Authors: Robin Covington
Tags: #Fiction, #Contemporary, #General, #Mystery, #Detective, #Kidnapping, #indulgence, #one-night-stand, #doctor, #Robin Covington, #Virginia, #police officer, #Romance, #Politics, #Contemporary Romance
A Night of Southern Comfort
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Copyright © 2012 by Robin Covington. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
Entangled Publishing, LLC
2614 South Timberline Road
Fort Collins, CO 80525
Visit our website at www.entangledpublishing.com.
Edited by Ann L. Kopchik
Cover design by Heather Howland
Manufactured in the United States of America
First Edition June 2012
The author acknowledges the copyrighted or trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction: Association of Junior Leagues International (Junior League), The Jefferson Hotel, Southern Comfort, Johns Hopkins University, Medical College of Virginia, Manolo Blahnik, Mary Kay, Mary Baldwin College, Jell-O, The Country Club of Virginia, The Dating Game, United States Marine Corps, James Bond, Titanic, Gucci, Walmart, Coldplay, Formica, Piggly Wiggly, Botox, Starbucks, Penthouse, Teflon, iPod, and Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute).
Even after all these years, I still wouldn’t want to do this with anyone else.
Her Junior League membership was toast.
They’d kick her out for what she planned on doing to that man tonight.
Dr. Michaela Roarke shifted on her barstool to get a better view of the tall, dark, and sinfully sexy man in a tuxedo, playing pool with his friends on the other side of the hotel bar. After leaving her final, boring, political fund-raising dinner, she’d strolled into the historic Jefferson Hotel to end her evening with a celebratory drink. Her new life, the one where she got to be more than the perfect daughter of former governor and current senatorial candidate Jefferson Eastland, started tonight.
The minute she’d taken one look at tuxedo guy’s ass, she’d decided that getting up early was no longer a priority. Checkout wasn’t until eleven o’clock and her night would be so much better with a little company. His company.
Oh baby, he’s gorgeous.
Lifting her glass to her lips, she took a sip and watched the man who’d captured her attention the minute he’d walked through the door with his less captivating friends. He was tall and broad-shouldered, with muscles that flexed underneath his jacket in a way that made her want to strip it off him. With her teeth.
She tamped down the involuntary urge to look away when his gaze once again clashed with hers across the busy bar in open acknowledgment of the sexual attraction between them. She shifted slightly as desire curled in her belly and dampened her panties. Taking a fortifying sip of her drink, she sat back to see if he would accept her invitation.
Mr. Sex-on-a-Stick took his last shot and accepted the congratulatory thumps on the back from his friends. He didn’t smile in response, just quirked his full, sensual lips and turned to face her head-on with an expression full of hot promise. Catcalls and low whistles from his friends drifted across the crowded bar.
Come on, handsome. Don’t let me strike out at my first real bar pickup.
The breath she didn’t realize she was holding whooshed out as he separated himself from his friends and headed over to her. His movements were precise, controlled, and deliciously predatory. He possessed the confident demeanor of either military or law enforcement. He definitely wasn’t a paper-pushing warlord or a politico. Years of experience trained her to spot those guys a mile away. No, his mask of control was one born of the need for survival, much like hers.
Okay, big boy. You let me peek behind yours and I’ll let you peek behind mine
He stopped in front of her, his thigh brushing her leg and setting off a series of sparks underneath her skin. His chocolate brown eyes met hers, filled with the assurance of decadent possibilities.
Michaela opened her mouth and shut it again. Now that he was here, she had no idea what to say.
What would Angelina do? Channel your inner Jolie.
She cleared her throat. The result was a sultry, sexy voice she didn’t know she possessed. “May I buy you a drink?”
He glanced at the glass in her hand and nodded.
“A Southern Comfort.” She spoke in the general direction of the bartender, unable to tear herself away from her companion. “Neat.”
He slid onto the stool next her, his leg still against hers and her temperature hovering near the boiling point. He leaned on the bar, creating their own intimate circle as the noise of the busy bar faded into the background. His lips curved into a slight smile.
“Is there something funny?”
