The Consequence of Seduction
“Max,” I called.
“Yeah?” He turned around in the bathroom doorway, his muscled body flexing. I wondered if he even worked out for that body or if he gave God so much flack that God was finally like, chill, you want it, just take it; I can’t deal with you anymore.
“Thanks,” I said in a small voice.
“Anything for my new sister-in-law.”
I rolled my eyes. “We aren’t really getting married.”
“Max! Stop agreeing with me!”
He held up his hands, then nodded. “Um, no?”
“Damn it!” I jumped off the counter onto wobbly legs, then started stripping. Max smartly closed the door behind him while I made quick work to get all the crappy makeup off my face. It was the fastest shower I’d ever taken in my life.
I just finished brushing my teeth and adding some mascara and lip gloss when Reid knocked on the door.
“Jordan, you decent?”
“Reid, you’ve seen me naked, does it matter?”
“It matters if you’re going pee. Girls hate when guys watch them pee.”
“This is the most romantic moment of my life,” I gushed. “Now Max said you have coffee.” I pulled open the door. “Pay the toll and you may enter.”
He thrust the hot cup in my hands. “I figured you’d need a venti. You were in rough shape last night.”
“I’d say I know, but I don’t really . . . know.”
“Oh, wow.” Reid frowned. “You mean you don’t remember . . . anything?”
Nervousness started making its way down my spine. “No.” I gulped. “Why?”
“Wow, I don’t know how to tell you this.”
“Reid, just say it!”
“We had sex, lots and lots of mind-blowing sex.”
“Oh.” I glanced at my flushed face in the mirror.
“And you just kept saying over and over again how amazing I was. How big my penis was. What an amazing body I had. I mean, you went on and on and on about just one pec.”
“Did I?” Why didn’t Max just smother me with a pillow?
“Yeah, and then you begged me for more. Then you may have tweeted out to all of my new followers that I was the best sex of your life. Oh, and the hashtag #ReidEmoryisasexgod has been trending for around six hours. So . . .”
I slapped my forehead.
Then glanced at Reid’s reflection in the mirror.
His smile was huge.
“You bastard!” I yelled. “You lying bastard.” I set my coffee down, then smacked him. “I believed you!”
“What can I say?” He took a sip of coffee. “I’m a great actor.”
My eyes narrowed. “So what happened?”
“You wanted to swim in the fountain.”
I groaned. “Please say you didn’t let me.”
“Didn’t let you.” Reid nodded. “I’m all for CPR, but I didn’t want you to puke vodka all over me once I revived you . . .”
I winced. “And then?”
“I carried you back to the hotel—you walked barefoot, by the way. Maybe when we get back to New York, do a blood test to make sure you didn’t catch something.”
“Wow, it just keeps getting better.”
“And then you stripped in the living room and tried to take advantage of me . . .”
I gulped. “And how did that go?”
“Really well. I was super into it until I felt guilty and told you to take a nap, which you did. At one point you did wake up and call me Phantom, but I think that’s just because the sheet was over my back and you thought it was a cape. It took me a good ten minutes to settle you down after that since you literally thought the Phantom was in your bed, but things got progressively better once I sang you back to sleep.”
“Sang you,” he whispered, “back to sleep.”
“‘Music of the Night.’”
“Damn it!” I stomped.
“Hey, hey.” He chuckled. “There’s more time for that later, don’t worry. It’s not like you have to get drunk for me to sing to you.”
“Really?” I perked up, giving myself away completely, but not really caring since he’d probably seen me at my worst.
“Really.” He took two steps, then three, then pressed me back against the counter. “Also, two glasses.”
“Of wine.” He nodded. “Then I’m cutting you off, because this”—he kissed me softly—“is happening, and I want you to feel me when I kiss you, when I fill you. That a problem?”
“No,” I whispered.
“Good.” He kissed me again. “Now do something with that hair, it’s freaking me out.”
“It’s growing.” Reid pointed with his coffee. I huffed and took a look in the mirror; the brown edges were slowly starting to puff up by my ears. How? Seriously? “Also, I have eggs and Advil waiting for you.” He turned to walk out of the bathroom.
“It’s not pretend anymore . . . is it?”
“It hasn’t been pretend for a while, Jordan.”
“But.” I gulped. “The media and—”
“Screw the media.” He shrugged. “This is about us.”
“I trust you.” I swallowed more coffee, needing the distraction. It burned all the way down my throat as I choked out, “I trust this.”
“Good.” He nodded. “Jordan, I would never hurt you.”
With that he walked off and I was left praying what he said was true. Because I wasn’t so sure I would recover from the type of heartbreak Reid Emory would leave me with. If he left, if he hurt me.
He was the type of guy you compared every other guy to.
There was no going up.
There was no getting better.
I had scheduled two appearances Saturday, both of which would have people speculating about a possible wedding.
