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To celebrate next week’s release of Going Deep, I’m making Seducing Steve FREE on Amazon September 10-14, 2015!
“So, I asked you here for a reason.”
Steve cocked his head as he took the bottle of beer Sara offered. She tucked one leg under her bottom and sank onto the couch next to him, sitting a little closer to him than normal. He swallowed hard and did his best to ignore the fission of electricity that danced up his arm when her sleeve brushed his. All in all, he was pretty proud of himself for not flinching or jerking away. He’d honed his defenses a long time ago.
He set his beer aside and raised the lid on the pizza box. “Not because you wanted me to buy your dinner and let you torment me with whatever chick flick was mailed directly to your door?”
“Those would be the surface reasons.” She used the hem of her sweater to twist the cap from her bottle. “There’s a deeper reason.”
Swallowing hard, he focused his attention on liberating a loaded slice of pizza from its cardboard confines. God, he loved that little flash of hip and bare belly. “Oh yeah?”
“I want to talk to you about my next book.”
Ignoring the impulse to touch, he lifted the slice and prepared to take a bite. “What about it?”
“I need your help.”
He cast a puzzled glance in her direction. “My help? I’m not a writer. Why would you need my help?”
Sara lounged against the cushion. He resisted the urge to fidget under her steady gaze. A prickling sensation crept up the back of his neck.
“The story I’m working on has a friends-to-lovers angle.”
The statement struck him with only slightly less impact than Sharon Stone’s infamous leg-crossing scene. Friends-to-lovers. Holy shit.
“We’ve been friends a long time.”
She threw that line out there like an expert fly fisherman. Woman. Whatever. It just dangled there, waiting for him to take the bait. He shot her a wary glance and leaned forward, preparing to take a giant bite of his pizza. “Yeah. So?”
“I thought you might help me with the sex.”
He choked and sputtered. A piece of pepperoni lodged in his windpipe. She gave his back a solicitous pat, but the shift in proximity only made his throat close up more.
“I’m sorry, bad timing.”
Her hand slid up to his shoulder. His fingers went lax and the slice slipped from his grip, landing in the box with a splat. Graceful fingers curled into the muscle, kneading the knot of tension at the base of his neck. Her touch had the same effect it always did—his brain stutter-stepped, his breathing slowed, and his cock stirred. He was almost pleased to note there was nothing new there. He could handle this. He’d been handling inappropriate thoughts about his best friend for years.
He washed the pizza down with a healthy pull from his bottle of beer. He gasped, lowering the bottle. “Sex?”
His dick perked, prepared to sit up and beg on command. He stretched one leg, hoping to make an unobtrusive adjustment to the denim biting into his crotch.
“You remember sex, don’t you?”
The husky tease did little to slow his racing pulse. “Vaguely.” He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand as his mind raced. Her fingers slipped into his hair and his Johnson all but stood up and cried ‘Hallelujah!’ Desperate, he grabbed the pizza box and hauled it onto his lap, hoping mounds of cheesy sausage would camouflage the pepperoni threatening to burst from his jeans. “We don’t talk about sex.”
Sara scooted closer still, angling her body toward his, and he stopped breathing altogether. “I need to talk to someone about it.”
“Because it’s been a long time since I’ve had sex.”
He glanced at her. Her blue eyes shone with earnest intensity. He was glad for the cardboard buffer between them. “Why me? Isn’t there a, uh, girlfriend, or maybe your mom…”
“I need a man’s perspective on things. A friend’s, so I can figure out how the transition would go.”
“From friends to lovers.”
He gaped at her as she gently pried the box from his grasp and set it aside. His cheeks flushed, and he feared they glowed as red as his hair. “What kind of things do you want to know?”
“Haven’t you ever thought about it?”
“Thought about what?” he asked, though he knew damn well what she meant.
“Steve, how long have we been friends?”
His brow puckered. Wavering between fight and flight and wishing ‘fuck’ was on his list of options, he shook his head in disbelief.
“I don’t know… Eight, nine years?”
“And how many times have we come close to kissing?”
His heart stopped beating. A well-worn montage of near-kisses flashed in his mind’s eye. “We don’t kiss.”
“We don’t kiss because we both know once we start, we won’t want to stop.”