Not everything sounds good when you say it. Some things sound, well, just wrong. Like saying I hired a male escort to be my fiancé leading into (yeah, this is sounding bad) marriage, a fake marriage, one about money.
See, that did not sound good at all, but you’ll have to just trust me on this, that was the innocent part of the story. You know, the sunny bit before the fall. Because the rest of this story cannot be described in polite company. Not even a little.
First it gets, well, unapologetically hot and then it gets wickedly hot and then it kind of goes nuclear and becomes oh-muh-goodness hot.
That’s Lukas Dupree. He’s a-whole-nother level of naughty, but that’s not what this is about. This is about the darkness that followed—the chilling turn my story takes after he made me tremble to my core.
Maybe the choices mentioned above mean I deserved it all in the end.
I don’t know. You’ll have to tell me.
Dreams must feel like this. I stand quietly in the door frame of my apartment, gazing at any woman’s fantasy. Lukas Dupree in nothing but dark blue boxer briefs. His tan back is muscled in so many delicious ways. He’s like a sculpture with incredible detail. Smooth and powerful. Velvety and mouthwatering. The tattoo that runs from the top of his left shoulder down to where his right kidney would be is an added bonus.
He does not acknowledge my presence. It must be a dream. When he turns slightly, his abs cause an electricity surge to race up my spine and tickle the back of my neck. I feel delicate and combustible.
He’s dancing a little. I notice he’s wearing ear buds and holding his phone. Maybe this is real. Maybe I’m here with Lukas. Maybe my eyes are enjoying his explosive pecs, deltoids, biceps, triceps, the entire gamut of sinews and tendons. So much for a woman to admire in a single man.
Too much. Entirely too much.
He stops his little groove when he spots me. His eyes bust me and capture my racing heartbeat. He takes the buds out of both ears.
“Oh, hey,” he says. “I didn’t hear you.”
Because I didn’t say anything. Good that he thinks I did, instead of just silently staring at his offerings like a lusting stalker.
“Yeah,” I say, finally finding the strength to lift my eyes to his face and keep them there. “Sorry to interrupt your little groove.”
“And sorry about the casual dress,” he says. “I always sweat after a hot shower. I need ten minutes to cool off.”
I don’t know how to respond so I don’t. And if I were to complain, he would see right through me. In fact, I try not to look at him at all. He reads people too well for me to give him another glance into the hot mess of my dizzy mind right now.
Today’s the day I’m presenting him to my family and friends. We should be leaving soon.
“Can you be ready in fifteen minutes?”
“On it,” he says.
I feel almost sad he’s going to get dressed. Okay, I need to get it together quick. Trying to forget the way he filled out that one tiny piece of clothing he had on is proving difficult. Thank God for my breathing technique.
I can’t help but stare as the pants slide slowly up his legs and get stuck on his bulge. Oh, come on! He grins and raises his eyebrows sheepishly.
I’m furious and thrilled at the same time. I glare at him, but my eyes can’t help but watch as he uses his right hand to push his bulge down so he can pull the pants over the obstacle until he finally gets them to his waist.
I march past him in an angry panic. “We’re going to be late,” I say quietly through my suddenly parched throat.
My dress is waiting for me on the bed, but I have to sit next to it and catch my bearings. I get up quickly and shut my door. I lock it. Only then can I exhale. I feel like screaming. This should all be much easier than this.
USA Today Bestselling author Alison Foster loves reading a good love story almost as much as she loves writing one. She spends her time dreaming up strong heroes and even stronger heroines and she enjoys finding unexpected strengths within her characters when they are in the most unexpected places.
She believes that passion makes the world go round and that a sexy grin is as sweet as candy. She loves interacting with readers, so feel free to drop her a line.