“Ouch,” she yelps, grabbing her forearm, her face wincing as I reach for her.
“Are you okay? Are you hurt?”
She tries to wave me off, her tone stoic. “I’m fine, I’m fine.”
But the furrow in her brow, the pain in her eyes tells me she’s not.
“You’re not fine,” I say. “You just smacked your hand on the tap. I know what it’s like for a hand to be . . .” I don’t finish the thought. The scar on my right hand tells the story. Her eyes soften, drifting down to the mark. I ignore the sad look in her irises. “We need these hands of yours to work. To operate your spreadsheets,” I say lightly.
Despite my scar, my hands work just fine.
For nearly everything. There’s only one thing I want to do with them that I no longer can. But that thing has nothing to do with women, or strength, so I lift her up, scooping her into my arms.
Her eyes widen. “Why are you carrying me?”
“You’re wounded, woman.”
An eye roll is her reply as I carry her to the bed and set her down on the edge of the king-size mattress. “I’m not damaged.”
“Of course you’re not damaged. But you did whack your arm.”
“My hand too,” she says, softly this time.
I crouch in front of her, reaching for her. “Let me see it.”
“Are you a doctor?” she counters, but she lets me inspect her injury.
“I’m the doctor in the room,” I tease.
I ask where it hurts, and she points to her wrist, frowning. I run a thumb gently along that tender spot, that tantalizing place that can drive a woman wild.
If you touch her just right.
Which it seems I am doing, since Scarlett’s breath hitches.
“Daniel,” she whispers, her voice perhaps betraying her. “I’m fine. I swear I’m fine.”
I tuck my finger under her chin, lift it, and meet her gaze. “Are you sure?”
She nods, her eyes a little glossy. “I swear I am.”
“Let’s be certain.”
I lift her wrist to my face, my eyes on hers. Waiting for a sign. Waiting for more.
So I bring her wrist to my lips and press a kiss to my business partner’s skin.
She lets out a low moan.
A groan works its way up my chest, and I swallow it down as I dust my lips over her pulse point.
I close my eyes, inhaling her, savoring the scent of her skin, of her lotion, of her Scarlett-ness.
I should move away. But she’s right here.
Images of last night’s fantasies flicker before me, along with the moment just now in front of the mirror, and how she looked at the reflection of her and me.
I open my eyes.
She nibbles on the corner of her lips, gazing down at me as I look up at her.
Is she thinking the same thing I am?
I tamp down the groan in my throat as I breathe in.
Then, I take the next step.
I stand, gently take her uninjured hand, and carefully tug her up.
I reach toward her hair, tucking an errant strand behind her ear, testing to see if she’ll make that sound again.
That gasp. That hitch of her breath.
She does. It’s sensual and erotic, and it goes straight to my cock.
I do the thing I’ve thought about doing for the last few years. The thing I’ve prided myself on resisting. I move closer, lean in, and press a kiss to her cheek.
It’s the same type of kiss I’ve given her every time we greet each other. But this time, I linger. I don’t back away. I simply brush my lips across her cheek and whisper, “All better now?”
She nods against me, grabbing my shirt, gripping the fabric. “All better.”
She steps away, runs her hand down her sleeve, glances at the clock, and says, “Now we really need to catch the train back to Paris.”
As we leave, I catch one last glimpse of us in the mirror as we walk past it. We look like we always do—confident, assured, on top of the world.
But also . . . frazzled.
Both of us. She seems thrown for a loop.
As for me, a small sliver of regret twinges in my chest. Was that my chance? To haul her into my arms, cover her lips with mine, and kiss her until she melted beneath me, until she begged and moaned?
Was that my chance to kiss her until she can hardly take all the pleasure I could give her?
That’s what I would do if I touched her—focus my ample sexual energy on her. Make sure she’s drowning in orgasms. Touch her in ways that make her writhe, moan, call out my name.
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