“Hank had his chance. Ten years of chances,” Trevor said. “You don’t know what it was like. You don’t want to know.”
Beth stepped closer and laid her hand on his arm. “I do want to know. If you feel like you can tell me.”
Trevor looked at her hand. She offered comfort, but her touch burned. He looked into her eyes. That was a mistake. Worry, concern, compassion showed in the green depths. No one had ever looked at him like that before.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” He moved to the stove and added more broth to the simmering rice. He stood there stirring the mixture, battling emotions he’d fought for over twenty years.
“Tell me one thing.” That soft voice was doing a number on him. Physically, as well as emotionally.
“What’s that?” he said over his shoulder.
“Hank didn’t beat you, did he?”
“No. Nothing more than a spanking now and again. But there are many ways to hurt a child other than physically. Ways that can influence a person for life.” Now why the hell had he told Beth that?
“I’m sorry,” she said.
“It’s not your fault.”
“I know that. I’m just sorry Hank treated you badly. No child should have to suffer like that.”
Trev shrugged. “It was a long time ago. I don’t like to think about it.”
Beth was close beside him again. He could smell her. Strawberries and her own sweet fragrance, which was slowly driving him crazy. He inhaled deeply.
“Can I have a taste?” When she leaned toward the pan, her shoulder brushed his arm. The top of the peasant blouse fell open to reveal lace-covered breasts.
Trev swallowed hard. Beth Evans was dangerous. Her questions and concern unmanned him. Tempted him to feel things he’d blocked from his mind. Her beautiful body just plain tempted him.
She looked up and smiled. “Can I taste it?”
“Sure.” Trev scooped a bit of rice on the wooden spoon and blew. He offered the bite to her, holding his hand beneath the spoon to prevent a spill. “Careful, it’s hot.”
Beth took the bite. She closed her eyes and sighed. “Oh my God. It’s fabulous. Tastes even better than it smells.”
Trev swallowed again. He couldn’t drag his eyes from her lips. He’d bet a million dollars she tasted better than she smelled, too.
She opened her eyes and caught him staring at her. Her cheeks turned pink, but she didn’t move away. They stood only inches from each other. Trevor held the spoon suspended above the pan. He leaned nearer. He had to kiss her.
Awareness flared in Beth’s green eyes and her breath hitched, but she didn’t pull back. He closed the distance between them, brushed his mouth over her lips and nearly groaned out loud when she opened for him. He moved closer, pressed harder and explored her sweetness with his tongue. Damn, she did taste better than she smelled. A whole lot better.
Trev dropped the spoon and cupped Beth’s cheeks, rubbing his thumbs along her jaw line. He angled his head for better access, nibbled her bottom lip, then dove back in to her moist warmth.
A sexy little moan erupted in the back of Beth’s throat, and a jolt of yearning sliced through him. When she laid a hand on his chest and clutched his shirt, fire burned in his veins. He wanted to run his hands all over Beth’s body. He wanted her naked. He wanted—
“Mommy! Trevor! What are you doing?”