More Than Friends

More Than Friends by Barbara Delinsky Read Free Book Online

Book: More Than Friends by Barbara Delinsky Read Free Book Online
Authors: Barbara Delinsky
    "The same."
    Leigh moved closer to Jon, who opened an arm to her. It was a gentle gesture, a protective one. It was also a grown-up one and gave Annie nearly as much pause as the fact of their being in bed together. She remembered when they were babies, then toddlers, then schoolkids, then preteens. They had been best friends all that time, and though everyone assumed they would one day branch out and go their own ways, that had never happened. Like saplings taken root side by side, they had grown taller and more shapely with their boughs intertwined. Annie guessed the future would be more of the same.
    What worried her was the possibility of their spawning a sprout. So she said, "You know how your mom feels about this, Leigh."
    "Not really. She doesn't talk much about sex. I don't think she likes it."
    "Of course she likes it," Annie argued. Teke had never complained about sex to her, and they'd been the best of friends for years. "I think she's afraid of giving you guys ideas."
    The two in the bed exchanged a look.
    "What?" Annie prodded.
    Jon said, "We already have ideas. Hell, Mom, half our friends are doing it. And these walls aren't made of stone. We hear you and Dad."
    Annie blushed. "You do not. We're very careful." The words were barely out of her mouth when the phone rang. The color drained from her face.
    Jon picked up before she could reach it. After infinitely long seconds, during which her fear for Michael went wild, he said, "It's for Dad. The Globe."
    "Oh, God," she breathed in relief, then added, "Poor Dad. Such an incredible milestone in his
    career." Wishing nothing more for Sam at that moment than that he could bask in the glory he deserved, she returned to her own bedroom. Sam was emerging from yet another shower. He knotted a towel around his waist and picked up the phone.
    Sinking down against the headboard, Annie pulled the quilt to her waist. Watching him was a pleasurable activity. She had been doing it for more than twenty years and hadn't tired of it once. He had aged well. His body was more defined--shoulders broader, hips more lean, chest hairier. Years of smiles had etched joy lines by his eyes. His hair was thick, cocoa-colored, and well styled, as was the mustache that had matured along with him.
    His face was drawn now, though. He was heartsick about Michael.
    "They wanted a statement," he told her as he hung up. Pushing aside the quilt, she rose to her knees and wound her arms around his neck. His skin was damp and clean-smelling. She rubbed her cheek against his jaw. "I'm so proud of you, Sam. This case was an incredible one to win."
    "The time was right," he said quietly.
    "Not the time. You. Another lawyer wouldn't have done what you did. From the start the case promised to be a killer, yet you took it on with no promise of pay."
    "Yeah," he said, the voice of self-derision, "and now I'm cashing in."
    She took his face in her hands. "You worked hard. You deserve your percentage." But that wasn't the main point. "You went out on a limb for a cause. It takes a sensitive, dedicated man to do that. I just wish the timing had been different. I wish you could be ecstatic."
    "Yeah. Well."
    She looped her arms around his neck. "I wish we could. I'm sorry I missed you yesterday. I took my TAs to lunch. I haven't had much of a chance to get to know them. I couldn't have missed you by more than half an hour."
    He stared unhappily at the window.
    "Michael will be fine, Sam."
    He made a pained sound and looked down at her. His eyes moved over her face with a mix of sadness and hunger. His arms went around her and, for a minute, held her so tightly that they shook.
    "He'll be fine," she whispered.
    "I love you."
    "Oh, Sam."
    He gave her a deep, desperate kiss--but broke it off when his body began to harden. Annie might have wished it differently, but she understood. He had to get dressed and head into town. She had to get the kids fed, dress herself, and get to school.
    Fortunately, getting the

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