All I Ever Need Is You(Sullivans,book 14)(8) by Bella Andre
She knew she should tell him no and get right to her point, but she’d always been drawn to beautiful things. Something that was going to be her downfall where Adam Sullivan was concerned, if she wasn’t careful. But surely one little office tour wasn’t going to send her swooning into his arms, was it?
“I’d love one.”
He held out his hand to her, and she instinctively reached out to take it. It wasn’t until her skin touched his, and his searing warmth enveloped her, that she realized what she’d done.
Or how natural it felt.
Perhaps swooning in his arms wasn’t so far in the distant future, after all.
He was a natural tour guide as he led her through each room and introduced her to his staff, all of whom seemed to worship him. And when he finally brought her through to his office and handed her a framed picture of what the building had looked like the day it became his—more than halfway to crumbling in on itself—Kerry almost started worshipping him, too.
“You saved it.” She looked from the photo of the decrepit building to his dark eyes. “How did you do it?”
“Blood, sweat, and lots of help from my family. Keeping this picture on my desk reminds me that nothing is ever too far gone to be treated right.”
She looked down at the picture again, and as she turned to take in his private domain, she was overwhelmed by his passion for what he did. Especially since she felt the same way about her career.
Giving herself a mental shake, she put the framed photo back on his desk. “I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m here.”
“Appreciating it, mostly.”
She could feel her cheeks heating even as she said, “First, I wanted to thank you in person for the lovely gifts and to ask where you found the person who made that incredible model of Dromoland Castle?”
“A friend I went to school with decided to stop working as an architect in order to make models out of candy. Pretty damned impressive, isn’t it?”
“I’ve never seen anyone make something that complex or that whimsical all at the same time.” Despite knowing she needed to stay on track with her real purpose for coming to see him, she had to tell him, “Driving over here, I couldn’t stop thinking about how blown away my clients would be if we could hire your friend to make models for them. Maybe of the place where they had their first kiss or where he proposed and she said yes.”
He wrote a number from memory on a yellow pad and handed it to her. “She’s hoping to make a splash with the new business, so if you call, make sure to ask for pictures of her series inspired by her favorite buildings in the Pacific Northwest. Her Space Needle looked so great I nearly didn’t eat it.”
“You ate a model she made of the Space Needle?”
“Every last bite.” He raised a questioning eyebrow. “Didn’t you taste your castle?”
“I almost did, but I’m going to force myself to admire it for a little while before I gobble it down Cookie Monster-style.”
His laughter rang out, filling her with even more warmth, even as she knew she was doing a terrible job of keeping her walls up around him. He was just so easy to be with, and she couldn’t help but admire what he was doing with his life. Not to mention his heart-tugging devotion to his family.
“Have I mentioned how much I like you, Kerry?”
It was such a sweet thing to say—and so surprising—that she had to take a deep breath, and then another when the first one didn’t do a darn thing to make her less lightheaded. Clearly, he was brilliant at this wooing stuff.
“Your gifts were all great. Your office building is amazing. And it’s wonderful the way you’re helping out with the gazebo at your brother’s wedding. But I still can’t go on a date with you.”
“I’m not in the wedding-planning business for money. I’m not even in it because my mother started this business twenty-five years ago. I do what I do because I believe in love. Love that’s meant to be. Love that will last forever.”
Again, he didn’t look at all ruffled. “It’s good that you believe in what you do. It must be why you enjoy it so much.”
“I really do. Just as I can tell that you love what you do.” Belatedly remembering that she hadn’t come here to talk about the things they had in common, she said, “So now you must understand why we can’t date.”
“Sure. It makes perfect sense. You’re looking for forever with someone and I’m not.”
She’d already known he was direct, but even so, wow, she was surprised by his blunt statement. One that was perfectly accurate.
Kerry knew she should be relieved that he got it. That he could clearly see that the two of them could never work in a million years.
But the disappointment she was feeling was a heck of a long way from relief.
“Good,” she made herself say. “I’m glad we both—”
“Want each other.” He moved closer, and even though he wasn’t touching her, her body came as alive as if he’d pulled her into his arms.
No one had ever spoken to her like this. Totally straightforward and honest. So honest that it made her head spin almost as much as breathing in his clean, masculine scent did.
“What are we going to do about how much we want each other, Kerry?”
A dozen naughty visions ran through her head of the two of them tangled up in each other, his hands in her hair, his mouth on hers.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online