Sweet little lies, p.6
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       Sweet Little Lies, p.6

         Part #1 of Heartbreaker Bay series by Jill Shalvis
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  It’d been the hardest thing he’d ever done, and there’d been lots of days he wasn’t entirely sure he’d succeeded.

  “Well I probably should . . .” Pru trailed off, gesturing vaguely to the door. But she didn’t go. Instead she glanced at his mouth.

  As far as signs went, it was a good one. She was thinking of his mouth on hers. Which seemed only fair since he’d given a lot of thought to the same thing.

  “’Night,” she whispered.

  “Night,” he whispered back.

  And yet neither of them moved.

  She was still staring at his mouth, and chewing on her lower lip while she was at it. He wanted to lean in and take over, nibbling first one corner of her mouth and then the other, and then maybe he’d take a nibble of her plump lower lip too, before soothing it with his tongue. Then he’d work his way down her body the same to every last square inch of her—

  “Right?” she asked.

  He blinked. So busy thinking about what he wanted to do to her, about the sounds she might make as he worked her over with his tongue, he’d not heard a word she’d said. “Right.”

  She nodded and . . . walked away.

  Wait—what the hell? He grabbed her hand and just barely stopped her. “Where are you going?”

  “I just said I really should go and you said right.”

  Not about to admit he hadn’t listened to a word she’d said because he’d been too busy mentally fucking her, he just held onto her hand. “But you’re the Fun Whisperer. You have to stay and save me, otherwise I’ll go back to work.”

  “A real wild man,” she said with a smile.

  He gave another tug on her hand. She was already right there but she shifted in closer, right up against him.

  She sighed, as if the feel of him was all she’d wanted, and then she froze. Her eyes were wide and just a little bit anxious now as she stared into his. “Uh oh.”

  Granted, it’d been awhile but that wasn’t the usual reaction he got when he pulled a woman in close. “Problem?”

  “No.” She bit her lower lip. “Maybe.”

  “Tell me.”

  She hesitated and then said, “My mom taught me to show not tell.” And then her hands went to his chest, one of them right over the Band-Aid, which she touched gently, running her fingers over it as if she wished she could take away the pain. “I just need to see something . . .”

  “What?”

  Her gaze dropped to his mouth and again she hesitated.

  Tenderness mixed with his sudden pervasive hunger and need, a dizzying combination for a guy who prided himself on not feeling much. “Pru—”

  “Shh a second,” she whispered. And then closing the gap, she brushed her lips over his.

  At the connection, he groaned, loving the way her hands tightened on him. She murmured his name, a soft plea and yet somehow also a demand, and he wanted to both smile and tug her down to the couch. Trying to cool his jets, trying to let her stay in charge, he attempted to hold back, but she let out this breathy little whimper like he was the best thing she’d ever tasted. Threading his fingers through her hair, he took over the kiss, slow, deeper now, until she let out another of those delicious little whimpers and practically climbed his body.

  Yeah, she liked that, a whole hell of a lot, and he closed his arms hard around her, lifting her up against him for more. He’d known they had something but this . . . this rocked his world. Hers too because they both melted into it, tongues sliding, lips melding, bodies arching into each other in a slow rhythm.

  The door to the office suddenly opened and Sean stood there, face tilted down to his iPad. “We’ve gotta problem with inventory—” he said, still reading. “Where the hell’s the—Oh,” he said, finally looking up. “Shit. Now I owe Spence twenty bucks.”

  Finn resisted smashing in his brother’s smug smile, barely, mostly because he didn’t want to take his eyes off Pru who’d brought her fingers up to her still wet lips, looking more than a little dazed.

  Join my club, babe . . .

  “Sorry if I interrupted the sexy times,” Sean said, not looking sorry at all. He smiled at Pru. “Hey, Trouble.”

  “Hey,” she said, blushing. “I’ve got to go.” She turned in a slow circle, clearly looking for her purse, finding it where he’d dropped it on the couch. She slung it over her shoulder and without actually making eye contact with either of them, said a quick “’night” and headed to the door.

  Finn caught her, brushing up against her back. “Let me walk you home—”

  “I live only two flights up,” she said, not looking at him. “Not necessary.”

  Right. But it was more than her safety he’d been worried about. She’d been with him during that kiss, very with him, but now there was a distance again and he wanted to breach it.

  “If there’s any complications from where I tried to kill you,” she said to the door. “You need to—”

  “I won’t. I’m fine.” He let his mouth brush her ear as he spoke and he could feel the shiver wrack her body.

