Deliciouspart #3 of Wicked Lovers Series by Shayla Black / Romance & Love
I’M going to sink inside you so deeply, you won’t ever forget I was here.
Alyssa Devereaux shuddered at the memory of that growled promise, as she’d been surrounded by taut muscles and male need.
Luc Traverson. Even his name caused heat to stab her belly with want. He’d kept every bit of that promise; she’d never forgotten him for a moment.
The night he’d spent in her bed had been amazing, magical. Considering she’d long ago given up on fairy tales, that was saying something. Being enveloped in Luc’s steely strength had been paradise. Under his stare that night she hadn’t just felt like a desirable woman, but like the only woman. The intimacy . . . oh, God. Sizzling. Way beyond making her toes curl, he’d given her a whole new definition of pleasure. His endless dark eyes had burned as he’d slammed her with powerful strokes, his long, midnight hair draped around their faces, cutting off all reality but his whispered demands and rough breathing as he rode her from one orgasm to the next.
He’d brought her body to a fever pitch—to places she’d never believed a man could take her. He had done it again and again. For six hours. Never tiring, never satisfied. Greedy, rapacious, and amazing.
She’d had enough sex in her life to know they’d shared something more.
The next morning . . . gone. No note, no explanation. A few days later, he’d sent flowers with an apology for any discomfort or pain he might have caused. She’d been pissed off, a bit hurt . . . but not terribly surprised.
Still, she wasn’t willing to give up. For the chance to see Luc again, Alyssa had broken her own rule and called him. Twice. He’d never returned her calls personally. Instead, his assistant had called merely to say that he would keep his terms of their arrangement. Nothing more.
She’d been nothing to him. Yes, she’d known before their night together that he didn’t respect her. They’d first met when she’d stripped at his buddy’s bachelor party a few years back. Somehow, she’d hoped opening herself completely to Luc would change his mind.
Still, he was everything she’d ever wanted in a man: attractive, successful, capable of deep caring, sensitive, sexy . . . She wasn’t giving him up without a fight.
“Afternoon, boss lady. ” Tyler Murphy sent her a long, low whistle, his stare taking a meandering path down her body as she emerged from the back of the club and stopped before the stage. “You’re looking very fine. ”
“Tyler,” she greeted the sandy-haired giant. “Your job is to watch the patrons, not me. ”
“Since we’re not open yet, there’s no one here to bounce. Besides, I’m not into ogling drunken frat boys or horny married men. What color are your garters under that little black skirt?”
Her bouncer was former law enforcement of some variety—he’d never said which kind—college educated with a degree in engineering. Tyler had a lot going for him. Why he’d taken a job here as a bouncer was anyone’s guess. But in the few months he’d been with her, he’d proven himself indispensable. There were days her business needed him.
It was too bad, really, that her heart didn’t need Tyler as well.
From beneath her lashes, she sent him a chiding stare. “I’ll never tell. ”
“Aw, c’mon. Throw a guy a bone. ”
Alyssa glanced down at his crotch. “Looks like you’ve got your own. ”
Tyler winked and sent her a flirty grin. “All for you. ”
He was good-looking, built like something on the front of a bodybuilding magazine, smart, funny, dependable. But after long days of running Sexy Sirens—Lafayette, Louisiana’s, most notorious strip club—and trying to start up a new restaurant, by the time she fell into her solitary bed at night, it wasn’t thoughts of Tyler that made her ache. That honor was reserved solely for Luc Traverson.
And after a bit more than three months apart, he would be here today.
Feel me. Yessss. You’re so tight, so good. That’s it, sugar. Come for me. Again.
Luc’s voice, sin wrapped in velvet, dipped in honey, wouldn’t leave her head. Even the memory made heat rise inside her. Thoughts of that night always had the power to daze and stun her. She wanted it again. Him again.
