Any Time, Any Place

By: Jennifer Probst


Raven shrugged. “You’re getting way too personal,” she said coolly. “I don’t like you. I don’t not like you. You’re just . . . there.”

“Like an ant?”

“Or a fly.”

He nodded, thoughtful. “Bugs are a delicacy in many other countries. Ant eggs are eaten in Mexico. Flies are probably eaten, too.”

“You trying to tell me you’re an exotic taste that I can get used to?”

He flashed her a brilliant smile, complete with dimples. Her heart gave an extra pump. Damn him for knowing how to use charm to his advantage. “Exactly!”

“We’re in the US,” she pointed out. “We like simple things. Hamburgers and hot dogs and beer. Are you going to try the drink or not?”

“I can be simple.”

“You can’t be simple and exotic at the same time.”

“I can.” His voice dropped to an intimate murmur. “I can be anything you want, Raven.” Blistering heat shot from his body in waves. Suddenly the buzzing crowd faded and was replaced by the promise gleaming in his eyes, carved out in the lines of his face. She stilled under the impact of his full masculine power. It had been a long time since she’d been pursued with such focus. Raven had forgotten the adrenaline rush of the mating game and the sweet promise of sexual satisfaction that scented the air with rich pheromones.

She shook her head and forced herself to speak lightly. “You’re a master, I’ll give you that. But you’re wasting your time. You have nothing I want, or need.”

Again he took the jab with charm instead of irritation. “Then I’ll have to keep working on finding what you do want. Or need.” He paused. “Or crave.”

Her brow shot up in warning, but he only laughed. The rich, deep tones stroked her ear in a caress. Damn, he was dangerous. The worst part was he knew it.

“So, what is this drink called?” he finally asked.

She practically purred in response. “Fertility Goddess. It’s a drink made to ensure a long life of marriage, children, and commitment. Seems to be popular with the newly engaged crowd.”

Raven didn’t expect him to drink it. She wanted to make a point.

But Dalton only nodded and lifted the glass high in the air. His blue eyes sparkled with mischief, but underneath was an implacable determination that shook her to the core. “Bottoms up.”

He drank the whole glass in one long swallow.

And Raven knew she was in a heap of trouble.

The woman was driving him crazy.

Dalton put down the ridiculous pink cocktail and caught the flicker of wariness crossing her features. Good. Had he finally managed to surprise her? Had he managed to pry loose a tiny chunk of the armor she wore as proudly as a knight? Raven had all the qualities of a modern-day witch: Droolworthy sex appeal. A tiny bit of meanness. Wicked smarts. And cutting humor. The perfect package he’d been trying to tap for months without success.

He watched her flit away from him and head down the bar, refilling beer and wineglasses, tossing out comments or jokes to the regulars. She seemed comfortable talking to a wide array of people and moved in a way that told him she enjoyed her body but wasn’t obsessed with it. Women seemed to have so many hang-ups about their physical appearance. When Dalton stared at a naked woman, he didn’t see the individual flaws so many of his partners were afraid to expose—he only saw raw beauty as perfect as God made, and he always felt humbled to be chosen to adore such a body. Raven was different. There was an innate sexuality that seeped from her skin, and his instincts told him she’d taken her pleasures on her terms in the past. He loved a woman who owned that power.

“Want another?”

She gestured to his empty glass, but this time there was a gleam of laughter in her dark eyes. Satisfaction speared through him. He’d drink another of those things to keep her amused, but it was time to initiate his plan. One that would hopefully make them both very, very happy.

“I’ll let you emasculate me if you listen to my proposal.”

She rolled her eyes and wiped a dish towel over the wet bar. “I’ll pass on both.” Like a perfectly coordinated dancer, she swept up a bottle of Raging Bitch, grabbed the opener from her back pocket, scooped off the cap, and had the bottle in front of him in a few seconds. Damn, the woman was hot. “Better?”

“Much. I’m going to give you my offer anyway.”

“Have I told you lately I’m a lesbian?”

He grinned. “Cool. I’d just have to work harder to woo you to the other side.”

Her lips twitched. When had simple banter been this much fun? His fingers curled with the urge to reach out and touch her hair. Was it as silky as it looked? The glimmer of a black satin bra strap flashed at him from under her skimpy tank. He wondered how she’d react if he bit into that perfect line where her shoulder met her neck. Would she shiver and moan? Arch up for more? Or bite him back?

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