Take Me if You Dare (Entangled Brazen)(6)

By: Nina Crespo


“Are you all right?” he asked.

Absolutely. All she wanted to do was lie back in the firm cradle of his chest. Pulling herself together, she nodded and willed her legs to move toward the exit. They walked out of the restaurant into the far less populated hallway of the hotel, and a rush of cold air reoriented her senses. She slipped her hand into the hidden pocket in the folds of her skirt, and her fingers brushed against the small leather holder with the key card to her room. Her heartbeat kicked up another notch, and words of invitation hovered on the tip of her tongue.

“When do you leave town?” Ethan slowed down, and she had to match his stride or risk coming off as desperate. They stopped just short of the elevator, and she wondered about the sudden hesitation.

She cleared her throat. “Tomorrow afternoon. What about you?”

“Me too.” He moved in front of her, inches away, leaving her no choice but to look up.

A waterfall…

That’s what his eyes reminded her of—a cool, sparkling waterfall she wanted to step under and let rain down all over her body.

“What happened?” he asked.

Geared up for any other question but that one, her mind went blank. “Wh-what?”

He skimmed his hands up and down her arms, warming away the chill from her skin. “A woman like you doesn’t make the choice to get under a man this way unless she’s trying to get over someone.”

Her cheeks scalded with heat. Was she that obvious?

“Don’t get me wrong.” Another one of his wickedly handsome smiles formed on his mouth. “I don’t mind being used, but I just have one small requirement.”

Wariness slithered through her mind. “Like what?” she asked, cautiously.



“Dinner.”





Chapter Three

The doorbell rang, and Ethan took one last glance around the condo. He and Mitch were good about keeping up the place, but a quick check through the couch cushions had unearthed a high heel from a woman’s shoe, a tube of lipstick, and a condom wrapper. Hopefully, there weren’t any more hidden surprises that could potentially kill the mood.

Just sex…

He knew the drill. Some asshole betrays a woman, and she hooks up with another guy to get over the past. Honestly, he didn’t mind being used. What guy would with a woman who looked like Jasmine? But after keeping up with Mitch on the partying end of things this week, he needed a break. Slowing things down with dinner instead of just a hit-and-run would actually give him a chance to relax and enjoy the moment for once.

Ethan opened the door, and his gaze wandered over Jasmine and the short strapless burgundy sheath she’d changed into that fit her like a second skin.

“Hey,” she said.

She smiled but he picked up on the slight quiver in her voice.

Stepping back, he welcomed her into the condo, and as she passed by, a light, fresh powdery perfume wafted through the air. He filled his lungs with it, the simple function of breathing rating second to holding on to her scent. He shut the door and clicked the lock into place.

“I didn’t want to come empty-handed so I brought dessert.” She turned around and held out a white boutique bag with a gold emblem stamped on it. “I think I’ve developed an addiction to the hotel’s chocolate mousse pie.”

Pulling his gaze away from her legs, he walked over to her, took the bag with one hand, and slid the other around her waist. “I’m glad you’re here,” he said. “Thank you for trusting me.”

“Well, you did leave your phone number and a copy of your driver’s license with the concierge. The women at the front desk were impressed.” She laughed, but the casualness she was striving for wasn’t quite there.

“Well, since your adopted guardians trusted me enough to let you come out tonight, do me a favor?”

She gave him a quizzical look.

“Relax. Whatever happens tonight is at your speed, your pace.”

Her lips curved into an honest smile, and she rested her hand lightly on his chest. “Okay. I think I can handle that.”

“Good,” he said, and then he gave in to his own new addiction—her lips, drowning in the flavor of mint, something that tasted like berries, and her low moan humming into his chest.

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