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Authors: Brenda Jackson

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BOOK: Forged of Steele Bundle
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Chapter 4
 

T
hat was a good question, Kylie thought as she held Chance’s gaze from across the table. Who would make sure the two of them stayed out of trouble?

The smile on Chance’s lips matched the one in his eyes. Still, she knew that, like her, Chance realized this was a serious discussion. A part of her wished she could forget that he was Marcus’s father and that they’d met because of their children. But she couldn’t forget, even while her attention focused on nothing but the shape of his mouth. It taunted her to lean in and cop a taste.

She drew in a deep breath, trying to regain control, and got a sniff of his cologne. The manly scent of him was unnerving, totally sexy.

“Don’t look at me like that, Kylie.”

She blinked and saw more than a bare hint of challenge in his eyes. She didn’t have to wonder just how she’d been looking at him. The throb between her legs told the whole story and then some. It was a deep ache and it was all she could do from asking him to relieve her of her pain.

She was astounded with her lack of strength where Chance was concerned and wished she could ignore how he made her feel, dismiss the longings he stirred inside of her. But at the moment she couldn’t. At least not while her heart was beating a mile a minute and the heat was taking her body to an intolerable degree.

Regardless, she knew she had to fight temptation and take control. She wasn’t a lustful teenager. She was a grown woman of thirty-one. A woman with a teenage daughter she should be concerned about. Tiffany was important. Tiffany was the only thing that mattered.

With all the strength she could muster, she broke eye contact and busied herself with pulling napkins out of the holder. “I don’t want this, Chance,” she said, knowing he knew full well what she meant.

He nodded. “To be honest with you, I don’t want it, either, Kylie. So tell me how we can stop it.”

She shrugged. It wasn’t as if she had any answers. She was definitely lurking in uncharted territory. The only thing she knew was that around him she had the tendency to feel things she’d never felt before. No man had ever made her breathless, excited and hot. When it came to the opposite sex, she felt just as inexperienced as her daughter. Oh, sure, she’d engaged in sex before, and at the time she’d thought it was pretty good, once she’d gotten beyond the pain. But Sam had been just as young and inexperienced as she had been, and she figured what she’d always thought of as satisfaction was nothing more than an appeasement of her curiosity and the elation of finally reaching womanhood at the hands of someone she thought she loved.

But she wanted more than that for Tiffany. More than teenage lust eroding what could be a wonderful experience with the man she married. That was the reason she was sitting here, a little past one, with the sexiest man alive. It wasn’t about them. It was about their children. They needed to realize that and get back on track.

“I think the first thing we should do is to remember the reason we’re here in the first place.
You have a business to run and so do I, but our kids take top priority. Nothing else. My wants and needs have always come second to my daughter’s and things will continue to be that way, Chance.”

She paused briefly before she continued. “It’s going to take the two of us working together to keep things from going crazy between Tiffany and Marcus. Shifting our concentration from them to us will not only make us lose focus, but will have us making some of the same mistakes they’d be making.”

“So, you’re suggesting that we pretend we don’t have urges and that we aren’t attracted to each other? You think it will be that easy?” he asked.

The frustration in his tone matched her own feelings. “No, it won’t be easy, Chance. To be quite honest with you, it will probably be the hardest thing I’ve had to do in fifteen years.”

She thought about the men in her past who had shown interest in her and how she’d sent them away without a moment’s hesitation. There had been that new guy at work who tried hitting on her several times; then there was that guy who worked at the post office who had enjoyed flirting with her. Not to mention that handsome man at the grocery store who gave her that “I want to get to know you” smile.
But none of them had piqued her interest like Chance had. None of them had offered any temptation. Chance was too incredibly sexy for his own good. Even worse, he was a pretty nice guy.

“We have to keep our heads,” she said. “Or the kids will take advantage without us realizing it.” Kylie hoped—prayed—that he wouldn’t give her any hassles. They needed to be in accord. They needed to be a team with one focus.

He leaned over the table, closer to her. “I know you’re right but…”

She lifted an arched brow. “But what?”

