Blurb

The last thing Rona Jameson expected was the scorching connection she feels to Cade Matthews. At twenty-four, Rona is embarking on what should have been her honeymoon to Jackson Hole, Wyoming…alone. Having just gotten out of one relationship, she’s hesitant to jump into another. But there’s something about the forty-five year old single father of three that calls to her.

Cade knows it would be best to steer clear of Rona, but he can’t deny the chemistry and longing he feels towards her. No other woman has ever made him feel strung so tight. The age difference between them however is something he’s not sure he can overcome.

Jake Matthews, Cade’s son, is heading home after receiving an honorable discharge from the Marines. He broke things off with Elise, six years ago, when he joined the service, afraid of her being left alone if something happened to him. Now he’s back and ready to claim the girl he’s never been able to forget. There’s only one problem, she’s engaged to another man.

Can Jake win Elise back and prove to her he’s worthy of a second chance? Will Rona and Cade overcome their doubts and fears, and the other obstacles in their way? 

From NY Times Bestselling author, Lexi Buchanan, two love stories in one, with a touch of taboo.

Also includes the Novella, When We Meet which is a short story, written to run alongside From This Moment, the first book in the series.

When We Meet starts when Grace Langdon is in the hospital, recovering from being attacked by Nick Lucas.  In the hospital she meets Josh Mitchell.

Image Copyright ~ Eric Battershell

Models ~ Christian Petrovich & Lauren Biran

Cover Design ~ Wicked by Design

Excerpt

Chapter One

Rona

Chicago’s O’Hare transit lounge is a place that—three days ago—I was looking forward to visiting. It was to be our honeymoon and part of our own personal transit into married life together. As I stand alone, my head bobbing back and forth, trying to decide which way to proceed as I wait for my onward flight to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, I feel lost and I’m not really sure what I’m doing here.

Nick, my fiancé, or rather ex-fiancé, told me he’s too young to get married—an hour before we were supposed to be taking our vows. He’s thirty, and in my book not exactly too young to get married.

No wedding, no marriage, but the honeymoon is still waiting for us. Well, me. That’s why I’m taking our honeymoon flight to Jackson Hole. Alone. Don’t quite know what I’m going to do when I get there, but I’m going.

Originally, a friend of Nick’s had given us his cabin for a month as a wedding present. A romantic holiday in a secluded forest isn’t really an option now, and to be honest, I want nothing to do with Nick or his friends.

Taking a few deep breaths while turning away from the departures board, I notice a coffee shop. Starbucks. Surprisingly—for a bustling airport—it isn’t too busy right now.

Smiling, I walk over to the counter and purchase a vanilla latte before finding a quiet corner to rest. Taking a few sips of my drink, I reach into my purse for my iPad to read until my flight is called. At least someone will have a happy ending.

The story pulls me in but I can’t concentrate. My skin pricks with apprehension and I have the disquieting feeling that I’m being watched. Discreetly glancing around as I reach for my coffee, my gaze locks with sparkling green eyes. Hunger flickers in their depths and I suck in my breath at the good-looking guy sitting one table over. He continues to stare as I fumble with my coffee and try to ignore him. It’s so difficult to look away, but I manage, telling myself I’m only imagining the way he’s looking at me. He can’t possibly be interested in me.

Glancing around to avoid his regard, I finally look back at him. He’s still staring at me. I decide I’m not going to be embarrassed, and return his stare. He’s really hot, and I mean hot . . . like wow. He looks to be considerably older than my twenty-four years, but I’ve always been attracted to older men. He looks older than Nick, maybe between thirty-five and forty. He sure is handsome though.

I take in a deep breath as my gaze moves over him. Starting from the tip of his tan cowboy boots, my eyes travel up his long, jeans-clad, muscular legs to his chest. By the way his tee shirt molds to his torso, he looks to have a six-pack hidden under there. He wears his dark hair longer at the back with it curling over his ears. Sexy.

