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Authors: Liz Everly

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BOOK: Like Honey
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Chapter 13
“Y
ou rang, boss?” Gray came to her door straightaway after he received her text. “What's up?”
She looked distracted. Her hair was pulled up in that sexy ponytail again. When she finally looked up at him from the book she was holding, a smoldering message was in her eyes. His balls reacted. Fuck.
“I'm exhausted,” he said. “It's been a long day. So what's up?”
“Oh,” she said, voice still a bit gravelly. “Come into the kitchen.”
He followed her into the room where something smelled of garlic and cheese. Oh, man, a couple of pizzas were in the oven. A bottle of wine sat on the table. Half-drunk already.
“Have a seat,” she said, gesturing to the table, then slid a book in front of him. “Look at that.”
It was a computer printout ledger full of lines and figures.
“Yes?”
“The total income from the honey business the last year the D'Amicos were in charge. Finally.”
“Yes,” he said, not quite getting her excitement.
“Here, look at this. I just found it, well both of these books, actually. This is their savings account. This is taxes and upkeep on the estate.”
“Okay. What have you found?”
“To make a long story short, what I've found is what I suspected. There had to be money coming from somewhere else in order for them to have this estate. I didn't want to believe that.”
“Why?”
“Well, it's Ren's parents. I wanted to believe they were as capable as him,” she said.
“Maybe they were. Maybe they just didn't want anybody to know how they made their money.”
He tried to act like he'd just now come up with this idea. “Maybe something illegal?”
Jennifer drank straight from the wine bottle.
“Why are you drinking from the bottle?”
“Oh, sorry, I forgot myself. Do you want some?” She handed him the bottle.
Did he want some? Hell, yes, he wanted that and more. But he shook his head, wondering if she was okay. After all, she'd just gotten out of the hospital, looked to be working hard, and was drinking wine straight from the bottle.
“What do you think of my theory?” he asked, trying to keep her on track. This was good. A
very
good scenario for him, possibly. She definitely trusted him.
“I think you've been watching too many
CSI
episodes,” she said, and set the bottle down.
“Oh, really?” he said, a little miffed that she dismissed him.
She waved him off and opened the oven to check on the pizza.
The way she moved reminded him of something. Someone. But who?
“Almost ready,” she said more to herself than him.
“You going to share that pizza?” he asked, ready to change the subject. His mouth was literally watering over the scent in her kitchen.
“Oh. I hadn't thought, but—”
“Never mind,” he said, pushing up away from the table. “Look, I'm just going to go home and get some rest. You don't want to hear my ideas.”
“C'mon, Gray! Just because I—” She reached for his shoulder and tugged at him until he spun around to face her.
“I do want to hear what you have to say, of course,” she said with a little slur, and she slipped her arm around his neck.
That slur
. It sat at the base of his spine and spun around.
Could Jennifer be the masked woman he met at the Mead Maker's Ball? No, he told himself. She was much taller than Jennifer. Her eyes were not that exact shade of green—or were they?
“Jennifer did you—” he began to say, but then there was a kiss on his mouth and he couldn't say the words. He couldn't think a thought. He couldn't move a muscle.
She was in his arms, pressing her chest against his, kissing him, slipping her tongue around his, and he sank into her. She tasted of wine and garlic. Two things he adored.
He should pull away.
She was his “boss.”
She was almost drunk.
But this felt good and right. So right. All of the cells in his body were opening, responding. Lip on lip. Tongue on tongue. Skin on skin.
He wasn't going anywhere.
He ran his hand along the sides of her, cupped her ass, that ass, his hands finally on it.
She tore herself from him. Pulled away from him.
“Oh, God, I'm so sorry,” she said. “Totally inappropriate.”
“Yeah,” he said. “But nice.”
He pulled her back into him. “Don't go,” he whispered, his voice a rasp.
He was tired of avoiding the attraction. Fuck the agency and Kasey. He was going to get laid. And he was going to do it tonight.
