Excerpt: Jingle This

Excerpt: Jingle This

Kyle tossed some bills into the Salvation Army bucket as they walked by, then he stopped. “I forgot. I need to get my mom a nightgown.” He turned to go back to Macy’s. “Come on.”

Angie stopped “No way. I’m not risking my life for those crowds again.” 

He grinned, walked over to her, slung his arm around her neck to anchor her to his side, then started back into the store. “I’ll protect you, my fair maiden.” 

Fair maiden? Okay, so being smashed up against Kyle might be sufficient justification to brave the crowds again. She sighed as she let him clear a path for them. What was she doing?

She was falling for him again, that’s what she was doing. 

She’d been so removed from him this week, trying hard to see him as an autocratic workaholic hated by the world. Yet it had taken only a few minutes of being out of the office and seeing his dimples to make her feet start tap dancing to songs of love.

No, not love.

Lust.

No way would she love him.

“Okay, here we go.” He stopped next to a rack of flannel nightgowns. “Navy blue.Size extra large. Perfect.”

Angie grabbed his hand as he went for the item. “Not so fast.” 

He lifted his brow. “You don’t like it? It’s conservative, practical. Perfect for my mom.” 

“Is she married?”

He frowned. “Yeah, to her second husband. Why? I’m not getting him the nightgown.” He grinned at his own joke.

“Well, maybe you should.”

“He’s not a cross-dresser. I don’t think he’d want it.” 

“No, he wouldn’t want the flannel one, I agree.” Angie strolled over toward the other side of the lingerie section, where lace, silk and spaghetti straps were in abundance. “He might, however, enjoy something from here.” She picked up a pale blue nightie with a lace bodice and held it up. “This is what you should get your mom.” She turned to show it to him, only to find him still standing at the flannel nightgowns, a look of horror on his face. 

She waved it at him, and he shook his head and turned back to the rack of flannel nightgowns and started pawing desperately through the red plaid. 

Angie started to laugh. And to think this was the man who claimed to know all about romance, at least to the point of being a love muse. She waved the sexy nightie cheerfully so that the silk fluttered. “Hey. Just because she’s your mom doesn’t mean she doesn’t like being sexy. And I’m sure your stepdad would appreciate a little heat in the bedroom just as much as you would.” 

“Stop it!” He backed up, stumbling over a bin of bikini underwear. “My mother is not wearing that.” 

Angie grinned as she walked across the store to where Kyle was hiding. “If I was in your bed, would you rather I was wearing this flannel nightgown—” She held up the item he’d thrust at her so mercilessly. “—or this sexy little number?” It really wasn’t even that sexy. Demure, with a little bit of naughtiness mixed in.

Kyle’s eyes went black. “You? I’d take you naked.”

Electricity jolted through her and desire pooled in her belly. Not just desire. Raw, pulsating need and want. Uh, oh… Angie swallowed, her mouth suddenly dry. She had to stay focused. Nothing good could come of discussing her nakedness with Kyle. “Before you got me naked,” she clarified. “As a male, would you prefer your woman to be in flannel or silk?” 

His gaze was so intense she felt like he could see right through her clothes to the matching black lace panties and bra she’d put on this morning to try to get in the romance mood. “Silk.” His voice was husky, deep, and sent chills down her spine. 

She took a deep breath. “Well, then, that’s what we should get for your mom. She’s a woman like I am, and your stepdad is a man like you.”

“I’m not thinking about my mom.” But it wasn’t a protest. It was an arrogant statement that said very clearly who he was thinking about. 

She lifted her chin and took a step toward him. She knew she was playing with fire, but she couldn’t stop herself. She didn’t want to stop herself. “You couldn’t even begin to imagine what I’d be like in your bed,” she said, letting her voice go a little soft and throaty. “So don’t bother guessing.” 

His hands snaked out and grabbed her waist, hauling her up against him before she could step away. “Tell me.” His lips were hovering over hers, his breath mingling with hers. “Tell me what you’d be like in my bed, Angie.” 

She braced her hands on his arms, desire leaping through her at the feel of his muscles beneath her hands. Hard.Like steel.Raw, manly, steel. Oh, Lordy. She was in way over her head. Not that she could let him know it. She couldn’t let him know that he could still get to her. “Words can’t do it justice,” she managed to say. “I’d have to show you.”

His grip tightened on her hips, and his gaze went to her lips. “Then show me.” His voice was husky and hoarse, as if he were being tormented by the vision of her naked in his bed. 

Oh, God. Show him? Suddenly, the image of his bed flashed through her mind. Those tousled sheets. The mattress sinking beneath her weight as he set her on the bed… Heat flushed her skin and she let him pull her closer, so her belly was pressed against his. “Show you? I’d love to.” 

He sucked in his breath and he locked a hand behind the back of her neck, pulling her closer. Holy crap. He was going to kiss her! Right in the store in front of everyone! 

No, no, no. She couldn’t do this. She’d never recover. She set one hand on his chest, blocking him. “Sorry, but that’s not going to happen.” At the frustrated look in his eyes, she couldn’t help but add a little tease by trailing her finger over his lips. “I’ve already resolved that I wouldn’t allow you to inspire me anymore.” 

“I’m not talking about inspiring anyone. I just want you. This has nothing to do with work.” His fingers were stroking the back of her neck now, a sensual caress that was sending chills down her spine. 

Oh, wow. Was this moment simply about them? About the heat burning up the air between them? Not about work or her stories? Did he want her the way she wanted him, pure and simple? Not that there was anything simple about the feelings racing through her. 

No, no, no, she couldn’t do this! She couldn’t get involved with him. 

“I can’t kiss you,” she whispered. The finger she’d been trailing over his lips was suddenly in his mouth, caught in a suckling whirlwind of moist heat. “Um… ” 

“You’re the one who brought it up.” His voice was hoarse, tight, his tongue winding around her fingertip.

“Brought what up?” How could he speak with her fingers in his mouth? He must do that a lot—suck on women’s fingers. An expert. Fierce jealousy roared through her at the idea of Kyle with other women. She had a sudden, burning need to claim him, to make him hers, to imprint herself onto him so no other woman would ever be able to compete with her in his mind. 

Oh, damn. That wasn’t good. She didn’t want to be having possessive thoughts about Kyle! 

“You. Me. My bed. Nakedness,” he said, lowering his head until his mouth was a fraction of an inch from hers. “You brought it all up.” 

She could feel the warmth of his breath on her lips, the heat of his mouth, the intensity of his persona. Anticipation rushed through her, followed by an almost insatiable need, and she knew he was doing it on purpose. Seducing her without even kissing her. The man knew what he was doing. 

She’d never been ravished by an expert lover before. With the stories Heidi told about Quinn’s talents in the bedroom, Angie was well aware that she’d been missing out. Maybe that was why she couldn’t write the romance stories for Swift. Because she hadn’t truly experienced mind-numbing lovemaking.

Perhaps in the name of research… 

Oh, no. What was she thinking?

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