Home > Secrets Vol. 2 (Secrets #2)(11)

Secrets Vol. 2 (Secrets #2)(11)
Author: H.M. Ward

I sit on the stool with my hands on the seat, fingers crushing the wood. Every time his brush touches me, I try not to flinch. It's so cold. And then he presses the crystals to my skin. His warm fingers brush against me as he does it. I can't breathe. My arms start to shake as his brush caresses the top of my breast. Cole stops what he's doing and looks up at my face. His attention had been concentrated on the curve of my breast and which stones to put where, but when I start shaking, he blinks twice and looks up at me.

"What's wrong?" he asks. His voice is too soft. I don't notice because I'm ready to crawl out of my skin. His little touches are driving me insane. His fingers have already seared a path across my chest and the closer he gets to my nipple, the more I can't stand it. That sexy blue gaze meets mine.

I want to say that I can't do this. I want to throw myself at him, but I don't. My nails dig into the wood, "Nothing," I say. "I just... well, this is kind of a bit much." I know I'm rambling, but I can't stop myself. For some reason it doesn't matter how many nude paintings I've seen, it's entirely different when I'm the nak*d girl being painted. Literally. With glue. And then getting bedazzled by Cole's perfect fingers. My brain snaps as I'm speaking. I can feel it happening, but can't stop the rush of words. "And the glue, and the crystals - Cole - it's just..."

He stills me with a firm hand on my shoulder. I look into his eyes, at those dark lashes, "It's a little more personal than you thought it'd be?" I nod once, and he averts his gaze. Cole's hand releases my shoulder and I shiver. "Yeah, it's that way for me, too." He clears his throat and looks back up at me. "Do you want to stop?"

Sadness pours through me and I shake my head. "I wanted to do this. I wanted..." my voice is strained.

Cole pushes the hair out of his eyes, and says, "I know. And this is a great idea. I know exactly what I want to do... " he breathes hard, "but it's strange because it's you. I know you." He looks at me for a moment and realizes how silly he sounds. A smile lines his lips and he sits down on the table. "So, we both want this, but it's - "

"Awkward. Awkward as hell," I slouch on my stool. While we were talking, my arms have tried to fold over my br**sts three times. Each time I had to stop myself or I'd shift the crystals. The glue hasn't dried yet.

"Yeah, it is." He glances up at me. Cole seems more relaxed than me. My gaze locks with his, my lips part. I know I'm gazing too long, staring at him, willing him to walk over to me and do unspeakable things to his intern, but I know he won't.

Cole lets the gaze linger. His voice pins me in place, "We need something to break the tension, to help you relax."

"Yeah," I reply, nodding, not taking my eyes off his. As he steps closer, my stomach flutters and my skin tingles. Cole stops before me. His hands are in his pockets. His shoulders are slumped forward slightly, like he's uncertain about something. And his gaze doesn't leave my face. The look in his eye makes my pulse pound harder.

Cole is standing so close that I can feel his breath on my skin. He leans closer to my face, and doesn't stop until we're nose to nose. I fight for control of my breath, trying to still my racing heart. He breaks the gaze, and looks down at my br**sts covered in crystals, then lifts his eyes to my lips. When he speaks, I melt, "This shouldn't be like this... but it is. I want to have an excuse to touch you, anything... and now that I have one, I can't do it."

"Do what?" I'm gazing at his face, unable to look away. Is he saying what I think he's saying? My heart pounds harder, threatening to crack my ribs. I can't look away. I can't move. My lips tingle, as if they know what Cole was saying before the rest of me realizes it.

He leans closer and I feel his hot breath slide across my lips. I watch as he lowers his lashes, and moves toward my mouth. When his lips brush against mine, he barely kisses me. I stop breathing. My head rushes with sensations that make me feel giddy and light. My lips tingle, wanting more. Cole hesitates as I sit in front of him, nak*d, save some glue and glitter. I feel his fingers on my cheek, slowly sliding across my face, pushing back my hair. I feel him fighting it, trying to deny the attraction that's pulling us together harder and harder. His hand slips down my cheek until his thumb brushes my bottom lip. He rocks it slowly, feeling the softness of my mouth against his finger, tracing my lower lip. His mouth is right there, close enough to kiss me, but he doesn't. His other hand doesn't touch me. He keeps a space between his body and mine. I tremble as he touches me, as he watches my reaction to him.