I study his face. It’s a strong, handsome face, partially covered by his five o’clock shadow, which gives him a lazy look, but I doubt there is anything lazy about him. His green eyes are dazzling. A girl could get lost in them and never find her way out.

Somewhere during my ogling, I’ve lost track of what I’m doing and forgotten he’s watching me. And when my eyes return to his, the hunger visible there has turned ravenous during my exploration of his body.

Cade

On entering the coffee shop, my first thought when I spot the dark-haired girl is that she looks so sad. It takes an effort to tear my eyes away from her, but that’s accomplished when the server asks me for my order.

Grabbing myself a much-needed black coffee, I feel drawn to the girl so I take a seat at the closest empty table—one over from hers.

I watch her as I slowly drink my coffee. Her dark head down as she reads the iPad in her hands, swiping her finger across the screen. A small furrow plays on her forehead and it’s tempting to smooth those lines with my fingers. Hell. It’s tempting to smooth all her slim lines with my hands, from her long legs to her slender torso with breasts large enough to fill my palms.

What the hell am I doing?

Glancing up to make sure she hasn’t spotted me admiring her body, I find I’m unable to stop watching her. I take in her long, dark hair; it looks so soft and I wonder what it smells like. She’s wearing well-worn jeans with pale, leather boots accompanied by a long-sleeved tee shirt, no jewelry that I can see, but her hands are in her lap holding her iPad so I can’t check for rings.

I glance back up to her face where I’m met by her blue eyes. She seems embarrassed to find me looking her over and looks away quickly, pretending to be interested in her iPad again. It’s in that moment I realize how young she looks, maybe in her early twenties, which makes me cringe. I’m forty-five and old enough to be her father.

She’s stunning and I can barely control my gaze. She’s the first woman I’ve been really drawn to in close to twenty years, when my wife left our children and me.

Since then I’ve quit on relationships. Raising three kids doesn’t leave much time for anything else, even with them being fully grown now. I’ve been too set in my ways to consider a more lasting relationship, plus no woman has gotten on my radar, until now. When needs must, I have the occasional hook-up, usually when out of town, but, thinking back, it’s a heck of a long time since the last; over twelve months for sure.

I look back at where she’s sitting and discover her eyes on me. She seems to have started her own perusal of my body, starting from the tips of my boots if I’m not mistaken.

As her eyes crawl slowly up my legs, I feel myself stiffen in my jeans. Hell, I haven’t reacted like this to a woman’s look before. You’d think I’d have more control at my age.

By the time she’s moved up to my chest, she’s licking her lips. I’m not sure if she’s trying to moisten them or if she’s imagining what she wants to do to my chest. Crap. I start calculating sums in my head to calm the growing erection in my jeans, but when I look up and meet her eyes, the numbers fly out and my erection goes straight back up again.

Groaning, I look away and try to rearrange myself without being obvious about it. It’s a long time since I’ve been with a woman, and I really don’t think it’s going to get better anytime soon. I don’t ever remember wanting anyone like this before.

“Hey, Dad. I’m just going to grab a coffee. Back in a minute.” My son, Jake, brings me right back down to earth.

I’d actually forgotten he was traveling with me. Home for good after serving his country in the Marines for the past few years, shrapnel in his hip, buttock and thigh had put an end to his career. I’d been too impatient to wait for him to arrive in Jackson Hole, so I’d met him here in Chicago. And I thank God everyday that my son has returned home still breathing.

Jake walks over to get his coffee and I watch the server blush. I roll my eyes knowing he’s laying on the charm he seems to have been born with, even though there is only one woman who has Jake’s heart—no matter what he tells me. I know my son too well to believe his comments about Elise being his past. She’s been his future since the day they met ten years ago.

After purchasing the coffee, he walks back to me. As he sets his coffee down, he spots the young woman and his attention shifts from me to her. Ignoring me, he sits watching her as he drinks his coffee.

