This Heart of Mine (Chicago Stars #5)(13)

by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

He was dead to the world.

Now that she knew what he looked like asleep, she'd leave.

She tried to, but her feet took her to the other side of the bed instead, where she could see his face.

Andrew slept like this. Fireworks could explode next to her nephew, and he wouldn't stir. But Kevin Tucker didn't look at all like Andrew. She took in his amazing profile—strong forehead, angled cheekbones, and straight, perfectly proportioned nose. He was a football player, so he must have broken it a few times, but there was no bump.

This was a terrible invasion of his privacy. Inexcusable. But as she gazed down at his rumpled dark blond hair, she could barely resist brushing it back from his brow.

One perfectly sculpted shoulder rose above the covers. She wanted to lick it.

That's it! She'd lost her mind. And she didn't care.

The condom was still in her hand and Kevin Tucker lay under the blankets—naked, if that bare shoulder was any indication. What if she crawled in with him?

It was unthinkable.

But who would know? He might not even wake up. And if he did? He'd be the last person to tell the world he'd been with the owner's oversexed sister.

Her heart was beating so fast she was lightheaded. Was she really thinking about doing this?

There'd be no emotional aftermath. How could there be when she didn't harbor even the illusion of a soul-deep love? As for what he'd think of her… He was used to having women throw themselves at him, so he'd hardly be surprised.

She could see the fire alarm hanging on the wall right in front of her, and she told herself not to touch it. But her hands tingled, and her breath came fast and shallow. She'd run out of willpower. She was tired of her restlessness, her twitchy feet. Tired of mutilating her hair because she didn't know how to fix herself. Fed up from too many years trying to be perfect. Her skin was damp with desire and a growing sense of horror as she watched herself slide off her bunny slippers.

Put those right back on!

But she didn't. And the fire alarm clanged in her head.

She reached for the hem of her nightgown… pulled it over her head… stood naked and trembling. Appalled, she watched her fingers curl around the covers and tug. Even as the blankets fell back, she told herself she wasn't going to do it. But her breasts were tingling, her body crying out with need.

She set her hip on the mattress, then slowly slipped her legs beneath the covers. Oh, God, she was really doing this. She was naked, and she'd climbed into bed with Kevin Tucker.

Who let out a soft snore and rolled over, taking most of the covers with him.

She stared at his back and knew she'd just been given a divine sign telling her to leave. She had to get out of his bed right this minute!

Instead, she curled around him, pressed her breasts against his back, breathed him in. There… that whiff of musky aftershave. It had been so long since she'd touched a man like this.

He stirred, shifted, muttered something as if he were dreaming.

The shriek of the fire alarm grew louder. She slid her arm around him and stroked his chest.

Only for a minute, she told herself. And then she'd leave.

Kevin felt his old girlfriend Katya's hand on his chest. He'd been standing in his garage with the first car he'd ever owned and Eric Clapton. Eric had been giving him a guitar lesson, but instead of a guitar, Kevin kept trying to play a leaf rake.

Then he looked up, and Eric was gone. He was in this weird log room with Katya.

She kept stroking his chest, and he realized that she was naked. He forgot about Eric's guitar lesson as blood rushed to his groin.

He'd broken it off with Katya months ago, but now he had to have her. She used to wear bad perfume. Too strong. It was a stupid reason to break up with a woman, because now she smelled like cinnamon rolls.

Good smell. Sexy smell. Made him sweat. He couldn't remember being this turned on by her when they were together. No sense of humor. Too much time putting on makeup. But now he needed her right away. Right that moment.

He rolled toward her. Curled his hand around her bottom. It felt different. Fleshier. More to squeeze.

He ached, and she smelled so good. Like oranges now. And her breasts were full against his chest—warm, soft, juicy oranges—and her mouth was on his, and her hands were all over him. Playing. Stroking. Finding their way to his cock.

He groaned as she caressed him. He smelled her woman's smell and knew he wouldn't last long. His arm didn't want to move, but he had to feel her.

She was slick, wet honey.

He moaned and rolled over. On top of her. Pushed inside her. It didn't happen easily. Strange.

The dream began to fade, but not his lust. He was feverish with it. The smell of soap, shampoo, and woman enflamed him. He thrust again and again, dragged open his eyes, and… couldn't believe what he saw!

He was buried inside Daphne Somerville.

He tried to say something, but he was long past talking. His blood pounded, his heart raced. There was a roaring in his head. He exploded.

At that moment everything inside Molly went cold. No! Not yet!

She felt his shudder. His weight crushed her, driving her into the mattress. Much too late, her sanity returned.

He went slack. Dead weight on top of her. Useless dead weight.

It was over. Already! And she couldn't even blame him for being the worst lover in history because she'd gotten exactly what she deserved. Nothing at all.

He jerked his head to clear it, then pulled out of her and erupted from the covers. "What in the hell are you doing?"

She wanted to yell at him for being such a disappointment, wanted to yell at herself even more. Once again she'd been caught pulling the fire alarm, but she wasn't seventeen any longer. She felt old and defeated.

Humiliation burned through her. "S-s-sleepwalking?"

"Sleepwalking, my ass!" He vaulted out of bed and stalked toward the bathroom. "Don't you dare move!"

Too late she remembered that Kevin had a reputation for holding grudges. Last year it had turned a rematch against the Steelers into a bloodbath, and the year before that he'd gone after a three-hundred-pound Viking defensive tackle. She scrambled from the bed and looked frantically for her nightgown.

A stream of obscenities erupted from the bathroom.

Where was her gown?

He shot back out, naked and furious. "Where the hell did you get that condom?"

"From your—your shaving kit." She spotted her linen gown, snatched it up, and clutched it to her breasts.