Best and Honor

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Chapter 13

Sophie

The air is still warm as it whips across my skin, bringing with it the smell of salt. I tuck a thin strand of hair that has escaped behind my ear to keep it from blowing in my face as the preacher goes quickly through an outline of what will take place on the real wedding day. I chance another glance at Andrew and see him watching me, his eyes never shying away regardless of who might catch him looking. My skin heats up again with thoughts of his touch.

Of course I agreed to stay with him tonight. Now I just have to get through this practice and back up to his room before I overheat and pass out from excitement alone. His lips curl up and I wonder if he’s thinking the same thing as me. Clapping pulls me from my thoughts and I quickly catch up, making sure to focus my attention back on the bride. She looks so happy standing with Evan and for the first time since arriving I’m actually feeling happy for her.

Evan and Rachel turn to face their audience and begin the walk from the alter to the back of the chairs. He holds her hand and tugs her along, not once making eye contact with me. I think that’s for the best. I take a few steps up to meet my escort down the aisle and allow my eyes to sweep up his fitted black slacks and along the hard silhouette of his broad chest. When my eyes meet his he leans in and whispers, “That was torture. How much longer until you’re mine?” I feel my cheeks turn pink. With a wink, he offers me his arm and I tuck my hand into the curve and let him lead me past the small audience.

My heart is beating so quickly I can feel my pulse in my neck. I catch the scent of his cologne as it mixes with the salty smell of the breeze and it fills my lungs causing warmth to spread through me. I can feel the pull and flex of his muscles under my palm and I love that even in my heels he’s tall enough I have to look up to catch him looking down at me. His jaw is flexed and the smooth, freshly shaved skin looks so heavenly I want to slide my lips across it.

“I’m so excited! It’s almost time for the real deal!” Rachel’s voice pierces my trance and I shake off the haze of lust that was clouding my thoughts. Her hand encircles my free wrist and she pulls me into her chest in a too tight squeeze. Suddenly we are bouncing as she jumps up and down in the sand.

“It’s going to be perfect,” I answer with the tiny breath of air she hasn’t forced from my lungs. I love her. Even through my broken heart, I’d never given up on our friendship. I wrap my arms around her and let myself feel hopeful that one day things will be like they were before. When she finally releases me, I turn back to Andrew. His chin is tucked down and he is peering at me from beneath his dark lashes. His hands are tucked into his pockets and in this moment he’s the sexiest vision I’ve ever seen.

“We’re all going to go out for drinks.” Evan’s voice behind me causes my back to stiffen. Andrew’s eyes flick up from mine and his smile drops. I hate that I have anything to do with the growing tension between them. Andrew has done nothing wrong; in fact, he tried hard to make sure I knew how his best friend felt about me. There is harshness in Evan’s tone that almost brings down the butterflies that have been circling in my stomach with the dirty thoughts of my night to come.

“Where?” Andrew asks with a smile I know is forced.

“Cocktails. They have pitcher’s of margaritas and a DJ,” Evan answers before turning back to the rest of the bridal party.

I know that Andrew is doing me a favor by not walking right next to me as the group migrates down the strand towards the bar not far from our hotel. I can hear the music when we get close and I wonder how long it will take before we can slip out unnoticed by the others. He may not be right next to me, but he’s ever present in my thoughts.

The bar is crowded for a weeknight. The dance floor is packed with young men and women, grinding and moving together in a way that feels both sexy and illicit to be seeing. I take a seat at a tall tabletop and watch as Andrew takes one a few chairs down and across from me. One of Rachel’s bridesmaids sits down next to him, batting her eyelashes and leaning in a little further than necessary to reach for a margarita glass. I feel jealousy hit me like a hot spear to my gut. I also feel my phone vibrate from inside my clutch. I take my eyes off the woman and see Andrew’s face. His brow is raised and he has a small smirk on his face as he watches me.

Andrew: You didn’t answer my question. How long before we can get out of here and away from sloppy over here?

I smile at his text and look up again. This time he’s holding his hands together as if he’s praying and his bottom lip is tucked so sexily between his teeth. I wonder if anyone would notice if I climbed up on this table and crawled my way across to him. I know we need to hang out for at least an hour so there’s a possibility people will be buzzed enough to not notice our disappearance.

Me: Hour?

Andrew: No fucking way. I can’t take an hour. Did you even look in the mirror? You’re lucky I’m a gentleman—you look good enough to eat.

Me: Thank you. If you like the dress you should see what I have on underneath it.

Andrew: Are you trying to see how long it takes me to throw you over my shoulder and leave this bar caveman style?

