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Authors: Elisa Adams

Damage Control

BOOK: Damage Control
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Chapter One

The last place he wanted to be tonight was this woman's apartment. Brian clenched and unclenched his fists, trying to get a hold of himself, but he couldn't quite manage it. No more wine at dinner, especially not with Andrea. She was his best friend, and all he'd been able to think about since they'd stepped through her front door was tearing off her clothes and getting inside her. This sudden, unexpected need was quickly driving him insane. Now he stood in the hallway of her small apartment, back pressed against the white wall, staring at the front door and wondering if she'd kill him if he made a quick exit.

Deep down, he knew the feelings were wrong, and that Andrea wouldn't welcome them, but lust had overridden common sense at some point during their shared meal. He shouldn't be here tonight. He should be as far away from her as possible until the urges faded. If he didn't get control of himself—
now
—he was going to lose his best friend, one way or another.

“Could you help me with this zipper?” Andrea poked her head out of the bedroom door. “It always sticks. Usually I can unstick it myself, but tonight, I can't seem to get my fingers to work right.”

A side-effect of the wine, Brian thought to himself. He'd been feeling about the same when they left the restaurant, but now his motor functions were starting to come back. With a vengeance. He had to close his eyes for a brief moment to regain some semblance of composure. God, he wanted to touch her. Everywhere. He'd never wanted a woman naked as badly as he wanted Andrea that way,
right this second
. Did she have any clue that what she was asking him to do would be pure torture?

He opened his eyes and thumped the back of his head against the wall. Of course, she had no idea what she was doing to him. “Yeah. No problem.”

“Thanks.” She disappeared through the door again, so he followed, meeting her in the middle of the bedroom.

The dress she'd worn to work that day was the same type she usually wore. Neutral-toned, just a little on the baggy side. Not boring or matronly, at least not exactly, but nothing designed to tempt a man, either. She hadn't given him any signs she was interested in him, so he couldn't figure out why his body was acting as if she had. He was primed. Ready to go. Too bad the only place he'd be going tonight would be home to an empty bed.

It would kill him to pay the cab fare for the half-hour ride back to his apartment, but what could he do? Driving home was out of the question. They'd planned for him to sleep on the couch for the night and drive back home tomorrow, but suddenly that didn't seem like such a good idea anymore.

His fingers shook as he touched the material between her shoulder blades. This close, he could hear her breathing. Was it his imagination, or did he catch a hitch in her breath when his thumb brushed her skin?

He unzipped the dress for her and started to walk away, but when she stripped the drab gray material from her body and he saw what was underneath, his feet froze to the floor.
Damn it
. The single light on the nightstand was dim, but provided plenty of light for him to see every detail. She was wearing red. Not only red, but a lace thong, of all things. Her toned ass made his mouth dry. Her back was sleek, her legs long and firm. Andrea Ray had a killer body. How had he not known what she was hiding under those boring clothes she wore to work and the plain T-shirts and jeans she liked out of the office?

His cock, semi-hard since they'd left the restaurant, went rock-solid. His eyes started to glaze over. He wanted to cup those ass cheeks in his palms while she rode him all night long.

If he told her that, she'd break his nose. Forget slapping him. Andrea wasn't that kind of girl.

“Thanks, Brian,” she said again, her back still to him as she kicked off her shoes, shimmied out of her nylons, and walked to the dresser to take the clips out of her hair. Since she always pulled her hair back, he'd often found himself wondering how long it really was. The pale blonde mass fell down her back, nearly to her waist, and his cock jumped against his zipper.
Holy fucking hell
.

What was wrong with him? This was Andrea. His best buddy. One of the guys. Why did she suddenly look so damned appealing? It had to be the wine. He was still just a little drunk.

That excuse worked until she turned around, showing him what he'd been missing all his life. Her breasts were full and round, nearly spilling over the lacy cups of the bra that matched her thong. He barely resisted the urge to lick his lips. Her skin looked so soft. So creamy. If he could just get a taste of her…

“What's the matter?” she asked, her mouth dipping into a frown.

