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CRAVING JESS by Catherine Berlin
Copyright © Catherine Berlin, 2009
All Rights Reserved, RED SAGE PUBLISHING, INC.
EXCERPT FROM CRAVING JESS
Jess shook her head. What had she been thinking?
She watched Damon approach through her back yard, bearing four cartons of Chinese food. Their usual Saturday movie night was going to be marred by tension and awkwardness. And it was all her fault.
Okay, not her fault. She never should have let Jackson talk her into drinking those two glasses of wine. As a rule, she didn’t drink, a lesson learned in college when she’d had eighteen glasses of pink vodka a fraternity boy mixed in a garbage can. She and her pounding head had lived to regret it for two days.
Blame the wine. Blame idiots like Jackson Charles. Blame her libido for leaping at the chance to kiss her hunky best friend.
She would just have to tell him she was sorry, she’d made a mistake, and could he please forget what she’d asked him. She’d practically begged the man to have sex with her. Not cool. He was such a nice guy, he’d probably felt sorry for her when he emailed his acceptance.
Damon let himself in and deposited the cartons on her kitchen counter. She’d already set out plates and silverware, and without uttering a word in greeting, she doled out portions of the food.
“What’re we watching tonight?” He smiled down at her, elbows bent, hands resting on his hips.
Jess let her eyes flit across his broad chest. The black tank he wore only served to make his muscles appear larger. Easy to keep a rock-hard body like his since he owned a gym.
Rock hard. She cursed under her breath. She’d have to keep her mind on the movie and not on the way he’d kissed her last night. She shifted her thighs. It wasn’t gonna be easy.
“Cop movie.” She took her plate into the living room and sat on the floor, placing her dinner on the coffee table. Damon sat on the couch next to her. Jess glanced sideways. Good. Knees. Nothing sexual about knees.
Yes. After the movie she would just explain that it had all been a huge embarrassing mistake and he needn’t feel obligated to help her out.
Maybe Damon wouldn’t even bring up the subject. After all, she was hardly his type. The only women she’d seen him with were nearly as tall as he was. And he stood six-two barefoot. Tall, thin, model-type she wasn’t. Far from it. She was extremely average. Not thin, not overweight, not short, but not tall. Just average. The girl you’d see in the dictionary under “girl next door” or “typical American.” Nothing remarkable about her. In fact, it would be a shame to mix any part of her with Damon’s sculpted body. A travesty.
A hairy knee bumped her arm. “I said ‘pass the soy sauce’.”
“Sorry.” She tossed two packets of the brown liquid over her
shoulder without looking.
Normally when she’d finished eating, she’d move up next to Damon. He’d throw a friendly arm around her, and with no hint of any attraction whatsoever, they’d watch the end of whatever movie they’d chosen. But not tonight. Jess had to fix things before she could return to normalcy with him. He might think she was making a move and feel obligated to respond.
“This movie reeks.” He stood and walked around the back of the couch with his plate. She could hear him rinsing the rice off in the sink.
She had no idea if the movie reeked. The whole time, she’d been trying to work out what to say to him. Jess pressed the eject button and returned the DVD to its container. With a sigh, she picked up her plate and brought it into the kitchen.
Damon grinned. He had his finger in the bowl of sweet and sour sauce. She took the bowl from him, sneaking a finger full before she sealed it and stuck the container in the fridge. She licked the sauce from her digit and took a deep breath.
Now. She had to tell him now.
“You want some dessert?” He reached past her and snatched the chocolate syrup from the shelf in the door. Staring into her eyes, he squeezed out the syrup on his tongue.
Jess squinted. They had a running argument about his food habits. “Look, you. Other people have to use that, ya know.” She extended her hand for the bottle.
“I’m willing to share.” And in one heart-stopping motion, he took another sip of chocolate syrup and kissed her full on the mouth.
She was too stunned to move. Then his chocolate tongue touched hers. Her toes curled.
Suddenly he wasn’t kissing her, and her eyes were still closed. She blinked up at him. “Damon, I need to tell you something.”
“Shhh.” He poured syrup on two fingers and placed them against her lips. His lips followed his fingers as he trailed the sticky sweetness down her throat to her collarbone.
Jess rocked back into the counter. She heard the fridge shut but wasn’t sure who’d closed it. Didn’t care.
Her knuckles whitened as she clutched the edge of the counter in an effort to remain upright. His warm breath sent shivers down her spine. She felt air on her breasts and inhaled sharply. He hadn’t stopped kissing her, but had somehow unbuttoned her blouse and was in the process of drizzling chocolate over her thin lace bra.
As his mouth closed over one tightened bud through the fabric, her hands flew from the counter to his shoulders. A pang of white-hot desire shot from her nipples to between her legs. Funny, she’d never realized the two places were connected.
Damon flipped the latch between her breasts with his teeth. The flimsy material peeled away on its own. A large hand closed over one mound while his lips and tongue wreaked havoc on the other.
Jess’s face burned as her back arched. She should be terribly embarrassed, but she found she just didn’t care. What Damon was doing to her body felt too damn good to be bad.
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