Excerpt: Arm Candy
Book 1: Hot City Nights Series
David raised all the window shades to expose as much as possible of the glittering skyline, then turned off the lights so they could curl up in the dark on her pillow-heaped daybed and gaze out at it.
He held her tucked into his embrace, her head against his chest. In the luminous semidarkness, she could see his hand as he lightly stroked her hair, rubbing strands of it between his long fingers as if testing its silkiness. They had both kicked off their shoes; David had also divested himself of his suit jacket and loosened his tie.
“I like your hair down like this,” he said, and kissed the top of her head.
She craned her neck to look up at him. He smiled into her eyes, leaned down and touched his lips lightly to hers.
It was a gentle kiss this time, or at least it started off that way, mesmerizingly slow and soft.
He lay back against the pillows, easing her down on top of him as he stroked her hair, her arms, traced soft, circular patterns on her back….
She stiffened when he glided his hands lower, over the silk-clad curve of her bottom.
“Just let me touch you,” he murmured. “Through your clothes.”
She glanced anxiously toward the windows.
“No one can see us.” He caressed her all over, lightly, as he kissed her. The sensation was hypnotic, making her feel both transported out of her skin and very much in it, a slave to his gradually deepening kisses, his ever more restless touch.
He tilted her head up, pressed his lips to her throat, over and over. She gasped when he probed her ear with the tip of his tongue, a sexual tremor coursing through her.
He closed his hands over her bottom, pulled her to him. Through the layers of clothes between them, she could feel how hard he was. He flexed his hips, pushing against her, a gesture so patently carnal that she gasped. “David…”
“Trust me.” Tightening his arms around her, he flipped them over so that it was she who reclined on her back, with him on top, pressing her into the mound of pillows.
He took her mouth again, moving against her in a slow, sinuous rhythm, the rhythm of sex.
Desire thrummed through her. It felt so right, being with him like this, so natural. The temptation to answer his body’s sensual dance with her own was nearly too powerful to resist. But resist it she did, wresting her head to the side and pushing against him. “You said you wouldn’t…”
“I’m not going to.”
“This is more than kissing.”
He rolled off her and levered himself up on an elbow. “You’ve kissed men before.”
“Yeah, of course.”
“Much as I’d like to believe I’m first man to ever… touch you the way I’m touching you, do the things I’m doing, that’s probably wishful thinking, isn’t it?”
“’Fraid so,” she admitted. “I’m a virgin, not a nun.”
“Impudent wench.” He smoothed her disheveled hair off her face. “Did it trouble you as much then as it does now?”
“It…didn’t feel like this.”
He smiled wolfishly. “Can I take that as a compliment?”
“It’s just that it doesn’t seem like you intend to stop.” Not that she truly wanted him to. She ached for him, for this; she’d wanted it forever. But not in the absence of love.
“I’m not trying to seduce you, Nora, but I won’t lie to you. I want as much of you as you’re willing to give. I won’t press the issue, because I did promise I would only kiss you, and there’s just so far I can stretch the definition of that, but… there are things we can do for each other, ways we can enjoy each other—” he trailed a hand over her breast to her lower belly “—short of actually having sex. I’d like to give you that kind of pleasure.”
She shook her head. “David…”
“Let me,” he murmured, caressing her through her double-layered dress. “I want to take you all the way. You don’t have to do anything for me.”
“No, David.” Nora closed a hand over his; he stilled. “I want to save that, too, for when it means something, when it’s a part of something…” She sighed and looked away.
“For when you’re in love,” he said quietly, smoothing errant strands of hair off her face.
“You think that’s stupid,” she said. “Infantile.”
“No, I respect it,” he said, adding ruefully, “but I don’t have to like it.”
“We probably shouldn’t be here like this,” she said, hearing the ambivalence in her voice and suspecting David did, too.
“But I want to be here,” he said, settling back onto her, their hips snugged together, legs entwined. “And I think you do, too. I can draw the line wherever you need me to, Nora. I assume you don’t want me to touch you under your clothes.”
She nodded. I want you to rip them from my body.
“And I know you want to stop short of climax. I can handle that.” He lifted the pendant resting between her breasts and jiggled it, rattling the fire opals. “It’ll be like reliving my adolescence, when I was only allowed to go so far.”
“I assume you remember how frustrating that was,” she said drolly.
“Deliciously frustrating, in a way,” he said, teasing her left nipple by dragging the cluster of opals back and forth across it until it stiffened beneath the spandex fabric. “There’s a certain piquant thrill in maintaining a state of unendurable arousal with no relief in sight. The pleasures of sexual restraint are highly underrated.”
“This isn’t smart, David. It would be too easy for things to get out of hand.”
“You don’t trust me to rein myself in,” he said, sounding slightly affronted.
“It’s not a matter of trust.”
“Ah, but it is. I’m much stronger than you.” Dropping the pendant, he seized her wrists, pinning them in the pillows. With one swift movement of his leg, he wedged her thighs apart and thrust between them. “I could force you, if I were so inclined. Deep down inside, you think I’m capable of taking you against your will.”
His eyes glittered darkly as they searched hers; his hands felt like iron vises around her wrists. Willing steadiness into her voice, she said, “I just think you might find it hard to stop if things get too… close to the edge.”
With a look of resolve, David sat up and straddled her, gripping both of her wrists in one hand and using the other to tug open the knot of his silvery necktie.
“W-what are you doing?” she asked as he whipped the tie off and wrapped it securely around her wrists.
“Showing you just how close to the edge things can get, how far I can take you—and me—and still manage to stop, all on my own.” Lifting her hands above her head, he lashed them to a cast-iron rung of the daybed, and smiled. “Even if you beg me not to.”