Page 83 of Hopeful Hearts

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Brodie finished the last of his phone calls from his truck. He didn’t want to take his work inside and it would only stress Sophia out if she overheard how hectic things were without Emmet.

Since they’d never made any formal arrangements with respect to their business, he was now left with a million loose ends to make sense of and tie together.

He’d barely seen Emmet since the crash and he would never have dreamed of bothering him with anything work-related while he was facing a challenging recovery, so it all fell on Brodie’s shoulders.

It turned out Emmet’s diary was jam-packed for the next few months and although Brodie had learnt a thing or two about joinery from working alongside him these past few months, he wouldn’t in any way refer to himself as a professional. So, he was left in the difficult position of finding a replacement and fast, or cancelling work. He knew Mel and Robbie would step up if any of their kids needed financial support, but he was also aware of how alike his wife and Emmet were in this regard.

Both of them took a huge amount of pride in their work and poured themselves into it. They had worked hard to achieve financial independence in their own right. Not being able to earn a living had been one of the toughest things about being ill that Sophia had faced, and he knew Emmet would be no different. He had to find a way to keep things running smoothly, and it was turning out to be a full-time job and then some.

When he stepped inside, he found Sophia already snuggled under a blanket on the sofa and all of his worries melted away in an instant. Her hair was loose around her shoulders. Her shoulder’s bare save for the cotton bow ties of her pyjama top and her smile wide as soon as she met his gaze.

“I’m so happy you’re here.”

“Where else would I be?” She closed the book she was reading to give him her full attention, and he dumped his work bags on either side of his feet and kicked off his boots.

“It feels like we’ve both been so busy since you came home that I haven’t had a moment to have you all to myself.”

“I’m not busy now,” she purred.

“So, I see.” His voice was low and husky and his hunger for her was obvious in his penetrating gaze as he maintained eye contact and crossed the room to be near her.

He let out a frustrated growl as he dropped into the seat, scooping up her feet and placing them in his lap. “You have no idea how much I want you right now.”

“So, tell me.”

“So badly. My balls are literally aching. It’s actually painful.”

She chuckled. “Poor baby.”

“How long until we can kiss? I need to feel your lips on mine. It’s been too long.”

“Doctor Gunner didn’t say I couldn’t kiss, he just said I need to be careful.”

“I know, but if I gave you an infection, I’d never forgive myself.”

Brodie looked like not kissing her was causing him physical pain, and she knew the feeling. When you’re hurting, all you want is to be close to the people you love, and she loved him and needed him more than ever.

Seeing her hazel eyes darken to chocolate brown and burn with lust was more than he could bear. He lowered his mouth and lifted her feet slightly. Enough not to hurt her but to be able to bite down on her toes and suck down on them.

She giggled, the way she always did when he touched her feet, but she didn’t wriggle. Her body was fragile, yet he knew she was desperate to experience pleasure again. The kind that only he could elicit.

Her fingers found his hair and pulled until he was forced to release her foot and look up at her for a second. Her eyes studied his, and he considered breaking the rules. Every part of him longed to make every part of her ache for him, the way his body was desperate for her, but he would never put her at risk. It wasn’t in his nature. He loved her too much to take any chances, and he tried to ignore the disappointment in her eyes when it appeared there.

“If I can’t kiss you on the mouth, then I intend to kiss every other inch of your body. That is, if it’s okay with you.”

She bit down on her bottom lip and looked to the ceiling as though considering her options. But he was already sliding off the sofa. Dropping to his knees to gain a better position, he lifted the knitted blanket and disappeared underneath.

When he found her nipples, he sucked and licked over them until she was writhing and moaning his name. His fingers found her pyjamas, and he moaned when he discovered she was naked underneath her loose pyjama shorts.

“I have to touch you.”

“Not yet. It’s not safe,” she whispered. Desperate to feel his touch, too.

“You’re right, I shouldn’t be pushing you like this. I’m sorry. It’s just, you’re so damn hot.”

Sophia closed her eyes and settled back into the pillow. “Tell me what you would do, if you could.”

“Easy,” he growled. “I’d touch you here,” his fingers slipped under her pyjamas and cupped her for a few seconds. His sweaty palm caused a rush of heat to her centre. “And, I’d keep taking you all the way to the edge and back again until you were crazy with desire.”

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