Jealousy floods through me the longer he watches her. Shaking my head, I take a sip of my drink, finding it difficult to believe that I’m jealous of my own son. He’s maybe a few years older than her. A lot closer to her age than I am.

“Did you find what you were looking for?” I ask him, trying to refocus his attention on me instead of the woman.

Jake ignores me, still looking across the table.

I ask again, “Jake, did you find what you were looking for?”

“Oh yes, fine,” he replies, distracted. “Have you noticed the girl over there? Do you think she’s traveling with anyone?”

“I don’t think so. She was sitting on her own in here when I arrived.” I glance over to her again with an ache in my chest.

“I think I’m going to go and find out.” Jake starts to stand.

Hell no. I want to tell him to stay put; that I saw her first. But she’s too young for me. I need to keep telling myself that.

“I’ll come over and rescue her in five.” I force a grin for my son.

Watching her smile up at Jake as he pulls out a chair and drops down into it, my heart aches in my chest causing me to raise my hand and rub against it.

I haven’t even spoken to her. I’ve only been watching her for maybe twenty minutes, so my reaction to the unknown woman baffles me.

After five minutes of Jake sitting with her, I realize that I can’t let her leave without at least talking to her as well. Probably looking for punishment, because I know the sound of her voice, along with her looks, will keep me up all night for sure.

 I gather my bag and jacket, grab my coffee and head over to the table to join them.

Rona

Oh God, he’s coming over!

I’ve been talking with this guy named Jake for about five minutes when the object of my earlier ogling starts toward us. He has a slow, lazy walk and he reminds me of the kind of cowboy I envision when reading a western romance novel. Dreamy!

Dreamy? What the hell is wrong with me? I’m acting like a teenager with a crush on the new boy at school.

Standing beside me, he holds his hand out, which I take. A bolt of lust shoots straight through me.

His eyes darken as he clears his throat. “Hi, I’m Cade Matthews, Jake’s father. Do you mind if I join you both? It’s a bit lonely over there.” He smiles as I reluctantly release his hand. With how slowly our hands and then fingers separate, it makes me think he’s having the same reaction as me.

Then my befuddled brain remembers Cade introducing himself as ‘Jake’s father.’

What the hell!

Putting my tongue back in my mouth, and shaking my head to clear the lust running rampant, I finally respond, “No that’s fine, I don’t mind.” I thought he would sit opposite me, but instead he takes the chair next to mine, across from his son. I breathe in, and boy, does he smell good.

“So, what have you two been talking about?” Cade asks.

I smile at him, realizing I haven’t given him my name. “I’m Rona Jameson and your son was telling me you’re on your way back home to Jackson Hole. That’s my destination as well, so I guess we’re on the same flight.”

Jake had also told me he’d just gotten out of the Marines due to an injury. He seemed more resigned to the fact than happy about it. But from what I’ve heard and read about the Marines, once you’re a Marine you’re always a Marine, whether still on active duty or not. When I’d spotted him approaching me earlier, nothing seemed visibly wrong with him. But he’d been telling me about his injury when his father had started to approach us, which had distracted me.

“Well, it’s nice to meet you, Rona. Are you visiting family in Jackson Hole?”

Just as I open my mouth to speak, Jake interrupts.

“Some bastard practically left her at the altar, so she’s taking her honeymoon trip on her own.” He sounds angry at this announcement.

Cade appears speechless and just looks at me.

I meet his gaze, unfazed by the look on his face. It isn’t pity, exactly, which is what I’ve been seeing since the news. Instead of allowing myself to feel like the broken girl everyone thought I was, I tell him exactly what I realized during my flight from Ireland to Chicago. “My ex decided, with no prior warning signs, that getting married at thirty was too young for him. I think maybe he’s met someone else, but I don’t really want to know. To be honest, it wouldn’t have made a difference anyway. Nick doing what he did made me realize my feelings for him were not what they should have been. I was planning to spend the rest of my life with him and all I could muster up for that thought was a lackluster acceptance.”

