Take Me if You Dare (Entangled Brazen)(8)

By: Nina Crespo

She forced a smile. “It used to…when I was a program coordinator for the company. I loved it, but I resigned last year when I thought I was moving to Virginia.” She fiddled with the stem of her wineglass. “That plan didn’t work out.”

He reached across the table for her hand. “That must have been tough.”

The soft stroke of his thumb against the center of her palm took away most of the sting from the memory of how she’d ended up jobless, homeless, and heartbroken. To add insult to injury, Myra, a coworker who’d consistently gone out of her way to undermine her projects, was promoted into her position.

“Yeah, it was, but Ted, my old boss, helped me get a job as a member representative in the call center. In the end, it all worked out.”

“And in time, you’ll be able to work your way back up?” He intertwined their fingers, and the slightly rough texture of the calluses on his hand sent tingles zipping across her skin.

She nodded, but her mind had already wandered from climbing the corporate ladder to advancing things along with Ethan.

Was his chest smooth? Were his long legs as muscular as they looked? Was that a six- or eight-pack of abs she’d felt earlier?

Imagination kicked in, and she was lost in the fantasy of slowly pushing up his shirt and letting her fingers skim over every dip and rise of muscle on his stomach all the way up to his chest. He’d have to take over then because she’d be too busy unfastening his jeans. In her mind, she saw a light sprinkling of hair way low on his abdomen. It would tickle her fingers as she slipped her hand into the vee of his zipper. The slow reveal kept unfolding in Jasmine’s mind, and her breathing grew shallow. Her dress started to feel uncomfortably tight as she imagined him as the type who went commando, making it easier for her to wrap her fingers around—

“Are you finished?” he asked.

Not even close.

Reluctantly, she ended the fantasy and brought her attention back to the present. “Yes. That was great.”

After they cleared the table, they went inside, and she helped him tidy the kitchen…well, at least she tried. Who knew watching a man rinse a few dishes could turn into a near orgasm-inducing experience? Every time he squeezed out the sponge, her nipples ached more and more with the image of her sitting on the counter and him stroking and kneading her breasts with his hands. After almost maiming her fingers with a steak knife, she excused herself and went into the bathroom. On her way back, her knees shook with anticipation.

When she walked into the kitchen, Ethan was cutting generous slices of chocolate mousse pie, and she released a groan, partly out of sexual frustration. “I don’t think I can handle another bite.”

“But you said you were addicted to this stuff.”

“I am—and that’s why I’m breaking the habit, starting now.” Knowing that was a hard promise to keep, especially as her mind ventured into thoughts of licking chocolate right off his chest, she stayed on the other side of the kitchen.

“No deal, woman.” His brow lifted with a chuckle. “If it’s as good as you claim there’s no way you’re leaving me with all of it.” He spooned up a healthy bite and moved toward her.

Seeing the mischievous sense of purpose glittering in his eyes, she tried to sidestep him but found herself effectively backed up against the counter. “But it’s a thank-you gift for dinner,” she pleaded.

He shook his head. “But nothing—open up.”

Despite her objections, she opened her mouth and took in the rich bite of goodness. Once she recovered from complete food ecstasy, she narrowed her eyes on him. “That wasn’t fair.”

He chuckled and handed her a napkin. “Maybe not, but I know you enjoyed it.”

Laughing, she dabbed at her mouth, trying not to disturb her freshly applied tinted gloss. “Wait a minute.” He took the napkin out of her hand. “You missed a spot.”

As he started to lift the napkin toward her mouth, he stopped. Leaning in, he lazily flicked his tongue against the corner of her mouth.

“You’re right,” he said. “It’s very addictive.”