Authors: BJ Harvey
“So what are we eating?” I said, looking down to my plate.
“Filet mignon with Maine lobster, white truffle aioli, and red wine sauce.”
“It smells amazing.” I bent down and breathed deep.
Barrett went quiet, noticeably so. I lifted my gaze to his and his eyes were smoldering—at me.
“I . . . ah . . .”
He blinked and shook his head then pointed at my plate. “After you, Lys.” Hearing him call me Lys affected me more than it should since it was also my father’s pet name for me.
We fell into a comfortable silence as we picked up our cutlery and started to eat, but wanting to know more about him, I decided to drill him. “Are you based in Vegas then?” I asked, cutting into my steak which simply fell away from the knife and was a perfect medium rare.
“I live in Seattle but travel nationwide to wherever the work is,” he answered, spearing a roasted baby potato with a fork and slowly placing it into his mouth.
“I live in Seattle too.”
He looks up at me and grins. “I know.”
I jerked my head back. “How do you know that?”
“I do my research,” he answered with a smirk.
“Oh . . . right. I guess that explains how you found me,” I replied, my mind racing at what else he might know.
“So what do you consult on?”
“Anything and everything,” he replied, apparently on auto-pilot. “Now tell me about you. Are you here on vacation?”
“Not so fast there, quick draw,” I countered, earning a smirk and a single raised brow.
“Quick draw? I hope I’ll get the opportunity to prove to you later that I’m anything but.”
“Every time I ask you something about yourself, you shift the conversation back to me. I wonder why that might be,” I push.
“You’re an intriguing woman, Alyssa. I want to know everything about you.”
There was something about the effect he had on me. Throughout the meal, whenever we weren’t talking, he’d watch me. My skin felt electrified under his gaze, as if he could see right through me. Sparks like wildfire shot throughout my body and I had to shift in my seat to distract myself from squirming.
He put down his cutlery and pushed his plate away and I soon followed. “So what is a beautiful woman doing in Sin City by herself then?” he asked. Again, he moved the conversation topic back to me. Deciding to let him get away with it for the time being, I took another sip of my champagne—my second glass—and put it back down on the table just as Bart cleared away our plates.
“He tells me he wants to do unspeakable things to me and
he wants to know about me,” I murmured, earning a chuckle from Barrett.
“That mouth of yours will get you in trouble one day.”
“Oh, it gets me into trouble frequently—just not with stalkers who give me the kind of date most women can only dream about,” I replied.
Something flashed in Barrett’s eyes when I said that. I just couldn't get a read on him. When he was flirting, definitely. When he failed to hide that flash of indescribable emotion in his eyes whenever I talked about myself, definitely not.
As quickly as it appeared though, it was gone, that cocky knowing smile of his taking its place before he replied, “What can I say? I wanted to make a good impression.”
His words had a multi-sensory effect, warming me to the core while also calming me. More emboldened than before, I ran the tip of my index finger around the rim of the glass and looking slyly over the table at Barrett, who just quirked his brow at me. “So in answer to my question . . . ?”
“My mom lives here, and my stepfather flew me down here so that he could propose to her. I’m meeting them for lunch tomorrow.”
“Congratulations,” he said, tipping his glass to me and finishing the last of his own drink. “We could’ve said a toast for them.”
“We were too busy eye-fucking each other over the table,” I replied with a sly smile.
“Sorry to say, I’ve been doing that since you walked out of the elevator,” he retorted unapologetically. “You’re a very captivating woman, Alyssa Jacobs.”
“And you’re a very confident, charming man, Barrett Matthews.”
Having finished my champagne, I decided it was time to learn more about the elusive man before me. “I think it’s time for twenty questions.”
Tilting his head, he stared into my eyes, a twitch in his jaw the only sign of discomfort from my suggestion.
“Ladies first,” he said, rolling his hand out toward me.
“Right. Um . . . how old are you?” I asked, biting my lip nervously. Why was I anxious? I had no clue. I was a woman who could easily hold her own in a boardroom full of alpha men, yet in front of Barrett, my nerves were shot.
“Thirty-two,” he answered without hesitation. “And you?”
“Don’t you know you should never ask a woman her age?”
“I’m all for equal rights, quid pro quo.” He crossed his arms, resting them on his chest as he leaned back in his chair, his eyes never leaving mine—a silent challenge if ever I had seen one.
“Thirty-one,” I replied softly.
“Ah, I could’ve sworn you were twenty-eight.”
“Flattery will get you everywhere,” I retorted.
“That’s what I’m hoping.” His lips curled up on one side, a devious grin filled with dirty promise.
“Have you always lived in Seattle?” I asked, trying to distract myself from what I really wanted to do, which was jump into his lap.
“I’m originally from Connecticut. I then went to college in New York but always loved Seattle, so I moved there three years ago.”
I couldn’t stop myself from laughing, causing Barrett’s brows to knot together. “That’s funny?”
“Only because it’s the most you’ve said about yourself since we met. And that is saying a lot.”
“I should work on that,” he said.
“There are other ways you could make me talk.” It was my turn to smirk, images of everything I could do to him flashing before my eyes.
“That look . . . right there . . . I bet you’re thinking of how you could do it.”
how to do it.”
“Touché,” he conceded quietly. The way he looked at me, the way he made me feel—it was intoxicating.
For so long, I’d had no free time to even contemplate dating. The business always came first, my personal life second. Even when I tried meeting men, they were often intimidated by my job. Barrett seemed different. I may have not known everything about the man—not even close—but there was something between us. The choice I had to make was whether to jump in head first with him, or at least try and show some restraint.
