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LOVE DISCOVERED IN NEW YORK Copyright © 2014 by Danielle Allen

 

All rights reserved.

 

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, pirating, or by an information storage and retrieval system - except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a magazine, newspaper, or - without permission in writing from the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

Interior design and formatting: Perfectly Publishable (www.perfectlypublishable.com)

 

Proofreading: Perfectly Publishable (www.perfectlypublishable.com)

 

Cover Design: Cover Me, Darling (www.covermedarling.com)

 

Photo Credit: Photography Shutterstock

 


 

To Adrian, Andy, Ashley, Noelle, Christina, DaShauna, Lorenzo, and Joe. Because when you have supportive, hilarious, and thoughtful best friends who buy your novels as soon as they release and love them as much as you do, they deserve a dedication.

 

And to Olivia Pope… Because Shonda is a genius and I’m a gladiator.

 


 

To: Mya Washington

 

From: Dad’s Work Email

 

Subject: I just received your response card

 

Dear Mya,

 

I know you are still healing from the death of your mother. It rocked us all. And I know you disapprove of my relationship with Janet. However, I've decided to marry her. I know you and your sisters think it's too soon and probably too sudden after your mother's passing. But if you’ll just talk to me, I can explain why we’ve decided to marry at this time. I’ve sent emails to your sisters as well because I want the three of you here with me. I have no intention of choosing between my daughters and Janet. You three are a part of me and I want to welcome Janet into our family. You haven’t spoken to me since the funeral, but I'm begging you to call me, talk to me. I have so much I want to say to you. And please come back home for my wedding next month.

 

As the invitation stated, it will be held at Tillman Estates on September 15th. I hope to see you in six weeks, Mya. Please. Again, I’m begging you. It would mean so much to me.

 

I love you.

 

Dad

 


 

 

 

I GENTLY SCRATCHED MY FOREHEAD with my freshly manicured fingernails as I re-read the email from my dad. He chose her, I thought as I shook my head in disbelief. He had a choice between his children—his flesh and blood—and Janet—his whore. And he chose her. He’s seriously going to marry her! Who does that?

I refused to allow myself to be hurt by his actions. I refused to allow myself to be hurt by my father or any other man. Tapping into my anger, I could almost feel the cement wall I was building up around myself.



“Because if you can’t trust your dad to not be a screw up, you can’t trust any man to not be a screw up,” I muttered to myself.

Reclining back against the couch, I slammed my laptop closed as I moved it from my lap to the couch cushion beside me. My cell phone started ringing at the same time.

Snatching my phone from the coffee table, I snapped, “Hello?” I didn’t even bother masking my mood.

“What the hell is your problem?” Kelsey retorted, her tone matching mine. I smiled.

Kelsey Stone worked with me at Duke & Duchess, the newest hotspot in Brooklyn. Duke & Duchess had been around for the last few years, but when the cast of a superhero movie rented it out for a wrap party, it became a hotspot. We started around the same time, two years ago, before the attention, and became best friends.

“Sometimes I think the reason so many women are cynical when it comes to men is because they have a deadbeat dad,” I theorized as I stared an angry hole in the wall. I took a deep breath and attempted to lighten my tone. “What’s up?”

There was a distinct pause. “Do you want to talk about it? Nicks gave me the night off. We could go out. Sounds like you need it.”

A short, dry laugh erupted out of me. “Nicks called and asked me to cover a shift. I didn’t know it was yours so I took it.”

“Dammit!” Kelsey cursed. “I wanted to go to this bar in Midtown and pick up a sexy businessman.”

Running my hand through my thick mass of long, dark hair, I smirked. “When is that not the plan?”

“Hey! Sometimes I want a big, blue collar guy with rough hands.” She laughed. “But this week I’m craving businessman.”

Laughing along with her, I shook my head. “You are crazy!”

Ignoring my statement, she continued, “Since tonight’s a bust, let’s go out on Friday.”

“Are you going to be able to last twenty-four hours without your businessman fix?”

Sighing dramatically, she said, “I guess I’ll manage. But you, you need a businessman fix, too. Since you’ve been in New York, you’ve only been with one guy. And since that was over months ago, I think it’s time you graduated to getting yourself a fling. Or a sex-buddy. A friend with benefits. Something!”

“I haven’t come across any guys that have piqued my interest!” I protested, throwing a hand in the air even though she couldn’t see it.

“Well, since Graham left, you’ve been in a drought, my friend.”

Ah, Graham, I thought with a small smile. Sexy, NYU graduate student, Graham was the perfect hook-up for me. He was too busy for anything more than casual, monogamous sex. And I didn’t want anything but casual, monogamous sex. It was a win-win for us both. He was always planning to move back to his home state of Texas, so there was never a fear that either of us would get too attached. We didn’t hang out; we just had sex. And when he graduated and moved back home seven months ago, we said goodbye and that was the end of it.

“Graham was safe,” Kelsey started. “If you were able to send a goodbye text and not even feel the need to see him before he left, you weren’t really into it. I think you need a fling to get you back on the metaphorical horse. And maybe, just maybe, a fling will lead you to getting into something more and cure you of your commitment phobia.”

“I’m not a commitment-phobe and I can’t just screw anybody, Kelsey! There’s some kind of magic that has to happen between me and a guy as soon as I meet him that lets me know that our sexual chemistry is right. If I’m going to have sex, I need it to be worthwhile. Life’s too short to waste on bad sex. ” I looked at the clock on the wall above the mantle. “Oh crap! I need to get ready to go.”

“Don’t overthink the fling you’re so desperately in need of. Whatever happens, happens. Just go with the flow. And don’t let Nicks convince you to work on Friday. We haven’t had a Friday off together in so long. We’re going out. We need this,” Kelsey stated firmly.

Rolling my eyes in amusement, I said, “Goodbye, Kelsey.”

“Later, Mya.”

Dropping my phone on the table next to my laptop, I wished I was able to go out with Kelsey. I needed to release pent-up anger and stress.

Friday, it is on, I thought as I struggled to get off of the plush couch. My thoughts guiltily floated back to Graham and the text I sent instead of meeting up with him to say goodbye.

We weren’t serious at all and I was working the night he was flying out. I’m not a commitment-phobe, I reiterated to myself silently. Maybe Kelsey’s right. Maybe a fling could help take my mind off of things. Operation Fling Finder will be in full effect on Friday. And there’s no stressful situation that a hot man and a cold drink can’t solve.

Standing in the middle of my minimally decorated living room, my eyes dropped back down to my laptop, reminding me of the email from my father. I briefly debated calling Marisa and Mikaela about Dad’s email. But I decided against it almost as immediately as the thought crossed my mind. Although the three of us were identical, born only minutes apart, we couldn’t be any more different.

