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the things the man could do
He was the most creative lover she'd ever had. She'd enjoyed a few but this one was the flame on her Flaming Sambuca. Slithering lower, Sophie Buchanan licked the lingering flavour of blackberries and cream from her lips. As sweet as it was, she was done with dessert.
The silk sheets slid cool and smooth against her skin, the perfect foil for his hard, hot weight as she arched her body beneath him. Wanting more. Wanting everything. And she told him what that was. Every glorious detail.
Then she sighed as he set about fulfilling those requests, starting at her ear lobe and working his way down.
His mouth was warm, wet and wicked, suckling at her neck, laving her collarbone and sending goose bumps from the roots of her hair right down to the tips of her toes and every throbbing place in between. His thumbs, lightly calloused, chafed her sensitised flesh as he tweaked her nipples until
she was in heaven.
'There's more,' his gravel and whisky voice promised.
She hummed her approval, absorbing the scent and texture of his skin against hers while his hands continued their erotic journey.
Wanting to absorb the feel of his flesh through her fingertips, she slid her fingers slowly down his spine, touching every vertebra in turn, pressing her thumbs into the hard muscle on either side. She was rewarded with a harsh groan that tickled her ear and told her he was enjoying it as much as she.
Then he touched her some more. Everywhere. Everywhere at once. His fingers sought, found and satisfied all her secret places. Ripples of pleasure flowed through her veins like liquid goldhis expertise knew no bounds and it seemed his only desire was to bring her pleasure.
And he did, in every way. Jared
The name rippled through her mind like silken ribbons in a tropical breeze.
He smiled, traced her mouth with a finger then with his tongue, and she smiled too, before indulging in the most sumptuous of kisses. He tasted rich and dark, like the blackberries and cream they'd shared, and ever-so-slightly dangerous, which was okay, since she knew she was perfectly safe with him.
He kneed her thighs apart then slid inside her with agonisingly exquisite slowness. It was as if the world forgot to turn. As if it were coming to a stop. And perhaps it was. Perhaps it had ceased to exist, because it seemed it was only the two of them in a sparkling cocoon of everlasting velvet night.
She heard a moan, as if her voice came from somewhere else, and her eyes slid open, the darkness alive and glowing with wonder, the tidal wave of her climax still crashing around her. She lay a moment listening to the sound of her elevated breathing while her body slowly floated back to earth.
She touched her still tingling lips, realised she was still smiling. And why wouldn't she be? Oh
As her eyes adjusted to night's soft glow through her living-room window, she saw the Gold Coast's languid summer's evening had sprinkled the indigo sky with silver dust.
A dream. And the best sex she'd never had.
Yet even though his image remained tantalisingly vague, she could still taste him on her tongue. Which was as fanciful as it was true, she knew, but that didn't make it any less sumptuous. As dream lovers went he was a five-star keeper. Which, all things considered, was a shame because why weren't there any men out there in the real world to compare?
She shook her head against the cushion. It didn't matter if there were a zillion comparable men beating a path to her door, she wasn't interested. She didn't needor wanta real man in her life ever again. Not after Glen. He'd destroyed what they had and left her feeling less than a woman. Her dream lovers suited her just fine. Dream lovers were all about you and your wants and they didn't let you down.
Best of all, they were safe.
Her laptop lay on the coffee table, its tiny power light winking in the dimness. Rousing herself, she switched on the reading lamp. Every luscious detail, before the glory fades.
Even though she no longer attended counselling sessions, the dream journal she still kept was on her night-stand, so she dragged the computer onto her lap, created a dream folder, flexed her fingers.
His name was Jared, and this dream hottie could scorch her sheets any time he wanted
The words flowed onto the screen, tantalising her all over again. She reread the document, flushing hot as she did so. Whew, it was like reading one of those steamy romance novels. What would her counsellor have made of it?
