She’s his best friend’s sister… From cradle to grave, Derek and Keith grew up together, enlisted, served, and rose through the ranks together. When Keith died in the field, the last thing he asked was for Derek to keep watch over his sister. But every time Derek is around Kara, he wants to touch her. A promise stands between them and he refuses to seduce his best friend’s baby sister. Determined to get her out of his mind, he signs up for a one-night stand. He’s the one she wants… Ever since Kara ran into a shirtless Derek, she’s known he was the one. He promised to bring her brother home and he was there for her at his funeral. But he remains unattainable, no matter their chemistry. Frustrated, she takes a girlfriend’s advice and signs up for a one-night stand. The last person they expected… Dressed to kill, Kara doesn’t know whether to scream or cry when Derek turns out to be her date. He’s furious that she’d sign up for a night of sex with a perfect stranger, but together their reunion is combustible and neither can deny the power of their attraction. He may have been her brother’s best friend, but she wants him to be her Marine with Benefits.
He needed to get it together. The night needed to help him purge his demons and have a good time. The waitress delivered his drink, and he swirled the ice around in the glass, watering down the alcohol. An icy hot shiver skated over his skin. Twisting in the seat, he looked toward the entrance in time to see her walk in the door. Every cell in his body leaned in her direction, drawn by the inexorable force of nature named Kara Childs. He’d know her anywhere.
Steel bands squeezed his chest, compressed his lungs, and bruised his heart. She was gorgeous. A red dress hugged her luscious curves, too much so. His dick stood at attention without a second thought for courtesy, commitment, or promises made. And damn if she didn’t make an entrance, her arrival capturing more than a few looks of interest from single men at the bar and a few not-so-single men at tables.
Rising, he crossed the room to her. The moment her gaze collided with his, heat flashed through him. She had no business being out in a dress like that, much less in a club like this.
“What are you doing here?”
“I planned on asking you the same question.” He caught her arm and turned her around, not quite hurrying her back up the red-carpeted steps toward the front door. “And why aren’t you wearing some damn clothes?”
Kara stopped, and unless he planned on picking her up or knocking her over, he had to stop, too. He had to admit the former idea held a certain appeal.
“Let go, Derek.”
“You shouldn’t be here.” He kept his voice low. The scent of plum and flowery blossoms radiating from her skin smelled like coming home.
“Really?” The cold spray of her gaze flicked over him and cooled his ardor. “I live here. What’s your excuse?”
“I’m moving here—moved here.” Yeah, not how he planned to drop that particular bomb. And from her shocked expression, not one she expected either. “I planned to call you.” It was a little too late to apologize. “After I settled in.”
Her chest rose with a swift inhale, and his gaze dropped to the warm, dusky curves of her breasts visible above the strapless line of her dress. That dress suited her. The red set off the rich chocolate of her skin—displaying her like a goddess carved from pure ebony. His cock jerked in his pants, and he was grateful for the lower illumination near the door.
“Well, thanks for the notice.” She made a pretense of ignoring him and surveyed the room. “If you’ll excuse me, I have a date.”
Violence rocketed through him. “With who?” He hadn’t realized he gritted his teeth until he tried to speak.
“With a gentleman named none-of-your-damn-business.” She tugged her arm out of his grasp.
Flushing hot and cold then hot again, he moved to stand next to her and studied the room. Who the hell was she meeting in a place like this? How did she even know the Sybarite Club existed? Keith’s baby sister did not belong in a club like this. “Who are you here to see, Kara?” He bent his head, his lips damn near brushing the warm curve of her ear, half tempting him to kiss it while he was there. Locking down that urge, he ordered his body to knock it off.
She was—and had always been—way out of bounds.