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hot as sin Page 18


  Sam was her last tie to hope. To comfort. And faith.

  More than anything, she wanted to be naked and warm in his arms, to pretend for a few precious moments that everything was all right.

  Finding a bar of soap, she lathered up her hair and skin, realizing as the water washed the remaining dirt away how wonderful it was to be clean again. A simple pleasure, but a pleasure nonetheless.

  Knowing Sam should have a turn in the shower before she used up all of the hot water, she switched off the tap and wrapped herself in a large brown towel. Everything on the Farm was surprisingly clean and she acknowledged that she'd been too hasty in condemning the commune in her conversation with April without coming to see it first. No wonder her sister had stormed out of the cafe.

  Moving into the small bedroom, Dianna found dry clothes laid out on the bed. She quickly toweled off and got dressed, then went into the main room, where an array of food was laid out on a small table.

  Obviously, Sam had brought everything inside, but where was he?

  She was making her way to the front door when he opened it and walked back inside. Also in dry clothes, he looked surprisingly clean.

  "Did you use Peter's shower?"

  He ran one hand through his dark, still-wet hair, looking disconcertingly stern before one side of his mouth finally quirked up.

  "Rain has its uses."

  "You showered outside?" she asked, shivering just thinking about it.

  When he nodded, she envisioned Sam standing naked in the rain and immediately heated up. He held his hands out, and she was so wrapped up in her fantasy of catching him bathing in the rain that it took her a little while to realize he was holding something warm and delicious.

  "Peter just came by with this fresh-baked bread and I filled him in on everything."

  She immediately sobered as the day's horror came back to her. Sitting down hard on one of the dining chairs by the door, her fear for April settled into the pit of her stomach like a rock.

  "I don't know if I can eat anything."

  Ignoring her, Sam put the bread down with the rest of the food, got a couple of plates and utensils from the small kitchenette, and began portioning out the food. Despite her heavy mood, her stomach rumbled.

  Suddenly ravenous, she reached for a slice of bread just as Sam was handing it to her and their fingers collided. She shivered again at the touch of his skin.

  His brows furrowed with renewed concern. "Cold?"

  "No," she replied. Just the opposite. Despite everything, she was burning up with desire. "Just starved."

  They ate in silence for several minutes until Sam said, "I'm glad you're eating after all. It's been a pretty rough couple of days. You need the energy."

  "We both do," she agreed. "Going after April had been so much harder than I thought it would be. And, honestly, I thought it was going to be pretty damn hard."

  He put down his glass and gave her a stern look. "That's why tonight is all about getting some rest."

  Immediately going on the defensive, she said, "I'm not tired, Sam, and I want to get back out there looking for her."

  But all he did was shake his head, just as she'd known he would.

  "I checked with Peter. This storm isn't going to let up until morning. The sun's already on its way down and we're not going to make any headway in this rain. If anything, I'm afraid you'll get sick, and then we'll really be in trouble."

  She pushed back from the table, feeling restless, hating knowing they were stuck for another night.

  Also standing up, Sam said, "I know it's early, but I want you to go to bed, Dianna."

  There was only one bed in the small house. "Where are you going to sleep?"

  She held her breath as she waited for his answer.

  He jerked his head toward the door. "I've got the tent set up on the front deck. I'll be right outside the door if you need me."

  The rational part of her brain knew he was making sense. But logic wasn't enough anymore.

  "Stay with me tonight, Sam."

  His expression reminded her of the granite rocks in the river. He was trying to protect her, he'd always tried to protect her, but right now she needed him to give in, even if he thought she was making a mistake.

  Moving closer, she put her hand on his arm. "I won't be able to sleep unless you're holding me. I need you, Sam. Please."

  CHAPTER NINETEEN

  SAM'S NEED for Dianna was as close to an unstoppable force as he'd ever withstood. But it had been a hard day, and although she thought sex was what she wanted, he had to accept that it was just stress talking.

