Leona Sharp and Ryan Lee have been friends forever, it seems. Although there’s an attraction between them, they've never acted on it. On New Year’s Eve, Leona finally allows herself to give into the temptation, but she vows that it will only be for one night and as soon as the clock strikes midnight they will put it in the past and go on as if it never happened. Ryan, however, has other plans…
* * * *
“I want this.” And because she wasn’t certain he did, she had to ask, “Don’t you?”
He studied her. Leo’s heart lodged in her throat. His expression softened, and something bright and new shined from his eyes. He trailed a finger down her jaw and circled her lips. “I’ve always wanted this.”
Her breath caught. Before she could recover, his lips were on hers. The contact sent a jolt of lust through her and muddied all rational thought. She wanted him naked, wanted to feast her eyes on his chest. Wanted to lick, nibble, and bite it.
Tugging at the corners, she ripped the popper buttons of his shirt apart, then her hands were on his sculpted abs. Rye broke the kiss and lay back against the sofa, studying her from hooded eyes. She took the chance to devour his body with her gaze. Masterpiece. The fire inside her flared. She needed more. Now. If there was a round two, she’d get to the tasting.
With impatient fingers, she undid his slacks and freed him from his trousers. His erection stood proud. She grabbed it.
“Leo, fuck.” Rye’s breath hissed out between his teeth as she slid her hand up and down his velvet skin.
Her panties soaked through and her core throbbed. She wanted him inside her, but the way his hands gripped her thighs gave her a sense of power. He was at her mercy and lost in what she was doing to him. The feeling emboldened her.
Rising on her knees, she positioned herself over his erection. Using her free hand, she pushed her thong to the side.
“Wait.” Rye grabbed her hips and held her firm. “Leo, you need—”
“I need you inside me, Rye. I’ve needed this for so long.”
With a hand in her hair, he pulled her head down and kissed her. The way his lips brushed against hers was soft, gentle, and almost loving. Leo felt a tear escape and roll down her cheek. She didn’t want to feel this way with him. After tonight, it would be hard enough to pretend they were still friends. But he’d said he wanted to give them a chance, maybe—
Rye stopped kissing her. “Condom.”
He dug his hand into his slacks and came up with a foil package. Too impatient to wait, Leo grabbed it, ripped it open, and sheathed him in record time. She was rewarded with a look that questioned her expert skills in the condom-fitting department.
Grinning, she said, “I’m good with my hands.” Pointing to her chest, she went on, “Beauty therapist.”
Rye returned the grin, relief clear in his crystal eyes. Grabbing her hips, he positioned her over his erection, then looked at her with a frown. “You sure, Leo?”
In answer, she pushed herself down onto him. Rye groaned. His lids fell to half-mast, but he never took his gaze off hers. The feel of him inside her was exquisite, and she froze for a second, savoring the fullness and clenching her muscles around him. His breathing sped.
Unable to hold off any longer, Leo ground her hips against him. He gripped her bottom and thrust up. The sensations zapping through her body were more intense than any she’d ever felt. She was as much at his mercy as he’d been at hers earlier, and there wasn’t a thing she’d change.
His foggy blue eyes held hers, but she couldn’t have looked away if she wanted to. Every feeling she ever had for him intensified and lit her body up like a bonfire. She pumped her hips onto him harder as she felt the tell-tale heat building in her pelvis.
Her orgasm kept building and her heart filled with emotion. She hadn’t expected this, hadn’t wanted to fall in love with him. But love burst through her body along with her flaming orgasm, and she bit her bottom lip hard to keep from screaming how she felt.
* * * *
Leo convulsed around him. He’d held on by the skin of his teeth, but his balls burned and his stomach cramped from holding back. He let go and his whole body stiffened as he shot everything he had inside her. She collapsed onto his chest, her breathing heavy and her forehead damp. Rye ran his hand through her hair, wondering how he got so lucky to meet someone as perfect as her.
He’d loved Leo for so long, and even though he told himself it was a sisterly love, he’d known exactly how wrong he’d been last week. Spending Christmas without her wasn’t something he wanted to do again. It felt like he’d left a part of himself back in London—the best part—and now that they were together, he wasn’t ever going to let go.
“That was…” Leo sat up suddenly. Her eyes widened. “This can’t happen again.”
She was off him and had straightened her dress before her words registered. He stood and buttoned his trousers. “What do you mean?”
She backed away from him. “I’m not a number, not another one of your conquests. I won’t ever be.”
She trembled and tears glittered in her jeweled eyes. Shit.
“Leo, you’re everything to me. Those other women meant nothing.”
She bit her lip.
He wanted to pull her into his arms. The glow of their lovemaking muddied his mind, but he tried to think around it. “I didn’t bring you here to make love to you.”
“Then why?” There it was again. Vulnerability and hope.
It gave him the courage to give her the present. “Because I love you.”
Tears spilled over and fell down her cheeks.
“I’ve loved you for so long, Leo. It just took being away from you last week to see it.” He pulled a box out of his trouser pocket and dropped down on one knee. “Tell me it’s not just me. Tell me you love me too.”
He held out the box. The countdown to the New Year sounded from the other room. Leo turned to the door as if she heard it too, tears still streaming down her face.
“I love you too,” she whispered.
“Marry me.” The clock struck twelve and screams and cheers erupted from the club. His heart was in his throat.
“How do I know…” She shook her head. Swallowed. “How do I know you won’t leave?”
“Believe in me, Leo. Believe in our love.”
She looked down at the box. He opened the lid. Anticipation and dread played havoc with his insides. His hands shook while she stared at the ring.
* * * *
Leo didn’t think she’d ever felt this happy. Rye, who she’d probably always been in love with, loved her back. He wanted to spend the rest of his life with her and here she was gaping at the ring like an idiot.
“Yes.” There wasn’t any other answer. There never could be.
He scooped her up and kissed her lovingly. Leo kissed him back, showing him she felt the same.
Rye broke away first, gasping for breath. “Happy New Year, Mrs. Lee.”
Leo mock-punched his shoulder. “We’re not married yet.”
“Soon,” he promised. The word made her giddy with excitement. “Now I’m taking you home to make love to you properly.”
Leo couldn’t wait, for any of it. She grinned from ear to ear as he carried her out of the Med.
* * * *
Make sure you pop over to Kaylie Newell’s Blog tomorrow for the final installment of her story, Winter Break. You can find Kaylie’s Blog here.
And Lacey Wolfe's also posting part of her story, The Gift Beneath The Tree, tomorrow. You can find her Blog here.
Well, that’s it from me folks. Be sure to check out the other babes’ stories. If you missed any don’t worry, the full Anthology, Holiday Kisses, will be available from Beachwalk Press and Amazon as a free download on 3rd December. Be sure and grab yourself a copy.