Sinful Longing(4)

By: Lauren Blakely

Not that she regretted anything in retrospect.

Not one bit.

But she was older and wiser now. Wasn’t she?

She must be, because that wisdom was jostling its way to the front of her brain, trying to strike a deal with her body. They’d tangoed, they’d played—they’d done plenty. But she’d only fully had this man a few times. Maybe one more time and she could finally eradicate him from all her thoughts, from the dirty dreams that lasted all night and lingered too long during the day. She could say good-bye to these rampant hormones, and concentrate on her job, her family, and her promises.

There was no reason not to enjoy the final minutes of this evening to the fullest. One last night of passion, then she could move on from this turbulence of longing that engulfed her every time Colin Sloan was near. Let go of the longing, let go of him.

She couldn’t have him in her life, but she could have one more night.

The concert ended, and the crowd applauded; their clapping and cheering rang through the ballroom.

Seize the night. She turned to face him. Arched an eyebrow. Took on his challenge.

Forget poker. She had other plans now. “So what’s the new tattoo, Colin? You ready to show me?”

His eyes glinted with desire and satisfaction. “I will be after I take care of you first.”


Moonlight bathed the patio at the Venetian. Slivers of silvery light reflected on the turquoise waters as he led her across the terrace to a secluded corner, behind planted palm trees, low stone walls, and hedges that framed the array of small pools.

“Where are we going?” she asked.

He nodded to the farthest corner, which boasted a tented cabana. “The after party for the benefit will be here on the private pool deck. But it doesn’t start for a little while, so it’s all ours for now.”

“Except for the bartender setting up, and the waiters and waitresses,” she whispered, gesturing to the bar they’d passed near the front entrance of the deck.

The patio was lush with greenery and fountains, like a New Orleans hotel courtyard. A warm July breeze stirred the foliage as Colin walked past, focused intently on his goal. He’d spotted the cabana only seconds ago, when they’d entered the pool area. He hadn’t mapped out a location for an evening tryst. If he had, this would never have happened. With Elle, he had to take things as they came, moment by moment.

Luck and improvisation were his companions when it came to this woman.

That, and privacy. The cabana was all the way on the other side of the deck, away from the set-up crew.

Glancing behind him to make sure the coast was clear, he held open the flap to the cabana, and she walked in, turning in a circle, taking in the dimly lit tent with a handful of lounge chairs centered around a glass table. “Are we allowed to be here as they get ready?”

“No clue,” he said with a shrug. “But I’m not afraid to break a few rules.”

“You’re trouble,” she said, shaking her head.

“Yes, but you know that about me. Besides, you like trouble.”

“Too much for my own good,” she mumbled.

He pressed a finger gently to her lips. “Not tonight. No talk tonight of why we’re a bad idea.”

She bit her lip then flicked her tongue against his finger. A mischievous look flitted across her eyes.

He nodded, encouraging her to let go. “That’s right. Tonight we’re a good idea. Because tonight I’m going to make you feel things you’ve never felt before.”

She inhaled sharply. Her skin shimmered with the flush of desire. It was a good look on her. “Like what?”

“You’ve worked hard to make a ton of people happy, and to make an incredible thing possible with the center. The next thirty minutes are all about you, and you’re going to feel what it’s like to be with someone who is obsessed with your pleasure. Every ounce of it, every inch of it, every second of it.” He ran his other hand down her arm, leaving a trail of goose bumps in his wake.

“Colin,” she said, as if she were trying to resist him. Trying futilely. “You say these things…” She trailed off as she seemed to collect her thoughts. “You say these things that make it so hard to resist you.”

“Nah. That’s not what makes it hard for you to resist me. This is.” He tugged her body to his, letting her feel his erection through their clothes.

She laughed. “Fine. You win for best innuendo of the night,” she said then pressed into him, her voice turning feathery, the way it did when she started to melt for him.

“Excellent. Let’s see if I can win at making you want to come more desperately than you’ve ever wanted to in your life,” he said, and her eyes widened, giving him a yes, telling him she wanted all the same things. To come hard in his arms.

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