The Consequence of Seduction

  “I do,” I admitted.

  I hadn’t realized that we were already in his bedroom. Or that he had shut the door, or that he still had jeans on.

  What? Had I blacked out or was he just that good?

  It had been years since I’d slept with anyone.

  And the first time I decide to jump back into the sack, so to speak, I jump back in with the king of sex.

  The room was dim, and in that moment, I was very much aware why he was cast as the Phantom. There was something dark about him, something so seductive that my heart was racing as if I was in danger, but the good kind, the kind that you run toward even though you aren’t sure you’ll survive it. Like surfing a wave that could kill you.

  Or standing outside during a hurricane.

  His masculine beauty was both terrifying and intriguing. My body responded and arched beneath his touch like I was an instrument and he was the musician.

  “Phantom,” I whispered. “Too bad you didn’t bring props.”

  “Ah, so she wants the cape.”

  I nodded.

  “Next time.” He winked, dropping his pants to the ground, then tossing them in the corner.

  Well, just another thing to be amazed about.

  The man didn’t wear boxers.

  Or briefs.

  Or anything.

  “So you never wear underwear?” My breathing picked up as he pushed me back onto the bed, his face a mask of pure concentration and lust.


  “Ever?” I squeaked.



  “That bother you?” He smirked as he slowly hovered over me, his bronzed chest such a ridiculous distraction I had to blink a few times before I answered.


  With an amused chuckle, he placed a feather-light kiss across my temple and then down the side of my neck. “Relax.”

  “I am relaxed,” I argued.

  “You’re freaked out.” Another kiss. “Overanalyzing.” His mouth descended to one of my breasts. I hissed out a breath. “And figuratively zipping up that skirt again.”

  I whimpered as he sucked. “What was that?”

  “There we go.” He blew across my skin.

  I gripped the sheets as I tried to keep myself from leaping from my current position and tackling him. Why the torture?

  “I love how responsive you are.” He paid attention to the next breast while his hand moved south.

  “Uh . . .” It came out in a gurgle as I tried to clench my legs together and scoot away. “So, sex, that should happen.”

  “Nope.” Apparently his new favorite word. “You aren’t ready for me yet. Believe me, that’s not ego talking, that’s truth.”

  I looked down.

  And paled.

  “Wow, how exactly did they give you a penis enlargement? Your doctor does great work, really, but that’s not happening.”

  “Calm”—his mouth brushed against mine—“down.”

  “Says the Viking.”


  “Getting ready to pillage with his giant—” Reid licked my hip as I stuttered out, “Sword.”

  “You do realize I’m trying to make this good for you, yet you keep distracting me with your talking. And do you even comprehend how freaking gorgeous you are? Or the hellish amount of self-control I need to keep myself from just straddling you and sinking into you? Hmm? Do you?”

  I opened my mouth, but only a croak came out as my cheeks heated with embarrassment. Did he just say sink? Out loud? Apparently I was also a prude. Great.

  “Sex should never be embarrassing . . . though I’m sure sometimes it is, because life is. Sex shouldn’t alter the way you feel about someone; it happens because you can’t imagine waiting one more minute.” He whispered, “One more second, without physically sharing the most intimate part of yourself with the person you lo—” He looked away. “The person you care for.”

  Did I hallucinate, or had he been just about to say love?

  “We need ground rules before . . .”

  “Damn, you don’t make things easy, do you Jordan?”

  Rhetorical question? The silence got awkward, but when I opened my mouth, he placed two fingers against my lips.

  “No talking.” He nodded. “The only words I approve of are, more, Reid, yes, Reid, harder, Reid, Reid, Reid, Reid, Reid, Reid, and if you didn’t get it the first time, you can say my name, only my name. There will be no thinking about PR, no thinking about Otis, or your stupid plant, or the fact that I bring roses because that’s how my mom taught me to date. There will be tasting, lots of touching, and very close inspection of the most intimate parts of you. No pushing me away, not unless I’m hurting you, and you will not close your eyes. Ever.”

  “But why would I—”

  “Just keep your eyes open, so I can watch you watching me, so that you’re present, so that I can make sure you know exactly who’s making you feel this way.”

  He didn’t give me any warning.

  His hands moved between my thighs.

  I closed my eyes.

  And received a swat on the side of my hip.

  I jerked my eyes open and glared.

  “Feisty,” he teased. “I can work with that.”

  And he did.

  He so did.

  There was no use fighting him as he played me like an instrument, and after about two seconds I was trying to figure out why the heck I was fighting him in the first place.

  His hand left.

  I leaned up on my elbows.

  Just as his head lowered.

  “Reid!” I shouted.

  “Hmm?” He glanced up. “Sorry, kinda busy, so you’re going to have to use one of the preapproved words.”

  He licked my thigh.

  Then bit.


  “Fail!” Reid snickered. “That wasn’t Reid approved.”

  His tongue twirled dangerously close to my core; it was like his mouth was flirting with my leg.

  My leg liked it.

  Every part of me liked it.

