Read Just about sex Online

Authors: Ann Christopher

Just about sex (page 3)

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Something inside Alex’s stomach twisted and coiled like a mattress spring. Snatching up his legal pad, he jammed it in his briefcase, furious with her—and himself. What was his problem? Ever since he’d laid eyes on that woman, he’d been a stuttering, upset-stomached fool. Well, enough was enough. He needed to get back to the office and he couldn’t—

“Mr. Greene?” Simone called sweetly as the last of the committee members streamed out and shut the doors behind them. “Can I talk to you for a minute?”

Alex perked up and forgot all about leaving. Intrigued, he straightened and watched her. “What is it?”

The polite, civilized mask she’d worn throughout the meeting disappeared before his eyes. Her face twisted into a snarling mass of wild, glaring eyes and bared teeth. “You can tell me what thehellyou think you’re doing with this little Web site!” she screeched, waving a hand at her laptop. “What are you trying to pull?”

Adrenaline flowed through his veins, warming him. This was more like it! Giving her what he hoped was a perplexed smile, he strolled to her end of the table. “Simone! What are you talking about?”

Trembling, she jammed her fists on her hips. “What am I talking about?” she shouted. “Don’t you jerk me around, Greene—”

“Alex.”

“—you know good and well I’m talking about this blog you set up to ruin my career!”

Leaning down, he turned her laptop to face him. Sure enough, it was open to his blog. She’d no doubt spent the meeting perusing some of his hits. Taking a minute, he pretended to read it. He especially liked the signature:“Alexander.”He thought that’d been a nice touch.

Finally he straightened and turned to look at her. With great difficulty he kept a blank face. “What makes you think this ismyblog?”

Her eyes popped, threatening to shoot across the room and bounce off the far wall. “What makes me think?” she shrieked, choking the words out, her arms flying wide. “You threatened me! It saysAlexander!Don’t you think that’s a clue?”

Again he leaned down and studied the screen. Straightening, he shrugged. “But the name is in quotes. Didn’t you tell me that means the name has been changed?”

She growled with fury and for a fascinating second he thought she’d actually lunge for him. Temporarily stalemated, he took the opportunity to stare at her up close. Wide, bright eyes. Flushed cheeks and neck. The tops of her velvety breasts heaving. Smooth, sleek arms and legs. Incredible. He hadn’t seen a woman like this in a long time, if ever.

Taking a deep breath, she seemed to calm herself a little although she still vibrated with anger. “You did this. People are writing in, making fun of me. Making sexual innuendos. You did this. I can find out.”

His gaze had locked on her dewy lips but now he forced himself to look away. “Blogs are free speech, Simone,” he said, his voice unexpectedly hoarse and low. “And if someone has their own server, they’re almost impossible to regulate. It’s like the Wild West out there.”

“You’re usingmyimage without my permission.”

“You’re a public figure.” He hesitated before he continued, but he wanted her to know. “And it’smyimage. I drew it.”

That seemed to take her aback. She stared long and hard, obviously deciding what to do. “I could sue you.”

His gaze slipped to her lips again, then to her breasts. He jerked it away. “I think that would only make it worse, don’t you? And what was that you said about sticks and stones? Don’t you think you should just get over it?”

She cried out. “What do you want? A pound of flesh?” She held her arms out, exposing her wrists. “Should I just go ahead and open up a vein? Would that do it?What do you want?”

He stepped closer, his body greedily absorbing the heat from hers. All logic fled. “I want an apology. And I want you.”

Chapter 4

Simone gripped the back of the chair to keep from falling over backward in astonishment. “You…wantme?”

Greene’s glittering gaze went back to her mouth. Now she knew why he’d been staring at it; before his pronouncement she’d begun to wonder if she had egg salad smeared on the corner of her lips. “Yes.”

“You’re joking.”

“Why wouldn’t I want you?” He looked her up and down again. “You’ve got great skin. Great eyes.” His husky voice dropped an octave. “Amazing lips. My mouth waters every time I look at your breasts and butt—”

Simone gulped. To her outrage, her skin now seemed to burn from the inside out. His undisguised hunger was a potent aphrodisiac, more powerful than champagne, caviar and chocolates.

