Read A Sip of You (The Epicurean Series) Online

Authors: Sorcha Grace

Tags: #“Absolutely delectable.”—J. Kenner, #New York Times Bestselling Author “A satisfying, #sensual read not to be missed.”—Raine Miller, #New York Times Bestselling Author “An intriguing start to a saucy new trilogy.”—Roni Loren, #National Bestselling Author “Yummy! Imagine Christian Grey with warm chocolate and you have William Lambourne.”—Aleatha Romig, #New York Times Bestselling Author

A Sip of You (The Epicurean Series)

 

 

 

A Sip of You

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Sip of You
Sorcha Grace

 

A Sip of You

Published by Sorcha Grace

Copyright © 2013 Sorcha Grace

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher, except where permitted by law.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Praise for
A Taste of You
: The Epicurean Book 1

 

“With a deliciously sexy hero, a heroine with unforgettable spice, and mouthwatering sensuality, Sorcha Grace’s
A Taste of You
will have you begging for seconds. Absolutely delectable.”

—J. Kenner,
New York Times
Bestselling Author of
Release Me
,
Claim Me, 
and
Complete Me

 

“More than just a taste of sexy here. Scorching hot flames have burned up dinner! Witty and fun,
A Taste of You
by Sorcha Grace is a satisfying, sensual read not to be missed.”

—Raine Miller,
New York Times
Bestselling Author

 

“Fans of Sylvia Day and E.L. James will find a lot to like about the mysterious William Lambourne and will root for a heroine who deserves a second chance at love. An intriguing start to a saucy new trilogy.”

—Roni Loren, National Bestselling Author of
Fall into You

 

“Yummy! Imagine Christian Grey with warm chocolate and you have William Lambourne. Add a complex heroine who gives love another try and you have
A Taste of You
. This steamy romance will take you through twists and turns and have you cheering for love to prevail. I can't wait to read what's next for William and Catherine!”

—Aleatha Romig,
New York Times
Bestselling Author of
Consequences, 
Truth,
and
Convicted

Dedication

To M, S, and D—You still know why. XOXO.

One

 

“You doing okay back there, Miss Kelly?” Anthony’s voice got my attention as I blinked out my window at the view of Chicago’s Northwest side. We were speeding up the Kennedy toward O’Hare. Traffic was light, and the big black SUV seemed to glide effortlessly in an open lane. I glanced down at my fingers entwined tightly in my lap, and loosed my white-knuckled grip.

“It’s Cat, Anthony.” I caught his smile in the rearview mirror. He hadn’t forgotten that I’d asked him to call me by my first name. In his small way, he was trying to take my mind off this trip and help me relax. He’d taken on an impossible job. I was nervous and giddy all at the same time.

“Of course, Miss Cat. We’ll be at the executive terminal in less than ten minutes.”

“Great.” But my voice sounded tinny and false. How had I gotten myself into this?

William
. No one but William Maddox Lambourne could have convinced me to go back to California. Well, maybe Beckett could have, but not likely. I’d moved from Santa Cruz to Chicago barely nine months ago and I’d had no plans to go back. Ever. Until this morning, when William told me the incredible news that his brother, presumed dead for nearly twenty years, might be alive.

It was the stuff soap operas were made of and I still couldn’t quite get my head around it, but the look of desperation on William’s face had been achingly real. He’d only had to say the words
come with me
and I was lost. I would have done anything for him and when he’d added that he needed me at his side, which was a first, I knew I’d go. In that instant, my petty hang-ups about going back to California were set aside in favor of supporting William during whatever shit storm was brewing out west. So here I was.

William had sent Anthony to drive me to O’Hare and from there we were taking a private plane to California. Like everything else he did, William traveled in style. I, Catherine Kelly, connoisseur of cheap seats in coach, was about to fly on a billionaire’s private jet to his vineyard in Napa Valley. It seemed so utterly ridiculous—but it was so fabulously exciting too.

This entire day felt surreal. This morning I had woken up in William’s arms at The Peninsula Chicago after the best night—and the best sex—of my life. Last night, when we’d come back together after our break-up—a break-up that had totally leveled me and gutted me to my very center—everything had changed, and I was still riding high from our reunion. Images of my sexy striptease, William’s stormy eyes on me, and his hot mouth on my body were still very fresh in my head. I’d cried at the orgasm he’d given me. Yes, cried. I’d never felt anything as intense before and it had been fucking amazing.

And then there’d been the sweetness of sharing jelly beans, of talking for hours, which had been amazing too. Finally, William had started to open up to me and I felt closer to him now than I ever had. After everything I’d been through in the past few years, I never imagined I could feel this way about someone again. William and I had only known each other for a short time, and yet he’d already changed my world completely and I had fallen for him. Hard.

