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Lydia's Twin Temptation(Divine Creek Ranch 8)(18)

By:Heather Rainier

“Yes, Lydia. He knows I’ve been sweet on you for a while.” A little smile crossed her face, and he was encouraged by that. “Clayton wanted me to have a chance to talk to you first. He hopes that there’d be room enough in your heart for him, too.” Chance placed a fingertip on her breastbone beneath the pendant. “We don’t want a fling, baby. That’s not what I’m talking about. And you don’t have to make a decision about any of this tonight. I just figured I’d better put it all out there for you.”

Lydia smiled at him and stroked the pendant with her fingertips. It looked gorgeous on her, and he told her so. The greenish-blue turquoise that Summer had suggested was perfect with her eye color and complexion. Placing her hand on the other package, she said, “I wonder what’s in this one.”

He almost stopped her because now did not seem to be the best time to give her a hot ménage romance book. But he let her open it anyway. Lydia gasped when she saw the cover, and he cringed inwardly. He was done now, for sure. She’d probably kick him to the curb for the horndog that he was.

She tore the wrapping off and said, “Oh! I love Caressa MacFarland. I haven’t read this one. Her books are wonderful! I had to leave the ones I owned behind in Austin. I hated to sell them to the secondhand bookstore, but I had no space for them.”

Chance wanted to heave a relieved sigh. “So you’re okay with me—with us—giving you this book?”

Her gaze met his, and she patted his forearm in a reassuring gesture. In a weary-sounding voice she said, “Oh course, Chance. I love to read. And I love the turquoise, too. It just really surprised me. I—um.” Her chin quivered, and a tear slipped down her cheek. “I had no idea you felt like that. I’m attracted to you, too. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to cry. I’m happy, really I am.”

She put her hand to her forehead, and he was seized by the urge to “make it better.” He probably should’ve waited until the morning to spring all of this on her.

Thinking she just needed to be held, Chance drew her into his lap and held her tight. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and squeezed him, then said, “This is probably the worst time for me to say this, but…”

“But what, baby?” He was ready for whatever bomb she dropped at this point. His talk had gone better than planned.

“If I don’t go to bed, I’m literally going to pass out.”

He smiled and tipped her chin up so she would look into his eyes. “One kiss first?”

Lydia giggled and nodded. “One kiss first.”

* * * *

Lydia sat still and let him make the first move, gazing into his expressive blue eyes, thinking he seemed relieved. He smiled, and she caressed the dimple in his cheek that it created. She memorized the moment as he leaned close and her eyelids slid shut.

His lips were gentle and searching when they made first contact with hers. He wrapped his arms around her and held her as though she were dear to him. She sighed when he cradled her head in one large hand. The gesture was tender and made her feel cherished. Parting her lips slightly, she allowed him to take the kiss a little deeper, and her body warmed as he responded. He stroked her tongue with his in an intimate duel, and just as she was really getting into the kiss he pulled away with a shaky breath.

“Baby, it’s probably best that we leave it right there for tonight. Having you in my lap feels good and I’m tempted to do more than kiss you. You need your rest, so let me stop while I’m still a gentleman, okay?”

Lydia shifted in his lap, felt his hardening erection, and knew he was right. It would be all kinds of unwise for her to do anything else with him tonight. Respect for him deepened inside of her because she knew guys in Austin and San Angelo who would have taken advantage of this situation for their own benefit. There was a tiny, naughty part of Lydia that wanted to rebel, but fortunately, fatigue won this time.

“You’re right, Chance. I’ll brush my teeth and then you can take a shower if you want.”

Chance allowed her to rise from his lap and said, “Sure. That way you have a chance to settle down and get some rest.”

Pausing in the bathroom door, she said, “I should warn you that I thrash around a lot in my sleep. If I had a sofa in here, I’d take it or at least let you have the option.”

Chance chuckled and said, “I was going to warn you of the very same thing.”

“I doubt you’ll disturb me, as tired as I am. I apologize now if I wallop you in my sleep.”

Chance smiled at her and said, “I think I can handle whatever you dish out.” His voice sent a wave of longing through her, but she felt grateful that they were both preparing for sleep and nothing else. She needed it desperately and also needed the time to process what he had told her tonight. She smiled back at him and wondered how much of tonight she’d actually remember in detail tomorrow.