“I understand. Mr. De Luca left very particular instructions,” he said the words with a hint of seduction, his sentence causing my eyes to open.

Particular instructions from Brad? That could be worrisome. His earlier threat echoed in my mind. Be careful what you wish for ... I had wished, hopefully he hadn’t granted.

♥♥♥

Brad drove, borrowing Phillipe’s sedan, wanting the control of driving and the solitude of an empty car. He had brushed off Julia’s concerns over Alexis, but Julia had every reason to be worried. Alexis was not going to take this well. He called her from the road, taking a deep breath in mental preparation as the phone rang.

“I was beginning to think you’d forgotten all about me.”

“I’m headed to Saffire now. We need to talk.”

“As exciting as that sounds, I’m not working tonight. And there’s no way I’m going into Fire on my night off.”

He could see this conversation, the direction it was taking, a red blinking sign indicating that his demise was ahead in one decision. He sighed. “Where are you? Can we meet for coffee somewhere?”

She huffed into the phone. “I don’t drink coffee, Brad. I’m home. Come here. I trust you’ll remember the address.” The phone beeped, and he looked at the screen, the END CALL message mocking him in its finality.

This was bullshit. Since when did he follow orders from women? Julia was one thing; she managed to boss him around with ease, but Alexis had no hold on his heart. He could turn around and head right back to Julia. To her soft skin and feisty eyes. Skin that was probably being touched eight ways to Sunday right now. He had set her up with Tyler, a masseuse who moonlighted as an escort, his clientele mostly older women married to casino whales. He tried to push the thought of Julia out of his mind, tried to not think of her, naked on a table before Tyler, the man’s hands sliding over her oiled body. He moved to the right lane, preparing for the exit that would take him to Alexis’s townhome.

Chapter 29

Alexis ended the call, a smile spreading on her face. So, Brad had finally called. She was ready: shaved, moisturized, and naked. She slid a silk robe over toned shoulders, slid her feet into stilettos and fastened them. Unlocking the front door, she positioned herself on the couch, the robe open, in full view of the front door. She closed her eyes and ran a hand softly down her body, lingering over the soft skin, running a finger down her shaved slit, teasing the lips of her sex, feeling moisture as she dipped a finger inside. She sighed deeply, fully opening her legs, spread eagle facing the door, and let her mind take her back to the last time Brad was there.

It had been winter, the cold air bringing a blast of refreshment after the long, hot summer. He had enjoyed his night at Saffire, fought over by the girls, every dancer wanting a shot at his attention. Then, an after party, champagne shared by all, the DJ pumping music through the speakers and turning down the black-lights. Brad had a slew of white-suited chefs take over the kitchen, wheeling in carts full of still-moving lobster. They had all dined, new bottles of bubbly popping every few minutes, eyes starting to shine as the night progressed. And, when the sun started to come up, his limo was put to good use, twelve dancers piling in for a ride home. The car had turned into a sea of sexuality, drunken hands roaming over tan bodies, tops pulled off and bottoms pulled aside. The car sang along to Black Eyed Peas, a sea of naked euphoria. It had emptied slowly—twosomes and threesomes dropped off in the Vegas suburbs. Then it had been just her and him and Lida, a Puerto Rican beauty who had been jockeying for Brad since he bought the club. And they knew, as if by preplanned design, the future of the evening, the limo coming to a stop and all of them spilling out, Brad supporting both of them until they stood, the three of them in her bedroom.

He had stood in front of them, his shirt unbuttoned and untucked, his hair mussed from one too many lap dances. And then they had all feasted, this time not on champagne, but on skin, and somehow, with two of them and one of him, he had made it about them, and they had ended the night entwined as three, their hair spilling over his muscular naked body on her soft bed.

Her body was tightening, responding to her touch, and she was panting by the time the knob turned and the door opened.

♦♦♦

Alexis had texted him, the message coming through as he drove down the suburban highway that led to her neighborhood. The text was short, indicating the door was unlocked and he could come right in. The text should have alerted him, should have warned him of what to expect, but it didn’t, and he opened the door to silver stilettos leading to glistening legs, open and spread for him, her fingers inside her, the pink of her sex framing her motion, her eyes opening and meeting his, a heavy gaze that instantly communicated her need.

Fuck.

He stepped inside and shut the door.

Chapter 30

I let out a quiet breath. Willed my body to loosen, willed my tense muscles to stop telegraphing my stress. Why was this so difficult? Maybe I could blame it on the fact that we were in a bedroom instead of a spa. But more likely it was the tan Adonis whose hands were feeling a little too perfect. Mr. De Luca left very particular instructions. Trouble. I was definitely in trouble.

My nervousness melted a little with his movements, confident strokes of sensuality, attending to safe areas: my hands, forearms, and biceps. When he moved higher, I tensed; his hands kneaded me back to butter, his focus on my neck and shoulders. He slid his hands into my hair, used his fingers to massage and release tension. I exhaled, my lips parting slightly, and he traveled, a scent of candlewood and eucalyptus trailing behind him, and ended up at my feet, starting at my soles and working upward.

Ten minutes later I fully relaxed, still on my back, almost asleep, almost convinced that this was a standard service and not some fantasy come true, when his hands started their massage of my upper thighs. The sheet was tucked tightly around my body, and the flow of his hands over and around my thighs created a small puff of wind under the sheet, hitting my bare and waiting sex. It was a reminder, suddenly alerting me that I was, in fact, naked, his hands inches away, nothing but air between them and me. He moved higher, his hands separating, one on each thigh, and he slid them upward, dipping slightly under the sheet before continuing—his hands on top of the sheet.

I breathed easier, having the sheet between us—a barricade of sorts, and one that should keep my sinful thoughts at bay. His hands traveled, two palms across my body and then, I lost my breath.

They moved, in practiced, perfect paths, skimming across my br**sts, the sheet underneath his hands only an additional weapon in the game of seduction. My ni**les responded, instantly hardening, every light sweep of his hands a throb to my lower half. They swept, twin weapons of passion, down the sides of my stomach, the sheet dragging a little with them, hands moving back and forth, from breast to hip, a delicious sweep that moved a little lower with every pass, my pu**y tightening in response, the thin sheet sticking to the moisture between my legs. I fought my pelvis, which, with each stroke of his hand, seemed to tip upward, trying to shorten the length and allow his fingers to reach my sex.

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