Jenna Miller's job as a florist in the small town of Thornton has kept her too busy for any intimate relationships, and she's feeling that one wild night with an even hotter man is way overdue. So when her friend Eileen asks her to be a tester of the soon-to-be-released online matchmaking service involving anonymous sexual fantasies, Jenna is more than happy to oblige.
Troy has been working hard without much time to play hard. He's at the top of his corporate game, but feels he could use a little R&R. But when Troy meets Jenna at Eileen's Orchid Soul kick-off party, everything changes and he finds he cannot forget her. So imagine his surprise when he walks into a flower shop that resides on the property he just purchased, and finds out that the unforgettable Jenna Miller is the owner of the shop. When Troy decides to remain anonymous and seizes on her "Help Wanted" sign to work in her shop, things get very heated. And when the Orchid Soul site leaks their sexual fantasies to each other, things go from heated to blazing hot.
About the Author
Delilah Dawson is the author of Better on Top, Up All Night, Something Naughty and Mr. Satisfaction. She lives in California with her husband and kids. She enjoys reading, summer sunshine and lazy days on the beach.
Read an Excerpt
The minute the slow groove song hit the speakers, Troy Rucker started to wish he was somewhere else. Out of boredom, he did what was second nature to him and mentally began to redraw the room in stark, manga strokes, imagining the lively crowd and the room in the dramatic black-and-white lines of a professional graphic artist.
It would’ve been easier to sketch out the party, frame by frame, than stand in the middle of the crowd and continue to remind himself that he was supposed to be enjoying his vacation.
His friend Jacob had been working the room, and the women in it. Troy watched as Jacob winked, flirted, and kept buying drinks as if he’d just cashed his paycheck. For Troy, that game had been played too often to count and, quite frankly, had lost its appeal.
The more things changed, the more Jacob stayed the same. In a way, it was comforting. The man was a first-rate Casanova and sure proud of it. Troy couldn’t help but feel like he’d outgrown the scene a few years back. And these women were more than a little bold.
Who would’ve guessed that he’d actually resent the day when he’d have his ass grabbed by an overly zealous, beautiful woman? Was it so much to ask for an introduction first? To discuss politics, have some coffee, and try to find something in common? Hell, it would be nice to get a name before any ass grabbing occurred.
Troy chuckled to himself, knowing Jacob would bust a gut laughing, convinced Troy had lost his ever-loving mind. And he may have a point.
Troy swirled his drink. These days, he was feeling jaded about a lot of things.
He sipped his drink and from the corner of his eye noticed the curvaceous woman Jacob had been flirting with earlier coming toward the bar, holding her almost-empty drink in her hand. She had the kind of curves that pressed her flesh against fabric in all the right places—round and inviting, but in a classy way.
In his mind, he quickly sketched the woman approaching him, in all her sultry glory. She’d definitely be a superhero’s weakness—not a villain exactly, but still a world of sexy trouble.
For a moment, their eyes met again, and he sensed she was on a different level than the rest of the women in the room. She raised an eyebrow, and he automatically nodded in acknowledgment. He almost raised his drink to toast her before realizing that he was behaving just like Jacob.
Instead of walking away as he expected, she stepped up beside him, causing him to shift to make enough room for her. She murmured her thanks and casually raised her arm to flag the bartender, but it went unnoticed. The air had become almost muggy from the packed bodies all around, but her body heat was like a perfume that wafted at him with a seductive punch, all soft, bold, and sassy.
Mentally, he was sketching madly again, capturing her elegant features, her side glances, and her faint, flirtatious smile.
Determined not to stare, he used the mirror behind the bar instead as he raised his hand and flagged the bartender for her.
“Be right there,” the bartender replied.
Still half turned away from him, she mumbled a thank you and, despite the loudness of the bar, Troy heard her.
“You’re welcome,” he murmured back.
This close to her, he could appreciate the finer details of her face. Once again, he found himself staring . . . at her sexy, full, cherry-red lips. They were perfect! For a moment, he wasn’t sure quite how to sketch what he was envisioning. His imagination went into overdrive, seeing those lips passionately kissing the superhero, or flirting and tempting him with a flick of tongue over the glossy lipstick, or, sweet heaven, working down his body. A strong surge of desire stirred and thickened his cock so suddenly that it tingled.
Yep, his brain was moving south all right. . . .
