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"Emilia Vega, this is my son Ramón Chavez. Ramón, this is Señorita Vega."
Though Emilia knew Mercedes was at least a few years older than herself, she didn't believe there was any way the woman was old enough to have a son Ramón's age. But even then, Emilia knew she was older than Ramón by at least several years and why was she thinking about the man's age in comparison to hers?
Because you find him so darn hot, that's why!
Emilia instantly grew wet between her thighs at the thought, couldn't remember when she had been so instantly attracted to and turned on by a man.
Anthony's father had had the rare power of turning her inside out with just a glance, but that was more than a decade ago, a decade and a years-long, soul-destroying affair ago.
Emilia blinked when she realized three sets of eyes were watching her and she had yet to stand and properly respond to Mercedes's introductions.
She leaped to her feet and awkwardly stuck out her suddenly moist hand which was immediately engulfed by the caramel, smooth hand of Ramón Chavez.
The firm contact sent an electric tingle straight up her arm, cold heat spreading through her upper body until her nipples hardened and stood at attention. Her reaction was totally inappropriate, totally out of synch with the situation. The man hadn't uttered a word yet!
"It's nice to meet you, Ms. Vega."
Emilia gripped his hand like a life preserver, the look in his mocha eyes and the sound of his bone-melting voice making her knees shaky and inciting visions of dashing swashbucklers. He even had a tiny gold hoop winking at her from his left earlobe tocinch the image.
This was ridiculous. She wasn't a lovesick teenage girl. She was a divorced woman with a twelve-year-old son. She didn't have time for pirate fantasies!
That's right, Em. Focus. "Please, call me Emilia. And it's nice to meet you too." Atta girl! That's the way to put him in his place with the breathless flirty voice.
"Em-e-lee-ah." He licked his full lips as if enjoying the taste of her name on his tongue. "It's a beautiful name."
What was beautiful was the way he said it--correctly, she might add--smooth, slightly-accented voice breaking down each syllable and elongating her name to make it sound like exotic poetry, not like most people who anglicized it to the mundane-sounding 'Amelia' even though her name started with an 'E.'
"You can call me Ramón."
She loved the way he rolled the 'R' and said Rah-moan. Moan. He could say that again. Was there any name he didn't utter with a sexy lilt?
"My mother tells me you're in need of a dance partner for the evening, Emilia."
Her womb contracted when he said her name again and caused another rush of warm moisture to her panties. "I really don't want to put anyone out."
"You wouldn't be putting me out."
Okay, was she going to have to resort to the truth and tell him there was no way she could dance with him because he turned her on too much? Yeah, that would go over well, and send Freddie flying home to tell Angie her evil plan to hook her up with the sexy dance instructor had worked. No way, José.
"You will not be putting him out. M'ijo is an instructor here at the stu--"
"Part-time instructor," Ramón said. "My mother is trying to get me to come on full-time, but she forgets I have other commitments."
"Ay, commitments. This is your calling. You are a dancer, Ramón."
Emilia almost chuckled at his good-natured irritation, how much he sounded like Anthony, an adult Anthony with a deep and bone-sizzling baritone, of course.
She wondered if she and Anthony would be as close as Mercedes and Ramón seemed to be fifteen, twenty years from now.
How old was he anyway?
"Surely, you have other duties I'm pulling you away from..." Emilia gaped as he bowed at the waist in a sweeping, Old World gesture that took her breath away, especially when he looked at her from beneath those lush, curly lashes and made her nipples pulsate.
God, the man was a walking, breathing aphrodisiac! No way could she come back for another lesson. She didn't think she could survive this one without floating away on a tide of her own fresh and sudden arousal.
Ramón softly brushed the back of her hand with his lips, the silken whiskers clipped in an oval around his upper lip and chin tickling her skin and sending the most delicious and startling electrical currents shooting between her thighs before he said, "Truly, you'd be helping me out when I demonstrate the steps to the class." He gently squeezed her hand, waiting for her acquiescence. "Señorita?"
How could she say no? Why would she want to when her blood was sizzling at his touch and she felt alive for the first time in years?
Emilia closed her eyes and followed his lead into the middle of the floor, diving headlong in the deep end of a pool when she didn't know how to swim and no lifeguard was on duty.