I look out toward the hallway of the airport and watch the people rushing by, in a hurry to catch their flight. And there I was, in such a hurry to catch my destiny that I latched on to Nick and the notion of marriage. Taking a deep breath, I continue, “Once I’d calmed down, I realized I was more upset at having to cancel the wedding than him actually leaving me. I think I was more in love with the idea of having a family than I was with Nick.”

 After a few moments of stunned silence, Cade asks, “You said you were more in love with having a family than him. Don’t you have any family?”

“No, my parents were killed in a plane crash ten years ago. I went to live with my grandmother, who passed away nearly two years ago.”

I sip my coffee, still finding it difficult to believe that Cade is Jake’s father. They have similar features, and at first I presumed they were brothers, but Cade doesn’t look old enough to have fathered Jake.

Jake is tall like his father with the same dark hair, except Jake’s hair is cropped shorter to his head. Military style. Jake has a narrow waist, and broad shoulders that make him stand out in a crowd. He’s clean-shaven with dimples that attracted my attention from the moment he sat down at my table. But it’s his father who holds my interest on a more basic level.

His father!

 I tentatively ask, “You’re really his father?”

Jake snickers at my comment. “He certainly is. He’s forty-five and a hell of a lot older than me!”

“Less of the old. Twenty years isn’t that much older.” Cade grins at me.

“Well, you sure don’t look forty-five. I actually thought you were brothers.”

Laughing, Jake says, “So you know I’m twenty-five. How old are you? I’m guessing twenty-one.”

I smile. “Don’t you know it isn’t polite to ask a lady her age?”

“Never heard that one before.” Jake smirks.

“Well, as you asked so nicely.” I laugh and realize how good it feels. “I guess I’ll tell you, I’m a year younger than you.”

He chuckles. “Just the right age.”

I’m about to ask Jake ‘right age’ for what, when Cade changes the subject.

“Are you planning on staying in Jackson Hole?”

“I’m not sure yet. A friend of Nick’s owns a cabin out there, but in no way do I want to spend the next four weeks in debt to a friend of his. Plus, it was supposed to be a wedding present. I’ll find a hotel for a couple of nights and then look around for a short term rental.”

I sigh, not looking forward to sorting out accommodation.

“You shouldn’t have any problem finding a room for a few nights as the ski season doesn’t start for another couple of weeks. In fact, a friend of mine and his wife run a bed and breakfast. I could always check with them once we land to see if they have a room available if you like,” Jake offers.

“That would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.”

I look at Cade while taking another sip of my vanilla latte. “Please tell me a bit about where you live in Jackson Hole.”

He smiles and his green eyes alight with joy. “The house is in the Tetons. We had it built about seventeen years ago now and it’s home. There’s nowhere like it.” He has a wistful expression on his face as he continues, “It has the most amazing views with wildlife that come right up to the back porch. I’ve never seen anywhere like it to compare. When it snows, it looks like it jumped right off a postcard.”

I smile. “That sounds amazing. I’m hoping to see some of the mountains and lakes around Jackson Hole while I’m there, not to mention the wild life.”

Fiddling with my cup, I struggle to take my mind off the thoughts that fill it at the mention of Cade and ‘wild’ in the same sentence. I turn back to Jake. “You mentioned you have a sister. Is she your only sibling?”

“No, I have two sisters who are both married to great guys. My sister Beth is married to Mack. They have a boy, Nathan, he’s two now and they’ve just had a baby girl a few weeks ago. Little Edith. They’re in the process of renovating to make more room for their growing family. My other sister happens to be my twin. Older by five minutes, which she never let me forget when we were growing up. Anna is married to Justin and they have six-year-old twins, Gabe and Gaby. They both have houses built on the family land so they’re pretty close by.”

“What about you, do you have your own house as well?”

