Only relationships have left me disillusioned and disappointed.
That, and love.
On that note, I grab my eye mask, put it on and fall asleep.
An earsplitting din rends the air.
A bolt of alarm jars me wide awake. I push up my mask and jump out of bed, flinging off the covers. I scan left then right, hunting the source of the sound and what I can do about it.
Where is the fire extinguisher? Something big and heavy in case I have to fight off an intruder?
I spot it in the corner next to the plush red velvet lounge, then I grab it, dash to the door, and peer through the peephole into the hall. I suck in a breath as I take in the carnage, then I let it escape as a sigh of relief.
I don’t need a fire extinguisher, thank God. The sight in the hallway is horrifying, but nonthreatening. Shards of glass are everywhere. But it’s time to woman up. Setting down the fire extinguisher, I glance at the time. Two in the morning. Grabbing my phones and my tablet in case I need to make a quick call or record details, I put on my slippers, unhook the chain, unlatch the door, and step into the hall.
Another door slinks open at the same time as mine, and Daniel steps out from his room across from mine.
He rubs his right hand over his sleep-rumpled hair. The hand with the jagged scar that runs down the length of it—a mark I find incomparably sexy.
He unleashes a yawn, stretching his arms and . . .
Holy low-slung sleep pants.
His sleep attire answers all my questions from the dressing room earlier today.
Every last one.
We’re talking ridges, grooves, divots.
Abs for days.
And that V?
The vaunted V cut, which I shouldn’t have imagined he had, but I don’t have to imagine anymore, because he does.
Oh yes, he does.
I ought to keep my gaze above his neck.
But my mouth is watering at the sight of his chest, his stomach, his hips.
I will my eyes not to stray downward.
I’m not a pervert.
I’m truly not.
But . . .
My eyes are traitors.
They stray to his pelvis.
To the outline visible through the fabric.
An outline that leaves little to the imagination.
My gorgeous, clever, charming business partner is rock-hard.
And sporting one hell of a bedtime erection.
Now I have a damn good sense of what he looks like underneath those devilishly handsome clothes all day long.
He looks like a man I’d like to fuck.
But then I remind myself that some things are true, even if they won’t ever come true.
And this won’t come true at all.
This certainly makes two a.m. better.
Then again, I don’t generally have any issues with two o’clock in the morning. But I especially don’t now, given the sight in front of me this very second.
Scarlett Slade, dressed only in a negligee that hugs her lush frame in all the right places.
The right places being her hips and her breasts.
Those are definitely all right by me.
So much so that I force out a laugh, mostly to cover up the groan that’s working its way up my throat, because this woman is stunning in next to nothing.
Stunning with a capital S.
Make that stunning with all caps, a few exclamation points, and an eyes-popping-out-of-a-head emoji.
I do my best to make light of the situation, mostly so I don’t let on that I’m insanely turned on by her attire.
Yet I’m also incredibly amused by her choice of sleepwear.
“Of course you sleep with an eye mask and three cell phones,” I say, pointing to her hand where she’s clutching all her modern technology. The mask is pushed up on her forehead, her gorgeous chestnut locks messy behind it.
She shoots me a searing look. “One is a tablet.”
“Ah, all the better to whack an errant chandelier shard with.”
She sighs deeply. “I grabbed them in case I needed to make phone calls or send emails.”
“You are armed for any contingency. Are you going to send a strongly worded email to the chandelier for not having the strength to hold on to the ceiling? Or maybe make a serious phone call to the wiring about its lack of stamina?”
She’s thoroughly deadpan as she answers, “I’ll have you know I’m ready to initiate the inquiry now. I’ll start with the email, and then be ready to follow up with a detailed call.”
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