She says all this, but she’s already sitting down and reaching for the grilled cheese and Diet Coke. I sit down next to her and pass her a napkin, hiding my smile. Her just having lunch with me is more than reward enough.

“Well, looks like everyone is back from the honeymoon. How are your love birds doing in security? God, I’m so jealous of Miles’s and Mallory’s tans. I’m practically a ghost next to the two of them.”


“I think it’s about the same so far,” I say, passing her a cup of soup while I take one of the sandwiches.

“Can you imagine three weeks on a tropical island? I don’t know what I’d do with myself. Probably get super sunburned because this fanny hasn’t seen the light of day since Friends was on prime-time television.”

I pause with my soup spoon halfway to my mouth as I look down Jay’s body, thinking about her oiled up and lying in the sun, glistening with water droplets and smelling like coconuts. For just a moment I imagine my rough hands on her, rubbing in lotion and hearing her moan at my touch.

“Jordan?” She says my name like she’s already said it a few times.

“What?” I say, grabbing the napkin and wiping away any drool that may have been on my chin.

“Are you okay? You look a little flushed.” She reaches up, pressing the back of her hand to my forehead. “Hmm. You feel cool, but your cheeks are red.”

“I’m fine,” I say, ducking my head and taking a bite of the first thing I put my hand on. God, I’ve got to get the erection in my pants under control. There’s no way I can stand up without putting out an eye.

“Anyway, I was saying how nice it would be to have a vacation where you just lie around practically naked for three weeks.” She lets out a dreamy sigh.

I groan and try to cover it with a cough. Jesus, this woman has no idea what she’s doing to me. I’m going to die from the ache in my balls. I just know it. Her not even knowing what she is doing is even more intoxicating.

“That would be nice,” I manage to say without choking on my drink.

“Nice? God, that sounds like paradise. I wouldn’t even need to pack. Just kidnap me and take me away. Absolute heaven.”

I think about being the one to take her on that vacation, and I decide to push this time. Just a little. “I’ll remember that when your birthday rolls around,” I say, smiling at her.

A moment passes between us, and then a blush hits her cheek. She shrugs and gives me a playful pat on my hand. “Perfect. Just make sure you show up with a margarita.”

Jay tells me about her day so far and what else she has to finish this afternoon. I love listening to her talk, so I don’t say much. Just answer here and there to let her know she’s got my full attention. But she always has that.

After our hour is almost up and we’ve both eaten all the food, she leans back in her chair and rubs her belly.

“Why do you always make me eat so much?” She gives me a wink, and my body lights up.

“You should eat more. You’re too skinny.” I grab her hand off her belly and wrap my fingers around her wrist. The touch is playful, but I’ve never done this before. “Look how skinny your wrist is.”

She blushes again and sits up in her chair. But she doesn’t take her hand from mine.

“Maybe you’ve just got bear paws for hands. Ever think of that?” Her voice is a little lower than before. She leans into me, and the smell of chocolate hits me.

I don’t know where the courage comes from, but maybe it’s just from months of frustration. I’m tired of being boxed in with her. I want Jay to see me as more than just a coworker she has lunch with. I want her to see me as a man. Preferably one she wants to rub up against.

“All the better to eat you with, my dear.” I pull her hand closer to me and bring her knuckles up to my mouth. I brush my lips against them and then put her hand back on the table.

Her color deepens, and for a moment, she’s speechless. I don’t know if I went too far too fast, but I’m tired of pretending I don’t want her, that I’m not a good enough man for her. I would give her anything she wanted and more. All she has to do is give me a sign. Let me know I can have her.

“That was a wolf that said that. Not a bear,” she mumbles as she stands up abruptly. In her rush, her chair falls over, making a huge racket. People turn in our direction, and I can see that she’s embarrassed as her face flushes even redder. “I have to go.”

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