Tempt Me(7)

By: Carly Phillips

“No,” Mia said. “That wouldn’t be appropriate.”

“What’s ’propriate mean?” Bailey asked as they headed for the stairs leading to Austin’s and Bailey’s rooms on the second level.

Mia had a bedroom off the kitchen on the first floor, a relief since she didn’t have to worry about running into Austin when she was coming in or out of the bathroom in the upstairs hall after a shower. She had her own private one right outside her room downstairs. Being in a room near his would only make the building desire she felt for the man so much worse.

Mia bit the inside of her cheek to distract herself from her thoughts. “Appropriate means it’s not the right thing to do,” she explained to Bailey.

Not when Austin would be arriving home any minute. She saved her bikinis for her private time. She couldn’t possibly play dress-up—or dress down as the case might be with Bailey. Mia couldn’t handle Austin’s eyes on her when she was half dressed. No doubt her body would betray her and his knowing gaze would zero in on her hard nipples caused by a hot glance.

She pulled her hair off the back of her sweaty neck. No matter how uncomfortably hot she was, her thoughts making things worse, she wouldn’t be flaunting her body in front of her sexy boss.

Chapter Two

Going home to no air conditioning wasn’t the way Austin had planned to celebrate his good news. The AC people would be over later to fix the unit, so he’d have to deal in the meantime. He pulled into the garage, turned off the engine, and walked into the house, the sound of the alarm beep drowned out by music playing.

He stepped inside, feeling the heat immediately. Damn, it was a hot September. He glanced down the hall into the kitchen, where his daughter was wearing a bathing suit and standing in a ballet pose, arms above her head.

“Like this. See? Copy me,” she said to Mia, who complied, her legs contorting into whatever position Bailey demanded.

Legs he couldn’t stop staring at. Strong calves, tanned from playing outside with his daughter and long enough to wrap around his waist while he pounded into her. Way not to think about her that way, he thought, annoyed with himself.

He adjusted his dick and waited in silence until they were finished dancing, giving his body a chance to calm down before announcing himself.

After Bailey twirled around and curtsied, Austin stepped out of the shadows, clapping. “Great job!”


She ran to him, and as usual, he scooped her into his arms. “Tell me about your first day of dance class. Looks like you already learned something.”

He listened to her chattering, paying attention so he’d know when to nod, understanding he wouldn’t be getting a word in edgewise and his mind still preoccupied with Mia.

“Who’s ready for me to order pizza?” she asked as she shut the music off on her phone.

“Can I have plain?” Bailey asked. “I don’t like the roni things Daddy likes.”

“Pepperoni,” he said, “and it’s delicious.” He tapped her nose. “Order half plain,” he said to Mia. “I’ll be back down in a few minutes.” He placed Bailey down and he started for the stairs.

“Austin?” Mia called out.


“Did you see a car parked on the end of the street when you came home? It was there all day and I just thought it was odd.”

He shook his head. “I came in the back way. I’ll go out to the front door and take a look,” he said, his stomach suddenly in knots for reasons he couldn’t put into words.

When he stepped onto the porch and looked down the street, a black car was sitting on the corner, too far away for him to grab the license plate. Not that he had a reason to run down the plate. But any time something odd went on, his thoughts and fears always turned to his ex-wife.

She made it a habit to hit him up for money, both when they were married and when she’d left him the first time. It wouldn’t be odd for her to want something and scope out the lay of the land before approaching him.

He narrowed his gaze on the car in the distance. The sedan wasn’t in front of his house but alongside a copse of trees on a common area where people weren’t allowed to be build homes. The car suddenly pulled away from the curb, did a half turn, and drove off the street.

He shut the door behind him but the uneasy feeling remained. Pushing it aside for now, he headed upstairs to change into a pair of sweats and a tee shirt and wash up before dinner.

A little while later, they were seated around the dinner table. Everyone’s stomachs were full from pizza and their ears from Bailey’s chatter.