Free Week, Day Two

The Only One's first free day went extremely well, with just over 3300 downloads! Today's been a bit slower, but still steady, with just over 700 downloads so far. Here's hoping some of these will lead to new reviews ;)

As promised, here's another excerpt, this one a little bit steamier than yesterday's. If you haven't yet already downloaded your copy, hopefully this will entice you to do so...

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The brief ride to his building was silent and awkward, and Piper's stomach fluttered anxiously as she stared out the window. She kept feeling his gaze on her, and she took a shallow breath, wondering if she could actually follow through with her decision.

When they arrived at his building, the driver popped the trunk, and Richard lifted his suitcases out, setting them on the sidewalk. He thanked the driver, and then bent to lift his suitcases, gently rebuking Piper when she tried to help.

They headed up to his floor, and Piper hurried to unlock the door, holding it open so he could enter, and then followed him inside, closing the door behind them.

"Welcome home," she said softly, the corner of her mouth rising as she held out her hand, the apartment keys dangling from a small ring.

"For a little while, anyway," he replied, taking the keys from her and very nearly catching her fingers in his.

"Everything you ordered is here and in place, per your instructions," she informed him as she moved into the living room, wiping her palms on her skirt.

Richard nodded, peering around the space as he moved to deposit his suitcases in the bedroom, spending a couple of minutes inside before reemerging to further explore. He'd removed his coat and suit jacket, and now absently unbuttoned his cuffs as he moved into the living room, rolling the sleeves up his forearms a little.

He ran his hand along the dark fabric of the wide sofa, keen eyes inspecting the coffee and side tables, fingers brushing against the curtains on the windows. The office, spare bathroom, and kitchen followed, and when he finished he turned towards her with a soft smile.

"It's all perfect. Thank you, Piper."

"You're welcome," she replied, smiling back.

"I'd ask if you want a drink," he began as he started to move towards the bedroom once more, tugging his tie loose and then unbuttoning the top button of his shirt, "but I've yet to stock the bar. That's always been one thing I prefer to select entirely on my own."

Piper took a breath, glancing away as she smoothed her hands over her skirt again.

"That's all right. I should go, anyway," she murmured, reaching for her purse. "It's late, and I'm sure you're tired."

Richard looked at her as she started for the door, slowly pulling his tie from around his neck.

"If you need anything else, just give me a call," she continued, glancing over her shoulder as she neared the door.

Richard threw his tie onto his dresser and hurried after her. "Piper, wait!"

She paused just in front of the door, shivering at his words, her mouth falling open in a soft gasp. She'd hoped he would stop her, and knew she'd heard something new in that soft London accent she was so fond of.
He came to a stop in front of her, staring down at her with those damn eyes of his. Even in the dim lighting of the apartment, they were still so blue, and her breath caught at being this close to him again. His tie was gone, the first couple of buttons on his shirt undone, and it was all she could do to not stare at the small exposed section of his chest.

There was a brief moment of hesitation, and then he dipped his head, stopping just inches from her mouth. Her fingers tightened on the strap of her purse, her heart pounding hard as her gaze darted between his mouth and his eyes. She'd wanted this so bad, for so long, and she wasn't going to waste this chance again. She closed the distance between them, pushing up on her toes and pressing her lips to his.

Richard kissed her back without hesitation, his hand rising to her face as he caught her bottom lip between his, sucking on it gently. A quiet moan slipped from her, piercing right through him, and he pulled away, his hand sliding to her neck. He took a breath, closing his eyes and giving a small shake of his head. He wanted her to stay so badly, to find out exactly how she looked underneath that fitted black skirt and gold silk blouse, but he didn't want to make her feel like she had to.

There was a quiet beat, during which she studied his expression, feeling something slowly beginning to unravel inside of her. It was so obvious how much he wanted her, and even more how much he was holding himself back, and her stomach flipped at the idea that someone could want her like that, that she could be that desirable. It made her want more than just a kiss, and she took a shallow breath.

"Do you want me to stay?"

Richard looked up sharply at the quiet question, meeting her hazel eyes, gold and nearly glowing in the low lighting. He'd never wanted anything more, and the fact that she seemed to want it too made it difficult for him to find his voice.

"Yes," he finally whispered, undisguised want clinging to that one breathless word. His lips were parted, his eyes searching hers, and she could see again just how badly he wanted her.

A smile curved her lips as she reached up to twist the deadbolt on the door, locking it with a satisfying click. The security chain was next, and then her hand rose to the back of his neck, pulling him to her for another kiss.

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