Someone pushed against his back drunkenly and Troy dragged his gaze away from the mirror to glare over his shoulder. A couple giggled drunkenly, then straightened before making out again with hardly any discretion. When he heard Ms. Lips’ throaty chuckle, he turned back to her, feeling the effects of her laughter like a hand casually brushing against his groin.
“Young love,” he commented.
“You mean young lust,” she replied. Her eyes twinkled and Troy added the effect in his mental image of her. “I doubt anyone is here looking for love tonight,” she added.
“Bet Eileen will be pleased.”
She smiled back. “You sound a little disappointed. Let me guess. You came looking for love?”
“Nope. But I’d like to think that love will work out for someone somewhere in this room.”
A frown flitted over her brow. “Aha. A romantic. You might want to reconsider what you’re drinking.”
He chuckled. “It’s just soda.”
Man, her lips were downright mesmerizing. And her voice was just husky enough that he wanted to hear it in isolated silence, without the clutter of noise in the room to distract from it. There was no way to add that element to his ongoing private graphic novel, but it wasn’t a tone he’d forget any time soon.
Her almost-empty drink had a cute little umbrella in it that she twirled. She angled the straw to the remaining pink liquid, then put those perfect, luscious lips on the tip and sucked. Her lips pursed, her cheeks indented, and for that nanosecond, it seemed like time slammed on the brakes and held him captive by the balls.
A rush of desire tightened in his testicles, bringing on a very thick and uncontrolled erection. Sweet Christ!
Maybe she had a point about lust after all. It didn’t help to catch the reflection of her sexy—and a tad sneaky—smile in the bar mirror.
Desire unfurled, dragging his thoughts down erotic paths. He turned back to her, glad that three men were also trying to reach the bar, their bodies forming a barrier in front of her that she seemed unwilling to break through. The bartender was working overtime and Troy guessed it would be a while before he worked his way toward them.
He noticed her looking around and felt a dull disappointment. “Looking for the guy that bought you the drink?”
“You mean your overly flirty friend? Nope.” She shrugged, the movement drawing his gaze from her slender shoulder to her elegant neck, then back to her watchful eyes. “There was a meeting in the ladies room and we all agreed on who the slicksters are.”
Ah, yes, the women’s network. No wonder women always liked to go two at a time to powder their noses.
She finally put her empty glass on the bar, then turned to him. “You dance?”
He hesitated, wondering if she was a drink away from groping him, too. “Sure.”
“You don’t sound sure.”
“I was wondering what your name might be.”
“Does it matter?”
“Yeah. Tonight it does.”
She paused, and he could tell she was thinking of giving him a fake name.
He wasn’t sure if it was the truth or not. “Troy,” he introduced himself. “Nice to meet you.”
She glanced at the dance floor, then back at him, her eyes filled with amusement. “Now can we dance?”
He took her hand, noting its slenderness, and led the way. The dance floor was deafening, and more packed than the bar, which made the air several degrees warmer, mingling perfumes, colognes, and desires into a light, musky scent. Mentally, he added the crush of people to his graphic novel.
Ms. Lips was saying something and Troy tried to read her mouth, following the movements of her unbelievably perfect lips—which kept him from his mental drawing altogether. When she realized he couldn’t hear her, she crooked her finger at him and danced her way toward another part of the dance floor, which was slightly less crowded.
Hidden, glittering lights flashed and spun, giving the impression that the room was spinning. Despite the crowd, he found himself captivated by her . . . only her.
There was nothing subtle in the bold, sensual way she moved. In the warm space of the dance floor, their bodies brushed together, pushed by other bodies in the wave of bumping and grinding, her body shifting against his in a not-so-accidental rhythm. Her full breasts swayed in the snug, silky top she wore. Her curvy hips and round ass made his fingers itch to touch them, and the I-could-screw-your-brains-out glimmer in her eyes had been tugging at his chain all night. Even the light, gleaming perspiration on her face made him think of sex.
She wasn’t a glamorous beauty, but her wide, full lips, almost-exotic eyes, and blatant confidence were irresistible. They danced one song after another, until he lost track of how many and the DJ switched to slower grooves. The pace of the music streamed in his veins and her sultry cat-and-mouse flirting was putting a strain on his erection. He knew he’d have to find an unobtrusive way to adjust himself soon.
She did a sassy dance turn and her face ended just inches from his. In a flash, he caught her, and giving in to the fierce instinct that had been driving him crazy, he kissed her. It was just a light touch of his lips to hers, when what he really wanted was to devour that tempting, sexy mouth of hers, drink his fill. Trapped in the sexy little turn, she gasped just a second before the contact, but then she moved into him, and to his surprise, kissed him back, her tongue boldly slipping more intimately against his, wordlessly answering the question about how the night would end.
