Welcome back Blog Hoppers! For today's post I've decided to share a little excerpt from my erotic romance, Let me Count the Ways. It was the obvious choice, really, because Mike is definitely "hard at work".
Don't think accountants can be sexy? Well, read on!
First, however, I just wanted to remind you all that if you get distracted by any of the yummy treats we have in store for you this weekend and fall off the tour bus (so to speak) getting back on is as easy as clicking on this URL: http://www.justromance.me/bloghop
The blog hop will run from Saturday the 3rd to Monday the 5th and winners will be announced at our end-of-hop chat. This time around, I'm hosting the chat starting 8 PM EDT on Monday, September 5. @ http://www.oberoncalifornia.us/Chat_Room.html
Blurb: She's thinking fling. He's thinking forever.
As the owner of The Body Electric, LA’s hottest new exercise studio, sexy, former film star Claire Calhoun has her pick of studly young men eager to do her bidding. Small wonder she’s used to calling the shots, both in and out of bed.
All that changes the night the actress-turned-entrepreneur has one mojito too many at a party and decides it would be fun to pick up her accountant, Mike Sherman.
Claire has been Mike's fantasy since the first time he saw her bare it all for the camera. Now, she's in his bed and he'll do whatever’s necessary to keep her there. But he's not a stalker, right? He's just a devoted fan.
Mike appeared to be absorbed in his work when I breezed into my office, vigorously fanning my face with one hand. “Whew, that was fun.” I was glad I could blame the flush on my cheeks and the breathlessness in my voice on the exercise. When Mike’s eyes met mine, I was even more glad he was too far away to notice the pounding of my heart.
Then he dropped his gaze and refocused on the papers in front of him, without so much as a single word.
Silence filled the room. Feigning indifference, I hopped on my desk, uncapped the bottle of water I’d taken from the refrigerator downstairs and gulped half of it down. I was now annoyed as well as disappointed. If I had any sense at all, Mike’s present disinterest would have had a chilling effect on my libido, but, apparently, I’d learned nothing from my last marriage.
“Have you ever tried Capoeria, Mike?” I asked when I could think of nothing else to say. I was just trying to make conversation although, given Mike’s wide range of interests, I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn he used to teach it.
“No,” he answered shortly.
“Oh, you should. It’s so much fun.”
“So you’ve said.”
More silence. Dead air. God damn it. Why should I even bother? If Mike was no longer interested, I should just find someone who was. How hard could it be? He wasn’t all that, after all. He was older, mostly bald, hardly in the best of shape. And, at the moment, he was as cranky and out of sorts as an entire cast of sleep-deprived, PMS-positive Divas in the midst of a chocolate famine. Never a good look for a man. And, yet... it was still all I could do to keep from launching an ambush, shoving his chair away from the desk, straddling his lap, unzipping his fly...
Maybe he wouldn’t be ready for me, but so what? I knew how to get him there quick.
But was it worth it? Did I want to have to work that hard for any man’s attention?
Well, maybe. Just remembering how hot we’d been together was enough to start me creaming. One night wasn’t enough. I wanted more of what we’d had. I wanted to be naked under him now. And, like a moth drawn to his particular brand of fire, no other candle was going to do it for me.
Groaning in disgust at my own weakness, I let my head fall back and slowly trailed the cool plastic cylinder down my throat, hoping it would slow my racing pulse. Capoeria might be great exercise, but it had obviously done nothing to diminish the horniness I was feeling. I was tempted to slide the bottle between my thighs, to rub its frigid surface against my heated flesh and maybe ease the fluttering pressure in my sex. Would Mike even notice if I did? I raised my head and caught him staring, eyes dark with what could only be lust. Oh, yeah, he’d notice. Good. I felt my mood lift. So much for disinterest.
Bracing my hands on the edge of the desk, I leaned forward. “So what’s going on here, Mike? I don’t even get a greeting now? What’s up with that?”
He frowned, the heat in his gaze diminishing as his eyes narrowed. “What are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about when you first got here today. I said hi and you totally blew me off.”
“Claire, I did not blow you off.”
“You did. You completely ignored me.”
“How? I said hello, didn’t I?”
I snorted. “Barely.”
“Well, you were occupied.”
“Oh, please. What kind of excuse is that?“
“I didn’t want to interrupt.”
“Hmph.” I thought about that as Mike once again focused on his work. It was plausible, I supposed. And really very considerate, if looked at in just the right way. I still felt slighted. “Very thoughtful. But hardly necessary. We were just fooling around.”
“Yes, that would have been my impression too. It’s a mystery to me why you do it.”
“What does that mean?”
Mike sighed. “It means I don’t understand why you waste your time with these... with these young guys in their... beachwear.”
Beachwear? “This is about clothing? What’s wrong with the way they were dressed?”
“Nothing. Forget it.”