Granted, we weren’t going to take it as far as to leak a picture of us at a chapel, but I figured if people saw us shopping together, they’d get the idea. It helped that the few places we visited were all draped in wedding paraphernalia. It didn’t take a genius to put two and two together, which was what I was hoping for. We could dupe everyone by simply being in the right place at the right time.
Our dinner that night was even supposed to resemble a rehearsal dinner. It was a private party at the Border Grill, which ended up being more like a loud fiesta where Max made Reid wear a sombrero.
Every time Reid tried to take it off, Max shouted, “Ohana!” Somehow the word had developed new definitions and it now just meant what Max says goes.
I tried to choke down my fajita, but it was useless. I was so nervous about my night with Reid that I couldn’t even focus on the fact that his Twitter following had more than tripled since our first night out when he’d serenaded me at the restaurant back in New York.
Ren sent me a text saying that Reid’s team had been so pleased with his PR that they had a few more actors they were sending our way.
Which meant more money for Ren.
And most likely a promotion for me.
It’s not that I wasn’t happy, I was elated, but everything was going too well. And that freaked me out.
Because when things were that good, something had to hit the fan, right?
Max stood at his end of the table. “Shall we make toasts to the happy couple?”
Colt chuckled. “It’s not really a wedding, so—”
“To my brother from another mother, Reid.” He sighed happily. “Because let’s just clear the air. Ain’t no way we both came from the same person.”
“I love you, Reid. I think we both know how epic my toasts can be. But I’ll just say this. I’m so happy you’ve finally found your crab.” Max grinned at me. “Yes, he told me the story. Don’t be ashamed, Sebastian. Under the sea is better . . . it’s wetter, take it from me.”
I groaned. “Please stop singing.”
“Anyway.” Max lifted his glass higher. “To the happy couple. Don’t have kids first.”
“Wait, what?” Reid asked.
Max shrugged. “Let me be first, bro. I gave up sex for you and Jezebel, so the least you can do is let me show Father our firstborn.”
I kicked Reid under the table.
“Fine,” he spat, and he narrowed his eyes at me while rubbing his shin.
“I, too, would like to say some words.” Jason stood. “You know, considering the last wedding I was at was my own and I wasn’t able to actually make a toast. Then again, I was blind in one eye, intoxicated, and marrying a vampire—”
“I knew it!” Max pounded the table with his hand.
Jason ignored him and lifted his margarita in our direction. “Jordan, I’m happy to welcome you into our crazy family. Keep Reid away from sugar-free gummy bears, walk in front of him when he sees a grandma, and if he suddenly bursts into tears for no reason, it’s probably because he smells Bengay. ChapStick makes him piss his pants, and if you go anywhere near an old people home, be prepared for lots of rocking back and forth and shouting.”
“Thanks,” Reid croaked. “Great toast, man.”
“Well, I tried.” Jason flashed him a grin.
Colt and Milo both stood together, holding hands. Milo lifted her glass. “To the girl who’s marrying into crazy.”
“So very true.” Becca winked from her seat.
“Reid,” Colt started. “Never thought I’d see the day where you and your eyes settled down, but I think I speak for men everywhere when I say, thank you.”
Reid winked at Milo.
She giggled while Colt shot daggers in our direction.
“Now”—Max stood—“if everyone will please bring their attention to the schedule, I think you’ll be pleased with what I’ve written in.”
“‘Free time,’” I read aloud. “Really?”
“Go wild.” Max laughed. “Though not too wild, maybe like half-wild, not full spring break.” He reached for Becca’s hand, then kissed it. “What say you? Mandalay Bay?”
“YES!” Becca shot to her feet. “It will be like reliving the island together!”
“Yay.” Max pumped his fist lamely. “Fish.”
“You’ll be fine.” Becca grabbed his hand, then waved good-bye to everyone.
“Well,” Jason said with a nod to Colt and Milo, “you guys still wanna see that show?”
“Yup.” They left quickly.
And I was alone.
With Reid and his hypnotic eyes.
I toyed with my straw.
Reid watched me, amusement evident on his face as his mouth curved up into a smirk. “Nervous?”
“Good.” He pointed to my straw. “Also, can I just say how relieved I am that you got all that biting aggression out on your straw before we made it to the bedroom?”
I glanced at my straw, which looked like it had been through a war zone as teeth marks marred every inch of it.
“That could have been you.” I pointed.
Reid shuddered. “Gentle, let’s practice being gentle.”
“Sex should be savored,” I whispered.
“Ah, so she does remember.”
“I remember that part.” I sighed. “I’m glad I did.”
Reid stood, then offered his hand. “Let’s go.”
The walk back to our hotel was too fast.
By the time we reached the elevator I was fidgeting with my hair, twirling it around my finger, and I’d developed an inability to carry on a logical, normal conversation. I was just about to ask Reid if he thought the weather was nice, desperate for any sort of conversation starter, when he gripped me by the hips and pushed me up against the wall.
“Stop.” His lips teased mine in a beckoning kiss. “You’re overthinking this, like you overthink everything.”
“Maybe.” My lower lip quivered. “I’m a girl; it’s what we do.”
