Thirty-One and a Half Regrets Page 50

He groaned and shook his head. “It’s going to be next to impossible to be alone in this house with you without taking you upstairs to one of those beds.”

A shiver of excitement shot up my spine. “So why wait?”

“I still think you need some time. Especially in light of what’s going on.”

“What does that have to do with it?” I rested my butt on the table in front of him.

He reached for my waist, pulling me so close I was standing between his legs. “It has everything to do with it,” he said, looking straight into my eyes. “You’re under duress, Rose. Now is not the time to make a decision about sleeping with me.”

“But I wanted to sleep with you two nights ago, and I wasn’t under duress then.”

“Then there’s the fact that I’m supposed to be here guarding you. If I’m in bed with you, I’ll be too preoccupied to keep you safe.”

I sat on his lap, straddling him. “I thought you said this was the perfect place to hide.”

He groaned, shifting beneath me. “You’re not making this easy.”

I grinned. “Good.”

He reached a hand behind my head and pulled my mouth to his. When he finally stopped kissing me, I leaned back and stared into his eyes.

“If this is any indication of what’s to come,” he said, his voice husky, “I’m close to saying to hell with it and making love to you right here on the kitchen table.”

A fire raged in my blood and I kissed him again, pressing my body to his.

Mason pushed me to my feet, still kissing me as he lifted my shirt over my head and tossed it to the floor, breaking contact with my lips for less than two seconds. I sat on the edge of the table and wrapped my legs around his waist as he unclasped my bra and pulled it down. His hand found one of my breasts and I gasped as I threaded my fingers through his hair, clinging to him. His mouth skimmed down my throat and over my chest as his arm wrapped around my back, pinning my pelvis against his. I closed my eyes and arched my back to give him better access.

“Um… Mr. Deveraux.” Deputy Miller’s voice cracked.

Mason’s head shot up and he swiveled me around so the deputy couldn’t see me, not that he was looking. He was standing with his back to us.

“Chief Deputy Dimler wanted you to call him. He said he hasn’t been able to reach you on your phone.”

Mason’s hold tightened. “Thank you, Deputy.”

“I… uh…I didn’t mean to interrupt. Ms. Gardner told me to come back to the kitchen.” The back of his neck was as red as a radish.

“It’s okay,” I said, breaking away from Mason’s arms and scanning the floor for my bra. “If you’ll wait just a minute, I’ll bring a sandwich out to you.”

“I’ll be on the front porch,” he said, bolting from the doorway.

“We’ve traumatized that poor boy,” I murmured, picking my bra up off the dusty floor. I had to admit I was slightly traumatized myself.

“We can’t do that again,” Mason said, his face strained.

“In the kitchen?”

“At all. At least until they’ve caught Crocker.”

My smile fell. “You’re serious.”

“Rose, neither one of us even heard him come in! He could have walked in and shot you, and I wouldn’t have even realized it until you were already dead.”

A shiver ran down my back. “Mason, don’t you think you’re overreacting?”

“No. I’m not.” He grabbed his gun off the table.

This was the closest I’d seen him to being furious with me since Bruce Wayne’s trial.

He stormed toward the back door.

“Are you really so angry with me that you have to leave?”

He already had his hand on the doorknob when he spun to face me, his eyes wide. “You think I’m angry with you? Why would I be angry with you?”

“I…” My face blazed with embarrassment. “I pretty much pushed myself on you just now.”

“God.” He leaned his head back and took a deep breath before meeting my gaze. “Why would I be angry with you for that? To have you come on to me after months of wanting you…” He shook his head. “I’m angry at myself, Rose. I can’t lose you to that psycho now that I finally have the chance to be with you.”

I stood still, unsure of what to say.

He opened the door, turning his attention to the yard. “I’m going to go call Jeff. Go ahead and take Deputy Miller his sandwich, but please don’t leave the house.”

Tears burned in my eyes, but I blinked them away, not even sure why I was upset. I hated that Mason had waited so long to be with me. I hated that he felt like my safety was his responsibility, but mostly I hated that I wanted to be naked with him right now. If kissing Mason was this passionate, what would it be like in bed with him? Guilt washed over me. Mason was outside berating himself and feeling miserable and here I was thinking about him naked and on top of me, staring into my eyes as he—

Stop! I squeezed my eyes shut.

Miss Mildred was right. I was wicked.

But my traitorous mind couldn’t banish the image of him naked. I’d never seen him with his shirt off. What would he look like? What would his skin feel like against mine?

No one other than Joe and my doctor had ever seen my naked breasts. I wasn’t flat-chested, but I wasn’t particularly well-endowed either. What if Mason had been disappointed?

Prev Next