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trailed off.
 Sounds pretty straight-forward. Vince looked at her seriously and once again she
was grateful that he didn't seem inclined to make fun.  Who starts?
 Oh, Laura swallowed.  You mean ... do it now?
 Sure. Unless you're still hungry? He nodded back in the direction of the kitchen.
She shook her head.  No, I ... I'm not really hungry any more. A little more wine
might help though.
Wordlessly he retrieved the bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and their glasses and placed
them on the coffee table. Laura took a long swallow of the wine, willing the
mellow warmth of the alcohol to enter her bloodstream and loosen her up.
 Better? he asked when she sat the glass down.
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 Much. Thanks, Vince.
 Hey, no problem. He shifted to face her.  So, do you want to start? Should I just sit here?
 Sure, that's fine. Just .... try to feel calm. Okay?
He nodded. His emotions quieted until she could barely feel him at all.
Laura took a deep breath and reached for his hand. She had touched him like this
before but this time it was different--more deliberate. Hesitantly, she entwined his
long brown fingers with her slender pale ones. Then she opened herself as wide as
she could.
Instantly the muted emotions that had been almost silent before she touched him
burst across her mind like fireworks. There was attraction, a low, warm buzz she
could feel brushing like silk against her skin and intrigue, probably at the idea of
playing the 'touching game' with her, like hot cinnamon in the air.
As she touched him, another emotion built quickly, like a banked fire doused with
gasoline suddenly blazing to life. His sexual arousal flowed powerfully through
the physical link between their hands and licked along the sensitive skin of her
thighs and the soft slopes of her breasts with disarming intimacy. Laura gasped
and jerked her hand away.
Vince looked at her, not moving.  Didn't like what you felt? he inquired, the deep
voice soft but with a hint of steel underneath.
 I ... I'm sorry. She rubbed her palm against the side of her shirt before she could
stop herself.  You ... I....
 Can't help what I feel, Laura. His eyes refused to leave her face.
 Maybe this isn't such a good idea right now. She rose to leave but he grabbed
the sleeve of her shirt and tugged her back down.
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 Is it because I'm black? he asked directly.  Because of the way you were
raised?
 No! The question shocked her--hurt her.  I told you I'm not that way, Vince.
 Yeah. I know you're not a Separatist, but I bet you never imagined being with
someone like me, did you? His voice was soft and low, his desire rubbing against
her like a physical thing--the brush of soft fur along her spine.
Laura blushed from the roots of her hair to the tips of her toes but refused to drop
her eyes. She skirted the question carefully.  Actually, it's because I'm not used to
getting that kind of ... emotion directed at me. That's all.
Vince sat back and looked at her, the dark eyes filled with skepticism.  You were
married to Gerald Hoyt what ... two and a half years?
 Almost three, Laura corrected him softly.
 So, didn't he ever feel .... want...?
 Some. In the beginning. She looked away, wrapping her arms around herself
protectively.  Look, I'd rather not talk about this right now. If you're offended we
don't have to continue this exercise.
 Listen to you. He ducked his head to look into her eyes, in that way he had.
 You don't have to get all formal on me, girl. I'm not offended.
Laura looked at him gratefully. The emotion coming from him had lightened
somewhat to amusement, like a gentle hand ruffling through her hair.
 Really? Because we don't have to....
 My turn. He reached out and caught her hand gently, pulling her close and
rubbing one large, warm hand up and down the sensitive underside of her forearm.
 How's that?
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Laura closed her eyes and tried to relax as his emotions hummed through her
body. The desire was still there but it was muted, as though he was deliberately
trying to control it for her benefit. Instead, she concentrated on the feel of his
hands on her arm. Warm, slightly callused, probably from where he gripped his
gun. His touch was gentle but firm. She wondered what those hands would feel
like on other parts of her body and quickly pushed the thought out of her mind.
 Is it too much? Vince's concern for her brushed her lightly, like butterfly wings.
 No. No, it's all right. Laura opened her eyes.  Would you mind if I...?
 Sure. He released her arm and sat back on the couch, eyes closed.  Go ahead.
I'm not gonna watch you, that makes it harder.
Laura swallowed, her mouth suddenly dry. She didn't need to ask what he meant.
Taking a breath to steady herself, she leaned forward, her fingers hovering over [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]