“No. Not at all.” His deep voice rumbled in her ear, his warm breath grazed her cheek. “I didn’t take you for the whiskey type.”
“And what type am I?”
He leaned back, examining her ice-blue satin, strapless cocktail dress and matching Manolo Blahnik pumps. She squirmed in her seat as her body responded to the desire pulsing between them.
“Honestly?” He cocked his head. “You strike me as the chardonnay type. A proper drink for a proper lady.”
She laughed. Any other night, his description would have been close to the mark. “Whiskey’s a drink of control and power.” She took another sip and caught his stare over the rim of her glass.
“I see.” He lifted his glass and downed the contents, then turned his full attention back to her. “So…why are you drinking alone?”
“I’m not drinking alone. Now.” Michaela gestured toward his drink and ordered him another when he nodded.
“Okay, so you’re here…?”
“Celebrating my new life.”
“Aahhh.” He lifted his glass to her in salute. “Let me be the first to say that your ex-husband is an idiot.”
Michaela laughed and, without thinking, ran her hand up his chest, tracing the line of studs until her fingertips made contact with the heat of his tanned skin. He stiffened at the touch and she froze.
Too much? Too soon?
Flustered, she began to withdraw her hand, but he reached up and held it there.
She swallowed hard. He smelled delicious. Woodsy, crisp, and all male. His hot fingers traced a lazy circle over her wrist with his thumb. Suddenly, she understood the meaning of “swoon.”
“Let me say it again. Your ex is an idiot.”
Mr. I-Am-a-Sex-God lowered her hand to his thigh, placing it against hard muscle before skimming his fingers under the hem of her dress. Heat traced along her spine and she shivered when his hand caressed the length of her thigh and then slid down to gently cradle her calf.
Michaela shifted forward, running her hand up his thigh, mirroring his exploration and enjoying the thrill of hearing his quickened breathing at her touch. This was crazy. This was wanton.
This was not what Michaela Eastland should be doing on a Saturday night.
But this was exactly what Michaela Roarke needed.
“No ex.” She licked her lips. “Just my new start. My new life.”
“I’m honored that you’ve included me in your celebration.”
“The celebration isn’t over yet.” Michaela’s voice had a husky edge that betrayed how turned on she was, but she didn’t care. She wanted this man, wanted freedom, control over her own decisions and their consequences. “Would you like to help me celebrate somewhere more…private?”
She studied his face. Dark hair, lush lashes, chiseled jaw dusted by a five o’clock shadow. Faint lines crinkled at the edges of his eyes, but not enough to indicate he smiled or laughed a lot. She shivered at the thought of all that intensity focused on her.
His continued silence made her nervous. She blurted out, “I’ve never done this before,” then immediately wanted to bite her tongue.
Abruptly, his hand curled around the nape of her neck and pulled her close.
It wasn’t a tentative kiss. This was a hot, open-mouthed, possessive kiss that demanded her response. Her blood turned to liquid fire as it flooded the folds of her sex. Every female part of her sought to answer the primal maleness of him. Michaela grasped the lapels of his tuxedo jacket while her tongue chased his in a blatant request for what she wanted. Dirty, sweaty, wall-banging sex.
And an orgasm.
Oh, yeah. Definitely an orgasm. From a man, not a battery-operated boyfriend.
He released her mouth, his features hard and lips wet. “I just want to be sure we’re on the same page.” The tendons in his throat flexed with a swallow. “I want you in my bed.”
His honesty, coupled with that blistering kiss, addled her brain. But she’d denied this part of herself for too long. Something about this stranger dared her to embrace it.
Hell, maybe she was just horny.
Either way, she was good with the “in his bed” part.
“I guess that settles the question of your place or mine?”
The side of his mouth quirked with amusement. “My name—”
Michaela shook her head. “No. No names.”
“I need to call you something.” He reached up to touch her hair at the nape of her neck. “You look like that actress married to the Coldplay front man.”
She’d heard that one before.
He nodded. Michaela fingered the red rosebud in his buttonhole. His demeanor was so focused. The intensity rippling through him made her tremble with need.
“You remind me of James Bond.”