“At this very moment, the only thing I want is to kiss you.”

His blatant honesty, as well as the heat of his gaze, burned her. She could actually feel the flame. His softly uttered words only intensified the throbbing between her legs, and made fiery sensations rip through her stomach. It wouldn’t take much for her to lean in to him and mesh her lips with his, satisfy at least one craving they evidently both had. And without any control, her body began doing just that, leaning closer…

They jumped apart at the sound of a car backfiring. Kylie’s eyes widened and her cheeks tinted with embarrassment. They were sitting in the middle of Burger King thinking of sharing a kiss, for heaven’s sake!

“Are you ready to go?” Chance asked.

Kylie drew in a deep breath. Yes, she was ready. The sooner she got back to the shop the better. There, she could regain her sensibilities, take back control of her mind. No doubt Chance had more experience dealing with this sort of thing than she did. Regardless, she knew she couldn’t depend on him to keep things in perspective. An affair with Chance was the last thing she wanted. No matter what, she had to remember that.

 

“Thanks for lunch, Chance,” Kylie said to him as he backed out of Burger King’s parking lot.

“You’re welcome. I enjoyed it.”

For the next few minutes they shared pleasant conversation in which he told her about his parents retiring to Florida and about his three brothers and three female cousins. It wasn’t hard to tell that the Steele family was close.

“So how is your flower business?”

She appreciated him asking. It was a good idea to stick to general conversation. “So far business is good. Before moving here I did my research, made sure adding another florist wasn’t overcrowding the market.”

“You have a good location since it’s an area ripe for development.”

“Yes, and I owe it all to Lena. She put her real estate skills to work and gave me a call one day. It was just what I was looking for, exactly what I needed. I grow a lot of my own plants in the greenhouse out back. Those I don’t grow I get from a pretty good supplier.”

She paused briefly as he glanced over at her. He hadn’t put back on his jacket or tie, which made her wonder if he planned to go back to the office or just chill the rest of the day. She scolded herself when she realized what Chance did was really none of her business.

“If you don’t mind, I need to make a stop. It won’t take but a couple of minutes. I promise to get you back to your shop before two.”

“All right.”

She blinked seconds later when he pulled up to a car wash. She thought his SUV looked pretty clean. It was definitely in better condition than her car.

“I have those pesky bugs on my fender,” Chance said, as he eased his truck into the bay.

The automatic equipment began moving around the truck, blasting water over it and hiding them from the outside world in a cocoon-like waterfall. The insides of the truck suddenly got dark, intimate, warm.

She didn’t want to but she couldn’t help but
glance over at Chance. Seeing the seductive look in his eyes, she knew this was no coincidence. Coming here had been deliberate on his part.

“This is the first time I’ve done this. I’ve never brought a woman with me to get my truck washed,” he said in a husky voice. “But I want to kiss you, Kylie.”

Kylie swallowed at the passion she heard in his voice. She hated admitting it but she wanted to kiss him as well. But still…

“Chance, I thought we decided that—”

“Please.” His tone vibrated with a need that touched her when she knew it shouldn’t. “Ten minutes is all I ask.”

Kylie blinked.
Ten minutes? A car wash took that long?
As if reading the question in her eyes, he said, “I’m getting a heavy-duty wash.”

“Oh.” Still, she’d never been kissed for ten minutes.

“Come here, Kylie. Please.”

The knot in her throat thickened. She knew he wanted her to slide over to him, and heaven help her but she wanted it, too. Without stopping to question the wisdom of her actions, she unsnapped her seat belt and scooted toward him. When she got close enough he pushed back the seat and pulled her into
his lap. His arms automatically closed around her shoulders as he held her in a warm embrace.

“Thank you,” he said huskily, before sweeping his tongue across her lips and taking her mouth, hungrily, thoroughly. The first touch of his mouth on hers had her automatically parting her lips. And now with the insertion of his tongue, he brought out a responsive need in her so deep, she began to intimately stroke his tongue with hers.

