Are you kidding me! She thought feeling the corded muscle under her hand. A resort owner should not be this buff! What reason does he have to keep his body so perfect!
“True, but the only reason for that was because we were both worried about Riana.”
His shoulder flexed under her hand and the grip on her hand tightened, swallowing her hand completely.
She held back a groan, from pure sexual agony. He keeps this up, and I’m going to be like a bitch in heat!
When he went silent, she gave in and looked up at him. He was staring to the side, a shy smile playing on his lips, and when she followed his gaze it was settled on Riana. She was cuddled in Allan’s arms, her head on his chest, her eyes closed and a sweet smile on her lips. She looked content and at peace, happy to be in his arms.
“She doesn’t resemble the lost girl she was two months ago.”
Reno grunted his response.
She looked back up at him and noticed the glisten in his eyes and her heart warmed. She moved the hand on his shoulder close enough to his face to caress his cheek with her thumb.
“It’s wonderful to see how much you love her. You did a great job with her and Aurora.”
He grunted again, the arm at her waist tightening as he pulled her closer to him until they touched from chest to knee. She went willingly, knowing there was nothing sexual about it. He needed the closeness, to be comforted. Reno looked like a boy who’d just had to give up his favorite toy to a kid who needed it more. He was sad about losing it and yet happy to give it up to someone who’d love it very much.
He’d had the same look on his face when he handed Riana over to Allan at the altar. He’d hugged her, a little longer than normal, before he stepped to stand behind Matthew. For a second, Loraine thought he was about to pick Riana up throw her over his shoulder and make a mad dash for the exit.
She couldn’t even imagine the pain he must have gone through, being forcefully separated from her when he was deported all those years ago. And it must have hurt even more those four years he couldn’t go back to the States to see her after he forced Riana to stay.
Loraine wrapped her arms around Reno’s waist as they swayed from side to side, pressing her head against his chest over his heart, loving the rhythm of the hard beat. His arms came around her, wrapping her tightly against him as he rested his chin on the crown of her head.
“This wasn’t exactly how I planned my seduction.”
She smiled. She had a feeling he was after sluty wedding sex when he hit on her. “What? Showing your soft side and letting me see you aren’t the Don Juan you want me to believe you are?”
He chuckled, and she loved the feel of his shaking chest against her cheek. “Yeah, something like that.”
She turned her head up to look at him, her eyes meeting his for a breathless second before she spoke. “Don’t worry. The night is young and you have time to try again. I promise to act like it was your first try and I haven’t seen the big teddy bear you are. I’ll even act like a bitch, with the eye roll and disgruntled sighing.”
His eyes sparkled, the little green in them, more visible as he chuckled, shaking his head. “You are crazy, Lori!”
She smiled at the warm feeling that filled her chest. “No one has ever called me that.”
“What, Crazy Lori? To your face? I think that brave soul would be Aurora.”
She punched him and liked the resistance she met in his corded chest. “No you ass! Lori. Everyone, including Riana calls me Loraine.”
A dark brow rose. “I’m sure your parents had a nickname for you when you were a child.”
She snorted, looking away for a moment. “Yeah, sure. That would be equivalent to living like hippies for the Larsons.”
“Why Loraine Larson, are you a rebellious little rich girl? You are probably the black sheep and the bane of your parents’ existence.”
She stuck her tongue out at him and his humorous gaze turned dark with desire.
“You know, that can be interpreted as an invitation,” he whispered huskily.
He stared at her lips for a long moment. Then his head lowered and Loraine’s lips fell open, her heart beating erratically with anticipation.
“Reno…” And like that the spell was broken.
Damn it! Loraine let out a frustrated breath and turned to face the intruder. It was the other groomsman who weirdly looked so much like Reno, which didn’t make sense because he was one of Allan’s friends. It must be true that everyone had a look-a-like somewhere in the world.
“Yeah, Ruiz?” Reno’s voice was tight. Loraine smiled slyly. Probably as tight as his tenting pants.
He looked between her and Reno before he spoke, unsure. “Now may be a good time to… ah…” He looked down at her again before he turned to Reno.
He was nervous, she noted and wondered why. It was a good time for what?
She turned to Ruiz with a smile. “Hi, I’m Loraine, Riana’s best friend. Why is it a good time, for what and why are you so nervous?”
Reno chuckled, his hand pinching the side of her waist. “Aren’t you direct!”
“She’s kind of like a bulldog that way.” Allan commented as he and Riana came to a stop beside them.
Reno gave her an incredulous look. “You let him call you a bulldog but threatened to break my leg because I call you Crazy Lori?”
“He didn’t teach his daughter his fond nickname for me,” she responded sarcastically before turning her attention to Ruiz. He looked even more nervous with Riana standing next to him. “Hey, are you going to pee or are you going to spill your guts? Which one is it, because you look like you’re in dire need of a toilet?”
“Loraine!” Riana exclaimed amid the laughter coming from Reno and Allan. Ruiz just looked even more nervous turning a light shade of red.
“I’m your brother!” he blurted out, looking at Riana, silencing the two men. Riana looked at him wide eyed in complete shock.
“Oh wow, I didn’t see that one coming,” Loraine whispered in the silence. She looked around to see if anyone not in their group had heard the revelation. Aside from Matthew and Amy who looked intently at them from across the dance floor, no one else seemed to have noticed the bomb that had just been dropped.
Then Riana spoke, worsening the silence. “But you’re white?”
Loraine gapped at her friend for a few seconds before a bubble of laughter escaped her. “He says he’s your brother and you return with ‘you’re white’!” She pressed her lips together fighting to hush the laughter, when they all turned to stare at her. “I’m sorry. I know there is nothing funny about this situation, but I wasn’t expecting that response.” She took a deep breath fighting the laughter harder. “You know, it tends to happen when you share a white father,” She shrugged with a chuckle. “I’m just saying.”
Reno pinched her hard and she jumped with a yelp. “What the hell!”
“Reno, our father was white?”
And that killed all the humor when Loraine realized that when Riana confessed that she knew nothing about her father, she really meant nothing. Ah hell!