PUBLISHED JULY 23 ,2018
“I can’t ask you do more than you already do.” She sighed into his neck. Her breath tickled his skin, causing goosebumps to rise. “You already do so much. Too much. You need to have a life. How will you ever find another woman to share your life with if you spend all your free time taking care of your brother’s widow?”
“Gracey, you’re more than Chad’s widow. You’re family. My best friend. You’ve been a tremendous support for me. I wouldn’t have made it through my divorce a few years back or this past year without you. I will do whatever I can to help you. You know that. We’ve leaned on each other this last year, and I’m not abandoning you now. I’ll always be here for you.”
“I don’t want to be alone anymore.” Her fingers twisted into his t-shirt, pulling him closer as she sobbed.
He tightened his arms around her and tried to ignore the painful squeeze in his heart and his gut. Eventually, she’d move on. She was still young and would find a man to share her life with. Any man would find her a catch. That the thought made his stomach uneasy rocked him. He had no right to feel that way.
The past year had been difficult for everyone in the Riley family. Gracelyn had stayed strong, whether for the kids, for his parents, for him, or for herself he didn’t know. He’d only seen her break down twice: when he told her about Chad’s death, and then at his brother’s burial. Not that she hadn’t shed tears. She did. They both had. Maybe she sobbed every night in the shower or while lying in bed by herself. But Matt hadn’t seen it.
She lifted her head and stared at him through her tears.
He touched her face with the back of his hand, wiping away the tears that streaked her cheeks.
Leaning into him, she cupped his face and pressed her lips to his.
What the hell? Was she kissing him? She was distraught, upset. She didn’t know what she was doing.
He couldn’t comprehend what was happening. Soft lips moved against his, kissing him with a confidence that was all Gracelyn. Her fresh strawberry scent enveloped him, wrapping around him like a blanket on a cool autumn evening. She smelled so sweet. So intoxicating. Like summer. Like strawberry jam, despite it being the end of September.
Stop this before it goes any further! She was emotional, reeling from the anniversary of her husband’s death. His own emotions were raw.
When she slid her tongue against the seam of his lips, leaving a trail of cinnamon flavor and longing, his thoughts jumbled in his head—none coherent. And the blood rushing past his ears silenced the inner voice yelling at him, repeating all the reasons he should—no, that he needed to—put an end to this kiss. However, his body’s reaction was perfectly clear. Blood rushed to his dick, engorging it instantly and leaving him lightheaded.
He weaved his fingers through her long tresses, palmed the back of her head and pulled her into him, responding to her kiss. He flicked his tongue over her plush bottom lip.
She sighed, her breath mingled with his. Her lips parted, granting him access.
He took the opening as acquiescence and plunged into her mouth, tasting her.
Jesus Christ! It had been a while since he’d kissed a woman, and he felt it all the way down to his toes. Their tongues danced and dueled.
He released his hold on her head and pulled back, breaking their kiss. Her chest heaved as they both gasped for air. The sunlight filtering in through the bedroom window danced off the golden highlights of her hair, making her look like an angel. His angel.
Their gazes clashed. He expected to see regret or anger in her eyes. Even though she’d instigated the kiss, he should know better. He sucked in a breath. He saw nothing but longing in her blue depths. To his utter surprise, she hauled her t-shirt over her head, baring herself.
She wore nothing under that shirt—not even a pair of panties. He growled, the sound feral in his ears.