In which I am terrible at remembering to do things…

Whoops! I sent out my first ever newsletter in May and included a new excerpt from CALLING HIS BLUFF, just for subscribers. I meant to post that second excerpt on the blog a week or so later, but completely forgot. So, here it is, belatedly, for your entertainment. It’s a teensy bit steamer than the first excerpt I posted!

(I’m getting ready now to send out a June newsletter, with an excerpt from THE RAIN IN SPAIN, my story in the SUMMER RAIN charity anthology for the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network that releases on Monday. If you want in on this action, just enter your email address in the newsletter sign up box on the right. I promise you will rarely hear from me more than once a month!)

Sarah has taken J.D. up on his spontaneous invitation to accompany him to Vegas for the weekend. On the flight out, she lays out some ground rules for the trip: No kissing. No salsa dancing. No high stakes poker. J.D. can’t imagine the reserved sister of his best friend indulging in the dancing or the gambling, but he can’t stop thinking about having kissed her two weeks earlier. In Vegas, after tracking down Sarah just as she’s about to go all-in on a hand of poker, the first thing J.D. wants to know is what this normally buttoned-up woman will do on the dance floor…

She protested. She dragged her feet. She pretended she wasn’t interested all the way to the concierge desk where he made his inquiry.

Of course they could find a Latin music night, sir. Right across the street, in fact, at the nightclub in one of their sister hotels. And the concierge would be happy to call ahead and put their names on the VIP list.

“You can’t dance,” she argued and waved a hand at his leg. “You’re not even out of physical therapy. And you’ve been limping since before the restaurant.”

He leaned over and spoke into her ear so that the concierge wouldn’t hear.

“Then I’ll just watch you. I’ll enjoy that immensely.”

In the end, she gave in because she wanted to. Because she’d risked it all at the card table and won. Because the music spilling out of the club was hot and fast. And because the thought of J.D. watching her from across the room with those eyes that stripped the clothes right off her body made heat blossom in her belly.

Besides, she was still stuffed from dinner. The sensible thing to do would be to work some of that food off with a little dancing.

Right. This was the sensible thing.

Keep dreaming, girl.

Inside the club, women in high heels and short dresses with flippy skirts were steered and spun around the dance floor by men, old and young, who pulled them close and pushed them away. Even before she had a chance to sit at the tiny table they were directed to at the edge of the dance floor, a darkly handsome man who introduced himself as Diego asked her to dance.

J.D.’s half-smile was just enough of a challenge for her to say yes.

She felt his eyes like heat on her back as she and Diego walked hand in hand to the dance floor. It didn’t take long for Diego to notice where her eyes were inexorably drawn, no matter how smoothly she twisted and shimmied.

He pulled her close until their bodies were pressed together from shoulders to knees.

Mira, you are dancing for him, yes?”

She couldn’t help but nod.

“Then we should give him a show,” he said and bent her back over his arm, running his free hand between her breasts and down the center of her torso before arcing her back up against him again, “don’t you think?”

His smile was slow and easy. After a moment, she matched it with one of her own and snaked a hand up the back of this stranger’s neck to tangle in the damp hair curling at the nape of his neck.

“Yes. I don’t want him getting too comfortable, after all.” She winked.

Her dance partner threw his head back and laughed, teeth glinting in a wicked smile as he spun her out. He pulled her to him until her bottom was cradled by his hips, and she let her moves be guided by the shifting of his weight behind her. His hands clutched her hips, pulling the fabric of her short dress even higher over her thighs. Facing the edge of the dance floor, she lifted her eyes just high enough to watch J.D. watching her.

He leaned back in his tiny chair, looking supremely relaxed except for the intensity of his gaze, which never left her. He had crossed one arm over his chest and was resting his chin in the V between the thumb and palm of his other hand, his index finger pressed against the side of his face, his fingers curled in front of his mouth. He locked gazes with her and then slid his eyes slowly down her body.

She felt it like he’d put his hands on her. The heat and pressure of it slid over her breasts, made them ache a little, hardening her nipples until she knew that if she looked down at her dress, she would see the peaks visible beneath the thin fabric. She sucked in her stomach with a sharp breath as his gaze scraped past her abdomen and lower, circling her thighs. Still dancing in tandem with Diego, she stepped forward and back and felt her thighs brush against each other, featherlight, like J.D.’s hands were between her legs.

Jesus. She was going to have an orgasm right here on the dance floor.

And then there was just the music and J.D.’s eyes and Diego’s hands and the slow build of sex and sweat and so much pure energy that she was surprised she didn’t throw off sparks when she spun.

Long strands of her hair clung damply to her arms, her cheeks. She lifted her arms and ran her palms up the back of her neck until she’d corralled the waterfall spill of her hair into a tangled pile on top of her head. For a moment, she felt cooler until she looked at J.D. over her upraised arms and caught the tip of his tongue sliding across his heavy lower lip. It felt it like a soft sucking kiss on the nape of her neck.

Looking at him over Diego’s shoulder, she ran her hand down her partner’s muscled back and curved her fingers under his belt to pull him closer. She kept her eyes on J.D. the entire time, imagining that it was his hard body she was pressed up against, his hands raking down the naked column of her spine.

When the music slammed to a halt, she was arced over her partner’s arm in a dip that had the ends of her hair brushing the floor. She flowed up again until she was standing next to Diego and pressed a kiss to his cheek.

“Holy shit. I think I am very sorry you were not dancing for me,” Diego said and smiled as he lifted her hand and kissed it.

“Gracias.” Returning his smile, she stepped off the dance floor, needing a break.

Only to stumble for the second time that evening when J.D. appeared in front of her, a wall of muscle that vibrated with tension beneath her palms as she steadied herself against him.

He grabbed her hand and pulled her through the nightclub, weaving in between men and women without slowing, a slight hitch in his step the only sign that he couldn’t actually flatten anyone in his way. The long hall that led to the club’s exit was illuminated at intervals by towering half-circles of glass block columns that were spotlit from below.

Just before the last of these columns, J.D. yanked her to the side of the hall and turned her to face him. Backing her up against the join where the black wall met the curving arc of cold glass, he caged her in with a hand braced on either side of her head.

“I’m almost glad I don’t have my camera.” He leaned in toward her. “You would have melted it.”

She was still breathing hard from the dancing, and she breathed him in with every inhalation. Warm and faintly spicy. She arched her back away from the cold surface behind her shoulders and saw the lift of her breasts reflected in his eyes when he loomed over her.

“About these rules of yours…”

“Screw the rules,” she said, wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling his mouth down to hers.


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