The final novel in the bestselling, romantic comedy Winston Brothers series by author Penny Reid, is out now, and I have an excerpt for you, as well as a HUGE GIVEAWAY. This is the conclusion of Billy Winston and Scarlet St. Claire’s (aka Claire McClure) epic love story.
She leaned to one side as I sat, to give me room. But didn’t skootch away, instead turning toward me, her arm brushing along mine as she placed the plate on her lap and picked up a strawberry. I’d barely settled, my legs stretched out in front of me and crossed at the ankle, when she lifted the berry in front of my chin, her eyes on my mouth.
“Here. They’re warm from the sun.” She smiled softly, bright eyes reflecting the blue of the sky, warm golden freckles seasoning pale skin, the sunlight shimmering in her copper hair. Gorgeous.
Watching her watch my mouth, I parted my lips and she gave me the nub of fruit, her lips also parting, her tongue peeking out as I bracketed the berry with my teeth, holding it in place but not biting. She seemed mesmerized, in a daze, her gaze unmistakably hot, intent, like me eating a strawberry was the most fascinating thing in the entire world.
Pressing my tongue against the fruit, I bit. She blinked. I licked my lips of the excess juice as her fingers moved away, slowly depositing the leafy remainder on her plate, her gaze still fastened to my mouth, and her hand falling like a feather until it landed on my leg. Just above my knee.
The weight of her hot palm was impossible to ignore, nothing about this touch felt light. I hoped Jethro and Beau were right. I hoped her touching me like this meant she wanted me to touch her because my hands were already moving. Our surroundings, as beautiful as they were, faded away and I saw only her. Her breathing had changed and the haziness in her eyes grew restless, pointed, lifting to mine as my fingertips connected with her bare thigh, less than an inch below the lacy, pink hemline.
Maybe it was madness, but I surrendered.
I was going to lift her dress just as I’d imagined moments ago. The need to act burned within me, the flames fanned by the small, eager puffs of air with every rise and fall of her chest.
I’d barely spoken to her since being locked in that room. But in this moment, I couldn’t see past the desperation in her—unquestionably mirrored in me—to do something. Anything. Close the gulf between us with actions in much the same way we’d closed it last week with words.
However, even as frantic as I felt, to lay her back and touch her soft skin, lick and taste and suck on her sweet flesh, and make all these wishes come true, I needed her to say it. I would never, could never assume.
“Scarlet, do you want—”
“Yes,” she said on a hitching breath, looking and sounding like she was in pain. “For God’s sake, yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.”
As though she couldn’t wait another second, she grabbed the front of my shirt, yanked me forward, and kissed me.