Take Me if You Dare (Entangled Brazen)(7)

By: Nina Crespo

She pressed her warm, supple body against him, and he was tempted to take things further, but he dragged himself away. At this rate, they wouldn’t make it to dinner, but he was on a mission—a relaxing meal, maybe dessert, and then sampling every delicious part of Jasmine.

He let her go with a final lingering kiss and tamped down the urge to trail his lips to the pulse he saw beating wildly in her throat.

Releasing a shaky breath, she turned away from him and put her purse down on the arm of the couch.

“Wow, this is a great view.” She walked toward the wall of glass that ran the entire length of the first-floor vacation condo facing the beach and sighed. “If I was staying here, I wouldn’t have made it to the conference.”

Ethan’s gaze traveled down her body and rested on the firm curves of her ass. “I agree.”

She looked over her shoulder, and her gaze moved down past his waist. “You should do something with that.” Her tongue darted quickly over her lower lip, and his cock took notice. Her eyes widened a bit, but she didn’t turn away. Long seconds later, she looked back up. “You don’t want that to get too hot.” A flustered look passed over her face. “I mean the dessert… It needs to stay cold. You should put it in the refrigerator.”

He suppressed a smile. She was the real deal. Honest, open, sexy, no games to play, no hoops to jump through. How often had he come across that in a woman? Try almost never. Most of them were like the brunette Mitch had tried to hook him up with.

Following her advice about dessert, he retrieved a chilled bottle of white wine. After he poured two glasses, he joined her by the kitchen window. Satisfaction spread over him knowing he was spending the night with the right woman. He handed her the glass and smiled. “I hope you like steak.”

Jasmine ate the last bite of tender rib eye and released a contented sigh.

Ethan lifted up the bottle of wine. “More?”

“No, I’m good.”

She was already swayed way too much by the soft breeze, the low candlelight, and how he gave her his full attention. Just like on the dance floor, he’d put her at ease, and the conversation had flowed through a variety of topics from her week at the conference, her home back in Dallas compared to where he lived in Greenville, South Carolina, to what type of music she listened to during her morning workouts. She’d even shared some of her crazy escapades with Tab.

And what about the birthday dare?

Even though he’d guessed part of the reason for her proposition, how could she tell him about that, especially after all of this?

You know Tab, my best friend I just told you about? Well, today’s my birthday, and she dared me to have a one-night stand to officially get back into the swing of things.

Right—there was no way on earth that tawdry little confession was coming out of her mouth. She’d already hogged up most of the conversation. Slightly embarrassed she hadn’t taken any interest in him, beyond the physical, she asked a question.

“So what type of work do you do?”

“I work for a contracting firm as a security specialist.”

She waited, but he didn’t elaborate any further. “Is it security as in technology, risk management, guarding a bank?”

He took a sip of wine and placed his glass back on the table. “I protect corporate VIPs and government officials. At times I work downrange with the military.”


“Sorry,” he released a low chuckle. “Sometimes I forget that not everyone has a military background. I guess the easiest way to put it is that at times we assist the military.”

She read between the lines. The word “easiest” meant how to say it without giving away too much. In his line of work, it was probably considered an important skill.

“So, I guess you travel a lot?”

He shrugged. “Yeah, but sometimes I’m stateside for extended periods of time. It depends on the job.”

A small pang of disappointment tugged in the middle of her chest. She breathed it away. It didn’t matter. He was off her good-man prospect list anyway because he didn’t live in Texas.

“What about you?” He leaned in and rested his forearms on the table. “You mentioned that the company you work for sets up wellness programs. Does your job require you to travel?”