Read Too hot to sleep Online

Authors: Stephanie Bond

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #General, #Nurses, #Police

Too hot to sleep

BOOK: Too hot to sleep
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“Can you picture me lying next to you?” she asked

Could he?
“Uh-huh.” This woman was killing him. If only he knew who she was.

“Touch me,” she murmured. “Yes, there.”

The woman was practically panting. Ken imagined himself covering her waiting body. Their moans would mingle at the union. “When you’re ready,” he whispered, “take me with you.”

“Yes,” she gasped. “Together…now.”

Ken’s eyes closed as he joined her in a powerful release. After a few moments he managed to say, “That was…great.” He felt utterly, wonderfully drained.

“Mmm-hmm,” she agreed with a silky laugh, then cleared her throat. “I…guess I’d better let you get back to sleep.” She’d retreated into shyness. “Good night, Rob.”

Ken heard the faint click, then the dial tone. He floundered to sit up and managed to knock the phone off the nightstand.

He’d seen, done and heard a lot of things during his years as a cop.

But this was the first time he’d stolen physical pleasure meant for another man.

Dear Reader,

We all dream of having more romance and excitement in our lives, and good girl Georgia Adams is no different. Under the pressure of a Birmingham heat wave, she becomes so frustrated with her lackluster love life—and her uninspired boyfriend—that she takes a gamble. She decides to call him for a little phone flirtation…and more. Her bold experiment is wildly successful—only Georgia doesn’t realize she dialed the wrong number!

Meet the wrong number, Officer Ken Medlock. When this rugged cop is accidentally introduced to Georgia in person, he falls hard for her. But how long can he keep the secret that he’s the one with whom she’s been sharing her phone fantasies?

I hope you enjoy this scorching-hot romp! Please watch for my next Temptation novel, available in November 2000, followed by a sizzling BLAZE anthology I’ll share with two of your favorite Harlequin authors. Search for my name at the Harlequin Web site (www.eHarlequin.com) for a complete list of my back titles.

And don’t forget to share the wonderful world of romance with a friend—you’ll change her life!

Much love and laughter,

Stephanie Bond

T
OO
H
OT
T
O
S
LEEP
Stephanie Bond

This book is dedicated to Chris,
my telecommunications story consultant
and permanent love-scene research partner.

1

G
EORGIA
A
DAMS GNAWED
on her thumbnail as she read aloud the instructions for her new deluxe telephone answering system in hopes the words would make more sense the third time through. “When you select the dial pad mode, you are toggling the live dial pad option. When live dial pad is on, the hands-free option is activated if the auto answer feature was previously selected. See page 38-B, diagram H.” Georgia pursed her mouth, then mumbled a curse word that was not in the manual, although she planned to call the company and suggest they include a handy reference page for expletives as soon as she got the bleeping phone working.

After hitting the “clear programming” button, she unplugged all three cords and started over at the beginning of the dog-eared book. Ninety minutes and six fingernails later, she achieved a dial tone and shrieked with success. Doing a victory dance on her sisal area rug, she spiked the instruction manual and gloated when it landed near her VCR that, after three years, still flashed “12:00.” Thank goodness her VCR and television had been spared during the electrical storm that had zapped her phone. Positive that any minute she’d mysteriously lose the ability to dial out,
she dropped onto her hard couch and dialed her friend Toni’s number.

“House of bondage,” Toni answered.

“You are terrible,” Georgia said, laughing. “What if this had been Dr. Halbert calling you in to work?”

“I’m not going even if he does call. I wouldn’t miss this bachelorette party for anything.”

Georgia cleared her throat. “About the party—”

“Oh, no you don’t, Georgia Arletta Adams! You’re not backing out on me.”

“How did you find out my middle name?”

“The question is, how many people in the hospital ER will I tell if you don’t go with me tonight to Bad Boys? Besides, Stacey will be crushed if you don’t show.”

“Stacey will be smashed and won’t care.”

“Oh, come on, Georgia, have some fun. Afraid Rob the Blob won’t want you ogling naked, sweaty, muscle-bound men?”

Georgia shifted on the firm cushion in a vain attempt to find a comfortable position, then reached to straighten a picture on her side table, one of her photographic creations. “No. Rob’s working late and said he didn’t mind if I went.”

“Good grief, woman, you mean you really asked him?”

Actually, she’d secretly hoped he’d be the slightest bit jealous, especially since she’d yet to see
him
naked after ten months of dating. Instead, he’d sounded surprised, but added that he wasn’t the jealous type. He
trusted
her, for heaven’s sake—how patronizing. “Asking him was the considerate thing to do.”

“It was the pathetic thing to do. The man doesn’t own your orgasms.”

You’re telling me.

“Besides, what the heck else are you going to do tonight?”

Sleep sounded good, but Georgia recognized the early signs of insomnia by now and knew she’d be wide-eyed most of the night. She floundered for a chore that sounded remotely engrossing. “Program numbers into my new phone.”

Toni scoffed. “Which will take all of ten minutes.”

“Not for the gadgetronically challenged like myself.”

“Pshaw. I’ll expect you at my place in one hour. Show some skin and bring plenty of one-dollar bills.”

Georgia mumbled goodbye, then frowned at the handset, searching for a disconnect button. These newfangled portable models would make slamming down the phone obsolete. Not that she was the slamming sort, but at thirty, she expected many character-building experiences ahead of her and it seemed prudent to keep relevant props nearby. Fumbling for a button would not have the same impact.

At last she hit the Talk button, surprised when she heard the resulting dial tone. Her confidence bolstered, she pushed the programming button and after a few minutes of jockeying with arrow keys, managed to enter the numbers of the people or places she dialed most often: Rob, Toni, her mother, her sister, the personnel office at the hospital, various friends, the pizza delivery place, the Thai delivery place, the Chinese delivery place and the Mexican delivery place. Then
she jotted down the names and corresponding two-digit numbers on the little pullout tablet on the base station, the most impressive doohickey on the entire gizmo, in her opinion.

