Devil in a Dark Blue Suit. Robyn Grady
cubbyhole they’d sheltered in, she didn’t want to be close to him? She didn’t trust him. Or was it that Eden didn’t trust herself?
Done with the tippy-toe show, he flung his jacket into the back of the cab then stood tall, hands low on hips, legs braced apart. ‘I have a better idea. Why don’t we just get this over with?’
Her brow furrowed as rain sped down her cheeks and curled around her chin. ‘I don’t know what you mean.’
‘I think you do.’
She scoffed. ‘You think you know everything.’
‘Let’s say I’m working on it.’
He stepped into the space separating them, drew her against his chest and, before she could object, he kissed her—deeply, passionately and without a hint of mercy. And, at long last, he had his answer.
Because Eden stiffened, shivered.
Then she kissed him back.
THE heady sensation of Devlin’s mouth moving over hers had the same effect as a defibrillator igniting a stalled heartbeat.
Essential for survival.
Somewhere in the back of her whirling mind, Eden knew they stood on a pavement, in the middle of a downpour, smack-dab in the centre of Sydney. But, like a billowing mist, the memory of everything that had come before grew hazy. All she knew—all she wanted to know—was the natural high humming through her blood, the jet of flames leaping from his body directly to hers.
As his big hot hands wove along her shoulders to cup her wet face, her mind’s eye saw his broad shoulders looming over her. Helpless to fight against the tide, she gripped his soaked shirt as burgeoning desire thickened and ached in her throat.
His palm scooped around her nape and gently tugged her hair until her mouth opened more. He kissed deeper, stepped closer. When the solid ridge trapped inside his trousers pressed against her belly, her pelvic floor pulsed with burning want. Three years without his caress…all those nights spent alone…
Way too good.
Way too long.
His touch slid down to settle firmly on the small of her back as the edge of his tongue swept around hers and Eden melted more. But when a satisfied growl rumbled in his chest, a sliver of doubt feathered up her spine and a single word whispered through the fog. She didn’t want to listen, but she heard it anyway.
Her fingers dug into his hard chest one last time before she groaned and wrenched herself free. Once she’d been in love with Devlin, but at least she’d walked away with her dignity intact.
Where was her dignity now?
Out of breath, she dragged the drenched hair off her face and glanced around. Most people were either dashing from the downpour or had already found shelter. No one seemed concerned with the demonstrative couple kissing in the rain. That didn’t mean Eden wasn’t horrified, at herself more so than Devlin.
He didn’t want to own up to the fact that he’d become restless of her company three years ago. He certainly wouldn’t acknowledge why he’d kissed her now. This very public embrace was no more than a display. By subduing her here, he got to reclaim a portion of the power he’d lost when she’d ended the affair.
Devlin abhorred losing, even someone he’d grown tired of.
‘I’ll take this cab with you,’ she said in a breathy voice. ‘But if you touch me again—even one finger—’
His smiling eyes simmered more. ‘Yes, Eden?’
‘When I meet your brother, I’ll do what I wanted to do from the start.’ Her throat convulsed and she paused to swallow. ‘Tell him exactly what I think.’
Devlin’s penetrating gaze didn’t change. He wasn’t listening. Was it imagination that he’d moved close again?
With her body still burning for him, she bunched a hand by her side.
Damn it, he needed to back off—now!
She grabbed at the only weapon that flew to mind. ‘Devlin, if you try to kiss me again I swear I’ll not only tell your brother he’s a pleasure-seeking brat, a two-bit playboy turned cradle snatcher, but I’ll do it in front of as many cameras as I can. If I’m loud enough, it might even stir up a few paternity suits.’
Devlin’s head kicked back. His dark lashes, clumped with water, blinked twice. ‘You’d purposely bring reporters into their relationship? You’d hurt your sister like that?’
‘You have it wrong. I don’t want to see anyone hurt, least of all my sister.’
Swinging around him, she scooted inside the cab, finally out of the rain. Following, he closed the door with a heavy smack. He grumbled the address to the driver, a friendly man, who chatted about the shocking weather and the monsoon season in India, while she and Devlin each glared out of their respective windows.
She didn’t argue when Devlin settled the fare; rather she marched ahead into the hotel’s opulent soaring foyer. He caught up and when they reached the marble-and-gold-rimmed reception desk, soaked to the bone, she let Devlin do the talking. She was still shaking like a half-formed jelly inside.
Although she was less than proud of herself, thank God her bluff had worked. While she doubted Nathan Stone worried a jot over his bad-boy image, Devlin loathed the press. Couple that dislike with his highly protective streak and threatening Nathan’s interests had seemed the only surefire way to have Devlin back off.
On a basic level, Eden couldn’t cheapen Devlin’s commitment to his brother. She, too, was fiercely protective of those she loved. There wasn’t a thing she wouldn’t do to keep Sabrina safe.
At the reception counter, Devlin drove that hand through his slick pitch-black hair as a young woman sped up.
The ponytailed blonde in a crisp olive-green uniform seemed eager to please. ‘How can I help, sir?’
‘Put me through to Nathan Stone’s room.’
Miss Ponytail’s hazel eyes rounded. ‘Are you Devlin Stone?’When he nodded, she handed over a key card. ‘The other Mr Stone asked that I give you access to his penthouse suite.’
Inspecting the card, he muttered a curt thanks and Eden followed his long purposeful strides to the lifts. Riding to the top floor, Devlin broke their suffocating silence.
‘Whatever’s said, you won’t make a scene,’ he announced in a lethal tone.
‘I’ll be as cool as a cucumber,’ she replied, feeling anything but. ‘If they’re married or pregnant—’ she shuddered but accepted the unacceptable ‘—I’ll be nothing but supportive.’
His tone was sardonic. ‘But you’ll be less than thrilled.’
She straightened the drenched line of her dress. ‘I want my sister to be happy. I’m far from convinced Nathan Stone can do that.’
‘You’re condemning him without a trial.’
‘The media have done a thorough job of that already.’
His growl resonated off the mirrored lift walls. ‘The paparazzi dig for sensationalism and if they can’t find any, they make it up. A wealthy young man is a prime target—’ his voice deepened ‘—as you’ve already made clear.’
The lift door whirred open and she walked out ahead of him, lamenting, ‘Oh, the burdens of the rich and famous.’
Devlin might have dematerialised and reappeared, he whipped around and cut her off so quickly. His dark eyes glared down at her, more thunderous than this afternoon’s sky.