The Things You Think You Want
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by Mary Eason
Description: Carrie Sinclair thought she knew exactly what she wanted from life until she came face-to-face with the bluest eyes in Texas. Caterer Carrie Sinclair thinks she has the perfect life and doesn't need a man to complete it. Her pudgy kitty Max is the man in her life, and that's enough for her. Then, quite by accident, she comes across the man of her dreams. Tyler Bennedict is perfect boyfriend material: Charming, sweet, rich, and incredibly sexy. No matter that he's made it clear he's not looking for a serious relationship. One night in his arms, and all her usual warning bells about men go silent. She should have listened to those bells, and to Aunt Mable. Enter Tyler's real estate tycoon father, Richard. He makes it relentlessly clear she is not the woman for his son, and comes up with creative ways to keep them apart until Carrie sees the light. In one fell swoop she swears off all men, closes her business, and gets out of Austin. But no matter how far and how fast you run, the unexpected bumps in the road have a way of revealing the truth and turning your life-and your heart-a complete 180.
eBook Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2007
eBookwise Release Date: March 2011
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [330 KB]
Reading time: 224-314 min.
"You were going to stand me up?" For a minute, I couldn't believe my eyes. Tyler Bennedict was actually standing on my doorstep asking me this question. I blinked, then blinked again, but he didn't disappear. "You never intended to come to the restaurant tonight, did you, Carrie?"
Okay, I admit, just the sight of him dressed in that dark gray pullover that accentuated his very fit body was reminding me of how I felt the last time he'd looked at me in this same way. It certainly had me rethinking all those promises I'd made to Steph.
"How did you know where to find me?" I tried corralling my wayward thoughts, which were clearly heading for places I had no business going. Not with Mr. Gorgeous standing in front of me reminding me of my long dry spell.
"I told you I would find out everything about you. You didn't believe me?" My conscience reminded me once more of all the dangers awaiting me if I let this man in my life. If I were smart, I'd push him out the door and lock it in his face.
"You were, weren't you? You were going to stand me up?" The look on Tyler's face said this was a first for him. I wished I could deny it, or say something terribly coy like, "Oh gee, was that tonight? I completely forgot about our date!" As if! Instead, all I could do was nod.
"Why?" If I hadn't heard the truth straight from Steph's mouth, I might be tempted to believe the hurt expression on Tyler's face right now was real. "What changed your mind?"
"I spoke to my friend. She told me you'd end up hurting me if I went out with you." I waited for him to deny what I'd said. Praying he would, hating that he didn't.
"Your friend is probably right." As Tyler continued to watch me, the look in his eyes took what was left of my breath away. Then I was in his arms. When he kissed me, his lips reassured me everything Steph had told me about him was true. This man was going to break my heart.
It wasn't as if I hadn't known this truth from the moment my gaze met his. I'd known his lips were going to taste good enough to leave me wanting more. I'd known, but I was powerless to stop it. It was fate, after all.
This is wrong, my conscience warned as the door closed behind Tyler.
I'd been so caught up in the touch of his lips against mine, strong, gentle, demanding that even after he ended the kiss, it took me a minute to regain my bearings. Did he feel this same helpless, out-of-control passion?
When I opened my eyes, Tyler Bennedict stood perfectly still, looking into my eyes, waiting for me. I didn't consider the consequences of our actions, I'd worry about those tomorrow. Tonight, I wanted him. Wanted to feel him next to me. Inside me. I took his face in my hands and claimed his lips. After a second's hesitation, he lifted me in his arms and carried me to my bedroom.
He closed the door hard enough to send pictures rattling against the wall with the force of a frustration he couldn't hide, before he laid me down on the bed.
Tyler wasn't giving me the chance to change my mind. I barely had time to do more than sit up, before he was there beside me. His fingers threaded through my hair forcing me to look at him.
"Carrie, I want you to be sure about this, because we both know where this is heading. We've known from the moment we met. So tell me now if this isn't what you want."
He was right. I'd known the second our gazes met this was going to happen. I wanted it to happen every bit as much as he did, and no amount of false modesty on my part was going to change that truth. Even if I wasn't able to admit it to myself.
I wanted Tyler Bennedict and I was willing to give him anything, everything in fact.
So why was I crying now? Tears fell from my eyes, making it impossible to see his reaction to them. He'd want to know why, but I couldn't even begin to explain my tears to him. I was disillusioned. I wanted to be loved. I wanted his love. I wanted this time to be special, but he only wanted sex.
Since I'd met Tyler, my actions had been motivated by my reaction to him, which was nothing akin to the way I would normally react to any guy's attention. Before Tyler, I would never have considered sleeping with someone on a first date, but then, this wasn't a first date. We hadn't gone out once. This was as out of character as it got for me and that was what was really scaring me. Even if I was powerless to stop it.
This was so wrong, my conscience continued, condemning me for a fool. But even as the words of retribution echoed through my mind, Tyler's gaze slid over me, taking away all rational thought. At that moment I didn't give a damn what was right or wrong. I wanted this. Him.
"Are you okay? You're crying."
"No, please, I'm fine. It's just..." That I'm scared to death because I've never felt this way before. I shook my head. I couldn't share any of those fears with him.
That he didn't believe me was easy to read. For a breathless moment, I believed he'd simply get out of my bed and leave me desperate for him.
Tyler let go of the breath he'd been holding onto before pulling me against him. He hands wondered over my body slowly, seductively...thoroughly. Leaving little doubt how much wanted me.
I should have been thrilled and part of me was. This was the man of my dreams, after all. But my head screamed just how sorry I would be once he was gone. And he would be. He would leave me and never look back. According to Steph, this was Tyler's style. He was not the type of man to pin my dreams on.