He kissed the nape of her neck as his hands found her rear again and pulled her close. His heat on her heat. She smelled of pizza and heather and wine. He wanted a taste of her.
“Whoa,” Jennifer said. “This is just moving really quickly here. I don't know what came over me.”
He reached for her hand. “I don't know, either, Jennifer. But we're attracted to each other. Maybe we should see this through.”
“I'm not sure if I can,” she said, before he kissed her. Again their bodies had a language of their own. What was she thinking?
What was he thinking?
And he pushed away Kasey's words to him. “One more miss like this, and I'm pulling you off the case.”
How would they ever find out?
They just would, he knew. They always did. Well, not always; there was that time in Paris with the two women. He smirked as he remembered the feel of Yvette under him and Joanna spread in front of him while he pleasured them both.
He managed to pull away from Jennifer. She was different.
“Maybe you're right,” he said. “Maybe this isn't a good idea.”
Her eyebrow hitched. She crossed her arms. “Get the hell out of here, Gray. I don't know what kind of games you're playing with me.”
“Wait, I—”
And she pushed him down the hallway, opened the door, and pointed. “Out.”
He stood firm. “I'm not going anywhere.”
She pushed him. He didn't budge. Her eyes met his, where a look of amusement played in them.
She shrugged.
Stay here then, I'll just ignore you.
Leaving the brooding, stubborn Gray behind, she walked back toward her kitchen, angry, confused, wondering what the heck he was talking about. Ren's parents would never have been involved in anything illegal. There just must be some money in an account somewhere that she hadn't found. Stocks? Hedge funds? Their lawyers knew nothing. Still it seemed they could not have managed otherwise. Well, she knew that; she had it right here in black and white.
Maybe Maeve was right. She needed to get away, get some rest and distance. But when? And with what money?
How dare Gray lead her on and then pull away from her? After insinuating that her in-laws were criminals, he allowed her to kiss him, and more than allowed her, he was into it. Yes, she was certain of it.
What was his deal anyway? She took another long gulp of wine. She was going to need it—Gray had followed her back into the kitchen.
“Can we talk?” he said finally, from behind her.
She stood at the sink, draining her glass of wine and poured herself another. She did not turn to face him.
“Not until you tell me what you want.” She tried to sound stern. But she knew she was faltering. She had had too much wine, which he noticed. She figured that was why he had an amused smirk on his face, which she saw reflected in her wineglass. She continually amused this man.
“Okay,” he said. “This is what I want. I want to fuck you. I want to fuck my boss. I don't want a relationship. I don't want there to be any weirdness between us. I just want to fuck you.”
She spun around to face him.
Did he really just say that?
“I ought to smack you,” she said, crossing her arms, but feeling light-headed in a good way as his words traveled to her very center.
“Well, you asked,” he said, and laughed, his mouth set off by deep dimples. More angles. “And for the most part I just told you the truth. But it's always more complicated than biological yearnings, isn't it? Lust, baby. That's what I'm talking about.”
Her resolve was slowly melting. She tried not to show it.
“Now, there's a big difference, of course, between what I want and what I will actually do, will allow myself to do. I'm a big boy and can control my urges. Most of the time,” he said, and looked at her straight on. He didn't have to say the rest. It was there in his eyes. He was saying she was hard for him to resist, wasn't he?
She leaned into him, ready and waiting for a kiss.
“And I'll tell you another thing,” he said. “I don't take advantage of a drunken woman, no matter how hot she is.”
It was as if someone jerked her back into reality. “What did you just say?”
“I said I'll not be taking advantage of a woman who's had too much to drink.”
Was she drunk or was he her masked man? It couldn't be. Her masked man was much taller, broader at the chest. Gray couldn't be him! That was just crazy thinking. Gray at a ball. Her rough-and-tumble beekeeper dressed up as the green man?
“Your loss then,” she said, shrugging and stepping aside to allow him to walk through the door. “Have some pizza. There's plenty.”