Then her fingers stalled above the keyboard. Jared? Her heart thumped once and a jolt of heat arrowed through her body. She didn't know anyone by that name
Unless she counted Jared Sandersonand it couldn't be him. How could you have the hots for a guy you'd never met, let alone seen up close? Pam's boss. And since her friend was off work sick and Sophie was temping for her, that made him her boss for the next day or so.
A shivery sensation shot through her body, making the tiny hairs on the back of her neck and down her arms stand up. A glimpse of dark cropped hair and a snowy white shirt stretched tight over impossibly broad shoulders when she'd arrived at the office of J Sanderson Property Investments and Refurbishments this morning.
She shook the image away. Big boss Jared had been too busy or simply too rude to bother introducing himself to his lowly temporary PA before heading out for the rest of the day.
It wasn't him, she told herself firmly. The name had stuck in her mind, that was all. Not to mention that stunning physique
And tall and dark had always been her thing.
No. If he had hit her sweet spot on some subconscious level and it had manifested in her dreams, it didn't matter since he'd never know.
So it wasn't a problem. Not a problem at all. Nor was she going to allow this particular dream lover to erode the competent professional image she'd worked so hard for. She'd come to Surfers to bury past hurts, to begin a new life.
Professional. It reminded her that she'd not yet emailed the file Pam had asked her to edit before forwarding to the office. Switching to email, she entered the address Pam had supplied and began a brief accompanying note. Dear Jared
She paused. Typing those words redefined the image and rekindled the smouldering heat in her lower body to life again. She fanned a hand in front of her face, a smile tugging at her mouth despite herself. Where the heck was that professionalism?
She deleted the words, then shook her fingers in front of her for a few seconds, pursed her lips and began again. Mr Sanderson
Much better. Please find the Lygon and Partners report attached for your approval. Regards, Sophie Buchanan for Pam Albright.
She attached Pam's revised document, pressed Send, then closed her computer and the lamp and headed to her bedroom through the shadows. She settled back against the pillows with a sigh. Maybe she'd get lucky some more.
She'd barely closed her eyes when something sharp and hot and possibly terminal lodged dead centre in her chest, and they snapped wide open again. She couldn't have
She Could Not.
Jackknifing up, she stumbled back to the living room and her laptop and stabbed the On button. Her fingers twitched with impatience while the little computer took its sweet time powering up. For heaven's sake, could it load any slower?
When her email screen appeared she scrolled to her Sent Items folder and.her breath stopped. Her heart stopped. Everything stopped. Oh. My. God.
Her dream file was this very minute awaiting Jared Sanderson's approval.
Her heart restarted and hysterical laughter bubbled up her throat as she quickly attached the correct document and resent. Did the man have a sense of humour? According to Pam, no, he didn't, and her mouth twisted as she blew out a breath.
Even if he did see the humour in the situation, what she'd written was so shockingly
well, shocking. The worst, the very worst of it, was his name was in there. Only his first name, but that was more than enough. She was never ever going to put her sexy dreams in writing again.
The swipe card they'd given her didn't operate the building's front door so there was no point going to the office now to try and delete it. Which meant she'd have to wait till someone opened up in the morning to get into the office. Seven o'clock at the earliest.
With a groan, she let her head fall back and gazed at the ceiling. But she didn't see it. All she saw was the look on the man's face when he opened her email.
She was so dead.
He was an uncle. Jared strolled into his living room just after 10:00 p.m. with two glasses and a bottle of the best Aussie Chardonnay. A niece. Arabella Fleur. Cute as a cupcake, with a mop of dark hair, big eyes and a rosebud mouth. Fingers and toes all accounted for. The grin he'd been wearing since Crystal had delivered her firstborn this afternoon seemed to be permanently carved into his cheeks.
His youngest sister Melissa was home already; he could hear the shower running. Setting the bottle and glasses on the coffee table, he sat on the sofa and checked his phone for messages and the day's office emails. He gave most only a cursory glance. Pam would have phoned with anything urgent.
Sophie Buchanan. The unfamiliar name popped up with a reference to the Lygon report. Ah
now he remembered Pam had gone home sick yesterday. Crystal's nine-fifteen call this morning informing him she was in labour ten days early and that Ian's flight wasn't due in from Sydney for another hour had pushed everything and everyone out of his mind. Sophie must be the temp Pam had organised.
