Take Me if You Dare (Entangled Brazen)(3)

By: Nina Crespo

Suddenly, the woman quickly swiveled her chair around, and her knee bumped into the guy’s crotch. She stood up and a string of angry words passed between the two of them. Ethan put his beer down and stopped leaning against the bar. The guy’s expression morphed into ugly, and it didn’t take a lip-reader to interpret the man’s spat-out response. Her back visibly stiffened. Ethan cut through the crowd.

If two guys were going at it for some stupid reason, he’d mind his own business, but some dickhead giving a woman shit over a rejection was a whole different story. Once he reached her table, he took a balanced opened-legged stance, ready for anything, including having misread the situation. Then he did what naturally came to him having been trained to face unknown odds with undeterred determination.

He improvised.

“Sorry, sweetheart. I didn’t mean to keep you waiting. I got held up by a phone call.”

Two sets of eyes turned in his direction; one dark and obviously pissed off, the other a deep hazel-chestnut with the longest lashes he’d ever seen. He sucked in a breath. The earlier promise of beauty did not disappoint.

Just then, the DJ cued up a spicy Latin number, and the couples around them headed for the small dance floor on the other side of the deck.

She offered him her hand. “I believe that’s our song.”

Her rescuer took his cue.

Hallelujah! Jasmine let out a breath and latched onto his hand like it was the last life preserver on a rapidly sinking cruise ship.

Just before they walked away, her rescuer gave the guy she’d nearly tossed her wine on a warning look, and the jerk raised his hands in surrender.

On their way to the dance floor, she glanced up at the man leading the way.

His closely cropped black hair was cut into a military-style fade, and his face bore enough of life’s experiences to just barely remove him from the realm of cover-model handsome. He transmitted the message of confident and fit for duty, and any doubts about that were easily resolved by his wide shoulders, solid chest, and well-formed biceps hugged comfortably by a dark shirt.

Not bad…

As they weaved through the crowd, other men moved out of his way in deference to his size, while women stepped aside to get a better look. She couldn’t blame them. The black jeans he wore nicely cupped the essentials, especially his firm-looking butt. Once they reached the dance floor, he pulled her into the circle of his arms, and she followed his lead into a basic, uncomplicated salsa step.

“You can breathe now. Romeo has moved on to other prey.” The deep timbre of his voice easily reached her over the music. “Are you okay?”

She leaned back to get past his jawline and looked up into blue-green eyes as clear and beautiful as the Atlantic on a sunny day.

“Now I am,” she said. “And thank you.”

A slow smile tipped up the corners of his mouth. “You’re welcome,” he said and expertly guided her into a fast spin.

After twirling around on her toes, she went back into his arms. Each step they took was in perfect sync through the masculine-feminine maze of the dance. She relaxed, and by the end of the song, Tab had regained most of her bestfriend status for daring her to take Latin dance lessons two years ago.

They moved right into a sensual bachata and kept dancing into the next song. It was a slow one. Surprisingly, without the awkwardness of a new couple, they came together with her palms sliding over his shoulders and his hands curving around her waist. Heat and awareness radiated in the small space between them.

Maybe Tab was right and she was in sexual drought. How many long, lonely months had passed since she’d felt anything as wonderful as this? Before she could come up with an answer, his hands moved low on her waist. One small guided step forward fit her lower body tightly to his, and sways merged with the unhurried roll of their hips. His erection pressed against her belly, and Jasmine’s sex clenched. Sinking her teeth into her lower lip, she stifled a moan, but the vibration of a heavy bass line teased out more of the ache between her thighs.

His forehead rested against hers, and he released a ragged breath. Relieved that she wasn’t the only one affected, she allowed herself to get lost in the feel of his strong hands holding her, his warm, masculine scent, and the image in her thoughts of them satisfying the requirements of the dare. Yeah, she could definitely see it happening with him.