Sunday, March 29, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
His teeth nipped at her bottom lip, then he feasted off her mouth in a kiss that was so consuming she could do nothing but sink into it, give herself up to it. He plunged his tongue into her mouth again and again. Heat spiraled through her, built inside her, every nerve ending throbbing.
She whimpered when he finally lifted his mouth from her.
“Chloe, Chloe, I’m so hungry for you,” he groaned, nibbling the side of her neck again. “I can’t help it, I want to taste you, eat you up...”
Even in her dazed state, amusement registered at how everything for Tyler related to oral pleasure. Her spinning head slowed and she grasped frantically at some control, some sense. With all her strength, she threw herself off his lap, stumbled backward, banged her back painfully on the balcony railing. She knocked the small table where the wineglasses sat, and they wobbled slowly. As she watched, the wineglasses teetered for a slow eternity then crashed to the balcony. Ruby red wine splattered everywhere, dripping down the white stucco wall.
She stared at the mess. Just like that night...
With a choked cry, she turned and darted into the hotel room, into the bathroom, falling against the door to close it. She leaned there for long moments measured out in thudding heartbeats. Scalding tears spilled out of her eyes and she grabbed a towel off the railing and wiped at her face, a whimper leaking from between trembling lips.
She saw her mother’s angry face, heard her screaming voice echoing in her ears. She’d been drunk, manically cleaning the kitchen in the middle of the night, and when Chloe’d tried to take her glass of red wine away from her and get her to go to bed, the glass had smashed, red wine splashed everywhere and her mother had been enraged.
Chloe gasped, chest heaving, emotions raw and painful. The white hotel towel now had dark smears on it from her eye makeup, and she stared at it blankly. She clutched the plush cloth in her hands, trying to get air into her tight lungs, trying to stop herself from shaking.
“Oh God, oh God, oh God,” she whispered. It had been years since she’d had this kind of reaction to anything. She prided herself on the control she had over her emotions. But Tyler’s attention had stretched her nerves taut. His persistence and his irresistible charm tested her fragile control and her helpless response to him.
She took a deep breath, then another, and pressed a hand to her stomach. A small tap on the door made her jump.
“Chloe?” Tyler called softly. “Are you okay?”
She breathed in.
“Chloe?” His voice was louder, concerned. “If you don’t answer me I’m going to break the door in.”
Oh God, he would probably do it, too. Trust him...Mr. Intensity.
Still holding the towel, she reached over and turned the knob on the door, popping the lock open. Tyler immediately thrust the door open, his big body filling the small bathroom.
She’d never seen such a look on his face, worried, distressed...scared. His dark eyes toured over her and his hands gripped her upper arms. His hands were so hot and she shivered, still trembling within.
“Are you okay?” he demanded again, studying her intently.
She nodded and dropped her head, lifted the towel to try to wipe beneath her eyes.
He tipped her chin up so he could see her face.
“I’m so sorry, Chloe,” he said. “I didn’t mean to push you that hard...I had no idea...”
She shook her head. “It’s not your fault,” she said in a choked voice. “You had no way of knowing...I just had a bit of a flashback, that’s all.”
He stared at her, his mind obviously churning. “Chloe, was it that bad?”
She pushed her hair back from her face. “You have no idea.”
She shook her head. “Please...I can’t. Not now. I’m done, totally done, Tyler. Please, I just want to be alone and go to sleep.”
He waited a moment, then said, “Will you unlock the door between our rooms?”
She was so wrecked, so emotionally exhausted, so crumbly she could barely summon the energy to protest. “Why, Tyler?”
He scowled. “I just want to make sure you’re safe! That’s all, I swear, Chloe. I won’t come in unless you need me for anything. I just...I’m just concerned about you. Truly.”
She nodded. “Okay.” He helped her unlock the door from her side, then after a gentle kiss to her forehead, he left her room and went into his own. A moment later, he opened the door from his side.
“Call me if you need anything,” he urged her, his eyes almost black with worry.
“I will.” She wouldn’t.
She changed and climbed into bed, lay there staring at the ceiling, embarrassed at having lost it in front of Tyler. She had worked so hard to maintain that image of calm composure, cool serenity. Tyler the chef was mixing her up, stirring things up, whisking up all the emotions she’d kept carefully locked up all these years.
And then slowly a sense of relief slid over her, lightened her. Why? Was she relieved that Tyler knew? Was she relieved that she had finally shown her feelings to someone?
