Read Been Loving You Too Long Online

Authors: Seraphina Donavan

Tags: #Romance

Been Loving You Too Long (2 page)

BOOK: Been Loving You Too Long
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She’d been a fixture in the home as long as he had.
Little more than a toddler when he’d first arrived, the granddaughter of their now retired housekeeper, Ophelia, had grown up beside them.
She’d run tame through the house as long as he could remember.

He didn’t know the whereabouts of her mother, but he knew enough to realize that she’d probably been better off with the woman’s absence.
Thomas had employed her as his personal assistant almost a decade earlier, and over the last few years, her role had shifted from secretary to caretaker.

With her sleek dark hair and big doe eyes, she was beautiful in a somewhat less than traditional way.
But it was her lush curves and tempting bee stung lips that tormented him.
Wanting her was the about as taboo as anything he’d ever done, but he hadn’t been able to stop.
So, he’d done the only thing he could to resist temptation and avoided her like the plague.
Now he was stuck.

She stood between him and the door.
Wearing a cotton sundress that nipped in at her waist and flared over the gentle curve of her hips, her dark hair pulled into a low ponytail, she looked like she’d stepped from another era.
But she’d always done that.

Ophelia had been doing the vintage thing long before anyone else realized it was cool.
There was something so appealing in her tidy, ladylike appearance.

How many times had he pictured her with her hair mussed, her lipstick smudged from his kisses, and her modest dress hiked up around her waist while he took her?
That image was burning inside him, constant, agonizing, tormenting.
There was never an escape from it, but with her standing only a few feet away, it was so much worse.

He knew that he should retreat, go out the front door and walk around to his car or at the very least, alert her to his presence.
Instead, he simply stood there in the kitchen doorway and watched her, lurking like some pervert.

Her movements were economical, unconsciously graceful and painfully appealing to him.
Some sound, or perhaps some hind brain instinct must have alerted her to the fact that she wasn’t alone.
She turned and let out a startled gasp that was immediately followed by a hiss of pain.

When she’d turned, he’d seen the knife in her hand, and could see the blood welling from the cut on her finger.
Quickly, he closed the distance between them and grasped her wrist, inspecting the damage.

“I’m fine, Vincent.
It’s nothing—just my normal clumsiness,” she said quickly, trying to withdraw her hand.

“Let me see,” he prompted.

“I didn’t hear you come in.”

He pulled her toward the kitchen island and the small first aid kit that had always resided in the top drawer.

Applying a small amount of antiseptic to the cut, he didn’t acknowledge her statement.
What could he say? It was too embarrassing to admit that he’d been trying to slip in and out of his own home without seeing her because he was a nearly forty year old man who couldn’t keep his libido in check.
“I was upstairs with Thomas.
The nurse has gone for the night.”

She nodded.
“He’s had a good day, I think.
He beat me at chess this morning.”

Vincent smiled.
“I taught you to play chess.
You’re terrible at it.”




“I was only ten.
I’ve gotten better,” Ophelia protested.
She hated that her voice sounded breathless even to her own ears.
She couldn’t pinpoint when it happened, when her awareness of Vincent as a man had morphed into this impossible yearning inside her.

The girlhood crush had never quite vanished, but this almost painful need was too much to bear.
She could smell his cologne, the scent light and subtle, but wholly masculine.
It made her want to rub against him like a cat, just so she could smell his scent on her.

While he stared down at her hand, applying the small bandage, she stared at his face, noting the dark shadows beneath his eyes.
They told the truth of how difficult it was for him.
It wasn’t just that he and Thomas were family.
Thomas had been his mentor, his friend, and the only father he’d ever known.
Vincent respected and admired him, but more than that, he needed him.

“You look tired, Vincent.”

He quirked an eyebrow, his expression sardonic.
“So I hear.”

It had slipped out, an admission that she shouldn’t have made.
Acknowledging to anyone how frequently Vincent crossed her mind or how often she studied his face was dangerous.

When he looked up at her, their gazes locked and Ophelia’s breath simply froze.
Her lungs seized and she could do nothing but stare into his coal-black eyes and pray that everything she felt for him wasn’t written all over her face.

It was only when he drew her hand up and placed it against his chest, directly over his racing heart that she realized he’d even still been holding it.
The firmness of muscle and the springy mat of chest hair beneath the cotton of his shirt was too much temptation to resist.
She caressed that muscle lightly and watched as his eyes blazed with lust.

