Home > The Family Gathering (Sullivan's Crossing #3)(10)

The Family Gathering (Sullivan's Crossing #3)(10)
Author: Robyn Carr

But their schedules were impossible. They had to get by on what little time they could find here and there, maybe going to a home show or open house. They were both really into remodeling. In fact, they found they had many things in common. But they wanted to get alone together and just hadn’t found the opportunity.

It was 10:00 a.m. on a Thursday morning when Tom Canaday knocked on Lola’s door. When she opened it, smiling broadly, he handed her a gift-wrapped box.

“What is this?” she asked, taking it from him.

“Open it,” he said.

“Oh, Tom, you’re always so thoughtful,” she said, pulling the ribbon off. “Always thinking of others.”

“Oh, yeah, that’s me.”

She pulled off the top of the box and frowned. “What’s this?”

“You know what it is,” he said.

She pulled the item out. “A dead bolt?” she asked in confusion.

“For your bedroom door,” he said. “And I have a matching lock installed on my bedroom door.”

“I don’t think either of the boys will surprise us today,” she said with a laugh. “They’re both in school.” Cole had college classes and Trace was in high school.

“We’re not taking any chances.”

“They never open my bedroom door, Tom,” she said. “They’re scared to death they might see me in my underwear!”

“This is going to be different,” he said. “There will be no underwear. And they might hear noises and mistake it for you screaming in pain.” He grinned. “It won’t be pain.”

She put down the box and put her hands on his cheeks, kissing him soundly. His arms went around her to pull her closer, moving over her mouth with precision. He parted her lips with his, going deep, groaning as their tongues began to play. His hand slid down over her butt and pressed her close against him. The kiss went on and on, too long, really. He had to force himself to pull away. “Lola, quick—get me your toolbox.”

“You sure know how to woo a girl,” she said. She couldn’t help but giggle as she went to get the box. Having done a lot of her own repairs and renovating, she knew exactly what he’d need. By the time she got back he was already getting the lock out of the package. She immediately started handing him tools. First the screwdriver to remove the old doorknob, then the chisel and hammer to enlarge the opening in the jam. “I wish I’d gotten this done before the kissing,” he grumbled. “I gotta say, this is my first lock repair with a hard-on.”

“Just how long has it been?” she asked.

“Oh, about two minutes now,” he said.

“Not that!” she said with a laugh.

“You mean since I’ve had sex with a woman?” He wanted to clarify.

“Oh, my. Maybe we should talk about who else you might be having it with...”

He looked at her over his shoulder, lifting one eyebrow. “My left hand,” he said. “Believe me, you have nothing to be jealous of.”

“Tom,” she said in a scolding voice.

“It’s been such a long time,” he said, drilling in the screws.

She put down the toolbox where he could reach it and backed away from him. He grumbled a little bit at a stubborn screw but he made very fast work of the job. He closed the door, turned the lock and tested it, trying to open it. “Success!” he said.

But he turned and she wasn’t there.

“Lola?” he said.

She stepped into the doorway of her master bath wearing a sleek and satiny black robe. It took his breath away. “Whoa,” he said, running a hand over the top of his head.

Lola was so voluptuous. She wasn’t skinny or tiny. She was five-nine or so and full-figured. When they first started seeing each other she admitted she was self-conscious about her shape and considered herself overweight. Tom convinced her he loved her figure, loved her softness, loved that he could fall into her, fill his arms with her. She was full and rosy and smelled divine. He wanted to gobble her up from her dark, curly hair to her toes. “Holy God,” was all he could say. And he frantically began to tear off his clothes. At the last second, seeing her standing there in that lovely black robe, he left on his boxers. But before he’d gone to the hardware store to buy the privacy lock, he’d chosen them carefully. These were his best boxers.

“God, you’re so beautiful,” he said. He lifted her chin to kiss her while his other hand untied her robe and let it fall open. “Oh my God,” he said.

She rolled her shoulders back and the robe slid easily from her shoulders. And there she was, all pale flesh.

They’d been together for six months, and while they hadn’t been able to make love yet they’d done a lot of touching and talking. They were prepared in every way except one—they hadn’t lain down together without clothes.

