The darkness in the car did little to soothe the heat that clutched my body. Sterling’s nearness made me want to run my hands through his thick black hair and pull him toward me and kiss his lips. To feel them move across my neck—
“What are you working on now that the Malibu series is complete?”
“Hmm.” I pulled my gaze from Sterling’s lips and looked out into the night. “I’ve been drawn to Venice,” I said.
“Ah, that explains the look of surprise when I told you where I lived. You should come down. You could even stay with me, for your work, if you wanted.”
If Sterling were feeling the same kind of heat I was right now, staying with him at his house would quickly turn from being about my work to more about our desires. We both understood the truth of that.
“I could show you around. Venice has changed since we were kids. Do you remember when we’d spend the day down there?”
“I do.” The warm days on the sand with Sterling beside me with our hands clasped and his lips on mine. The press of his body. He was bigger now—the difference between a boy and a man. Fuller. Larger. His eyes flicked from the road to me.
“What are you remembering?” His voice was lower.
“Our days and our nights.”
The muscle in his jaw flinched. The memories played out for him too. He took a tight curve then slowed and turned into the dirt drive that led to my mother’s ranch.
“Would you like to see my work?” I asked as the headlights crested the final hill. “Go past the house. Mama is letting me use the guest house as my studio.”
Alone. Sterling and I would be alone for the first time since I’d returned from Europe. My breath shortened and heat pooled between my legs. My breasts ached in anticipation of his touch. There was heat in his eyes when he looked at me; surely he saw the heat in mine. He parked and we entered the little adobe house. I fluttered ahead of him toward the kitchen, no longer so certain of what I wanted or needed from Sterling. He walked with an effortless grace.
“Wine?” I asked from behind the kitchen counter.
“Please,” he said.
His gaze landed on the far wall that reached up to the skylight. I’d added more pictures of Venice. My canvas rested near the pictures, but it was still empty of color. I hadn’t committed, not yet. Sterling examined the canvas and then walked closer to the wall.
“Your photography is good too,” he said.
I walked to his side, glasses of wine in my hands. His eyes turned from the wall to me, and heat simmered in his eyes. My tongue chased out over my lip and words clutched in my throat. Sterling. This was Sterling Legend, now a man, no longer a boy and I was now a woman, no longer a girl.
I held a glass of wine out to him and he plucked both glasses from my fingertips and set them on the table beside my canvas.
“I’m not here for the wine, Rhiannon. I’m here for you.”
He slid his hand to the back of my neck and pulled me forward. Our gazes locked and his blue eyes, the shade of the California sky, heated with desire. Then his lips were on mine. With his kiss came a rush of desire and passion. The air burst from my lungs with the press of his lips. A slow moan rolled from me. He was familiar and yet different. His tongue brushed against the seam of my lips and my mouth opened to his. Our kiss grew greedier. His hand shifted from the back of my neck and his fingers trailed across my throat and stopped at my breast. He cupped me and a moan escaped my throat. My hands clasped his shirt and I tugged upward. My fingertips brushed across his skin. Where once Sterling’s skin had been bare, there was now a trail of hair from his belly up toward his chest.
He pulled his mouth from mine. His hand clasped both sides of my face. “Oh my God Rhiannon, I still, you still, I can’t—”
The heat in my chest and between my legs gave way to a low ache. My desire for Sterling was hotter than ever now, due to our long absence from each other. His eyes searched mine as if for confirmation that it was truly me that he kissed. That I was here, with him. Surprise and uncertainty flashed over his face. He did not surrender to his fear. He took a step forward and pressed his lips to mine. There was no hesitancy. Any doubts were replaced with a determined desire that we shared.
Sterling’s hand pressed the thin straps of my dress over my shoulders and his fingertips roamed over my bare chest. I pulled his shirt off his body. I wanted to see him. Needed to see him. His chest was solid and his skin a light gold color. The planes of his chest gave way to the hard quilted muscles of his stomach. A tiny trail of black hair dusted past his belly button.
I locked my gaze with him and reached forward to his jeans and quickly unbuttoned and unzipped them. A memory of unzipping Sterling’s jeans rushed through my head. I pushed his pants past his hips and he took them all the way off. He stood before me, his maleness hard and alert. A bolt of heat rolled through me.
