Wanting What She Can't Have - Page 22


He stood in the darkened room, hardly daring to breathe or move in case the angry monster that he could feel growing stronger inside him broke free. The monster that wanted to rail at the world for the unfairness that took Bree from him. The monster that was full of anger toward Bree herself, even though he could never openly express it, because she’d taken the choice of family or her away from him.

The monster that held the untold disgust he had with himself because, despite everything—the love he’d borne for Bree being paramount in his life—he still lusted for her friend, now more than ever before.

Seven

Alexis went through the motions of getting ready for bed but she was so wired right now she knew sleep would be impossible. Today had gone off well, if you discounted how it had left Raoul feeling. No one had seemed to mind when he’d cut and run from the gathering, not even Catherine who’d seemed to understand his need to be alone. The party had gone very pleasantly, even if she hadn’t been able to enjoy it, too aware of Raoul’s absence.

She’d not long thrown herself against the fine cotton sheets of her king-size bed and switched off her light when there was a gentle knock at the bedroom door. There was only one person that could be. She slid from the bed and walked quickly toward the door.

“Raoul?” she asked, as she turned the knob and opened the door wide.

His eyes flew across her, taking in her silk nightgown—one of her few indulgences from her time in Italy last year—and her bare feet in one sweep.

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have disturbed you.”

He went to walk away but she put out a hand to stop him.

“It’s okay. Did you need me for something?”

He looked at her in the dark, and through the sheen of moonlight that filtered into her room she saw the glitter of his eyes. His face was pale, his whiskers a dark shadow on his cheeks and jaw. He’d never before looked so dangerous, or so appealing to her. She took an involuntary step back and saw the look of chagrin that crossed his face.

“I shouldn’t have spoken to you like that.”

“You’re hurting. I—” She stopped herself before she could repeat her earlier words of understanding.

He’d been right. She couldn’t possibly know or understand what he’d been through. Bree had been her friend for years, but the last two years of Bree’s life she’d barely even spoken to her, battling with envy, then guilt, after Bree and Raoul had gotten together. Now, even though she desperately missed her friend, those bitter emotions were all still there. The envy that, even in death, her friend could command such unceasing love—and the guilt that she continued to not only want that for herself, but that she wanted it from the very same man.

She drew in a breath. “There’s no need to apologize, Raoul. I should have been more sensitive to your needs.”

“My needs? I don’t even know what they are anymore. Sometimes I feel as if I don’t know anything anymore.”

She made a sound of sympathy and reached up to cup his face with one hand. “You’ve been through hell. You’re still there. It’s okay. I’ll back off with the social stuff. You obviously need more time.”

He lifted a hand to press against hers and she felt the heat of his palm on one side, the rasp of his unshaven jaw on the other. The mingled sensations sent a tingle of longing up her arm and she was appalled that even as the man was visibly struggling with a devastating loss, she couldn’t hold her attraction back. That her body, having a recalcitrant mind of its own, was right now warming to his very presence. Her nipples were beading against the sheer fabric of her nightgown and she felt a long slow pull of hunger dragging from her core.

“Time is something I have too much of. Time to think. I don’t want to think anymore, Alexis. For once, I just want to feel.”

“Feel...?”

“Yes, feel. Something, anything other than the pain inside. I want the emptiness to go away.”

He turned his head so that his lips were now pressing against her palm. If he’d seared her skin with a branding iron it couldn’t have had a more overwhelming effect. She gasped at the jolt of electricity that shuddered through her hand and down her arm. When he bent his head to hers and his hot dry lips captured her own she felt her knees buckle beneath her. Momentarily she gave an inward groan at how clichéd her reaction was, but it was only seconds before awareness of clichés, or anything else other than this man and how he made her feel, fled from her consciousness.


Tags: Yvonne Lindsay Billionaire Romance
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