A Ruthless Proposition

By: Natasha Anders

The question was . . . did she want to refuse him? She was tired, frustrated, and his offer could be a fantastic way to let off steam and unwind after a hard day. Who would it harm? They were both consenting adults. There was no romance or love or hearts and flowers here. She might dislike him, but she’d be lying to herself if she didn’t admit to feeling sexually curious about him. Maybe just this once? Just a taste. This was sex, plain and simple, and sometimes that’s really all anybody needed.

Dante Damaso watched the play of emotions on his assistant’s ridiculously expressive face. Shock and confusion, followed by intrigue, trepidation, and definite interest. He couldn’t have surprised himself more with that damned question. She was a tempting little thing, which he’d been trying damned hard to overlook in light of their personal connection through her brother. To that end, he limited the amount of time he spent with her as much as possible. But right now he was as human as the next guy. He was irritated by the way his day had gone, and his frustration built as the hours wore on with little progress being made. Now, after seeing this woman in her distracting blue dress, he was also horny as hell. He could do something about at least one of those things, but if she wasn’t interested, they’d move on. It would probably be for the best anyway, considering the spur-of-the-moment nature of his proposition. He should withdraw his offer and leave it at that. After all, he couldn’t think of a more inappropriate—

“Yes, thank you.” Her whispered words brought his commonsense train of thought to a screeching halt, and his jaw dropped as he watched her dip her head, allowing the sharply defined points of her sleek bob to swing forward and hide her face. His throat went bone-dry, and all sound judgment fled as he watched his hands reach for that vulnerable nape. He hesitated just shy of touching her and inhaled deeply, catching a whiff of the fresh, floral scent that had tantalized his senses all evening. When his fingers finally made contact with her soft, exposed flesh, his breath shuddered out of his chest in tandem with hers.

He was instantly, painfully, and immutably hard, and he allowed himself to deepen his touch, even though every instinct in him was screaming that this was a mistake.

This is a mistake. The thought—which had been buzzing around in Cleo’s head from the moment of initial contact between them, through their first stunning kiss, into the shedding of her clothing, and then when his mouth latched onto her breast for the first time—was getting ever more insistent. But Cleo had more interesting things to focus on, like the way his large, assertive hand was making its way down her body to . . .

“Oh God!” she moaned as that hand did magical, sinful, unimaginable things. Her back arched, and his smoldering gaze fell to the beaded tips of her breasts. She uttered another breathless little cry when his hot mouth fixed on one hypersensitive nub. Her fingers curled into his silky hair as she tried to keep him there.

“I can’t . . .” Her voice tapered off into a high-pitched whine when his supremely talented mouth left her breast only to lavish the same treatment on the other mound.

She could feel his hot hardness poised at her entrance, and her hands left his hair to claw at his back and tight buttocks, trying to pull him toward her. He lifted his head to stare down at her, his eyes feverish as they pinned her with single-minded concentration.

“You want me?”

God, his sexy voice, roughened with desire and strain, nearly made her come right on the spot. She couldn’t quite believe how much he was making her feel, how very much she wanted him inside her. She couldn’t remember wanting any other man half as much as she did this one. And yet . . .

This is a mistake!

The words had grown shrill and insistent, but Cleo pushed them away as she reached up for another one of those drugging kisses.

He complied, but only for the very briefest of seconds. Her frustration reached new heights when he took himself in hand and deliberately ran his blunt, sheathed tip down her slick, sensitive channel. From the tight bundle of nerves at the apex, slowly back down to her entrance, where he came to rest for a long, aching moment.

“You want this? Yes?” He pressed forward slowly, and she hissed when she felt him breach her, so much thicker and harder than she had ever had before.

MISTAKE! The clamoring was incessant, but she ignored it again and arched toward him.

He refused to comply, remaining still, not even breathing, giving her just that one small taste of what was to come.

“Sí? Yes?” His voice remained annoyingly steady, but the fevered gleam in his eyes told her he wasn’t as indifferent as he seemed.

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