Kane:Steele Brothers #5

By: Cheryl Douglas

“I thought I should stop by and see Jack and the boys while I’m in Vegas.”

“Jack? As in your father?” I knew Kane still harbored a lot of resentment toward the father who’d abandoned them, but according to Brody, Jack had changed. I didn’t blame Kane for wanting to find out for himself.

“Yeah.” He sighed, closing his hand over his eyes as he lay flat on his back. “Brody and Riley plan to invite him to the wedding. I figure it’d be best if I met him first. You know, get all the ugliness out of the way so it doesn’t spoil the wedding.”

“If you’re planning to have it out with him, maybe it would be best to invite him here,” I suggested. “So your brothers don’t have to hear that.”

Kane’s half brothers weren’t kids anymore, but I knew they wouldn’t want to meet Kane if he went to their house for the sole purpose of attacking the father they loved.

“I want to meet them too though. Brody says they’re great kids. I want to see for myself.”

“Then you think you can keep a handle on your temper?” I asked. “Stay calm?”

He smirked. “Keeping a lid on my emotions is what I do best.”

Since he was the officer in charge of a SWAT team, I assumed that was a job requirement. “I can come with you if you want. For moral support.”

He smiled as he rolled onto his side to look at me. “I suppose I do have one thing to thank Jack for.”

“Oh really? What’s that?” I asked, trying to resist the urge to close my eyes while his large, warm hand stroked my cheek.

“If not for him, you may not have stopped by my house at all. We wouldn’t have spent all that time together last time you were in Tampa, and we sure as hell wouldn’t be lying here now.”

I’d gone over to Kane’s house that day to ask if he needed someone to talk to, since I didn’t think he was ready to open up to his brothers about their father. He proved to be a much better listener than talker, since I was the one who spilled my guts that day.

Over the next couple of weeks, I turned up on his doorstep nearly every day, usually with hot coffee in the morning or pizza around dinnertime, depending on the hours he kept. We’d sit on his deck with our food or watch TV with a bowl of popcorn between us. Sexual tension always simmered beneath the surface, at least for me, but since I had a boyfriend waiting on me at home, we never acted on it.

“I am grateful for that,” I said, biting my lip to hide my smile. “I have a confession to make.”

“I’m listening,” he said, looking amused.

“I’ve kind of had a crush on you for a long time.” I covered my face with my hands, unable to hide the blush creeping up my neck. I couldn’t believe I’d admitted that to him! I felt like a teenager with a crush on the star quarterback.

He laughed as he peeled my hands off my face. “Are you serious?”

“Yeah.” I peeked at him out of the corner of my eye, thinking he looked even sexier with his hair disheveled and the late-night scruff dusting his strong jaw. “Riley didn’t even know about it until recently. I felt stupid saying anything, since you’re so much older than I am and—”

“Why the hell does everyone keep saying that?” The growl low in his throat revealed his annoyance. “It’s eight years, not twenty.”

“Let me guess, Brody reminded you of our age difference when he warned you off?”

“Yeah, but I don’t want to talk about him.” With a self-satisfied smile, he said, “I’d much rather hear about this crush of yours.”

I never thought I’d be lying naked in bed with Kane Steele, wearing his wedding ring and revealing my juvenile infatuation to him. But since we’d already done the deed, I figured modesty was off the table.

“When I was seventeen,” I said, deciding to indulge him, “I decided to go all the way with my boyfriend. He looked a lot like you: tall, broad shoulders, black hair, blue eyes…” I shook my head when I realized I was babbling. He already knew what my ex-boyfriend looked like. “But it wasn’t until we were about to do it and your face popped into my head that I knew I had it bad for you.”

He laughed, making a strangled sound as he struggled to sit up. “Are you telling me you lost your virginity while thinking about me?”

I didn’t know why he found the idea so outrageous. I was willing to bet I wasn’t the first. “Yeah. So?”

“Why the hell didn’t you say anything? You should have told me.”

I rolled my eyes, patting his hard chest. Mmmm, God he was yummy. I just wanted to lick him all over. “I was seventeen. You were twenty-five. Eight years may not seem like a lot now that I’m thirty, but it would have seemed like a lifetime to you back then.” When he didn’t say anything, I tapped his chest. “Admit it, you would have patted me on the head, told me you were flattered, and sent me on my way. Right?”

After considering his options for a minute, he said, “Yeah, okay. You’re probably right.”

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