Damien and Raul had been dressed appropriately, I‘d thought, in white tanks, bearing the studio’s logo, over black Lycra shorts. It was a look that was only slightly more casual than my own apparel, a lime colored, cap sleeve, scoop neck T and matching yoga pants. Mike, in comparison, was almost overdressed in khaki pants and a sage-green linen shirt. The stud I’d admired last time was once again glittering in his ear and a two-toned Rolex Oyster was clasped around his wrist. I had to admit he looked good. Attractive. Moderately affluent. Mature. Respectable. And angry.
But why? “What are you so angry about?”
“I’m not angry.”
Right. Not much. Once again, I considered Mike’s appearance, contrasting it with that of Damien and Raul. I recalled their hard sculpted bodies, their gleaming, oiled muscles, their... Oh. The corners of my mouth quirked upward. “Mike... are you jealous?”
“No.” He continued to work steadily, but the heightened color in his cheeks and the grim set of his jaw gave him away. “Of course not.”
When he glanced up again, the scowl on his face wiped the smile from mine in a hurry. “Is that what you wanted Claire? Were you hoping I’d make a scene in front of your boys? Sorry to disappoint you.”
I could feel my cheeks flaming. “No, that’s not what I...”
“Excuse me. I have a lot of work to do.”
He ignored me. Frustrated, I blew out an exasperated breath. I tried hard to hold on to my sense of outrage, he was acting like an ass. But it was impossible for me to stay angry with him. There was an odd tightness in my chest that wouldn’t allow it. I couldn’t help but recall my own reaction, two weeks ago, to Derek and his class full of pretzels. How welcome Mike’s admiration had been to me then.
I cleared my throat. “For what it’s worth, I was not trying to make you jealous.”
Mike nodded. “Glad to hear it.”
“But, just in case you are feeling that way—”
“I’m not,” he growled through clenched teeth. “I told you that already.”
“Right. But if you were ever to, there’s something you should know.”
He was quiet for an instant and then, “What’s that?”
“The truth is I find you maddeningly attractive.”
He said nothing. If I didn’t know better I might have thought he wasn’t listening. But the slight trembling in his fingers gave him away.
“And very sexy.”
“In fact it’s really quite distracting.”
He continued working.
“Thank you,” he murmured, his voice subdued.
“Do you know you’re blushing?”
“I’m not... blushing,” he muttered, even more quietly.
But he was. To the tips of his ears he’d gone completely pink. I think even the top of his bald head was rosier than usual.
Another silence. Then, finally, “Yes?”
“Would you like to kiss and make up now?”
His hand clenched hard on the pen he was holding. Any harder, and I think it might have snapped in two. He raised his eyes to mine.
I smiled and batted my eyes a time or two. “Unless you’re too busy working?”
I’d forgotten how quickly he could move. I’d almost forgotten how well he could kiss. But the moment he clasped my face in his hands, the moment his lips touched mine, it all came rushing back. Oh, yes. I locked my hands behind his head and fell into his kiss. My only regret was that he couldn’t talk and kiss at the same time. There aren’t many ways in which fantasy is superior to reality, but that’s definitely one of them.
When he finally raised his head, I locked eyes with him and smiled. “God, I’ve missed your mouth.”
“Claire.” Mike groaned in response. He pulled me close once more, muttering between kisses, “You don’t know what it does when you say those things. These last weeks have been hell. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t think straight.”
Huh? Bracing my hands against his chest, I pushed him away a little. “Why’s that?”
“Because! I didn’t know where I stood with you, or what you wanted. You were so vague when I asked about seeing you again. And you left so quickly.”
What the hell? “Mike, I was perfectly clear. I said it would be nice, didn’t I? Or something to that effect.”
He groaned again. “That’s just what I mean. Too vague. Too polite. I wanted a simple yes or no.”
Amused now, I couldn’t help but murmur, “Really? You’d rather I’d said no?”
Mike frowned. “Don’t play with me, Claire. You know how I feel. I’ve always been honest about my feelings for you.”
“And I haven’t been? I was not vague!”
“Maybe not intentionally,” Mike conceded. “But it felt vague to me. And then when you didn’t call...”
I held my tongue. It would have been easy to say, well, you didn’t call me, either, but would that accomplish? All this conversation was taking us into murky territory. I didn’t want a relationship with him. Not the kind where feelings could be hurt if someone didn’t call. “Why are we talking about this now? Don’t we have better things we could be doing?”
“Wh—what?” A frown furrowed Mike’s brow as he glanced around the room, his expression stuck somewhere between eager and doubtful. “D’you mean here?”
I felt my eyes widen as his meaning hit home. No, that was not what I meant.”
Or was it?
After all, it wouldn’t be the first time. I’d seduced Derek in this room once, although it hadn’t been easy. If there’s one thing that man prides himself on it’s his iron self-control. Something told me Mike would be a whole lot easier to bend.
I smiled. “Well, now that you mention it, sure. Why not? Unless you’d rather wait for some other time?”
“No.” Mike’s voice was flat and final. “That’s one mistake I’ll never make again.”
Mistake? What’s he talking about? Before I could ask, he’d pulled me in for another kiss. His hand tangled in the hair at the back of my head and he used it to lower me onto my back. From the sound, I think he must have used his other hand to clear my desk.
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