Both Jake and his father obviously love where they live because it’s written all over their faces.

Jake chuckles. “Almost. It’s been an ongoing project and has been since I joined the Marines, seven years ago.” He pauses, his eyes glazing over as if he’s lost in his own thoughts, before he shakes his head and continues, “But I’m heading home. I’ll be bunking in my old room until I can get my house finished, which shouldn’t take too long now that I’m not going to be shipping out anytime soon.”

It’s hard to say whether or not he’s happy or sad about that.

He continues, “It’s also on the family land, so fairly close by.” He grins. “I’ll have to give you a tour while you’re in Jackson Hole.”

“That would be great.”

Cade

As I sit here listening to Rona tell us about being left at the altar and having no family, a deep ache builds inside me that I’ve never felt before and it surprises me with its intensity.

Not even Janice, the woman I married twenty-five years ago, managed to bring out such a reaction. I’m ashamed to admit the only reason I married her was because she was pregnant with Jake and Anna. The first time I slept with her, she’d gotten pregnant. Then it was maybe two years later, when we decided to try and make the marriage work for real, that Beth arrived. Not long after, Janice walked out on us for good.

I’m just about to jump back into the conversation when they announce our flight.

“Do you need any help with your luggage or anything?” I ask Rona, although I can only see her purse.

“No, I checked my luggage in. I only have my purse,” she replies with a beautiful smile on her face.

Smiling back at her, and boy is she gorgeous, I’m praying our seats are a bit away from hers on the plane. It’s already difficult keeping my body under control. Sitting so close, or in the next seat on the plane, would make it difficult to keep my libido in check, never mind the brushing of thighs that would occur in the compact seats.

Making our way on to the plane, we realize our seats are actually in the same row. With a silent groan, I head toward them. I offer Rona the window seat, which she accepts and then Jake shoots into the middle seat before I can get my act together. The shape of Rona’s perfect bottom distracted me while she was getting into her seat.

Sitting on the aisle side has the advantage of being able to stretch my legs, as I always end up scrunched up. On this occasion though, Jake sitting so close to the woman in my thoughts isn’t helping my comfort.

Once airborne, Jake disappears to the restroom so I take advantage of his vacant seat, slipping into it. I hear Rona suck in a breath as our thighs touch, as our gazes meet and hold. She really is breathtaking and I want nothing more than to take her home with me . . . and keep her. Such a ridiculous thought, but one I’m having trouble keeping out of my head.

Rona’s tongue hesitantly moistens her lips, which has my eyes following the movement and my cock twitching. This is bad. Wanting a woman twenty-one years my junior. Someone who I think my son it attracted to, even though he’s still in love with Elise.

Returning, Jake mumbles, “Thanks Dad,” under his breath, looking disgruntled to find me in his seat as he slips into the one I vacated.

“You can have your seat back if you want it,” I offer, but pray he stays where he is.

After a pause, he looks between Rona and me. “No, it’s fine.”

I glance toward Rona, but she’s closed her eyes and seems to be sleeping.

Turning to look at Jake, I find he’s sitting back relaxing with his eyes shut so, getting comfortable, I shut my eyes for all of five seconds. The minute I shut them, Rona’s there waiting for me, without clothes, in my bed.

Reaching down, I rearrange my throbbing erection and start to count backward. It’s hell being attracted to a much younger woman, one I know I can never entertain the idea of being with.

She’s younger than Anna and Jake, my twenty-five year old twins.

Rona

Waking up on the descent into Jackson Hole, I find myself looking straight into Cade’s eyes, filled with amusement and mere inches away from mine. I must have somehow cuddled up to him during the flight, and ended up practically lying in his lap.

“Gosh, I’m sorry.” I scramble to get back into my seat all embarrassed, especially with his eyes on me. “I hadn’t realized I was sleeping on you.”