And she felt something else. Underneath the oppressive memories and fear and embarrassment, she was tingling with sexual awareness. Tyler had awakened all these feelings and sensations within her, and now they were undeniably there, making themselves felt in her breasts, her womb, between her legs where she knew she was wet. She pressed a hand there, trying to ease the empty ache, and squeezed her eyes closed.
Damn him for doing this to her. She didn’t know why he was playing this game with her but he was driving her out her mind. She’d cruised along a smooth flat highway for years and he was turning it into a roller-coaster ride of hills and valleys. She didn’t like roller coasters. They scared her.
* * *
They were well into the second turn the next night when Tyler wandered out of the kitchen for a few moments to survey how things were going on the floor. Table six was eating his new appetizer special, the scallops with hazelnuts and watercress, and he wanted to see how they liked it.
As he passed the table and saw the empty plates he smiled.
Then he saw a familiar face...was that Michael?
He strode over to Lola, who wished some customers good night with her glamorous smile.
“Who’s that guy at table twelve?” he asked her in a low voice. She glanced over.
“It’s Michael,” she confirmed reluctantly. “I seated them.”
“Who’s he with?”
She shrugged, wrinkled her nose. “Some woman. I don’t know her.”
“Uh...I don’t think so.” Lola looked their way again and Tyler’s gaze followed. He watched Michael pick up the hand of the attractive woman across from him and press his mouth to her fingers in a lingering kiss. Jesus, he thought he saw tongue.
A red haze crossed his vision. What the hell was that rat bastard doing with another woman? And he had the balls to come here, of all places, with her! Shit!
“Is Chloe here?” Tyler asked Lola urgently, voice still low.
“I don’t think so.”
“I don’t want her to see this,” he growled, watching Michael slobber over the woman.
“She should see this!” Lola hissed. “If he’s cheating on her, she needs to know it!”
That did it for Tyler. He strode over to table twelve. “Michael,” he said tersely.
Michael looked up and recognized him. “Tyler.” He gave him a phony smile. “Good to see you! The scallops were fantastic...”
“Can I speak to you for a moment in the kitchen?” Tyler interrupted him coldly.
Michael’s eyebrows rose, but he stood, dropped his napkin onto his chair and followed Tyler through the doors into the kitchen.
The moment the door had closed behind him, Tyler turned to him and drove his fist into Michael’s nose, dropping him to the floor with a stunned howl and a spurt of blood.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
This week I read The Bikini Diaries by Lacey Alexander. Once again she has written a great story of a good girl who goes bad. She's a bad bunny. (I like that!) I love the journey of self-discovery in this story and the insights shared. I'm sure we've all felt that insecurity when faced with a gorgeous, confident woman - imagined her life is perfect, and wished we could be her. Or be like her. And maybe we can - because it's all about how we see ourselves - having confidence in ourselves and having the courage to step "out of the box".
And...if the setting for this story is based on a real resort - I so want to go there!
I also read Maverick by Lora Leigh. This story was okay. As usual, very hot, but somehow I didn't connect with the characters in this story as much as others.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
- Home Gardening
- Bodice Rippers
- Condom Makers
- Résumé Editing
- Public Universities
- Career Development Websites
- At-Home Coffee Brews
You can see the commonalities between many of these things – things that help us escape and feel good – creating something beautiful through gardening, watching movies, reading romance books, having sex, eating chocolate, drinking a great cup of coffee at home. Other things help us save money (on the McDonald’s thing, for me it’s not just cheap food - I’ll admit to a guilty pleasure in McDonald’s French fries – in fact I’d rather eat French fries than chocolate!)
But why did they have to refer to romance novels as “bodice rippers”!!! Ack!! See my blog post about this Building Castles - Kelly Jamieson's Blog: Bodice rippers????
Ah well. Go read a romance novel, eat some chocolate and make sure you have condoms…
Friday, March 20, 2009
“I’m not ready to turn in yet, it’s way too early for me,” he said. “Let’s just have a drink and talk.”
Still she hesitated.
“Come on, Chloe,” he said softly. “Just talk.”
Without saying a word, she nodded jerkily, slipped the card in and out of the lock on the door, then pushed into her room. She flicked the light switch and a lamp on the table across the room lit up.
Chloe dropped her little purse on the desk and went to the minibar. “What would you like?” she asked, surveying the contents. He followed her to the fridge.
“Nothing from here,” he said after a brief look. “Let’s see what we can get from room service.” He perused the leather-bound room service menu, then picked up the phone and ordered an expensive bottle of wine.
Chloe shook her head, smiling. “Tyler, we’ll never drink the whole bottle. You’re spoiling me.”
Oh yeah. That’s what he wanted to do.