“That I can do,” he said, and headed for the pizza.
She might be a bit drunk, but she thought she detected a slight nervous tremor in his jaw. “It smells heavenly in here,” he said.
“Can I get you some wine?”
“Yes, please,” he said.
Courteous. It was as if he hadn't just been telling her about his lust for her. They were going to carry on like this, then. Courteous. Professional. Distant. Yet, lustful thoughts just simmering beneath the surface.
“Here,” she said, placing a glass full of red wine on the table. But he was already digging into her homemade pizza.
“Damn,” he said. “This is excellent. I've not had good pizza in months! And this is probably the best I've ever eaten.”
“I'm glad you like it. Consider it a peace offering and a thank-you for saving me the other night.” She paused.
“Chef Paul Delvechio taught me how to make pizza,” she said. “Back in the day.” From nowhere a tear sprang to her eye, which she quickly wiped away. The missing of home and her old life came in a bolt of pain moving through her chest.
“I want to sell this fucking place. I'm so sick of it. I don't care what my in-laws did or didn't do. I don't care if this is Ren's home and it's all I have left of him. I want my old life back!” It tumbled from her, like a gusher that had been plugged for years.
Gray stopped in mid-chew and sat his pizza slice down on the table. “What? You're going to sell?”
She nodded. “After the place is solvent. I've poured all of my money into keeping afloat. I'm broke and need to make this work.”
“Really?” he said, and stood.
Her heart was racing from the emotional outburst. What had she done? Would he quit now that she told him she wanted to sell?
“Are you certain?” he said, gripping her shoulders, looking at her intensely, as if there were an importance to her answer. One that she had no idea about. Was it his job? Was he concerned about that?
“Yes, I think so. But it will take time to—”
Suddenly, his lips were pressing into her, more insistently than in the past. His arms circled her and pulled her close. She had no idea if he was her masked almost-lover, but she knew she hadn't felt like this since that night underneath the Scottish stars.
“Then, let's get on with it,” he whispered. “No reason to hold back.”
Torn between being terrified and wanting him, she said nothing.
“The bedroom,” he said as if it hurt him to speak. As if he were going to fall over.
Jennifer quivered. A man in the flesh. A man standing in her kitchen. Wanting her. After all this time.
She led him to the room and suddenly saw Ren's afghan flung across the chair. The bed? It was Ren's. It was the last place they had ever slept together.
“What's wrong?”
“I can't,” she said. “Not here. Can we go to the cottage?”
With one swift movement, he lifted her into his arms. “You bet your sweet ass, we can.”
Chapter 14
T
hey needed just to be shed of their clothes. Gray felt constricted, uncomfortable. When she reached for his belt, unbuckled it, it was as if she acknowledged that, yes, shedding was what needed to happen.
But when she reached her hand down his pants, her hand on his skin, the rush of pleasure startled him, and he found himself jerking at her touch.
“Mmm,” she said.
He pulled away from her. Hated to do it but was afraid if he didn't it would be all over way too soon. Her touch stayed with him even as he lay her down on his bed, slipped off her shirt, revealing a lacey pink bra. Mmm. He should have known. So feminine. So sexy. Her brown-berry nipples were already poking against the silky fabric.
He cupped her breasts, not too big, certainly not small. Just right, to his mind, as he fumbled with her bra, finally finding her nipple with his mouth.
She sounded a mewling gasp as he tugged at them. The sound of her voice almost undid him. So sweet, so female, reaching to his center.
He moved farther down from her breasts—hated to leave them but he wanted to taste her—kissing her stomach, pulling at her jeans, until she lifted her hips and allowed him access. Access, baby.
Now he saw her. All of her. Shaved, glistening, begging for his tongue. And he obliged with a lick right up the center of her.
She squirmed, sighed, and trembled. Her emotions played out over her face—she looked heated, raw, scared, and yet ripe. How long had it been for her?