We’d been standing in my kitchen late this morning, kissing, his tongue tasting sugary and sweet from Beckett’s cupcakes. We were getting ready to spend a lazy Saturday together. I glanced down now at the watch William had placed on my wrist, a gift he had brought me from London several days ago. Anthony must have seen me and thought I was checking the time because he called out, “Almost there, Miss Cat. Just a few more minutes.”

“Thanks, Anthony,” I answered back.

But I wasn’t concerned about the remaining minutes of our drive. The Patek Philippe on my wrist was excruciatingly accurate and my insides knotted and fluttered as I remembered William’s instructions for me to think about his touch at 11:42 every morning. He had very specific ideas about my regularly checking my new expensive timepiece and, as he’d shared them, he had tickled my neck with hot kisses and trailed his hand down my body, palming my breast then cupping my sex, feeling through my clothes the inferno that blazed between my legs whenever he put his hands on me. But then his phone rang and that call had ruined everything. And now, in a few hours, I’d be back in California. Back home. Well, not exactly home, but only a hundred and fifty miles away.

I leaned my head back against the seat cushions, closed my eyes, and sighed.

Mentally, I went over my checklist one last time. It had been a hectic afternoon. I’d had to pack, find a dog sitter for Laird, and make sure my condo was taken care of. Thank God for Beckett, who never let me down. Since I worked freelance, work was coming with me. This trip was open-ended, so I hadn’t even known how much to pack. I’d argued that I needed more time to get ready, but William assured me that everything would be taken care of.

He was good at taking care of details. He was good at taking care of
me
, when I let him. I ended up bringing just one bag with a pair of jeans, a few T-shirts and light sweaters, two cute dresses, and lots—and I do mean
lots
—of lingerie. It was in the sixties and seventies in Napa, and with the temperature in Chicago hovering in the twenties, the warmer weather sounded welcoming.

I’d changed into jeans and a hot pink sweater, but I still wore the ivory bra and panties William had given me this morning. I wanted to have a part of his gift close to me. Even in the back of the heated SUV, my hands were freezing and I’d forgotten my gloves, as usual. I wouldn’t need them in Napa and I just hoped those were the only items I’d forgotten.

On the seat beside me were my purse, my laptop bag, and of course my camera bag. Leaving my cameras behind would have been like leaving a necessary appendage—I needed them like I needed my arms and my legs—so I’d brought both my digital Canon PowerShot and my vintage Leica.

This trip wasn’t exactly great timing for me and I sighed again. I’d just finished shooting Fresh Market’s spring campaign, and I still needed to edit my shots of asparagus and cherries. Thanks in part to Beckett’s brilliant food styling, my latest work for Fresh Market would be featured online, in stores, in mailings, and on billboards all over the Midwest. Every detail had to be perfect. I was hoping I’d have some time to work over the next few days, as the final images needed to be submitted by the end of the week. But the reality was I had no idea what the next few days would look like, so now I was stressing about work a little too.

“Miss Cat, we’re here,” Anthony said. He angled the SUV toward a sign that read “Signature Flight Support.” I’d flown in and out of O’Hare a few times, but I’d never been to this section of the airport.

We approached a nondescript, beige, two-story building. There were no cabs lined up here, no angry traffic cops, no people running with their luggage pulled behind them. There were signs for a few companies that provided air charter service, but we headed for an area marked simply as “Private.”

“It looks pretty empty,” I said.

“It was probably busier earlier in the day.” Anthony glanced back at me and flashed a smile again. He looked formidable in the
Men in Black
suit William’s male employees seemed to prefer, especially with his ever-present earpiece. He even had a military-style shaved head and, I suspected, a military background in something covert and deadly. He drove for William, but I knew his job entailed much more than just chauffeuring around Chicago’s
former
most eligible billionaire bachelor—or his new
girlfriend
. Yes, as of last night, William and I were officially a couple.

Anthony nodded at the windshield. “Those are Mr. Lambourne’s jets up ahead.”

“Jets?”
Plural
? I leaned forward and watched as Anthony drove right onto the tarmac and toward the two planes. Behind them was a hangar, whose doors were partially closed. I could hear the engines roaring to life, and mechanics in bright orange vests scurried about performing what I assumed were last minute checks on both aircraft.

Just then a man ducked out of the plane on the right, and my breath caught in my throat. I’d know William anywhere. There was something about the way he moved, the way he stood, the power and hard lines of his toned body. His commanding presence was all the more noticeable because he was so damned handsome. Movie-star good looks, with the killer smile and charm to match. I’d seen other women eye him hungrily—hell, I’d been one of them—and some had even propositioned him almost openly right in front of me. 