“Why do you have these?” she said, giving the elastic of his boxers a snap.

“Why bother taking them off?” he said, pulling her against him. “I’m going to blast right through them.”

She pulled on his hand and they found the bed, lying down side by side, rolling together, holding on to each other, kissing like teenagers, their hands roving over each other’s bodies. Lola sighed, Tom moaned, lips were moving. He kissed her shoulders, her breasts, her belly. She stroked his butt, his thighs, and she managed to get rid of those boxers. Then he was on top, spreading her legs with a knee, moving closer and closer. He pushed forward and smiled against her lips. “I could embarrass myself here,” he said. “I’m wound a little tight.”

She shook her head. “Let’s not worry about making it perfect, okay? We’ve had to wait so long.”

“I know people who waited longer,” he said.

“But we’re forty,” she reminded him. “And we’re getting older by the minute...”

“You’re right,” he whispered. Then he found his way home. “Good God, it feels like you were made for me.”

She just hummed and covered his face with kisses.

Tom moved, they rocked, the bed squeaked, they clung to each other and it happened so fast. Both of them, bursting. Gasping. Then falling slowly and softly back to earth. He could not take his lips from hers; he didn’t even consider rolling away. He held his weight off her by bracing on his elbows.

“You have the softest lips in all creation,” he whispered against her mouth. “You have the sweetest body, the most beautiful dark lashes.”

“How do you do it?” she asked him. “How do you always make me feel so beautiful?”

“You are,” he whispered. “You’re the most beautiful woman I know. And I love you.” He kissed her again. “I hope it was all right, because I’m in heaven.”

She laughed softly. “It was all right. Wonderful, in fact.”

“God, that was perfect.” He moved a little. “I’m not leaving.”

“That’s okay. I’m feeling very safe right now. Safe and satisfied.”

“That’s so good to hear.”

“That lock really turned you on,” she said.

“It wasn’t the lock,” he said, snuggling closer. “Please don’t let me fall asleep...”

“Tom, we should talk about something...”

“What?” he asked, lifting his head from her shoulder.

“The lock—it’s probably a good idea. A better idea is telling the kids we’re more than friends. They’re old enough that they deserve to know.”

“I don’t know. You have boys. I still have a young girl. Brenda is sixteen...”

“It’s no different with boys,” she said. “The kids all have to know the facts of life, the dangers and responsibilities, the joys. We’ve both been left by our spouses and have made good families while unmarried, but we’re entitled to be happy, too. Do you worry that your kids still hope you’ll reconcile with Becky? Because my boys don’t want that for me, for us. They’ve probably already guessed that we love each other.”

He smiled and moved a little. He moved a little more.

“You can’t be ready again,” she said. “That’s inhuman.”

“It’s just what you do to me.”

She put her arms around his neck. “Fine. We’ll talk when we have our clothes on.”

“Probably a good idea,” he said.

* * *

Dakota went to Rob’s bar for dinner on a Thursday night. It had become his habit for several weeks now and it had not gone unnoticed. When Sid saw him she just shook her head slightly and gave him a half smile. She slapped a napkin down on the bar in front of him.

“Back again, I see,” she said.

“Great seeing you, too, Sid,” he said, treating her to his sparkling grin. “How have you been?”

“Excellent. The usual?”

“Beer, then I’ll consider dinner.”

“And if Alyssa shows up, you’ll bolt?”

“I’m afraid I’ve been a big disappointment to Alyssa,” he said. “She wants a boyfriend and I’m not him.”

She put his beer in front of him. “Alyssa seems to be more tenacious than I gave her credit for.”

“Then I’ll be an even bigger disappointment. Because I’m tenacious, too.”

“I’m getting that.”

“So, what’s on your agenda for this weekend?” he asked.

“I’m pretty good at relaxing,” she said. “I have a couple of things scheduled. Nothing terribly exciting.”

“I’m off on Sunday,” he said. “Saturday night, too. What’s it going to take to get on your schedule?”

“We’ve been over that...”

“I could get a background check,” he suggested with a grin.

“Just give up, Dakota,” she said.

And then he noticed a little movement beside him.

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