Sizzling(Buchanans, Book 3)(28) by Susan Mallery
He wanted to tell her not to take it personally, but she was female and of course that’s how she would see things. How could he explain that he hadn’t slept with her because he hadn’t seen her that way? Oh, yeah, there was a conversation he was dying to have.
He told himself to forget about her and the other nurses and her possible hurt feelings, except he couldn’t. Bad enough the world thought he was a jerk—he didn’t want Lori thinking that, too. Even though it was probably too late to change her mind.
He found her in the kitchen. She was rinsing off Gloria’s breakfast dishes and putting them into the dishwasher. She narrowed her gaze when he walked into the room but didn’t say anything.
She’d changed her clothes, he thought, noticing she’d replaced her normal scrubs with jeans and a sweater. The more fitted style suited her, drawing his attention to curves he previously hadn’t noticed. Interesting.
She straightened and pushed up her glasses. “What do you want?” she demanded.
“To meet your sister.”
The words weren’t the ones he’d planned and he had no idea where they’d come from.
“No,” Lori said flatly.
“Why not? She’s dying. You said she’s dying. Maybe she’d like some company. I’m good company.”
“You’re not and the answer is still no. Madeline isn’t some freak show you can visit to fill your day. Go annoy someone else.”
Her attitude was really starting to piss him off. What had he ever done to her? “I’m trying to help,” he told her. “I bring comfort to the dying.”
“Obviously not sexually.”
The unexpected snipe cut right through his who-gives-a-shit veneer. He crossed the two steps separating them, grabbed her arm and fought the need to shake some sense into her.
“It wasn’t my fault,” he yelled. “It was my first year away from the game. My team was in the playoffs. They’d just lost. I was drunk. So what if I was more interested in drowning my pain than showing that woman a good time? I had an off night. Everybody else gets an off night, but not me, right? I’m good in bed, dammit. Better than good. I’ve been clawed and made women scream on a regular basis.”
Her steady gaze never wavered. “I’m yawning,” she said in a low voice. “That’s how interested I am in this conversation.”
He swore, jerked her close and kissed her.
He hadn’t planned to. He was just so pissed off and there weren’t that many acceptable ways for a guy to let off a little steam.
So he pressed his mouth to hers and let all his frustration and anger and okay, maybe hurt, pour into the kiss.
He buried his free hand in her hair and was surprised to find the curly waves were kind of nice to touch. He moved a little closer and tilted his head slightly, getting a better angle on kissing Lori because it was starting to feel good. Damn good. Who knew?
Lori found herself just standing there, not sure what to do with her arms, her hands or even her body. She felt awkward and stupid, but the one thing she knew for sure was that she never ever wanted the kiss to end.
His mouth demanded things from her and she found herself wanting to give them. But even as he took and insisted, his lips weren’t too hard. There was just the right amount of pressure and heat and promise to make her want to lean into him and beg.
She liked the way he smelled and how he was exactly the right height. She liked the feel of his hand in her hair and the first teasing, erotic brush of the tip of his tongue against her lower lip.
Had she had access to her brain and any voluntary functions, she would have pulled back. It was the sensible thing to do. It was the only thing that made sense. But she didn’t, so it wasn’t her fault when she put one hand on his shoulder and parted her mouth.
He nipped her lower lip. The gentle bite shocked her. She gasped, he chuckled, then swept inside, claiming her with a passionate dance that took her breath away.
He kissed like a man who loved women. He kissed like a man who understood that sometimes kissing wasn’t just a stepping stone on the path to something better. That it could be—if done correctly—a destination.
He kissed like he meant it and made her feel she’d been waiting her whole life for this moment.
Heat flared inside of her, burning through her body, making her weak. She felt uncomfortable in her clothes and in her skin. She wanted him touching her everywhere and she wanted to touch him back. She wanted to know what his perfect body would feel like, naked and straining. She wanted him inside of her.
The image of them together in that way was so vivid, her body clenched in anticipation. He deepened the kiss and she met him stroke for stroke, following him back to his mouth to tease and explore and excite.
Then, as suddenly as the kiss had begun, it was over.
He stepped back. “You’re trembling.”
Was she? She felt the tremors race through her body. Okay, so maybe she was.
“Low blood sugar,” she told him in a foolish attempt to protect herself. “I didn’t have enough protein at breakfast.”
Reid stared at her for a long moment, then he began to smile. It was a slow, self-satisfied, male smile. One that spoke of his superior ability to bring a woman to her knees with just a kiss.
He was still smiling when he walked out of the kitchen. Lori stared after him, not sure who she was mad at more. Him for turning her on and then leaving, or herself for responding in the first place.
TWO DAYS LATER Reid let Walker and Elissa into Gloria’s house. Walker’s expression was as unreadable as usual, but Elissa looked ready to jump out of her skin.
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