“Fun?” Savannah asked, as if she were considering eating poison.
Matt, Katie and Margot all nodded and pulled up a chair from the corner, pushing a shopping bag off its seat.
He could see the weigh scales inside of her head, the intricate systems she used to balance what she was against what she thought she and her whole family should be. He saw it all and he waited, hoping she could stop torturing herself with the idea of being someone else, and simply be happy with who she was.
She jerked the tie on her robe tighter and stepped to the table, all business.
“What are we playing?” she asked and everyone cheered.
And Matt fell totally in love.
TWO HOURS LATER Katie was curled up on Margot’s bed and Matt was getting schooled.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” he said, watching as Savannah laid down her flush, killing his two of a kind. For about the third time in a row.
“She always was the best card player,” Margot said, watching her granddaughter with pride. “Even better than Tyler.”
Savannah’s smile was like a kitten with its paw in the cream, and it went right into his bloodstream. The robe’s tie was giving up the fight and shadows lingered between her breasts, the plush white curves of which looked like velvet against the dark satin robe.
She was all contradiction right now. Light and dark. Serious and coy. Flirtatious and crushing all in the same glance. Those breasts, her diamond-bright eyes, her long fingers, the swell and dip of her lips as she tried not to smile.
Her hair, all that magnificent blond hair, like some kind of veil.
And she was a shark. An absolute card-playing shark.
He was in love. No doubt about it. After she’d spanked him in the second hand he looked up into her laughing blue eyes and realized—this was it.
There would never be another woman for him.
“You’re not too bad yourself,” Savannah said, watching him from the corner of her eye, a smile on her lips.
Christ, his erection pounded under the table. Absolutely all his blood was in his lap. He could barely see straight.
“I should go,” he said, after counting to a hundred and thinking of trees and sod and seedlings and anything but his disastrous feelings for Savannah.
“Me, too,” Savannah said, pushing the cards to the center of the table. She looked into the shadows where Katie was sound asleep on Margot’s king-size bed.
“Leave her,” Margot said. “No point in waking her now.”
Savannah nodded and stood. Realizing how loose her robe was, she tightened it, a blush on her creamy cheeks.
Sod. Rocks. Plants. Hard work.
He walked with her to the hallway, his blood still pounding, his mind crowded with thoughts of her, both imagined and real of her.
“Did you want to…” She stopped in front of the library where the baby grand gleamed in the moonlight. She turned toward him, so close he could smell her, so close he could see her pulse in her throat, and he lost control of his impulses. His feelings for her flooded the dam and he was powerless against them.
He cradled her face in his hands and kissed her.
HE EXPECTED A SLAP, a push, some kind of violent rejection, and he waited, absorbing the feel of her lips against his before she shoved him away.
She was all taut and trembling muscle, then the heavens opened, a chorus of angels sang and she kissed him back.
Throwing her arms around his neck she knocked him backward and he collided with the wall. He hauled her close and high against his body, taking her weight in his arms, pressing her hard against every part of himself.
She arched her hips against his, her teeth bit into his lips and he growled, low and menacing, feeling so close to out of control he was freaked.
“Savannah,” he said, between long sucking bites at her mouth. Her lips tasted like honey and inside… He groaned, sinking into her. “We have to stop.”
“Why?” she sighed, reaching those beloved hands up his shirt and across the hard muscles of his stomach that jumped in appreciation.
More. Oh, man, he wanted so much more with her. He wanted everything. He wanted to push her against the wall and eat her. He wanted to lay her out on a bed and cherish her, love her, and at the same time he wanted to bend her over a chair and make her scream as she came.