Jared's Counterfeit Fiancee - Page 26

When she had returned from touring Tara and Thorn’s house she had noticed something different about Jared. It wasn’t anything that she could put her finger on, but she sensed something was up. He’d always been attentive when they were together, but tonight it seemed that he was doubly so. And for someone who was supposed to announce to his family that they had broken their engagement tomorrow, he seemed too much the adoring, doting fiancé tonight for such a thing to be believable. There had been the hand holding and the loving kisses that all painted a picture of a couple who were very much in love.

And then there were the times she had caught him looking at her, sometimes in the oddest way. Once, when their gazes had locked, without warning and right in the middle of Dare’s conversation, Jared had cupped her face in his hand and kissed her in front of his family, slowly and firmly, before whispering the words, “Let’s leave,” seductively in her ear.

So here they were, back at her place and as he closed the door behind them she wondered what he had in mind. But whatever it was, she was determined not to lose her composure. She would get through this night as they said their goodbyes.

“It was a nice party, wasn’t it?” she asked, trying to generate conversation.

Jared leaned against the door, saying nothing as he watched her with intense dark eyes. “Yes, it was nice.”

“And that motorcycle that Thorn presented to Tara was beautiful, simply awesome. To think he made it with his own hands. I can’t imagine all the hours it took for him to do it. That was such a special gift to her.”

“Yes, it was.”

“It’s obvious they are so happy together,” she added, knowing she had started to ramble. “It’s plain to see how much in love they are.”

Jared smiled. “Yes, it is. In fact all my cousins who’ve gotten married appear to be happily in love.”

She met his gaze. “What about Chase? Do you think he’ll follow his brothers into matrimony eventually?”

Jared eased away from the door to stand in front of her. “Yes, I think he will, once he finds the right woman.”

Dana nodded. She wondered if Jared would ever change his mind about love and marriage or if he would always let what he saw in his profession dictate how his future would be.

Knowing there was something she couldn’t put off doing any longer, she let out a long, shaky breath as she lifted her hand and eased the engagement ring from her finger. She handed it to him. “It’s time to give this back.”

He shook his head as his gaze continued to hold hers. He took the ring from her and placed it back on her finger. “No, I want you to keep it.”

She blinked. “I can’t do that,” she said incredulously, shocked he would suggest such a thing.

“Why not? You wanted to keep Cord’s ring.”

“But only because I was stuck with all those wedding expenses. Pretending to be engaged to you hasn’t cost me anything,” she said softly, not wanting to admit that it had cost her something. Her heart.

He didn’t say anything for a few moments and then he gently took her into his arms and gathered her close. He pulled back briefly, met her gaze and in Dana’s mind he was looking at her the same way he had done earlier that night.

She held his gaze and every emotion Dana could think of took hold of her. Every time she thought about the fact that this would be the last time they shared together, that chances were when he walked out the door he wouldn’t be coming back, despair took hold of her. But she refused to let their last night together end in gloom and doom. It hadn’t started out that way and she wouldn’t let it end that way.

Jared leaned down and their mouths joined. Immediately, Dana could tell there was something different about this kiss. It still packed a lot of passion that sent toe-curling sensations through her, but there was a degree of tenderness that touched her deeply, almost brought tears to her eyes. It was as if he was methodically placing his stamp on her.

Moments later when he drew away, she had to hold on to his hand to keep her balance. She could actually hear her heart pounding.

“Let’s play one final game,” Jared whispered softly.

“A final game?” she asked, thinking of the two others they had played together. Her heart began pounding even harder just thinking about them. And the purely seductive male look in his eyes wasn’t helping matters.

He looked at her for several long, quiet moments, then said, “Yes. Let’s play Truth or Dare?”

With a sigh, Dana looked down at her hands, her gaze focused on the ring he had placed back there. She looked up at him. “I haven’t played that in years, since high school at a sleepover.”

“Then you know how it’s played?”

