tagRomanceThe Deal Ch. 04

The Deal Ch. 04


They had been at the beach house for two days. Michael knew this because he counted the minutes and hours. He tortured himself now watching Isla in a pair of too short denim shorts that allowed that damn red bikini to peak from beneath it. He sat in a lounger watching Isla and Ryan as they played at the water's edge. He laughed at Ryan's attempt at bravery when she ran up to the waves, but ran back once she realized they were bigger than she was. Isla swept her into her arms just as the wave covered them both. They were both knocked to the sand by the wave.

Thirty days is a long time he thought to himself. Why are you torturing yourself was his next thought. Isla was sex personified. Everything about her was sexy. Michael thought of how she ate enormous amounts of food at each setting and that even turned him on. He laughed when he thought about how Isla always says you can't trust people that don't eat. Ryan's shriek caught his attention and he laughed as she attempted to kick water at Isla. Michael grabbed his camera and began snapping away. He had always been a fan of off guard photos. These he would cherish once the thirty days were over. He watched Isla now, and even in mother mode, she was sexy as hell. Damn! This is going to be a long thirty days. He looked towards heaven. "Thanks for the setup old girl."

Michael watched Isla and continued to snap pictures. He remembered his first time meeting Isla he was floored. Hurricane Isla came storming into Thomas' office demanding to know why her credit card had been shut off. Once Thomas had explained to the then sixteen-year-old Isla that she was over spending, she emptied her entire Coach bag on his desk and proceeded to shred every credit card her father had given her. Isla then turned to Michael and said, "Hello, I'm Isla Marine DiAmico, will you please tell my father I don't need his money." She then walked out of the office slamming the door behind her. Michael smiled at the memory. Her temper had always been short, Thomas had explained. All Michael could remember about that day was how red her face got when she was angry. Any other time her smooth mocha complexion just held him captive. He had seen Thomas a month later being escorted by his eldest daughter, Taryn. He had asked him then how long it took Isla to ask for the credit cards to be replaced. He had watched sadness creep into the older man's eyes. "She hasn't," Thomas had replied.

Michael and Thomas had just become acquainted. The day Isla stormed into his office had been their first meeting. Michael had become acquainted with Taryn because she worked in her father's office. He knew she was in relationship with Adrian. Everyone had hopes of them getting married. Sadness began to wash over Michael as he realized that night at the party had been his last time seeing Taryn alive.

"Why the long face, Cowboy?" A dripping wet Isla stood before him looking every bit the fantasy woman of any man's dreams. Her cut off shorts hung low on her hips and Michael could again see a glimpse of the red bikini bottom. The white button down was now wet and he could clearly see the red bikini top that hardly contained the delicious breast that he had become familiar with while they were married. Her raven colored hair hung down her back and curled in mass on her head. Michael fought the urge to wrestle her to the sand and kiss her senseless. The miniature replica standing next to her with the grin on her face was the sole reason he resisted.

"I was thinking of the day we met. That led to thoughts of Taryn and the last time I saw her." He left off the "alive" part. He knew she would be sad enough knowing he was thinking of her sister. Isla only nodded and then took Ryan by the hand and headed for the house.

After dinner, Ryan watched a movie and then drifted off to sleep. Michael carried her to her room and tucked her in. "Thank you for putting her to bed."

"I'm her father Isla, its what I'm supposed to do." Isla shrugged her shoulders and retrieved the cookies from the cupboard. Michael took the opportunity to ask what had been nagging him since he found out about Ryan. "Why didn't you tell me about Ryan?"

"I told you I believed you when you said you didn't want kids."

"I don't believe that for a minute. You know me. You have known me better than anyone else has. You know I would have taken care of the two of you."

"The same way Carter took care of Denise. Or maybe the way my father took care of my mother." Michael knew what she was referring to; in both cases, the men had taken the children from their mothers.

"I would have never taken Ryan away from you."

"I couldn't trust that. The track record speaks for itself." She walked away from him. "Isla, you know me. You know I would never do anything to hurt you."

"I only know what the Brotherhood has taught me. I would have liked to believe that you wouldn't have taken Ryan from me, but I couldn't trust that."

"So what makes what you did to me any different than what you feared I would do to you? You kept my child away from me, the same way you were kept from your mother."