  “Okay then,” she said shakily, and was gone.

  Finn turned to Sean.

  Who was grinning. “Look at you with all the moves. They grow up so fast.”

  “You ever hear of a thing called knocking?” Finn asked.

  Sean shrugged. “Where’s the fun in that?”

  “Is everything about fun?”

  “Yes!” Sean said, tossing up his hands. “Now you’re getting it!”

  Finn turned away and eyed the spot between the couch and the desk where he’d just about dragged Pru down to the floor and ended his long dry spell by sinking into her warm, sweet body. “What’s the problem with the inventory?”

  “It’s down, the whole system’s down.”

  Finn snatched the iPad and swiped the screen to access the data. “And you’re just now telling me? Are you kidding me?”

  “Yes,” Sean said.

  Finn lifted his head and stared at Sean. “What?”

  His brother flashed a grin. “Yes I’m kidding. Funning around. Fucking with your head. I came back here because Archer and Spence sent me in here to spy on you and Trouble. We bet twenty bucks. They thought you might be making a rare move.”

  Jesus.

  “Not me though,” Sean said. “I figured you’re so rusty you’d need some pointers. And here’s your first one—lock the door, man. Always.”

  Finn headed toward him but Sean danced away with a grin. “Oh and pointer number two—you got your shirt off and that’s a good start, but it’s the pants that are the important part.” He was chortling, having a great ol’ time.

  Finn smiled at him, shoved him out the door, and slammed it on his smug-ass face.

  Then he hit the lock.

  “Now you lock it?” Sean asked through the wood, rattling the handle. “Hey. You do know I nap on that couch. Tell me you didn’t do it on the couch.”

  Finn turned away and headed to his desk.

  Sean pounded on the door once. “You didn’t, right?”

  Finn put on his earphones and cranked some music on his phone. And then headed to his desk to wade through the mountain of work waiting on him.

  Pru got to work extra early the next morning. It was month end and though Jake did his best to see that his boat captains didn’t drown in paperwork, some of it was unavoidable. She wanted to catch up but she hadn’t slept well and her eyes kept crossing. Finally, she caved and set her head down on her desk.

  Just for a minute, she told herself . . .

  Finn pressed his body to hers and she moaned as his hands stroked up her sides, his thumbs brushing over her nipples. She arched into him and he kissed her like it was an art form, like he had nothing more important to do than arouse her and he had all the time in the world to do it. She clutched at him and he ground his lower body into her, letting her feel how aggressively hard he was. Aching for him, she tangled her hands in his hair, kissing him deeper until he groaned into her mouth. “Please,”
she begged.

  “Hell yeah, I’ll please.” His voice was sexy rough and she held tight, anchoring her hips against his as he slid a hand down her belly and into her panties.

  He groaned again and she knew why. She was wet and on fire for him.

  Breaking the kiss, he nibbled her ear. “Pru,” he said in that deliciously gruff tone. “You have to wake up.”

  She jerked awake and sat straight up, realizing she’d fallen asleep at her desk doing the dreaded paperwork. “Wha . . .?” she managed.

  Finn was crouched at her side, fully dressed, and breathing a little ragged.

  And that’s when she realized something else—her hand was stroking what felt like a very impressive erection behind his jeans.

  She snatched it back like she’d been burned and he dropped his head and gave a rough laugh. Ignoring how his laugh did funny things to her belly and parts south, she cleared her throat. “Sorry.”

  “Don’t be. Best greeting ever.”

  “Okay, that was your fault,” she muttered, her face heating. “That’s what you get for waking me from a deep sleep.”

  “I’m not sure if you could call that sleep.” He lifted his head. He was smiling, the smug jerk. “Jake let me in, pointed me in the direction of your office, which was unlocked. You were moaning and sweaty. I moved in to see if you were okay and you molested me.”

  She groaned and thunked her head to her desk a couple of times. “Why are you here?” she moaned. “Other than to rudely wake me up from the only action I’ve had in far too long?”

  He laughed. Laughed. She gave some thought to killing him but then she realized he was holding a brown bag from which came the most delicious scent.

  “Stopped by the waffle shop for breakfast,” he said and lifted the bag. “Thought of you.”

  She went still. “Chocolate and raspberry syrup?” she asked hopefully, willing to let bygones be bygones for a sugar and carb load.

  “Of course.”

  She didn’t ask how he knew her kryptonite. Everyone she knew worshipped at the magical griddle inside the magical food cart outside their building that a woman named Rayna ran. Pru snatched the bag from Finn and decided to forgive him. “Do not think that this means we will be reenacting what I was dreaming about.”