While they waited for the wine he wandered over to the sliding doors onto the balcony. Their rooms overlooked the lush hotel gardens. On the left, the swimming pool glowed aqua in the darkness and little white lights twinkled in the trees. It was a mild evening, warm enough to sit outside, so when the wine arrived Tyler brought it and two glasses outside.
“This is so beautiful,” Chloe murmured.
Tyler deftly uncorked the bottle and poured a small quantity into a glass. “Do you want to try it?” She took it from him and pronounced it fine, so he poured more into her glass then some into his. He lifted his goblet and held it out to touch hers with a gentle clink.
“Thanks for coming with me tonight,” he said. “It wouldn't have been nearly as much fun having dinner by myself.”
She smiled but shook her head in the dusky light. “Like you’d ever have to eat alone, Tyler. You have women panting after you everywhere.”
“Yeah, but I’m not interested in them,” he said with a long sigh.
She was looking at him and he knew she wouldn’t ask.
“Tell me about your mother now,” he said. “You started to earlier.”
Her face changed slightly, her mouth tightening. She took a breath and her breasts lifted under the silky dress. “Why do you want to know about that?”
He met her eyes. “I want to know you, Chloe. I feel like I don’t really know you. You don’t show a lot of yourself.”
Her eyes clung to his, full of questions and uncertainty.
He wanted to reassure her. “It’s okay, Chloe,” he said gently. “We can talk...right?”
She nodded slowly and sipped her wine. “My mother was bipolar,” she said finally. “She had episodes where she was up, manic, hyper...sometimes it was fun, but sometimes it was scary because she’d get so hyper. She’d be scrubbing the toilets at three in the morning. But worse was when she got depressed.” Her eyes were shadowed. “She’d get so down and it was so...frustrating. I felt so helpless to help her. When she was manic, I got pretty good at calming her down. To a point. But when she was depressed I couldn’t do a damn thing.”
“Didn’t she take medication?” He didn’t know a whole hell of a lot about manic-depression but he thought it was treatable with drugs.
Chloe nodded. “She did, but it was the usual story...when she felt good, she’d stop taking it. She’d say she didn’t need it any more, she was better.” She grimaced. “But you don’t get better. You have to keep taking the medication and she didn’t.” She paused. “She committed suicide.”
Tyler swallowed a groan. “Shit,” he muttered. “I’m sorry, Chloe.”
He’d had no idea that such tragedy lurked in her past. She was so even and calm and tranquil, giving the impression that she’d had a perfect, happy life. A fist squeezed his heart at how much she’d suffered. Christ, why had he insisted on talking about this? It must be tearing her up to spit this all out.
“My little sister found her,” she continued. “She hung herself in the bathroom.”
“Oh my God.”
“I always wished it had been me that found her. Carly was too young, too fragile...I could have saved her from that.”
“How would you have saved yourself, though?” He reached out and took her hand, small and soft in his, and he rubbed the back of her hand with his thumb.
She looked at him uncomprehendingly.
“You always look after everybody else,” Tyler said. “What about you, Chloe?”
Her eyes, blue and shadowy, stared back at him silently.
“I suppose you think that’s why Carly ended up running away?”
One shoulder hitched. “I don’t know why she ran away. She acted out all the time, got in trouble at school, got into drugs and booze and boys. I was at my wit’s end trying to keep her safe. But I couldn’t.”
“You feel guilty about that, don’t you?”
“Of course.” She met his eyes again and frowned. “Of course I do! It was my fault! I was responsible for her and I wasn’t good enough...”
“Oh bullshit,” he said forcefully. “Chloe, that is bullshit. You did the best you could.”
“You don’t know anything about it,” she murmured. “You have no idea how messed up everything was. I was in charge, and I screwed up and now Carly’s God knows where, doing God knows what.” She swiped a finger under her eye. “And the worst thing is, I worry that Carly may be bi-polar, too.”
Tyler considered that and the implications. “If she is and she hasn’t gotten treatment...”
Chloe nodded, wiping another tear. Now Tyler put his glass of wine on the table, and took both her hands in his, pulling her out of her chair on onto his lap. She resisted only a little, and when he got her on his lap he tucked her head under his chin and stroked her hair. For the first time, he was stroking her hair to provide comfort to her instead of him. He held her close to him, feeling the tension vibrating in her, pissed off at himself for starting this, but more pissed off at life for the tough breaks she’d had.
“Chloe, I wasn’t there but I know you well enough to know that you give one hundred percent of yourself all the time. You always do your best, you work hard. I know whatever happened to Carly was not your fault. If you hadn’t been there for her, things might have been worse. She might not have finished high school, she could have gotten caught up in all kinds of shit long before that...”
