Her grip on him tightened, and it took a moment to realize that he was no longer moving her hand. His hands slammed into the wall beside her head. It was all her working him over as she deepened the kiss, swirling her tongue around his.

It was then when she realized it was her that was in control.

Maybe she always had been.

And it had been so long, too long since she felt like that.

“Hell,” Lucian breathed against her mouth. “Seriously. Not going to even last a minute.”

Her lips curled into a grin against his. She didn’t get a chance to respond, because he kissed her like a man coming out of a drought in search for water. Then he broke away, burying his head in the crook of her neck. He thrust once more and then shuddered as he growled out a rough curse against her skin. She felt him spasm in her fist as he found his release—as she gave it to him.

His breath sounded shaky as he softened a little in her grip. Gently, she let go and then awkwardly wiped the back of her hand along her bottoms.

“Okay,” he said, sounding hoarse. “That was like thirty seconds. Maybe I should feel embarrassed.”

Julia laughed, unable to stop it.

He lifted his head from her neck and moving only one hand from the wall, he reached between them, picking up the hand she’d gripped him with. Holding her gaze, he brought her hand to his mouth and pressed a kiss to the center of her palm.

Her belly dropped.

Whoa.

A half grin appeared as he brought her hand to his chest, doing even more weird things to her stomach. “I’m standing in the hallway with my ass hanging out, and I don’t even care.”

Julia should care about that, but all she could do was laugh again. “It’s a good thing we’re the only people awake. Well, us and the ghosts.”

“Yeah. Damn, Ms. Hughes.” He pressed his forehead against hers as he drew in a ragged breath. “I think I’m going to want to keep you.”

His words shocked her, jolting her entire system. She didn’t know if it was because she liked the idea of what he said or the knowledge that he probably meant nothing by it. Or maybe now that the cool air was getting in between their bodies, common sense was returning with a vengeance.

Oh my God.

What in the world was wrong with her? She’d sworn she was not going to fly those horny wings again, especially not in a hallway where anyone could walk up on them.

Julia stiffened as she averted her gaze, making the mistake of looking down. Sweet Lord, he was still huge even when he wasn’t—okay, she wasn’t going to think about that. She focused on his shoulder. “I—”

“Don’t say it shouldn’t have happened.” His voice was hard as he leaned to the side, fixing his gaze on hers. “Don’t say you regret it or that I should forget it.”

Her nostrils flared. “Don’t tell me what to say.”

“Don’t stand there and pretend like what just happened wasn’t fucking amazing for both of us even though I was the one who got off.”

Julia’s month dropped open. “Wow. Your ego is actually limitless.”

“It has nothing to do with ego.” He craned his neck to the other side when she looked away, snaring her once more. “I know for a damn fact that you enjoyed that just as much as I did.”

“Oh really?”

“Really,” he shot back. “How do I know? Because that’s the first time I’ve heard you laugh since the night at the bar like you actually couldn’t help yourself. Like you were actually enjoying yourself. It was a real laugh just like a few seconds ago that was a real smile.”

Julia started to deny it, but her mouth snapped shut as her chest rose on a deep inhale.

“And the way you kissed me? You can’t fake that and you sure as hell don’t kiss like that if you’re going to regret it.”

Jesus. He was right. Julia hated him for it, and what she needed right now was not to be around him. She needed to get her head on straight.

“It doesn’t matter.” She pulled her hand free and slipped out from underneath his extended arm, putting distance between them. “It shouldn’t have happened.”

“Maybe it should’ve.” Lucian shook his head as he turned toward her, pulling up his pants. Something she was entirely grateful for. “Have you even considered that?”

“Why would I?” She threw her hands up in disbelief. “I work for you—for your family. You’re technically my boss. That—” she gestured at him “—was literally the last thing I should be considering.”

His brows snapped together. “Who cares if you’re an employee or not? That doesn’t matter to me or my brothers. What matters is what we want.”

Folding her arms, she took a step back. “The world doesn’t work that way. Other things mattered.”

He stalked forward, eating up the distance between them in a blink of an eye. “That is exactly how my world works.”

Julia gaped at him, because seriously, how in the world was she supposed to respond to that?

But then he shocked her once more.

Clasping the sides of her cheeks, he lowered his head and kissed her—kissed her like he had the first time. And stupid, stupid, stupid Julia didn’t push him away. She opened up to him like one of those wild roses blooming in the garden.

Lucian still held her as he said, “And Ms. Hughes? You’re in my world now.”

Chapter 19

Charcoal covered his fingers and the side of Lucian’s hand. There were faint black smudges along his bare chest. Streaks he had no idea how they’d gotten there. His eyes were tired and the cramp in his neck wasn’t getting any better, but as he sat back and really looked at what the last several hours had given him, the pain was nothing but a minor annoyance.

Giving up the paint for charcoal had been a brilliant idea.

There was just something more intimate when sketching with charcoal. Maybe it was because the fingers were closer to the canvas and were involved in the shading and etching of finer details. It was a romantic art, Lucian always thought, warmer and more flawed than oil and brush.

Lucian’s gaze roamed over the canvas.

He’d started on the sketch from the moment he returned to his rooms. No sleep. Nothing to drink or eat. Hours had passed and even though there were no windows in this room, he knew the sun had crested quite some time ago.

Julia stared back at him; the exquisite line of her jaw and the lush lines of her lips were rendered in dark gray smudges and strokes. He’d captured the look on her face moments before she’d realized what she’d done with him.

Her brows were relaxed and her eyes heavy-hooded. The lashes had been hard to perfect, but it had been the slight curl of her lips that had taken him over an hour to get just right. It was that half smile he’d seen, relaxed and pleased. Just the tiniest twist to her lips, and it had been the most beautiful smile he’d ever seen.

The rest of her had come from memory and imagination. He’d drawn her reclining on her side, her head resting on a small fist. A sheet covered her hips, falling to the side, exposing one calf. Her stomach and chest were bare, the soft swells etched and shaded with charcoal. She was a Venus, his own personal Venus.

Ms. Hughes would probably smack him if she ever saw this.

One side of his lips kicked up.

It would be worth it.

Dropping the charcoal on a nearby tray, he rose and lifted his arm, stretching out the tight muscles. Then he walked out of the room, feeling a million times clearer than when he entered. It had been ages since he spent the better part of the night squirreled away in his studio.

And doing so now was like a reawakening.

Maddie and he got their talents from their mother. She was an artist, able to give life to any drawing, whether it was done with a plain pen or the most expensive oil brush.

It was yet something else that set him and his sister apart from their brothers.

After a quick shower and change of clothing, he headed upstairs. The craziest thing happened as he jogged up the steps. A weird mixture of nervousness and anticipation assaulted him. His steps slowed as a frown pulled at his lips.


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout de Vincent Romance
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