I laugh again and this time when I look up I notice the annoyed look on the bridesmaid’s face. I guess she isn’t very happy with his attention being on his phone instead of her. Her face lights up again when the third pitcher of margaritas is set on the table. I put my phone on my lap and suck the sweet and sour liquid through the straw, taking a second to lick a small trail along the rim of my glass to taste the salt before taking another sip.

Andrew: So sexy. I need to touch you. Follow my lead.

I feel the hot rush of the alcohol as it pulses through my veins and my eyes grow hazy. Andrew is looking at me with such intensity it feels like he could actually scorch my skin. Forget about butterflies, there are birds in flight in my stomach and I squeeze my legs together as the heat of his gaze makes me ache for him. He doesn’t turn around right away, looking at me as he takes a few steps back and towards the crowd of people dancing. When he reaches the outer edge of dancers he turns and I lose sight of him within the writhing bodies.

Glancing around the table, I see that no one is really paying attention now that the drinks are flowing and the music is flooding through the speakers making the chatting guests have to huddle around each other in order to hear. I slip from my chair and enter the moving ocean of bodies. I’m searching, but I can’t seem to find him in the crowd. When I’m about to give up, I feel hands on my hips from behind. I can smell his familiar cologne and feel a slight pinch of his fingers as he pulls me back against his hard chest.

“How was that salt, sweetheart?” His voice is gravely as his breath whispers across my ear and down my neck. “First the strawberry and now the salt. That mouth of yours is driving me mad. I want to feel it on me.” I close my eyes and mold my body to his, moving with the music as I lift my arms and wrap them around his neck.

His hands slide down from my hips and I feel his fingers on my thighs just past where the lace falls against my skin. Slowly he begins to pull the hem of my dress up so his fingers can sear a burning trail up my thighs. I arch my back slightly, letting my ass press into his groin and can feel the evidence of his excitement as I grind against him. With this, his hands abandon my thighs and move up to my waist, spanning out on my abdomen and moving up until they rest just under my breasts, his fingers resting on the curve teasing, but not crossing the line.

I’m so glad I decided to pull my hair up because his lips brush against my bare neck and down my shoulder. When he moves them back up to my ear, he alternates small kisses and gentle nips until I feel weak and drunk on lust. I tip my head to the side so he can lick across the soft skin. A little moan escapes my lips and I hear the hiss of his breath behind me before his hands are back on my hips, spinning me around to face him.

Without any care for who might see us, he wraps one hand around the back of my neck, tangling his fingers into my hair. He pulls me to his mouth and I go willingly, needing his mouth on mine like I need air to breathe. His tongue slides along my bottom lip before lightly entering my mouth, coaxing my own tongue out to play. He tastes like tequila and salt, the best combination for making a tingling energy gather at my core. I want this man so bad I’m aching.

His hand at my hip moves down to my ass and he cups me and pulls higher as he parts my legs with one of his own. I feel the heavy fabric of his slacks as it brushes the inside of my thighs when my hips move closer to him. My dress hikes up, allowing me to get close enough I feel his thigh rub gently between my legs. I suck in a breath at the contact and he stills when my hands twist into his sweater to pull him to me like a lifeline.

I have never felt like this before about a man. I might have loved Evan, but he never got me this worked up. All thoughts of being seen by the others in the bridal party have left my brain. All I can think about his how badly I want to explore his body with my hands and tongue. I want to see his muscles flexing over me and smell his delicious scent as I bury my face in his neck.

His hand leaves the back of my neck and I feel his fingertips at the hem of my skirt again. I pull my face away from his enough that he can surely see the need I’m feeling for him in my eyes. My bottom lip is so tightly gripped by my teeth I wonder if I’m going to taste the slight coppery taste of blood soon. His eyes are just as needy as mine, slightly hooded with desire as he watches me react to the feel of his rough fingertips brushing under my dress hem and slowly moving to my panties.

The bar is dark and the dancers are all so close to us that it’s actually proving the perfect amount of privacy. He’s waiting for me to tell him to stop, but I can’t. My brain is flooded with euphoria as he builds my desire with each inch his fingers conquer. As the music pulses and vibrates around us, the fingers of his right hand move between my legs, lightly brushing the outside of my lacey panties, shooting a jolt of pleasure through my body that has my head falling back.

Just as quickly as they stroked across me, they’re gone and his lips are back on my neck, this time a little rougher and full of hunger. I tip my head up again and lick and suck my way up his neck to his ear. I love the moan of his pleasure as I taste his skin and feel the beat of his heart in his neck. He wants this as badly as I do and that’s a very intoxicating thought. When I finally reach his ear, he’s grinding against me, helpless to relieve the building sexual tension in this very public place. “Take me to your room,” I whisper.

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