"This," he says, answering my question. His voice is filled with deep rich currents that pierce me through to my core. When he slides his thumb away, he moves slowly, like before. His lower lip touches mine, gently testing to see what I'll do. My hands lift on their own, finding the thick hair at the nape of his neck. I pull him down, so his lips press firmly against my mouth.

Every inch of Cole's body is corded tight, like mine, and when I touch him, he melts. His lips press into mine, softly. His teases me, kissing me softly before his tongue slips between my lips. His hands cup my face, his fingers sliding across my cheeks and into my dark hair. One hand slips down my neck, inching painfully slow toward my breast. Every inch of my body feels like it's on fire. I press my chest against him, thrusting my breast into his hand. The crystals are dry. I feel them under his hands as he slides his fingers over my taut nipple, rolling it gently between his fingers. I moan into his mouth, and he kisses me harder. My entire body has melted in his arms. I'm leaning into him, and sliding off the chair when a voice blasts us apart.

"Hey boss. Just checking..." Regina looks up, mortified. Her words die in her mouth as she averts her eyes, "Just seeing if you need anything." She stands there, not knowing what to do or where to look.

Cole pushes away from me, his hands slip off my body. He turns to her saying, "No. We're fine." Regina nods, and scurries for the door without a backward glance.

My heart is pounding in my chest, every inch of me is flushed bright red. Cole looks over his shoulder at me with an expression that I can't read. I'm wondering if he's going to deny the attraction again, but he doesn't say anything. Instead, he walks back toward the cup and the paint brush. I slide back onto the stool and he paints me in tiny strokes, placing crystals over me as he goes.

Neither of us says a word. We act like nothing happened, even though I wish more had. His brush moves over my n**ples, and Cole's fingers press against my tender skin, pressing the stones in place one at a time. His hands pass over my body and I enjoy every second of it, but a suspicion starts to take hold in the back of my mind. What if he kissed me to get rid of the tension? What if it didn't mean anything? I sit, waiting for him to say something, but Cole is silent. I wish I knew what he was thinking.

When he finishes placing stones on my side, he says, "Stand."

Without a word, I do as he says. Cole runs his thumb over the smooth skin that disappears between my legs and I gasp. "The crystals should trail across your h*ps and across here, correct?" His finger draws the curved line he intends to cover with crystals. It feels like he drew on my skin with fire.

I try to hide my emotions, and do the same thing he's doing, but I utterly suck at it. My voice quivers when I speak, "Yes." That one short word betrays me. Cole is on his knees in front of me. He reaches for the crystals and the cup of adhesive and puts them on the floor.

"Spread your legs, Lamore," there's no teasing nature in his tone. He sounds hard again, cold. He waits, but I don't move. He looks up at me and starts to explain. "Part your - "

I cut him off, "What's with you? Did you kiss me because you wanted to? Or was there some other demented logic behind it?" I sound angry. I don't like the way he is talking to me. His tone implies that I am nothing to him.

He doesn't look at me, "Demented logic, Lamore. What other reason would there be? Now, let's just get through this. Please separate your ankles so I can finish?" he looks up at me, exhausted. I don't say anything else. I spread my legs slightly and he strokes my sensitive skin with his brush. When his fingers press against my smooth flesh, I remain rigid, like he is doing nothing to me. As though the thought of his lips, his breath, that close to the spot between my legs isn't intoxicating.

When he's done, there are a million sparkling crystals glued to my body. He stops us in front of a full length mirror so that I can see. But, I don't bother looking up and begin to walk to the set he wants to use.

Before I can walk away Cole snatches my wrist, and pulls me back, "Look at yourself."

"I know what I look like, Cole. Let me go." I pull out of his grip. I don't want to see what I look like. It will sear the memories made today deeper into my mind. With Cole acting hot and cold, I don't want to risk it.

He doesn't reach for me again. Instead, he sets me up in a pose on the white set. I lay nak*d on the floor. Cole moves around me searching for angles, and I stare past him, my gaze getting lost somewhere on the ceiling.

"You're frowning," Cole removes the camera from his face, and looks down at me. I try to stop, but I'm too irritated with him. Cole watches me for a moment, and then tethers his camera directly over me on a boom that swings out from the wall. He pulls a square black remote from his pocket and turns it on. Cole tests it, and I hear the shutter snap shut.

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