  “Absolutely not,” he said.

  She paused, her gut sinking to her toes unexpectedly. “Because you don’t think of me that way?”

  He paused as if carefully considering his next words, and she braced herself. She was good at rejection, real good, she reminded herself.

  Apparently deciding against speaking at all, Finn rose to his full height. Since she was still in her chair, this put her face right about level with the part of his anatomy she’d had a grip on only a moment before.

  He was still hard.

  “Does this look like disinterest to you?”

  She swallowed hard. “No.”

  “Any further questions?”

  “Nope,” she managed. “No further questions.”

  Nodding, he leaned over her and brushed his mouth across hers. “Ball’s in your court,” he said and then he was gone.

  Chapter 8

  #AllTheCoolKidsAreDoingIt

  Pru got up the next morning at the usual time even though it was her day off. She pulled on her tank top and yoga capris and shoved her feet into her running shoes. “I hate running,” she said to the room.

  The comforter on her bed shifted slightly and she pulled it back to reveal Thor, eyes closed.

  “I know you’re faking,” she said.

  His eyes squeezed tight.

  “Sorry, buddy, you’re coming with me. I ate that entire huge waffle Finn brought me yesterday. And I realize you don’t care if you can fit into a pair of skinny jeans without your belly rolling over the waistband, and you don’t even know who Finn is, but trust me, you wouldn’t have been able to resist him or the waffle either.”

  Thor didn’t budge.

  “A doggie biscuit,” she said cajolingly. “If you get up right now I’ll give you a doggie biscuit.”

  Nothing. This was probably because he knew as well as she did that she was out of doggie biscuits. She would have just left him home alone but the last time she’d done that, he’d pooped in her favorite boots—which had most definitely taken some time and effort on his part.

  “Fine.” She tossed up her hands. “I’ll buy biscuits today, okay? And we’ll go see Jake too.”

  At the name, Thor perked up. He knew that Jake kept dog cookies in his desk so he lifted his head, panting happily, one ear up and the other flopped over and into his eye.

  She had to smile. “You’re the cutest boot pooper I’ve ever seen. Now let’s hit it. We’re going to run first if it kills us.”

  Thor hefted out a sigh that was bigger than he was but got up. She clipped his Big Dog leash on him, and off they went.

  They ran through Fort Mason, along the trail above the water. Not that they could see the water today. The early morning fog had slid in so that Pru felt like she had a huge ball of cotton around her head. They came out at the eastern waterfront of the Port of San Francisco, constructed on top of an engineered seawall on reclaimed land that gave one of the most gorgeous views of the bay.

  It was here that Thor refused to go another step. He sat and then plopped over and lay right in front of her feet.

  A guy running the opposite way stopped short. “Did you just kill your dog?”

  “No, he doesn’t like to run,” she said.

  Clearly not believing her, he started to bend down to Thor, who suddenly found a reserve of energy—or at least enough to lift his head and bare his teeth at the strange man who’d dared to get too close.

  The guy jumped back, tripped over his own feet, and fell on his ass.

  “Oh my God. Are you all right?” she asked.

  He leapt back up, shot her a dirty look, and ran off.

  “Sorry,” she called after him and then glared down at Thor. “You do know that one of these days someone’s going to call animal control on me and get you taken away, right?”

  He closed his eyes.

  “Come on, get up.” She nudged him with her foot. “We’ve got a little bit more calorie annihilating to do.”

  Thor didn’t budge an inch except to give her the low growl now.

  “You know what? Fine. We’ll risk not fitting into our bathing suits. I don’t like swimming anyway,” she said, happy enough for the excuse to stop. They walked the rest of the way to the Aquatic Park Pier, which curved out into the bay, giving the illusion of standing out on the water.

  A wind kicked up and she was glad to not be out on the water. “Going to be choppy,” she said. Which meant at least one person per tour would get seasick. Not that it was her problem. “No throw-up on my calendar today.”

  Thor, comfy in her lap, licked her chin. He didn’t mind throw-up. Or poo. The grosser the better in his opinion. Setting the dog down, she craned her neck and took in the sight of Ghirardelli Square behind them. It wasn’t out of her way to walk over there, but if she did she’d buy chocolate and then she’d have to run tomorrow too. She was debating that when Thor was approached by a pigeon who was nearly bigger than he was.

  Thor went utterly still, not moving a single muscle, the whites of his eyes showing.

  The pigeon stopped, cocked its head, and then made a faux lunge at Thor.

 

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