To Have and to Hold (The Hold Series Book 3)(115)

By: Arell Rivers

“I’m so turned on right now.” Shining blue eyes meet mine the second before my lips devour hers.

After we break apart, I glance toward the registration desk. Kimmie’s white dress trails behind her as she scampers away.

I SURVEY THE secluded compound Kates selected for our retreat from the world. After last night’s frenetic awards ceremony and launch party, this Northern Cali spot is a welcome respite. Perched high on rocky cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the contrast from the bustling Vegas desert is stark. Serene.

“Thanks, J-Man,” I say.

He hands me the two duffels. “No problem.”

My bodyguard holds up the car keys. “I’ll park in the garage and be in the cottage behind the main house. Call if you need me.” He jumps into the driver’s seat and beeps the horn.

Roberto and Wills emerge from the double-wide glass front doors. Roberto says, “All clear. Enjoy your retreat.” While he hops into the car parked in front of ours and follows Jared around the side to the garage, Wills disappears on foot toward the backyard.

“Alone at last with my Tarzan,” Rose giggles.

I hate that we can’t be totally alone, but Kates’s guys are discreet.

Hoisting the duffel bags over one shoulder, I wrap my other arm around my fiancée and lean to the side so that she’s off the ground. “Wanna swing from my tree?”

“Cole!” She tries to look affronted, but the blush staining her cheeks gives her away.

“Don’t worry. I’ll let you take off my loincloth.”

Chuckling, I put her down and we cross the threshold. A grin steals over my face; someday soon, I’ll be carrying my bride over a threshold.

Rose takes a few steps and stops in the oversized, white-walled family room oriented toward the view, featuring a baby grand, a huge sectional and a fireplace. She sucks in her breath. “Wow.”

Her reaction is spot on. The entire wall beyond the piano is made of glass, making it feel like the room itself is on the ocean. Rose wanders to explore the kitchen. I take the stairs two at a time and deposit our luggage in the master bedroom.

From downstairs, Rose calls, “There’s a hot tub on the deck! Come down here, Cole—you have to see this view. It’s breathtaking!”

Bounding down the steps to the cadence of French doors opening, I catch a glimpse of her highlighted hair as she disappears onto the deck. I detour to the kitchen, open the fridge and take out a bottle of champagne and the fruit and cheese platter I had requested. From the cabinet above my head, I select two flutes and rummage around until I find a small dishtowel. Balancing everything, I head outside.

“Let me help.” Rose relieves me of the platter and brings it over to the glass table on the side of the deck.

Following her lead, I set the glasses next to the fruit. Deliberately, I angle the champagne bottle toward her as I place the dishtowel on top and open it with a loud pop.

“Oh!” She jumps back when the bubbly sprinkles on her dress.

“Sorry,” I say insincerely. “Let me help you with that.”

She wipes at the splatter with her hands. “Hand me that towel,” she commands.

Grinning, I shake my head. “I’ve got another idea.”

Quickly depositing the bottle and towel on the table, I reach for the hem of her dress. She swats halfheartedly at my hands, but I only tighten my grip on the fabric. Giggling, she raises her arms over her head. In two seconds flat, I whisk the material off her body and step forward so her chest is pressed against mine. My hands wander down to her ass and squeeze.

With Rose, my heart sings so loudly, I can’t hear any of the chaos around us.

I take her lips in a passionate kiss. Her hands tangle in my hair while our tongues dance. Her hips rock into me.

She draws back, face flushed. “I can’t wait. I need you now.”

Me, too, Ro. Now and always. I groan and walk her toward the deck’s railing, all the while kissing her sexy mouth, lips, eyes, nose.

I give her a last, long kiss and turn her to face the ocean in front of us. She grasps the railing and looks over her shoulder at me, exuding self-confidence and full-on desire. Placing my knee between her legs, I widen her stance. My hands lift her boobs from the cups of her bra and I play with her nipples. Squeezing. Pinching. Flicking.