His thick, dark hair blew around his face like a tarnished halo, his vivid blue-grey eyes scanned the tarmac, and I felt a jolt the moment his gaze landed on the SUV. I doubted he could see me inside, but I felt like he was looking directly at me. My belly fluttered and my breathing shallowed. There wasn’t a woman alive who could resist William Lambourne. And I, who knew what he could make me feel, what he could do with his mouth and his hands and that sculpted body, wetted my lips with the tip of my tongue in anticipation. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.

But it wasn’t just my body that warmed upon seeing him, my heart swelled too. I was in love with William—something I’d just realized yesterday. It was what fueled our reunion last night and everything since, but I still hadn’t found the right moment to reveal
those
feelings to him. Yet.

Anthony pulled to a stop, and William watched the SUV with a hooded look. I noted his stance was wide, like a fighter’s. I could tell he felt defensive, and I wanted nothing more than to take him in my arms and comfort him. “He really does need me,” I muttered under my breath as I gathered my stuff. And that thought assuaged some of the reservations I still couldn’t shake about making this trip.

My hand was on the door handle, ready to open it so I could sprint into William’s arms, when Anthony opened it for me and helped me down. The wind whipped about me, wrapping my coat around my legs and blinding me with my hair across my eyes. It was freezing, the windchill obviously well below twenty degrees.

“I’ll take those for you,” Anthony said over the wind. I gave him my laptop bag but held on to my purse and camera bag. William waved at me. I started for the plane, and Anthony followed with my gear. I climbed the stairs, my gaze never leaving William’s, and finally I reached the top step and he took my hand.

“You’re here.” He squeezed my fingers. “Finally.”

“Am I late?” For once, I thought I was actually on time.

“No, but I can’t stand being apart from you.” He slid his arm around my back, and I felt the warmth of his skin even through my layers.

I was thankful for his touch. His big hands steadied me—and also shot heat and arousal through me. He seemed to know exactly the effect he had on me as he pulled me just inside the door, out of the bitter cold, and crushed me against him. “I’m so glad you’re here.”

“Me too.” Our mouths locked, and he kissed me with an intensity that showed me just how much he’d hated being away from me these past few hours. Despite the chill, he was warm. My hearting racing, I dropped my purse and camera bag and threaded my fingers through his curls.

When we came up for air, I was almost dizzy. “It’s only been a few hours since we were together, but it feels like days since we last kissed.”

“It’s all my fault,” William replied. “But let me try to make it up to you.”

His lips found mine again and this time his kiss was deeper, more demanding. He tasted so good, and I felt jolts of electricity every place his hard, strong body came in contact with mine. I’d never had this kind of chemistry with anyone before—not even with Jace, my late husband. But it had been like this with William since the moment I met him. I had flashes of us together—him pushing me against the shelves of the freezer at Willowgrass as his tongue, tasting of cinnamon and bourbon, invaded me for our first kiss. The sweet richness of chocolate and the ecstasy of his mouth on me while I writhed on the floor of my kitchen, completely naked and open to him the first time he made me come. And I’d never forget the taste of champagne and chilled grapes mixed with my own taste on his lips as he thrust inside me, filling me until I shattered again and again on his bed. For me, the experience of kissing William was forever linked with food and sex and was like a drug I could never get enough of.

Finally, he broke the kiss. I noted his eyes had darkened. We were standing in the plane’s doorway and poor Anthony was standing on the steps behind me, waiting for our make-out session to conclude. I flushed with embarrassment as William tugged me farther inside the cabin. It was easy to forget just about everything—and everyone—else when we were together.

Here the roar of the wind quieted. The lights in the cabin were soft and cast a warm glow, and it took a moment for my eyes to adjust. And then it was all I could do not to sputter in amazement: I was engulfed in total luxury. I glanced around and, knowing William was used to this sort of thing, I gave Anthony a have-you-
seen
-this look.

“Pretty nice, huh?” Anthony nodded, stopping behind me and setting my laptop case on the large, plush seat closest to us. Then he moved away to stow the rest of my stuff.

 “Do you like it?” William asked with a smile, his hand on my back again, gently stroking me like he needed to have his hands on me at all times. I was already his, but I loved his possessiveness just the same.

“Like it? I don’t know what to compare it to. It’s incredible,” I answered as I looked around in awe.

The cabin reminded me more of a living room than any airplane I had ever seen. The floor was carpeted in light beige and the walls were a slightly bolder shade of that same color. On my left was a rich brown leather couch with coordinating throw pillows. Across from it were two wide leather armchairs and a dark wood desk equipped for either a business conference or work. In fact, a laptop was already open on the desk.

Behind the chairs were a large sectional and a coffee table facing a big flat-screen TV. A smaller flat-screen with its volume muted and a stock market ticker scrolling across it was built into the plane’s back wall. Beyond was a door, indicating the plane had yet another room. Everything looked luxurious, polished, and totally posh.

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