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“You look confused,” she said, her voice a whisper.
He had to tear his attention away from looking at her body to look up at her face. For the first time in all the years he had known her, Bran had never seen her look so unsure of herself.
“I’m not confused.” He couldn’t tell her what he was thinking right then. That this moment would be the beginning of the rest of his life…and her life. So, he chose his words carefully.
“I’m just stunned. I knew you were beautiful, but I just didn’t know how it would affect me.”
She rolled her eyes, even as her face turned the most delicious shade of pink.
“You don’t need to say those things. You got me in bed.”
It irritated him that she was blowing off what he had said to her. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
He didn’t mean to shout it, but he couldn’t help it. Even before she said it, he knew what was coming.
“It’s just that I know you’re used to saying things like that to women. You don’t have to say them to me. I don’t need pretty words.”
He wanted to tell her that for every day for the rest of their lives he would give her those words. But he told her part of what he was feeling, to let her know this wasn’t just about another night.
“Aw, but Tess, you deserve them.”
Her face turned pinker and he was delighted. Bran was pretty sure that Tess kept that softer part of her hidden for so many reasons. His heart light and his body raring to go, he slipped her pants and shoes off, dumping them on the floor behind him.
He climbed back on the bed but she shook her head. “Nope, Marine. I want you just as naked as I am.”
Bran laughed. “You do, huh?”
“Yep. I want to see the body all the girls went crazy for at Annapolis.”
Heat filled his cheeks and she laughed. The sound danced over the air to him and sent a thrill through his blood. Tess had always had the best laugh but now it seemed more intimate.
“Oh my God, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you blush.”
“I’m not.” His face turned hotter and he realized she was right. “Stop laughing.”
“I’m sorry,” she said, snorting to keep from laughing at him.
Then, he couldn’t help it. She was happy, laying there naked in bed waiting for him. A man couldn’t ask for more in life. So, he joined her laughing as he stripped out of his clothes. He climbed back on the bed. Taking one of her feet into his hands, he kissed her ankle then started to make his way up her leg. Her last laugh came out as a moan, as she closed her eyes and arched her back. Lord she was a sight. Tess wasn’t a woman who would hide herself from a man while they were in bed.
Bran wanted to taste every bit of her flesh. Right now. Urges he had been ignoring for years came roaring to life. Still, he wanted to take his time and savior the woman Tess was. So, instead of doing exactly what his body begged him to do, he took her by the hips and turned her over.
She giggled and looked back over her shoulder at him. The surprise and desire in her eyes caught him unawares.
“What do you think you’re doing, Bran?”
Her voice had deepened and it sent a rush of need racing through him. He might be considered a speed demon, but he knew a thing or two about control. Right now, he couldn’t figure out why that was so important. Still, Bran forced himself to take a little time enjoy the treasure he had unearthed.
He skimmed the back of his fingers down her delicate spine. He knew she was strong, stronger than a lot of men he knew. But there was something so fragile about her at the moment. Leaning down, he kissed the path his fingers had taken. She squirmed and he gave her ass a playful swat.
“Settle down, Keller.”
She laughed and laid her head on the pillows. “No problem. Just thought pilots were known for their speed.”