Authors: Shayla Black
Tags: #Embezzlement Investigation, #Kidnapping, #Brothers, #Contemporary, #General, #Romance, #Erotic Stories, #Erotic Fiction, #Erotica, #Fiction
“You can wear that if you like,” he offered.
Kerry stared at him with a puzzled frown. “Thanks, but it’s way too hot.”
His hot gray gaze drifted away from her face, down her body for a moment. He glanced away, wearing a ghost of a smile. “Suit yourself.”
What did the man see, goose bumps all over her body? Yes, the air-conditioning in the airport was set on subzero, but they’d soon be outside. Scowling, Kerry looked down at her body—and found her nipples puckered prominently against the form-fitting halter top Jason’s girlfriend had told her could stop traffic. Too bad it hadn’t stopped her nipples from being as obvious as a neon sign.
As she turned away, mortification rolled over her in a heated wave.
With a sigh, she slung his coat over her shoulders and drew the lapels together with a tight fist. A hint of a laugh sounded from behind her. She ignored it.
“This way, Mr. Dawson.” She marched toward the door.
“Rafe,” he corrected, following her with a long-legged stride. “And if you’re going to be my guide, shouldn’t I know your name?”
Surprised that he asked—or cared—she blurted the truth. “Kerry, with a K.” Thankfully, she’d never had a good opportunity to give him her name when they’d spoken on the phone.
“Nice to meet you, Kerry with a K. Since I have no meetings until tomorrow, are you scheduled to show me around this evening?”
“I’ll be . . . with you for the duration of your visit.” Kerry swallowed past the half-truth. She’d be with him, all right. He just had no notion that he’d spend the next few days not tied up in meetings . . .
But tied to a bed.
The thought made her stomach churn again—and not unpleasantly. The image of a man of his size and power being completely at her mercy set her imagination spinning. As for the flow of her juices . . . thinking about that now simply wasn’t a good idea.
As they walked outside, the sultry May weather hit them with a gust of hot, damp air. Warm raindrops clung to every car in sight, and heavy gray clouds hovering above promised more.
Rafe sucked in a breath and loosened his dark tie with a grimace. “Wow, you weren’t kidding. This is like August in New York.”
“Yeah, well, we hang Christmas lights in shorts and tank tops, so there’s a trade-off.”
Rafe laughed. The deep tones vibrated down her spine, igniting a spark within her. Lord, when the man smiled, he was downright edible. Other than a hot glance or two—maybe even imagined on her part—he did not seem nearly as affected by her. And any minute now, he was going to hear something in her voice, which she was desperately trying to disguise, and realize she was his psycho “fan.”
Damn it, positive energy! Where was it today?
“I’ll take the coat now, if you’re no longer cold,” he offered, grinning.
Kerry risked a quick peek down. Nope, her nipples still stood straight up as if saluting a superior officer. Odd, considering the warmth curling through her at the sight of his smile. In fact, the tips of her breasts rasped against the filmy top with every breath she took, so sensitive and tight . . . and damn it all, even arousing. She couldn’t remember anything like it. The whole problem was downright embarrassing.
“I—I’ll keep it for a bit,” she stammered, mentally cursing her fair skin. Her cheeks were likely just a shade lighter than the average fire engine. “So you don’t have to carry it.”
His knowing gaze coasted down, to where she clutched his coat over her chest. “Very considerate of you.”
She sent him a weak smile. He had to at least suspect he was the cause of her little issue.
Oh, yeah. She had control of this abduction. No problem.
Kerry cursed under her breath. Why didn’t she have a Plan B?
Thankfully, she arrived at the limo, Rafe just a few steps behind. Jason, Mark’s best friend and coworker at the bank, stood there, hat pulled low over his blue eyes.
I can’t do this,
Kerry mouthed to Jason.
He nodded—and took over.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Dawson.” Jason stepped forward to retrieve his garment bag.
“Hello,” Rafe answered.
“Any other bags?”
“This is all I need.”
Jason nodded and opened the door to the backseat, slinging the bag over his shoulder. Kerry stood close to her brother’s buddy.
After Rafe climbed in the car and sat, Jason shut the door. Kerry felt her pleasant mask dissolve as panic took over.
do this,” Jason whispered, squeezing her hand. “Just get in the limo. I’ve already made his drink.”