“I’m a man; want to see what I do?” He chuckled darkly, and then his mouth descended in all its spicy wildness, taking me from a simple elevator ride straight into the most epic kiss I’d ever received.
His body slowly pressed me backward until my butt connected with the wall. His tongue moved slowly in and out of my mouth, drawing out the kiss, making me lean forward, eager for more, anticipating the tingling sensation that would occur when his mouth connected with mine again. Reid’s hands pressed on either side of my head; his hips glided against mine as the elevator hiccupped, causing enough slight friction that I moaned aloud.
One hand moved from the wall and trailed down my hips until he reached around and squeezed my butt, then dug his hand into my thigh as the elevator hiccupped one more time. Reid’s hands had me more hot and bothered than was probably socially acceptable in public, but I couldn’t help it.
He was a master kisser.
Placing kiss after hot, searing kiss against my lips until they buzzed with his taste.
The elevator doors opened to our penthouse suite.
Reid stepped back. “Still nervous?”
“Yes.” I blinked. “No.” Reid’s eyes zeroed in on my face, slowly lowering until his gaze stopped at my lips.
“Don’t be. You’re perfect.”
Nobody had ever called me perfect before.
He made me feel like it was true.
Like I wasn’t invisible.
I shivered uncontrollably as all of my past insecurities surfaced and then, with one sultry look from Reid Emory, dissipated.
Shoulders straightened, I lifted my head and whispered, “I like it when you look at me like that.”
“I can’t help it.” His aqua eyes flashed with hunger. “It’s your fault I look at you this way, all your fault.”
“Guess you’ll have to punish me.” I stepped past him, giggling, as he swiped my hand, then slammed his mouth against mine. This time there were no slow languid movements of his tongue or his lips—no, this was possession, domination, and although I’d always booed the submissive type of girl, I was ready to get on my hands and knees and beg him to kiss me like that again and again until my lips were bruised.
My legs flexed, then clenched together as he deepened the kiss, then with one hand swiped the key card over the door handle.
We stumbled into the room.
The card fell to the floor.
Along with Reid’s shirt.
And somehow mine.
I looked down. “How’d you manage that?”
“Magic hands.” His smooth voice was just as enticing as his mouth. I laughed as he crooked his finger at me, then kissed me again, this time lifting me into the air and twirling me around a few times before setting me back on my feet.
“What was that for?”
“Overcome with excitement.” Reid nodded breathlessly. “Felt the need to do a little dance with you in my arms. Why? Didn’t you like it?”
I giggled. “I loved it.”
“I love—” His fingers dug into my sides as he looped his hands into my skinny jeans and slowly slid them down my body, his mouth following down the valley of my breasts to my belly button and stopping there. “This, this spot right here.”
“You little rebel, tell me you used to have a belly button ring and I’m going to tattoo your name on Max’s ass.”
“Mine’s too pretty.”
“Fair.” I shuddered as his hot breath teased my stomach. “And yes, I thought it would make me cool.”
“Did it?” He blew across my skin.
He licked a circle around my belly button as I dug my hands into his hair and pushed his head down so he would keep going.
Reid chuckled darkly, then glanced up, his piercing blue eyes making me dizzy with longing. “Did the belly button ring make you cool?”
“No.” I swallowed. “And I wasn’t brave enough to show it off, so it was pointless.”
“That’s too bad.” He started unbuttoning my jeans. I wanted to tell him to stop as nerves started to creep up on me again, but his eyes, those eyes were so adoring, so trusting that I let him. I let him slide my jeans all the way down my legs.
And when they got caught on my feet and I felt like an awkward turtle who’d just gotten pushed on its back, he slowly lifted one foot and tugged then lifted the other.
Being that close to a man, where he could see every single dimple in my skin, every single scar, every single mark, was terrifying to say the least.
But something about his touch, the way he held me, the way he explored, relaxed me.
“This isn’t a onetime thing.” He glanced up. “You know that, right?”
I nodded slowly.
“This—” He gripped my butt, then tugged my hips closer to him as he placed an open-mouth kiss across my lower stomach. “This isn’t a fling. This isn’t something that stays in Vegas. I need you to understand that right now.”
“I understand.” My voice shook. “And I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
“Good.” He winked.
And then my underwear was suddenly pooling at my ankles.
He stood, his grin devilish as he reached behind me and with one hand unhooked my bra.
“Talented.” I raised one eyebrow.
“Sebastian,” he teased. “You have no idea.”
“So show me,” I taunted.
Eyes hazy, I watched him beneath my lashes as he slowly cupped my face and whispered, “No complaining when you get dehydrated and are in desperate need of food. I’m locking us in the room until I’m satisfied, until you’re satisfied, and then I’m going to do it over and over again. If you want out, you better say something now, because once we start there will be no stopping.”
“Kinda bossy, aren’t you?”
“You love it.” His mouth fused against mine as he lifted me into the air again, as if I weighed nothing, and he plunged his tongue between my lips, tasting so warm and sweet.