Sweet Temptation

Page 9

“Hold me,” she whispered as she leaned toward him. “Please?”

He hesitated as if wavering on the brink of indecision. She didn’t give him a chance to deny her. She moved into his space, cuddled against his chest and wrapped her arms around his waist. She rested her cheek against his collarbone and nestled her head just below his chin.

Nothing was going to ruin this moment for her. She would savor every sweet second.

Gingerly his arms curled around her, and he leaned back, taking her with him as he reclined against the back of the sofa. They sat in silence as he absently rubbed his palm up and down her back. The heat of his touch scorched her even through the thick material of the robe.

“I don’t want you to be sorry, Micah,” she said softly. “I’m not. Don’t you understand? I know you. I can give you what you need.”

His entire body went stiff. For a long moment he sat there, his hand still against her back. And when he finally spoke, the absolute certainty in his voice made her heart sink.

“But I can’t give you what you need, Angel girl.”


Angelina trudged into the kitchen in a pair of pajama shorts and a muscle shirt, yawning broadly as she rubbed her eyes.

“Want something to eat?” Micah asked. “I’m doing toast and juice.”

She stood by the counter and looked around like she was having a hard time getting her bearings. Guilt crushed him. She looked tired and vulnerable, and he still wasn’t convinced he hadn’t hurt her. She was a small woman, and he was not a small man.

His entire gut clenched as he remembered the way her pussy had gripped him. So tight that he’d had to force his way in, pushing against her body’s natural resistance.

Jesus, he had to stop thinking about her. This was insane. She was David’s little sister. She trusted him, and he’d used her in an unforgivable manner to slake his lust when any of the other women in that room would have been more than willing to take whatever he wanted to dish out.

But no one had fired his senses like sweet, innocent-looking Angelina, a woman who knew everything he’d tried so hard to forget.

His head jerked up when the doorbell rang. What the hell? It was six in the morning.

“I’ll get it,” Angelina said as she started forward.

“I don’t think—”

But she’d already disappeared into the hallway.

Angelina opened the door and peered out at the two men standing just a few feet away. They were both tall. One was solidly muscled and looked intimidating with his bald head and goatee. A small gold hoop hung from his left ear. He wasn’t someone she’d want to meet on a dark street.

The other man was leaner but no less muscled, and he wore his muddy blond hair in a short military style. Both had on faded jeans and casual T-shirts, and both looked at her with open curiosity.

“You must be David’s sister,” the guy with the muddy blond hair said.

“Uh, yeah,” she said cautiously.

“What are you two boneheads doing here at this hour?” Micah growled from behind her.

She jerked around just as Micah pulled her back and stepped toward the two men.

“Not going to introduce us?” she murmured.

Micah scowled. “Guys this is Angelina Moyano. Angel this is Connor Malone and Nathan Tucker.”

“And which is which?” she asked in amusement.

The bald guy grinned, transforming his badass looks into boyish charm. “I’m Nathan.” He jerked his thumb to the side. “This is Connor. We work with Micah.”

“That doesn’t explain what the hell you’re doing here,” Micah said darkly.

“Ah, well, you’re usually gone by now, so we were just checking to see if you were coming in,” Connor said.

Micah shot them both murderous glances that suggested he didn’t believe a word they said. Angelina cleared her throat to disguise her laugh. “Well, it was nice meeting you two, but I really need to get dressed and ready for work.”

At that Micah seemed to forget all about his two friends.

“You found a job already?” he demanded. “Where? Doing what?”

“A little café two blocks from here.”

“Waitressing? Why the hell are you waitressing? I know damn well David would be spinning in his grave. He made sure you were able to go to college. You did graduate, didn’t you?”

“You’d know if you’d bothered to be there,” she said lightly to disguise the quick flash of hurt. “You couldn’t leave fast enough after David and Hannah died.”

Immediately Micah’s face became a stone wall. “That’s enough.”

She glanced between him and his friends’ confused expressions. “They don’t know about Hannah?”

“I’ll see you two at work,” Micah said to Connor and Nathan right before he slammed the door in their faces.

She stared at Micah. “They don’t, do they?”

“I don’t talk about Hannah,” he said in a tight voice. “I never talked about David either until you arrived and I had to explain who you were.”

She turned away and walked down the hallway toward her bedroom.

“Angel,” he called.

But she ignored him and shut the door to sever the connection.

She sank onto the bed then flopped back to stare at the ceiling. Maybe he hadn’t let go of Hannah after all. Was he still deeply in love with her? Is that why he was convinced he couldn’t give Angelina what she needed? Was he still mourning his dead wife?

When he’d come to Miami that last time, just before Angelina left to come here to Houston, she’d been convinced he’d let go. She’d watched from a distance as he’d visited David’s and Hannah’s graves and wondered why she wasn’t important enough for him to even check in on. There had been such a finality to his actions, and she’d known then he wouldn’t be back again. It was what prompted her to finally act on her long-held feelings for him. Three years was a long time to mourn a lost love.

“Oh, Micah,” she whispered. “Have you been running from your past all this time? Have you tried to forget us? Is that why you left me too? Was I are minder of everything you lost?”

She’d been so certain that Micah was ready to love again, but now ... Now she wasn’t so sure.

Emotion knotted her stomach. And fear. Fear of being alone again. Because she knew without a doubt that she couldn’t stay here. She couldn’t pretend to have a platonic relationship with Micah. She wouldn’t hide her feelings, not that she could. Not after hiding them for so long.

