Kai was tempted to throw her down on the floor and take her right then and there. The way she smelled, no perfume or cloying strawberry shampoo, just pure woman. Luscious! The way she moved in his arms, how she drew in her breath so softly when he touched her with his lips. How she ground her hips into him. The honesty of her reactions, no longer trying to hide herself.
Everything he loved in one sweet package. Bold, confident and independent, but willing to roll over if she was coaxed along properly.
He wouldn’t ruin that by rushing her, not a novice. Not when she had so much potential. He had messed up once before, actually twice, because he let his dick get ahead of his brain. But he would be more careful now that he knew the treasure he had in his hands. Literally in his hands, as he rested them on her shoulders, appraising her. She waited for his next move, a natural submissive.
It was undeniable—he was putting everything on the line for this. It could cause problems with his BioEnd project, hell it could get him fired if anything went wrong! Everything he had worked for could be flushed down the drain…
But it was only a fleeting annoyance in the back of his mind. He had to have this woman. Now. He opened his mouth to tell her what to do, but a knock on the door interrupted.
His fingers tightened. That knock was very familiar. He was tempted to ignore it, but what was he going to do—seduce Erin while Nikki stood outside knocking? It was only one brief instant that he hesitated, but his disappointment was so sharp that he had to take a second to absorb it.
“Sorry,” he told her, giving Erin's shoulders a rub of assurance, realizing he was squeezing too tightly.
She nodded, turning away to gather herself and smooth down her rumpled t-shirt. He couldn’t bear to look at her. What a rude awakening after such a heady start!
He opened the door, and was careful to keep his anger from his expression. He didn’t want Nikki to fall into full-on sub-mode in front of Erin. This was bad enough.
Nikki stood there flying her post-Goth look, drawn-on eyebrows and fuchsia hair, acting like she belonged there and eagerly checking out the strange girl in his studio.
“I won’t be needing you tonight, Nikki,” he said. “I cleaned up this afternoon because the photographer was coming over.”
He stood in the door to make sure Nikki understood she was not coming in. But Nikki was still looking past him at Erin. “Oh, did you text? I left my phone at home,” Nikki drawled. Kai was angry that Nikki had put him in this spot—so typical of her! Obviously she had gotten his text about putting her off until later and had taken advantage by coming so early. He couldn’t just order her away as usual, not in front of Erin. He had to keep his kinky life separate from this project, or they might find out more about him than he wanted them to.
“This is Erin. I’m doing some work for her company,” he said. “This is Nikki, my
Now Nikki knew she had really messed up. She shot him a fearful look. “Sorry, I’ll come back later.”
“Tomorrow,” Kai said. Her expression fell, which is the last thing he wanted. He should have just let her leave without a word.
As the door closed behind Nikki, he knew his scene with Erin was over. Erin's reaction was undisguised. She didn’t think much of Nikki. He unfortunately felt like he had fallen a notch in her eyes. He could tell she was putting two and two together, getting four as she should, and then going even further than that.
“My studio assistant.” Then he could have kicked himself for repeating it. “Yeah, I heard.” She kept looking at him, but he was saved when his phone rang. Kai pulled it out. “It’s the car. It’s waiting downstairs.” She smiled tightly. “Time to go.”
He wished he had managed that better. It seemed like every time he was around Erin, he made stupid missteps. He should just fuck her already and maybe he would calm down. It was because she was a newbie. With Nikki, she knew all the rules up front. She had called him master and sucked his dick the second time he saw her at a party. It had taken no effort at all.
He wasn’t so sure about Erin. She had definitely gotten off on the hair pulling. But that was one tiny step away from vanilla. She could have been imagining a house with a picket fence and two kids the whole time. Maybe that’s what made her gasp. What do I know what she’s thinking?
Now Erin was folded into herself like an origami swan, giving nothing away with her slight smile as they walked downstairs. For the first time in a long time, Kai wasn’t sure how to move forward with a woman. But he couldn’t let her get into that car and drive away without having some hook in her. He couldn’t let her get away.
“I’m sorry we were interrupted,” he said.
“Well, now I know what kinky means,” she said lightly.
“Hardly. That’s only the tip of the iceberg.”
“I think the tip is all I need. I’m not a whips and chains, black-eyeliner kind of girl, if you didn’t notice.”
He knew she was talking about Nikki. “I like that about you. Let me take you out to dinner and I’ll make it up to you. Everything.”
He opened the front door of the building for her, and she gave him a narrow look as she passed through. “What would your girlfriend say about that?”
“Nikki isn’t my girlfriend. Get that right out of your head. She helps me in the studio.” Erin glanced away. “Yes, I’m sure she helps you.”
“She likes to be of service so she cleans my studio when I’m too busy. But she’s more a friend than anything else. Definitely not a girlfriend. Definitely. Not.” The car was waiting, and Erin was walking forward, so he asked, “How about dinner on Saturday? I can pick you up at 8.” She didn’t answer right away. She reached for the car door, but he got there first and opened it for her. She stepped inside, graceful even in that.
Kai stood there holding the door, to make it clear he wasn’t going to close it until she answered. He was already thinking of what he’d like to do to her on Saturday. If she let him.
Erin had never felt so torn. All she could think about was Nikki, who was everything she wasn’t—wild, edgy and free. If Kai dated girls like that, there was no way she could compete.
But she could still feel his hands on her hair and his lips on her neck. She had never felt anything like it! More like sex than real sex. She was heady from it, feeling like she could fly home.
She tried to get her mind under control, to say no, like she knew she should. Instead, her lips curled in a smile she couldn’t stop. “Okay. Saturday.”
Kai grinned down at her in triumph, closing the door. He looked like he knew that he had won.
As the cab pulled away, Erin gave up trying to think straight. She rubbed the back of her head where her nerves were still thrumming. Remembering it, a shiver went through her.