My embarrassment shoots up a notch when I accidentally put my hand on his groin and feel just how much he obviously liked having me asleep on him.

Cade inhales, sharply. “Don’t worry,” he says, sounding rather strangled, sitting up straighter in his seat.

Clearing his throat, Cade meets my gaze and asks, “So, Rona, can we offer you a lift into town?” He looks nervous as he waits my response.

Is he reluctant to end our time together?

I feel the same reluctance, and offer him a smile of assurance. “I’d love a lift, although I’m not sure where to, yet.”

Jake interrupts. “We won’t leave you until we have you hooked up with some accommodation.” His grin shows his dimples, which I’m sure makes many girls swoon.

“Thanks, guys.”

The plane shudders as it comes to a complete stop at the gate. Before I can say anything else, the cabin hums with the energy of all the weary travelers as they start gathering their luggage from the overhead bins.

Once we disembark, Cade and Jake lead the way to collect our luggage before guiding me toward the exit.

I’m relieved that my journey, for now, is finally over. It’s taken me nearly twenty hours to arrive here in Jackson Hole.

Jake stops us, saying, “I’ll go and find the truck.” He focuses on his dad. “Pass me the keys. I’ll pull up at the doors if you want to wait inside. I shouldn’t be too long.”

“The truck’s location is written on the back of the ticket.” Cade passes both keys and ticket over to his son.

“Okay, I’ve got this.” Jake turns to me. “I’ll give Lucy a call at the bed and breakfast and see if they have a room for you.”

I sigh in a strange mixture of regret and relief. “Thanks, Jake.” And I really am thankful, but I can’t help wondering whether or not I’ll see both Cade and Jake again after they drop me off.

Jake disappears as Cade takes my elbow. “Let’s wait outside for Jake, and get some fresh air. After spending time in airports and on planes, I need to breathe again, and I bet you feel the same way.”

“I do, and I’d like that.”

As we walk outside its rather windy so Cade directs me toward the end of the car pickup area to take shelter in an alcove, facing away from the road and the wind.

It causes butterflies in my stomach being alone with Cade, because of how much I want to feel his lips against mine. He really is a handsome man, and I can’t get over the fact that he’s twenty-one years older. He seems to be attracted to me, but knowing his age, well, I guess he would be more interested in someone from his own generation even though I haven’t mistaken his reaction to me.

He turns to face me and I find myself transfixed by his blazing, green eyes.

“Is it far to your house?” I try to fill in the silence.

He doesn’t answer, but continues to look at me as he takes a step closer. He reaches up and places one of his hands to the side of my face.

My heart thuds with anticipation.

“Your skin is like silk.” He caresses my cheek. “I’ve been wondering how you would feel against my hands since the moment I laid eyes on you.”

I turn my face slightly into his touch and kiss his palm wanting so much more from this man. This is crazy considering how long we’ve known each other.

Sucking in his breath, he moves even closer to me.

“You need to let Jake show you around and introduce you to his friends,” he says, as though he’s in pain, while I continue to burrow into his hand.

“Why not you?” I whisper against his skin. My eyes lock with his.

“I want nothing more than to be the one to show you around and spend time with you, but I’m forty-five—too old for you. Jake is only a year older than you are.” Taking a deep breath, he continues, “I’ve never reacted to anyone the way I react to you, and I need to get over it because anything between us is impossible.”

At this comment, I feel my heart breaking. What he’s just said seems to sadden him, and it brings tears to my eyes. I move slightly away, hoping he doesn’t see my reaction. But, unfortunately, he does.

“Hey, don’t cry.”

I’m being ridiculous. We’ve only just met, for goodness’ sake.

I turn to walk away, but he catches hold of my arm and brings me back to him with my spine against his chest.

Once there, he inhales slowly and turns me around to face him. He lifts his hands to my face and uses his thumbs to wipe my tears away before looking straight into my eyes. “If you think for one minute that seeing you go off with Jake everyday is going to be easy for me, then think again. I doubt anything is going to be the same again for me after meeting you.”

