It really sucks to be in love with someone who sees you as nothing more than a friend. Darcy Owens knows this from personal experience. From the moment she met Sean McKenna as a wary ten-year-old, he’s owned her heart. So when he asks for her help with an important construction project, she can’t say no.
Building a boutique hotel on Boston’s waterfront is a career-making opportunity, and Sean needs Darcy’s interior design expertise. She’s incredibly talented, and there is no one he trusts more. He knows he can always count on his childhood friend, but doesn’t know why he’s thinking about her tight skirts and blue eyes instead of tight deadlines and blueprints.
When Sean and Darcy’s excitement about their work turns into an entirely different kind of excitement, it’s a sexy surprise. But they soon realize that building a new relationship is more challenging than building a new hotel, especially when life-long habits and old insecurities create cracks in the foundation.
He slowly moved his hand up her bare back to her dress’s clasp at the base of her neck. He deftly unhooked it and slowly pushed it open, causing one side of the dress to slip down her shoulder.
“As fucking amazing as you look in this dress, it needs to come off.”
Although her skin was fevered, she shivered as he ran his fingertips along the ridge of her collarbone. He lowered his lips to her neck and pressed a lazy line of kisses from her ear to her shoulder. Darcy let her head fall back, the feel of his warm mouth coaxing a breathy sigh from her throat.
He pushed her dress down over both shoulders before it fell and hung loosely at her hips. He raised his head and his eyes roamed her black lacy bra. Thank God she’d decided to buy the lingerie. She could tell Sean liked it. He was staring at her breasts like he was hypnotized… like a magician was swinging a bright, shiny object before him, and he couldn’t take his eyes off it.
“Christ Almighty,” he whispered.
She felt empowered. She felt like a vixen. He might have held the power mere seconds before by demanding they slow things down and by turning her into putty in his hands, but all it took was a flash of her breasts, and he was lost.
Boldly, she slid her thumbs beneath her dress and pushed it the rest of the way down, letting the red fabric pool on the floor. Sean’s eyes slowly made their way to her abdomen to take in her matching black panties that made up the rest of her Lace Temptation set. His nostrils flared and she knew that he wanted her as much as she wanted him.
She stepped out of her dress, using the toe of one shoe to toss it aside. She brought her hands to the front of Sean’s chest and started undoing the buttons of his shirt. His chest was hard beneath her fingers, and the thin fabric of his undershirt clung to the contours of his muscles. She pushed his dress shirt off his shoulders and tugged his undershirt from the waist of his trousers. When she started to lift it up his body, he helped her pull it the rest of the way off.
He was perfect—classically beautiful in the way that ancient Greek and Roman sculptures were portrayed. His flat pectoral muscles twitched slightly under her gaze as she slowly ran her fingers along the flat planes to where his nipples were. Light hair spattered his chest, but there was none on his defined abs until closer to his waistline, where it reappeared and formed a naughty line leading to something Darcy knew she wanted desperately. She ran her fingertips back up his torso before meeting his eyes.
He was watching her, giving her time to take him in. His eyes were burning blue flames, and they pulled all the air from her lungs.
Lightly brushing the backs of his fingers across the lace covering her nipple, he asked, “Did you buy this for me too?”
She nodded, unable to speak. He ran his other hand down her hip to her backside, sliding his fingers under the lace of her panties.
“I like these too. Maybe more than the dress.”
His deep voice did things between her legs that her favorite vibrator only hoped to achieve.
He slowly started pulling her toward him as he backed up and sat down into one of the large yellow chairs. His eyes drank in every inch of her body, but oddly enough she didn’t feel overexposed standing before him. She knew that he liked what he saw because his pants outlined a sizeable erection.
Reaching behind her, she unhooked her bra before letting it fall from her body. Sean inhaled as he rested his head on the back of the chair. His jaw twitched like he was trying to show restraint from touching her. She couldn’t think of anything else she wanted more at that moment than his hands on her.
She leaned over and braced herself on the chair’s arms for balance as she slipped out of her heels. Sean was staying true to his word. He wanted her to set the pace. But goddamn it, this was only the second time she’d done this, and he could at least help her out a little bit by making some sort of move.
As if he’d read her mind, he reached forward and placed his hand behind her left knee, pulling it forward so she had no choice but to straddle him. Once she was balanced, his hands trailed up her outer thighs all the way to the undersides of her breasts.
Leaning forward, Sean took one of Darcy’s hardened nipples into his mouth. It was like being licked by a flame, but she didn’t mind being burned.
He rolled her nipple around his tongue, causing bolts of electricity to shoot throughout her body like a midsummer storm. Her fingers curled at the exquisite feeling, and she raked her fingernails down his chest.
Sean must have liked that because he drew in a quick breath, pulling air over the sensitive peak of her breast.
“Oh, God,” she moaned.
She felt him smile against her skin before he showed the same sweet attention to her other nipple as he’d done to the first. He teased and suckled her as she arched her back. His hands kneaded her ass, and her desire began to build. If he kept working her nipples with his mouth like that, she was going to come without him even having to touch her clit.
She didn’t want that. She wanted him. For a split second, she remembered the discomfort of the first time, but her need for him was so great she didn’t care. She wanted him to fill her. She wanted to feel his muscles flex as he pushed in and out of her.
“Sean,” she whispered. “I’m ready.”
Stilling his mouth, he raised his head to meet her sultry gaze. “Tell me what you want.”
Darcy quivered from the rumble of his voice. “I want you inside of me.”
Sean’s eyes smoldered as he nodded. “I have a condom in my jacket pocket.”
She looked at his jacket, which lay over the arm of the other chair. It was only four feet away, and yet it seemed like too far to go. But she knew that there was no way they should be having unprotected sex. Not that she didn’t trust Sean, but she wasn’t on the pill. She pushed off his lap and walked toward the jacket, quickly finding his wallet with three condoms tucked neatly inside.
She looked back over her shoulder at him. “A bit presumptuous of you, don’t you think?”
His mouth twitched in a wicked grin. “I’m an eternal optimist.”