Isla looked away from him. He was right she had done that, but finding out she was pregnant gave her a different sense of self worth. Isla felt a connection with the baby as soon as the doctor gave the results of the blood work. There was never a question of should she keep the baby. Her grandmother had urged her to call Michael, but the fear of losing her child was the only reality she could think of. She had refused out of fear of rejection and fear of losing the only guaranteed love she would ever have.

Isla remembered how her mother would cry when it was time for her and Taryn to go home to their dad. She never wanted to know that feeling of loss. She remembered how Sarina and Simone had been told by their father that their mother had left them. The reality was that Carter Maxon had taken them from her and blackmailed Denise into never contacting her girls again. That type of loss was not in Isla. She knew she would never be able to handle losing Ryan. Therefore, for no other reason than being scared of lonely, she never told Michael about Ryan.

"Isla, I just want you to understand that I love Ryan. Finding out I am a father, has been the biggest shock of my life, but it has also given me the gift of loving someone other than myself. I love her, unconditionally. There is nothing that I wouldn't give her or do to protect her. I don't want you to think I don't love her. My heart swells every time I hear her laughter. I just want to be allowed to spend time with her. I want to get to know her, the way you do."

Isla nodded her head. "We have this whole month to decide on visitation. Right now, you have her all day and all night. I will not stand in the way of you getting to know Ryan."

"Thank you."

"Don't thank me for doing something I should have done a long time ago. I understand what you are going through. I promised Yaya that once you found out that I would never keep Ryan away from you. I have always answered any question she has had about you. I showed her your picture. She knows you, but not the way she should." Isla watched Michael move to the stool and lean over the island in the kitchen. He was only inches away from her. She felt his heat and for a moment lost her train of thought. "I – um – I want her to get to know you."

Isla was still dressed in those damn shorts that had him twisted in knots all day. Her legs were shapely and gave the illusion that she was taller than she actually was. Michael rubbed his hands down his face in an effort to keep from touching her. He thought about what his attorney had said. She had advised him that proving Isla unfit would be extremely difficult. She had no criminal record or drug problem. Ryan was not being abused and from all perspectives, she looked to be happy. Isla was perfect in the court's eyes. Pam, his attorney, had advised Michael to try to see if he could reconcile with Isla. Michael had been giving the idea some thought. It would allow him to get to know his daughter and if he could get the raven-haired sex siren back into his bed that would be a plus for him as well.

Michael stood to his full height without moving away from Isla. He watched as she looked up to him with wariness in her eyes. "Maybe, for the sake of our daughter, we can present a united front."

Isla visibly swallowed. His heat was causing her body temperature to rise. He was too close. So close, that his heat took away the chill that she had been feeling. "Maybe."

"And maybe," he fixed both hands on the counter on either side of her. "We can become friendlier toward one another."

"I have no desire to sleep with you." Isla stated matter of factly.

"You may not desire to sleep with me, and that's fine. I don't plan on sleeping once I get you back into my bed, Isla." Before she could protest, he kissed her. It was a kiss that told her what he wanted. A kiss that gave her no choice but to surrender to it, and when she did Michael deepened the kiss some more. He heard a half purr half moan escape from her lips and he eased his hand under that white button down. He caressed her smooth skin and teased the tips of her breast with the pad of his thumbs until they were begging for more.

Somewhere in the recesses of her mind, Isla knew she should stop him from exploring her body the way he was doing now. She wanted to stop him, but her body craved his touch and when she arched into him, Michael circled his arms around her waist, lifted her until her bottom sat on the counter of the island. He continued kissing her. He hoped to revive the memories of four years ago in her. He wanted Isla to remember how good they were together. As his hands explored her body and his mouth devoured hers he silently wondered how he would survive if she walked away from him again. He needed Isla in his life. That revelation startled him as much as it intrigued him. His need for her took over as he eased his hands to the zipper of her shorts and pulled it down. His hands found the apex between her legs and the heat he found there urged him on.

Isla arched up to meet his fingers. They were both frustrated by the amount of clothing separating them. Michael took off her shorts, "this damn bikini has been driving me crazy all day," he said as he lowered the bottoms to the floor. Isla laughed, and Michael captured the sound before it left her lips.

The kiss caused them to both forget the past, forget why they had been thrown back together because of the will. Nothing mattered but this kiss. This connection that was full of promises of a future together. A future that Isla knew she could not have. Nothing had changed, so she stopped the kissed and pulled away. "This isn't right. Its not fair to either one of us, and definitely not to Ryan. This time is for you to get to know your daughter. Its not meant for us to do this." She squirmed against him to emphasis her need to get away from him.