She was in over her head here. “With what?”
Jason hesitated. “Flunitrazepam, better known as Rohypnol. It’s a benzodiazepine.”
“The date rape drug. Think Valium with a big kick. He’s not likely to remember much tomorrow.” Jason shrugged. “One of the perks of your family living overseas is that they can send things the U.S. government doesn’t like.”
“The drug is illegal?” Kerry buried her face in her hands. “Oh, this is bad. Hollywood makes comedies about stupid plans like this, and they never end well.”
“Do you want to prove Mark innocent? You know he’s been framed. Dawson is one of the top electronic security experts in the country. I didn’t schmooze Smikins to get his name so that you could back out. Dawson is your best option to prove Mark didn’t steal a dime.”
“This is your opportunity. School just ended, Pops gave you a couple of days off from the diner. The timing doesn’t get any better than this. All you have to do now is distract him so that he doesn’t realize we’re headed away from his hotel. Or wait until he passes out. Once we reach the cottage, you’re home free.”
Kerry shook her head. “Did you see the man? There’s no way I can distract a guy like him with mere small talk. He’s like—like Antonio Banderas crossed with Brad Pitt . . . only taller, bigger. And if he recognizes my voice, I’m hosed.”
“It’s fine. He’s not suspicious, and trust me, he looked his share.” Jason’s buck-up stare cut through her insecurity. “You don’t have to have sex with the guy. A little light flirtation will most likely work. If not, do . . . the minimum and move on.”
No, she had no plans to have actual sex—not that a guy like Dawson would seriously look at her as a potential bedmate. He might flirt a little, but that didn’t mean he wanted to get down and dirty. Still, Kerry had visions of what the “minimum” might entail, assuming he actually was interested, and in every scenario, tempting him to such an act required more knowledge than her limited experience allowed. Hell, she’d never even seen a naked penis in person. What if he wanted a blow job?
She couldn’t think about that now.
“You’re right. I came up with this plan and I’ll finish it. When I get him alone, I will persuade him to help Mark. Somehow.”
“You’ll be fine. Just present Mark’s case as logically as you can. Don’t get emotional.”
Kerry rolled her eyes. “That’s like telling the sun not to rise.”
Jason conceded the point with a shrug. “Do your best. Now lose the coat.”
Yes, she wanted to be unafraid of her sexuality, be bold, be brave—but being liberated was harder than it sounded. Kerry shook her head, clutching the lapels of the coat tighter.
He sighed. “Dawson can’t be distracted by what he can’t see.”
Jason had a point, damn him.
Reluctantly, Kerry removed the coat, resisting the urge to cover herself with her arms.
“You look hot,” Jason assured her, giving her a quick grin.
Her, hot? Yeah, she had guys clamoring at her door. In her dreams . . .
Okay, so she hadn’t had time for a relationship yet. Mark’s bout with cancer had begun just after she’d left her last hellish foster home. Kerry had been trying to put herself through school and working, taking care of Mark after the chemo—all that had taken a toll on her social calendar. But Mark had been healthy for a while. Why, oh why, hadn’t she found
to date? Or at least have a quickie? Once upon a time, Jason might have been a candidate . . . except he was like another brother to her. And Mark would have killed him.
So now she got to have her first sexual experience since Richard and the nightmare of her prom. And she got to acquire
this new experience with a veritable god. Granted, she didn’t intend to have sex with him . . . but coaxing him to the cottage without touching him—or him touching her—seemed unlikely.
Lord, what if she started hyperventilating?
“Hot? I’m packed into this outfit like a sausage. I’m all boobs and hips.”
“And that’s a bad thing because . . . ?” Jason smiled at her hesitation. “Besides, I doubt he’s thinking about sausage when he looks at you, Kerry. You look great.”
She took a deep breath. “Okay, I can do this. I’ll just keep him talking for now.”
“Between conversation and that damn near see-through handkerchief you’re wearing, that really ought to be enough.”
Hope sparked. Likely Jason was right. She could handle it. She
. Positive energy.
Besides, what choice did she have? It was either survive this humiliation, or see her brother go to prison.
t hadn’t escaped Rafe’s notice that Kerry with a K was one very sexy woman.
Or that she was a nervous one.