Marisa was the mature one. As the oldest of the three of us, she was the typical type-A, responsible, good girl. In the eyes of our parents and teachers, Marisa could do no wrong and she seemed to thrive off of her perfect image. Perfection was a hard standard to compare myself to so I didn’t even try. At the age of five, I resigned myself to the fact that I would never be as perfect as Marisa. And thinking back, even at five years old, that was such a freeing and liberating feeling.

Mikaela was the introvert. As the middle triplet, she had always been quiet and kept to herself. But right before the three of us were supposed to go to college together, Mikaela changed. Without explanation, she decided that she didn’t want to go to school with us. Mikaela was always reserved, but something felt different with her and my gut told me there was more to her reclusiveness than she let on. I thought it would be a temporary thing, but after all these years, she remained distant.

The day after I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I moved to New York. Two years later, Marisa, Mikaela and I were living completely different lives. We kept in touch, but we weren’t as close as we could be. Although I loved them both dearly and we had an unbreakable bond, it was suffocating being the youngest triplet.

Especially when everyone considers you the rebellious one, I thought with pursed lips as I headed into the bedroom. Ever since we were young, I’d never been afraid to try something and fail. I was loud, brash and outspoken. I loved things that made me happy and rejected things that didn’t. And for that, I was labeled the rebel of the three of us. As we got older, I was labeled a rebel period. They said I couldn’t be tamed and I embraced that. Why would I want to be tamed?

Walking into my closet, I pulled out a pair of skinny jeans and a sexy, black top. I worked my body into the form fitting jeans and then turned around in front of the mirror. Standing in just jeans and a black lacy bra, I twisted in order to check out the tattoos that ran down both of my sides in small cursive lettering from my ribcage to my hips. I quickly ran my hand down the black font of the tattoo I got two years ago. And then I turned to focus on my newest tattoo.

Imitation makes you who they are. Individuality makes you who you are. I read the words silently as I ran my forefinger down the recently healed tattoo. After a minute, I shook off the nostalgia that started to settle into my subconscious and I finished getting dressed. Twenty minutes later, I was out the door and walking ten blocks to Duke & Duchess. The heat felt magnified by the concrete of the sidewalk. The smell of grilled onions mixed with exhaust pipe pollution and wafted in the air. The sounds of people, cars, and a random dog or two filled my ears.

I love New York, I thought as I tried to work through the anger that pulsed through my veins. Over the last two years, I made this my home. Too much bullshit, drama and unfulfilled expectations in Chicago. This is home now. Especially after everything with Mom and Dad. This is home.

I ran my fingers through my curls and shook off my hurt and anger toward my father. I swallowed the sadness and pain of my mother’s death. And I pushed down the pit in my stomach from the distance I felt growing each day with my sisters. Taking a deep breath, I rolled my shoulders twice before shaking it off.

By the time I arrived to work, the anger regarding my father’s upcoming wedding was almost undetectable. Even though I was still pissed, my coworkers and customers weren’t going to be able to tell that anything was wrong. I paused outside of the opulent front door of the brick building.

Exhaling slowly and deliberately, I opened the door to the bar and sauntered into the wide open space. I had only gotten about halfway across the room before I heard an appreciative whistle. Looking to my right as I continued to move toward the employees-only break room in the back, I saw Stephen Grayson, another bartender.

“You know I can’t resist you in those jeans, Mya,” Stephen called, as he dropped a large crate onto the bar.

With a short laugh, I shook my head and responded, “You’re going to have to. Now stop being creepy.”

I opened the door to the break room and scrunched my nose up. The break room resembled a locker room and smelled like a kitchen. Holding my breath as long as I could, I quickly put my handbag into my locker. Tucking my keys and phone into my pockets, I was out of the room in a minute.

Walking to the bar, I watched the muscles in Stephen’s arm flex as he placed different bottles of liquor on the expansive shelf. Between his bulky muscles and killer smile, Stephen was hot. And his personality wasn’t bad either. He was kind of funny and kind of charming at times. And when we made out a year and a half ago, it wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t great. It was a drunken night and I quickly decided it was in poor judgment and we should just be friends. But even though he was a self-proclaimed bachelor-for-life, it always felt like he was still interested in being more with me.

I stopped at the opening to get behind the bar and eyed him suspiciously. “Did you already do inventory?”

Putting the last bottle on the top shelf, he turned around to face me. “Nicks did it before he had to run out. So it’s just me and you here,” he answered with a smile.

I gave him a perplexed look in return. “Okay,” I said slowly, stretching the word out.

“So we could head to the back and mess around a little,” Stephen offered, as he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

“You wish,” I sneered as I pushed past him to get behind the bar.

“You’re right. I do,” he admitted, the amusement apparent in his voice. “And I know you do, too.”

I whipped around quickly so I could look him in his eyes as I answered, “Hell no.”

Stephen laughed heartily and then started cleaning glasses. “Girls don’t usually tell me no. You know you are the only one who has ever said no to me. But I get it…you’re anti-relationship and if you ever let me put it on you, you would fall in love.”

“I’m not interested. At all.”

“Again, if you weren’t anti-relationship—”

“Let me clarify,” I interrupted. “I’m not interested in you at all. At all, Stephen. The world could end and hell could freeze over and I would still be like ‘nah, I’m good.’”

He mumbled something, but I ignored his comment and started putting the clean glasses away. I’m not even going to feed into this conversation because Stephen and I are not happening. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever, I thought with an exaggerated eye roll.

We worked steadily making small talk about nothing in particular, when Nicks burst through the door.

“Good news!” Nicks announced as he marched over to the bar. With his shaggy brown hair and laid back personal style, Nicks looked a lot more disorganized and disheveled than he actually was. “I hired two new bartenders and two new waitresses. They start Saturday.”

“Nice!” I exclaimed. Kelsey and I hardly ever got the same weekends off because Nicks didn’t have enough qualified bartenders to handle the demand of the growing popularity of Duke & Duchess. “Now it looks like Kelsey and I can get into trouble more often.”

Nicks laughed as he headed to his office. Feeling Stephen’s eyes on me, I glanced over at him.

“What?” I asked.

“You and Kelsey are, without doubt, trouble.”

The bar filled slowly and then suddenly, the entire place was packed. Thursday nights were generally just as packed as weekend nights. The louder the crowd, the louder the music and I thrived off of the energy.

“Hey, handsome! What can I get for you?” I flirted with Jim, the older man who owned the deli across the street. Every day after work, he’d come in and get a beer before walking home somewhere in the neighborhood. After serving Jim, I moved my attention to the man standing beside him.