"What's wrong with this?" Michael asked as he looked down at her.

"Its not right." She tried to sit up but he wouldn't allow her to move.

"What's not right about it, Isla? You want me; I want you. It sounds pretty right to me."

"Well, it shouldn't. This is how we ended up here." She made another attempt to get up and this time Michael allowed it.

He watched Isla slide back into the shorts that had only moments ago been removed from her body. "Isla," he said.

Isla shook her head no. "I will not allow lust to cloud my judgment of what is right for my child."

"Our child," Michael bit out. "And what is wrong with us making love?"

"Have you forgotten you don't love me?" Her eyes willed him to say differently. Her heart sank when he released her. She had hoped for a brief moment that Michael would say he loved her, but he didn't.

Michael lay in the hammock listening to the waves kiss the beach and wondered what Isla would have done had he confirmed the love he felt. He walked away in an effort not to scare her off. Right now, she would only believe that he wanted to be with her because of Ryan. She would never believe that he wanted her in his life forever. He laughed to himself. It never ceased to amaze him that he could never do the right thing with this woman.

Isla tossed and turned, her body yearning for Michael's. Why had she pushed him away? She admitted it was tempting to make love to him. She had yet to feel another man's touch. Her body only responded to Michael. This was the reason she was laying wide-awake in her room longing to be made love to. "I need a drink of water."

Michael watched, as Isla stood at the refrigerator with the door open. The light within cast her in silhouette and Michael found it hard to breathe as he took in the view of her curves as she stood drinking from a glass of water, completely unaware of his presence. Michael felt himself harden as he continued to watch her. Thank God for loose pajama pants, he thought. When his need to touch her over took his will to remain unnoticed, he made his presence known.

Michael walked up behind her silently and lazily caressed her body as he kissed her neck. He felt body quiver first in surprise and second as a reaction to his touch. "What are you doing up this late?" Isla asked. Her voice almost a whispered purr as Michael toyed with her breast through the bodice of maxi length style gown she was wearing.

"I was going to eat the last piece of the red velvet cake, but you are a distraction of a sweeter kind, Isla." Michael pulled her tight against him. Isla felt her control slipping as she felt the length of him pressed against her. Michael continued kissing her neck and applying more pressure to her breast. Isla was struggling for breath when she pushed away from him.

"Michael, I don't think –"

Michael silenced her with a kiss that had her entire body consumed with heat. "Don't think, Red. Just feel" He took her hand and placed it on his erection. "Just feel." He gathered her back in his arms and kissed her.

Isla had been kissed before. She had experienced Michael's kisses before, but this kiss was different. He made love to her mouth. His tongue teased and caressed hers as he involved her mouth in a sensual dance that drew her in further. Isla felt herself let go. The tide came in and swept her under and Michael was there to catch her as she surrendered to him. Michael had backed her against the counter and now Isla felt herself being sat upon the same counter she had occupied hours earlier.

Michael felt her surrender and pressed forward. He wasted no time lifting her gown and relieving her of the scrappy piece of lace material that she called panties. His hand cupped the center of her pleasure and Isla melted into him. Michael stole the gasp from her lips as he molded his mouth to hers and again assaulted her tongue. Michael only broke the kiss to remove the gown from her body completely. He took a moment to commit the image of a naked Isla to memory. He noticed her curves were fuller and guessed that was due to childbirth. Isla's hands caressed the muscles of her chest and she took in all of the heat from his body. She had always associated the heat with Michael. She felt the soft barely there hair on his chest and continued upward until her arms were around Michael's neck and she was pulling herself into a sitting position with Michael standing between her legs. Michael wasted no time removing his pajama pants and in one swift move, he was buried deep inside Isla. He paused to take in the moment and then he began to move within her.

Isla adjusted her movements to match Michael's rhythm. Michael lay her back so that he could feast upon her breasts. Isla was dizzy with lust and her body tensed in anticipation of the first wave of fulfillment. "Michael," she whispered against his mouth.

"I know, baby. I know." He held her tighter as completion gripped them both at the same time. Michael felt her legs shake and squeeze him tighter. He leaned forward and kissed her savagely as he felt himself release inside her. Michael lifted Isla in his arms and carried her to his room. He placed Isla on the bed and then went back to retrieve their clothing from the kitchen. When he returned, she was sound asleep.

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