A Tricky Proposition(8)

By: Cat Schield

“I agree to those three days, but I want uninterrupted time with you.”

She dug her fingernails beneath the beer label. In typical Jason fashion, he was messing up her well-laid plans.

She’d been thinking in terms of three short evenings of fantastic sex here at his house and then heading back home to relive the moments in the privacy of her bedroom. Not days and nights of all Jason all the time. What if she talked in her sleep and told him all her secret fantasies about him? What if he didn’t let her sleep and she grew so delirious from all the hours of making love that she said something in the heat of passion?

“You’re crazy if you think our families are going to leave us alone for three days.”

“They will if we’re not in Houston.”

This was her baby. She should be the one who decided where and when it was conceived. The lack of control was making her edgy. Vulnerable.

“I propose we go somewhere far away,” he continued. “A secluded spot where we can concentrate on the business at hand.”

The business at hand? He caressed those four words with such a high degree of sensuality, her body vibrated with excitement.

“I’ll figure out where and let you know.” At least if she took charge of where they went she wouldn’t have to worry about her baby being conceived in whatever town NASCAR was racing that weekend.

She started to shift her weight forward, preparing to stand, when Jason’s hand slid across her abdomen and circled around to her spine.

“Before you go.”

He tugged her upper half toward him. The hand that had been skimming her shoulder now cupped the back of her head. She was trapped between the heat of his body and his strong arm, her breasts skimming his chest, nipples turning into buds as desire plunged her into a whirlpool of longing. The intent in his eyes set her heart to thumping in an irregular rhythm.

“What do you think you’re doing?” she demanded, retreating from the lips dipping toward hers.

“Sealing our deal with a kiss.”

“A handshake will work fine.”

Her brusque dismissal didn’t dim the smug smile curving his lips. She put her hand on his chest. Rock-hard pecs flexed beneath her fingers. The even thump of his heart mocked her wildly fluctuating pulse.

“Not for me.” He captured and held her gaze before letting his mouth graze hers. With a brief survey of her expression, he nodded. “See, that wasn’t so bad.”

“Right.” Her chest rose and fell, betraying her agitation. “Not bad.”

“If you relax it will get even better.” He shifted his attention to her chin, the line of her jaw, dusting his lips over her skin and making her senses whirl.

“I’m not ready to relax.” She’d geared up to tell him that she’d try getting pregnant his way. Getting physical with him would require a different sort of preparation.

“You don’t have to get ready.” His chest vibrated with a low chuckle. “Just relax.”

“Jason, how long have we known each other?”

“Long time.” He found a spot that interested him just below her ear and lingered until she shivered. “Why?”

Her voice lacked serenity as she said, “Then you know I don’t do anything without planning.”

His exhalation tickled her sensitive skin and made holding still almost impossible. “You don’t need to plan. Just let go.”

Right. And risk him discovering her secret? Ever since she’d decided to ask his help in getting pregnant, she’d realized that what she felt for him was deeper than friendship. Not love. Or not the romantic sort. At least she didn’t think so. Not yet. But it could become that sort of love if they made love over and over and over.

And if he found out how her feelings had changed toward him, he’d bolt the way he’d run from every other woman who’d tried to claim his heart.

Ming tensed to keep from responding to the persuasive magic of his touch. Just the sweep of his lips over her skin, the strength of his arms around her, raised her temperature and made her long for him to take her hard and fast.

“I’ll let go when we’re out of town,” she promised. Well, lied really. At least she hoped she was lying. “What are you doing?”

In a quick, powerful move, he’d shifted her onto her back and slid one muscular leg between her thighs. Her body reacted before her mind caught up. She bent her knees, planted her feet on the couch cushions and rocked her hips in the carnal hope of easing the ache in her loins.

“While you make arrangements for us to go away, I thought you’d feel better if you weren’t worried about the chemistry between us.”

