The countdown continues with a glimpse of the Browns, Keenans and Copelands from Cope and Ella’s book – INSIDE OUT
Brown Siblings: INSIDE OUT by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2010, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Erin looked pretty and damned pregnant in a high-waisted dress with big red roses on it. Ben sighed happily as she headed straight to where he stood with Todd. For that moment, everything was right in their world, and Cope would do his best to continue to attempt to mediate the damage between their father and sister and Ben.
Despite Ben’s happiness and success, their father and sister had walled Ben out of their life because his brother had found his happiness with a man and a woman. It galled Cope to no end. Ben had been the golden boy, the kid who rarely got in trouble in school, got great grades. He had been a good cop, a good friend and no doubt, he was a great brother. Their father’s reaction to Ben’s unconventional relationship was stupid, and it had split their family in half.
He turned his attention back to the hallway. Waiting. Anticipation and then a punch to the gut followed as Ella came next, her normally sleek, short red hair tousled and curled. Her face, usually bare of makeup, bore just a bit, enough to line those spectacular eyes. Her lips were stained dark, calling to his gaze, leaving him wondering for the millionth time what she’d taste like.
She wore pants. She usually did. He’d always assumed it had to do with the scarring she ended up with after her ex-boyfriend attacked her.. The bastard had every intention of killing Ella. So to Cope, just being alive and beautiful, strong in the wake of such a terrible ordeal, meant she won.
It didn’t hurt at all that she had great legs so she wore the pants well.. Tight, with boots on her feet, showcasing legs that went on and on and on. Damn. The shirt, shit, if you could call it that, was more of a corset with barely enough fabric to cover her areolas. Her breasts made him lose his hearing for a few moments. She didn’t often have them on display, a pity because it wasn’t like she could hide their size, even in a T-shirt. Just then they heaved up, mounds of creamy flesh, freckles sprinkled across the luscious curves.
“Wow. You ladies look gorgeous.” Brody got up, moving to Elise, and no one else existed for the two of them for long moments. Their connection was palpable and staggeringly intimate to see. Cope couldn’t tear his attention away for a long moment.
“You guys just going to hang out here all night?” Elise asked, blushing as she broke her gaze from Brody.
“Maybe.” Brody grinned and kissed his wife-to-be quickly before turning to his sister. He touched Erin’s belly and kissed the top of her head. “You better take care of yourself.”
“You can’t smoke indoors anymore, so the air will be clean of that. I have no plans to drink, and I have enough energy to sit at the table and watch everyone else dance while I eat a few of the red velvet cupcakes Ella brought.” Erin smiled sweetly at her brother. “Anyway, we all know you’ll show up in an hour or two, so I’m sure Ben and Todd will take care of me once that happens.”
Cope moved nearer to Ella so he could speak just to her. “I like that color on you. Sets off your skin and hair.” The shirt was deep blue with just enough purple to compliment her skin outrageously. The breasts helped, in the way breasts always did. But this was more, and he let himself drift a little closer, breathing her in.
Some things were natural; flirting was one of them, and he realized that simply because he’d given up his wandering, it didn’t mean he couldn’t use every skill he had to lure Ella. He smiled as she drew in a shaky breath.