He desperately hoped his words were helping her. For a change, he was looking after Chloe. It was a strange and moving turn of events.
“Thank you for telling me about it,” he murmured, his lips pressed against her silky head.
She was silent then she gave a huge, shuddering sigh and drew back to look at him.
“It actually feels good to talk about it,” she said, seeming surprised by that. “I never have before.”
“Never?” He paused. He wouldn’t ask...but he had to. “Not even with Michael?”
“Uh, no.” She shook her head.
That was weird. She and Michael had been going out for months now. Tyler would have thought they’d shared a lot in that time. He stroked her bare shoulder and arm, slowly, enjoying the feel of her warm skin, tantalizingly soft...like a peach.
He felt something that, to him, felt like hunger, a deep ravenous hunger, and he knew it was for her.
His cock hardened under her thighs and her body changed as she felt it. Instead of soft and sad, she now hummed with tension and awareness.
He lifted a hand to her chin to turn her face up to his and he saw the confusion and fear in her eyes. “It’s okay, Chloe,” he said, soothingly, reassuringly. “I won’t hurt you.”
He leaned forward and took her mouth.
She was sweet and he was fascinated with the taste of her. He licked his way into her mouth, tasting her, eating at her mouth, opening her lips further with that hunger that craved her, had to have her.
She tasted delicious, sweet and hot. His tongue stroked hers, licked her lips, thrust back into her mouth in long, deep, devouring kisses like nothing he had ever experienced.
“Tyler...” she whispered, her small hands resting on his chest.
He pushed his hands into her long hair, wrapped it around his fists and tugged so her head fell back and he could taste the smooth skin of her throat. He licked and nibbled and sucked on her flesh, wanting to devour her. His mouth moved lower, over her chest to the ruffle at the top of her dress. He craved the taste of her breasts again and his mouth pushed at the fabric of her dress, trying to move it lower.
“Tyler, we can’t do this,” she whispered. She pushed against his chest, but not hard, not like she meant it, so he ignored her. His lips were on the top curve of her luscious breast, but the dress was still in the way of getting a complete taste of her. Releasing her hair with one hand, he gently pulled the fabric out of the way with his fingertips, then slid the strap off her shoulder so the top of her dress fell down, revealing a perfect peach of a breast, tipped with a pale pink nipple.
“Oh, God, Chloe, you’re beautiful,” he groaned. He had to sample her nipple and he took it in his mouth. His tongue tasted it, then he sucked and felt her body give a little jolt against his. “Delicious,” he whispered, licking and sucking, eating at her flesh with gentle nibbles and tugs.
His cock was so hard he was in danger of bursting and he could feel Chloe’s thighs pressing against him, torturing him. He cupped the breast in his hand, squeezing gently, his other hand in her hair, holding her in place. His body craved her, was desperate for her, had been ever since that day she’d given him the lap dance of his life.
He kissed her again with all the passion and repressed craving he’d felt since that day, his hand on her breast, loving the feel of that tight little nipple pressed into his palm. His fingers tightened in her hair - that hair! - and she gasped.
“I’m sorry,” he muttered. “Did I hurt you?”
She shook her head. “You’re scaring me, Tyler,” she said, pushing harder against his chest.
He drew back, panting, trying to make sense of her words.
“Huh?” Scaring her?
Her eyes were huge and glittering, her mouth all swollen and red and lusciously kissable.
He shook his head, still dazed with lust and hunger.
“You’re scaring me,” she repeated. “You’re so intense. This wasn’t supposed to happen. You said we’d just talk.”
He swallowed hard. “Uh...I guess I got carried away. I was just trying to comfort you, Chloe, like you always do for me...”
She bowed her head, her long hair curtaining her face from him.
“I’m sorry,” he growled softly. The last thing he wanted to do was make Chloe sadder. He’d been so sure she felt the same way about him...he’d felt her response, and while it hadn’t gone as far as last time, he recognized her arousal, her excitement, her heat. And this wasn’t the first time. How was he going to get past this with her, goddamn it?
“Chloe, why? Why are you denying what you’re feeling for me?” he asked urgently, pushing the hair away from her face. “I know you’re feeling it too, I know it! Why can’t we have this?”
She kept her head down, taking in deep breaths. Then she looked up and met his eyes. Her eyes were cooler now but still sparkled with unshed tears. “You tell me why you think you want this,” she said tightly.
He stared at her, at a loss. “How can I explain that? You’re beautiful, gorgeous, sexy...you’re sweet and caring and smart...you turn me on like I’ve never been turned on before...” She made a rude noise at that and his hands tightened on her waist. She tugged her dress up to cover her breast. “What?” he demanded again. “You know I’m turned on! I’m so fucking hard I could pound nails. I’m losing it here, Chloe, I need you...”