His heat seeped into her, softening her muscles, reducing her resistance to ash. “No worries here. I’m sure you’re a fabulous lover.” She trembled in anticipation of just how fabulous. With her body betraying her at his every touch, she had to keep her wits sharp. “Otherwise, why else would you have left a trail of broken hearts in your wake?”

Jason frowned. “I didn’t realize that bothered you so much.”

“It doesn’t.”

He hummed his doubt and leaned down to nibble on her earlobe. “Not sure I believe you.”

With her erogenous zones on full red alert, she labored to keep her legs from wrapping around his hips. She wanted to feel him hard and thick against the thudding ache between her thighs. Her fingernails dug into the couch cushions.

“You’re biting your lip.” His tongue flicked over the tender spot. “I don’t know why you’re fighting this so hard.”

And she didn’t want him to find out. “Okay. I’m not worried about your sexual prowess. I’m worried that once we go down this path, there’ll be no turning back.”

“Oh, I see. You’re worried you’re going to fall in love with me.”

“No.” She made a whole series of disgruntled, dismissive noises until she realized he was teasing her. Two could play at this game. “I’m more concerned you’ll fall in love with me.”

“I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

“I don’t know,” she said, happy to be on the giving end of the ribbing. “I’m pretty adorable.”

“That you are.” He scanned her face, utterly serious. “Close your eyes,” he commanded. “We’re going to do this.”

She complied, hoping the intimacy they shared as friends would allow her to revel in the passion Jason aroused in her and keep her from worrying about the potential complications. Being unable to see Jason’s face helped calm the flutters of anxiety. If she ignored the scent of sandalwood mingled with car polish, she might be able to pretend the man lying on top of her was anyone else.

The sound of his soft exhalation drifted past her ears a second before his lips found hers. Ming expected him to claim her mouth the way he had fifteen years ago and kiss her as if she was the only woman in the world he’d ever wanted. But this kiss was different. It wasn’t the wild, exciting variety that had caused her to tear at Jason’s shirt and allow him to slip his hand down the bodice of her dress to bare her breasts.

Jason’s lips explored hers with firm but gentle pressure. If she’d worried that she’d be overcome with desire and make a complete fool of herself over him, she’d wasted her energy. This kiss was so controlled and deliberate she wondered if Jason was regretting his offer to make love to her.

An empty feeling settled in her chest.

“See,” Jason said, drifting his lips over her eyelids. “That wasn’t so bad.”

“I never expected it would be.”

“Then what are you so afraid of?”

What if her lust for him was stronger than his for her? What if three days with him only whet her appetite for more?

“The thought of you seeing me naked is one,” she said, keeping her tone light to hide her dismay.

His grin bloomed, mischievous and naughty. “I’ve already seen you naked.”

“What?” Lust shot through Ming, leaving her dazzled and disturbed. “When?”

“Remember that family vacation when we brought you with us to Saint John? The outdoor shower attached to my bedroom?”

“Everyone was snorkeling. That’s why I came back to the villa early.” She’d wanted the room Jason ended up with because of the outdoor shower. Thinking she was alone, she’d used it. “You spied on me?”

“More like stumbled upon you.”

She shoved at his beefy shoulder but couldn’t budge him. “Why did you have to tell me that?”

“To explain why you have no need to be embarrassed. I’ve seen it all before.” And from his expression, he’d liked what he saw.

Ming flushed hot. Swooning was impossible if she was lying down, right?

“How long did you watch me?”

“Five, maybe ten minutes.”

Her mouth opened, but no words came out. Goose bumps erupted at the way his gaze trailed over her. Was she wrong about the kiss? Or was she the only one who caught fire every time they touched?

He stood and offered her his hand. She let him pull her to her feet and then set about straightening her clothes and finger-combing her hair.

Already she could feel their friendship morphing into something else. By the time their three days together were up, she would no longer be just his friend. She would be his ex-lover. That would alter her perspective of their relationship. Is that really what she wanted?

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