Keeping promises is important to Ryan, but keeping his promise to his younger brother David will be hard. David’s final wish is for Ryan to watch over his wife and daughter, but Ryan’s been in love with Shannon for years. This holiday season, Ryan will learn he can keep his promise and still have his heart’s desire.
“I wasn’t going to dance with him.” Their gazes held for a long moment before Shannon asked softly, “Can I ask you a question, Ryan?”
“Is the only reason we’re dancing now because you felt duty bound to protect me?”
His surprised expression revealed it was the last thing he expected her to ask, as they swayed slowly beneath the dim lights. The wood dance floor was crowded, forced them to remain in a tight circle, and Shannon closer against him. The masculine scent of soap and man assailed her senses, drugging her until she was under his spell. Desire began to weave slowly through her system, intensifying when she felt his arousal.
“What do you think?”
She took a deep breath, as though to draw courage from it. “I think you’re a very honorable man. And because of that you’d protect anyone weaker than you, even someone you don’t particularly like.”
His gaze narrowed on her like a hawk zeroing in on prey. “You think I don’t like you?”
Shannon’s first thought was to say no, only how could she say that when his arousal was pressing against her? “I’m not sure what you feel about me, after all, we don’t know each other very well. But I get the impression that you don’t want to like me. Does being around me remind you too much of David? I know it must be painful…”
The mention of his brother’s name turned his expression to stone. A muscle began to twitch in his taut jaw. “Don’t mention David’s name again when you’re in my arms, Shannon,” he muttered through clenched teeth. The glare in his eyes held her captive. “You think I don’t like you? What is my body telling you?"
Shannon trembled from his words and lust rippled through her body in pleasurable waves. Her nipples hardened and tingled against Ryan’s chest. She was speechless, unsure if she should be offended or thrilled. She averted her gaze, afraid he would see the effect he was having on her.
As they continued to turn slowly around on the dance floor, her gaze sought out the rest of the family, thankful no one was paying them any mind. Her breathing accelerated. She was thankful the lighting in the bar was dim and when the song ended, she stepped out of Ryan’s arms.
Before she made a fool of herself.