I paused for a second as I was caught off guard by his eyes. More brown than hazel in color and fiercely piercing, they were expressive and beautiful. I could feel their intensity and it was alluring. His eyes seemed to darken in the sexiest way as we stared at one another.

Very sexy…much like the rest of him, I thought as I quickly and discreetly checked him out. I took in his full lips, perfect teeth, broad shoulders, and flawless skin. Yeah, he is definitely what I’m in the mood for tonight, I noted as my body reacted to the instant attraction. I caught the way his eyes dipped and lingered on my mouth before meeting my eyes again and I knew the attraction was mutual.

Licking my lips, I greeted him. “Hi, what can I get for you?”

“Oh…no ‘hey handsome’ for me?” he asked, smirking. “Should I be offended?”

Although his question took me by surprise, it was the sound of his voice that really gave me pause. His voice was rich and textured like music and with each word, I felt like it was strumming my entire body.

Feeling a smile playing at my lips, I cocked my head to the side. “Are you feeling slighted?”

“Yes,” he said, leaning on the bar. “So what are you going to do to make it better?”

The question alone awakened desire inside of me. Visual images of what I could do to make us both feel better temporarily overtook my brain. I ran my bottom lip between my teeth, pushing the vivid picture of this sexy man naked out of my head. “Are you flirting with me?” I questioned in mock indignation.

He shrugged nonchalantly as his smile grew. “Are you flirting with me?”

Amused by the banter, I rolled my eyes and pursed my lips in an attempt to contain my smile. “Well as you can see, I’m busy. So what can I get for you?”

“Two pitchers of whatever domestic beer you have on tap,” he answered smoothly. Our eyes never left one another as I moved down the bar to grab two pitchers. “What’s your name?”

“Mya,” I responded, filling both pitchers with his beer of choice. Setting the beers on the counter, I raised an eyebrow and questioned, “Do you want to start a tab?”

“Yes.” He handed me his driver’s license and his credit card. “Please.”

Looking at his credit card, I swiped and punched in his information to put the card on file. Before handing the cards back to him, I checked out his driver’s license again.

Colton Davis. Age twenty-six, I thought with a smile as I stared at the tough, non-smiling face in the photo.

“You were smiling at my driver’s license,” Colton pointed out as he reached out for his cards.

“I was smiling at your mug shot, tough guy,” I retorted, putting the cards in his hand.

He chuckled and my skin warmed at the sound. “They said not to smile,” he explained in defense of the photo.

“Well, you have a nice smile so…” I flirted, trailing my sentence off as I pushed the two pitchers of beer across the surface of the bar to him.

I always flirted with my customers. Actually, I flirted with everyone. It was second nature to me and it never meant anything. But when Colton held my gaze, my breath hitched.

“I knew you were flirting with me,” he said with a wink.

I tossed my head back and laughed. “You wish,” I called over my shoulder as I moved on to help the next person.

For the next few hours, Stephen and I worked like a well-oiled machine. I handled the right side of the bar while he handled the left. When he was busy and I was not, I helped him out…and vice versa. It wasn’t until almost midnight that there was a lull. The crowd had diminished to a few notable groups, some seated in VIP and several people on the dance floor.

Even though I was scanning the place to take stock of the number of people in the building, my eyes kept landing on the area where Colton was sitting. Colton and his friends were in one of the VIP sections. A waitress was assigned to every section so there was no need for him to return to the bar. But even though he hadn’t been back up to talk to me, throughout the night, I’d caught him staring at me.

He’s clearly interested and his eyes are gorgeous, I thought as he laughed at something his friend said. And he’s sexy as hell.

Leaning against the bar, I was lost in thought as I watched Colton.

“Earth to Mya!” Stephen barked as he held a heavy crate of clean glasses.

“Oh, sorry,” I apologized as I moved out of the way. Stephen set the crate on the bar and we quickly put the glasses away, wiping them down first.

“You see those chicks over there?” Stephen asked, gesturing with his head toward three women who looked like models. They were dancing wildly on the dance floor.

I nodded in response and he continued, “I’m going to see if they need another drink. And a place to stay tonight.”

“Yeah…okay,” I laughed sarcastically. “Go for it!”

Stephen glared at me. “You’re laughing at me? Do you think I won’t be able to get their numbers? You know I’m always up for a challenge.”

“You are going to ask for all of their numbers?” I asked him with wide eyes. “At the same time?” Stephen never ceased to amaze me with the size of his balls…figuratively speaking, of course. “You have a chance with one…maybe two if you keep your assholiness to a minimum…but all three? Not happening.”

“Challenge accepted. And I’m going to do it before they leave for the night. I need to get my game plan together to prove you wrong,” Stephen added, wiggling his eyebrows, before walking to his side of the bar to take an order.

I shook my head and looked back over to Colton’s group. I couldn’t do anything but laugh when our eyes met. For the tenth time, we were both caught staring at one another. This time, instead of looking away, I held his gaze. Kelsey’s words replayed in my mind.

“Mya, will you get Nicks for me please?” Stephen said urgently, forcing me to break the staring contest with Colton.

I looked over to Stephen and he was making drinks and grimacing. Without answering, I moved from behind the bar and headed across the room to Nicks’ office. My hips naturally swayed when I walked, but I put a little something extra in my strut since I knew Colton would be watching.

I kept my eyes focused on Nicks’ office door until I got closer to Colton’s table. When I was only ten feet away, I glanced to my left. My nipples hardened as his eyes slowly and unapologetically roamed over my body. I bit my lip to keep from smiling and looked away from him. The hair on the back of my neck stood up as I felt his eyes on my ass the entire rest of the walk to the office.

“Hey, Stephen wants you,” I announced as I pushed the office door open all the way. “I think something’s wrong.”

Nicks rushed out the door and ran over to Stephen. I took my time heading back to the bar because I couldn’t get enough of Colton’s watchful gaze. When I neared his table, two of the four men were gone and I heard a voice that wasn’t Colton’s.

Slowing to a stop beside their table, I answered coolly, “Yes?”

“My name is Vinnie,” the guy offered drunkenly. “And it’s my birthday.”

I gave a short laugh. I wasn’t sure if he was serious or not, but the drunken expression on his face amused me.

Leaning down a little closer to him so he could hear me, I tucked my hair behind my ear. “Well it looks like you and your boys know how to celebrate a birthday,” I said, gesturing to the bottles on the table. I willed myself not to look to the left even though I could feel Colton staring me down.

