© 2007 Mackenzie McKade
Red Hot Contemporary Romance
When opportunity knocks, Jana Ryan knows it’s time to face her demons and return to the city she ran fast and far away from. Her homecoming isn’t exactly what she expects—she finds Lisa, her best friend, in a rather erotic position with the one man Jana has dreamt of since high school.
The redheaded beauty is everything Lisa promised Nicolas Marchetti. Jana is sexy and exquisite and he can’t wait to sexually dominate both women. The triangle with the gorgeous redhead and beautiful blonde is every man’s fantasy. Yet there’s something about Jana that makes him want her and her alone. His attraction to her is unsettling—it goes beyond the physical.
Only by conquering the trials ahead of them, can Jana and Nicolas find their way into each other’s arms. Forever.
Enjoy the following excerpt for Lisa’s Gift:
Jana glanced back at Nicolas. He was staring at her. “What?”
“Do you want me to tell you what I see in you?” From the hungry look on his face she would rather not.
Again, he leaned back in the booth. That mischievous grin she remembered back when she used to watch him with his friends slipped across his face.
Hell yes she was scared. She had always wanted this man. The years hadn’t changed anything. “Not interested.” She played indifferent, reaching for her wine and taking a sip. Then she released a heavy sigh to drive the point home.
A light danced across his features as his grin grew. “Liar.”
“Whatever.” She brushed him off with a tilt of her head. But if she thought that her impassive behavior was going to stop him, she should have thought again as she took another drink of her wine.
“You are scared—scared of the attraction between us.”
When his foot slid up her leg, Jana choked on the alcohol that chose that moment to go down the wrong way. Air. She needed air as her windpipe closed.
Within a heartbeat, Nicolas was by her side. “Gentle breaths.” He patted her back. “One and then another.”
I’m dying. She wheezed in a breath that went nowhere. She inhaled again, making a rather unbecoming sound like a cross between a snore and an asthmatic attack. The whole time Nicolas was there, talking, touching her softly.
It took a moment, but finally Jana could breathe again. Her eyes were misty and nose running as she excused herself and hurried toward the bathroom.
What the fuck! She leaned against the counter and stared at herself in the mirror. It was no mistake that Nicolas was coming on to her. And there was no mistake that Lisa didn’t mind. How Jana wished she could deny that he made her body burn. She had fantasized about being with him since she was just a teenager. What would it be like to make love to Nicolas Marchetti?
She couldn’t—could she?
Nah… She shook her head. It would be weird. He was Lisa’s boyfriend. But the fact was, she needed to feel the touch of a man. She wanted to find someone to love.
Nicolas just wasn’t the man for her.
Jana grabbed a tissue, dabbed her eyes, then blew her nose with a loud snort.
She needed a plan to get through dinner and then go home alone.
Concerned, Nicolas watched the bathroom door, and was relieved once Jana exited. He stood as she approached. Her eyes were swollen, her adorable nose red. “Are you okay?”
“Fine.” Sitting at one end of the crescent-shaped booth, she refused to scoot over, forcing him to sit at the other side. “The wine just went down the wrong pipe.” Picking up her glass, she hesitated then set it back down.
He slid clear around on the semi-circular seat until he was within touching distance from her. Her mouth went dry. She glanced at him, feeling her palms start to sweat.
The salad had arrived in her absence, and he busied himself tossing it, mixing the dressing and cheese, before placing a generous helping on her plate.
When he attempted eye contact she glanced away. She had grown distant, not that she had previously been warm by a long shot. He was back at ground zero.
Serving himself a heap of salad, he picked up his fork. “Where were we? Ah… Yes. I was just about to tell you what I see in you.”
“I wish you wouldn’t,” she said, looking down into her plate as she stabbed at a piece of lettuce.
“Strength,” he offered the single word.
Her head shot up. “Strength?” Their eyes met and he felt her surprise. Obviously she’d expected something superficial. Like how her eyes sparkled beneath the light like two crystals, or perhaps how silky her hair looked draped across her shoulders like a red curtain.
The salad was good, fresh and crisp, the dressing not too tart he noticed as he took a bite. He would have to remember to compliment Antonio later tonight.