She shook her head. “Tyler, I know you. We’ve had this conversation before. You have women hanging on you all the time. You could have anyone. Why do you think you want me?”
He was speechless, stunned, frustrated to the point of wanting to punch something.
“Chloe,” he said finally, “have you seen any other women around lately?”
“Uh...no.” She was silent for a moment. Then she said, a little desperately, “But you seem to keep forgetting that I’m with someone else.”
Her words sent him over the edge and he lost it.
“Yeah?” he said tightly. “Well, sweetheart, you seem to keep forgetting it too.” And he yanked her against him hard. This time his kiss was demanding, desperate, and out of control as his mouth crushed hers, opened hers beneath his, their tongues sliding together. Rapacious need exploded inside him and fire streaked through his senses.
Insatiable Part 12
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
On the weekend I finished BIG Temptation by Robin Rotham. I loved this story and both the characters. I love a really wounded hero, which Barrett is. Very hot, too! And I just read Caught by Jamie Alden, which I enjoyed. Starting today: The Bikini Diaries by Lacey Alexander. Can't wait to get into that, I really like Lacey's stories. FWIW, Lacey Alexander is who got me started reading ebooks!
Friday, March 13, 2009
“Thank you,” she said, touched by the thoughtful gesture. After she buckled her seatbelt she sipped the coffee, the rich dark roast immediately recognizable as Karma Coffee, the micro roaster near the restaurant.
How had she left him talking her into coming to LA with him on this business trip? Her tummy jumped with nerves as they drove north on the 101. She gazed out the window, first at the intensely blue Pacific Ocean stretching out to the curved horizon on her right, later at orchards and mountains on her left, carved and grooved by winter rains.
Near LA the traffic thickened and their speed slowed. “I like visiting LA,” Tyler said, “but I’m glad I don’t live here.”
“You wouldn’t want to open a restaurant here?” Surely the idea must have occurred to him, given his popularity. A restaurant in LA would be the pinnacle of success.
“I don’t know,” he said thoughtfully. “No.Things are getting too big...”
This wasn’t the first time he’d alluded to that. “I thought you wanted big.”
“I never wanted big!” he said with a laugh. “Everyone else wants big.”
“But Tyler...if you don’t want all this...”
He was silent. “Don’t get me wrong,” he said, eyes on the road, shaded by his sunglasses. “Believe me, I want to be successful. I love knowing that people appreciate what I do. I love knowing I’m the best.”
“And so modest,” she murmured.
He laughed. “Yeah. It’s just...a lot of pressure sometimes. I like the attention, but the constant pushing to do more...makes me feel like I’m not doing what I’m really good at.”
Chloe choked and he laughed again. “No. I mean, cook. That’s what I really love doing. Well, and sex, too.”
“Uh...I’ll take your word for it.”
“You don’t have to do that...”
“Yeah, yeah. Anyway, it's a hell of a ride. Unfuckingbelievable.”
She couldn’t help but smile at his exuberance and knew she was along for the ride of her life.
“Michael okay with you coming with me?” he asked suddenly.
“Of course!” She turned to look out the window again. “Why would you ask that?”
He shrugged. “If I was your boyfriend, I wouldn’t let you go away with me.”
She laughed helplessly. “Of course everyone must be jealous of you.”
He grinned devilishly. “I know me.”
Oh-oh. Since they’d shared a bowl of frosting and a kiss in her office, he’d backed off a bit. He seemed to have gotten over his temper tantrums, as Chloe thought of them with amusement, but his impudent charm was even more dangerous. What was she in for?
* * *
After their business meetings that took all afternoon, they drove to the hotel. Tyler wondered how he was going to get Chloe into his room. Given she was the one who had made the reservations, he was pretty sure she’d booked them two separate rooms. Maybe he could try that old ‘there was a mix-up with the reservation and the hotel is all booked up’ ploy.
Nah, it would never work. He sighed. Goddamn Michael was still in the picture, hanging out in the background, making Tyler’s admittedly small conscience prickle with guilt.
Yup. Two rooms. He checked them in and they went up the elevator followed by a bellhop with their luggage. At least they were next door to each other.
Tyler tipped the bellhop and helped Chloe into her room.
“Dinner’s at seven,” he said. “Josh is sending a car for us. Do you want to meet down in the bar for a drink before we go?”
She smiled and all but shut the door in his face. Damn. He went to his own room to shower and change.
