Secrets and Sins:Raphael

By: Naima Simone

He’d also never elicited the dip-and-roll in her belly with his nice lovemaking that Raphael did with one hooded glance.


Jesus. How bland.


For once she wanted more than “nice.” More than suitable. Satisfactory. She wanted—“Damn it,” she breathed, her lashes lowering. I don’t know what I want. Three days ago, her life had been planned out to a stifling tee. And tonight…tonight she didn’t have a fiancé or any idea what tomorrow would bring. Or if she had the courage to face it.

So for the next few hours, she was going to do the totally selfish and reckless thing and grab a hold of what she did want. Forgetfulness. Oblivion.


Chapter Two

“Would you like another drink?”

A drink? Surprise arced through her. She’d thought… Their conversation scrolled through her mind like closed captioning across a screen. Heat writhed up her chest, streamed up her throat, and set her skin on fire. God, had she misunderstood…?

“I-I’m sorry.” The words stumbled over her tongue, embarrassment tripping them up. “You don’t want…” She couldn’t finish the thought, couldn’t force the rest of the question past her lips. At the last second, she tackled her dignity and wrestled it to the ground. With an abrupt shake of her head, she slid off the barstool, avoiding his scrutiny. “I’m sorry,” she repeated hoarsely. “I should—”

“I don’t…what?” One moment she was trying to edge past him, and in the next, the rim of the bar dug into her back. The solid wall of his chest pressed against hers. She gasped. Bit back a moan. He was so…big. Not muscle-bound like a weight lifter but tall, wide in the shoulders, lean. Hard. He surrounded her—his arms bracketed her, his chest covered her. His warmth reached out for her. She shivered, and he shifted closer. As if of their own volition, her hands grasped his hips, her fingers curling into the band of his jeans and hanging on. Hanging on. How accurate.

“I don’t, what, princess?” he asked again, lowering his head. The dark, surprisingly fragrant sweep of his hair brushed her cheekbone, tickled her skin. His lips, sensual and firm, grazed her ear. “Want to drag you out of here, lay you across the nearest flat surface, and fuck you until neither one of us can stand? Hell yes, I want it. Want you. But this is me trying to be considerate. Take note. It probably won’t happen again.”

How could he make her laugh even as he caused her body to burn? Gavin had never uttered such raw, earthy words to her before. No man had. Almost as if she were too pure, too pristine for the carnality behind them. But when Raphael stated how he wanted to fuck her—God, just thinking it made her blush—he hadn’t struck her as coarse or ribald. He’d sounded…honest. Need and hunger had echoed in the growl that had darkened his voice. For her. In the five years she and Gavin dated and were engaged, she’d never felt needed.

“Noted.” She squeezed her eyes closed and tightened her grip on his jeans. “And appreciated. But if it’s all the same to you, I’d rather skip the drink.”

A newer, fine tension invaded his body. The breath in her ear deepened, roughened.

“Let’s go, princess.”

He stepped back, grabbed her hand, and forged a path through the crowd until they pushed through the front entrance. The cold December air was like a dip in a freezing creek after the sauna-like bar. She inhaled—

“Can’t wait. Just one taste.” The low mutter was her only warning before he whipped around and crushed his mouth over hers. Stunned, she gasped, and he took immediate advantage. His tongue plunged past her parted lips, swept inside, swirled…conquered. No gentle query. No persuasive brush of a mouth seeking permission. It was wild, wet, erotic as if it were their hundredth kiss instead of the first. He demanded her response with the almost-rough molding of her mouth. Insisted on her submission with the unyielding grip at the nape of her neck. With the firm, steadying palm at her back. God. It was fierce. Passionate. Overwhelming.

And she wanted more.

A needy whimper swelled up her throat and joined the erotic dance like a third partner. She rose on her tiptoes, clutched his shoulders, the thick, soft material of his shirt bunching under her fingers even as she angled her head for deeper penetration. Her tongue curled around his, sucked. His taste. She moaned. Oh, it was beautiful. Underneath the tangy scent of beer lay an earthy, sun-warmed-land scent that called to her. She drew harder on him, telling him without words she needed more of him. Of his kiss. Of his touch. He groaned long and low. His fingers flexed hard against her neck and spine.

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