Georgia wiped the perspiration from her forehead with the hem of her T-shirt. Was it her imagination, or was her apartment the hottest spot north of the Equator? From her vantage point, she could see the blasted programmable thermostat in the hall. The building manager had reset it for her three times and the place still felt like a sauna. Oh, well, she’d look for
that
instruction manual tomorrow—she might be on a technological roll, but she didn’t want to push her luck tonight. Besides, sweating was good for the pores.

She leaned her head back on a stiff cushion, thinking how much she’d grown to loathe the beige sectional sofa. Two years ago she accepted her registered nurse’s position in emergency medicine. When she had first moved to Birmingham, Alabama, leaving behind her mother and sister, she’d bought ultramodern living room furniture for her apartment as a symbol of her newfound independence. Soon, however, she’d come to realize that the harsh lines and drab colors were less than friendly when settling in to watch a classic romantic movie. On the other hand, Rob said he found her furniture a welcome change from the flowery styles preferred by most women.

Georgia smirked, thinking that Rob’s preference for furniture could also describe his preference for sex—the man was a minimalist. A heartbeat later, she regretted the thought because Rob Trainer was a hardworking, ambitious accounting consultant and a
consummate Southern gentleman. Well, maybe
consummate
was an unfortunate word choice.

An overhead stretch to pull her tired shoulders turned into a full-body yawn. Her insomnia, combined with Rob’s gentlemanly ways, was testing her physical endurance, which was precisely why she’d prefer to skip the party at the male strip club. She pulled a hand down over her face, trying to squash the provocative images swirling in her mind, and the quickening in her thighs. She’d never been to a strip club, but she had a bad, bad feeling that such a place would only fuel the flame in her belly she was trying desperately to smother.

She pushed herself to her feet and strolled the perimeter of her living room, opening windows to let in air an
n
th degree less stagnant than the air inside her tiny third-floor apartment. Thick and pungent, the evening wafted indoors. Street noises rose up to lure her outside—revving engines and bright lights and blaring horns and booming stereos, scantily dressed women laughing and calling to men driving convertibles and straddling motorcycles. Everyone was in search of sex on this hot, southern night.

Including Georgia Arletta Adams.

She sighed and pressed her nose against the window screen. Even people close to her would be shocked if they knew that she, Nurse Goody-Two-Shoes and everybody’s little sister, suffered from her own private affliction: a breathing, burning, pulsing, vigorous, distracting, overblown sex drive.

She stopped short of calling herself a nymphomaniac because she wasn’t promiscuous. In fact, she had
a reputation for being a bit of a prude, which, she’d discovered years ago, was an effective safeguard against a dangerous tendency. She had simply refused to bend to the will of her restless body.

Oh, there’d been a couple of unremarkable encounters with other grad students in college, and one or two brief relationships since. But the men hadn’t excited her, hadn’t tapped into her secret garden.

Georgia walked to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator door, sighing with relief when the cool air hit her skin. She lifted the tail of her T-shirt to cool her stomach, then removed a banana from the crisper to munch while her refrigerator worked overtime.

She eyed the banana and sighed—everything looked phallic these days. She bit off the end and fanned her shirt. By immersing herself in work, she’d managed for the most part to keep a lid on her powerful urges…until a year ago. Then, triggered by either the surge of hormones most women experience in their early thirties, or years of repression, or this damnable relentless southern heat, her body had launched a quiet rebellion.

Georgia had always assumed she would marry one day, but she’d stepped up her efforts to find Mr. Right, thinking that exploring her fermenting sexuality would at least be safer within the confines of a monogamous relationship. Rob Trainer had seemed like the perfect candidate: handsome and successful, well-mannered and reflective, intelligent and friendly. She liked him immensely. But after investing the past several months in their relationship, she had come to one
conclusion: the man had no interest in sleeping with her.

She was ripe for the picking, and he seemed content to walk around the tree.

And, if truth be known, it was more than the sex she craved—it was the closeness, the intimacy generated when two loving people shared sex. The tingly “you complete me” stuff she saw in movies but observed between too few couples these days. If the specter of true love still existed, she wanted it. Matchless love, not the desolate, co-dependent relationship her parents had passed off as a marriage. She wanted a man who would lower his guard, a man who would make a fool out of himself for her, a man who would cherish her.

Georgia sighed and fanned herself. Meanwhile, that inner rebellion was now reaching cataclysmic proportions. During her nursing studies, she’d read documented cases of spontaneous combustion. At the rate her internal furnace was stoking, and with no end in sight to the scorching summer heat wave, she feared she might be approaching flashpoint.

She finished the banana, and reluctantly closed the refrigerator door, then studied the deep crimson pedicure on which she’d splurged in the feeble hope that Rob nursed a foot fetish. But last night he hadn’t even blinked when she’d worn her new strappy high heels. Instead he’d warned her about falling and breaking her neck, then suggested that she double-check her disability insurance coverage and kissed her on the cheek. She’d never thought of herself as the kind of woman who would end a relationship because the
guy wouldn’t take advantage of her, but she had needs that were clamoring to be met. Somehow she had to find a way to let Rob know she was ready to take the next step, and soon.

She made a face at her sofa as she passed through the living room on her way to the bedroom. Soon, too, she’d buy a comfortable couch, but for now, school loans and tips for nude dancing men took precedence. Georgia idly lifted her long hair from her moist neck, winding it into a loose knot. She dreaded the evening, and fervently hoped she wasn’t about to ignite a blaze Rob might not be able to put out.

BOOK: Too hot to sleep
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