A Distant Summer

A Distant Summer by Karen Toller Whittenburg Read Free Book Online

Book: A Distant Summer by Karen Toller Whittenburg Read Free Book Online
Authors: Karen Toller Whittenburg
Tags: Contemporary Romance
that came close—very close—to her waiting lips. She looked down and away from his softly searching regard, wanting, yearning to taste the remembered texture of his kiss and afraid, so afraid to yield to the moment. She stared hard at the dark pattern of his tie until his thumb nestled a gentle pressure beneath her chin. Then slowly, carefully, at his insistence, she raised her face to his and relinquished her apprehension to the hands that now cupped her shoulders, drew her closer.
    “Kristina.”
    Never had she heard a sound so low or so wondrously tender. Never had she needed a kiss so desperately or felt as if she were melting with the sheer knowledge that she was about to receive one. And with the first, tentative blending of lips she knew she would never forget these stolen seconds of enchantment. As his arms went around her, pulling her into his embrace, she moved willingly to savor the feel of his body against hers. A sensation of quiet pleasure rippled from her neck down her spine and ended in a faint tremor along her thighs. It was followed by a second and a third, and Kris found herself holding Tucker for the strength he represented.
    An endless spool of responses wound upward from her toes, downward from the heated joining of her lips with his, and outward from her soul. In those timeless moments Kris knew the magnitude of her bonding to this man. It was past mistakes and a future that could never be. It was lies and truth, deception and honesty, all the things she should have told him and all the words she would never say. He held her by a slender thread, a once-in-a-lifetime emotion, that stretched from her wild and reckless youth to the restraints and responsibilities of her present. It wasn’t going to end on Saturday. For now and always a part of her belonged with Tucker, and reclaiming it was beyond her ability ... and her will.
    The kiss deepened, became a languid desire, and ebbed to a reluctant retreat. When he drew back, then returned with a clinging, almost teasing series of caresses, Kris let her palms slide inside the nubbed fabric of his jacket. The silken lining against the backs of her hands felt warm; the pulsing heat beneath her fingertips was a heady rhythm that ached inside her. Tucker’s sigh whispered first to her tactile senses before she felt its breath on her face and heard its echo in her heart.
    She rested briefly in the sensual shelter of his arms before she looked up and lost her transient contentment to the tilt of his smile. A restless urgency tangled with years of carefully learned control. Kris pulled away and began a mindless rummaging through her purse for the room key.
    Without a word Tucker ended her search, unlocked the door, and gallantly offered the key. The cool metal against her fingers brought her gaze to his once again, but she could read nothing beyond the midnight intensity in his eyes. “Good night, Kristina,” he said, and bent to brush her mouth with tenderness one last time. Then he turned and walked away.
    She watched him walk out of sight before she stepped inside her room and closed the door. With movements that trembled more than a little, she secured the lock and laid her purse on the dressing table. She started to place the key beside it but paused. With a contemplative fingertip, she traced the outline of the key and wondered if Tucker had thought about coming in with her. Reason told her that he had. Intuition told her that even if she’d asked, he would have refused.
    It was unsettling, yet Kris was glad for the interlude. Tonight she would think about him, relive the past few hours, and fall asleep with the memory of his kiss. Whether he had sensed her doubts or simply offered her time to savor a sweet anticipation, Tucker had given her one more special moment to ensure that she would always remember. And as long as the fantasy lingered, she wouldn’t even try to forget.
    * * * *
    Morning came with the irritating jangle of the phone and the

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