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By ANNE RAINEY
APHRODISIA BOOKSCopyright © 2011 Anne Rainey
All right reserved.
Chapter OnePresent day ...
She had sweet, gentle curves that the tight black skirt and light pink tank top couldn't even begin to hide. Short blond hair framed a cute oval-shaped face. Pretty. Flirty too. Her smiles should've been pulling him across the room. Do it, dumbass. Walk over to her, whisper some lame shit in her ear, and get laid. Great fucking advice. So, why wasn't he listening to it? Easy. His dick wanted only one woman—and she was nowhere in sight.
Jonas slammed back the last of his light beer and stepped away from the bar. The neon lights, crowded room, and booming bass should've been exactly what he needed to get his mind off one Deanna Harrison. He had a feeling an earthquake couldn't even manage to accomplish that goal.
After giving the little blonde a parting grin, Jonas headed out of the bar into the cold winter night. As he slid behind the wheel of his new black Dodge Charger, he felt marginally better, but not enough. Not nearly enough. He sighed and stared out at the darkness. Friday night and more than enough honeys to fill his bed for a week, and where was he? Alone. Again. "Christ, I'm an idiot."
Shoving the key into the ignition, Jonas started the car. Listening to the hum of the engine as the beautiful machine came to life sent a shot of pride through him. He loved his car, but as he drove out of the parking lot and headed toward the highway, Jonas's mind turned toward another beauty, Deanna. The way her eyes lit with mischief whenever she saw him. Only Deanna could make a smart-ass comment sound sexy. What would it take to slip past that exterior? To reach the passionate woman beneath? And she would be passionate; Jonas felt it in his gut. A woman like Deanna would burn him alive in bed. If he could ever get her to stop rejecting him.
Without thinking, Jonas automatically took the on ramp, which brought him in the direction of Deanna's house. "Ah, hell. Clearly my dick is now in complete control." The part of his brain that controlled rational thought seemed to switch off the minute the woman's image slipped through the cracks.
As he approached her house, Jonas stiffened. There weren't any lights on, which meant she was out. "It's Friday night—of course she's out." With a guy? "Now that's a hell of an ugly thought."
Jonas drove up the street a little ways, then parked along the curb. No reason why he couldn't wait for her to return home. He needed to be sure she was safe, didn't he? Jonas got out of the car and locked it. Jogging the short distance to her front porch gave him a chance to think about his actions. Deanna was a grown woman. She had every right to date whomever she chose. To come home late. Hell, stay out all night. None of his business, of course. The logical discussion didn't stop him from selecting the chair situated in the shadows of her porch. Dropping into it, Jonas pulled his leather coat around him tighter and relaxed, waited. His head started swirling with images of Deanna and some faceless stranger. Kissing. Touching. Another man's hands stroking her alabaster skin. Another man's tongue teasing her plump lips. His temper flared.
Please, for both their sakes, let her be out with friends.
When a car pulled into her drive, Jonas stiffened. Definitely not Deanna's red coupe. The big, silver Lexus looked expensive, fancy. Is that the type Deanna went for? The clean-shaven, suit-wearing type? Jonas rubbed his jaw, then cursed when he felt the rough stubble there. Watching from the shadows, he saw Deanna lean toward the driver. He couldn't make out any more than their shapes. Was she kissing him? Was the asshole staying the night?
Not damn likely.
When she opened the passenger door and stepped out, Jonas breathed a sigh of relief. She waved and the car started a slow glide back out of the driveway. Jonas waited. When she stepped onto the porch, he got a better look at her. She wore a pair of red heels and a matching slip dress with a little black shawl wrap. The dress hit above the knee. Classy, but sexy—and too freaking revealing for his peace of mind.
"Even though it's winter and that dress is clearly not designed to keep a body warm, you sure are heating me up pretty damn fast."
At his words, Deanna jumped and screamed. Jonas shot out of the chair and grabbed her by the shoulders in time to keep her from tumbling off the porch. "What the hell, Jonas? You scared the crap out of me!"
Feeling like an idiot, he mumbled, "Sorry. I didn't mean to startle you."
She shoved out of his arms and slapped his chest. "Why are you lurking in the dark? Are you spying on me?"
Her eyes flashed fire and ice at the same time. How did she do that? It captivated the hell out of him. "Who's spying? I just came for a friendly visit."
"You know very well you're spying." She bit the words out between clenched teeth.
He leaned close, inhaling her floral scent. Lilacs. She always smelled like lilacs. Delicate and gentle. Two things Jonas didn't know shit about. If he had any decency at all, he'd leave.
"A visit, Deanna." He stepped back and let her pass. "I'm not allowed to visit?"
She pulled open the screen door and shoved her key into the dead bolt. "No, you aren't. Now go away. I'm tired." Her voice had lowered to a quiet, husky tone. It snaked up Jonas's chest like a caress. It pissed him off that she could get to him so easily. "Is that why you sent your date home? Because you're tired?"
