Just One Taste...(10)

By: Wendy Etherington


And, except for that light stroke against my tattoo, he hasn’t even touched me.

“You should try her double-chocolate cheesecake,” Mia inserted into the charged silence.

Lucas raised his eyebrows, the way Vanessa remembered him doing when they’d talked about his tattoo. “I’ll be sure to have a taste.”

Just one? she longed to ask and no doubt would have if her roommie hadn’t been standing so close. “We should probably get going. Are you sure you’re okay?” she asked Mia.

“I’m fine.” She waggled her finger at Lucas. “You take care of my buddy.”

“I promise, chère.”

Chère? He spoke French? With a name like Broussard, he could be French. But then there was that Southern accent. Maybe he was from New Orleans. Growing up, she’d been to several charity balls down there. Her father loved the tradition and genteel manners of the Creoles.

What if my parents could actually like this one as much as I do?

But she immediately dismissed the idea. She’d known the man an hour and she was considering introducing him to her parents? No. Forget it.

This night was about desire. Chemistry. Carnal exploration. There wasn’t a future for a party pickup.

A group of servers strode into the kitchen carrying dirty dishes and glasses. Still feeling a bit guilty about leaving Mia, but not about to lose her opportunity with Mr. Beautiful, Vanessa grabbed her purse and keys, then slipped out the back door with Lucas.

“Your friend Mia is worried about you,” he said as they walked toward the parking lot.

Distracted by the deep timbre of his voice and the occasional brush of his shoulder against hers, Vanessa nodded, then shook her head. “She’s just jealous.”

“That you get to leave without cleaning up?”

“That I get to leave with you.”

“We could invite her along.”

Great. He’s into orgies. You can really pick ’em, Vanessa. “One woman’s not enough for you?”

“You’re definitely enough. But if you need a chaperone…”

She glanced at him and wished she hadn’t. His smile made her hot and light-headed. Thankfully, though the day’s humidity hadn’t dissipated much, a breeze chose that moment to gather enough strength to graze her skin. “I’ll pass.”

“If you insist.”

Was he kidding or was that part of his sharp humor? She wanted to get to know his brain almost as much as his body. Pausing at the back of her car, she commented, “Mia’s very beautiful, don’t you think?”

He stepped close, brushing a strand of her hair off her cheek. “Is she?”

Though all the air left her body at his proximity and her stomach quivered at his touch, she said coolly, “You’re trying to flatter me.”

“Of course. Is it working?”

“Of course. Is it because you want to get me into bed?”

He smiled. “Certainly.”

Dear heaven, he was temptation incarnate. And he was taking control of her senses with simple words and bare brushes against her skin. “I’m driving my car,” she said, needing to find some sense of practicality with the wild step she was taking.

“Okay.”

“I don’t doubt your driving skills or anything. I just want to have my own car. I mean I hardly know you, and—”

“I might turn out to be a guy who likes to wear women’s underwear.”

“Exactly.”

Staring up at him, the lure of attraction dragged her closer—not that she was fighting too hard anyway. A fog of need and curiosity had wrapped itself around her the moment she’d seen him. If she turned on a bright light, she might dispel the aura of mystery surrounding him. But she had no intention of doing so.

She’d fallen into a fantasy. And she liked it there.

“Can I have your cell-phone number in case we get separated?” he asked, all polite manners, even as she was igniting from the inside.

She gave it to him as he opened her door. “Where are we going?”

“My place.” Then he stepped forward, his face hovering less than an inch from hers. She could feel his breath on her skin, see the hunger in his eyes as his gaze dropped to her lips.

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