He sipped on a Black Irish, his drink of choice, grimacing with pleasure as the whiskey and Kahlua burned a sweet path down his throat. Very nice. Most limo services didn’t pay that kind of attention to detail. Then again, Standard National, after a recent security breach in which an employee had electronically embezzled nearly three million dollars, was worried enough to pay through the nose for his services to tighten things up.
Desperate enough to hire a limo, complete with his own personal “hostess.”
And since Rafe didn’t live in Mayberry, he was pretty sure he knew what “hostess” meant. Interesting for a bank, usually conservative to the core, to have sent such a woman . . . but who was he to look a gift horse in the mouth?
Except that fair-skinned, wide-eyed Kerry didn’t act like a woman who fucked for a paycheck.
So what the hell was she?
Generally, Rafe dated worldly women. A little conversation, maybe an evening at the theater, lots of experienced sex, then an air kiss or two goodbye. No scenes if he encountered them later by chance on the street. No tears, no regrets, no messy emotional shit.
Kerry wasn’t sophisticated. In her, he sensed an odd sort of innocence that went beyond the appearance of her pink-bowed mouth smeared with too-dark lipstick and the artless sunshine ringlets beginning to overtake her hairstyle. Hell, for someone who “entertained” men for a living, she’d certainly covered up a pair of hard, heart-stopping nipples faster than a preacher’s wife.
Getting naked with someone hired for the job had never appealed to him in the least.
Getting naked with Kerry . . . very appealing—as the hearty erection south of his belt buckle could prove.
Where did that leave him with Kerry? He pondered, swallowing more of his cold, tangy drink. Was she a sure thing? He couldn’t possibly have misread the situation, right? No one wore a fuck-me skirt with boots like that, along with a top so small it made a bikini look like nun’s garb, if she wasn’t a sure thing.
It sounded logical, but that question niggled in his mind: Why was she so nervous?
Then again, why question the situation? This simple job with Standard National would finally put him over the five-million-dollar revenue mark. He’d worked two bartending jobs to afford college and damn near starved through his first year in business—all without the help of his father’s money—just to reach this milestone before his thirtieth birthday. And he’d make it with two weeks to spare. He’d be someone in his own right then, more successful than Benton Dawson III had ever been. Screw the past—and his old man.
The car door opened and Kerry slid into the backseat with him. She sat close—but definitely kept air between them. A tense silence ensued as the driver took his seat, started the car, and drove away. Sipping at his drink, Rafe studied Kerry. She couldn’t be a day over twenty-two, twenty-three tops. Why was she working as a glorified hooker? And her breathy,
starlet-on-Valium voice? He shrugged. Maybe she thought it was sexy.
His thoughts scattered when she scooted closer and leaned in, providing a spectacular view straight down the front of that tiny red halter, which instantly confirmed two curiosities: Yes, her breasts were naturally large, and no, she wasn’t wearing a bra.
Rafe bit back an insane urge to tear the tiny scraps of her clothing away and persuade her to dance the horizontal mambo with him in the limo’s backseat. Now. His cock got even harder at the thought she might oblige him.
He closed his eyes. Where was his self-control? Normally, he didn’t take the Neanderthal approach—stupid and ineffective. But Kerry made him feel surprisingly primal.
Rafe searched his memory for the last time he’d had sex—and came up empty. Two, three, four weeks ago? Hell, he couldn’t remember. Not after being treated to a view of the best breasts he’d ever seen.
Wearing a wobbly smile, Kerry with a K tapped one of her fingers to his chest and began tracing a light, random pattern. Where did her teasing sugary vanilla scent come from? That alone made his mouth water. Coupled with her touch, his heart started chugging.
If she smelled that good, how fabulous would she taste?
Kerry stared, batting thick, dark lashes over huge green eyes. “We’re going to be busy tonight—lots to see and do. If you have someone to call, someone you should check in with, now is the time. We’ll be much too busy later.”
The words sounded sexy and ripe with promise. His cock certainly stood at even greater attention. But the look on her face did not say
When the privacy panel between the two of them and the driver slowly rose with an electronic buzz, her sweet-faced confusion turned to dread. She crossed her arms over her chest self-consciously.
Again, he wondered just who she was and what she was doing here. Kerry didn’t seem comfortable alone with him or with exposing her . . . assets. And was she asking if he was single? Would a real professional “hostess” care?