Authors: Janna Shay
SOUL MATE PUBLISHING
Cover Design by Rae Monet, Inc.
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, business establishments, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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Published in the United States of America by
Soul Mate Publishing
P.O. Box 24
Macedon, New York, 14502
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To my husband, Julian, the love of my life.
You encourage and believe in me
and give me the courage to believe in myself.
First and foremost I thank God for giving me all the blessings in my life.
Special thanks to Debby Gilbert for helping me find not only my strengths as a writer, but also the belief in myself as a writer for which I am eternally grateful.
To my children - Lisa, Christina, LezleeAnn, Valerie, Vincent, GaryPaul, and Shara. You are my inspiration and the sunshine in my life, and I love you all dearly.
To my daughter, Shara, and my son-in-law, Peter, my cheer squad who walked every step with me as I embarked on my journey as a writer.
To my daughter, LezleeAnn, for her critiquing strength. You were an invaluable help.
Las Vegas-Sin City-where fortunes are won and lost, and one can virtually disappear. The day promised to be a scorcher. Dani glanced at the clock. Seven a.m. and already the temperature had climbed to the mid 80’s, which was not unusual this time of year in Vegas. Tomorrow she’d be starting her new job at the Diamond Hotel & Casino and today she’d hoped to do some cleaning and get a few errands done. However with the blistering, oppressive heat, a couple of laps in the pool and a good book sounded like a great way to spend her
day. She grabbed her things and went to the rooftop pool at the Diamond, where, hopefully, there wouldn’t be too many people and she could find some quiet.
The sun was beating down hard by the time Dani reached the pool, so she threw her towel, book, and suntan lotion on a lounge chair and jumped in. After swimming a few laps in the refreshingly cool water, she noticed she was the only one around. Awesome. After doing two more laps for exercise, she sprawled out on a lounge chair to read. Not having slept well the night before, the words on the pages soon started blurring together. A few minutes of shut eye wouldn’t hurt anyone. After untying her bikini top so she wouldn’t get tan lines, she abandoned the book, then turned on her stomach to take a short nap. It wasn’t long before the warmth of the sun lulled her to sleep.
Dreams of strong, damp hands slowly caressing her back and legs, cooling her sun-heated skin, invaded her sleep. Hands that generated a warmth that didn’t burn on the outside as the sun, but rather on the inside, radiating throughout her body causing pleasurable sensations. The warmth quickly became hotter, causing her blood to heat up and her pulse to beat faster as it coursed through her body. She became restless, as if searching for relief, and tried to move closer to the cooling hands, knowing instinctively that respite could be found there. Moaning in appreciation and reluctant to end the exquisite torture, she slowly opened her eyes and found darkness.
As her mind languidly became alert, Dani remembered it had been morning when she laid down. She couldn’t have slept all day in the sun! As clarity returned, she realized the darkness was caused by a towel. She removed the towel as she sat up, finding herself peering directly at a man’s well-shaped, muscular legs which were partially covered by a bathing suit. Her gaze traveled lazily up, appreciating the lean hard body with narrow hips and long legs. Following the line of dark hair which began somewhere beneath his waistband, her eyes continued their upward progression. His abs were defined, his chest ripped and lightly covered with dark hair. His broad shoulders and muscular arms indicated a man who probably followed a regime of daily fitness. As she stood, her eyes traveled over his strongly chiseled face with high cheekbones and aristocratic nose, noticing he wore his thick, black hair a little long. She took in the entire picture of his face and was captivated by the exceptional handsomeness of it. There was a hint of ruggedness to him that only enhanced his attractiveness, making him mesmerizing. Male sexuality oozed from every pore of his body and seemed to draw her to him. When he gazed at her, she became entranced by his hazel eyes with thick lashes that seemed to be peering into her soul and ferreting out all her secrets. They were a cool green, with a warm amber mixture that seemed to burn into her soul.
What a great way to wake up!
Jace had immediately spotted Dani lying in the sun as he entered the pool area, and thought it would be an opportune time to meet his casino’s new hire. As he approached the lounge chair, he noticed she was asleep and took advantage of the time to leisurely admire her. His eyes skimmed slowly over her slim body with its soft, curving hips, long, shapely legs, and sexy butt. Her skin was the color of cream, and appeared to be soft and smooth to the touch. When he discovered she’d fallen asleep without protecting her face, he covered her head with her towel so she wouldn’t burn.
Desiring to see if her skin felt as silky as it looked, he picked up the suntan lotion sitting on the ground next to her and rubbed it on her back and legs, justifying his impulse with the excuse that her fair skin would get sunburned. He wasn’t prepared for the jolt that ran through his body as his hand came in contact with her flesh, or the desire that sped rapidly through his veins, heating his blood as he stroked her silken skin. Overcome with a yearning to caress all of her and unable to stop himself, he heard her moan of pleasure and realized that she was feeling the same desire as he was.
When she removed the towel and sat up, Jace stepped back, then felt his lips curl upward. She was topless.