She had never been kissed this way, had never known that such a way was possible. But it was clear as glass that Chance had a special, skillful technique. His tongue was stroking the top of her mouth, sliding over her teeth, entwining his tongue with hers, sucking relentlessly on it.

Her breasts, pressing against his chest, felt full, sensitive and tight. Instinctively, she wrapped her arms around his neck as they greedily consumed each other. She tasted every inch of his mouth while pressed against him, feeling the way his body had hardened beneath her bottom.

The kiss went on and on as his mouth continued to take hers, skillfully, thoroughly, tantalizing every bone in her body and making her conscious of just what a master he was at igniting sensations.

And they were ignited—by sensations she had
never felt before. She was experiencing the emotions of a woman and not a sixteen-year-old girl. In reality, this was her first taste of passion and Chance was delivering it in grand style.

There was a need hammering deep within her that she didn’t understand, but evidently Chance did, since he seemed to sense just what she wanted, just what she needed, even if she wasn’t certain. The only thing she was sure about was that he had taken their kiss to a level she hadn’t known possible.

The sound of a car door slamming made her remember where they were and what they were doing. The honking of a horn indicated that someone was behind them waiting for their vehicle to move. Still, Chance took his time easing his mouth from hers. She could barely think. She could barely breathe. And she could barely break the connection of the dark eyes locked with hers.

“I think the truck is clean enough now, don’t you?” he asked throatily against her moist lips with a sound that sent sensuous chills down her body.

Kylie didn’t trust herself to speak at the moment. When he released her, she slid out of his lap and back across the seat. She’d read about women being kissed senseless but never in her wildest dreams had
she thought such a thing was possible. Boy, had she been wrong.

She snapped her seat belt back in place as she felt the truck move forward. When they were back in the sunlight, a dose of reality struck. They’d been in the midst of making out in his truck like teenagers. She inhaled deeply, wondering how she could have let things get so out of hand.

“It was inevitable, Kylie.”

She glanced over at him. Just because what he said was true didn’t mean she liked hearing it.

“Please don’t have any regrets,” he said softly.

How could she have regrets when she had been a willing participant, just as much into the kiss as he had been? However, she did intend to have her say. “We need to have more control, Chance. How can we expect our kids to have control if we don’t?”

He pulled the truck to the side and parked it, and then glanced over at her. “They’re kids, but we’re adults, Kylie. Our wants and needs are more defined than theirs. And a lot more profound.”

“Sounds like a double standard to me.”

“It’s not. That kiss we shared has nothing to do with our kids. That was strictly personal, between me and you.”

She stared at him, hoping he understood what
she was about to say. “I don’t have any regrets about the kiss but it can’t happen again, Chance.”

A slow smile played across his lips. “That’s easier said than done, Kylie. I tasted your response. You’re a very passionate woman, moreso than you even know. You’ve denied yourself pleasure for a long time and now that your body has savored just a sampling, it’s going to want more.”

She didn’t like what he was insinuating. Okay, so she had been a little greedy back there, but still, she had her morals.

“And your principles have nothing to do with it,” he said as if he’d read her mind. “So don’t even think it. It’s about needs that are old and primitive as mankind. I have them and you have them, too.”

She frowned. “And I’m supposed to jump into bed with any man just to appease him?”

“No. Only with me.”

He evidently saw the startled look in her face, because he then added, “But I’m willing to wait until you’re ready.”

Kylie inhaled and decided it would be a waste of her time to tell him that no matter how much she had enjoyed their kiss, when it came to an affair, she would never be ready. Especially not with him.

 

Another night and Chance couldn’t sleep a wink. But at least tonight he wasn’t being kept awake wondering how it would be to kiss Kylie since he’d gotten a real down-to-earth experience earlier that day.

And it had been better than he’d imagined.

The moments their lips had connected he had felt a slow sizzle all the way to his toes. The more he’d kissed her, the more she had wiggled closer for a better connection, and while his truck was getting the wash it really hadn’t needed, he was inside with her locked in his arms, and getting hotter by the second.

BOOK: Forged of Steele Bundle
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