He raised an eyebrow. “In a rented monkey-suit picked out by the groom?”
“So…Gwyneth and James, it is.”
“Well, let’s go, Gwyneth.”
Michaela stood as “James” waved off her credit card and threw a couple of bills on the bar. Her knees wobbled like Jell-O and she clutched the back of her barstool for balance.
James looped his arm around her waist. “You okay?”
Nervousness seized her throat and all she could do was nod.
Could she go through with this?
He reached under her chin and lifted her face until she looked at him. “Look, we don’t have to do this.”
She shook her head and gripped his lapel. “I
to do this. I want you.” Her mouth was dry and her heart raced, but not from fear. It was excitement in its purest form.
James paused, then gave a quick nod and led her out of the bar and across the hushed lobby.
The elevator opened and they entered. As she turned to face the open doors, his large, calloused hand spanned her waist and pulled her back until his thick erection pressed against her ass. She bit back a moan when his mouth nuzzled the sensitive spot just below her ear.
The doors slid closed and the temperature in the elevator went from hot to molten. James turned her face to him and took her mouth in a searing kiss. Without preamble, his tongue plunged inside and possessed her, seeking out all of the places hardwired to make her crazy. She whimpered as he engulfed her breast in his large palm, her nipple hardening into a tight peak as he teased the sensitive flesh underneath the flimsy silk.
James released her mouth and she whimpered. “Don’t stop.”
He trailed his lips down the side of her neck to her exposed shoulder and murmured against her skin. “Don’t worry. I won’t stop until you beg me to.”
As she struggled to form a response, the elevator stopped and the doors opened to reveal a long, empty hallway. James groaned, lifted his mouth, and nudged her forward. Her blood pounded in her veins with every step closer to his room. If she didn’t get him naked soon, she was going to scream.
And Eastlands never screamed.
He fished out his keycard. “Are you sure?”
Michaela took the key from his hand. “You said you wouldn’t stop until I begged.” She slid the keycard into the lock and pushed the door open.
“I’m not begging.” She glanced over her shoulder as she entered his room. “Yet.”
Hot damn. This was going to be fun.
Jackson “Jack” Cantrell strode into his hotel room pursuing the woman he only knew as Gwyneth. It was damn near impossible to stop staring at her golden blond hair and her long, sexy legs. Yeah, he was a leg man. He studied the curve of her firm backside and his hands itched to delve under the hem of her slinky blue dress and explore. Okay, maybe he was an ass man. She turned around and he was drawn to the plump swell of her breasts.
Hell. He liked the whole damn package.
But he’d never gone for one in this particular type of wrapping.
Gwyneth. The name suited her. When he’d first seen her across the bar, he had been struck by her demeanor and expensive clothing. They screamed “don’t touch.” Hell, he couldn’t even afford to look. That had changed when she zeroed in on him and saw the man who was trained to fade into the shadows. Her appearance gave the impression of glacial cool but her body vibrated with a sexual tension that shot straight to his cock.
He’d bet the farm that Gwyneth was the real deal when she wasn’t walking on the wild side. One hundred percent pure Virginia Brahmin. Complete with a Country Club of Virginia membership and a pedigree that descended straight from the loins of Lee, Jackson, or Davis. It was the accent that confirmed his assessment. It was polished, Southern, and totally twang-free. And it turned him on like nobody’s business.
He was ravenous for her mouth. Striding forward, he drew her close, swallowing her moan with his kiss. She tasted of mint and whiskey and pure sin. Panting, he broke off the kiss and ran his mouth along her neck. Finally free to touch anywhere he pleased, he twined his fingers in her hair and tugged the clip out, causing her hair to cascade around her shoulders. He buried his face in the silky mass and inhaled the clean vanilla scent. Wanting to linger, but needing to discover more of her secrets, he unzipped the back of her dress, exposing an expanse of sexy, silky skin.
He knew it. She was an X-rated dream underneath the Ice Queen exterior.
“I want you.” Jack skimmed his hands down her back, cupping the firm globes of her ass. Gwyneth arched into his touch and he swore under his breath as his thread of control hit the breaking point way too soon. “I promise it’ll be slow next time.”