“—and even though I like women with wider hips than yours, you’d still give me quite a bit to hold on to.”

Simone flinched as if a big glob of bird poop had fallen from the sky and landed on her head, breaking his spell. Too flabbergasted to speak, she could only gape.

What just happened here? Did this man list her body parts like options for a Lexus coupe he wanted to buy? And, worse, had she been just the tiniest bit turned on by his low voice and hot eyes? And had she just been insulted?

Opening her mouth, she reached deep inside and found her voice. “Now wait just one minute,” she began, pointing her finger in his face. “My hips are not—”

Shoving his hands in his pants pockets, he shrugged and sat on the edge of the table, putting some welcome distance between them. “Don’t worry, Simone. You’re safe with me. I don’t plan to do anything about it.”

Speechless again, her mouth fell open.

Ducking his head, he smiled ruefully. “It wouldn’t be a very smart idea. I have a few issues I need to work out. Women seem to get very attached to me, and then when things don’t work out they get really pissed off.”

Simone stared.

“In fact, I thought I’d call a few of my exes and find out what part I played in the relationship not working.” He sighed. “Plus you and I don’t really even like each other, do we? So it would be illogical for me to sleep with you. It wouldn’t go anywhere and I don’t want you to get hurt like the others.”

For a stunned moment, Simone stood, frozen, as she replayed his words in her head and verified that he’d actually said what she thought he’d said. Then she studied his face and saw only earnest, though arrogant, openness.

It hit her then. He actually believed this crap. He actually thought he was protecting her from his fatal charms by not seducing her. This was not a joke.

A bubble of amusement rose up her throat and exploded. Throwing her head back, she guffawed. At first Greene looked stricken, but then his brows flattened and lowered over his eyes. She tried to control herself, but it was impossible. When her sides began to hurt, she doubled over and wrapped her arms around her waist. Finally her laughter died away, and she straightened. Wiping the tears from her cheeks, she focused on Greene’s glowering face.

“I told you once before,” he said, his voice deep and controlled, but unmistakably angry, “that I d-don’t like being laughed at.”

Sudden fury took over, overwhelming all her senses and making her vibrate with adrenaline. She marched up to stand in his face. “I don’t know who you think you are,” she snarled, “but let me tell you something. Idon’tlike you. You know why? I’ll give you three good reasons.”

His face turned to stone.

“First, you’re the most arrogant man I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet in my life. Second—”

Greene made a low, growling sound.

“—you’re trying to ruin my career. And third, there’s obviously a microchip missing in your brain.” She tapped the side of her head with an index finger. “You don’t have the first idea how to talk to women. I’ll bet if we marched a hundred of your exes in here, they’d all say the same thing: you have a tiny penisandyou’re clueless.”

Greene’s mouth twisted into a silent snarl.

“So since I know you’re operating at a serious deficit, I want to make this as clear as possible. We’re not going to sleep together becauseIdon’t want to sleep withyou.I would rather join a convent and take vows than sleep withyou.I would rather expose myself to flesh-eating bacteria than sleep withyou.I willneversleep withyou.Do you understand me?”

For several seconds they stared at each other in mutual loathing. Neither of them blinked. Finally, a feral smile pulled back the corners of his mouth, making him look like he was baring fangs at her. Simone braced for the worst.

“That’s the second time you’ve underestimated me, Simone,” he said, his purring voice at complete odds with the furious light in his eyes. “Maybeyou’rethe slow learner here.”

She snorted.

He studied his nails as if bored. “You may be interested to know I only set up that blog to teach you a little lesson in manners and responsibility. I’d planned to take it down right away, as soon as you apologized. But now I think I’ll keep it up for a while. See what turns up. Do you understandme?”

Her stomach plummeted to her knees. Could it be true? Had he really planned to take it down? Whirling away, she unplugged her laptop and blindly began wrapping up the cord. “I’m not apologizing. I’llneverapologize, not toyou.My reputation is solid. You can’t hurt me with your stupid little blog. Do what you want.”