She’d thought the best approach was a direct one, but now she realized she’d pushed him too hard, too fast. She’d seen the haunted, pained look come over his face when she’d said Hannah’s name. No man looked like that over a mere mention of someone’s name if he’d moved past his grief.

And she couldn’t stay if she had no chance of winning his heart.

Micah hadn’t planned to go in to work that morning at all. How could he and leave Angelina after what he’d done? He had already called Pop before Nathan and Connor barged in all curious about Angelina and wanting a glimpse. Nosy bastards.

He’d fully intended to spend the morning with Angelina, if for no other reason than to establish some ground rules regarding their relationship.

Relationship. Jesus. He wasn’t sure what they had, but him leaving her to fend for herself after David died was hardly the foundation of a relationship.

Before he could make Nathan and Connor leave, or tell them he wasn’t coming into work, Angelina had dropped all that crap about her job, then Hannah had been brought up and Angelina had high-tailed it to her room.

He’d left only because the idea of staying in his apartment was enough to drive him insane. And so here he was, out driving. No clear destination. A brand-new pack of smokes lying on the seat beside him—already half gone.

So much for his resolve to quit.

His lungs would feel like shit later, but for now each inhale was about all that was keeping what little sanity he had intact.

He slowed when he arrived at Damon’s huge-ass house, and for a long moment he sat in his truck, staring up the driveway. He hadn’t intended to end up here, but maybe he’d known that he needed to clear the air with Damon. He wanted for Damon to hear about it from him, not get it secondhand from someone who’d seen everything at The House.

After tossing the cigarette butt out his window, he pulled into the driveway and drove up to the house. Damon might not even be home, although he did spend a lot of time working from the house now that he and Serena were married. She’d moved her own offices into his house and had continued running her business, Fantasy Incorporated, after encouragement from Damon.

Micah liked Serena. He’d had his doubts in the beginning that she could be the kind of woman who would make Damon happy. A submissive woman. Not just in bed, but in all aspects. But the two were happy, and though Serena herself had doubts at the onset of their relationship, she hadn’t given up, and for that she had Micah’s utmost respect and affection.

Apart from David, Damon was the closest Micah had allowed anyone. Oh, the guys at work were his buddies. There was no doubt about that. Great friends. He liked them all. But he’d never confided in them anything of his life before his arrival in Houston. Only Damon knew of his relationship with Hannah and that he and David had ... shared her.

Before he was fully out of the truck, he looked up to see Damon standing in the open doorway of his home. He was leaned against the door frame, watching Micah as he walked toward him.

When he was a foot away, Micah stopped and shoved his hands into his jeans pockets. “I need to talk to you, Damon.”

Damon nodded. “Come in. We can go onto the terrace. I hope you won’t mind that Serena will join us in a moment. This is our day together, and I don’t like to be away from her.”

“I don’t want to interrupt,” Micah began.

But Damon ignored him and merely gestured for him to follow. Micah sighed. Damon was a smooth bastard. It surprised Micah that as alike as they were they got along so well. Neither liked to budge, and both were accustomed to doing things their own way.

“Want some coffee to go with all those cigarettes you’ve smoked?” Damon asked as they stepped outside the back.

Micah grimaced. “Smell that bad, huh.”

Damon smiled. “Thought you’d quit? Or was that last week.”

“Fuck you,” Micah grumbled. “I hadn’t had a smoke in three weeks until today, and before that I’d narrowed it down to one or two a day max.”

“So what prompted today’s black lung?”

Damon sat and motioned for Micah to do the same. Micah sank into one of the patio chairs and briefly closed his eyes.

“Have you ever done something that you knew in your bones was unforgivably wrong? Not just a mistake, but something that went against every one of your principles?”

Damon’s expression grew pensive. “I can’t say that I have.”

“It sucks,” Micah said bleakly.

There was a brief hesitation. “What happened?”

Micah struggled with what to say, how to say it. And then he figured there was no pretty way to put it.

“I pretty much raped Angelina at The House last night.”

To Damon’s credit, he didn’t react. He didn’t say anything, nor did his expression change. He just waited.

Micah related the entire episode, from the time he walked in to see the three men with Angelina to the time he tossed her over the end of the couch and fucked her. Without a condom.

“You lost control.”

“I raped her.”

Damon shook his head. “Even Angelina refutes that. You said so yourself. She wanted what happened.”

“I didn’t give her a choice. Goddamn it, Damon. What we do is all about choice. We take, we take a hell of a lot from a woman, but it’s because she chooses to give it. I’m demanding. I like submissive women. Completely and utterly submissive. But never, never have I ever lost control like that. Never have I hurt a woman.”

“Have you spoken to Angelina? Told her all this?” Damon asked.

Micah sighed. “It’s complicated. I get the feeling ... I get that she wants more from me. What I mean is that she wants something I can’t give her. And I won’t use her as some sexual toy. She deserves better than that. I don’t understand my reaction to her. I’ve had women since Hannah. I’ve enjoyed women. But with Angelina there is something that I just can’t explain. It’s not fun and laid back with her. It’s not sexy and casual. I can’t be around her and not want to take her over. I have such dark thoughts. And goddamn it, Damon, she’s David’s sister. Of all the women in the world, she is off-limits.”


Micah stared at him like he’d lost his mind. “What the hell do you mean, ‘why’? It’s self-explanatory. Hell, she lived with me and David and Hannah for a year. She’s ... family.”

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