“It’s my twenty-first birthday and my uncle and his friends are taking me out all weekend since I’m in town for my birthday,” Vinnie explained, pointing to the abundance of alcohol.

Straightening back up, I acknowledged, “Sounds like you have a nice uncle, handsome.” I winked before taking a step back. “Do you need anything? Or are you all okay?”

“We’re good. My uncle’s tab needs to be closed though. We’re calling it a night. They cut me off. And it’s my birthday!”

“Okay, I’ll close it out and get it to your waitress to bring over here. You need anything else?”

Vinnie looked me up and down, a glazed look in his eyes. “Well…”

A hand lightly touched the small of my back and the heat sent a tingle up my spine. “That’s enough, Vinnie,” Colton interjected sternly.

Just the sound of his voice alone was enough to cause a quiver in my belly.

“Get your shit together and wait outside with Mike and Terrance. I’m going to close my tab,” Colton continued.

Vinnie got up and followed suit, no questions asked. Colton closed his eyes and ran a hand down his face and across his chiseled features.

“You’re a demanding one, aren’t you?” I asked as soon as we were out of earshot of Vinnie.

“You have no idea.”

A smartass remark got caught on the tip of my tongue when he opened his eyes. For the second time that night, he made my breath hitch. We slowed to a stop and just stared at one another.

“I’m sorry to stare,” Colton started, “but you are…” He shook his head before he finished his thought. “Gorgeous.”

The tension between us was building. With each word, each look and each minute that passed by, I was being seduced by him. The magic was happening—we were definitely sexually compatible.

Suddenly, Nicks yelled for me from across the bar.

Great timing Nicks, I thought sarcastically as my boss emphatically waved me over as if the back of the bar was on fire.

“Stephen can close out your tab for you,” I said, pointing at Stephen as he flirted with a Duke & Duchess regular.

“I’ll wait for you,” Colton said. It was an innocent enough statement, but a look that I couldn’t quite distinguish flickered in his eyes.

We stared at each other for a beat before I responded, “You have three people waiting for you outside.”

He shrugged with a self-assured half-smile. “Let them wait.”

Holy shit, I thought as my stomach coiled into a knot.

“So how about I—”

“Colt! Come quick! Your nephew just went at a cop.” A tall, lanky guy popped up out of nowhere, shouting at Colton, pulling at his arm.

“Dammit, Mya! We need your help!” Nicks interrupted from behind me, startling me.

Prepared to tell him to give me a minute, I looked over my shoulder to find my panicked boss. His wide eyes and terrified expression made my stomach sink.

“I have to go,” Colton and I said simultaneously.

“Add a tip to my bill,” Colton called out to me as he was pulled backward toward the exit. “I’ll come back for the receipt.”

I didn’t respond as I whipped around and ran to the back of the bar, toward Nicks.

“What’s wrong? What happened?” I asked looking around frantically.

“Jillian needs a tampon,” Nicks answered, his hands twisted in his shaggy hair in sheer panic.

“What the hell, Nicks?!” I yelled, pushing his shoulder as I made my way to the employee break room to check my locker for tampons.

Magic was happening with Colton Davis. Sexy, chemistry-filled, sexually compatible, get-me-out-of-my-months-long-sexual-drought magic was happening, I thought as I grabbed a tampon from my locker. And I was just cock-blocked…for a tampon!


 

To: Mya Washington; Mikaela Washington

 

From: Marisa Washington

 

FWD: RE: Wedding

 

I think we should go back girls? Let’s arrange a time to discuss?

 

Love,

 

Your big sis.

 

 

LEANING AGAINST KELSEY’S WINDOW FRIDAY night, I read Marisa’s email. I started to respond when Kelsey burst out of her room. Closing the email application, I locked my phone and turned toward my best friend.

“Whoa,” I said with my eyes wide. “You look awesome!”

“Right?” Kelsey said as she spun around in a circle, showing off her skin-tight green dress against her dark brown skin. “I had to change when you walked in here looking like a sex kitten.”

I laughed at her mention of my sexy, backless dress. The black dress had a sweetheart neckline that accentuated my small waistline and showed off my cleavage. But the exposed back was my favorite part of the dress. “You were with me when I bought this!”

“It didn’t look like that on the mannequin,” Kelsey pointed out, grabbing her clutch. “Now let’s find us some man candy for tonight. I’m so excited to fix you up.”

Shaking my head, I grabbed my clutch and headed to the front door. “You are not going to fix me up!”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah… chemistry, magic, blah, blah, blah.” Kelsey rolled her eyes as we made our way down in the elevator. “But I want to fix you up with someone. You promised!”

“No, I didn’t! And I’m so over men right now,” I sighed, looking down at my sexy four inch heels.

“You’ve been in a ‘I’m boycotting dating because men suck’ funk for the last six months. And since your dad’s wedding invitation, you’ve been unusually cynical about dating.”

I forced a laugh. “Just because I don’t want you to hook me up doesn’t mean I’m boycotting dating or that all men suck. Although,” I reasoned in a knowing tone, “my dad marrying his whore definitely puts things into perspective.” I paused for a second before continuing, “Anyway, don’t change the subject! I don’t remember telling you that you could fix me up!”

“Remember when I wanted to hook you up with Sean’s friend and you said you were good with your arrangement with Graham? Well, you said after Graham, I could fix you up.” She bounced up and down, poking me in my side as she yelled. “I promise I’ll pick someone good. I promise! Sometimes all the chemistry you need is a hard body and a hard di—”

I laughed as Kelsey’s words stopped short when the elevator doors opened and an old woman stood looking shocked. The disapproving look she gave us could’ve been due to Kelsey’s loud mouth or our sexy outfits. Either way, once we left the building, I gave Kelsey shit about it for the next five straight minutes. As we walked and joked with one another, I was able to push away all lingering thoughts of Marisa’s email or my father’s upcoming wedding.

We were within one block of our destination when Kelsey’s phone rang loudly. Pulling it out of her small clutch, she groaned, “It’s Nicks.”

I looked at her expectantly, waiting to see if she was going to answer it. He was the only boss I’d ever gotten along with, and Duke & Duchess was the only job I’d maintained for longer than six months. Although we argued with Nicks and gave him hell, we always had his back if he needed us.

And if he’s calling at almost nine o’clock on a night we have off, he needs something, I thought, watching her stare at the phone in her hand before putting it to her ear.

“Hello?” Kelsey answered, slowing to a stop in front of a busy Thai restaurant. I turned to watch the guests arrive and leave the elaborately decorated restaurant. My eyes gradually skimmed the crowd, taking in everything and everyone I could see until I stopped abruptly.