Nicolas let her think about what he said before he continued. “Look at what you have achieved in such a short period of time.” He picked up the basket the waiter had set before them and offered her a breadstick, but she shook her head. “You’ve been alone since you were eighteen. Moved to a different state. Started a new life where you had no friends or family to rely on. You have a college degree and have a brilliant career ahead of you. How many people can say that?”
A warm sensation filled him when she smiled. “A lot of people have degrees.”
“True. But not all of them have put themselves through school,” he countered taking a sip of his wine.
She stabbed another piece of lettuce with her fork, but didn’t put it in her mouth. Instead she shrugged. “I was given a scholarship.”
“You earned that scholarship. Even so you did this by yourself—alone.” He placed his hand over hers. “Jana, Lisa says you are a strong, beautiful person. I know she’s right.”
A soft expression fell across her once-tight features as she extracted her hand. “Thank you.” She grinned, dropping her gaze once again to her salad plate.
Continuing to smile, she met his eyes. “You’re not exactly what I thought you were.”
He pulled his brows together. “What did you think I was?”
“Well, arrogant for one.”
Nicolas feigned surprise as he flinched at her words.
She giggled, the sound like bells swaying in the breeze. “Superficial and a whoremonger.”
He pressed his palms to his heart. “I’m hurt.”
“As if,” she said. Her eyes danced with laughter for the first time that night.
“Well perhaps whoremonger is accurate, because I sure want to taste your lips right now.” An ache began between his thighs, tightening and pressing against his black slacks. His sight was riveted on her full lips. How soft would they be against his? Would she whimper softly beneath his attack?
“Nicolas. I’m sorry, but I’m simply not attracted to you.” She swallowed hard, giving away the fact she lied. “If I’ve done anything to mislead you, I apologize.” Her hands left the table.
It was a challenge he couldn’t ignore.
“The thought of me pressing my lips to yours, of my tongue delving between them doesn’t make your nipples hard?” He waited only briefly before saying, “Tell me your breasts aren’t heavy. That a slight tingle hasn’t begun slowly filtering through them, aching for me to stroke them? Place my hot…wet…mouth on them?”
He trapped her gaze with his and paused. “Tell me you’re not moist just thinking of how my hands would feel caressing your body, stroking the flame that burns in your belly, building it into a raging wildfire. Because that’s exactly what I would do to you.”
With his last words her eyelashes lowered halfway, the thick fringe hiding how her eyes had grown steamy. The increased rise and fall of her chest was a dead giveaway that he had aroused her.
“I would touch every inch of your body with my hands and mouth. I’d make you scream for me to take you. Then when every nerve ending grew so raw that your skin was alive, I would enter your pussy slowly until you tossed back your head and screamed my name.
“Nicolas,” he said his name in a whisper. “Your orgasm would explode as I filled you.”
“Stop.” She breathed the word.
What the hell had he done? His cock was rock hard. His palms itched to touch her. His mouth watered to taste her. This was torture and he had driven himself to this unbearable point. He couldn’t find the strength to release her from the hold he knew he had on her.
“Stop? Or do you really want me to lay you on this table in front of all these people? Grab your ankles, slowly parting your legs, before I bury my face between your thighs, licking and sucking your clit?”
Jana gulped down a gush of air. “Fuck.” She squirmed in her chair.
“Oh, doll, I will do more than fuck you,” he promised, the idea sending his hormones into a frenzy of desire.
“No. I didn’t mean— Oh shit! Just stop, Nicolas, stop.” She pressed her palm to her mouth. She mumbled through her fingers, “This isn’t right. You’re sleeping with Lisa.”
Nicolas’s hand slipped beneath the table. He cupped his hard erection as his eyelids grew heavy. God, I wish this was your hand, doll. “Lisa and I have an agreement.” He ran his fingers across his engorged cock. “There is no commitment between us.” He reached for her hand, removing it from her full lips, and she didn’t fight him. Instead her hand trembled. What would she do if he placed her hand between his legs, showed her how she affected him? He scooted closer to her.
Jana was almost his. He could feel her surrender in the softness of her skin, the way her fingers intertwined with his.
The server arrived with their main course and the moment was lost.
She jerked away from his touch. A light blush crossed her cheeks as her spaghetti was placed before her.
But the evening was still young and Lisa had promised to stay away the entire night.