Off Limits(4)

By: Callie Harper


“Ridiculous.”

We were both laughing now. When I’d first seen him, scowling and dark, I couldn’t have imagined him doing it, but he now gave me a full smile and I felt dazzled by it, unsteady on my feet. He brushed another strand of hair that had escaped my up-do and tucked it behind my ear. I shivered at his touch.

“Why are you here tonight?” he asked me, almost sounding astonished at my presence. In a good way.

“I got dragged here by my mom,” I admitted. “How about you?”

He shrugged. He gave new meaning to the word “nonchalant”. I thrilled to his every move. “I’m spending Christmas break out here in L.A. with my dad.”

“He lives out here?”

“He splits his time between New York and L.A. His investments are all over the map.” How very jet-setting. But I could tell from everything about him, the tension in his body, the set of his jaw, the tightness in his voice, he didn’t want to talk about it. I understood that feeling, not wanting to talk about your parent.

He looked down at me again in a way that made me feel like it was just the two of us in the room. Like he’d been waiting all night to meet me. “We should get together this week.” He swept his finger along my shoulder and I swore I’d never felt anything so good. I could feel where he’d left a trail, tingling and hot. In that deep, husky voice he added, “I bet we could have some fun.”

Me—conservative, inexperienced, some might even say uptight—me, I had to fight the urge to bury my fingers in his hair and lick his neck. Standing that close, apart from everyone else, I could smell his musky, masculine scent and it made me dizzy. My lips parted. His did as well.

He reached out again to my hair as if he couldn’t keep his hands off it, taking a strand between his large fingers, touching it as if it were expensive silk. “Like fire,” he murmured. I’d always felt embarrassed by my hair, but he made me feel like a rare, exquisite beauty.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

“Jewel,” I managed. My heart raced and I could feel myself start shaking slightly, so sensitive to his touch. He looked down at me like he wanted to devour me whole. With a flicker of nervousness, my eyes darted to the side, as if checking for an escape route. I felt so vulnerable, trembling next to his massive frame. We were so tucked away, no one could even see us where we stood. Anything could happen.

“Jewel.” He repeated my name and made a low, appreciative noise in his throat. His thumb teased my lower lip. “I want to taste you, Jewel.”

Right there at the party, behind a pillar in the dimly lit corner of our private world, he dipped his head down and kissed me. He started warm, gentle and sure, but then he pulled me closer, deepening our kiss, his mouth claiming mine. I felt a rumble in his chest as his tongue teased me, licking, dipping, hot and wicked. I heard a low moan and realized vaguely that it came from my throat. Pressed against him, my soft curves were a perfect fit against his rock hard, solid muscle.

Heat grew in my core as he pushed me back against the wall. My hands snaked up into his hair, soft and sleek, his hand circling my throat as I tilted back to take in more of him, his tongue plundering my mouth. My breathing ragged, I clutched his massive shoulder. An animal lurked beneath that tux. His mouth searched me, urgent, down at my throat, licking and sucking my sensitive skin. He cupped the swell of my ass in his large, powerful hand and forced me against his body. I could feel his long, steel length hard for me.

“You’re making me crazy,” he whispered into my ear.

I’d never felt so wild, so reckless and crazed with lust. Maybe I’d had too much champagne? But I hadn’t felt drunk until he kissed me.

Panting, I murmured, “I don’t even know your name.” My hands, feverish, marveled at the width of his shoulders, worshipped the wall of muscle through his shirt.

“Tuck.” Rhymes with… His hands, hot, roamed me as if he couldn’t get enough, circling my waist, skimming my back as he panted into my neck. My blood simmered as his hands traveled slowly up my dress, so slowly up to the curve of my breast. I sucked in my breath, my eyes closing as he brought his thumb up to lightly tease my heaving mounds. Instantly, my nipples hardened, two points pushing against the fabric. His molten eyes drank me in.

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