CHAPTER 13

Rachel sat back down, her emotions all awry, and she watched him stomp up the stairs. She took another long sip of her drink, and chewed on a nail reflectively. She was surprised at how quickly he got upset and had not meant for the discussion to go in that direction.

She finished her drink slowly, and then climbed the stairs, heading toward the bathroom to clean her teeth and scrub the makeup off her face. Turning off her light, she flung herself on her bed, her thoughts churning. She lay in the dark for a while, and then with sudden determination, she got up and went into the large passage, up to the bedroom where John was, and opened the door.

"John, we need to talk," she said, turning on the overhead light. John had just dropped off to sleep, and he sat up in surprise, mouth open, blinking at her. The sheet slipped down to his waist, and all of a sudden the urges Rachel had been feeling earlier returned with a vengeance. She stared at his naked chest and all rational thought fled.

"What's the matter?" he asked, his blue eyes wide. "Rachel what's wrong?"

She ran her tongue over her suddenly dry lips and reluctantly raised her gaze to the stunned

expression on his face.

"Everyone thinks we have slept together," she whispered. "I wasn't saying it to get you upset. I was saying it because I think it's time we made it come true. I want you to make love to me."

He stared at her in shock, unable to say anything. She came closer, and sat down on the bed, fighting to overcome her desire to run her hands over his breathtaking body.

"Here?" he asked, still trying to make sense of what she was asking. "Now?"

She nodded, unable to say anything else, not wanting to beg but prepared to if necessary.

"In your parent's house?" he asked in shock. "With your father about to come home?"

Her lips twitched, and she started to smile.

"I am nearly 30 years of age," she said to him. "Way past the age of consent. And so are you."

"In your parent's house?" he asked again, blinking at her.

She nodded, and licked her lips again. "Unless, of course, you don't want to." she said, and this time she did put her hand on his chest, right over his heart, and closed her eyes feeling the warmth of his skin.

He reached out and put his hand on the back of her neck, and pulled her closer, so she lost her balance and fell across his body. He cupped her face, and kissed her, and she kept her eyes closed, as a tingling sensation started in her toes and swept through her body.

She kissed him back urgently, shrugging out of her dressing gown, demanding more and matching his exploration with her own. Her excitement intensified, and she became almost aggressive in her need, running her hands over his body, touching him and opening herself to his touch. It was quick, hard and excitingly orgasmic, and left them both gasping for breath and completely satiated.

He collapsed down on top of her, breathing fast, and then rolled to the side, putting one arm around her and holding her tight.

"Oh God," she gasped, lifting her head off his shoulder. "I didn't even turn off the light."

She looked down at him, waiting for the bite of embarrassment, but all she felt was relaxed and satisfied.

He smiled up at her, blue eyes sleepy, and she dropped her head back onto his shoulder, happy when his arm stayed around her.

"You know I'm scared of your father, right?" he asked. "Did you lock the door?"

She nodded and squirmed with contentment, heaving a happy sigh, and reached up to a switch on the side of the headboard, turning out the light and plunging the room into darkness.

"I'll go back to my own room in a sec," she whispered, "I'm sorry I seduced you John, blame it on a six or eight really rotten months, and a hard week leading up to the wedding, and lots of champagne. We are still friends, right? I mean, this isn't going to change anything, is it?"

"Well I was hoping you will give me another chance," he whispered back. "I mean, I was asleep, I have had about five hours sleep in the last 48, and we are in your parents' house. Not good odds for a great performance. I was going to apologize to you and promise to do better next time."

She laughed quietly and put her arm over his chest. "There was nothing wrong with your performance," she said. "Friends?"

"Friends," he said. "Maybe friends with benefits?" he added hopefully.