Hello, I thought, intrigued. My interest suddenly peaked when I found myself staring into a pair of chocolate brown eyes inadvertently.

Cocking my head to the side, I eyed the good looking man in his dark grey suit. When he smiled and his dimple showed, his features looked hard and soft at the same time, giving him a boyish charm. He looked sexy and well put together.

And unavailable, I finished my internal assessment as a petite woman came up from behind to hug him. He quickly shifted eye contact from me and I pursed my lips in annoyance. Men!

“So…” Kelsey dragged the word out slowly and scrunched her face up as if she were in pain. “Apparently Duke & Duchess is slammed tonight and it’s just Nicks and Stephen working the bar. They called Devin but he’s out of town…”

“So that just leaves us,” I said, finishing her sentence. I gave her a small smile and shrugged. “Once the new bartenders start, Nicks will owe us.” I flagged down a taxi. “We could pretty much get whatever we want.”

“How is that any different than now?” she joked with raised eyebrows.

Taking the forty minute subway ride to Brooklyn, we debated if it was a good idea to wear our ‘going out’ attire to work. We didn’t give a damn about what people thought of us in our revealing dresses. Our concern was comfort.

As we approached Duke & Duchess, we could see the long line that had formed over the course of the night. We realized quickly that we didn’t have time to run to my apartment to change into something more comfortable.

“Hey, Riker!” Kelsey and I called in unison as we approached the security guard.

Riker did a double take. “Damn, ladies…” he responded, gawking at us.

We laughed, patting him on his back as we bypassed the front of the line and headed into the packed place. Nicks and Stephen were so busy that they didn’t even notice us walk past them. After navigating through the crowd, we made it to the break room to lock up our purses.

“Let’s do this!” I said as we walked behind the bar.

“Oh my God,” Stephen said, his eyes traveling up and down my body. “What are you wearing?”

“A dress,” I answered, brushing past him to the end of the bar I generally occupy.

“Put your eyes back in your head Stephen,” Kelsey quipped as she followed behind me.

“Thank you guys so much for coming in. I swear I’ll make it worth your while. I’m sorry I ruined your night. But look at this place,” Nicks apologized, as he handed a man his change.

“It’s cool, Nicks. We are a team,” I said with a smile. “But you will definitely make it up to us.”

“I’m thinking a raise,” Kelsey theatrically mused out loud.

“I’m thinking part ownership,” I added before turning my attention to the customer in front of me.

We worked well together. Although the crowd was bigger than ever before, we worked efficiently to get every customer served quickly. The nonstop flow of people entering the building didn’t slow down until midnight, but there wasn’t a lull at the bar until almost one o’clock. The time had flown by and once the adrenaline of handling the crowd drained from my body, I realized that my feet were throbbing.

“I can’t do much more, Nicks. My feet are killing me,” I informed him when he returned from bringing up a second vodka crate.

Nicks looked down at my feet and winced. “I didn’t even think about the shoes you two have on. I’m sorry,” he apologized profusely. “You want to go sit down?”

“This should help,” Kelsey announced, pouring us two shots each. Kelsey pushed mine to me. Quickly taking both of them, I let the fiery liquid coat the inside of my belly.

“What? They get a break and I don’t?” Stephen jokingly called out as he mixed a couple of cocktails.

“You try standing in four-inch spiked heels at work, jackass” I muttered loud enough for him to hear as I walked by him, but quiet enough that the customers could not. He laughed in response.

I looked to see if Kelsey was behind me, but she wasn’t. She was at the other end of the bar chatting with a man who looked oddly familiar.

Walking first to get my clutch out of my locker and then to the closest available VIP section, I plopped down on a couch. As I relished in the instant relief of not being on my feet, I watched Kelsey flirt with the man in the khakis and plaid shirt. Although I couldn’t see his face, I knew he was good-looking because Kelsey was giving him her undivided attention. I smiled watching her in action.

And there goes the hair flip, I noted silently as she casually tossed her hair over her shoulder, bringing attention to her double D’s. He couldn’t lean any further over the bar if he tried. She has him exactly where she wants him, I giggled to myself.

Feeling the effects of the alcohol, I danced in my seat. When the hair on the back of my neck stood up, I shivered unexpectedly. Looking to my immediate left, I found myself staring into the eyes of Colton Davis. He pushed off of the wall he was leaning against and slowly walked toward me. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. Taking him in, I watched his confident walk. His motion was fluid and athletic as he advanced toward me.

Wearing dark denim jeans and a white t-shirt, the hard lines of his lean muscles stood out on his six-foot frame. The t-shirt allowed me to see the half-sleeve of tattoos that covered his left bicep down to his elbow. His dark hair was cut close and his caramel complexion almost glowed under the dim lighting of the venue. His lips were pressed into a firm, hard line. And his eyes, his beautiful brown eyes, bore into me causing all of the air to escape my lungs. The sexual attraction I felt the first time I saw him was back tenfold.

I could hear my heart pounding in my chest as he got closer. He didn’t say a word as he stood right in front of the couch I was sitting on. Reaching his hand out, I automatically put my hand in his and allowed him to pull me up. He was so close that when I stood, there was no space left between us. I was frozen in my spot, held captive by his piercing gaze and his scent.

His soap and cologne mixed with his natural scent and created a heady combination that had me dizzy with lust. Our chests rose and fell in tune with one another as we stood in front of each other. The bar noise faded away and all I could hear was my heart beating a mile a minute. My breathing picked up and I willed myself to look away so I could collect my thoughts. But I couldn’t.

I’ve definitely found who I’m going home with tonight. If he can make me feel like this from just a look, I can only imagine the things he can do in the bedroom, I thought, staring up at him. I only then realized he hadn’t completely let go of my hand and two of our fingers were still touching. From that seemingly insignificant connection, my entire body tingled.

“Mya,” Colton whispered softly. His breath smelled like chocolate and mint.

“Colton,” I whispered back, a smile playing on my lips as I recognized the ingredients of our signature drink. “You tried a Grasshopper.”

“One of the few new things I’ve wanted to try here.” His eyes dropped down to my lips and lingered before moving down to the tops of my breasts. “You look incredible.”

“Are you flirting with me?” I smiled up at him as I asked the question.

“Yes.” A lethal combination of lust and amusement filled his eyes when our gazes met again. “I want to see the back of your dress. Turn around,” Colton commanded quietly.

“You are so demanding,” I voiced playfully, cocking my head to the side.

Leaning forward so that his lips lightly brushed the shell of my ear, he responded, “Yes I am. Now turn around so I can see the back of your dress.”

Breaking our physical connection by moving our fingers apart, I put my hands on my hips. I stared at him, challenging him. “No,” I said, my voice barely above a whisper.