She pushed her door open, then turned to him. "That's none of your business." She crossed her arms over her chest. "Go home, Jonas."
Jonas closed the distance separating them. "Let me come inside, Deanna. We need to talk."
"No, we don't," she gritted out, her voice not quite as steady as before. "You need to go home and I need to sleep."
His temper flared. "Why won't you give me the time of day?"
Deanna shook her head and looked away.
Jonas cupped her cheek and forced her back around. He wouldn't let her hide from him. Not ever. "This isn't all one-sided," he whispered. "This desire, you feel it too. I know you do."
On a sigh, Deanna closed her eyes tight. "Just because there's an itch doesn't mean we should scratch it."
Damn, her skin was as soft as flower petals. He stroked his thumb over her lower lip and found it plump, inviting. His dick hardened beneath his jeans as he imagined those full pink lips wrapped snug around his cock.
"An itch, huh?" he growled. "Is that the way you see it?"
She opened her eyes and stared up at him. The angry glare she shot him wasn't at all what he expected. "You had your chance once. You blew it."
Genuinely confused, Jonas dropped his hand. "Chance? You've shot me down at every turn, Deanna."
She squinted and pointed her finger at his chest. "You took my brother's side."
He shoved a hand through his hair and prayed for patience. "Wade?"
"Yes. At Gracie's apartment. When we were there helping clean up the mess that freak left behind. You sided with Wade. Some stupid nonsense about the sister code. Remember?"
Ah, it was all coming together finally. Gracie had been a client of his and Wade's investigation business, but she'd quickly become the love of Wade's life. Unfortunately, she'd been having trouble with a deranged stalker. When the creep had broken into Gracie's apartment and torn it all to hell, they'd all rallied together to help Gracie put things back in order. Once again, Jonas had seen a chance to ask Deanna out, but she'd shot him down. Then Dean and Wade, her two overprotective brothers, had gotten involved. Jonas and Wade were not only business partners but also friends—an annoying little fact that forced Jonas to back off in his pursuit.
"Wade is like a brother to me," he explained, "and he reminded me of that. It's not cool to chase after your friend's baby sister, Deanna."
She quirked a brow at him. "And yet here you are."
"Yes, smart-ass, here I am," he said softly. "I talked to Wade. He's still not crazy about the fact that I'm hot for you, but he's not going to stand in my way either."
If anything, her frown turned darker. "You asked for his blessing?"
"Uh, something like that, yeah."
"He's not my father, Jonas. I'm a grown woman. Wade has no right to interfere in my personal life."
"Right or wrong, Deanna, Wade will always look out for you. Dean, too, for that matter."
She sighed. "And let me guess, Wade threatened to castrate you if you hurt me. Is that it?"
Jonas propped a fist against the doorjamb, then wrapped his other hand around her waist to keep her from bolting through the open door. "The last thing I want is to hurt you, Deanna."
Deanna's slender fingers gripped onto his forearm. "No," she whispered, "you just want to get me into bed."
He let his hand move lower, until he was mere inches from the sweet curve of her ass. "I want you like hell. Just looking at you makes my dick hard. But there's more than that between us."
She shook her head, maybe a little too vehemently, Jonas thought. "No, there isn't."
"There could be," he murmured as he dipped his head and brushed her lips with his. "If you'd stop playing so hard to get."
The hand she had on his forearm tightened, but she wasn't pushing him away. "I don't want to be another in a long line of conquests, Jonas. This isn't a game for me."
"If all I wanted was a few hours between the sheets with a warm, willing woman, I would've taken that cute little blonde up on her offer at the bar I went to tonight."
Her nails dug into his skin. "Cute little blonde?"
He nodded, enjoying the note of jealousy in her voice. It served her right, considering how jealous he'd been when he'd seen her in that Lexus. "She sent me all the right signals too. But the only woman I want isn't in some bar."
"Uh-uh. She's standing right in front of me." He looked down her body, his gaze snagging on the fullness of her breasts pressing so enticingly against the thin material of the dress. "And she's so pretty too."
Deanna dropped her hands and sighed. "I can't do this, Jonas. Please."
"Why? It's just a date. We can go real slow, I swear."
The satin skin over her cheekbones, the same skin he wanted to press his lips against, tautened. Jonas ached to take the starch right out of her. He wanted to watch her go all soft and rosy for him.
"It's not going to work," she said. "I've known guys like you. You're an oversexed playboy. You aren't the serious type, Jonas. You like to play, and I'm not willing to be your plaything."
He snorted at her description. "Plaything?"
Deanna stiffened and dropped her hands from his arms. Jonas instantly missed the warm touch. "Do you deny you're a player?"
Damn, she was serious. "That's what you think of me? That I'm a player?"