His was a perfect body. The beauty of the male form aroused and waiting for entry. I pressed the tip of my finger to the head of his cock.
He sucked air over his teeth. “Rhiannon.”
My name on his lips was part warning and part need. The sound aroused me and the wet I felt between my legs grew. His arms hung at his side but his gaze was locked with mine. I grasped his cock at the base and stroked upward with a long pull. A stroke that sent trembles through him. His arm reached out and he clasped the back of my neck. With his other hand he clutched my breast and he leaned forward and his lips took my nipple into his mouth. He rolled the tight bud over his tongue. My head fell back and I surrendered to the waves of pleasure. His other hand slid down my belly and into my panties. The hot nub he’d yet to touch pulsed and throbbed with desire for him. His fingers entered my fold and pressed against my clit and I struggled to breathe.
“Sterling.” Desire overcame me and I lost the rhythm of my stroke on his cock. I held him in my hands while his lips and fingers pleasured me. He lifted me. His stride was long as he walked toward the bed on the far side of the room. He settled me onto the white duvet and his hands clasped my hips and he rolled the panties off my body. He gazed at me.
“Each night before I fall asleep I see this. I see you like this. Lying naked before me, waiting for me. For seven years, Rhiannon, I’ve waited for this.”
My heart burst open with his words. There was an ache and a need and all kinds of questions in his words that, in this moment, he didn’t ask. For this, I was thankful. There would be time for me to explain and to tell him all the details of why I had to leave, but right now, I wanted him to slake our desire. I wanted Sterling to pin me to the bed and make my body come over and over again. I wanted to be his in a way I’d never experienced with any man.
His hands started at my breast and he trailed them down over my belly and to my wet folds. He pressed his fingertips to my center and all the while his eyes remained fixed to mine. His fingers circled and pressed my clit, and my hips bucked upward toward his hand.
His mouth grasped my lips and his tongue caressed mine and then he pulled his lips from me. A moan came from my mouth and mourned the loss of his mouth on mine. His lips, hot yet slow like liquid heat, trailed down my neck and across my breast while his fingers caressed my clitoris. His fingers pushing and pulling with the rhythm of my hips following his touch.
His lips kissed over my belly to the edge of my sex. His tongue trailed up my thigh and then down. He knelt before me, parted my legs, and placed my each of my knees over his shoulders. He looked up over my mound and met my eyes. A deep want, a need, claimed his face.
I couldn’t breathe. I held myself so still and waited for his touch. The touch of his finger, the touch of his tongue, and then a stroke of heat from his mouth that nearly sent me over the edge. He roamed up the inner left side of my cleft and around the most sensitive of spots without fulfillment, without a suck or a kiss. Sterling was between my legs and about to send me over the edge. His finger slid into me and my muscles bore down. I was so wet, so molten, so ready for his hard thick maleness.
“Please, Sterling,” I begged, my hips moving and rolling. I could not remain still, I could not contain my want.
"Rhiannon, be patient, we’ve waited a long time for this moment."
And then with the words barely from his lips his mouth was on me. Hot and fierce and demanding. His tongue caressed my clit while his mouth sucked. One finger, now two, pulsed in and out of my body. My hand found his head and I clutched him. My hips bucked wildly into his mouth. The light shattered around me, and his eyes met mine one final time. I crashed over the edge and cascaded into shattered bits of light from the pleasure of his mouth on me.
I clutched him and I went over the edge again and again and again. My body jerked and spasmed with his stroke. I shuddered one final time and Sterling pulled his mouth from me. He appeared satisfied. Pleased that he'd brought me so much pleasure. I was heavy-lidded and wet and sated and yet I wanted him. I wanted him inside me. My eyes roamed over the hugeness of his cock. His lips pressed to mine and I tasted the earthy goodness of me on his lips. My hands grasped him and his breath became uneven. He pulled his lips from mine.
“Rhiannon, we don’t have to, we can wait—”
“We’ve waited seven years,” I said. “We’ve waited long enough.”
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES
*CAN BE READ AS STANDALONE*