Home > Damaged 2 (Damaged #2)(12)

Damaged 2 (Damaged #2)(12)
Author: H.M. Ward

My eyes dart toward movement and I catch sight of Peter dropping the towel. He stands with his back to me, totally nak*d. The eye pencil hovers as I blink rapidly, taking him in. Peter's body is perfection, except for that scar at his waist. The gash is a thin white line that extends down and wraps around his side. His back is all muscle, but I knew that before.

What I'm staring at—what I can't rip my eyes off of—is that perfect ass. He's all toned muscle, every bit of him, and that butt is no exception. My mouth gapes open as I stare, wondering what it would be like to have that nak*d body sliding against mine with my nails biting into that perfect behind. There isn't a rational thought in my head. I just stare, thinking about feeling every inch of him beneath me, wondering what that would be like. That's when he bends over to grab his boxers and I nearly die. A breath catches in my throat as I shift my position in front of the mirror to get a better view. That's when I manage to jab the pencil into my eye.

Peter spins around to see what happened, thinking that I can't see his gorgeous nak*d body. I squeeze my eye shut and mutter expletives. When I look up I can see his beautiful blue eyes in the glass, they lock with mine, and a wicked smile spreads across his face. "Were you watching me, Miss Colleli?"

"No, I just thought about that pirate thing you said last night, so I—" What the hell am I saying?

"So you stabbed yourself in the eye?" He's walking toward me, which makes me so nervous I can't stand up. My heart hammers inside of me as nervous energy races up and down my arms. I slam the pencil onto the counter and blink repeatedly, trying not to look at him. I've never had any interest in looking at a nak*d man before. I never saw what all the fuss was over. I mean it's not like that whole hairy package area was appealing, but oh my God—on Peter it's completely…Ideas ricochet off of my mind and simultaneously bounce in a million directions. I want to touch and slide my hand along his stomach, my lips tingle as I think about kissing him below the belt, and my tongue—it's like I've lost my mind. Totally foreign thoughts whirl through me and rip away things I put on my I'll never do that list.

Before I realize he's crossed the room, Peter is behind me. He steps close to my back and looks over my shoulder at us in the mirror. One of my eyes pretty much has a black line over it since I drew on my face after I stabbed myself. I look ridiculous, but I so don't care. His nak*d proximity shoots tension through every bit of me.

"You were watching me, Colleli."

"You're nice to watch, Granz." I say it too confidently, as if I look at nak*d men all the time. Then, I point to my red eye and say, "I hope you have a thing for pirates. I'm pretty sure I—" An involuntary noise emerges from my throat as Peter puts his hands on my waist. I'm so high strung, so lust ridden, that I can't think. We watch each other in the mirror.

Peter's eyes are so dark. His voice is deeper than usual when he speaks. "Turn around, Sidney."

I shake my head even though I want to turn and look. I'm so lying to myself. I want more. I feel it coursing through me. I don't want to look; I want to touch and do things that I never thought I'd do. Oral sex doesn't sound so bad at the moment, and I wonder about it for a second. Before now, I wasn't interested in anything, and the idea of sitting on some guy's face or kneeling and sucking his…I can't even finish the thought. My lips twitch as I consider it, which makes the sexy smile on Peter's face brighter.

Peter hesitates, but then slowly lowers his lips to my neck. His mouth brushes against me lightly when his hands slip to my shoulders. The touch is gentle but firm. My head tips to the side, and I close my eyes. Peter pulls away but doesn't release my shoulders. I glance at him in the mirror. The only thing I can see is his chest. "We better get dressed and go downstairs." I try to nod, but my head doesn't actually move. My God, he broke me. I couldn't form a coherent sentence right now if I wanted to.

I try, and my tongue tangles in my mouth. "They'll think we're not coming."

Peter's lips twitch. "For someone who's never made love, you use a lot of double entendres." He winks at me before kissing my cheek and crossing the room. A shiver tickles the skin on my back, running down my spine and landing between my legs with a tingling that won't stop.

What he said doesn't register at first, and then when it does I shrug and smile. "Wait to see how many I throw around after we're together."

"Is that a promise?"

There are no maybes this time. I look at him in the mirror and nod. "Yes."


Peter takes my hands as we emerge from the elevator. Nerves flitter through my stomach. This hotel is way posher than any place I've ever stayed. It's daunting and makes me feel like my black dress is substandard. Peter is wearing a suit that he had with him. The only reason I have the black dress is that I anticipated needing it for my mother's funeral; otherwise we wouldn't be able to get into the restaurant here. I didn't pack any cocktail dresses. Peter's brother picked this hotel because he's been staying here.

Peter explains, "Sean is in town for business, but he stayed longer than usual. He hates New York. The guy shows up once a year and leaves as soon as he can." He glances at his watch. I'm starting to think that Peter is intentionally stalling, which is fine by me.

As we exit the elevator, I can see the swank restaurant in front of us. I hesitate. My feet slow, and Peter stops and looks over at me. I hate to state the obvious, but someone has to say it. "We can't afford this, Peter. The hotel cost a small fortune for the room. How are we supposed to pay for dinner too?"

