Liam shifted again, the arm wrapped around her waist moving back until his hand rested on her hip. Such an innocent place to touch, yet, the feel of his warm hand there sent a fire through her veins. She wanted more. Wanted it so badly she was sure he could feel it whenever he looked at her.
But she was afraid of the consequences.
If she invested any more of her heart into the man, she wouldn’t make it when the time came to leave. And she would leave. There were too many things to resolve back home before she could move on without the need to look back. Her parents at least needed that from her.
“Are ye awake?” Liam mumbled sleepily.
She kept her eyes shut and refused to accept that her sanctuary was about to move away from her.
She felt Liam’s breath on her neck and his fingers at her hip contracted. Her pulse quickened and this time she couldn’t force her eyes to stay shut. They fluttered open, only to shut once more from the bright sunlight shining through the window.
Goose bumps raised on her skin and Liam’s breaths came quicker. She felt not only his breath, but his lips touch the back of her neck before he sighed.
His fingers relaxed and he ran the palm of his hand up her waist and along the back of her arm. His lips once more touched the sensitive skin of her neck and a shiver ran down her spine.
“Isabelle, I need…” He groaned softly when she moved her leg to a more comfortable position between his. “God, I don’t want to move.”
“Don’t move,” she whispered.
He dropped his forehead to her hair and inhaled deeply. “I need to get up, love. I promised Ma I’d help her today and I’m already late.”
Isabelle pouted and shook her head. “Just a few more minutes.”
She felt him laugh before his arm wrapped around her waist once more and his lips returned to the back of her neck. “Yer impossible to say no to.”
Her pout disappeared and in its place came a beaming smile. “I’ll remember that.”
“See that ye do.”
Liam’s shoulders were well out of the water and he grinned down at her. “Ye look like yer strugglin’.”
She shook her head, only to let out a yelp when Liam scooped her up in his arms and tossed her through the air. She came up sputtering for air and glared at him. He was already swimming towards her and she screamed, trying to swim away. He was too fast, though, and she was laughing too much to really concentrate on swimming.
He grabbed her ankle and tugged her back through the water, turning her in the process. She shrieked again before he pulled her against him and without thinking, Isabelle wrapped her legs around his waist as he kept them above the water.
It could have been the dead of winter and she wouldn’t have felt the cold. The heat of Liam’s body against hers threw her stomach into a fluttering frenzy.
“That’s better,” Liam whispered.
Their faces were inches away and Izzy could feel his breath on her chin, cooling her wet skin. One of Liam’s arms came around her and he kept them afloat with his legs, treading the water and ignoring everyone else around them.
Izzy could barely breathe.
“I don’t think I can stop myself from kissing ye, Isabelle, so if ye don’t want it, tell me now. Because there’s no turning back if I do.”
Isabelle’s mind went completely blank. She couldn’t quite process the rest of the words after he said ‘kissing’ and it was in that hesitation that Liam came closer. His lips touched her chin so gently, waiting for her permission to move higher.
Isabelle Brannock was adored by her children in every possible way. Her ability to love reflects in each of them and to this day, they remember the never ending happiness she and their father, Liam, shared. However, life wasn’t always beautiful and their magnificent mother kept her dark secrets buried away so her children would always remember that family is the most important thing.
Liam Brannock has watched his children find that same happiness he knew so well and, as a father, he couldn’t be prouder. Knowing that the struggles each of them endured were worth the sacrifices they made to find the love of their lives, he finally feels content with revealing the secrets Isabelle worked so hard to keep.
Liam tells his children the story of how he met their mother and the secrets they never suspected would be possible for a woman who lived each day showing her children that love conquers all.
For readers 18+ due to sexual content.
Note to readers:
This is Liam and Isabelle’s story as well as updates on Ash, Con, and Gus.
This cannot be read as a standalone.
Book 1 – Leverage
Book 2 – Conned
Book 3 – Missing
Book 4 – Protector