Delicious(Buchanans, Book 1)(41) by Susan Mallery
Cal leaned close and took her other hand. “You waited to find out what made you happy instead of settling for a career you’d hate. How many people have the courage to do that? You weren’t willing to compromise. That’s a good thing.”
“Don’t be nice to me. I’ll start to cry.”
“Anything but that,” he teased. “Guys hate tears. It’s too much like blackmail.”
She smiled. “I was always very good about that.”
“Yes, you were. You played it straight.”
Except for changing his mind about having children, Cal had played it straight, too. They’d been good people who had been in love. So what had gone so wrong in their marriage?
“Why didn’t we make it?” she asked quietly.
“Hell if I know.”
“It seemed as if everything was fine one day and the next there were cracks everywhere. They had to have started sometime. They didn’t just appear.”
“Maybe we were too young,” he said.
“We were both in our twenties. Hardly kids. But maybe you’re right. Maybe we weren’t ready for the stresses of marriage.” She stared into his dark eyes. “I never hated you.”
“I’m glad. I didn’t hate you, either.”
Was it her, or had it just gotten hot in here?
“At least we can be friends now,” she said, knowing she should pull her hand free of his. There was something intimate about sitting next to each other, staring into each other’s eyes and holding hands. Way too intimate. And sexual. Because she was suddenly aware of his body—the hard planes, his broad shoulders. She knew exactly what he looked like naked. How to touch him to make him stiffen with pleasure.
“Wow, look at the time,” she said, drawing back and tugging her hand free. “Where did the time go?”
He glanced at his watch. “It’s eight-thirty.”
“I know, but I’m tired and, you know, tomorrow’s a work day. Friday, even. A busy work day. And I should call Naomi and check on things. Just to be sure.”
“What’s wrong?” he asked. “What are you afraid of?”
“I’m not afraid.” She stood and looked at the mess on the table. “I should help you clean up.”
“Screw that. Why are you running away?”
“Do I look like I’m running? I’m standing in place.” She raised one foot to show him. “See?”
He rose and moved close. “Did I say something to upset you?”
Nope. Not a word. She’d upset herself without any help at all. And upset wasn’t even the right word. She was…uncomfortable. And sexually aware. And seriously pregnant. Hardly circumstances to turn Cal on.
“Okay, this was great,” she told him as she backed toward the door. “The dinner. The conversation. All of it. Really, really great. Thanks. I appreciate it.”
She grabbed her coat and purse, then opened the door and ducked outside. Thirty seconds later she’d started her car and was zooming out of his driveway.
Free at last, she thought, unable to slow the pounding of her heart.
The worst part of it was she couldn’t explain what had just happened. She’d become aware of Cal on a sexual level and she’d been afraid she would act on it. Frankly, doing without was a whole lot better than getting rejected. Still, running felt wrong. Maybe she should have explained.
“Oh, yeah. There’s a conversation I’m dying to have with my ex-husband and boss.”
She drove across Seattle until she reached her own small rental house. After she inched her way inside the single-car garage, she turned off the engine. It was only then she noticed a car pulling in behind her. A familiar, small, two-seater sports car.
She walked out of the garage just as Cal climbed out of his Z4.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
“Making sure you got home okay,” he told her. “And trying to figure out what has you so spooked.”
“I’m not spooked. I’m not anything. I’m tired. It’s late. I had a good time and then I left.”
He grabbed her arm, pulled her hard against him and lowered his mouth close to hers.
“I don’t think it’s that at all,” he said, right before he kissed her.
PENNY FULLY INTENDED to protest, right up until his lips touched hers. But the second she felt the warm heat, the soft pressure, wanting exploded inside of her. Powerful sexual need blocked anything close to common sense. She gave herself up to the kiss and knew she would have to deal with the consequences later.
Instinctively, she tilted her head, parting her mouth even before he asked her to. But instead of responding as he should, and plunging inside, he continued to kiss her chastely, nibbling on her lower lip before flicking his tongue against her upper lip without actually doing anything more.
Okay, he was being a gentleman. Under most circumstances, that was a good thing. She decided to give him a few more hints. She wrapped both arms around him and pressed her body against his. Her stomach made it hard for her to rub her br**sts against his chest, but she rounded her shoulders and kind of leaned in so that he would get the message.
Or not, she thought several seconds later when he’d done little more than kiss her like a brother and rest his hands on her shoulders.
“What’s wrong with you?” she asked as she drew back. “Why are you here?”
He reached up and tucked her hair behind her right ear. “I’m seducing you.”
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