“Yes.” But something told her that Jared would have his own version of the game. What would his dare be like? And did she really want to bare her heart and soul by telling him the truth about anything he asked?

Jared kept his gaze leveled on her. “Okay then let’s get started. You go first,” he murmured softly.

Dana heaved a deep breath. “Truth or dare?” she challenged.

A smile spread from Jared’s lips to his entire face. “Truth.”

“Okay.” She paused for a moment, wondering what she could ask him and decided to go easy. “What did you enjoy the most about Thorn and Tara’s party tonight?”

“Being there with you.”

Dana’s breath caught and goose bumps formed on her arms with his response. She hadn’t expected him to say that. Before she could recover he said, “Truth or dare?”

She decided she would stick with the truth. “Truth.”

“What did you enjoy the most about the party tonight?” he asked.

Dana sighed. She had hoped he wouldn’t ask her that. She had enjoyed a lot about the party tonight, but she knew what she’d enjoyed the most. She met his gaze and told him the truth. “The moment you kissed me in front of everyone.”

She saw the darkening of Jared’s eyes. She heard the deepening of his breathing. Both sparked desires within her. He reached out and touched her chin, and then his finger moved slowly down the center of her neck to where her pulse was pounding. “Truth or dare,” she challenged again, barely able to get the words out.

Although it was impossible, it seemed his eyes darkened more. “Dare,” he said huskily.

Dana swallowed past the lump, especially with Jared’s hand still there on her neck, drawing lazy circles with his fingers, stimulating both her mind and her body. She could only think of one dare at the moment. “I dare you to kiss me like I’m the only woman you could ever want.” A part of Dana knew how badly that must have sounded, but it was her dare and she wondered what he would do about it.

Jared felt his groin tighten in response to Dana’s dare. He doubted that she knew how beautiful and sexy she looked, waiting to see what he would do. Fulfilling her dare wasn’t a problem since in his mind she was the only woman he could ever want anyway. But she didn’t know it and maybe it was about time she did.

He reached out and gently pulled her to him. There was no waiting, and his mouth took hers with all the urgency and need that he felt. He heard her whimper the moment his tongue entered her mouth, and as he began mating his mouth with hers, he felt the shiver that ran down her body. He had kissed her a number of times, but now he was kissing her as the woman he had singled out to spend the rest of his life with, and he was determined to let it show in his kiss. All evening he had longed to kiss her this way. That kiss in front of his family was merely meant to tide him over until now. Until this. His heart was filled with love and his body was wired with sensuous need. Together, both were causing him to overload.

When she grabbed the back of his head, locking their mouths, his hand eased under her blouse, unhooked the front catch to her bra to touch her breasts. Her felt the tips hardened beneath his fingers, felt her body’s response to it in her kiss. She moaned in his mouth and the sound sent fire through every nerve in his body. Then when breathing became a necessity, he slowly pulled back, reluctantly breaking off the kiss.

Dana swallowed a frustrated groan. She hadn’t wanted him to stop kissing her. Thanks to him she knew how it felt to come apart in a man’s arms. She’d discovered all the pleasure a person could experience in making love.

“Truth or dare?”

A heated flutter floated around in her chest, a tingling sensation took root in her stomach. She nervously bit her bottom lip, looked up at him and met his gaze and said, “Dare.”

He smiled, seemingly pleased. Then said, “Give me your underwear.”

Dana blinked, wondered if she’d heard him right, although she knew that she had. The room felt charged when she lifted her skirt. The heat in his gaze intensified and her breathing pattern became irregular.

Holding his gaze, she slowly eased her bikini panties down her legs. When they were completely off, she balled them up in her hand and handed them to him.

He took them. “Thanks.”

Now it was her turn. “Truth or Dare?”

His deep penetrating gaze met hers. “Dare.”

A wicked gleam appeared in her eyes when she said, “Give me yours.”

Tags: Brenda Jackson Billionaire Romance
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