His hands fumbled around her nipples as he pressed his mouth, tongue, teeth into her. She thrust into his mouth. Good God, she was unraveling, sighing, moaning. He figured it would only be a few minutes. She had really needed this. He was only too happy to oblige.
Her sudden jerking and moaning, then pulling away, signaled her release.
He turned her over. “I just want to see that ass,” he said.
She had no choice but to comply. She was a simmering mess under his skilled hands.
Compliant.
He ran them up and down her back and then to her firm ass. Soft skin beneath his calloused hands.
“Yes,” he said. “So perfect.”
He brought his mouth to it kissing her, sending her shivering again, goose pimples raising all over her. His hand at the small of her back. She raised her hips. He slid himself along the outside of her, teasing himself with her warmth, teasing her, who by now, was wanting again.
Just as he suspected. She was not a one-orgasm woman. She wanted more.
He reached across her to his drawer and pulled out a condom. Within minutes, he was ready. No fumbling about—he needed to get inside of her.
She lifted herself to him and he slipped into her, pausing to allow himself a moment of ecstasy, feeling the way she latched on, the way she felt velvet smooth and wet and tight all at once.
He pulled her to her knees and thrust into her. Deep.
She moaned. She screamed. He thrust wilder, harder.
“Yes!” she yelled, bucking hard, writhing under him.
He had always prided himself on his control. But with her under him, him deep in her, there was nothing else he could do but lose himself, erupting into a rousing, freeing orgasm.
God, he wanted that from the minute he first laid eyes on her.
He ran his hands on her ass, pushed himself into her one more time, before he pulled away. He sucked in the air, reached around and touched her, feeling that slippery woman-center. His finger gently rubbed her. She unraveled once more in a slow ecstatic wave.
Damn. What a woman
.
Jennifer and Gray tangled in the sheets, both somewhere between sleep and awake, between reality and not.
Or at least that's what it felt like to her. A dream. Lusty. Warm. Delicious.
“Can I get you anything?” Gray asked after a few minutes.
She shook her head. But she was thinking, more of
that,
please.
She edged herself onto his shoulder and drifted off in a sexy cloud of sleep. Somewhere in the night, she woke up with his erection poking into her side. Without even checking to see if he was awake, she slid down beneath the blankets, first taking a good view of the length of him. Ah yes, it was what she thought. Not the “perfect” penis; it was short and thick and sort of twisted off to one side, but all of that seemed to be perfectly fit to the inside of her. She licked the tip of him. Oh, yes, he was awake.
She took him in her mouth as he hissed her name “Jennifer!”
He moved along against the bobbing of her head. Perfect timing. She felt her own hips sway, her own need building. She pushed the blanket from herself as she let his penis drop.
“What are you doing?” he asked. Throaty. Lust-filled voice. With a bit of a brogue. Funny. He was American. Where did that come from? Whatever. It was sexy. He was sexy. He brought out the sexy in her.
She was completely naked and completely unembarrassed and comfortable. Not like her at all. She felt wild and free as she straddled him.
His hands found her breasts; they fit. Just so. Like he did inside. She guided him into her.
“Mmm,” she said. “Do you feel that?”
“Damn,” he said. “I do.”
“Perfect,” she whispered, and began to move her hips, as slowly as she could manage, holding back.
He was underneath her, with his hands coming to her hips now, pressing her into him with each of his own thrusts. She couldn't hold back anymore; the pressing of her sensitive clit on him, watching his face and eyes, and him inside of her was just too much. She let loose in a fit of wild circular motions.
He blinked hard. “Oh, my God,” he said. “You . . .”
He couldn't finish his sentence; she was bursting and spasming around him, clenching at him. He lost himself, sending a stream of himself deep into her.
She dropped onto his chest. Kept him inside.
“I'm sorry, I couldn't help it.”
“It's okay,” she barely had the strength to say. “I'm on the pill.”
BOOK: Like Honey
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