'Hey, Liss?' he called when he heard movement in the hallway. 'Get your butt in here. We've got some celebrating to do.' He popped the cork and filled the glasses as Melissa appeared in the doorway, wrapped in her robe, her red hair damp about her face.
'Ooh, lovely.' She wasted no time padding across the room and taking the proffered glass.
'Special occasion, Auntie Melissa.'
She grinned, clinked her glass to his but remained standing. 'Welcome to the world, Arabella Fleur.' She sipped then said, 'She's got your ears. Nice and flat.'
He tasted the wine, then grinned back, chuffed with the idea that some tiny part of him at least was immortal. 'You think?'
'I do. This is nice.' Another sip, followed by a long, slow swallow. Her brows arched over her aquamarine eyes as she glanced at the label. 'But I still prefer the French variety.'
The bubbles fizzed on his tongue as he studied her. Their father's death had left the three of them orphans. He'd been eighteen, Crystal thirteen, Melissa just six. She'd never known their mother, who'd died when she was two weeks old. When had that little girl become this sophisticated young woman? Too sophisticated. 'You're not supposed to be experienced enough to know the difference.'
'Oh, pul-lease, I'm nearly eighteen.' She swung away. 'You sound like a father.'
Her accusation took the shine off. Twelve years ago Jared had taken on the role and responsibilities of both parents. And he didn't regret it for a minute. But sometimes
'Maybe,' he acknowledged. 'But I won't apologise for it. I love you, Lissa, and that's never going to change.'
'I know.' Her voice softened and she shook her head. 'But sometimes.'
Yeah. Raising Lissa had been the most challenging experience of his life. And he had a feeling the hardest part wasn't done yet. The letting-go part.
'Speaking of fathers
and babies and all
' Twirling her glass, she pinned him with the same intense gaze. 'When are you going to find some poor girl who's willing to put up with your conservative ways and start a family of your own?' And let me get on with my life, her eyes said.
To avoid her familiar rant, he picked up his phone again, flicked through his messages once more. 'No hurry. I still have you to look out for.'
She made a noise at the back of her throat. 'You were my age when Dad died. When are you going to get it into your head that I'm an adult, w'
'Not for another three weeks, you're not.'
'And another thing,' she steamrolled ahead. 'I've been.'
? He blinked, refocused, Melissa's protests fading into the background somewhere. His name was Jared, and this dream hottie could scorch her sheets any time he wanted
'What?' He tore his eyes away momentarily to glimpse Melissa staring at him. He shook his head, whether in denial or to clear it, he didn't know. 'It's nothing.' Nothing he wanted to share, least of all with his baby sister who'd just accused him of being conservative. My snakeskin-print G-string melted away beneath the heat of his hand and my thighs fell apart as he Whoa.
He threw back a mouthful of the bubbly but the liquid did little to soothe his suddenly very dry, very tight throat. He set the glass down with a clunk.
'Bad news? '
' Though what exactly this was, he didn't know. Yet. But he intended finding out.
'So, as I was saying, I've been giving it some thought, and'
'Sorry, Liss, I'm going to have to deal with this,' he said, rising. He caught the frustration in her eyes but he couldn't give her his full attention until he'd resolved the hot little matter currently burning a hole in his palm. 'We'll talk later, okay?'
He headed straight for his study and booted up his computer. Drummed his fingers on the desk. The attachment was titled with today's date. No reference to Lygon.
He swiped his palms over day-old stubble, clicked the file open. The text flashed onto the screen. It was pink. Wild, colourful and erotic. Despite himself, he felt a smile tug the corner of his mouth. The more he read, the hotter it became.
The hotter he became.
He shifted on his chair to ease a growing pressure beneath the front of his trousers. The scene was so vivid he could almost feel the silky smoothness of her inner thighs, the budded nipple against his palm, her sultry heat as he plunged inside her.