“What are your thoughts on dessert?” His eyes grew hooded as I lamented how far away from each other we still were.
“I’d wonder if you were talking about the last course of our meal or something else, and if the latter, I’d say I don't know anything about you,” I blurted out in an effort to break the thick sexual tension between us, needing something to stop the spell this man was weaving on me.
“Do you need to know everything about me? Sometimes a bit of mystery can be sexy,” he said with a wink.
With my mouth suddenly dry, my tongue instinctively darted out and slowly ran over my bottom lip. “What if I’m not a one-night stand kind of girl?”
“I don’t think a one-night stand would ever be long enough with you,” he retorted just as quick, the deep rasp in his voice reaching inside of me. He lifted his thumb to his chin and regarded me, his eyes traveling over my face, leaving a singed path in their wake and ending on my mouth.
“How about this? I’ll show you the kind of man I am when you're naked in my bed and crying out my name.”
“Barrett . . .” I replied breathily, giving away how affected I was by his words.
“That's a promise, Alyssa,” he growled. “It's not a hope, not a plan—it’s a foregone conclusion,” he continued, scraping his chair as he pushed back from the table. “And just the fact you are sitting across from me looking like the most beautiful woman in the world with that face and that fucking fantastic body I can't wait to touch tells me you know this to be true. Because why else would a strong, confident, self-assured, and in no way lacking woman like yourself share one phone call with me, tell me I make her wet, then accept my dinner invitation, all without knowing precisely what we can do to each other?”
With my crossed legs clenched tight and my fingers gripping the table to anchor me, all I could do was close my eyes slowly and focus on taking one breath after another.
When I reopened them, Barrett stood at my side, towering over me. He placed an index finger under my chin and, pressing gently to lift my gaze to his, his heated stare rendered me speechless.
more, I subconsciously swayed toward him, but he moved an equal distance away.
“When I touch you, Alyssa, I don't want to do it on the roof of a hotel. I'm going to take my time to explore every single inch of you with every single inch of me. You won’t care how loud you are, or how greedy you’re going to be. You'll beg me for more and be willing to take everything I’ll give you.”
“God,” I moaned, his words moving through me, causing my body to thrum with need. If I thought his words on the plane made me wet, hearing what he wanted to do to me now had me soaked through. The only thing I could think of was his touch—his hands on me, his mouth on me, and his cock thrusting inside me—all of it.
“Touch me,” I whispered, my voice full of desperate need.
“Not tonight. Tonight I wanted to get to know you and test the limits of my self-control, it seems. Something which is challenging when it comes to you,” he muttered on a growl. “If I stay with you any longer, I’ll be giving Bart and the rest of the Las Vegas Strip a live sex show on the roof of the Sovereign.”
“Oh,” I replied breathlessly, feeling as if my heart was going to hammer through my chest and I would spontaneously combust under the promise of sex with the man in front of me.
“I think it’s safer to escort you to your room and bid you farewell.” Barrett’s voice held an undercurrent of frustration, almost agitation. It was barely detectable but still had me slightly uncertain, if nothing else.
Then he held his hand out to me and helped me from my chair, tangling our fingers together and walking me to the elevator.
When we got off on my floor and reached my door, I suddenly felt unsure of what to say. What did you say to the man you flirted shamelessly with twice in the same day? The same man you wanted desperately to push you against the hotel room door and finally—
—kiss you like you’d been fantasizing about all night?
“Can I call you tomorrow?” he asked, his eyes warm on mine.
“Did you track down my phone number as well?” I teased.
“It came with the room information, so you might say I am well on my way to being your own personal stalker.” The ease at which he was able to find me unsettled me. But having spent the evening with him, I didn’t feel uncomfortable about it anymore. In fact, I didn’t want the night to end.
“You’re welcome to stalk me whenever you want to, Mr. Matthews.”
He chuckled, moving his body in closer to mine but still not touching me anywhere apart from our still joined hands. “I’m back to Mr. Matthews now, am I?”
“If you come inside with me, I promise to call you Barrett.” Lust obviously won over uncertainty when he was that close to me, clouding my head and muddling my thoughts—all of which were now firmly focused on letting him do everything he’d said he would do to me over dinner.
I knew I’d gotten to him when he groaned, just as he lowered his forehead to rest on mine. “You have no idea how hard this is to walk away.”
Taking our clasped hands, I moved them between us, running my knuckles ever so gently over the hard bulge in his pants. “I think I have some idea,” I replied seductively.
“Jesus, you’re fucking perfect. I have to take one kiss. Just one touch of your mouth to see me through,” he murmured, lowering his mouth to mine and running his tongue along the seam of my lips. Ready and willing, I opened for him and whimpered when he dove inside, stroking and sucking, taking and tasting, his lips and hand the only parts of his body touching mine despite my body craving to be covered by his.
All too soon, he pulled away, releasing my hand and stepping back to lean his shoulders against the opposite wall of the corridor. “Knew I’d never want to stop doing that once I started,” he said, his eyes still fixated on my lips, but I didn’t miss the war being waged behind them.
“Then why did you?” I asked roughly.
“Because I didn’t want to have a single regret about tonight.”
“You won’t regret not taking me to bed?” I asked shamelessly.
“That’s what I’m looking forward to about tomorrow. Anticipation is the best aphrodisiac, don’t you know?” He straightened and took one step toward me, lifting his hand up to my jaw. He then watched his thumb as it ran over my bottom lip, dragging it down at the end. “Just knowing the things I’m going to do to you makes it worth the wait.”
I woke up the next morning feeling very tired because Barrett Matthews had successfully invaded my dreams.