Home > Castle Hill (On Dublin Street #2.5)(7)

Castle Hill (On Dublin Street #2.5)(7)
Author: Samantha Young

Just an hour before Braden had finally managed to coax me into the sea. I hadn’t been too keen on entering the water, but it was so beautiful its tranquility and Braden’s persistence finally got to me and I decided to wade in.

Lulled by Braden’s patience, I was completely taken off guard when he dunked me.

You did not dunk Jocelyn Butler Carmichael and get away with it.

Thus commenced a water wrestling match that had children swimming out of the way to avoid us while their parents shot us dirty looks. Braden was cracking up. He would be. He was winning. It was only after he lifted me and cannonballed me into the water so hard that I almost lost my bikini top in front of the entire resort that he decided the game had hit its peak. I spluttered and coughed as he swam up to me and retied the strings of the bikini around my neck.

“Happy now?” I’d slapped water at him, throwing him a mock-dirty look.

He’d kissed my neck and wrapped his arms around my waist under the water. “Always.”

There really was no way to be crabby at an answer like that, so I’d let him off the hook, letting him lead me back to our loungers where we were currently drying out. Braden was lying on his stomach, his tall body too big for the lounger, but he seemed comfortable enough. I had turned onto my side, watching him doze in the afternoon sun. Everything about the moment was perfect. From the sound of the water lapping gently to shore, the cries of happy kids, the soft chatter of couples, the smell of suntan lotion and seawater, the tiny flutter of my husband’s lashes as he dreamed beside me . . .

I should be terrified.

It was a lot to lose.

That fear niggled at me and I determinedly pushed it back out.

“Why are you staring at me?” Braden asked quietly, eyes still closed against the sun.

“I’ve never seen you relax for this long. It’s nice.”

“It’s actually nice to be relaxing.”

Raising an eyebrow, I teased, “You’re telling me you’re not missing keeping busy?”

His eyes opened slowly, blinking in the sunlight. He shifted up onto his elbows. “I have uninterrupted access to my wife for the next two weeks. Believe me, I’m not missing a thing.”

A delicious shiver rippled through me and I leaned over so my mouth was almost touching his. “Them be fighting words.” I brushed my lips against his. “I think someone is trying to get into my bikini bottoms.”

“What do you mean, ‘trying’?” Braden grunted as he cupped his hand around the nape of my neck so his next words were muffled against my lips. I got the gist of it, though. Some cocky comment about having unhindered access to what was beneath my bikini bottoms. I bit his lip gently in retaliation, which only made him groan into my mouth and deepen the kiss.

Like always the world disappeared and I found myself balancing precariously half on, half off my lounger, clinging to Braden’s biceps as he drugged me with kisses that still knocked me off-kilter.

The sound of a sharp, playful child’s scream broke us apart, and I smiled ruefully as Braden brushed my lower lip with his thumb. He glanced over in the direction of the scream and my gaze followed his. A young boy was chasing what appeared to be his little sister, his delighted laughter and her mock-screams annoying a young couple that lazed near the spot of their antics.

Braden looked back at me. “We can return to the villa, lie by the pool, if the kids are bothering you.”

Frowning, I shook my head. I didn’t mind the kids. Their excitement and joy only added to the overall atmosphere of the resort. “The villa seems a long way away right now and I honestly don’t mind the kids.”

My reply caused Braden to tilt his head and ask in obvious surprise, “Really?”

I snorted and lay back down. “Really.”

“Well, that’s a good sign.”

The smile in his voice for some reason caused my stomach to flip. And not in a good way. “What’s a good sign?” I asked, not really sure if I wanted an answer or not.

“You. Not minding the kids.”

Yup, I definitely didn’t want the answer.

“If you don’t mind the noise of other people’s kids, then you’ll definitely not mind the noise our kids will make.”

He might as well have wrapped his hand around my throat. I tried to swallow past the constriction his words had caused and I knew I had to get up, walk away, do anything, so that I didn’t have a panic attack. So it wouldn’t be obvious he’d freaked me out I waited as long as I could before saying, “You want a drink? I’m going to get a drink.”

I felt his eyes on me as I shoved on my flip-flops and sunglasses, hurriedly tying my sarong around my waist. Not once did I look at him but I knew from his quiet, “Sure, babe,” I hadn’t been successful in keeping my freak-out to myself.

The whole time the bartender was making up our drinks the guilt clawed at me. I’d left Braden back there wondering what the hell had happened and if I was shutting him out. That was something I’d promised never to do to him again, and I had to keep that promise. With that in mind I took the drinks back to him and settled back onto my lounger.

After a few minutes of quiet I said, “Let’s go lie on our deck at the villa.”

Glancing over at Braden I found him staring at me, his brow puckered in consternation. “Why?”

I held his gaze and answered pointedly, “Because I like the peace and quiet. I want that for a while yet.”

