She was cold. The skin of her arms and legs bumped like uncooked chicken. But her cheeks were hot. She could feel the blood heating there, and beating in her throat and in her chest, and pooling warm and liquid in her lower body.
Look before you leap. Think before you speak. Analyze before you act.
She would not be foolish like her mother or trusting like her sister, both of them mothers and alone before their thirties But how could she examine her options when all she could see was Patrick’s intent face? How could she hear herself think over the drumbeat of her blood?
He was the worst man in the world for her. A patient’s father, a grieving husband. A man too used to getting his own way and too aware of his effect on women.
But he had granted her rights, given her welcome, shared his house and his son and a piece of his soul with her. She admired him, perhaps more than any man she’d ever met. His utter reliability, the way he supported his mother and loved his son and was simply there for every member of his family in a way that no one had ever been there for her...Oh, she liked that a lot. It made her want him. It made her want to be there for him.
Kate might have held out against her own desire. She could not resist Patrick’s need.
She shivered, thinking of Wade Preston, the blond Apollo of Jefferson University Medical School. He’d told her he needed her. He’d even claimed to love her. But his need hadn’t outlasted their shared residency, and his love hadn’t survived the discovery of her background, so unsuitable for a doctor’s wife in Baltimore.
This is different, she thought, rubbing her hands nervously on the goose-bumped flesh of her thighs. Wade, pledging his future, had been miserly with praise and stingy in bed. Patrick promised her nothing. But she suspected, with a newfound feminine instinct, that he would be generous with his passion. At the very least, he seemed really to want her. And she wanted him.
The door opened, and he was there.
The Passion of Patrick MacNeill
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