The big brother's gut churned with rage. Every protective instinct urged him to choke the life out of the lecherous bastard who wanted to become his sister's lover. He resisted the urge because it is a near physical impossibility to choke yourself to death. So he seethed with impotent rage, even as he burned with potent craving.
As the flames rose higher, a small voice emerged from the deepest recesses of his consciousness. "There's no blood tie and no legal tie. You drew a line. You can erase it." He squinted in disgust. Even the inner demon attempting to excuse the inexcusable sounded aroused.
Just the sight of her in profile, raising her long skirts to expose her shapely legs made him throb. She tossed back her head to laugh as she landed, and a wild gust of wind billowed under the front of her skirt, tossing it up until it lay around her shoulders. Jake started to sweat and tremble as heat stole his composure. His rapt gaze followed the long lush lines of her legs to her thighs and then to the gates of paradise. Satan must have inspired her to wear the sheer drawers that highlighted more than hid the wild nest of black curls.
The couple of seconds that passed before the wind died down enough for her to gather her skirts were the longest and the shortest seconds in the annals of recorded time. The beat of his rampant erection became drums heralding his descent into hell. The forbidden fire kindled so rapidly that it blazed past the boundaries of his control to become an inferno his formidable self-loathing could not quench.
As she turned, she reached to withdraw several of the midnight locks that escaped her upswept hair to fall into the deep "V" of her purple gown's neckline. The dress matched the eyes sparkling with the joy of her homecoming. The lover thought of the darker fire that would light her gaze as she climbed the mountain of passion to perch with him at the summit of --- no, that could never happen.
After she tamed her skirts, she turned towards the house, and tried to repair her hair. But the wind and her impatience made the task impossible, so she removed the pins from the wild mass, and allowed her the thick black mass to fall free. It fell to curve around her firm buttocks like his hands would when -- damn it Jake - stop it. But it got worse before it got better, because her attempts to tame her locks dislodged the neckline of her dress, and her breasts nearly overflowed their confinement.
Jake licked his lips, and then licked them again, imagining his approach to that bounty. His tongue would lick every inch of flesh teasingly before his mouth fastened to the pebbled nipples and -- he was doing it again. He commanded himself to get a grip, but lost it a second later when she reached inside her neckline to withdraw one of the long locks wound around her luscious globes.
Jake could hear his own breathing as he saw himself taking the ends of that hair and tickling her nipples until she spread her thighs. Then he'd move lower to tickle the lips of her cleft until the lock was coated with the moisture of her need for his ... no. Forbidden. Turn around you pervert, he thought, but she'd remembered that her bodice was askew, and reached up to tuck her breasts back inside. He stumbled on legs that did not want to support his weight as he saw himself lifting her skirts while he unbuttoned his jeans and freed his staff to lunge inside her wet, aching...damn it, stop. No more.
As she mounted the steps to enter the house, he sought refuge and camouflage for his badly tented trousers behind the bar. Closing his eyes, he pictured the scrawny tomboy with the bad haircut and all the allure of a stick. Where did she go? He was prepared for her return. And where did the exotic temptress come from?
Just last night he and his brothers had joked that they would likely have to lasso somebody clumsy enough to miss his chance at escape and haul him to the altar. As though they'd been privy to his thoughts, which they certainly were not because he was still standing and wasn't bloody, his younger brothers began to comment on her changed appearance.
"It's a good thing I've been working on my right hook," Josh commented.
"Yep. We better check our side arms too," Jared added.
"SHUT UP! BOTH OF YOU!" Jake snarled, poured himself a shot of whiskey, and tossed it back in one shot.
Jake stood frozen, holding his shoulders erect, as though his formidable 6'3" height would intimidate the lover who crawled out from some dark, hidden place. He gripped the whiskey glass he didn't remember emptying. His half-lowered lids failed to disguise the smoldering need in his dark chocolate eyes. As though eager to leave its creamy brown brethren, and perhaps the bastard it graced, a single chocolate lock sprawled across his forehead. His brow furrowed as he swabbed his free hand across his eyes as though that would fix his problem. It wouldn't because the problem was far from his eyes.
What had happened to him?
The minute he saw Jessi, the beast inside the man woke up and roared. Roared at the wrong prey. He couldn't get hard from staring at Jessi. No legal tie, no blood tie, okay he'd give the little voice that much, but she was his sister by word and by deed. Why then had his body responded so instantly to the siren's call of the temptress who wore his sister's soul? Somehow, she'd awakened the lover within the man she would call brother.
He could not shake the thought - where had his sister gone?
Mary Anne Graham practices law in South Carolina where she lives with her husband, her youngest son and her eldest, when he's home from UCF (the University of Central Florida).
She writes romances from a unique, "over the top" point of view. Her stories feature heroes who fall so much in love that they go a little batty, acting the way women often wish their lovers would behave. She adores writing historicals, but some of her latest books are contemporaries that focus on what happens when love and the law intersect.
She believes in second chances and happy endings.
You can reach Mary Anne through her blog "Quacking Alone." She loves to hear from readers.