Paper Princess Page 69

“Ella?” he prompts, with humor in his voice.

“What?” I shake myself. “Oh I’m sorry. It was Brooke. She was coming out of my bedroom. Or at least I think it was my bedroom.”

Callum’s room is on the other side of the house. The sweeping staircase bisects the two wings and the boys’ rooms are on one side and Callum’s room is on the other. Guest rooms are on the first floor. There was absolutely no reason for Brooke to be on our side of the house.

Reed frowns and starts to move toward the door.

“She left,” I tell him. “I saw her car heading down the drive before I came out here.”

“We need to change the gate code,” he mutters.

“Mmm-hmm.” I can’t stop staring.

Before I can blink, Reed lifts me in his arms and throws me in the pool.

I land with a huge awkward splash, spitting up water as I kick up to the surface. “What was that for?” I yell, pulling wet strands of hair away from my face.

He grins wickedly. “You looked like you needed cooling off.”

“You’re one to talk!” I swing myself onto the tiled surround and lunge for him.

He skates away easily. There’s no point in chasing him. He’s bigger and faster than me, so I have to resort to trickery.

I pretend to bang my foot against a lounger.

“Ouch!” I holler and stagger over to the pool’s edge where I bend down and clutch my foot.

Reed comes over immediately. “You okay?”

I lift my supposedly hurt foot up for his inspection. “I stubbed my toe.”

He leans down and I push him into the water.

He surfaces immediately, whipping his head around to get the water out of his eyes. Then he grins. “I let you do that.”

“Sure you did.”

I watch with fascination as the water clings to his body. He beckons me toward him. “We’re both wet so you might as well get your pretty ass in the pool.”

“Why? So you can dunk me?”

“I won’t dunk you.” He holds up two fingers. “Scout’s honor.”

I squint at his spread fingers. “I think that’s the Vulcan greeting, not a Scout’s pledge.”

He slaps a hand hard against the surface and a huge wave of water sprays over me. “Smart ass. The Vulcan greeting is four fingers. Now don’t make me come out there.”

“I’m only getting in because I want to, not because you ordered me to.”

Reed rolls his eyes and sprays me again.

I back up and then run hard, launching myself high in the air and then curling into a ball to drop right beside Reed. I hear him hoot with laughter as I sink into the water.

We spend about ten minutes trying to drown each other.

In the process, I might have tugged his shorts down a little too far and he might have grazed my bikini top with his hand. My body responds immediately to even that light caress.

The next time I dive for his hips, he wraps his hands around my wrists and hauls me up to the surface. He drags me backward until he’s sitting on the ledge that surrounds the pool and I’m standing in front of him, still in the water.

“You think you can depants me, huh?”

“I was just swimming.” I blink. “I’m innocent, officer.” I raise my still shackled wrists.

Reed flicks a finger over my breast. “You don’t look innocent.”

In retaliation, I run my foot along his calf and smile smugly as he shifts uncomfortably against the tile.

“It’s cold out here,” I say. “Anyone would nip out.”

“If you’re cold, I should warm you up.” He takes his free hand and nudges aside my bikini top until I’m fully exposed.

I think I’ve always closed my eyes before when he’s touched me here, and it’s shockingly erotic to watch him, in broad daylight, take me into his mouth. He gives me a gentle little bite and then licks the sting away before opening his mouth and sucking my nipple.

Holy hell.

“I, ah, I think I’m going to drown in here.” I gasp.

He lifts his head and gives me a wicked look. “We can’t have that.” Then he boosts me out of the pool and drags me to the pool house.

* * *

Breathless, we tumble onto the couch, then Reed rolls onto his back and pulls me on top of him so I’m straddling his thighs. We’re both soaking wet, but I don’t care that my hair is dripping water all over his bare chest. I’m too busy moaning because his hands are tugging on my bikini top and his hips are rocking up against me.

He pulls at the strings around my neck and back, and my bikini falls off. Heat instantly floods his gaze. “I wanted you from the second I saw you,” he confesses.

“Really?” I tease. “You mean when I walked into your house for the first time and you stood up at the railing glaring at me?”

“Oh yeah. You came in dressed like a hobo, with that flannel shirt buttoned all the way to your neck and your eyes blazing up at me. It was the hottest thing I’ve ever seen.”

“I think we have different definitions of hot.”

He laughs.

Speaking of hot, his chest is on fire, burning my palms as I stroke his pecs. When I lean down to kiss him, he responds so eagerly that it takes my breath away. Our lips fit perfectly. I run my hands over his chest and his breath sucks in. The muscles there quiver beneath my fingertips.

I love knowing that I’m the one turning him on. I’m turning on Reed Royal, the guy who scowls instead of smiles, who keeps his emotions under lock and key, hiding them from the world.

He’s not hiding anything right now. His desire for me is written all over his face. I can feel it when he presses against me.

I bend my head to kiss him again and he makes me gasp by sucking on my tongue. Then he makes me moan by using his thumbs to toy with my nipples.

Breathing hard, I lean into his palms, and a frustrated noise leaves his mouth.

“I’m being selfish again,” he mutters.

“I like it when you’re selfish,” I breathe.

He gives a strangled laugh, then rolls us over again and slips one hand inside my bathing suit bottoms.

“I wanna make you feel good.” His lips find mine, and a zing of pleasure races through me. I close my eyes and ride the incredible waves of sensation until we’re both breathing hard enough to fog up every pane of glass in the pool house.

Prev Next