"I'm a Ferro, Sidney. We have deep pockets."

"But you walked away—that money isn't yours anymore. The estate is your little brother's."

He pats my hand, "I have enough to last a while, so don't worry about it."

I tease, "What, do you have a trust fund somewhere that I don't know about?" He nods like it's nothing. "You're rich without being the heir?"

"I was trying to separate myself from the Ferro name and make it on my own."

"And I screwed that up." I lower my eyes to the floor as guilt chokes me. I ruined his life.

Peter lifts my chin and looks me in the eye. "You are exactly what I was looking for. It wasn't isolation or even walking away from my family—it was you. I needed you. I'd burn the trust fund and walk away right now if that's what it takes to show you how much you mean to me." Peter looks toward the hostess, who's been smiling at us from across the room, and then back at the elevator. "Come on, let's go. Forget this. I don't need Sean for this." Peter starts walking away.

I can't fathom what's going through his mind, but he tried to get this meeting with Sean multiple times. Walking away now would be silly. I don't even know what Peter hopes to gain by this meeting. I doubt it's going to be a hug-fest. I don't move. He stops and looks at me. "Money doesn't matter to you, does it?"

"I can always earn more. There are other things that are more precious. I guard those with my life."

The way he looks at me says everything. He means me—that he wants to protect me and take care of me. This meeting with his brother has something to do with protecting me, at least that's the way it seems. "Sidney, I have enough to get us through this. Come on, let's get out of here."

I shake my head and look back at the hostess. "No, this is what you wanted to do. I already made a mess of your life. I don't want to do it again."

Peter smiles at me. "You don't realize how much you're worth, how wonderfully perfect you are. You saved me, Sidney. I can't repay that debt, ever. You didn't screw up my life. You took a broken man and revived him. No one else could do that. It was you, it's always been you, since the first time I saw you walk into that little restaurant in Texas and you circled the floor. You have no idea how lucky I felt that you sat down at my table. You're an amazing woman."

I suck at receiving compliments, and that is the longest, most awesome compliment I've ever gotten. I want to look away, but Peter leans in and kisses me instead. It makes it easier to accept his words. I feel like all I do is take from him, and that I don't give him anything back, but maybe that's not accurate. I let the thought rest. I'll deal with it later. "I love you."

He kisses my forehead and says, "I love you, too. You ready?" I nod and we walk off to meet the craziest Ferro of them all—Sean.


Peter walks past the hostess, and says we're meeting someone. She offers to walk us back, but Peter is already cutting across the incredible room. I'm not sure where he's going until Peter slows as he comes to a table. Peter cuts through the restaurant from the side and approaches a man with his back to us. Peter must have circled the perimeter until he caught sight of his brother. I can't see Sean, and I'm nervous. I can't imagine what this must be like for Peter, but he seems unfazed.

There's a woman seated across from Sean. I can see her perfectly. She's leaning forward, with her dark hair spilling over her shoulders, saying something to Sean when she glances up. She stops speaking and stares at Peter as we approach. Peter is in front of me as we step up to their table.

The grip on my hand tightens a little bit and then releases. I stay a step back as Peter greets his brother. I wonder what they were like as children, if they knew how tragic their lives were going to be. No child thinks that anything like that will happen. The future is always bright; it isn't until you get there that you realize it isn't.

Sean introduces his brother to the woman at the table. "This is Pete Ferro."

Peter corrects, "Actually, I dropped the Ferro part. It's Dr. Peter Granz."

Sean's voice is deeper and more jaded sounding. "You took her name?"

Peter nods. "It felt right after everything that happened." Peter changed his name to hers after she died. That's so tragic and beautiful that I have to fight the awwwhhh that wants to crawl up my throat. I wonder what it does to him. Hearing her name every day must remind Peter of the life that slipped between his fingers.

They say a few more things before Peter looks over at me and pulls me forward. I've been hanging back like a wallflower. The woman across from Sean has been watching me, but she doesn't say anything to me. She's polite and asks if the men are twins. She looks like a model. Her hair has no frizz and her makeup looks like it was painted on by da Vinci. "This is Sidney Colleli."

Sean stands and turns to look at me. At that moment I see the striking similarities between the Ferro men. They look like photocopies, but Sean's eyes are different, harder. He inclines his head to me. "Good evening, Miss Colleli."

"Please, call me Sidney."

"Very well, Sidney." Peter pulls out the chair next to Sean and my heart flip-flops. Even if Peter doesn't think Sean is nuts, I'm not ready to breathe easy around him. I lower myself in the chair and then Sean sits back down. Peter takes the seat across from me and smiles. It's a look that says don't worry.

Sean glimpses over at me and says, "This is Avery Stanz, my…" I wonder why he hesitates. I look at the woman and an amused smile sparks at the corners of her mouth.

"Your, what?" she says, as she leans forward and bats her eyelashes at him. Sean narrows his gaze. I can't tell if they're teasing each other or if they have a relationship that's in the weird middle spot where no one wants to be the first person to call it what it is—dating.

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)