He licked his lips and my eyes zeroed in on the way his tongue moved from one corner of his mouth to the other. When he slowly broke into a smile, I realized I was staring at his now moist lips and quickly made eye contact again.

Leaning his face down to mine, our lips were just millimeters away from one another. I wanted to kiss him so badly that I could almost taste the chocolate and mint. My mouth watered as a full minute passed by with neither of us moving.

“Either kiss me or I’m sitting down because my feet are killing me,” I said, quirking my eyebrow and giving him a look.

Colton smirked before giving in to a short laugh. “I like you.”

“You—”

Crashing his lips against mine, he cut me off mid-sentence, kissing me with enough passion to take my breath away. Butterflies spread across my belly as his delicious lips overpowered my own. Colton’s tongue grazed mine, sending shivers up and down my spine. His hands danced across my bare back, intensifying the kiss.

His taste, his scent, and his touch caused me to freefall into sensory overload. Impulsively, I ran my hands down his muscular chest before pulling at his belt loops, forcing his body to be flush against mine. Feeling his hardness through the thin material of my dress, I moaned into his mouth.

Colton had officially made me feel faint. Between my weakened knees and my tired feet, my legs were unable to hold me up any longer. When they finally gave out, he instantly locked his arms, holding me securely. My eyes fluttered open when I felt him pull away slowly.

Oh my God, I thought as my heart hammered in my chest. I was winded and my skin tingled with desire. I’d never had anyone kiss me like that before. And it was overwhelming because it felt a little too good, a little too right.

We stood there, staring at one another with his arms wrapped firmly around me.

“What’s your last name?” he asked, his voice seducing me with each syllable.

“Washington,” I answered without hesitation.

“Do you want to get out of here, Mya Washington?”

“Yes.” My voice came out breathily.

“Let’s go,” he said, clasping his hand around mine and squeezing.

For the first time since we caught each other’s eye, I looked away from him. Breaking eye contact allowed my senses to come back to me and not be consumed by him. Craning my neck, I looked around for Kelsey.

“I need to tell my best friend I’m leaving,” I said, gently pulling my hand out of Colton’s warm grasp as we headed to the bar. “And I need to tell her where we’re going.”

Even though I was in front of him, Colton guided me through the bar with his hand on my lower back. “I’m going to take you to an all-night diner so we can get to know each other better,” he said, his thumb tracing circles onto my lower back. My skin hummed under his touch.

When we reached the bar, Stephen handed two women their drinks. The flirtatious smile that Stephen directed at the women was easily transferred to me. He blatantly checked me out and started nodding to a question I wasn’t asking.

“Mya…” Stephen whistled.

Colton’s hand slid across my lower back and gripped my rounded hip, pulling me into him. The slight shift in my body compelled Stephen to look away from me to Colton. Stephen’s smile immediately fell when he noticed Colton’s arm around me. I bit my lip to stop the smile I felt emerging. I didn’t know what was more amusing—Colton’s possessiveness or the look on Stephen’s face.

“Have you seen Kelsey?” I asked Stephen.

He glanced at Colton before he answered shortly. “She went outside with Phil. She said she’ll be right back.” His tone held an edge I chose to ignore in lieu of processing the new information I just acquired.

Phil? Her ex-boyfriend, Phil? No wonder he looked familiar, I realized, kicking myself for not putting it together sooner. Kelsey was on the tail end of an emotional breakup with Phil when I moved to New York two years ago. I’d only met him once and he seemed like a nice guy, but Kelsey said that they were moving in two different directions.

“Okay, thanks. Tell Nicks I’ll see him tomorrow.”

Turning on my heel, Colton and I exited Duke & Duchess. The music from the bar was silenced as soon as the door closed behind us. However, the noise level didn’t decrease as we were instantly caught in the middle of an argument between Kelsey and Riker.

“What’s going on?” I asked, looking between the two of them.

“Riker is an ass,” Kelsey explained loudly as Riker checked the IDs of a couple who just walked up. She folded her arms and raised her eyebrows. Looking pointedly at Colton, she said, “He’s sexy. Who’s this?”

Smiling, I made introductions. “Kelsey Stone, Colton Davis. Colton, Kelsey.”

Colton reached his hand out to shake Kelsey’s. “Nice to meet you, Kelsey.”

“Nice to meet you, too.” She looked at him appreciatively and then winked at me. “So where do you think you’re going with my best friend?”

He smirked before he responded, “I’m taking her to Andrew’s for a late dinner.”

Kelsey nodded knowingly. “So is this like a date?”

“No. When I take Mya out on a date, it will be better than an Andrew’s run. This is a get-to-know-you meal.” He turned his head to look at me before he continued, “And I’m looking forward to getting to know Mya tonight.”

It was my intention to tell him I wasn’t dating right now, but I forgot how to talk momentarily. My heart rate increased and dinner was the absolute last thing on my mind.

I cleared my throat and then tore my eyes away from him. “We’re going to leave now,” I notified my best friend as I hugged her. Whispering in her ear, I continued, “I’ll text you if I go back to his place.”

We said our goodbyes and moments later, we hopped in a taxi. The driver was on his phone arguing loudly with his wife. We exchanged glances and listened intently as the driver ranted and raved. We were only in the taxi for a few minutes before we pulled up in front of a brightly lit diner.

“This was close enough to walk,” I pointed out as he helped me out of the car.

“Yeah, but you said your feet hurt so I wasn’t going to subject you to that walk,” Colton replied, his hand returning to the small of my back.

I looked at him, surprised at his thoughtfulness, but I didn’t say anything. Instead, I smiled and let him guide me through the front door of the diner.

Taking a seat in the first available booth, we were given our menus. As Colton reviewed his menu, I was able to look at him under the bright lights of the restaurant. Even in the harsh lighting, he was just as breathtaking as he was in the dimly lit bar.

“So what’s your deal?” I asked after deciding to order a basket of fries.

“How about you ask me what you really want to ask me?” Colton answered, putting his menu down on the table.

I fought a smile. “What do you think it is I want to ask you?”

“Hey, I’m Chip. What can I get you two tonight?” Chip, our waiter, asked as he sidled up to the table.

The interruption was right on time as my mouth was about to get me into trouble. Looking away from Colton, I glanced at the waiter. “I’ll take a basket of fries and a vanilla milkshake please,” I ordered with a smile.

“And I’ll have the same,” Colton said quickly.

I could feel his eyes on me so I continued looking at the waiter until he thanked us and walked away.

“Why were you at Duke & Duchess tonight?” I asked, returning my attention to my dining companion.

