"So you are jealous - you just haven't found anyone worth being jealous of yet?"

"I guess what I'm trying to say is that I have never been jealous before. I'll leave it at that. Are you "one of those men?"

"The jealous type?"


"I'm always very interested in my partner's activities. Jealous isn't really the right word."


A smile flitted across his mouth. "Yes, I like to be in control."

"In control and controlling are two different things."

"Spoken like a lawyer."

"I'm learning."

A handsome man of average build, tall, with glasses and a shock of silver hair strode up to our table. He was dressed in an expensive suit, and had a wooden box in his hand. Brad's cigar box, I assumed. Brad immediately stood up, beaming. "Philippe!" He grasped the man's hand firmly and clapped him on the back. I stood up as Brad turned to me. "This is Julia. Julia, Philippe." We shook hands.

"Philippe, thank you so much for your help today. I had a wonderful day."

"Glad that you enjoyed yourself. How was Prime?"


"Julia really enjoyed the seafood tower," Brad said, winking at me. I shot him a glowering look and then smiled at Philippe. "Sit down with us," Brad said, gesturing to the empty seat next to the loveseat.

"No, I won't steal you away from this beautiful woman any longer. I just wanted to bring you your cigars and meet Julia." He passed Brad the box. "I added a few Cubans in there. You looked like you were running low."

"You didn't have to do that."

"I know. You guys skipping Zumanity?" he asked, glancing at his watch, a Rolex.

"Yeah. Next trip. We're going to hang out here for a bit and then hit up Scores or Safirre."

Philippe glanced briefly at me and then smiled at us both. "Well, I'll let you two get back to it. Julia, it was a pleasure to meet you."

"Likewise. Thank you again." We shook hands and he left. Brad sat down and opened the box, setting it on the table in front of us. The waiter brought us a tray with a tool of some sort and a lighter. He took Brad's empty martini glance and glanced at mine.

"I - umm… am fine."

"Would you like me to bring you something different?"

"No, I'll suffer through this one a little longer." Brad's lips twitched, as he selected a cigar, pulled off the wrap, and used the tool to cut the end off of the cigar. He passed it to me and then did the same for his cigar. I held the cigar tentatively, not sure how to hold it.

"Have you ever smoked before?"

"Uh… weed, once. Not anything else."

"Okay. Pass me your cigar, I'll light it for you."

He lit the lighter and held the end of the cigar slightly above the flame, rolling it over a few times. He then put the cigar in his mouth and held the flame out from the end of the cigar and inhaled softly, rotating the cigar a bit. The end lit and glowed, lighting up red in the dim bar. He passed me the cigar, telling me to hold it between my thumb and forefinger. I held it as he indicated and looked at him expectantly.

"Don't inhale it. Just let the smoke waft in your mouth for a bit, then open up and lightly exhale it out." I listened carefully and did as he said. "Slowly," he cautioned, as I exhaled the smoke. "Take your time, I don't want you to get sick." He passed me a glass of water and I took a sip. The ice cold water felt good going down my throat. He pushed me back on the couch, tilting my chin up and then moved my cigar-holding hand to the side. "Avoid the smoke," his sexy voice whispered. I breathed in, the clean air going down easily. I heard him lighting up and moments later, his head hit the cushion next to me. I turned my head and was suddenly looking very closely into his eyes. They were so complex, dark brown with reflections of me and hidden fires under the surface. He seemed to constantly be fighting battles in his head and those eyes held all of the emotions. He leaned forward and kissed me softly, then brushed my hair gently away from my face, his eyes following his hand as it tucked a strand behind my ear.

"God, I want to make you bad." he whispered, his hand on my lips, running over them briefly. I laughed softly and closed my eyes, turning my head forward and leaning it to the side, resting on Brad's big shoulder.

"Romantic you are not."

He stiffened slightly, and ran his fingers up and down my bare thigh. "Romance is for relationships, something I don't want. I thought you knew that."

"I did - I do," I correctly myself. "There are just times when it seems you could be a good boyfriend." He didn't respond, and I regretting making the statement.

"Suck on it."

I glanced up, looking at his eyes. They smiled, and looked down at my lit cigar. "You have to suck on it at least once a minute, or else it will go out. Remember, don't inhale, and try not to let the smoke near you." I smiled, and took a quick puff, trying to emulate every gangster movie I had ever seen.

"I've told you why I don't make a good boyfriend, at least not to girls like you."

"Was I a girl when you were between my legs this morning?"

"No, you were all women then. Trust me, you don't have what it takes to be with me."

I looked at him sharply, sucking on the end of my cigar and then petulantly blowing the smoke in his face. He dodged the stream of smoke by ducking down, grabbing my thigh for balance. His hands lingered there, sliding up briefly until they hit my lace panties, and then released. I felt my stomach curl, desire bubbling.

"Julia, it's not an insult. It's a good thing. I date bad girls - you are wholesome and innocent. You will make a great wife for a tax accountant one day."

I grinned at him mischievously. "Like Bob?"

He grinned back. "Like Bob."

"You shouldn't have run him off so quickly then. I'll have to track him back down now." I took a puff, then glanced sideways at him. "I'm not exactly innocent, you know."

"You are innocent to my world. And it's not a world I want to bring you into."

I ground my teeth in frustration, but played it cool, sucking another breath of the cigar. Brad gently pulled it from my hand, setting it on an ashtray.

"Don't smoke any more. I don't want you getting sick on your first time."

I was already a little queasy, but didn't want to admit it. "Fine. You are a control freak."

He looked at me carefully. "Ready to go?"

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