When he walked into the hotel bar an hour later he almost didn’t recognize Chloe. She was sitting at a small table across the room. His eyes were drawn immediately to the long shiny hair but, whoa...the last time she’d come to an awards dinner with him, she hadn’t looked like this.
All she wore in the office were casual pants, long skirts and button-down shirts. Today, for their business meetings, she’d worn a navy blue suit.
Now she wore an amber-colored slip dress with tiny straps and a little ruffle along the top edge. It showed a lot of smooth golden skin, round shoulders and slender arms. She glowed like a candle, sitting there in the subdued light of the hotel bar.
Tyler crossed the room toward her.
“You’re like a movie star,” she said to him as he sat down, a smile tugging her glossy lips. She’d put some makeup on her eyes that make them look huge and sexy. “You don’t even notice people staring at you, do you?”
Still oblivious, he gazed at her, mesmerized, hoping he wasn’t actually drooling.
“What?” Her eyes narrowed a bit.
“Chloe, you’re gorgeous,” he said, unable to take his eyes off her. She flushed a pretty pink.
“I look okay?” she asked uncertainly.
“You look fucking awesome.”
“Thank you.” She shifted in her seat and he continued to gaze at her until a waiter arrived to take their drink order. Tyler confirmed they had Chloe’s favorite Pinot, then lifted a brow at her and she nodded. He ordered two glasses of it.
They looked up as a man approached their table and introduced himself as maitre d’ of the hotel restaurant.
“Mr. Gregg,” he said, extending his hand. “Are you joining us for dinner this evening?”
Tyler stood up, smiled and shook his hand. “Unfortunately not tonight,” he said. “We’re having dinner with an old friend.”
“Ah.” Was that disappointment or relief on the man’s face? “Well, we’d be honored to have you any time.”
After he left, Tyler dropped back into his chair and he and Chloe shared a laugh.
“Did you see the look on his face?” she whispered, putting her hand over her mouth.
“They didn’t have my name in their book,” he said, laughing too. “Then I show up and they panic!”
Her blue eyes sparkled with humor, her mouth curved in a tempting smile, and Tyler’s breath stuck in his throat.
“Ah, Chloe, you should laugh more often.”
“I do laugh,” she protested.
He shook his head. The waiter arrived to place their wine before them. Tyler waited till he was gone.
“No, you don’t,” he said, now serious. “You don’t laugh, you don’t cry, you don’t get mad...you’re so even-tempered it’s scary.”
She looked astonished. “But...”
“I know, I know,” he held up a hand. “I probably yell and cry and laugh enough for both of us. And you do have the ability to calm me down. How do you do it?”
“I don’t know,” she whispered. “I guess I had lots of practice with my mother.”
“How so?” He tipped the glass to his lips. The silky, voluptuous taste filled his mouth. He wanted to know everything about her.
She sighed. “I don’t want to talk about it right now,” she said. “This is so nice...” She glanced around the elegant room.
“Okay.” He’d let it go for now if that’s what she wanted.
He glanced at his watch. “We should go in a few minutes,” he said. “The car is likely here.”
They finished their Pinot Noir and Tyler tossed some bills on the table to cover the bill.
When they stood up, Tyler’s mouth almost dropped open again. Now he could see the full effect of Chloe’s dress, instead of just from the waist up. The silky fabric was cut in a way that made it cling to her body even though it was not a tight dress. Her breasts jiggled enticingly under the thin fabric. The skirt ended just above her knees and she was wearing the most incredible shoes he’d ever seen. Okay, he’d seen shoes like that before, just not on Chloe. They were bare and strappy with a spiky high heel. He couldn’t drag his eyes off her as they walked through the hotel lobby.
A limo waited in front of the hotel and the driver hopped out to get the door. Chloe flashed him a clearly uncomfortable look. He grinned.
“We’ll see what Josh cooks up for us,” he said, rubbing his hands with anticipation.
Chloe smiled. “Are you hungry?”
“I’m always hungry,” he said with a grin. “But I’m curious, too, to try something different.”
Josh’s restaurant was more casual than Insatiable, with an open kitchen, a packed bar of people waiting for tables, and a high energy level.
They were led immediately to a table for two in the corner – no waiting at the bar for them! Josh emerged from the kitchen moments later to greet his friend.
Tyler stood and they grabbed each others hands and slapped shoulders. “Hey, buddy, how the hell are you? Long time no see!”
Tyler grinned, stepped aside a little so he could introduce Chloe. She rose out of her chair and shook Josh’s hand with a smile and Tyler admired her all over again as she did so. He saw the appreciation in Josh’s eyes too and felt a tug of possessiveness. Huh.