“Hello? Earth to Alyssa. ”
Tyler. Oops. “Sorry. The restaurant is weighing so heavily on my mind these days. ”
He stared at her from green eyes that saw too much. “So clean plates and menus give you that flushed, wanna-get-fucked look?”
“Go find some drunken slobs to rough up. ”
“I’d rather be with you. ”
Tyler crossed his arms over his wide chest. His biceps bulged under his body-hugging black T-shirt. He really was gorgeous. And he wanted her; he’d made no secret about that. She could do worse.
“What’s his name?” Tyler sighed.
“The man who put that needy look on your face. I don’t know whether I want to bust him up or shake his hand. ”
“There’s no one in my life. ” Which, technically, was true. Other than her hookup with Luc, she hadn’t had sex in years.
At this point in the conversation, Tyler usually teased that he’d be more than happy to be that someone. This afternoon, he seemed to sense something was different.
“You’re too good to be alone. The girls all worship you. You treat everyone fairly and work damn hard. You’re sweeter than you give yourself credit for. You haven’t resorted to murder when that asshole Councilman Primpton comes around, making trouble. ” He sent her a considering stare. “You’ve had it tough lately. You deserve a break. ”
If she wasn’t careful, his caring would make her cry. A pity party would be marvelously easy to indulge in—and an utter waste of time.
Alyssa anchored her hands on her hips. “Not in the cards. ”
“Maybe you should postpone the restaurant opening for a few weeks. ”
Restraint left Tyler. He reached out to her, caressing his large hand down her arm in a soothing gesture. “Your mama has only been gone two weeks. ”
She tensed. “I hadn’t seen her in fourteen years. ”
“Doesn’t matter. You’re still dealing with her loss. ”
She’d done so with mixed feelings. Anger, grief, sadness, rage, a need to rail at the woman who had done nothing to help or understand her. Pity that she’d been so self-absorbed.
And beside her grave had stood the blackhearted reason for the rift between them: Joshua. Even after a dozen years, beyond a hundred feet, and through a pair of two-hundred-dollar sunglasses, there was no mistaking the boyish-faced bastard. At least he hadn’t seen her. If he had, Lord knew what he would have done.
She shook off the thought.
“Tyler, thanks for your concern, but I’ve put too much time and energy into this opening to put it off. I need to get it off the ground for cash-flow purposes. Besides, what good would wallowing about my mom do?”
He cupped her shoulders in a tender gesture. “You left here at three this morning, and Sadie told me you were back by eight. Baby, you’ve got to sleep and give yourself time to grieve. ”
She’d rather not.
Leaning forward, she placed a soft kiss on his cheek. “You’re going to make some woman a great husband someday. ”
“You asking me?”
Alyssa snorted. “Do I look like the white-picket-fence type? Get your ass back to work. ”
“Yes, ma’am. ” He saluted her and turned away, only to turn back again. “Oh, I forgot to tell you, some guy is here to see you. Some chef. ”
“Luc Traverson?” she breathed.
“Yeah. He said you two had an appointment. He didn’t look too happy. Is he the dude doing the guest chef gig this week?”
Tyler’s question registered, but she didn’t answer. Instead, she glanced around Tyler, to the club’s front door.
Boom! There he stood, all six feet plus of him, his elegant, rangy body tense. The sight of him was like a visceral blow. She swallowed . . . and let her hungry gaze eat him up. Inky hair hanging around his wide shoulders, jeans hugging him in all the right places. Those dark, burning eyes. A hot flush swept up her body. Her heart didn’t just start racing faster; it careened out of control. Far more than her palms went damp. She swayed in dizzy excitement.
Tyler caught her; his beefy hands slid around her waist to steady her. Then he glanced back to Luc. “You’ve got to be kidding me. Him?”
Oh, yeah. Definitely him.
“Shut up, Tyler. ” She pulled away and took a decisive step forward.
Luc Traverson was here. Finally. She did her best to hide a sly smile. There was no way he was going to ignore her anymore; she’d make certain of that.