Funny, but he'd never noticed how lush her lips were until tonight.

And why hadn't he? The fact that he'd never before seen how gorgeous she was spoke volumes about him. He was a shallow jerk who noticed curves before he noticed brains. He supposed it wasn't really his fault. Men needed visual stimuli. Red lingerie and long, silky golden-blonde hair were about as stimulating as it could get.

“I'm going to hell,” he muttered, shaking his head.

“Why do you say that?” Andrea laughed, and even that sound made the lust twist his gut harder. The woman was damned near perfect, and he hadn't even known it until tonight. What a complete idiot he was.

“Because I want to kiss you so bad right now, I think I might explode.” And he didn't want to stop with kissing, either. What he wanted to do to her scared the hell out of him. She was his
best friend
.

He shook his head. Like that was going to stop him. No matter how many times he reminded himself, his body didn't seem to care.

She said nothing, just narrowed her eyes, and he decided to get the hell out of her apartment before he made an even bigger fool out of himself. “Just pretend I didn't say that. I'm going to go outside and call a cab to get home. I'll call you tomorrow.”

Without waiting for a response, he spun around and rushed toward the door. He expected her to agree with him. To tell him to get out of her place before she threw him out.

She didn't.

“It's cold outside. Unusually cold for this late in the spring.”

The sound of her voice made him stop inside the bedroom doorway. He didn't dare turn around. His shoulders tensed. She couldn't be saying what he thought she was saying. It couldn't be this easy. “Yeah, it is.”

“You could stay here until morning, like we planned when we left the restaurant,” she said softly, a hint of something in her voice he couldn't quite place. “And get a cab back to the restaurant to get our cars tomorrow.”

His answering laugh was tinged with a bitterness he never felt around her. The pullout couch he used on occasion had zero appeal right about now. Less than zero. He'd rather sleep on a bed of nails than toss and turn thirty feet away from her all night long, “I can't stay here tonight. I don't know what's wrong with me, but it isn't good. Even the couch isn't far enough away for me to keep my impulses in check.”

“Who said anything about the couch?”

He swallowed hard, her words echoing inside his head. Was she offering her bed? If so, they were headed for some pretty deep shit.

He turned around in time to see her release the front clasp on her bra. She separated the two cups, giving him a full view of her perfect, generous breasts. Her nipples were hard and pink-tipped, and his gut tightened at the sight. Her hips flared gently from a nipped waist, and the slight roundness of her stomach made him swallow hard.
Holy shit.
She was in shape, yet soft in all the right places. The woman was trying to kill him.

“You don't know what you're doing. Neither of us does,” he hedged, trying to hang onto the last thread of his sanity. He couldn't sleep with her, but hell, he wanted to.

“I know exactly what I'm doing.” A small, very feminine smile curled the corners of her lips. “And I know you. You're thinking just fine right now. If you weren't, you'd be passed out in the living room. You and alcohol in large quantities don't exactly get along.”

His face heated a little. Sometimes she knew him too well. “Andrea…”

She cut off his protest with a wave of her hand. “I know it would only be tonight. But we're both here, both needy and available. We're adults, Brian. Perfectly capable of making our own decisions. We wouldn't be doing anything wrong.”

She walked over to him and wrapped one hand around his neck, drawing him in for a kiss. Her tongue brushed the seam of his lips, and unable to stop himself, he parted them. The warm, sweet taste of her made him groan. All this time she'd been right there, and he'd been too blind to notice.

One of her small hands cupped his cheek, gently caressing his skin. Her other hand tangled in his hair as she leaned up on tiptoe, pressing the length of her body closer to his. His resistance was down to its last thread, and was barely hanging on. What man could walk away from a beautiful woman plastering herself against him? Maybe a better man could, but Brian wasn't as strong as he'd thought. He'd never been so damned weak in his life.