  On top of everything else she was dealing with, he didn't want her to have to regret making love to him, too.

  But how could he force his foot down on the brakes when he was mesmerized by her voice, by her beautifully expressive face, by the longing in her eyes as she moved closer?

  "At first," she said softly, "when we were in the shower together, all I wanted was to try to forget. But now, all I want is to keep believing. For so long, I didn't believe that we were possible. I didn't have faith that you and I could ever find each other again." She reached a hand up to his face and ran her thumb across his lips. "But now I know that if you and I can forgive each other and make a new start, then anything is possible. Even finding April."

  He threaded his fingers through her hair and then they were kissing, their tongues dancing together. Rekindled memories of the way they'd been collided with the sensation that he was loving her for the very first time.

  Unable to go slow when he'd been wanting her for so damn long, he nipped and sucked at her sweet mouth, the sensitive bow at the center of her upper lip, the seductive plump flesh of the lower one.

  Moving his hands down her back, to the curve of her hips, he pulled her closer, his raging hard-on throbbing and pulsing against her belly.

  "It's been too long," he confessed against her lips. "I don't know if I can go slow."

  He felt her smile again, heard her say, "I don't want slow. I just want you."

  It was all the encouragement he needed to let the animal inside loose. Seconds later he was ripping off her shirt, yanking down her pants, while she mirrored his movements with her hands on his clothes. And then he was naked and her skin was bare beneath his fingers and he lost any last shred of gentleness, of patience.

  Pulling her bra down, he pressed her breasts together with his palms and sucked her sweet flesh into his mouth. Moaning her pleasure, she arched her back and her nipples jutted against his tongue.

  Stepping back to try to keep from losing it completely, he made the mistake of looking at her. With her head thrown back in ecstasy, skin flushed with arousal, she was a goddess, and instead of getting his game back, he dropped to his knees, yanking her panties down as he ran kisses along her flat belly. She opened her legs wider for him and it was all the invitation he needed to take her heat in his mouth.

  Her hands grasped his rain-wet hair and his name reverberated off the walls. Using his shoulder to shift her legs even wider, he grasped her hips with his hands to hold her steady. He ran his tongue over her in long strokes, finally settling at the hard nub of her clitoris.

  She tasted so good. She'd always been so responsive when he loved her like this, her body trembling in his hands.

  Lightly swirling his tongue against her arousal, he shifted her weight so that he could hold her up with only one hand. Needing to be inside her even as he made her come with his tongue, he slipped one finger into her tight canal, her inner muscles grasping and pulling him deeper inside.

  He could feel how close she was, knew that she was about to explode, so he slid another finger in to join the first, and as he bucked them in, then out, he flicked his tongue fast across her clit and took her all the way over the edge.

  She was still gasping with pleasure when he pulled her down, holding her hips an inch from the tip of his hard shaft.

  He forced himself to say, "I don't have any protection."

&nbs
p; "I don't care," was her instant response, and then she was sliding down onto his hard shaft and taking him in, her expression one of utter satisfaction. Complete pleasure. Riding him hard, she moved up, then down on his cock, and even though a part of him wanted to slow down and savor every moment of their lovemaking, he was too far gone to do anything but call out her name and give in to one of the most powerful orgasms of his life.

  Seconds turned into minutes as they held on to each other. Many times over the course of his hotshot career, Sam had run nearly vertical slopes, but he'd never had this much trouble catching his breath.

  Dianna's long limbs still twined around him, he finally stood up, carrying her with him into the bedroom.

  "I couldn't wait another second to have you, but now I'm going to take my time. I want to relearn every inch of your body, Dianna. Every beautiful inch."

  Sam's intense words made her shiver as he climbed beneath the clean white sheets. She reached for him and he cupped her face with his large, wonderfully talented hands as he kissed her, one muscular thigh trapping her beneath him in the most delicious way.