“So, Tyler, you dog,” Josh said. “You’re everywhere these days...it’s incredible.”
“I know.” He grinned and shrugged. “It’s been fun. So what have you got for us to eat tonight?”
Josh grinned back. “You’ll have to wait and see.”
He disappeared back into the kitchen and Tyler and Chloe sat back down to enjoy their experience.
They talked and laughed and ate and drank, starting with a terrine of foie gras with dried fruit chutney and black truffle vinaigrette, then pan-seared dorade with caramelized sun chokes and roasted red peppers, ending with little sticky toffee puddings with vanilla ice cream. Tyler could have pointed out some things, made some changes, but he said nothing, would never say anything to Josh, and ate with appreciation and genuine pleasure.
“It’s all fantastic,” Chloe said later. “I think so, anyway.”
“Fantastic,” he agreed. “Do you want to come see the kitchen?”
She shook her head. “You go. I know you want to.”
Tyler had to see it, check out the equipment, see how Josh’s team worked. It was professional curiosity and Josh was happy to show off for him.
“Business is good?” Tyler asked.
“Hell, yeah. Business is great. Not as crazy as yours, pretty boy, but it’s good.”
“Asshole,” Tyler said mildly.
“Dinner’s on me,” Josh said. “I owe you from when I came up to check out Insatiable.”
“Thanks, man. Come back any time.”
Tyler went back to the table and found Chloe patiently waiting for him.
“Sorry, sweetheart,” he said.
“It’s fine, Tyler.” She smiled. “I know you.”
Tyler left a very generous tip for the wait staff then they stood out front as the limo was brought around.
Back in the hotel they paused outside Chloe’s room. “Invite me in for a drink,” Tyler said.
Insatiable Part 11
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
This week the Samhain Café is CRAZY with all kinds of things going on and lots of contests. I myself will be there Thursday at 8:00 (EST) and may have a little contest to win an e-book, as well as some excerpts; and I’m part of today’s scavenger hunt at The Samhellion - Fiction, Articles and Musings by Samhain Publishing's Leading Authors.
The e-book I’m reading: BIG Temptation by Robin Rotham. I got this book to download onto my new Sony reader for this weekend (going away for a long weekend, lots of time to read on the drive) but I have to confess I already started it! And I have to get Amber Eyes, by Maya Banks, just out yesterday.
I did read a paper book this week, too – Instant Attraction by Jill Shalvis. Jill is one of my favs and this story was great. The attraction was instant, but it was believable. That’s important for me – an instant attraction that’s too over-the-top loses me. It has to build – and the sexual tension in this story built beautifully. I loved that Cam was a snowboarder – way cool! – only wish there was more actual snowboarding in the story, I love athletes in action. Both Katie and Cam are wounded and I like how they dealt with it so differently – and yet not so differently.
Friday, March 6, 2009
She shrugged. She’d heard much worse language in the kitchen.
“We had a few problems yesterday but nothing that disastrous. I don’t know what’s bothering him. Can you talk to him?”
Chloe tipped her head to one side. “Why does everyone come running to me whenever Tyler’s in a mood?”
He smiled at her. “’Cause you’re the only one he’ll listen to.”
Chloe sighed. “Tyler and I aren’t exactly getting along right now.”
Ryan’s eyebrows shot up. He was such a cutie - that boyish handsome face, the stylish clothes – it really was too bad she wasn’t attracted to him.
“What does that mean?” he asked slowly. “What did he do?”
Chloe couldn’t help but smile. “Actually, it’s more my fault. So, I’d talk to him, but that might just make things worse, not better.”
“Hell, Chloe, if he’s not getting along with you, he’s not getting along with anyone.” His forehead creased. “We all love him, and we love working here, but it makes things tense in the kitchen, not knowing when he’s going to blow up.”
“Okay, okay, I’ll try to talk to him when I get a chance.”
Ryan’s face relaxed. “Thanks Chloe. You’re a sweetheart.”
Chloe studied him. “You look stressed, too, Ryan,” she observed. “Is everything okay with the restaurant?”
“Something else is wrong. What is it? You know you can tell me.”
He sighed. “It’s just really busy. We’re making tons of money, but it’s crazy.”
Chloe considered that. “You probably need some help...an assistant or something.”
Ryan shook his head. “Nah, I’m fine. I just need to get organized.”
Chloe snorted. “You’re the most organized person I know. Some would say anal, even.”
He grinned and rubbed his face. “I know, I know. Okay, it’s busy but it’ll get better. Tyler’s mood lately hasn’t been helping. If you can help with that, it would be great.”