Instead of pulling away, he settled his hands on her hips to hold her where she was. He took over the kiss, becoming the aggressor, slamming his tongue into her mouth as he rocked his hips against her. His body tightened in anticipation when she started unbuttoning his shirt. When her hand reached below his waist, sliding up and down over his erection, he knew there was no turning back. He had to have this woman.
Like, yesterday.

Andrea broke the kiss and pressed her mouth to his jaw before pulling back. “Do you really want to leave?”

The slight curve of her lips and knowing glint in her eyes told him she hadn't needed to ask the question. She already had her answer. It wasn't like she couldn't tell how she affected him. His whole body shook with the need thundering through him. “You know I don't.”

“Then why are you fighting this?”

Brian laughed. Shook his head. She had to be kidding. If he was fighting, he wasn't doing a very good job of it. He was about five seconds away from tearing those insubstantial panties from her body. It was a fight to keep his mind working when his baser instincts wanted to take over.

Stepping back a few feet, hands balled into fists, he drew in a shaky breath, trying one last time to get himself under control. There was a reason he couldn't sleep with her. A damned good one, too. At the moment, he just couldn't remember what that reason was.

Instead of walking away, he stared at her, silently begging her to remind him of his reasons and kick him out like the dog he was. “Who said I was fighting anything?”

She cocked her head to the side, raising her eyebrows in challenge as she closed the space between them. She brought her hand to his chest, her fingers absently stroking for a few seconds before she went back to work unbuttoning the rest of his shirt. “You didn't have to say it. I can see it in your eyes. Don't you want me, Brian?”

“So much,” he ground out before he could stop himself. If he stayed, things were going to get pretty messy between them in the morning. “But we can't. You're drunk.”

“Not really. I'm a little buzzed, but my mind is working just fine.”

As if that was supposed to explain why his no-nonsense best friend had suddenly turned into a siren. Why she'd all but launched herself at him and kissed him like she'd been waiting to do it all her life. This wasn't Andrea. Not really. His buddy Andrea was calm and collected at all times, if not a little cool on occasion. She was focused and driven, single-minded when it came to work but a great sounding-board when he needed help with a problem. She didn't drive him to overheat at just the touch of her hand. Didn't want to make him rut like a wild animal.

At least she hadn't. Before. Now everything had changed.

He opened his mouth to protest, but then she unzipped his pants and reached her hand inside to encircle his cock, and all rational thought fled from his mind. Instead he leaned back against the wall and groaned. Ah, God, her fingers felt so good wrapped around him. So right. His breath sawed in and out of his lungs, his gut tightening a little more with each stroke of her palm. The touch was too soft, too light. He needed more, but couldn't make his voice work to tell her so. Instead, he locked his gaze with hers.

She drew her hand away, stepped back and took off her panties, leaving her standing naked before him. His mouth watered and he wouldn't have been surprised if he'd had drool dripping down his chin. He'd always appreciated a woman with curves, and Andrea had plenty to spare. Her body was lush, ripe, and he couldn't wait to sink deep inside her.

She graced him with a sensual smile, gesturing to his clothes. “Your turn.”

Not likely. If he got naked now, it would all be over in about two seconds. A three-month dry spell coupled with the wine didn't exactly give him a lot of staying power. He took his shirt off his shoulders and let it drop where he stood, stripping off his undershirt next. Stepping out of his shoes without bothering to untie them, he stalked over to her and yanked her up against him. His hand on her lower back, he guided her closer, leaving no space between them. His head spun, but he didn't know if it was from the alcohol, or the intoxicating woman Andrea had suddenly become. The feel of her bare breasts against his chest, her hard nipples pressing into his skin, was almost too much to take. Unable to wait another second, he released her and stepped back to admire what she was offering to him.

BOOK: Damage Control
10.99Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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