  She'd dreamed about kissing him again, so many times, more times than she would ever admit, but lying halfway across his hard muscles, pressing her lips against his, feeling the beginnings of a beard bristling across her skin, simply blew her mind.

  Sensing that he was letting her lead, she pressed soft kisses along his lips, again and again as she relearned their contours, the extrasensitive spots, the places where they both used to get lost in pleasure. But her tongue was not nearly patient enough and it slipped into the corners of his mouth, then between his lips to run along his smooth teeth.

  And then, suddenly, he stopped kissing her. Not knowing why, she followed his gaze to her upper arms. She'd been a little surprised herself in the shower to see that bruises covered both of them like a tattoo.

  "You should have told me you were hurt."

  Figuring she'd gotten these bruises during their white-water expedition, she said, "I'll heal," but she didn't want to focus on anything but the man sharing her bed. She ran her hands over his chest, his abdominal muscles.

  "My God," she said reverently, "you're incredible."

  His mouth moving into a smile, he teased, "You're acting like this is the first time you've seen me naked."

  She pressed a series of kisses against the broad wall of his chest. "We were just kids back then. And you are definitely aging well." She looked up at him and licked her lips. "Really, really well."

  "Not as well as you are," he said between kisses. "I didn't think making love to you could be better than before. But you've amazed me again, sweetheart."

  Her nipples hardened against his chest and the vee between her legs grew even hotter at his words. He was right. They'd always been a good fit. Ten years after their first time, she couldn't imagine ever making love to another man.

  Sam was it: the only man she wanted to share her bed with ever again.

  But their bond was too new and she didn't want to say anything that would freak him out, so she simply put her lips back on his and pressed her breasts and hips up into his hard heat to tell him with her body.

  His response was swift, one hand curling behind her head, the other moving down to cup her bottom. His thick erection pressed between her legs, effortlessly fueling her inner fire.

  "You're mine," he whispered against her lips, before crushing them beneath his.

  She felt the truth of his words deep in her bones, before giving herself up completely to pleasure.

  No one kissed as good as Sam. No one knew right where to bite or how hard. No one else had ever found the exact spot to lick or the hidden places she liked to be stroked.

  Only Sam.

  She didn't know how long they kissed. A minute. An hour. All she knew was that she was drowning in desire, desperate for release, and that this time she didn't want to go without him.

  He pulled away so that he could look at her, his gaze moving everywhere, taking in her slightly fuller hips, along with the bruises and scrapes that she'd weathered thus far in Colorado.

  "So beautiful," he whispered. "You're so damn beautiful."

  His declaration sent new blazes rippling through her, over her, as his hands cupped the undersides of her breasts, pushing them together, and then his tongue found her nipples again and she was moaning with pleasure.

  Wanting to get closer, she arched her back as he cupped the damp vee between her legs with his palm. She gasped, involuntarily pushing her mound into his hand. The heel of his palm rocked against her and, again, she was so close, right on the edge of exploding.

  Her limbs felt like melted butter and she wanted to spend hours tasting every inch of his body, but the truth was that she needed him too badly to take that kind of time or have that much patience. Not when she couldn't resist the urge to wrap her fingers around his shaft. He twitched several times in succession in her hand, so hard and big that she wondered for the hundredth time if she was dreaming.

  No other lover had ever matched him in size or skill, but, again, memories did nothing to live up to the reality of the man she now held in the palm of her hands. Moving her hand slowly up and down his hard length, he groaned--a sound that was half pain, half pleasure--and she smiled as she planted soft kisses against his shoulder, his chest, finally finding his nipple with her tongue.

  She wasn't surprised when he removed her fingers and pushed her back into the bed. A spring in the bed pushed into a sore spot in her ribs and she winced.

  Sam stilled. "I'm not being gentle enough."

  "I'm fine," she insisted. "Better than fine. I've never felt so good in all my life."