She pointed a finger at his chest. "I've watched you with women. None of them are ever around for long either." Jonas felt his own anger rise. Only Deanna could get to him so quickly and with so little effort. "You think you have me all figured out, but you don't."
Her lips twitched. "Oh, really?"
Jonas scowled. "Really."
She crossed her arms over her chest, and Jonas's gaze shot to the plump swells. She might well be trying to hide them from his view, but Jonas could've told her not to waste her time. The woman put new meaning to the word stacked. A man would have to be blind not to notice Deanna's voluptuous curves. Jonas groaned. So fucking close, and yet he may as well be miles away.
"How long was your last relationship?"
Her question jarred Jonas back to the conversation. He had to think back quite a few months before he could answer. "Her name was Marissa, and it lasted two months."
She quirked a brow at him in that regal, slightly bitchy way she had. His dick, which always hardened the instant she came within view, perked right up. "Gee, a whole two months, huh?"
Jonas reached out and tweaked her nose. "Yeah, smart-ass, two months. Sweet lady, but not the one for me." He chose to leave off the part about not having had a serious relationship ever since the day he'd met one hardheaded, dark-haired vixen, who just happened to be his best friend's baby sister. "Now you," he murmured. "How long was your last relationship, Deanna?"
To his surprise, she looked away. As if uncomfortable with the conversation all of a sudden. "I've been busy with work lately. Dating has been the last thing on my mind."
"That doesn't answer my question. I was honest, sweetheart. Don't you think you owe me the same courtesy?"
"Fine. I haven't had a serious relationship since Roger and I broke up."
Jonas remembered Roger. Deanna had dated him for six months. It'd been six months of pure hell for Jonas as he imagined Roger touching Deanna. Touching, tasting, and loving. Jonas had gotten drunk more than once during those six months. Christ, just the thought sent Jonas's temperature into the red zone. "That was a year ago."
She rolled her eyes. "I'm well aware of that, but thanks for the reminder."
Jonas propped his hand against the doorjamb. "Did you love him?"
"I thought so at the time."
"Are you pining away for him, Deanna?"
She laughed. "Pining?"
At the sound of her quiet laughter, a dam inside Jonas burst and warmth flooded his system. "You're beautiful when you do that," he whispered as he lifted his hand and cupped her cheek in his palm.
"Laugh. I love to hear you laugh."
"Jonas, don't." She shook her head and covered his hand with her own, but she didn't remove it. To his way of thinking, it was another step in the right direction.
Jonas dipped his head, slowly, afraid if he moved too fast she'd bolt through the open door. "Are you sure, Deanna?"
Her soft lips parted and Jonas swept in.
Chapter TwoThe instant their lips touched, Deanna's heart did a little cartwheel. Geez, good-looking only scratched the surface with Jonas. She could also add talented to the list. There was a rather lethal sort of appeal to Jonas that she had the hardest time ignoring. Danger oozed from his every pore. He seemed more animal than man. The image of a leopard sprang to Deanna's mind. The skillful, quiet way he moved reminded her of a great jungle cat stalking its prey.
Deanna was a breath away from pushing him back when she felt his arms come around her middle, pulling her closer. Too close. His hard body pressed against hers. God, that felt good. Deanna surrendered. Just this once she wanted to taste him. Feel him. To see if he would be as good in real life as in her fantasies. She'd had a lot of them. Putting everything she had into the kiss, Deanna touched the seam of his mouth with her tongue, prodding him to open and let her play. Jonas groaned and tightened his hold. She nipped his lower lip with her teeth, eager for more. He angled his head and dipped his tongue between her lips. Finally, she got her first real taste of the man. She detected a hint of alcohol, but most of all she simply savored Jonas. Hot and masculine. He was like Swiss chocolate, tempting and sweet; Deanna wanted to gorge herself on him.
Jonas rotated his hips, and Deanna felt the hard length of his cock against her stomach. Her pussy throbbed and dampened. She wanted to feel him, deep and hot, filling her. When his hands skimmed over the swell of her bottom, Deanna knew she had to put a stop to things before it was too late. Heck, much more and she'd be too far gone. She'd be begging him to take her.
Pulling back, but still close enough to feel his heavy breathing against her kiss-swollen lips, Deanna whispered, "Enough, Jonas."
"You want me, and we both know I'm desperate for you," he growled. "Why stop now? Just when things were getting interesting too."
Deanna had no answers for him. Her head felt too fuzzy to try to speak with any degree of intelligence. Instead, she attempted to step through the doorway, into her house, where she would be safe from big, hard men bent on turning her into a begging wanton. She needed distance between them. She needed to gain control over her raging hormones.
Excerpted from PLEASURE BOUND by ANNE RAINEY Copyright © 2011 by Anne Rainey. Excerpted by permission of APHRODISIA BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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