“I’ll see what I can do.” Her stomach tightened as Ryan left her office and she took a deep breath.
They always ran to her as soon as Tyler lost it. She was the only one who could calm him down.
Ha! She leaned her forehead into her hand. It wasn’t up to her to keep him on an even keel. But after all those years of dealing with her mother it kind of came naturally to her. She sighed.
She recognized Tyler’s footsteps on the stairs and lifted her head, pasting a smile in place.
“Try this!” He burst into her office with a bowl in his hands.
She couldn’t help but smile for real at his enthusiasm.
“What is it?”
“White chocolate and cream cheese frosting,” he said triumphantly. “I’m going to frost those coconut cakes with it.”
“Why are you baking?” she asked. “Where Rhonda?” His pastry chef usually made the baked goods and desserts.
“She needed a day off. Go on, try it.”
He held the bowl out but had no spoon.
“Oh. Here.” He scooped up some creamy frosting on two fingers and held it to her mouth.
No way. She was not licking frosting off his fingers. She looked from his hand to his face, and he nodded encouragingly, his dark eyes all innocent. Reluctantly, she opened her mouth and leaned forward, closed her lips around his fingers. She tried to do it quickly but he let his fingers linger in her mouth. Damn him.
The frosting melted in her mouth,smooth and creamy, sweet but with the tang of the cream cheese. “Mmm. Incredible.”
“Have more.” He scooped out more and fed it to her and darned if she didn’t let him.
His eyes darkened and heated as he watched her suck his fingers. Warmth suffused her entire body.
“You can just leave the bowl,” she joked, tugging at her shirt. She wanted to fan herself.
Tyler scooped more frosting onto two fingers but this time he put them into his own mouth, drawing them slowly out, his eyes on hers.
She was all hot and tingling. He was doing it on purpose, she was sure of that, but how could she call him on it when almost every day he was feeding her food, getting her to taste things?
“Actually, I guess I have to, since I stuck my fingers in it,” he replied. “I just brought a little for you to try. Let’s finish it.”
He pulled up another chair and they silently took turns licking the rest of the frosting off his fingers as the air in the room grew thick and heavy.
Then he set the empty bowl on her desk, curled a hand around the back of her neck and pulled her towards him.
He took her mouth in a slow, tender kiss. She was helpless to resist him, totally softened up by white chocolate and cream cheese. She tasted it on him as his tongue slid into her mouth and she opened wider for him.
His hand on her neck pushed up through her hair to the back of her head, and he held her there as the kiss grew deeper, hotter, wetter. Their tongues moved together, tasting each other, and her whole body drew up and quivered.
“Tyler, no. We can’t do this.” She pulled away from him, trying to be sensible and smart, her heart racing.
“Why the hell not?” he demanded. “I’m sick of this. I want you Chloe.”
“But...I have a boyfriend,” she said desperately, saying the first thing that came to mind.
“Michael.” He spat out the name as if it was dog food.
She nodded. “Please don’t do this,” she begged desperately. “You know you don’t really want me. You want somebody like Mandy or Marla or Candy.” She named his last three girlfriends, all tall, gorgeous, sexy.
His lips formed a tight line, his eyes hard. “Right,” he said, and got up to leave.
“Wait, Tyler.” Hell. She’d promised Ryan she’d talk to him.
He turned and looked at her, his beautiful face dark and stormy. She sighed.
“You’re kind of taking out your anger on everyone else,” she said tentatively. “I know you’re ticked off at me, but could you try not to show it to everyone?” She paused. “If you can’t, then maybe I shouldn’t be working here after all.”
His scowl intensified. “Are you threatening to quit?”
She shook her head. “I’m not threatening,” she said gently, smiling at him hopefully. “I just want to you to control your emotions around the rest of your staff.”
“You have got to be kidding me,” he snapped, and stomped out of her office.
She put a hand to the ache in her chest at seeing him leave like that. Just as she’d feared, she’d probably made things worse. And she’d lied to him. She and Michael had been done since that night at her house when she’d told him it wouldn’t work.
But she’d only lied to Tyler out of self-preservation. How else could she possibly defend herself against his overwhelming charm, the overpowering attraction she felt for him, when he kept coming on to her like that?
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
So what am I reading right now on my Sony 505 - Rough, Raw and Ready by Lorelei James. I love this story!
I finished Lori Foster's My Man Michael. It was kind of cute. I liked the role reversal theme and how her somewhat-sexist hero deals with it. And gotta love how she can get a 25-year-old virgin into the story! I did predict the outcome but I won't put a spoiler here for those who haven't read it yet!