“Oh, I will, Simone. I will. And…Simone?” He waited until she stopped what she was doing and glared up at him.

Several beats passed, and then, to her agonized astonishment, he touched her. Without looking away, he slid his warm fingers—slowly,slowly—down her bare arm to the tender skin of her wrist, leaving a raging trail of goose bumps in his wake.

A thousand times she could have moved out of reach, but didn’t. Unthinkably, she shivered. Pools of desire collected in her breasts and sex, wetting her panties and hazing her vision. She wanted this awful man. Yes, she did. The appalling realization wrenched her to her senses and she jerked away.

Too late. A knowing light appeared in his smoldering eyes. “I’ve changed my mind about sleeping with you,” he murmured. “Wewillhave sex. Sooner or later. Count on it.”

Completely unraveled, Simone snatched up her open briefcase and, trailing papers, rushed out of the room.

 

That evening, Alex paced his small foyer and got more agitated with each step. He glanced at his watch: seven-fifteen. Great. Tonya was late and getting later by the second. He should have known. Chronic tardiness was one of the many reasons he’d ended their relationship last year. That, her tendency to cling to him like a staticky sock fresh out of the dryer, and her annoying, whiny voice had, in the end, outweighed the fact that she’d been a gymnast in bed.

In the months since he’d last seen her, he hadn’t thought about her once, until the other day when he’d decided to audit his exes. Tonya was the last woman he’d had more than a one-night stand with—ergo, he’d serve her a drink, ask her a few questions which he hoped she’d answer, then get her out of his home so he could think.

About Simone.

He’d lost his cool today. Again. For the second time, that woman had turned him into a seething, stuttering mass of hormones. Worse, she’d laughed at him.

And what had he done?

Well, he hadn’t stayed detached, that’s for sure. He’d subjected himself to being ignored for an hour, and he strongly suspected that if she scheduled another meeting tomorrow, he’d happily rocket back to her so she could ignore him again. He’d told her how beautiful he thought she was. How much he wanted her.

Worst of all, he’d committed to keeping up that stupid Web site, which was the last thing he wanted to do. Some of the people writing in had said some really nasty things about Simone. One guy went into graphic detail about how he’d like to get her into bed and conduct a firsthand test of her qualifications for writing a sex column.

Alex didn’t want to embarrass Simone any further—embarrassing her was a pretty good way to make sure she never got inhisbed—but what else could he do? She’d laughed at and challenged him, and she refused to apologize. He couldn’t let that go unanswered.

But why? He had no idea.

Leaving the foyer, he went down the hall to his office, turned on the desk lamp, slid open the top drawer and pulled out his sketchpad. He’d always drawn—for fun and to relax—always been good at it, and always had a sketchpad nearby. But he’d never been so occupied with a single subject. Inside, in his bold, gray-and-black charcoal hand, was page after page of his Simone drawings—the ones he’d rejected for use on the Web site. The ones showing her as she really looked. Simone angry. Simone angrier.

He flipped a couple more pages and found the one he’d done tonight right when he got home from work, the sketch he’d felt compelled to draw before he took his shower—even before he ate his dinner: soft, passionate Simone with heavy-lidded eyes, flushed cheeks and plump, dewy lips. The one he’d only glimpsed when he touched her silky arm. He’d had to draw her to make sure she really existed. To make sure he hadn’t imagined her shivering response to him. He hadn’t.

She’d laughed at him, which he hated. All his life he’d been awkward with people and he supposed that would never change because he was too honest. He said what he thought, without filtering it. She’d laughed. Well, fine.

Of course he didn’t know her well—yet—but he knew her well enough to know she filtered her words and thoughts enough for both of them. Simone rarely allowed herself an unguarded moment. But when he’d touched her today,thatwas real. Maybe she’d die a thousand gruesome deaths before she’d admit it, but shedidwant him. He knew it.

That was why the audit was so important to him. Because of Simone. She was wrong about him, and he wanted to prove it by gathering evidence from his old girlfriends, and then throwing it in her face. His pride demanded it.

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