Slowly scanning from her toes to her head, which was bent down, he felt his body tighten with desire. His new hire had a small waist he was sure he could span with his hands, and high, full breasts he longed to caress. She was exquisite, with a body begging to be touched. When she raised her head, his gaze traveled to her lips, noting that they were full and seemed to beckon to him to taste and savor their flavor thoroughly. When his eyes met hers, he felt like he had been hit with a thunderbolt. Her bewitching green gaze sent a rush of desire straight to his loins. Losing his train of thought, Jace felt his blood pulse through his body at an alarming rate. Always priding himself on his ability to maintain his self-control and never letting anything distract him, he became disturbed as he realized he had lost both for a second. When he regained them, he smirked and asked, “Would you like me to remove my bathing suit so you can get a better look, too?”
Seeing his smile, Dani felt her lips curve upward in response. Then she froze. His gaze was no longer on her face. It had dropped several inches lower. To her chest. Heat blazed to her face, and she made a strangled noise. He was ogling her naked breasts. She quickly bent and grabbed her bikini top and held it in place. Here she’d been rudely appraising his male anatomy and probably drooling all over herself in the process.
“I’m so sorry ... I didn’t mean to ... What I’m trying to say is I ...” Damn. She couldn’t put a coherent sentence together. “I couldn’t help myself. You’ve got a great body.”
She swallowed hard as his eyes slowly perused her body from bottom to top.
“Let me return the compliment. I’d love to exchange notes.”
He reached over and ran his hand through her hair. At his touch, warmth swept through her, settling somewhere in her lower abdomen.
“Beautiful,” he said, moving closer. His sensuous tones washed over her. “Your hair looks like warm caramel and feels like silk.” His hands moved to her face as he peered deep into her eyes and lowered his head. He kissed her slowly, taking his time to savor her taste and the texture of her mouth.
His tongue outlined her lips, then traced her bottom lip, making her gasp with desire. Her mouth opened wider, inviting him to explore the recesses. His tongue touched hers, sending shivers of heat radiating throughout her body. Shivers of heat radiated throughout her body when his tongue touched hers. Totally forgetting the bikini top she had clutched in her hands, she wound her arms around his neck, feeling the soft hair at his nape as she caressed him with her fingers. She arched into him, wanting to feel his skin against hers, and felt his body harden with his need. He deepened the kiss, sending flames of fire racing through her blood, making her breasts ache for his touch. Wants and needs she didn’t even know she possessed came rushing to the surface, begging for relief. Her body craved his, and the relief she instinctively knew only he could give.
Jace tangled his hands in her hair as he devoured the sweetness of her mouth. He’d meant to just taste her, but once he tasted, he became greedy for more. Deepening the kiss, he demanded a response from her, and when he got it, he demanded more. With a need to meld her body to his, he moved his hands to her hips and pulled her toward him as his blood pulsated throughout his body, feeding his increasing desire. He moved his lips to her throat and tasted the sweet, sultry flavor of her passion, which transformed his blood into liquid fire. His hands caressed her breasts as his need for her spiraled out of control. At his touch, her breasts swelled, and she arched into him, making him lose all reason.
In the distance, a door shut, snapping Dani out of the passionate spell. Sanity warred with desire as the reality of what was happening hit her. She was on the roof of the hotel practically making love to a total stranger. She didn’t even know his name. She’d never felt this all-consuming desire or lost herself this completely before. No man, not even Mark, had ever filled her with this type of passion from a mere kiss. And yet this man, this stranger, shot electricity through her body at a touch and made her come alive with a kiss. No, not even a kiss. With a look, her body had become putty in his hands to do with as he pleased. What was wrong with her? She’d never acted in such a wanton manner before. She tried to pull away from him to stop this insanity, but he didn’t let go.
Lowering his forehead to hers, Jace tried to cool his passions. He couldn’t believe he’d briefly lost control of himself. He’d never lost himself so completely with a woman before. He was making love to her in a public place, consumed with a desire like he’d never felt before. He enjoyed sex, and had had his share, and then some, of lovers, but he had always kept a part of himself aloof and untouched. With this woman, all it took was a kiss and he lost all restraint. Once in control of his desires, he lifted his head and looked at her. When he saw her struggling to regain composure, he released her from his embrace and bent to retrieve the other half of her bathing suit.
Clutching her top to her chest as a shield, Dani took a step back away from him, not trusting herself to touch him because her body still ached for him. She wanted him with every fiber of her being, yet knew she had to keep her distance. Seeing him staring at her as if he could see into her soul and expose all her secrets, Dani realized he was dangerous and that she’d get burned if she didn’t get away from him. Angry at herself for having no self-control where he was concerned, and at him for controlling her so easily, she lifted her hand to slap his face, but he easily caught it before it reached its destination.
“Don’t make a mockery of what just happened between us. You’d be belittling yourself and me if you did. You wanted me just as much as I wanted you and still do.”
She raised her chin defiantly as her eyes shot green fire at him. “I never asked you to maul me.”
His eyes narrowed for a second at her accusation, the only indication that her barb had hit its mark, but his voice remained even. “If you call your response to me unwilling, I look forward to seeing what you call willing.”
Dani pulled her hand away from his grasp and picked up her towel as she gave him a scathing look. “I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you, because you’d be wasting your time. You’ll never find out, because there will never be a next time,” she said with more conviction than she felt, then turned and walked away, chin up and shoulders square.
As he watched her hips sway with each step, Jace said quietly, “There definitely will be a next time. We’re not done yet. Not by a long shot.”