Temptation's Kiss

Temptation's Kiss by Sandra Brown

Book: Temptation's Kiss by Sandra Brown Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sandra Brown
Tags: FIC027020
knowledge I've never done anything that was detrimental or harmful to you, as a woman or as a professional.”
    “That's a matter of opinion, isn't it?” Her tone was stinging.
    “Name one time I did something to hurt you. I'm ignorant of it.”
    She opened her mouth, but no words came. What could she blame him for? That she held a prestigious, well-paying job because of his intervention? That WONE never wanted for new advertisers because he directed them to her? That only two weeks ago he had prevented disaster by enlightening her on the Dixieland food-store chain's intentions? What crime could she hang him for?
    The original one.
    “You kissed me the night before I was to marry your friend.”
    “A lot of men kissed you that night.”
    “Not like you did!” she retorted in a harsh whisper.
    His eyebrows shot up. “So you're finally admitting that my kiss affected you differently from any other?”
    By now her agitation was plain. She breathed in quick, rapid pants that stirred the silk over her breasts. She clenched her hands to keep them from slapping him, or caressing him, or from covering the puckering crests of her breasts. She whipped her head around to stare out the window.
    Employing feminine wiles had never been necessary for her to attract men. She'd always had plenty of dates, yet she'd gone to her marriage bed a virgin. Except for those tumultuous minutes in the gazebo with Josh, she was innocent of sexual indiscretion. She didn't know how one went about such things, and now she would be feeling her way along with each step. But she did know a woman didn't bring a man to a lathered, heated, leash-straining state by bristling at him every time he became intimate.
    She allowed her features to mellow before facing him again. “I'm sorry, Josh.” She saw his hand, only inches from hers on the armrest and, swallowing the last of her pride and hesitation, covered it with her own. “I don't want to fight with you any more.”
    His hand turned over and gripped hers tightly. “Damn it, I wish you'd chosen a less public place to tell me that,” he rasped.
    “Why?” She raised inquiring eyes to his, and her breath was choking off when she saw desire like hot coals smoldering in his gaze. The gold flecks leaped and danced like tongues of flames.
    “I want to kiss you, that's why. I want to celebrate the fact that you no longer see me as a monster, at best the enemy. I've waited three years to hear you say the fight between us is over.”
    He squeezed her hand tighter. “Megan, did you think I was proud of what I did that night? I didn't walk into that party planning to sweep James's bride into my arms, kiss her as I did, and wish to God she were mine instead of his.” He shook his head, and the sunglasses became dislodged. He took them off and stared at his own reflection in the lenses as he continued. “I've done a lot of things I'm ashamed of, but please believe me when I say the last thing I wanted was to make you unhappy or guilty by kissing you.”
    “I was. The next night when I went to bed with James, I felt very guilty. And for a long time after that.”
    “I know,” he said on a long sigh. “I would have wished only joy for you, yet it seems as if, since I first met you, I've brought you nothing but grief. But then”—his eyes bore into hers—“I could no more have stopped myself from kissing you that night than I could have stopped myself from breathing and gone on living. It was something I
to do.” Her lips quivered at his words. “Lord, I want to hold you right now.”
    She lowered her eyes and squeezed them shut in an effort to stabilize senses that had gone haywire. Her world had slipped off its axis and was spinning chaotically in a universe of conflicting emotions.
    “Are you too warm? Do you want to take off your jacket?” he asked, seemingly out of context.
    Looking back up at him, she shook her head. “No. Why?”
    His mouth came down to within

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