His hands tightened against her hips and he dug deep for the control to keep from kissing her again. The way he was feeling, there was a good chance he’d make a fool of himself like the uncontrollable couple at the bar. No, he was going to take this slowly, enjoy every single second of delicious tension.
She didn’t try to kiss him again either, and if anything, that was another turn-on.
When the song ended, they worked their way back to the bar. He followed her like a caveman with a boner. They reached the bar and he found himself having to speak into her ear to be heard, being very careful not to touch her.
“Thirsty?” he asked.
“What’re you having?”
She seemed to think about it for a moment, then a small smile played on those suck-perfect lips of hers and she licked them lightly before speaking into his ear. Her breathing was throaty and he could hear the delicate quiver of need in her words.
“I’ll have several condoms and reasons to use them.”
That message was clear enough. For an endless moment, the need to have her was so strong, he was unable to look away from her, trapped in the passion and excitement in her eyes.
She leaned to speak into his ear. “Were you hoping I’d be subtle or coy?”
“Do you hear me objecting?” he replied, giving in just enough to bite softly on her earlobe.
She gasped and shifted closer, her breath warm against his neck. “Then why waste time? There’s a place down the street. The Iris Hotel. Meet me there?”
“Race you there.”
Then the host of the party, Eileen, spotted Jenna and pulled her away from him in a big hug. “Jenna! I wasn’t sure you’d make it.”
Caught by surprise, it took a second before Jenna exclaimed. “Oh, girl, you know I wouldn’t miss this.”
“And Troy!” Since Jenna was in the way, Eileen gave him a half-hug, saving him from the embarrassment of revealing his erection. “Thanks for coming tonight.”
“Not a problem,” he replied.
The speakers above them pounded with a new tune and the crowd went wild.
He could barely hear Eileen. “Strange, isn’t it? . . . funny . . . fate, right place, right time . . . statistical odds . . . that’s the kind of algorithm I want for Orchid Soul, man. Know what I’m talking about?”
“I can only make out every other word you say,” he said, trying not to yell over the music.
Eileen laughed, and Troy had the feeling he’d missed something important.
“Oh, the hell with it. Enjoy the party!” Eileen finally shouted, moving on.
“Will do,” Troy and Jenna said at the same time.
Jenna’s eyes twinkled and she leaned against him again. “I have to powder my nose, but I’ll see you at the rendezvous.”
She turned and melted into the crowd.
He exhaled in anticipation, remembering the light scent of her perfume when he’d been near her ear. He wanted to nuzzle his face in it, to taste her and kiss her with a hunger whose force caught him by surprise.
At least she was being straightforward about what she wanted, too. Digging into his pocket for his car keys, he headed for the nearest exit, already sketching her naked body in his mind.
Jenna double-checked her lipstick in the bathroom mirror on her way to the door. She was feeling flushed and excited, and like a sex goddess on the verge of madness. Mr. Intensity didn’t know what the hell he was in for.
She touched her cheeks, eyed her makeup and fuss-fluffed her hair briefly. Just as she was about to leave, Eileen walked into the restroom, making a beeline to the stalls but stopping when she spotted Jenna.
“Hey, you and Troy looked pretty cozy on that dance floor,” Eileen teased.
“Shoot, girl, cozy ain’t the right word. That man looks like a walking, talking fantasy.”
“I just knew you were interested! As the Orchid Soul fairy godmother, I can arrange things, know what I’m sayin’?”
Jenna chuckled. “I’ve been away from the scene for a bit, but I’ve got this covered, girl.”
“I could tell that much, but—” Eileen crossed her legs and grimaced like a two-year-old who had to use the restroom, “Damn! Right now I need to find a toilet before I become in-continent.”
Jenna laughed. “Do what you gotta do, woman. I’ll catch you later.”
Eileen was already in the stall, making a loud groaning sound of relief.
Jenna hurriedly left, waving to friends as she made it to her car. She left the parking lot, and at the last minute, decided that the two condoms she had in her purse might not be enough. So she burned through several more minutes making a quick dash into a convenience store to buy a box before racing to the hotel.
Excerpted from Wanting It by Delilah Dawson.
Copyright © 2010 by Delilah Dawson.
Published in 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.