Mr. Irresistible(8)

By: Karina Bliss

She jerked away. “Let me get your seduction technique quite clear. You try and intimidate me into keeping quiet over your sordid affair with a married woman, and then you proposition me?”

Jordan laughed, and it was fortunate they were outside, the sound was so loud. Kate stared at him, torn between getting away from this madman and choking the life out of him.

With a last chuckle he looked at her, his eyes gleaming. “I guess you have a point. I’m normally quite good at this.”

“I’ll add ‘Casanova’ to the list—after ‘intimidating thug.’”

“Let me start again,” he said quietly. “I trusted a woman I shouldn’t have. But it was a mistake and I’m gutted by the impact on her family, which is why I haven’t compounded their misery by publicly calling their mother a liar.” He took a purposeful step closer. “Anything else?”

Kate struggled to return some sanity to the conversation. “You hardly know me.”

“Not yet,” admitted Jordan. “But I want to know you. Very well.”

“You want to sleep with me, you mean.” The man was insufferable.

His gaze swept over her like a blue searchlight. “Hell, yes.”

She blushed, despite herself. “Are you always this direct?”

“When my instincts are this strong.”

“Dogs follow their instincts. Sensible people temper instinct with reason.”

“Sensible people tend to focus on reasons not to do things, which leads to very boring lives. Do you lead a boring life, Kate?”

She slipped back into the concealing shadows. “That’s beside the point. I’m not attracted to you.”

“You know, I’m getting pretty sick of you denying it.” He reached for her and pulled her close, and she wondered how she’d ever misread any expression of Jordan’s as guileless. She dragged herself away from him, appalled at the heated charge she felt at his touch.

“Electric, isn’t it?” he said. “Makes you wonder what it would be like if we did this.” Strong arms closed around her, and his mouth took hers in a scorching kiss. Kate’s heart pounded until she was deaf to everything but its frantic beat. She opened her mouth to him, unable to resist.

Other senses kicked in. The smell of him, healthy male mixed with citrus. The feel of him, hard muscle beneath his silk shirt, his long hair touching her bare shoulders.

And, dear heaven, the taste of him, and the way he moved his mouth against hers. She had never felt lust like this. It was wonderful.

It was horrible.

Kate wrenched away and, breathless, stumbled to the stone balustrade for support. Other sounds reasserted themselves—the bass beat of the music, the distant clink of glasses and chatter of conversation.

How could she have so forgotten herself here? Anyone could have seen them. Peter included.

She spun around and glared at Jordan. That she should be reduced to acting like some cheap slut in public, and by such a man…!

In the moonlight, his white shirt glimmered as she watched him struggle to bring his breathing under control. Kate couldn’t read his expression.

“Come home with me.”

She steeled herself against the husky invitation. “This is yet another attempt to stop me from writing about the camp, isn’t it?”

It was the wrong thing to say. He stiffened and moved back into the light, where she could see him clearly. “You’re right,” he said coolly, “we do need to get to know each other better first. I could threaten your boyfriend’s job, I could scare you with lawyers, I could pull Triton’s advertising from the paper if you connect me with the camp again…. Yes, I’ve thought of—”

“You can’t intimidate me.” She turned to go, determined not to let him see how badly he’d unsettled her.

“But I’m not going to do any of that, Kate, because I believe in your integrity, and I know when you’ve calmed down you’ll give me the benefit of the doubt.”

She slammed the glass door behind her and walked to the bar on shaky legs. Peter dropped an arm lightly around her waist and kept talking to his boss, Brian, about rewriting software to take into account changes in taxation law. When Jordan came inside, Kate moved closer to Peter, anchoring herself to his solid familiarity.

Across the room, Jordan smiled.

“Are you okay?”

Kate loosened her grip on Peter’s arm and nodded, watching Jordan leave. With a sigh, she turned to her boyfriend. “I’m a little tired.” And she was. Suddenly exhausted.

He massaged her neck, knowing exactly where the sore spot was. “I should take my girl home,” he said to Brian, and his habitual devotion nearly made Kate weep.