  To make sure he didn't try to play the hero again by pleasuring her and then walking away unsatisfied, she wrapped her legs tightly around him. She was so ready for him--had been dreaming of him for ten long years late at night when she was unable to control her subconscious self--that all it took was one thrust to send her reeling into another orgasm.

  He drove her higher and higher, covering her scream of pleasure with a passionate kiss as her muscles squeezed him, pulling him back in with every plunge. Closing her eyes tight, she gloried in every last second of ecstasy.

  When she finally came down off the incredibly high peak, she realized that he was still huge within her. Looking into his eyes, she whispered, "Sam," unable to keep everything she was feeling for him from wrapping around his name.

  He didn't say a word, but she already knew what he was feeling from what she read in his eyes, on his face, in the way he touched her.

  And then, he started moving again, slower this time, his hands moving from her hips, to her waist, then over her breasts, and she gasped as brand-new waves of pleasure ran through her, all the way to the tips of her toes.

  She was burning up in his arms, goose bumps moving over her skin as he kissed her gently. As he rolled her nipples between his thumb and forefinger, a moan fell from her lips at the amazing sensations he continued to evoke in her. All the while, he slowly moved in, then out of her, holding off on his own completion so that she could be right there with him when he came.

  She wrapped her legs even tighter around his waist and put her hands on his shoulders, pulling his head down. Their lips touched and they both careened over the edge, their hips bucking in perfect rhythm, their hands and mouths grasping at each other.

  Later, as she lay against his chest, breathing hard while he stroked her hair and kissed her forehead, she no longer tried to hold back the truth of what was in her heart.

  "I love you, Sam."

  He couldn't believe she was giving him a chance to finally get things right, especially after he'd done so many things wrong. Not only had he screwed up by leaving her alone for so many weeks on end after the miscarriage, but when she fled to San Francisco, why hadn't he gotten down on his goddamned knees and begged her to come home?

  He couldn't screw it up this time. She deserved the fairy tale this time. She deserved to
be romanced.

  She deserved to know without a doubt that she could count on him to be there for her. Forever.

  Misunderstanding his silence, Dianna came up on one elbow and smiled at him.

  "It's okay, Sam," she said softly. "I'm not in any rush. And I don't want to pressure you into anything. I just wanted to tell you what I'm feeling, that I've fallen in love with you all over again. And nothing you say or don't say is going to change my mind."

  Her beautiful skin was flushed and rosy as she took his hand and placed it in the center of her chest. "Nothing is going to change what's in my heart."

  Slowly stroking the pulse point in her neck with the tips of his fingers, he knew he'd never tire of looking at her, kissing her, laughing with her.

  "What if I'm the one who's in a rush?" he asked in a husky voice.

  Her eyes widened in surprise, and when her long limbs shifted against his, the sensual friction of their bodies amped up yet another level.

  "I love you, too," he said. "I never stopped loving you, Dianna. I just tried to convince myself that I had."

  "You were pretty convincing," she teased, but he hated to hear the lingering doubts behind her words.

  "No, I was an idiot. And I only hope I can be the man you need me to be the second time around."

  Her lips pressed gently to his. "You'll never run out of chances with me, Sam. I'm yours from here on out, whether you want me or not."

  He grasped her perfectly shaped rear end and pulled her against him so that his growing hard-on was nestled between her soft thighs.

  "You have no idea how much I want you. I've wanted you every single second, even when you were in that hospital bed telling me to get the hell out."

  He brushed his fingers across her flat stomach and she sucked in a breath as he slowly trailed his fingertips over her midsection, the soft swell of her breasts, until goose bumps covered her skin. Wanting to touch every inch of her, he moved his hands to cup her breasts with his palms, then rubbed his thumbs across her tight nipples.

  "Sam," she gasped, "it feels so good. You feel so good."

  He brought his mouth down over one perfect, erect nipple and she arched into his mouth, trying to get even closer to him, and he marveled at how responsive she was to the slightest nip of his teeth on her sensitive flesh.