Cade is still holding my face. During our conversation, he’s gotten so close, we are now chest-to-chest and hidden from view by the alcove. My breathing has become slightly labored, and so has Cade’s. I find myself wanting just one taste of him.

“Kiss me.” I stare at him as my mind screams this is crazy. I don’t care, my body knows what it needs, and I’m letting it have its way. “At least put your tongue inside . . .” Before I can finish his lips meet mine with such force, I don’t think I’ll ever recover. As he starts kissing me, I’m not sure who moves in first. I’m pressed close to him with my back against the wall and one of my legs wrapped around his.

His mouth on mine sends tingles all the way through to my core. My arms twine around his neck as my hands go to his nape and I run my fingers through his hair. He tastes all male and smells so good. I never want this kiss to end. My nipples are hard tips digging into his chest as our tongues continue to duel.

CADE

Heaven help me, when she said to me ‘at least put your tongue inside’ I added the silent me, which she didn’t get out because I just lost it with my need to taste her.

Our lips meet. She opens her mouth to me and allows my tongue to slip inside like she asks. Our tongues fuse, and I never want to come up for air.

She tastes like coffee and chocolate. With our mouths still locked together, she wraps her arms around me, running her fingers through the hair at the nape of my neck, sending shivers straight through me to my cock.

Holding her in my arms, I move her back toward the wall for support. She wraps her leg around me and starts to rub herself against my erection. I’m in heaven and nearly come like a teenager on his first outing with a girl. She feels so good and right in my arms. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to let her go, which I know I have to do, but I’m not about to stop this kiss, at least not yet.

She pulls her mouth from mine for much-needed air, but I find it impossible to stop tasting her. Laying tiny kisses along her mouth, I move down to her neck, her collarbone, then back up to her ear. I bite down, slightly. She shivers.

Moving back to kiss her mouth, I put my hand up under her tee shirt and slowly move up to her breasts. Teasing her nipple with my fingers through her thin bra, I feel it tighten even more. With my other hand, I take hold of her butt to align her better with my erection.

She tastes so good and is so responsive to my touch that I can feel her humming with need—driving me crazy.

Fuck! What the hell am I doing? She’s young enough to be my daughter and I have my hand on her breast as she’s grinding against me. Anyone can see us.

Fuck! Fuck!

Breaking from the kiss and trying to catch my breath, I reluctantly pull my hand from her shirt. Taking hold of her hips, I move her gently away from my throbbing erection. “We need to stop.” I kiss her softly on her lips. “I don’t want to, but this isn’t right.”

Not wanting to let her go completely, I pull her into me.

Rona

I rest my head on Cade’s shoulder as he continues to stroke my back. How the hell am I going to walk away from this guy? I heard what he said about the age difference, which I guess is a major problem, and I don’t see a way around it. As our hearts begin to calm, I pull away slightly from Cade and look up with my arms still around him.

“Are you okay?” he asks me with such a tender smile on his face.

“I don’t think I’ll ever be okay again, unless I’m in your arms.” The words surprise me, considering we’ve only just met, but I’ve felt a connection to Cade since the moment my eyes met his back in Starbucks.

He tightens his hold on me and leaning forward, his lips meet my forehead. Placing a small kiss there, he rests his forehead against mine while gazing into my eyes.

“Please don’t say that. You have to find a younger guy to be with, although it will kill me. This closeness between us can never happen again. I can’t believe it happened. You taste and smell so good. I just can’t stop touching you. But I need to find the strength to keep my hands to myself.”

I rest against his chest and hold on as tightly as he’s holding me. I give him a squeeze and take a deep breath for strength before I pull away slightly. I look up and meet his green eyes as he gazes down at me with longing so clear in them. He leans down and caresses my lips with a really tender kiss.

Hearing Jake shout, “Dad,” we reluctantly step apart.

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