At the sight of Mark coming through the door, her heart sped up and her stomach knotted. What was he doing here?
Mark was the type of man who could turn ladies’ heads just by walking down the street. Handsome and assertive, he carried himself with a confident gait. She recognized a bad boy when she saw him.
Just the sound of her name on his tongue sent thrills to the deep dark places of her body. It was enough to make her forget everyone and everything. She knew she was grinning like a fool, but she couldn’t help herself. He was just so damned beautiful. And, ooh, he smelled good, too. Something crisp and breezy.
“Hi.” She sounded like a total idiot. “What can I get you?” Besides myself?
He leaned toward her and she felt herself flush. She could really smell him now. It wasn’t right he smelled so good.
“Nothing. Unless you’re on the menu, doll.” His lascivious grin told her he knew what she looked like naked. His gaze traveled down the length of her throat and a ragged breath escaped her. She could see a twinkle of interest as they exchanged heated looks.
Now this was what she was used to—men hitting on her. But she wasn’t used to the response she had and forced away the flutter of activity in her stomach. “I don’t think so.”
“Too bad.” He stood up straight, his gorgeous greenish-gray gaze never leaving hers. “Why don’t you have dinner with me tonight, Cara?”
“Need I remind you I’m dating your brother?” Okay, so she wasn’t officially dating him. But she had the intent to continue to date David. Right?
“So?” He shrugged nonchalantly. It occurred to Cara that even his own brother wasn’t a deterrent to getting what he wanted.
“So the answer is no.”
Mark leaned on his elbow again, peering at her with a mischievous glint. “Are you exclusive?”
“Well…no. I mean, we haven’t discussed it. We had dinner and that’s all.” She gave him a sour look and continued wiping down the counter. “Besides, I don’t think that’s any of your business.”
“One dinner date, eh?” His brow rose in question. “One date doesn’t mean you’re dating. It means you dated. There’s a difference. And anyway, if you haven’t discussed it, you’re still free game.”
“Do you often try to steal your brother’s girlfriends?” Cara tossed the rag aside and propped her hands on her hips.
“Only ones named Cara.” He winked. “And you’re not his girlfriend.”
She scowled. “I don’t think you’re funny.”
“Yes, you do. Don’t pretend you don’t, doll.” He stood up straight and sauntered around the counter to stand toe-to-toe with her.
“And stop calling me doll.” She could smell his faint cologne and resisted the urge to lean in closer for a nose full. Instead, she stood rock still, looking up at his six-foot-three frame. There was something about him that sucked her in. She could lose herself immediately to him and if she wasn’t careful, she would allow herself to do just that.
“You don’t like it?”
She did like it, but she wasn’t about to admit that to him. She shook her head. He was closer now, his head dipping toward hers. “I have a name. I suggest you use it.”
“Why? When ‘doll’ fits you so perfectly.” His hands ran up her arms, leaving her skin tingling in his wake.
“I don’t know what you mean.” Or maybe she did, but she just wanted to hear it. Her heart throbbed madly, despite her attempts to squelch it out.
“I think you do.” His muscular hands wrapped around her biceps and gently pulled her closer.
Cara knew at that second he was going to kiss her and she was going to let him. And oh, she wanted him to so bad. He inched a little closer, his lips a breath away from hers.
“It’s because you’re such a doll.” This he said against her mouth before overtaking her lips.
Oh my stars. Her head spun, all the blood rushing to her feet. If he hadn’t been holding her by the arms, she would have melted into a puddle of jelly.
His mouth was warm, soft, sensual. His tongue delved deep, tangling with hers in a sort of oral duel. Like his mouth was made for hers and they were fusing a long-desired need neither of them realized they had. Her hands landed on his chest. She could feel the outline of his muscular pectorals and briefly wondered what he felt like without a shirt. She inhaled, taking in his heady scent, and all she could think was she wanted her skin to smell like his after a rousing match of Mattress Olympics.
A moan of delight gurgled up her throat. His mouth moved and he bent to trace a searing trail across her jaw and down her neck. He nibbled her earlobe briefly and before she realized what he was doing, one hand landed on her breast, cupping and squeezing enough to make her want to burst from her burning skin.
Did he know what he did to her? Could she even admit to herself there was a slickness between her legs she hadn’t felt in so long? At least not from one little kiss. She could hear her own labored breathing, her chest rising and falling against his. She tried to inhale enough air to sustain her, though she suspected she would suffocate any moment. Blame that one on Mark, since he kept kissing her in a way she had never been kissed before.
A hand tangled in her long hair, tilting her head back. His mouth hovered over hers, his gaze burning with desire. She didn’t want him to stop. Why did he have to stop?
“Sure about that ‘no’?” he asked.
And something told her if she said yes, she’d get more than just dinner.
“I’m sure,” she said. But her words came out on a breathy sigh and she knew it was a lie before she even spoke.
He released her and stepped back and she wished he hadn’t. His body had been warm on hers. “Too bad.”