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The Lover's Secret (No Exceptions #1)

By:J.C. Reed

y to trap you and never let you go.

I had never met someone with eyes like that-the kind of eyes that made me want to do crazy things such as dress like a stripper and give him a lap dance. There was a hunger in them-a strong power to devour my soul and my heart. Just prying myself away from them was hard, as if the hypnotic pull was too strong to resist. Or maybe I didn't want to. If looks could have undressed, I would have been stripped bare, naked and spread on top of a blanket, wearing nothing but a smile on my lips, and pleading with him to make me his.

"I'd love to have a drink with you, Miss, uh … " His eyes caught the credit card in my hand, and he held it up to read my name slowly, as if he were examining a rare bottle of wine he was about to savor. "Brooke. Miss Brooke Stewart."

My heart skipped a beat at the way he spoke my name. I tilted my head to one side, narrowing my eyes.




"And you are?" I asked in mock disinterest and the most serious tone I could muster.

Gorgeous, boyish dimples formed in his manly cheeks as he smiled and sat down on the bar stool next to me. He was uninvited, and yet he couldn't have been more welcome. As if sensing my unraveling, his lips slowly parted, revealing two strings of white, perfect teeth I would have loved to feel on my skin.

He held out his hand. "No need to know it," he said. "After tomorrow morning, I'll only be a memory for you anyway."

Wow. Talk about blunt.

I smiled sweetly and inclined my head to regard him. "In which case, forget I ever mentioned mine."

"I doubt I'll be able to," he whispered. "After tomorrow, you might just be the only thing I'll be able to think about, Brooke."

My name rolled off his tongue in a sexy, rumbling way. Ever so slowly, his fingers clasped around mine, and his head dipped low again, so close I could feel his breath on my ear.

"I couldn't help but notice your sexy legs, Miss Stewart. Surely those high heels must be painful. How about I show you my room, so you can take them off? We'll order drinks, get to know each other, and do something about that pain of yours."

He was right; I was in pain, but it wasn't coming from my shoes. My whole body ached with a yearning for him to touch me, begging to know whether the sexual tension between us would actually translate into mind-blowing sex.

As though sensing my thoughts, he pulled back, but he didn't let go of my hand. His eyes kept probing mine with an intensity that made me swallow hard, and blood rushed in my ears as I watched his lips curve into a lazy, lopsided smile that instantly melted my panties, metaphorically speaking. Just looking at him, I felt drugged, as if the chemical reactions in my brain were some complex cocktail of sex-fueled hormones, waiting to diffuse.

He had that effect on me, yes, but I harbored no intention of letting him know it. If he wanted me, he would have to do more than shoot me that arrogant, self-assured smile my way. In all honesty, there was no way I'd get involved with a man like him-not when I already had accomplished half my goal. He had seen me, and I had let my guard down a bit. Now, I had to figure out how to get away.

"As flattered as I am," I said, smiling politely, "I'm afraid I'm not interested. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have other business to tend to." Evading his heated gaze, I grabbed my bag and turned away when his hand clasped around my upper arm-gently but forceful enough to stop me. His touch was hot, burning through my clothes like lava.

"Why not?" he asked, wearing a lazy grin that spelled trouble.

The way he was standing, so close to me, with his hand around my arm, I felt myself heating up. His thumb started to move in circles over my skin, carrying with it an unspoken promise I couldn't deny. A picture flashed through my mind: his lips and tongue licking my skin, his fingers prodding my knickers to find my secret entrance. Instantly, the telltale heat of a major blush scorched my cheeks.

"Are you scared because I'm secretly turning you on?" he asked. His hands moved lower, down my spine, until he reached the small of my back. It was just a small, almost innocent move, but his confidence overpowered me. "Or is it the prospect of me entering you that arouses you?"

I stopped his hand from wandering further south and laughed nervously as I tried to push the pictures of his exploring fingers inside me to the back of my mind.

"In your dreams, perhaps," I said, sounding much more weak than I intended. My attempt to brush him off was a feeble one. And, judging from his wide grin, he knew it.

"I don't believe you," he said.

"Of course you don't," I muttered, and neither did I.

Get a grip, Stewart. Act like you're not interested. Play hard-to-get.

"I don't usually get involved with strangers," I stated as emphatically as I could, my voice betraying me with its trembling.

A devilish glint appeared in his eyes.

"I wasn't suggesting a date," he said with the same confident tone. "It was a proposition-sex and nothing else. What I'm offering is something you've never experienced before. You seem like a practical woman, but you're also curious. I can tell by the way your eyes keep glinting, challenging me to keep this up until your resolve crumbles. You want me to push you hard enough to the point you can't bear it anymore."

I swallowed hard, because he was right. "What if I'm married, with five kids and a husband waiting for me?"

"I highly doubt that." His eyes scanned my face, my half-exposed chest, and then slid lower, until I could feel the heat of his gaze on my legs. It barely lasted a second, but the brief span was enough to send another delicious pull through my abdomen. Eventually, our eyes connected again.

"I don't see a ring on your finger, Miss Stewart."

"Maybe I left it at home," I suggested weakly.

He inched closer, pressing his hands down on the bar beside me

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