By Nancy S. Thompson
I’m Eden MacLaird, and Fate screwed me good at the age of twenty-one, stole my first love, then my first child. Twenty years later, I still haven't found my happily-ever-after. Sure, from the outside, I have it all, including Declan, my gorgeous, rich-as-sin husband. But things aren't what they seem, and catching Declan in bed with my best friend destroys any dreams I harbor for love, much less sexual fulfillment.
Then in walks Sean Bennett...
Just months away from earning his post-graduate law degree, Sean's smart, driven, and serious, but an unexpected encounter between us in a bar one night changes everything. His best friend, Trinitee, warns against getting too involved, but the heat between us is beyond intense, and neither of us are willing to walk away.
With my marriage in shambles, I'm eager to make a go of it with Sean, despite our sixteen-year age difference. But while I relish my sexual reawakening, I fear giving up the posh life I've grown accustomed to. That life, however, and everything in it, comes crashing down as bodies start piling up around us, and all clues point to me and Sean.
Secrets, betrayal, and revenge threaten to destroy not just my carefully-crafted reputation, but my very life. With our freedom at stake, Sean and I join forces to uncover those plotting against us. But as doubt and evidence mount, I must choose: give in to my suspicions and save myself, or trust our new-found love and save us both.
Her hands caught mine and stilled it in place, not letting me go any farther, but not pushing me away either. She was very conflicted; that much was certain—the look in her eyes, the way she worried her bottom lip with her teeth. And it would work to my benefit, I was sure. But instead of emboldening me, it gave me pause, and my longing inexplicably shifted from what I wanted for myself, to what I wanted for her—to feel desired, to know she was someone’s fantasy, a dream come true. I would show her what she’d been missing all these years, what her husband had denied her, that she was worth the effort, worth giving to, worth loving. And in my sudden need to be what her husband had not, I felt a fullness swell inside me. Not just between my legs, or even my heart, but in my soul.
Caught in that epiphany, I leaned in, my mouth a mere inch from her right ear.
“What are you so afraid of, Eden?” I breathed, and slowly, I moved to face her, so close, all I had to do was stretch my neck, ever so slightly, and my mouth was on hers, gently, my tongue a flick against her lips as I brushed across it. Next, my mouth was at her left ear. “Why not take the risk?” I pressed but for a moment before my mouth reclaimed hers.
I kissed her deeply this time, my tongue probing for hers, and, after a moment’s hesitation, she met me head on. My hand between her knees pressed forward, not rough, but definitely insistent. Undeniable. Her hands, once a tense and formidable barrier, relaxed, though she kept them resting against mine as my fingers edged upward, gently easing her legs apart to allow me access. And there it was, the lacy edge of her panties, and an intense, scorching heat. My heart ricocheted in response.
Eden sucked in a soft hiss as her mouth retreated from mine, but, though she pulled back for a split-second, a half-hearted attempt to regroup and regain control, she knew, as well as I, that it was impossible, and her mouth returned to the one place we both knew it belonged, right against mine. But even that proved too much for her, and she dipped her chin to lean her forehead against my cheek as she panted in anticipation.
Because that’s what this was. Anticipation. I hadn’t really touched her—not yet. I hadn’t invaded the space her wedding vows had long ago promised to one man, and one man only. That anticipation she felt was her sense of decency and fidelity warring with her desire, the basest need a human could ever experience.
Nancy is a California transplant currently living in Seattle, Washington with her husband of 23 years, their son, a student at Seattle University, their giant snow dog, Jack, and his kitty, Skye. She works as a freelance editor for her publisher and writer friends and also has her own interior design business within the model home merchandising industry. When she's not writing or editing, Nancy keeps herself busy by cooking and baking.