“For you,” Colton answered simply.

And with those two words, my heart fluttered and I felt a tightening deep inside of me. The confidence rolled off of his body and his eyes pinned me in my cherry-red, leather seat.

He’s going to make me ride him right here in this booth, I thought as I felt myself becoming even more turned on by him.

“Why?” I pressed him for more information breathily. I wanted him to say that he wanted to take me home and explore every inch of my body.

“Because all day at work, I couldn’t get you out of my mind,” he admitted slowly, his eyes still boring into me. I squeezed my thighs together to calm the ache that was building between them.

We need to get our food to go, I thought, running my bottom lip between my teeth to keep from smiling.

“And because we didn’t get a chance to finish talking. I know you were flirting with me last night, so I came back tonight to make sure you had ample opportunity to call me handsome and ask me out,” he replied with a comical expression and a definitive nod.

My head fell back and I laughed loudly. “What?” I screeched in between bouts of laughter. It only took a second before he joined in. People at nearby tables looked over at us curiously.

When we were able to contain ourselves, he added, “You laughed because it’s true.”

That’s partially true…But I’ll be damned if I let him know that, I thought, amused by his perceptiveness and borderline cockiness.

Smiling, I cocked my head to the side, analyzing the perfect symmetry of his face. “So this all started because I didn’t call you handsome?”

He leaned forward, with his elbows resting on the marble tabletop. “No, this started because I went to get my idiot nephew a beer and saw the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my life making drinks,” he replied seriously.

A shaky breath escaped my parted lips. I swallowed hard and then opened my mouth to speak, but I was interrupted.

“Here you are… two baskets of fries and two vanilla shakes,” Chip said, popping up out of nowhere, as he placed our food down.

“Thank you,” Colton said, never taking his eyes off of me. As suddenly as Chip appeared, he disappeared.

“How long have you worked at Duke & Duchess?” he asked, grabbing the ketchup and squirting it into his basket.

“Two years,” I said, taking a sip of the ice cold milkshake. “Mmm…this is good.” I waited for him to take a sip of his before I asked, “What do you do?”

“I’m a tattoo artist. I own a shop here in Brooklyn, near the River. Inkwell. And I’m about to open another Inkwell in Harlem.”

My eyebrows shot up, reflexively, and my jaw dropped. “Are you serious?”

He gave me an easy, almost modest smile. “Yes. Have you heard of it?”

“Inkwell is where I got my last two tattoos! Love that place.”

This time, his eyebrows shot up. His eyes flickered over my upper body, obviously assessing my skin. “You have tattoos?” he asked. His voice sounded both shocked and impressed. “Your entire back is out and your shoulders, arms, and legs… I didn’t see any tats on you.”

My stomach fluttered with his unintentional admission that he’d thoroughly checked me out.

“I have three tattoos. I want to get another one on my back, but I haven’t had the time or money.”

“You have three tattoos?” Colton’s voice was still laced with surprise.

I laughed, “Yes!”

His sexy, confident smirk was back. In the same voice he’d used in the bar when he wanted to see the back of my dress, he rasped, “Prove it.”

That voice, I thought as my belly quivered again. If I could listen to him talk while staring into his beautiful eyes with that body pressed against me, I would—

Leaning forward, Colton interrupted my thoughts. “So are you going to show me these alleged tattoos? I’d like to see my work.”

“You didn’t do these tattoos. A woman did.” I leaned forward and continued with a wink, “And anyway, there’s only one tattoo I can show you in public.”

His eyes instantly clouded with a heated intensity as he shifted in his seat. “Show me what you can.”

“You are so demanding,” I huffed playfully as I turned my head and bent my ear forward. The sensitive spot behind my ear showcased a small black heart.

He reached over and ran the pad of his forefinger over the tattoo. I shivered. When he removed his skin from mine, I sat back and took a deep breath.

“I like it. It suits you,” Colton complimented. “Did you get that one from Inkwell?”

“No I got this one on my eighteenth birthday.” I shook my head at the memory.

“Because of that face you just made, you have to tell me the story that goes along with that birthday tattoo.”

“What?” I asked, taken aback by his perceptiveness.

He just looked at me, sipping his milkshake, imploring me with his eyes.

“There’s not much to tell. I’d wanted a tattoo since I was fifteen or sixteen. My parents were against the idea, but I thought if my sisters and I all got one together, it would bond us even closer.”

“So what happened?”

“Nothing. I was the only one who got it.” I shrugged nonchalantly. “It is what it is.”

His eyes furrowed briefly. “Are you and your sisters close?”

“So what ended up happening with your nephew and the cop?” I asked, abruptly changing the subject before taking a bite out of a fry.

He rubbed his temples. “That dumbass was drunk and hit on some dude’s girl and they got into it. When the guy said that he was a cop, Mike came in to get me. By the time I ran outside, your security guard had handled the situation and the couple was gone.”

“Wow...” I breathed under my breath, my eyes wide. “Happy Birthday, Vinnie.”

“Yeah, I had to send him back home to his parents early.”

“So Vinnie is your sister’s kid?” I asked curiously, sipping my milkshake.

“Yeah, her birthday’s next month and I was going to visit her. But now that she thinks I corrupted her kid, I don’t know anymore,” he joked.

I laughed and he joined in. The more I heard him laugh, the more I wanted to hear it.

“Is there a big age difference between you and your sister? Because Vinnie is twenty-one, right?”

“Vinnie is her step-son, but she raised him like he was her own since he was four years old. Even though they are only fifteen years apart, it worked. My sister, Corrine, married Tom, Vinnie’s dad when she was nineteen. He was twenty-five, I think. My parents were pissed at first. I mean, who gets married after a few months of dating?”

My dad’s wedding invitation flashed in my mind and my body filled with anger. Taking a deep breath, I focused on Colton’s lips. They looked as soft as they felt. My lips tingled in remembrance, causing my anger to wane.

“…They assumed the worst—she was going to drop out of college, get pregnant and then Tom would leave her high and dry. But seventeen years later, they are still going strong. And recently, they moved across town into our childhood home,” Colton finished with a nod.

I smiled, “Good for them. Where’s back home?” I asked, sipping my milkshake.

“Chicago.”

My stomach dropped at the mention of my hometown. The city’s huge and made up of lots of different neighborhoods, but still. The thought of him being from the same city as me blew my mind. “Chicago?” I coughed, choking on my milkshake.

He gave me a perplexed look. “I know what the media says, but Chicago isn’t that bad. I mean, it is in some places,” he laughed. “But it’s home, you know? Even though I’ve lived in New York for the past eight years, Chicago is where my family is.”