  “Reid!” I bucked off the bed. His hands moved to my hips and held me down. “More!”

  He looked up and winked. “Love that phrase.”

  “Reid.” I let out a little moan as I tried desperately not to float away and pet the unicorn currently flying overhead. Look, a butterfly! I wondered if Reid would be insulted if I took a picture of that wicked mouth of his and burned candles in front of it, you know, to pay tribute. His tongue swirled.

  And then his breath was hot on my inner thigh again, raining kisses down my leg, then back up the other leg. My entire body was hot, then cold, then hot again as his mouth bit and nibbled places I didn’t even know existed.

  He was going to be the death of me.



  She was going to be the absolute death of me. It was like she was embarrassed by how easily her body responded to my every single touch. It was a huge turn-on, making my current situation so difficult I was pouring sweat, and I hadn’t even started on the main course yet.

  I was still appetizing.

  Her body shuddered.

  It arched, it shuddered again, then melted against me.

  It was freaking gorgeous—watching her take pleasure without me having to give her permission to do so.

  “Take it,” I whispered. “Come on, Jordan, stop thinking.”

  “But your mouth was—”

  “—making you feel good,” I answered gruffly as my body hummed with awareness of all things her. Hell, her taste was out of this world.

  Without any sort of warning, she grabbed my head and jerked my mouth to hers.

  Her greedy tongue fighting mine, trying to dominate. I groaned as I fell on my back and pulled her on top of me so her body was straddling mine.

  I reached into the nightstand.

  And came back empty.

  Jordan, clearly enjoying herself way too muc
h to pay attention to my panic, just kept kissing me, thrusting her body all over me in the best of ways.

  My hand searched again.

  What the hell?

  “Hold on.” I sat up, and Jordan fell back, her face flushed.

  “What’s wrong?”

  “I had a box of condoms right here.” I pointed to the drawer.

  “Someone was confident.”

  “Safe,” I corrected. “Someone was safe and now—”

  I let out a growl as I picked up the empty box and pulled out a sticky note that said, “Stick it, get it? Like as in stick it to her? Ha-ha, I kill myself. Also, payback’s a bitch. Now we’re even for you signing me up for that stupid show. Oh, also, note the picture.” The picture was of a stick figure holding a bag of peas to its middle, maybe its balls? Oh, and he wrote it in blue crayon. The sick bastard.

  It would take me at least five minutes to run down to the main lobby. I tossed the box at the wall and glared.

  Jordan let out a soft laugh.

  “Not funny.” I sighed, my body still having other ideas as it tried to unite with her without my damn permission.

  “It kind of is.” She wiggled on top of me.

  I gripped her hips. “Keep moving and it won’t be. Seriously, Jordan. I’ve been putting this off for years.”


  “With you.” I grumbled. “Okay, so it hasn’t been years, but it feels like it and I really, really, really . . .” I sighed as I took in her pert breasts and perfect curves. “Where was I again?”

  Jordan moved.

  I hissed.

  “I know your medical history.” Jordan winked. “And I’m on the pill . . .” She moved again. I groaned as my head slammed back against the headboard. “You’re welcome.”

  “Shit, you feel good.” I grabbed her hips and moved her exactly where I wanted her. “Are you sure?”


  I jerked back my hands.

  “Kidding.” She winked.

  “Am I laughing?”

  “If you were, that means I was doing it wrong,” she said in a teasing voice. “And I don’t want to do it wrong.”





  “Shut up.” With one lift I had her in the air and swiftly thrust into her.

  She stopped talking.

  I stopped breathing.

  And then, very slowly, moved in and out, thinking it wasn’t real, nobody could actually feel that perfect.

  But she did.

  I picked up my pace, sweat pooling at my temples as Jordan leaned over me, and then with a move I’d only ever seen in the movies, she flipped onto her back, taking me with her.

  “I think I love you.” I chuckled.

  She winked while I thrust harder, deeper, then pulled out and flipped her onto her stomach, pulling her back against me so she was almost in a sitting position.

  “Damn, this is going to be over too quickly.” I tugged her ear with my teeth as I tried to slow down, but every part of me was ready to explode into oblivion.

  Her body tightened around me.

  I held my breath, trying to prolong the moment.

  She arched.

  “More, Reid!”

  I cupped her breasts and clenched my teeth. “Love that phrase.”

  I’d like to think her next scream was because of me, and when she found her release and said my name three times and then a fourth, I decided that I was never leaving her bed. Ever.

  I held out as long as I could.

  Which was about one more second.

  Spent, I leaned my forehead against her back.

  “Reid?” Her voice was hoarse. Did I do that? Was that me? My chest puffed up.

  “Hmm?” I kissed her salty-sweet skin.

  “Next time I want to yell Phantom.”

  I slapped her ass, then burst out laughing. “You and every other woman in existence.”

  “Hey, some like Raoul.”

  “Raoul can suck it!” I laughed.

  “Mature.” She slowly crawled off me and leaned back against the pillow, her face flushed. “That was incredible.”

