He took another step, this one to the side so he was directly in front of her. “But you don’t like me very much, do you?”
There it was, the spark he’d known was there, buried deep down.
She shifted backwards, away from him, bumping up against the concrete planter. He stopped her before she could trip, his hands naturally seeking out the warmth of the bare skin at her waist. He didn’t grab her. The hold was barely there, only touching her, but she froze.
“I don’t dislike you.”
Her body language wasn’t standoffish, but it was closed-in. Rejection. Jason frowned. Was she afraid of him?
His gaze skimmed back up to her face, but before it got there he noticed the way her breath was working in her lungs. The distracting cutouts in her dress made it clearly apparent—as did the press of her nipples. The dark color of her dress had hidden them well, but with the play of light and shadows, he saw them now.
Jason felt the thrumming inside him. He didn’t know why he was pushing her like this.
Yes, he did.
He didn’t want to be out with one of Nina’s creatures. They were slick and trained and cultured and correct. He wanted the waitress from the party. He wanted to feel that zing and see the pink in her cheeks when their gazes connected.
“You think I was rude to Etienne’s wife.”
She lifted her hands. One settled on his biceps, not holding him away, but creating a barrier.
“I think you were eager to talk to him about your idea.”
She was still lying. He’d seen the way her jaw had clenched and caught the furious looks she’d thrown at him before she’d turned the discussion in another direction.
“You weren’t happy to be paired with me,” he said. “I saw the disappointment on your face in Nina’s office.”
Her pretty blue eyes snapped open. “You were the one who wasn’t happy.”
Ah, there it was. Still polite, but it scraped at the iceberg of truth she was hiding.
He took a small step towards her, invading her space. The planter behind her hid them from any prying eyes at the restaurant. “You think I’m an ass who can only get women by paying for them.”
“No, I don’t.”
“You’re a smart girl, that’s clear.” He let his gaze slide over her again and deliberately ran his thumb underneath one of those convenient cutouts at her waist. “Did you take this job for the perks? Do you like playing dress-up and going to all the fancy dinners?”
Her mouth dropped open, unladylike, before snapping closed again.
“Is it just easier to pay the bills using that angel face and killer body?”
Everything turned on a dime. Fury flared in her eyes, and her cheeks went beyond pink to bright red. She pushed at him and lunged sideways, but he moved with her.
“You are an ass,” she hissed. She pushed at his shoulder with her free hand. “You didn’t even mention that Marie was going to be here tonight. You discounted her entirely when she’s key.”
“I know,” he said, watching the fury that radiated from her face. “Now,” he added when she glared at him.
“You treated Nina like a whipping post when all she was trying to do was help you.”
He gritted his teeth. “You obviously have no idea what was going on there. I’m not apologizing for that.”
“You’re a bull in a china shop,” she snapped. “Constantly pushing things out of your way. I didn’t have to come tonight, you know. You’re lucky you got anyone on such short notice.”
“I’m lucky I got you.”
He closed the distance between them fast. He’d been fantasizing about finding her for weeks, but in his head none of it had gone down like this.
It had gone like this.
He kissed her, his mouth closing over hers. Swinging an arm around her waist, he pulled her against him.
The sparks that had been flying combusted.
Fire and ice. It was all he could think as their mouths melded and their bodies squashed tight. She fit him perfectly, soft curves cushioning all his hard places. She had a cool exterior, but God… the fire beneath the surface…
He swept his tongue along the seam of her lips, wanting access. She made one last fierce sound of frustration, but then let him in.
The bottom of Jason’s stomach dropped out.
She liked to converse in French? He’d show her how the French really communicated. Deliberately, he licked at that sharp tongue that had just given him a lashing.
And she gave in.
A primitive growl left his throat. “There you are.”
He slid his fingers deeper under her dress, but the damn cutouts were too small. He wanted to run his hands over her skin, fingers stretched wide and palms pressing firmly.
Her belly squeezed. “Jason—”
“Shhh.” He kissed his way down to her neck where he stopped to nuzzle. Everything about her felt good. Better than good. She was lighting him up.
He ran his tongue over the pulse pounding in her neck and stroked her back. Loose tendrils of her hair tickled his ear, and goosebumps popped up on the back of his neck.
One kiss. One kiss from her, and he was ready to explode.
He cupped the curves of her bottom in his palms and squeezed.
“Ah!” she squeaked. Her hips rocked forward in a natural motion, and her belly cradled his aching cock.
Her eyes fluttered closed, but then that damn propriety set upon her again. She flinched, as if suddenly remembering she should, and tried to back away.
“Uh uh,” he grunted. He grabbed her ass more possessively, lifting her to him. “Do that again.”
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