Take Me if You Dare (Entangled Brazen)(50)

By: Nina Crespo


“Dare?” A spark of irritation hit him. He couldn’t have heard that right. “What dare?” Her soft skin cushioned his fingers as he gripped her harder, and he reminded himself to loosen his hold.

“No—wait, it’s not what you think.” She laid her other hand on his chest as words rushed out of her mouth. “When Tab and I were eight years old, I dared her to kiss Teddy Gibson on her birthday because she had a crush on him, and then on my birthday she dared me to eat a cupcake with hot sauce sprinkled on top of it.”

Seeing her so flustered eased some of his doubts, but it wasn’t enough.

“Jasmine, I don’t understand what you’re trying to say.”

“Tab and I have dared each other to do something on every birthday, and she thought me having a one-night stand would help me get past Greg.” She sighed and as much as he tried, he couldn’t stop his gaze from straying down to the swell of her breasts. “I was just about to give up on the dare when I met you.”

The sincerity in her eyes almost melted him.

“But we didn’t have just one night,” he said. “We lived together for eight days and it wasn’t just about sex.”

“I know.”

“So why did you leave me a note saying that’s all it was to you?” Remembering what she’d written fired him up again and he tightened his hold. “Why would you send an email with the picture we took at the track the day before saying the exact opposite? It can’t be both. Which is it?”

“I meant what I wrote in my email. It was the best day ever, best week ever.” Her expression grew even softer. “And to me you are the most wonderful guy in world.”

Hearing her say that eased some of the tension from him. “Then why did you write that note?

She started to look away, but then she met his gaze. “I left it because I was afraid. When it stopped being just sex between us, the lines got blurred.” She offered up a delicate shrug. “I knew if we kept going, we were headed toward what scares me the most, a long-distance relationship.”

“And now?”

She audibly swallowed. “I’m still scared, but I want us to find a way to work it out.”

Ethan gazed down at her, wishing he could tell her something to ease her fears, but all he had was the truth. “Jasmine, you have to understand. I can’t be in Bumfuck, Nowhere, on assignment worried if the woman I care about is still going to be there when I get home. In my line of work, distractions get people hurt.” He felt her fingers curl slightly into his chest, but she didn’t back away. “I know you’re scared—hell, I am too—but I think what we have is worth something, and I’m willing to try. I know not having me around won’t be easy for you, but even though I won’t always physically be with you, you have to trust that I’m always here for you, and when it gets hard, you have to be tough enough to fight for us and not run away.”

“I understand.”

He released an unsteady breath. “Are you sure you’re ready to commit to that? Because if you’re not, you can’t stay.”

She dropped her head and stepped forward until she molded against him from full breasts to luscious hips. “I’m sure.”

His thin line of control was almost breached, but he wanted to see her face, needed to see more than just physical desire for him in her eyes.

Testing his sanity, he skimmed his hands up her arms and gently held her away again.

“Jasmine?”

She raised her head and looked at him with hope in her eyes. “I want us to try a long-distance relationship. I know it won’t be easy, but —”

Breathing in relief, he pulled her to him and devoured the rest of her words. His hands roamed over skin and came to an abrupt halt when his fingers brushed over two condom packages folded over the start of a satin G-string threaded down the center of the sweet globes of her ass. He picked her straight up, moving fast, and headed for the bedroom.

Laughing, she fell over his shoulder and hit him on the butt. “Put me down.”

He smacked her back.

“Hey,” she squealed out. “What was that for?”

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