First Temptation(10)

By: Joan Swan


The lock on the back door clicked. Brooks let out a long, deep breath and a soft, “Thank God that’s over.”

Taft chuckled. He liked her. A lot more than he’d expected to.

He prided himself on reading people accurately. It meant his life or death on many occasions, after all. But he’d called it right that morning when he’d guessed Brooks had layers.

That kiss had confirmed it. Not only because of the way she’d kissed him—hot enough to singe his eyebrows—but because of the way she’d responded to his aggressive approach.

“What are you grinning about now?” She came down the back hall and around the counter, hands on hips, smooth brow pulled in a frown, full lower lip—the one that felt so damn good pulled between his—pushed out.

“I was just thinking”—he set the drill on the counter and looked directly into her eyes—“about how you use your mouth like a fucking goddess.” He paused, relishing the way her expression glazed over when she absorbed his meaning. “And hoping I get to experience it all over my body…soon.”

Luscious heat drifted through her eyes. Her lips parted.

Then she lowered her eyes to the counter, ran her tongue over her lower lip, and drew a slow, deep breath until the tendons of her sleek neck stood out. “Not likely.”

She blew the air out, crossed her arms, and leaned one hip against the main display case. “Why don’t you go play with the toys? I’ll put the camera in.”

Taft pulled a utility knife from the toolbox he’d brought. “Sweetness, you may be the boss at the border, but not here.”

“I’m not trying to be the boss. I’m good with tools.”

“Better with tools than toys, are you…” He glanced at her from beneath his brows with a grin. “Mary?”

Her shoulders fell. Eyelids lowered halfway. Color stained the ridge of her cheekbones. He didn’t know women who blushed still existed.

“You know enough for both of us, Satan.”

He barked a laugh. Found it surprising she didn’t try to deny. “Are you the missionary, vanilla type of girl?”

“You think all sex has to be vanilla unless it includes a foreign object? I’ll have you know, I have smokin’ hot sex just fine without the need for sexual aids.”

“Sexual aids?” Taft stopped loosening the screw holding the housing together and lifted his brows at her.

She returned the brow lift in challenge. “Mara’s words. She is the expert.”

“I thought she said I was the expert.”

“I think you have very big ears.”

“That’s her way of justifying what she sells.” Taft replaced the blade in the knife with a sharp one, trying not to frown at the slice to his ego. “They’re toys. All this shit makes sex more fun, Brooks. These are all enhancements to the ordinary act that can only be done so many ways. They make sex better, more fun, more…erotic. They add variety.”

Her eyes narrowed as if she were inspecting his psyche. He turned toward the wall joining Incognito and Fumar and took a solid grip on the blade.

Does your man agree with this vanilla philosophy? I bet if you asked, he’d secretly be hoping for—”

Brooks’s hand covered his, stopping his first cut into the drywall. He was suddenly, intensely aware of her proximity. Of her soft body heat. Of her scent. Orange…almond…

“Don’t cut there,” she said. “It’s the wrong placement.”

He turned his head, closed his eyes, and moved his nose and mouth down the length of her forearm, inhaling and letting his lips brush her skin.

He groaned and pressed his closed mouth to her wrist, mumbling, “Vanilla.”

She laughed and leaned forward. “What?”

He lifted his mouth from her skin to say, “You’re wearing something with vanilla in it.”

His entire body responded with hunger.

“So?” she quipped.

Before he thought, he opened his mouth and bit her wrist—gently. She gasped, and her other hand moved to his head.

Taft released his teeth, murmured, “It makes me horny as hell,” and licked the skin he’d bitten.

Her fingers slid into his hair and curled around a few pieces. “I thought you said vanilla was boring.”

He moved up her arm and repeated the bite-release-lick pattern, and she leaned into him on a sigh. He smiled. “You like touching me, don’t you?”

Taft had been carrying around an almost erection since laughing with her in the café that morning. Everything he’d seen and learned about her since then only intensified his interest.

“Yeah.” She breathed the word, and Taft looked up, forgetting what he’d asked. “Which is why I…”