Blacksmith’s Heart ~ A Love Under the Sun Romance by Dellani Oakes ~ Part 11

His work hardened hands held her soft ones. “You make things complicated,” he told her. “I’ve carried a torch for years. Now that I’ve met you, my heart is so incredibly full, I can’t even express it. To say I love you, that’s ridiculous, we just met. But when I saw you on the fence today, I felt a piece click into my heart, that I didn’t even know was missing. I look at you and I can’t think straight. I touch you and all I want to do is keep on touching you. I…I can’t trust myself when I’m around you, but I don’t want to be away from you either. Am I making any sense?”

“No,” she replied softly, “and yes.” Without another word, she touched his cheek, leaning toward him.

Hana’s lips brushed his. For a moment, she felt a spark between them. Like static electricity, it jumped from lip to lip. Instead of breaking their embrace, she pressed her lips more firmly against his, holding him in an unyielding embrace. Her kiss was long, forceful and penetrating. She held him to her for at least two minutes, before she released him. His eyes opened slowly. His gaze met hers, questioning.

“If that didn’t answer your questions, and set your mind at ease, then I don’t know what to do or say.”

Jasper didn’t reply in words. He took her in his arms and kissed her. Hana lost track of time, she didn’t care how late it was, all she wanted to do was stay in Jasper’s arms and kiss him.

Slowly and reluctantly, he released her, taking his mouth from hers. Sighing heavily, he smiled softly. The moonlight reflecting off the pool danced in his green eyes. He touched her cheek like she was made of glass, trailing his fingers down her throat. He stopped before he reached her breast, and she sensed his uncertainty.

“You are an incredible woman, Hana,” he whispered, placing his forehead against hers. “You’ve lit flames in my heart and set my soul on fire.”

“But?” she asked him softly, as if her voice would drive him away.

“Not like this, not tonight.” He sighed again, touching her hair, brushing her lips with his.

Hana hesitated, suddenly knowing she needed to tell Jasper the truth about herself. Even if it scared him, he had the right to know.

“Jasper, there’s something I have to explain.”

“You don’t owe me any explanations, Hana.”

“Before we go any further, I need to tell you— You have to know—”

“That you’ve never been with a man before?”

She looked at him, shocked, not understanding. “How did you know?”

His smile was soft and sweet, full of warmth and affection. Holding her close, he laid his cheek on her hair, inhaling contentedly.

“At dinner when you talked about the fried cheesecake, you said it ran a close second to sex. I could tell the subject made you uncomfortable. It was something about that moment, you were so vulnerable. I knew then you were a virgin, and I admired you for it.”

“Admired me? Why? Most people think you have to be some sort of frigid bitch to still be a virgin at my age!”

“Because it showed me you weren’t just interested in sex.” He chuckled as she blushed. “I get a lot of women throwing themselves at me, Hana. I can’t count the number of offers I get per week. But I turn them down.”

“Why?” It wasn’t what she meant to ask, it just slipped out.

“Because you should care about someone before you go to bed with them. Anything else degrades you both and I’m not a cheap kind of guy.” He shrugged, looking a little embarrassed. “Do you believe in love at first sight?”

“Do you?”

“I don’t know, but I do believe that certain people are meant to be together. I think one reason so many people get divorced is that they didn’t look long enough. They didn’t find their soul mate. Until you do, you can’t be really happy.”

“Do you think we’re soul mates, Hana?” His lips brushed her cheek, trailing down her neck.

“I don’t know,” she whispered. “But I sure would like to find out.”

Their lips met once more as he kissed her with a passion he’d hitherto controlled. Still careful where he touched her, his mouth explored hers. He kissed her neck and nibbled her earlobes. Time and again, his lips and fingers moved toward her breasts, but he stopped himself. It seemed as if he knew he’d completely lose control if he touched them.

Hana felt fires deep within her. Her heart pounded loudly in her ears, beating hard against her ribs. She wanted him to touch her everywhere and almost cried out in frustration every time he failed to do so. Finally, too carried away to be cautious, she pulled Jasper’s hands to her, rubbing her nipples across his fingers. He sighed heavily, almost a whimper in his throat, as she pressed against him and moaned. His hand was hot as if he had a fever. It felt good as it seared her flesh with his lust. His lips followed. He cupped her breast, nibbling at her nipple through her shirt.

Suddenly, he stood, turning away from her abruptly. He ran his fingers through his hair, as he knocked his head against one of the roof supports of the gazebo.

© Dellani Oakes 2022

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