UNTIL Alyssa Devereaux, had he ever gotten stone hard just by looking at a woman from across a room? Luc didn’t like the answer.
He didn’t have to wonder what was under that little skirt; he knew. Sleek thighs surrounded by garters in some color designed to drive a man wild. A lacy thong that would reveal far more of her assets than it concealed. And under that . . . The feel and taste of her slick, swollen folds dive-bombed his memory and revved him up, as if he’d injected rocket fuel in his bloodstream.
And now he had to work beside her for a week. Hell. How was he going to prevent a recurrence of the event he wanted to forget—yet couldn’t?
You’re a professional. Cook and keep your hands to yourself. Besides, it wasn’t as if he had nothing else to think about. Negotiations for his cable TV show were nearly at an end. He had a bit of editing to do on his latest cookbook. There wouldn’t be that much downtime this week, but what little there’d be, he would fill.
Clearly, Alyssa had a way to fill her time as well. The huge slab of man at her side whose cheek she’d kissed a moment ago wore a Sexy Sirens T-shirt stretched across his enormous chest. A bartender? A bouncer? Whoever he was, the guy slanted a possessive glance at Alyssa that Luc couldn’t miss, then glared at him.
Tamping down his irrational anger, Luc reminded himself that if Alyssa wanted to fuck her hired help, that was her business.
The violent urge to dismember her employee would pass.
Alyssa took a step toward Luc, then another.
“Mistress Alyssa,” a female called over the speakers in a saucy vamp voice. “Your turn!”
She stopped. Closed her eyes. Sighed. Bracing herself ?
Then, as if the hesitation had never been, she flashed him a cool blue gaze, pointed at a chair in front of the stage, then turned away and strode backstage. Luc couldn’t help himself. He watched her walk away, the sway of those curvy hips a siren call. Damn.
If they had been alone, there was no way Luc could have prevented himself from touching her. Period.
Unless he wanted another brush with his uncontrollable wild side, he needed to forget his reckless promise to her and get out of this job. Now.
Reluctantly, Luc sauntered to the front of the stage and sat in the chair Alyssa had indicated. As soon as she finished whatever the hell she was doing and talked to him, he’d tell her all bets were off. Hell, he’d pay her for her inconvenience.
Because if he stayed, his dick would get him into trouble. He’d have her naked and be between her legs in two minutes. Or less. And that would be bad. He was looking for Mrs. Right, someone uncomplicated who wanted children as much as he did and would help him keep his beast at bay. Alyssa Devereaux, stripper divine, was definitely not that woman.
Suddenly, music pounded through the speakers, blaring with a naughty beat, a wicked slide of horn. Every note suggested sex—the hot, sweaty, no-boundaries variety.
The type he’d had with her and wanted again.
Pulling his loose shirt over his lap to cover his erection, Luc watched as Alyssa strutted onto the stage. She’d piled her straight platinum hair into some wild arrangement on top of her head and donned a sequined bolero jacket in red. He was dying to see what she wore underneath. The way she moved was an invitation . . . and a promise.
She planted her stiletto-clad feet in front of him with a decisive step, then swung her hips, making a sensual circle. She flattened her palm across the bare skin of her tanned abdomen—and began lowering it. She reached down . . . so damn slowly. Luc’s breath caught in his chest until, finally, she touched herself. Oh, hell.
Her fingers glided between her legs, and she tossed her head back as if she were in utter ecstasy.
Luc swallowed. And started to sweat.
With a jerk of her head, Alyssa snapped her gaze back to him, her eyes like focused blue lasers jolting him to his toes.
Damn it, his nine weeks of dating church secretaries, interior decorators, and elementary school teachers showed. Not one of them had incited an erection. During that time, he’d awakened in the middle of the night more than once, sweating, his dick in his hand and Alyssa’s name on his lips. Now, after less than five minutes in her presence, he felt ready to explode.