  “That”—I leaned down and kissed her nose—“was just round one.”



  A pillow was covering my face. The sheet had somehow been ripped from the bed and was dangling halfway across one of the lamps in the corner and Jordan was asleep, shivering, in the middle of the bed, naked.

  I laughed and covered her with the comforter, then kissed her head and walked out of the room.

  It was morning, though I wasn’t sure how early, nor did I care after that marathon last night.

  Forget round one.

  Round two included ice cubes.

  Round three featured a bit of standing and maneuvering and a pulled hamstring.

  Round four took place halfway off the mattress.

  Round five was a good idea, but we decided against it when neither one of us could keep our eyes open long enough to kiss.

  I was wiped.

  In the best possible way.

  It was impossible to hide my smile as I made my way into the kitchen in search of some coffee.

  “So,” Max said from behind a newspaper. How was he already dressed? He turned a page. “Either you just gave me a little niece or nephew or, bummer, you had to go down to the lobby last night. But by the sounds of it, I don’t think it killed the moment at all.”

  I lowered my middle finger over the page.

  He pulled the newspaper back and grinned. “Hey, at least we’re even now. No going behind each other’s backs and doing anything crazy. Right? The war between brothers ends, right here, right now?”

  My eyes narrowed. “How do I know you’re going to keep your word?”

  Max sighed. “I thought you might ask that.” He reached into his front pocket and placed a key on the table, sliding it across the granite. “It’s yours.”

  “What is this?”

  “They key to the Seattle house.” Max sighed. “I promised you I’d give it to you if you could stay in a committed relationship for longer than a week, and by my calculations”—he checked his watch—“wow, almost eight days! Well done.”

  “I’m confused.” I pocketed the key. “I’m not in a relationship.”

  Max’s eyebrows furrowed. “But Jordan?”

  “I mean”—I scratched my head—“we haven’t labeled it or anything, at least not yet. I don’t know, man.”

  “But you slept with her,” Max pointed out. “By the loud screams and banging, she could be carrying Reid Jr. and you’re not sure about it?”

  “Max—” I really didn’t want to have this conversation now or explain my fears that Jordan was going to bail on me the minute I wanted to turn things serious. “We’re having fun. That’s all that matters, all right?”

  Max’s mouth formed an O. “Fine, but the house is still yours. A bet is a bet. And like I said, it sure sounds like you won last night.”

  “Four times.” I puffed out my chest while Max held up his hand for a high five.

  “Knew you were my brother.” He laughed. “Now, make the girl breakfast. It’s the least you can do after all you’ve put her through.”

  “Right.” I eyed the fridge. “You gonna help?”

  “Sorry.” Max made a face. “I’m busy doing anything but that. Besides, all I managed to grab at the little store in the lobby were a few protein bars, so you probably need to order room service.” He yawned. “And our plane leaves in four hours, so get the girl up.”

  “Right.” I snatched the room service menu and padded back to the room.

  Jordan wasn’t in bed.

  Frowning, I went to the bathroom and knocked. “Hey, we need to order some breakfast, you know what you want?”

  Her reply was muffled. “Um, just order me some oatmeal with fruit or something.”

  “You sure you don?
??t want something more substantial? We had a long night last night . . .”

  “No!” She shouted. “No, that’s . . . it’s fine. That’s fine.”

  “Are you showering?”


  “Want me to join you? I can—”

  “Actually, I just finished, sorry. I’ll be out in a minute.”

  “Oh.” I licked my lips. “Okay, I’ll just grab your oatmeal then.”


  I walked off, a bit confused, but then again, women were usually weird after sex, right? And she was probably just doing what Jordan does, which is overthink every damn thing. I made a mental note to ask her if she was okay. I typically didn’t do that thing where the guy talks to the girl afterward and makes sure everyone’s on the same level.

  But for her I would.

  Because I cared for her.

  Because I saw myself with her.

  Not just next week.

  But years from now.

  The smile was back full force as I made my way back into the main living area and grabbed the phone to order breakfast.

  Max. Huh, I had to hand it to him—despite his insanity, he kind of brought us together.

  Not that I’d ever thank him.

  Because thanking Max would be admitting he was right—and I didn’t want to do that. Ever.

  So for now, I’d just mentally give him a significant nod and pat on the back.

  It’s all he was going to get.



  I wiped the tears from my eyes, but they just pooled with water again! I fanned myself over and over again, then reapplied my waterproof mascara.

  Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

  I kicked the tiny metal trash can in the corner, then crossed my arms as my body convulsed with hurt.

  A bet.

  I was part of bet between the millionaires. How stupid could I be? I never saw it coming, maybe because Reid really is that great of an actor.

  I could get over that part, if he maybe explained to me the reasons behind it.

  But when Max asked him about us and he didn’t say anything? He made it sound like I was a conquest.

  And that there were no feelings behind our night together.

  I’d heard the entire conversation. I wasn’t one of those girls who got so hurt she ran off before she heard the guy defend himself or defend her. Read that book, watched that movie.

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