Seduction And The CEO - Page 24

He reached out to brush a stray lock of hair from her temple. His touch was electric, arousing, light as a feather but shocking as a lightning bolt.

Thunder rumbled in the distance, and the first fat raindrops clattered on the roof.

“I’m going to kiss you,” he told her.

She drew a breath. “You think that’s a good idea?”

He moved slightly closer. “It’s not the smartest thing I’ve ever done.” He stroked his thumb along her jaw, tipped her chin. “But probably not the stupidest, either. Might not even make the top three.”

“What were they?” she asked.

“The stupidest things?”

She gave a slight nod.

“I don’t think I’ll be telling you that right now.”

“Maybe later?”

“I doubt it.” Done talking, he leaned in and pressed his warm lips to hers.

It was a gentle kiss, a tentative kiss. There was a wealth of respect and more than a couple of questions contained in the kiss.

She answered by softening her lips. One of her hands went to his shoulder, steadying herself, she lied. Truth was, she wanted to hang on, press closer, turn his inquiry into a genuine kiss.

He easily complied, stepping forward, parting his lips, one hand going to the small of her back, the other tunneling into the hair behind her ear. He tipped his head, deepened the kiss; she plastered herself flush against him, feeling the hard heat of his body, counterpoint to the wind and rain that rushed in through the open window.

Warning sirens clanged inside her head.

It wasn’t supposed to happen like this.

She was supposed to maintain a journalistic detachment. Plus, hadn’t she come up here to warn him about Stephanie? Not to flirt. Or worse, seduce. What on earth was she thinking?

He broke the kiss, but moved instantly into another. Melissa didn’t have time to decide if she was relieved or upset before she was dragged away on another tidal wave of desire.

The world disappeared-the horses, the people, the wind and rain. Nothing existed except Jared’s kiss, the rough texture of his hands, the heat of his hard body and the fresh, earthy, male scent that surrounded her and drew her into an alternative universe.

His thumb found the strip of skin between her tank top and blue jeans. He stroked up her spine, sending shivers of reaction skittering both ways. His hand slipped under her shirt, warm palm caressing the sensitized skin, working higher, closing in on the scrap of her bra.

His tongue touched hers, tentatively at first, but then bolder as she responded, opening to him, tipping her head to give him better access to her mouth. His hand caressed the back of her head. Her arms tightened around his neck. She went up on her toes, struggling to get closer.

A clap of thunder boomed through the sky, rumbling the building, lightning dancing in the clouds rapidly engulfed the ranch. The rain grew steady, blurring the world, cooling the air and clattering like a freight train against the cedar shakes above them.

Jared pulled her tighter still, leaving her in no doubt about the effect the kiss was having on him. It was having the same effect on her. It was wild, untamed, sexy and all but unstoppable.

He shifted, moving her away from the open window and the driving rain that was dampening their clothes. He backed her into the wall, and his leg slipped between hers. The friction sent a shot of desire through her body, and a moan found its way past her mouth.

Jared whispered her name, his kisses moving from her mouth to her cheek, her temple and neck. He moved aside the strap of her tank top, the thinner strap of her bra, kissing his way to her shoulder, where his warm tongue lingered, laving the sensitive skin.

Her legs grew weak, and she braced herself against the wall, clinging to Jared’s strong shoulders, even as she kissed his chest through the damp cotton of his shirt. He’d crooked his knee, and she rested the core of her body against his strong thigh. A pulse throbbed through her veins, and there was no mistaking where she wanted this to lead.

“We have to stop,” she forced herself to gasp.

His lips paused mid-kiss on her bare shoulder. “I’m not sure why,” he breathed. He straightened, bracing his hands against the wall, arms on either side of her, gazing down with passion-clouded eyes.

“Did I do something wrong?” he asked.

She was all but shaking with reaction, afraid to move for fear she’d throw caution to the wind and lose herself in his arms. “This is nuts,” she told him, struggling to bring her voice back to normal, forcing herself to drag her hands from his shoulders.

His thigh was still braced between hers, still pressed intimately against her body, still drawing a completely inappropriate reaction from her.

“Why?” he asked.