Dread filled her when they got to their front door. She hadn’t wanted the night to end. Taking a moment to close her eyes and take one last deep breath of the outdoor air, she then headed inside for the night.
She let the dogs out into the backyard as she passed Tad taking off his jacket. His warm, earthy scent rushed through her and molten hot waves of awareness sluiced over her skin. She then passed him again—shoulders brushing—as he headed to his bedroom.
“Going to bed?” Candace hated whatever it was in her voice that wasn’t usually there.
“Yeah, I thought about it. Aren’t you?”
“Yeah, so tired.” She pointed to her room and went inside it. She leaned back against her door. She couldn’t possibly have picked a worse crush—even if it had been Mr. Evercut.
Then she remembered the dogs. She opened her bedroom door and headed to the back door. Tad came out of his bedroom too. His jacket was off and his white dress shirt was unbuttoned a little at the top, revealing just enough of his sun-kissed skin that her mouth watered. She wanted to nuzzle her face into that little dusting of chest hair and run her tongue over his hot smooth skin.
“The dogs,” Candace explained, pointing in the direction of the backyard.
“A drink,” Tad said before they both went their separate ways.
Candace let the dogs in.
Tad opened the tap and drank a tall glass of water.
He headed out of the kitchen just as Candace moved into it. “I should feed them.” She pulled the dog food from the pantry and dumped some of it into their bowls.
Tad checked the locks on all the doors before he headed back to his room for the night. After the dogs had gotten their fill, Candace moved back out of the kitchen and into her bedroom with all the dogs in tow.
“Good night.” She walked past Tad to her room. Her body buzzed from just being near him.
“Good night.” He headed to his room as well.
She shut the door behind her and closed her eyes again, leaning her head back against the wood. She did not want to sleep. She slipped out of her bedroom, and as she came out of hers Tad was coming out of his, and she lost her nerve again. Especially with the determined way he was walking toward her.
“I should check the locks.” She moved around him to the front door.
“I already did,” he said at the same time she tried the doorknob.
“The back door.” She pointed to the other door. She tried to slip back around him, but he trapped her.
“Candace—” His voice snagged her by the heart. It was deep and smooth. It made her want to curl up into his lap.
He looked down at her with those stormy gray-green eyes and he tugged her closer to him with a hand on her hip. “Tad?” Her breath caught in her throat.
“Where are you really going?” He bit his lip, and she wanted to replace his teeth with her own.
“Crazy, I think,” she whispered breathlessly.
He tipped his head and they breathed the exact same air. “God.” He cursed as his nose just brushed over her cheek and her forehead and then her other cheek. She closed her eyes against the light brushes of his skin against hers. “I think I’m right there with you.”
“Prove it,” Candace whispered desperately, and before the words were even completely out of her mouth his lips were against her lips. So softly at first it nearly tickled, and then it wasn’t quite so soft.
He tugged her hard up against his chest. One of his hands slid into the mess of her hair and held her head still and her mouth prisoner to his, as if he thought she was going to run off on him. She wasn’t going anywhere.
She clutched him. Her breasts were achingly crushed to his chest and her lips parted under the pressure of his. Sweet Jesus—when his tongue touched hers she could have cried with satisfaction. It was like she’d been waiting for this for such a long time.
She couldn’t believe this was happening. She was in his arms. His. Tad’s. It was Tad’s mouth. It was Tad’s kiss.
She held on tighter. His lips were unrelenting. She was glad. He pulled away just to look at her face. She didn’t want him to stop. His lips were swollen and red. Her heart thudded hard when his stormy gaze slid down to her lips before lifting and searching her eyes, looking for something specific in them. He must have found it because his lips were back on hers just as quickly as he’d pulled them away.
He propelled her back against the wall that separated the kitchen from the entryway. His mouth trailed down her jaw to her neck, and she bit her lip to hold back the embarrassing squeak of pleasure that was threatening to come free.
“I’ve wanted this,” Tad admitted. It was those words that were exactly what stole Candace’s breath away.
She wanted to tell him how badly she wanted this too, but his hand came up from her hip to her breast and his thumb unerringly found her hard nipple, and she couldn’t think, let alone speak.
“God, Candy.” His mouth dipped lower to her shoulder where he had moved her straps aside to slink over her arms. “Stop me here.”
“No!” Candace’s breathing was ragged and so was her speech. She clutched his head and held him to her as he rained hot, openmouthed kisses and nips across her collarbone. “Don’t stop.”
“Thank God,” he whispered when her dress fell away from her breasts and would have dropped to the floor completely if Tad’s knee wasn’t strategically placed between her thighs.
He grabbed her black strapless bra in both of his hands, and Candace finally let that moan out she’d been fighting back. He tugged the cups down until her breasts spilled free. Tad swore and let out a half laugh, half grunt before he tipped his head and laved her with his tongue.
“Tad…” Candace panted. She lost her legs, giving her whole weight over to the wall at her back and Tad’s knee between her thighs. “Don’t stop,” she begged.
“I swear to God, Candy…” Tad groaned around her nipple as he kissed across her chest to her other one. “I’m not going to stop until you’re shaking.”
She was already damn close.
Join me next Thursday when we meet a new author. ~Tina