As they stepped out into the hall she tugged at his arm. ‘Are you sure you want to leave?’
‘I’ve never been more sure of anything,’ he said hoarsely and, sweeping her into his arms, he carried her up the stairs.
When they reached the bedroom door his body was straining for release and, kicking it shut, he loosened his grip, bringing his mouth down on hers as her hands locked in his shirt and she dragged him towards her.
Tightening his arm around her waist, he pushed her back against the door, flattening her body with his. Her fingers were tugging at his waistband and he almost lost his footing as she pulled him free of his trousers and gripped him in her hand, and then he was lifting her and jerking up her dress in one swift
She shifted against him as he yanked aside her panties and, breathing raggedly, thrust inside her. Opening her mouth to the heat of his kiss, she wrapped her legs around his waist, arching against him, panting out his name as he surged into her with hot, liquid force.
* * *
Frankie lifted the shotgun, her heart pounding as she closed her right eye and tried to visualise the path of the clay. It was easy to pick up the basics of shooting, Arlo had told her. But actually to hit the target...
‘Weight on your front foot, bend your knee, stick out your bottom, fire when it’s almost at the top of the curve...’ she muttered to herself, and then, ‘Pull!’ she shouted.
The tiny disc spun into the air and—bang!—disintegrated with a satisfying crack.
Grinning idiotically, she turned to where Arlo and Davey stood watching her. ‘I did it!’
‘Well done,’ said Arlo softly.
Holding the gun upright, she flicked the bolt so the gun broke. ‘I did everything you said and it worked. It actually worked.’
He held her gaze. ‘Yes, it did.’
She did a little dance on the spot. ‘I didn’t think I’d enjoy it that much, but it’s so satisfying.’
Arlo grinned. ‘My turn.’
Frankie watched dry-mouthed as he walked away. He had an enviable air of calm that made it seem as if he was moving at a slower pace than everyone around him. But then he tucked the gun into his shoulder and she felt suddenly weak in the middle as both his body and gun swiftly followed the four clays through the air with smooth, lethal accuracy.
She sighed. ‘Has he always been like this? You know...’
‘I do—and, yes. He’s one of a kind.’ Davey smiled. ‘Last night he was being generous. He’s the one who makes everything look easy.’
He did, Frankie thought, picturing Arlo giving his speech. Look at how he had just stood up in front of all those people and said those beautiful things about Davey and Serena. And love.
Her heart skipped a beat.
He had sounded so genuine.
But then he was hardly going to say what he really thought.
She knew that he didn’t believe one word of it. He couldn’t have made it clearer that he had given up on love. Only hearing him talk like that made it hard not to wish that he hadn’t.
But only for a moment.
She felt a faint flush of heat wash over her cheekbones, remembering how he had carried her upstairs last night. She didn’t need to complicate what was already perfect.
* * *
‘So tell me? Did you have a good time last night?’
Serena gave her a one-armed hug. They were back at the house, where Serena had laid on a mouth-watering brunch.
‘It was better than good.’ Frankie smiled. ‘It was the best party I’ve ever been to.’