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Where she stops.
“It’s late,” she says.
I check my watch. “It’s midnight.”
“Exactly. It’s late. And tomorrow’s a work day.”
“I know the boss.” I smiled. “He won’t mind if you come in late.”
. “I know him too. And he’s a guy who believes in punctuality. It’s time I went home.”
She’s right. Not about punctuality. Well, yeah. I do believe in it, but I don’t want the evening to end. I don’t want her to leave…
Meaning, it’s time she did.
“Okay,” I say briskly. “Let me get Walter set and then I’ll drive you home.”
She shakes her head. “I can take the subway.”
Spoken like a true New Yorker, but no way am I about to let her ride the subway at this hour. New York’s a civilized city, sure, but there are times not all its citizens seem to remember that.
“No subway,” I tell her, and she makes a face.
“So is tempting the fates on the E train at midnight.”
“Fine. I’ll take a taxi and—”
“I’m driving you home.” She starts to argue. I put my index finger against her lips. “Uh uh. No arguing with the boss.”
She sighs and I unlock the door, undo Walter’s lead, get him a couple of biscuits while Bailey hugs him and plants a kiss on his enormous muzzle.
Then she and I head for the door in the kitchen that leads to the garage.
Did I mention that it’s a tight space?
She goes first and, being Bailey and being self-sufficient, she doesn’t wait for me to open the door. She reaches for the doorknob herself. The problem is that me being me, I reach for it at virtually the same instant.
Meaning that we both end up in the same six inches of space.
“Sorry,” I say.
“Sorry,” she says.
She steps back.
It’s a wonderful idea, because it puts her back against my chest.
My dick against her ass. Her sweet, round ass.
So, now it’s my turn to step back. I know that. And it’s what I intend to do—but somehow, some way, I close the last millimeter of space between us instead
And Bailey—Bailey is turning towards me, lifting her face to me.
I dip my head. Just a little. I don’t kiss her. I just dip my head and her eyes widen and I slip my hand over her cheek, over her jaw, and then I gently run my thumb over her mouth.
I bend closer and now I can smell her.
She smells like lemons. No. Like flowers.
I don’t know much about flowers, but I think of the delicacy of the scent of the wildflowers that grow on that piece of hilly land I walked today.
That’s what Bailey smells like.
Okay. Enough. I really will step back this time—but she’s swaying towards me.
It’s the shoes. It has to be the shoes. Those sexy heels she’s not used to wearing.
I’ll steady her by clasping her waist.
Better still, I’ll steady her by making sure she’s leaning on me all the way, God, all the way, and she is. She’s damn near plastered against me and I shift my weight and now there’s not any space between us at all, and it’s only logical that I slowly, slowly lower my head to hers. I can see that her eyes are half-shut, that her lips are slightly parted and the next thing I know, my mouth is on hers.
Somebody groans. Is it me? It must be, because somebody else is making a sound that can only be described as a little moan—and that somebody is Bailey.
“Matthew,” she says in a broken whisper.
“Hush,” I tell her, and her hands rise, slip up my chest to my shoulders, and either I lift her into me or she raises herself into me, and when I kiss her this time, I don’t hold back.
I kiss her hard and deep.
Her taste fills me.
Sugar. Cream. Strawberries. She’s the dessert we had a couple of hours ago, only twice as sweet, as smooth, as delicious.
You know those books where they talk about the earth shifting under your feet? No, I don’t read that stuff but my sister does, always did, and okay, maybe I took a peek at a couple of those books of her when we were in our teens and…
And, the point is, the earth shifts.
There’s never been a kiss like this before. I’m certain of it. It’s a kiss that starts off honeyed and then goes hot, but the honeyed taste is still there, still amazing, and I want more.
Bailey gives me more.
Her arms go around my neck.
She moves against me.
I press her back against the door.
I keep kissing her. She moans again and her jacket—my jacket—slips back on her shoulders, baring her lovely throat, the rise of her breasts.
I slip the tip of my tongue between her lips, and she shudders and sucks on it.
Light explodes behind my closed eyelids.
My hands lift.
I cup her breasts.
I can feel the heat of her through the fabric of her dress.
She makes a soft little sobbing sound and the earth doesn’t just tilt.
And I am lost.
I want her. Here. Now. Against the door, her panties down around her ankles, my hands on her ass, her legs wound around my waist. I’ll make her come and come and come, and then I’ll scoop her up, carry her through the dark house to my bedroom, to my bed, to my possession…
Jesus H. Christ!
What the fuck am I doing?
This is Bailey. My PA. I’m with her tonight because I volunteered to help her get through the weekend ahead. I mean, this is all make-believe. It’s a charade. A game. None of it is real; none of it is supposed to be real…
She seems to come to that identical realization at the moment I do.
This is a story about romance.
Well, it’s not a story. I mean, it’s not something somebody made up. It’s about me. And yeah, in case you’re wondering, I’m a guy.
Surprised? Sure you are. You figure those words just don’t go together. Romance, with a capital R. Guy, with a capital G. You’re probably sitting there and smirking. What could a dude possibly know about romance? You figure we’re big on sex. But romance?
Romance is not a male thing.
And that’s exactly my problem.
The bottom line is that whatever you think you know about men and romance is pretty much correct. You figure we’re big on the F-word as long as it stands for Fuck and not Forever.
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Sandra has won the Holt Medallion. She’s been a finalist for the Romance Writers of America prestigious RITA award four times. She’s won eight Romantic Times Magazine Reviewers’ Choice Awards and was honored with their Career Achievement Award for Series Romance.
Sandra always dreamed of becoming a writer. She wrote poems when she was little, moved on to writing short stories by the time she was in university. She was graduated with Honors in English but, she says, life—a lovely one—intervened with her writing dream. She married, had a family, became active politically in the small town outside New York City where she and her husband lived. Then, one day, she paused long enough to realize her dream was getting away from her and decided to do something about it.
Sandra wrote her very first novel, a romance she called Rapture in the Sands. She sent a synopsis and one chapter to several publishers. A senior editor at Harlequin liked what she’d read and asked to see the rest. After revisions, Harlequin Mills and Boon Ltd bought and published the book.
Today, Sandra is a full time author. She lives in northern Connecticut with her husband, who was her childhood sweetheart, in a sun-drenched house surrounded by woods..