Coming June 7 from Breathless Press and Lee Brazil
Meeting Solomon again while holding hands with another man wasn't in Lake's plan.
Neither was anything that happened afterward.
After a hot interlude at a holiday party, Lake Wynters and Solomon Arsdale exchange phone numbers but not promises. Lake is fine with that until something happens he's never experienced. As days pass without Solomon calling, Lake discovers he just can't forget the sexy older man. Giving in to temptation, he takes matters into his own hands and visits Solomon at his office, breaking his own dating rules.
Waiting in Solomon's office, Lake is shaken to the core by how much Solomon's acknowledgement of their encounter means to him, and how much more he wants it to lead to.
But when the door he's eagerly watching opens, it brings new temptation in the form of Adonis Kosmias. Adonis isn't anything like Solomon. Not many would call him beautiful. His features are too harsh, his body too angular. But he moves with fluid grace and his hair falls in perfect waves and his eyes sparkle with warmth. From the first touch of his hand Lake is thrown into even greater confusion. So distracted by Adonis's touch is he, that when Solomon finally makes an appearance, their hands are still clasped.
I'm Lake Wynters, I reminded myself as I paced, keeping an eye on the massive oak door that stood stalwart between me and the man I'd come to see. The secretary tried to make me sit, even offered me a copy of a news magazine to read. I think my blank look surprised her. She wanted me to sit in that plush but horrible amber colored chair and wait quietly for Solomon to decide whether my claim to friendship was a lie. I sort of was, and I sort of wasn't. But that wasn't why I paced.
And it wasn't because I wasn't sure if my pants would crease or fuzz would stick to my butt either. I just couldn't be still. It was unbelievable how much my existence seemed to hinge on his decision to acknowledge me. So I paced around the soft brown carpet, from the window that overlooked the parking lot and a very distant view of the sparkling waters of the ocean, to the chair. The door didn't open, even though it felt like it must have been a half hour since she'd called through and his deep voice had asked for a few minutes.
He's going to remember me, he's going to see me; he's going to be glad I came. He wouldn't have given me his number otherwise, would he? I wanted to believe that so badly. Because I wanted to see him. I didn't want to get brushed off. Why wouldn't he want to see me again? I was pretty...we would look great together, and I'd already proven to him that I knew what the fuck I was doing. That thought had me cursing silently as my cock stirred a bit. Okay—no remembering the blow job in the vestibule.
Just remember the indulgent smile. The way his hand closed around the number written on his palm. The way his thumb wiped the tiny drop of semen from the corner of my mouth. Yeah, those were the things I needed to remember, the things that said more than getting off for fun, the things that said maybe what we'd had meant a little something more.
Every little sound fell on my ears like a blast from a car horn, from the coiffured secretary's hands clattering on the keyboard to the hushed slur of paper in the printer. Wearing me down, tearing at the confidence I'd mustered in order to come here today.
I wanted to double-check my appearance, run to the nearest restroom and check my makeup, the shine on my boots, the cut of my jeans. I wanted to tell her to forget it, to run out and get my hair done, buy new boots, new jeans, anything to chase away the doubt this man created in me.
I was on edge and I didn't like it. I didn't like being here. I didn't like that he hadn't called me. Why hadn't he called me?
Everyone always calls me.
Not Solomon Ardale. I closed my eyes and his face hovered there in front of me, dark, solemn eyes, strong smooth jaw. The bold, aquiline nose I'd kissed playfully two weeks ago, the thick dark brows I'd traced with my fingers.
The moist hot mouth that had captivated me with one swift brutal kiss before he'd pushed me aside. Had he tasted himself in that kiss? Certainly his taste lingered in my mouth. That flavor was so imprinted in my memory that I could savor its echoes today, the blend of salt and sweet and bitter, smooth and slick against my teeth, my tongue.
But he left me there, mouth hanging open, clutching the little white business card he'd given me after I wrote my number in eye liner in the palm of his hand.
He hadn't called.
Not to ask me to dinner, or the theater, or a movie.
He wasn't even interested in a repeat performance.
Why did it fucking matter? I didn't think he was in love with me. I didn't expect him to even like me overly much. After all, a half an hour at a party isn't much to base affection on.
And yet, here I was, wasting prime holiday shopping time sitting in a stuffy office hoping to see someone I'd only met once.
The door behind me clicked and I spun around, expecting to see Solomon, but instead it was a younger man, handsome in his own way, but leaner with a darker appearance. That explained why Solomon hadn't admitted me right away. He was with someone. The relief I felt made me a little wobbly in my heels, but I smiled at the newcomer, letting my suddenly lighter spirit show. Maybe I smile too much for the camera and it came off as flirty instead of friendly, because one arched brow rose high and I nearly giggled. It made him look very much like an inquiring Vulcan and less wicked than I'd first thought.
He looked me over slowly, extending a hand in greeting. "You're
?" Lake Wynters
I accepted his hand, squeezing gently, just as my behavior coach had taught me. "I am. You'll get used to it. It's my real name. My parents were wannabe hippies. I had to get over it, just one of many things." Jesus, why was I babbling? More to the point, why did this man's dry, firm touch send goose bumps up my arm?
"Will I? Get used to it, I mean?" He smiled a little, just the tiniest quirk of his lips, but I felt at ease suddenly.
"I think so. At least, I hope so. And you are?" I wanted to put a name to a face that I would surely remember for a long time. I had the feeling we could be friends, maybe more than friends.
"I'm Adonis Kosmias. Alas, my parents were also enamored of odd names." He smiled fully now, white teeth gleaming between full dark lips.
"Adonis?" He seemed to find the name amusing, but it sounded nice to me. So did the husky note in his voice and the gentle laugh that came as he recognized my confusion.
"He's the Greek god of beauty and desire. Come in, Solomon will see you now." I realized our hands were still clasped, though neither of us made any pretense at shaking and felt my neck and ears flame instantly. I blushed. I'd be walking in to see Solomon with my ears and cheeks flaming red. So much for appearing sophisticated and debonair. My cover, such as it was, was blown.
But, the Greek god of beauty and desire? Yeah... I could understand his laughter. Not many would call this man beautiful. His features were too harsh, his body too angular for beauty. But he moved with fluid grace and his hair fell in perfect waves and his eyes sparkled with such warmth.
His touch distracted me from Solomon, who was now willing to see me. On the other side of the door I'd been obsessed with just minutes earlier.
The door opened before I remembered that I could tug my hand out of his grip and didn't need to wait for him to release it. So, what the man I'd dreamed about for two weeks saw when I stepped into his office, was me holding hands with another man.