His expression changed to something she could only describe as carnal, predatory even. He stepped closer to her, backing her against the island.

She let out a sigh, savoring the sensation of his closeness, of the heat from his body scorching her.

His mouth was only inches from her and the anticipation of waiting for the kiss that seemed so inevitable was agonizing.
“Tell me to stop,” he demanded.

“You shouldn’t,” she whispered, unable to find her voice.

“I shouldn’t stop or I shouldn’t kiss you, Ophelia?
Which is it?”

She knew the right answer, the answer she ought to give.
Instead, she sank against him, savoring the heat, the hard planes of his body against hers.
Her eyes closed softly as she raised her lips to his.

The heat between them sparked, flared, then raged out of control.
She might have initiated that first tentative touch of their lips, but he quickly seized the reins.

His lips were firm as they settled over hers, demanding.
When his teeth scraped her bottom lip, nipping roughly and then soothing with his tongue, she couldn’t hold back the low moan.
Each gentle tug and pull as he sucked at her lips, the sensual glide of his tongue against hers as he swept it into her mouth was overwhelmingly intense.

It was as if he’d peered inside her and knew what she wanted even before he she did.
Heat suffused her, spreading throughout her body.
He tasted of bourbon and the spice that was simply him.
Sliding her hands up and over the breadth of his shoulders, she clasped her hands behind his neck, bringing them even closer.

His hands moved over her back, down to her hips, pressing against her.

She could feel the hard length of him against her belly.
Need simply took her.
It pulsed and grew inside her, consuming her.
She craved the feeling of his skin against hers.

It’d been so long that she’d wanted him, and for so long she’d thought it was impossible.
She’d dreamed about having him touch her.
The reality of it was so much more than she could ever have imagined.
It was more primal, more intense.
Unable to resist, she arched her hips against him as his lips left hers, coasting along her jaw line, over her collar bone.
Anticipation built inside her as his hands moved back up her rib cage until his blunt finger tips brushed against the undersides of her breasts.




Vincent knew that it was madness, that he was violating every rule he’d set for himself.
He thought about Thomas’ question.
There was one woman who’d crept inside him, tormented his every waking thought and even claimed his dreams.
It was the one right in front of him.
How many nights had he dreamt of her?
How many times did thoughts of her intrude during the day?

She was dangerous to him, but in that moment, he felt like taking a risk.
He’d decided long ago that marriage, or any kind of commitment, and all it entailed was off limits for him.
His whole life, he’d listened to the words.
One person after another telling him how much like his father he was.
It was the last thing he wanted to be.
Dark, obsessive, selfish, and often cruel, it wasn’t a flattering picture painted of him.

He wasn’t a good choice for any woman, at least not for anything more than a night.
As mixed up and intense as his feelings for Ophelia were and how complicated her multilayered relationship to his family was, he’d tried to steer clear of her.
Not to mention that with everything he knew about Ophelia, he knew that commitment was a requirement.

He was almost ashamed of how easy it had been for him to just give in.
She was like a fire in his blood.
With the taste of her on his tongue and the weight of her breasts in his hands, he knew that regret would come, but he also knew that some pleasures were worth it.

He was already imagining sinking into the slick heat of her body, of feeling her shudder and clench around him.
With that desire spurring him on, he tugged the straps of her dress down, and then the bodice.

The pale lace of her bra did little to conceal the dark circles of her areolas and the hardened buds of her nipples.

Dipping his head, he captured one taut peak between his lips, even as he reached for the hem of her dress.

The slamming of the front door brought reality crashing in on them.

He stepped back quickly as Ophelia righted her clothing. Ophelia moved back to the sink and he remained standing behind the counter, concealing a rampant erection as his sister stormed in.

“What are you still doing here?” Kaitlyn demanded when she walked in.
Her dislike for Ophelia was intense, unreasonable, and as far Vincent knew, founded on some imagined transgression.
The venom in her voice was lethal.

“The night nurse couldn’t come in, so I was going to stay with him,” Ophelia explained.
Her voice was cordial, but there was a slight tremor to it.

“Well you don’t need to,” Kaitlyn replied hotly.
“You’re an employee, not a member of the family!”

The anger that hit him then helped to cool his libido, “That’s enough, Kaitlyn.
Ophelia has been with this family since she was a child...she grew up in this house as much as we did.
If that doesn’t make her family, I don’t know what the hell would.
Even if she were just an employee, you don’t speak to people to that way.”

BOOK: Been Loving You Too Long
3.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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