Braden drew in a deep breath and slowly sat up to face me. Resting his elbows on his knees he leaned in and asked, “But one day you’ll want the noise, right?”

My heart started to bang around in my chest at the thought but I nodded tremulously. “Yes. But I just want it to be us for a while.”

Something dark I didn’t quite understand flashed in his eyes but he kissed me, cupping my face in his hand, and he murmured against my lips, “All right.”

When he pulled back his eyes moved behind me and he frowned at something. Feeling like there was definitely something off about his acquiescence, I asked, “You okay?”

I got a reassuring nod and he pulled back, standing up to gather his things.

Turning, I did the same, shoving my flip-flops back on and bending down to find my e-reader, which I’d hidden under my lounger in the shade.

“Do you f**king mind?” Braden snapped.

My head jerked up at his tone and my eyes collided with my neighbor. He was an older man, perhaps in his late forties, early fifties, he wasn’t with anyone, and he was staring in mild amusement over my shoulder at my husband. His eyes flicked to my boobs and then back to Braden.


I didn’t need to look around to know that Braden’s sharp aggression had drawn all of our neighbors’ gazes.

“Your woman is very beautiful,” the stranger commented in a thick accent.

I tensed and quickly turned around to face Braden, giving him a shake of my head. “Leave it.”

He didn’t leave it.

He gently took hold of my wrist and pulled me behind him so he could lean into the stranger’s face. “My wife is very beautiful. But to you she’s invisible. Understood?”

The stranger nodded. “Understood.”

I understood too. I understood I was mortified.

Not wanting to cause more of a scene, I let Braden hold my hand as we walked up the beach but as soon as we were out of sight I tugged out of his hold.

“You’re pissed off.” He sighed.

“Yes, I’m pissed off. There was no need to speak to him that way. It was embarrassing. You were peeing all over me.”

I heard his snort of laughter but didn’t dare look at him because I was afraid I’d kill him.

“That arsehole was ogling you all f**king day and ignoring every warning look I gave him. I don’t appreciate another man staring at my wife like he’s imagining f**king her when he knows I’m standing right f**king there.”

“Is dropping the f-bomb three times really necessary?”

He sighed, heavily this time. “You’re still pissed off.”

Yes, I’m still pissed off. “I’m confused. You overreacted and you know you overreacted. I’m just thinking the overreaction had nothing to do with that idiot staring at my br**sts.”

Instead of agreeing, instead of telling me he was bothered by the unspoken issue that was on our minds, Braden shook his head impatiently and began striding toward the villa without me.


Dinner was a quiet affair.

I’d spent the rest of the afternoon lying by the pool with my headphones on listening to Bastille while Braden took a walk around the resort. By the time he came back I was in the shower. When I got out of the shower to get ready for dinner, he got in. Afterward Braden attempted conversation with me. I grunted answers at him, not so much pissed at him anymore as pissed that he’d given me reason on our honeymoon to be pissed at him.

He’d scowled at me when I strode out of the walk-in wearing a figure-hugging blue dress. The fabric was a thin, stretchy jersey, so although it covered me, it pretty much left little to the imagination. It was a hot dress and I’d bought it for my hot husband.

At the time the thought hadn’t been to torture him, but I was pissed, so now it was about torturing him.

Our walk to dinner was quiet. The night before we’d dined at the Oceanview, a restaurant situated on the beach. Tonight I silently led us to the Great Room in the main house of the resort.

That silence reigned between us all through dinner.

The tension between us was thickening and I could tell Braden was losing patience with it. Or me, rather.

Deciding the best thing for us was to get a good night’s sleep and put the stupid argument behind us, I quietly suggested we leave out drinks tonight and just return to the room. I took his brusque nod as agreement.

Dinner over, we strolled back to the villa. I kicked off my heels to sink my feet into sand, only reluctantly trailing back onto the landscaped path to our villa, all the while secretly dreading a quiet night in with annoyed silence and no sex.

Inside the air-conditioned heaven, I threw my heels to the floor and padded on cool tiles toward the bedroom. I heard Braden’s footsteps behind me seconds before I found myself jerked back against his body.

I gasped at the sudden movement, my breath hitching as one hand coasted roughly up my stomach to cup my breast, while the other gripped lightly to my hair. Braden gently tugged my head back, exposing my neck. Those familiar shivers tingled through me as he kneaded my breast, and pressed hot, wet kisses down the side of my neck.

Just as abruptly as he’d pulled me to him, Braden pushed me forward until I hit the bed. My torso bowed over the end of it as he nudged my legs open with his feet. In the same motion he slipped his hands under the hem of my tight dress and shoved the fabric upward until it hit me midback, baring my ass to him.

By this point my breathing was as hot and heavy as his.

Cool air touched my skin as Braden tugged my panties down. I stepped out of them and kicked them aside, quickly widening my stance again and biting back a moan at the feel of Braden’s erection pressing against my ass.

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