When he lifted his head, his eyes were blazing with the same heat and need she knew must be reflected in her own.

"I need to see you," he said, his low voice rasping over her skin as if he’d touched her instead.

"Yes," she whispered. "Please."

With the utmost gentleness, he moved his hands to her bodice and slowly slid the material down over the upper swell of her br**sts, just to the point where her ni**les were about to show. He stopped then and looked up into her face.

"You’re not wearing a bra."

"Only the dress," she confirmed for him.

His eyes widened. "Only the dress?"

She nodded and boldly reached for his hands, placing them over her hips so that he could feel the truth of her words for himself. His eyes closed and his nostrils flared as he cupped her bottom, then slowly ran his hands over her.

"So damned beautiful, Brooke."

She’d never heard anyone speak to her, about her, with such awe. But before she could tell him she thought he was beautiful, too, he was sliding his fingers through hers and tugging her toward the bedroom.

"I’ve already waited twenty-four of the longest hours of my life for you. I can’t wait another second."

They had just walked inside the bedroom when a loud knock came at her front door. Both of them stilled and looked toward the front porch, then back at each other.

His hand tightened on hers. "Were you expecting someone?"

"No. Maybe if we ignore them they’ll go away."

But, of course, the knocking came louder the second time. Rafe ran his free hand through his hair in clear frustration. A moment later, he was pulling Brooke’s dress all the way back up and sliding the straps into place on her shoulders. He lowered his mouth to hers for one last, hard kiss that would have spiraled off into more were it not for the continued pounding out front.

"Go answer your door before they break it down."

Rafe went with her into the living room, and when she saw who was standing on her porch through the picture windows, utter shock made her temporarily mute as she opened the front door.

"Oh my gosh." Mia Sullivan pulled a completely surprised Brooke into a warm hug on the front porch. "Look at you! You’re absolutely gorgeous, Brooke."



Adam Sullivan’s arms came around her next, the second Sullivan brother to hold her in the past fifteen minutes. When he let her go, his eyes were warm as they moved over her face, and he agreed, "Absolutely gorgeous."


The next thing she knew, Rafe was standing on the porch with the three of them, glowering at his siblings.

Chapter Eleven

Rafe couldn’t believe his luck. He’d waited twenty-four goddamned hours to have Brooke naked beneath him...and that was when his brother and sister showed up unannounced?

It had to be some kind of sick joke, karma coming back around to kick him in the ass for every bad thing he’d ever done.

Or, he thought with a tight clenching of his gut, was it a sign that he should keep his hands off of her?

Normally he would have been happy to see his sister and brother, but tonight all he wanted, right or wrong, was for them to turn around and go home to Seattle so that he could have Brooke all to himself.

"What are you doing here?"

"Surprise!" Mia said as she lifted a bottle of sparkling wine. "We came to toast your new house with cousin Marcus’s finest bubbly from Napa and to see what we can do to help you fix it up tomorrow before we head back to Seattle. Mom and Dad would have come, but they’re off sailing with Dylan for a couple of days. And for all we know, Ian may never return from London."

Rafe should have been grateful for his siblings’ help. Instead, all he could say was, "So you’re staying the night?"

"Rafe, it’s late. Of course they’re staying." Brooke gestured for everyone to follow her inside with a wide smile for his brother and sister. Where she’d been so loose in his arms just moments before, now her movements seemed a little stiff. "I’m so glad you’re both here. It’s been way too long."

Mia and Adam weren’t stupid—not even close—and they had to know something was up. It wasn’t hard to put the signs together: his crankiness at their unexpected arrival combined with her just-kissed mouth, flushed skin, and the fact that she was wearing the sexiest little white dress on the planet.

With nothing underneath it.

God help him.

Rafe’s hands fisted as he remembered the way Adam had hugged Brooke. Everywhere his brother was big and hard, she’d looked small and soft, and all Rafe could think about was ripping his brother away from her and tossing him headfirst into the lake. Adam was a good guy, but he was no saint where women were concerned. And Rafe could tell just how much Adam was appreciating Brooke’s exposed curves and creamy skin.

What guy with a pulse wouldn’t?

"We decided it would be fun to surprise Rafe." Mia’s eyes twinkled as she looked between the two of them. "And, boy, are we glad we did."

"Are you hungry?" Brooke asked.

"We ate dinner on the road," Mia replied, "but I’d love to take the bubbly outside and drink it while eating s’mores around the campfire." She lifted another bag that held graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate.

"That’s a great idea," Brooke said, still not looking at Rafe.

Was she embarrassed to have been nearly caught naked with him by his siblings? Or was it simply that she was as frustrated as he was about not being able to finish what they’d waited so damned long to start?

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