My woman. Fucking mine.
She stands, brushing her hands down her dress. “Do you want mayo with your sandwich, Roman?”
I clear my throat, finding it suddenly difficult to speak. “Yes, yes, sure. That sounds good. When did you say Millie is getting here?”
“Tomorrow evening,” she says. “Why?”
Because I’m not sure how much longer I can resist you.
We sit on the porch, looking over the lake together.
Our plates lie on the table between us, our sandwiches finished, and now it’s like we’re waiting for the other person to speak. Tension moves through me as my gaze flits over the lake, the setting sun turning the water a burning orange color, my heart slamming heavily in my chest every time I sneak a look over at Roman.
He sits with Tanker in his lap, casually moving his hand over the small dog’s fur. The little fella is curled into a tight ball, making soft purring noises.
“Is he a cat?” I joke because it’s the only thing I can think to say.
Roman’s lips twitch, but it’s not a smile. It’s not even a smirk. It’s more like the suggestion of a smirk. “He likes to think he is.”
There’s another pause, one in which I can’t help but let my eyes roam over his arms. They bulge in his shirt, and his forearms twitch as he moves his hands over the dog. Every part of him is massive, heaving, brimming with iron strength.
Whenever I imagined what Roman Robinson looked like, it was never as this… as this beast.
I try to beat down the surging need flurrying around deep inside of me, making my sex ache and my belly tighten. But the more I fight it – reminding myself he’s Millie’s dad, she’d hate me if she knew I was lusting after him – the stronger the urges become.
It’s like a deafening chorus inside of me, roaring through me until everything else drifts away and becomes unimportant. But I can’t allow that. I can’t let my best friend become freaking unimportant in my mind.
She isn’t. No, no way.
It’s just that everything seems unimportant when I think about what it would feel like to have Roman’s arms wrapped around me, holding me from behind, pressing his rock hard chest against my back.
His big hands sliding down my chest and palming my breasts, squeezing them together, causing my nipples to harden and for shivering aching need to sizzle up and down my body.
Biting my lip, I glance at him again. His gaze is firmly fixed on the lake, on the forest, as though he’s going out of his way to ignore me so he doesn’t have to address the fact I keep staring at him like a weirdo.
Can he feel how badly I want him, or does he just think I’m a nervous dorky kid?
Heck, that’s what I must seem like to this silver-haired giant, even if I’m twenty. He must think I’m so immature.
I bet he’d never dream of looking at me like that.
Which is good, I assure myself. It’s what I want.
He turns and his lip twitches again, the corner of his mouth quirking upward. “What are you thinking about, Rayla?”
My heart hammers even harder when his eyes settle on me. He has this way of looking at me like I’m the only person in the world, like nothing else exists, like the lake and the forest and the world could fall away and he wouldn’t care.
Or perhaps I’m projecting, wishing, dreaming a dream I know makes me rotten to my core.
Millie, Millie, Millie, I sing in my mind, trying to make myself remember my loyalty.
“I was just wondering…”
I trail off, scrambling for something reasonable to say. It’s not as though I can tell him I was wondering what it would feel like to sink against him, to feel his powerful arms hugging me close. It’s not as though I can tell him how badly I want to be with him, even if I know it’s wrong.
“Why you never revealed yourself to the public,” I finish, my voice far more frantic than it has any right to be. “Why did you choose to keep your identity a secret? And, heck, how did you do it?”
“I never wanted fame,” he says, a musing tone in his voice. “I never saw the advantage of it. And remember, when I started writing, I never dreamed my books would become so popular. All I wanted to do was… empty myself, I guess, get rid of this gnawing feeling inside of me. And I did, many times, with many books. But then the writer’s block came and—And you didn’t ask about that, did you?”
He smirks, wider this time, the blazing orange sunset shimmering across his eyes.
“I’ll listen to anything you tell me,” I whisper, and immediately wish I could snatch the words back.