I know. I know far too well, I thought, gaping at him.

“You don’t sound like a native New Yorker,” he continued.

“I live in Brooklyn,” I interjected quickly, hoping to steer the question away from my home and my family. “Not too far away from here actually.”

He swallowed before responding, “I don’t live far away from here either. My apartment is a couple of blocks that way.” He gestured in the opposite direction of my apartment.

I swirled the straw around in the last little bit of my milkshake. “Do you live with anyone? Roommates?”

Significant other? I wondered, watching to see if he gave anything away.

“No. I live alone,” he answered with a smirk. “And I’m single.”

I swallowed the fry that was in my mouth before responding, “I didn’t ask.”

“Your eyes did.”

I gave a short, dry laugh as I sat straight up in the booth.

Starting at the crown of my head, I slowly ran my fingers through my long, curly hair. With my arm above my head, I felt the sweetheart neckline slide a little lower on my chest. His eyes didn’t leave mine, but I could see him warring with himself. When he licked his lips, I smiled at him.

“Now whose eyes are saying what?” I asked innocently, dropping my arms and picking up my milkshake to finish it.

Colton chuckled. “Are you ready to get out of here?”

“Absolutely.”

Standing, he pulled out a twenty dollar bill and dropped it on the table. “Are you tired? Do you want to walk home or take a taxi?” He offered his hand to help me up. When I put my hand into his, I looked up into his eyes and I felt his desire.

“I’d actually like to see your apartment before I head home,” I said as I let him help me up.

“Oh I’m sorry… I guess I wasn’t clear. When I asked you if you wanted to walk or ride home, I wasn’t talking about your place. I was talking about mine.”

The confidence in his words caused my body to stir. “Lead the way.”


 

SITTING DOWN IN THE DINER gave my feet the chance to relax so I didn’t mind the two-block walk to Colton’s apartment. The cool summer breeze felt good against my skin and Colton kept me laughing the entire walk. When we reached the three-story brick building surrounded by a black wrought iron fence, I looked around impressed. I had applied for an available apartment in that building when I first moved to New York, but I was denied due to lack of credit history, the amount of student loan debt, and the monthly cost.

And of course, Mom and Dad wouldn’t cosign for me. They pretty much condemned me for moving to New York without a job and then fussed at me about living somewhere safe…all while not being emotionally or financially supportive. I didn’t even want their money, I just needed them to cosign for credit purposes, I silently grumbled before quickly pushing the thought away.

“I like,” I acknowledged as we walked through the security gate.

“Thanks.” He pulled out his keys and opened the door to the building. He gestured for me to go through the doorway first. With his hand on the small of my back, he silently ushered me to Apartment 1E at the very end of the hallway.

Before I could turn around to move out of his way, Colton’s hand skated across the small of my back until he grasped my left hip, holding me in place. With him behind me, I was sandwiched between his front door and his muscular body. He was so close that I could feel the heat radiating from his body. A puff of air escaped my lungs as the soft cotton of his shirt gently brushed against my bare back. The silence that engulfed us was so absolute that all I could hear was my heart racing.

Leaning into me, Colton unlocked his front door and pushed it open. Maintaining contact with me, his hand stayed firmly placed on my hip. I took a few tentative steps into the darkened apartment, not wanting to disconnect myself from him. Once the door clicked shut behind us, he flipped a switch and the living room flooded with light.

“Would you like a tour?” Colton asked in a low tone, guiding me by my hips further into the apartment. Letting me go, he leaned against the breakfast bar and watched me take in his living space.

The living room was large and roomy. My eyes swept over the chocolate brown leather sofa with matching chairs. A large, abstract drawing hanging above the sofa. An oversized flat-screen television was mounted against the wall with two signed guitars on either side. On the other side of the room was a small, but tidy kitchen that separated itself from the living room with a breakfast bar.

“This is really nice, Colton,” I said, turning in a circle to make sure I saw the entire space.

I need to fold the basket full of clean laundry that’s on the floor in my room, I thought, fascinated by how clean and well put together everything looked. I let my fingers caress the smooth surface of the oversized leather chair.

“Thank you,” he said, his voice barely masking his desire. The sound of his voice made my heart flutter and I felt a tightening deep inside of me.

I turned to face him and my fingers curled, gripping the chair behind me as my body slacked. I had to lightly perch myself on the back of the chair as I watched his gaze travel down the length of my body. The air instantly became thick and I could feel how badly he wanted me. My body responded instantly. Although he couldn’t see how wet his gaze made me, my hardening nipples gave me away.

Pushing himself away from the wall, Colton was in front of me in three steps. He was so close that our bodies were almost touching and I had to tip my head up to maintain eye contact. With our closeness, my breathing had become more labored.

Colton ran his hands up my arms until he worked his way up to my face. I resisted the urge to nuzzle my head into his palm. Instead, I kept my eyes focused on his, allowing the storminess of them to tell me everything he wanted to do to me. I wasn’t aware that my eyes were telling him the same thing until he broke the silence.

“I want to hear you say it,” he demanded sexily.

“Say what?” I whispered. I was so turned on that speaking loudly wasn’t an option anymore.

“Tell me what you want.”

“I want you to kiss—”

His mouth crashed into mine, interrupting my sentence. All of the pent up sexual tension between us exploded. His tongue played with mine in a way that made me long to feel it all over my body. That thought alone gave me chills.

As the kiss intensified, we pulled each other closer, kissed each other deeper, grinded against each other harder. I wanted to take his shirt off, but I couldn’t do it without breaking the kiss. It took everything out of me to pull away from his lips, but I endured the short separation in order to pull his shirt over his head. We resumed kissing and I let my hands play over his muscles, feeling the ridges of his chest and the definition in his arms.

My hands had a mind of their own as they dropped lower and lower down his sculpted abs. Unbuckling his belt and unzipping his jeans, I ran my hand over his hardness. The low groan that erupted from him when the palm of my hand rubbed against him caused my entire lower body clench deliciously.

With him so close, I inhaled deeply and my eyes fluttered shut. He trailed kisses to my ear before he growled softly, “Turn around.”

I heard his belt hit the floor and my eyes flew open. Looking down, I let out a trembling breath when I saw the length and width of him. Reflexively, I licked my lips and reached out for it. It was hot and heavy in my hand. I stroked it slowly, in awe of it.

“Turn around,” he repeated, his voice raspier. I looked up and I could see the effect I was having on him.

With his hands on my hips, he helped turn me around. Standing so close behind me, I could feel him, heavy and hard resting against my ass and I almost lost it. I had never been more turned on in my life and my knees started to shake.


Date: 2015-02-03; view: 695


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