Body Check(9)

By: Elle Kennedy

She wasn’t a big drinker, but her nerves were shaky, making her hands tremble and her heartbeat erratic, and she hoped the alcohol might calm her down.

“What can I get you?” she called over her shoulder. “There’s beer, scotch, whiskey, bourbon—”

“You.” With a soft laugh, Brody eliminated the distance between them.

Oh, God, he was huge. She had to fully tilt her head up to look at him. At five feet three inches, she felt like a dwarf next to him. Her heart jammed in her throat as he stepped even closer. She could feel his body heat, his warm breath tickling her ear as he leaned down and whispered, “That was the nightcap you were referring to, wasn’t it?”

His low, husky voice heated her veins. When she met his eyes, she saw the unmistakable desire glittering in their cobalt-blue depths. “Well?” he prompted.

“Yes.” The word squeaked out of her mouth.

He settled his big hands on her waist, yet didn’t press his body against hers. Despite the pounding of her heart, anticipation began to build in her belly, slowly crept up to her breasts like a vine and made them grow heavy, achy. She wanted him closer, wanted to feel his firm chest on her breasts, his hardness between her thighs.

Brody lifted one hand and brushed his thumb against her lower lip. “If you want to change your mind, now’s the time.”

He waited for her answer, watching her closely. Her throat grew dry, while another part of her grew wet.

Did she want to change her mind? Maybe she should call her own bluff now, before things got out of hand. But as she studied his handsome face, she realized she didn’t want him to leave. So what if this wouldn’t result in I-love-you’s and cosigning a mortgage for a house? Tonight wasn’t about that. Tonight she was stressed and tired and sexually frustrated. And just once she wanted to be with a man without thinking about the future.

“I haven’t changed my mind,” she murmured.


He skimmed his hand over her hip, moving it to her back, grazing her tailbone. Then he stared at her lips, as if pondering, debating.

His slow perusal lasted too long for her throbbing body. She wanted him to kiss her. Now. She let out a tiny groan to voice her anguish.

Amusement danced across his features. “What? What do you want, Hayden?”

“Your mouth.” The words flew out before she could stop them, shocking her. Since when was she this forward?

“All right.” He dipped his head and planted a soft kiss on her neck, lightly biting the tender flesh with his teeth.

She whimpered and he responded with a chuckle, his warm breath moistening her skin. He trailed his tongue up to her earlobe, flicked over it, licked it, then blew a stream of air over it, making her shiver.

Fire began simmering in her blood, heating all the parts that already ached for him. She reached up and touched his dark hair, relishing the silky texture. She’d never known a simple kiss could have such a slow buildup. Most of the men in her past had thrust their tongues into her mouth and quickly followed suit by thrusting themselves into her.

But Brody, he took his time.

He tortured her.

“Your skin tastes like…” He kissed her jaw, then nipped at it. “Strawberries. And honey.”

All she could do was shiver in response.

“Take off your clothes,” he said roughly.

She swallowed. “Now?”

“Now would be a good time, yes.”

She reached for the hem of her sweater, trying to fight the insecurity spiraling through her. She’d never stripped for a man before. Was she supposed to put on a show? Dance? Well, forget that. No matter how much she wanted him right now, she wasn’t going to pretend to be the sexy seductress she wasn’t.

She pulled her sweater and tank top over her head, pleased to hear Brody’s breath hitch at the sight of her lacy wisp of a bra. When she reached for the front clasp, he shook his head. “No. Not yet. First the jeans.”

Well. Commanding, wasn’t he?

Obligingly, she wiggled out of her jeans and let them drop to the floor. Her black panties matched her bra, and they, too, left little to the imagination.

Brody’s eyes widened with approval. She was starting to get the hang of this stripping thing. Hooking her thumbs under the spaghetti-thin straps that constituted a waistband, she pulled her panties down her thighs, slowly, bending over a little so he could get a peek at her cleavage.

Naked from the waist down, she held his gaze. “Like what you see?”

His serious expression never faltered. “Very much. Now the bra.”

In one slow, fluid movement, she unclasped her bra and tossed it aside. Strangely enough, she no longer felt insecure.