At the first sign of morning light, Candace stirred and came fully awake to the pleasant sensation of a warm body lying beside her, and strong masculine arms surrounding her. Smiling with the pleasant memory of where she was, she rolled over to see beautiful sleepy blue eyes peering at her from beneath a cap of dark and tousled hair.
“Good morning.” She reached up to brush aside wayward strands that threatened to obscure his sight.
“What beautiful blue eyes you have,” she said as she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him on his chin.
“The better to see you with,” he growled playfully.
Nuzzling in closer, she was again made painfully aware of his arousal pressed intimately against her thighs. “Um, now that the three of us are awake, what ever should we do?”
“I told you to ignore him. He has a one-track mind. Besides, he always wakes up long before I do.”
“You know,” she said, pinning him with a meaningful look, “eventually we’re going to have to do something about his shameless behavior, right?”
“I’m counting on it. But it won’t be today.”
“Well, if you insist.” She pouted. “I suppose I’ll let you get away with this sweet, albeit misguided attempt at chivalry for now. But you should know up front I’m a high-maintenance kind of girl used to having her way. So, consider yourself forewarned. Right now, I’ll settle for being fed. What’s for breakfast?”
“Are you going to be this demanding the entire time we’re together?”
“Absolutely.” She grinned.
He grinned back and kissed her on her nose, and then untangled himself from her arms and quickly got out of bed. “If you’re going to stay here, you’ll have to pull your weight. Meet me in the kitchen in ten minutes.” He turned and left the room.
Candace lay in bed a while longer. She hadn’t been the least bit alarmed by Brice’s earlier statement that they would make love. The attraction was mutual, and the two of them becoming intimate was inevitable. She’d enjoyed lying next to him all through the night and had felt safe cuddled in his arms—a feeling she was woefully unaccustomed to.
Poignant memories of nights with Nash, void of intimacy and affection, flashed in her head. Nash? Crap. Where did he come from to ruin my feel-good moment? She didn’t want to think about him right now—who he really was or what he might be capable of. She was with Brice, and Brice was nothing like Nash. That thought put the smile back on her face and made her jump out of bed and hurry to the bathroom. She quickly washed her face, brushed her teeth, and combed her wild, curly mane of hair up into a bushy ponytail perched on the top of her head.
Still dressed in cotton drawstring pajamas and a tank top, she hurried downstairs to meet Brice in the kitchen. What she saw there stopped her dead in her tracks, tightened her nipples, and sent a flash of warmth straight to her center, causing it to ache and throb with anticipation. Brice was bent over in front of the refrigerator, his muscular arms flexing as he reached inside. His firm rear end was so enticing it took every ounce of self-control she had not to walk up behind him, grab his ass, and rub all over him like a cat in heat.
The man had a body to die for: tall and lean with well-defined abdominals and chest muscles beneath an undershirt that stretched tight across his torso. His arms were muscled and roped with veins that stood out with implied strength. He was virtually a walking advertisement for a gym membership, and he’d be perfectly cast in one of those TV infomercials selling newfangled workout equipment. She knew he looked good in a suit and tie, but hot damn, he looked even better dressed in less. When he’d come to her room under the cover of darkness, Lord knows she’d felt every hardened inch of him pressed against her, separated only by two thin layers of cloth. Now in the light of day, she ogled his near-naked glory, feeling damp and needy—and wishing like hell he weren’t so determined to be a gentleman.
Of course, he picked that instant to stand up and catch her gawking. Her eyes were immediately drawn to the impressive outline of his “friend,” which she’d enjoyed pushing tight and aroused against her all night long. The full frontal was even more magnificent as it hung low and swayed from side to side. She had to lean against the counter to keep from collapsing on the floor. The unexpected rush of heat and desire made her dizzy. Oh my God. He’s got a six-pack—and packing an extra nine down below.
“Caught you looking.” He grinned as he closed the refrigerator door with his hip, his hands full of food for breakfast.
“Damn right you did,” she said defiantly, clinching her fists as a rosy blush spread across her face and down her throat. “Traipsing around the kitchen wearing fancy pajamas and precious little else, you’re lucky that ‘looking’ is all I was doing.”
Brice laughed out loud. “I apologize for the distraction, but this is the most I’ve worn in my own home in years. So, you’re lucky I’m not ‘traipsing’ around in my birthday suit.”
Lord o’ mercy. I did not need that visual running through my head. “Then I’ll overlook your exhibitionism, this time,” she countered flippantly with her nose in the air. “But a girl can handle only so much testosterone in an enclosed space. So don’t blame me if I look at you like a dog drooling over his favorite toy. If you insist on making such a blatant display, then you have no one to fault but yourself.”
“Okay,” he chuckled. “Let’s put you to work. You said you were hungry, so we need to get you fed.” He gave her a mischievous look and wiggled his eyebrows. “Maybe a full stomach will help take the edge off?”
A full stomach is not what I had in mind. She felt a more ferocious hunger taking hold. She stood aside as he placed breakfast food and cooking utensils on the counter. From the looks of it, he was preparing to feed an army, with fruit, eggs, bacon, sausage, and fixings for pancakes.
“What can I do to help?”
“How good are you with a knife?”