She smiled. “Welcome to Australia, I hope you enjoy your stay with us.” As though flipping the switch to chairperson mode, she managed to conduct herself in a professional manor despite her mind stooping to the gutter.
“Thank you for inviting me.” The liquid-smooth voice was heavily accented like a caress. “It certainly is colder here than in Boston.”
Sasha nodded. Was he seriously making small talk about the weather?
Janet, the group facilitated called them to order, much to Sasha’s relief, as she took her seat beside Bev.
“Before we get started with readings this morning, I’d like to welcome Jed to our usually women’s only group.” Janet giggled.
Not her too. She stopped herself from groaning aloud. One day she was going to thank them for creating such a scene. It was cute, really, but she hoped by the time she reached their age she’d written the flirt out of her system.
“Jed, would you like to tell us about yourself and your writing?”
He flashed a smile. “Thank you,” he drawled.
Sasha could almost hear the inner sigh. If she was feeling it, there was no doubt by the look on the faces of the others they too were experiencing something similar.
She heard, but didn’t listen. Staying for a month…new novel…and that laugh, deep and throaty. The sound vibrated through her and she wished she could leave, already.
Perhaps Janet’s subtle comment about being an only women’s group would be enough to deter him from returning in the coming weeks. At least her muse had spiked, aching to claw its way to the surface, becoming a more productive morning than she anticipated.
Writing was good, the perfect distraction from the lack of action in her own life, channeling her frustration to her heroine. In his presence for less than half an hour, and already referring to herself as frustrated.She really needed to get out more.
“So how did you earn the title most esteemed in the group?” Jed cornered her in the kitchen at the end of morning tea break, after she’d managed to avoid a direct conversation with him.
“The name stuck after she received her thirteenth book contract,” Bev announced, as she dropped her mug into the sink.
Jed raised his eyebrows, and the creasing appeared.
Did he practice the expression before a mirror so as to know the exact angle to tilt his head, for maximum affect, every time?
“I hope you were warm enough in your cabin last night.” Two could play the weather card.
He smirked, as though aware she was trying to change the subject. She thought he might ignore her attempt, but he hesitated long enough for her to direct her attention toward Bev.
“We should be getting back to work, shouldn’t we?”
“I’ll let you ladies get back to it. I too should be working.” His smile left her wishing he never had to leave.
Foolishness. Too many works of fiction had converted her from skeptic to romantic. While she would allow herself to indulge in fantasizing enough to build a believable plot, that was it. She was the chairperson. Getting involved with a guest was not an option, no matter how deliciously tempting he might be.
“Oh, but you will join us again, won’t you?” Bev smiled, and looked from Jed to her. It wasn’t hard to guess she was playing cupid.
“How could a man resist such an offer?” He dipped his head as a gentleman would to a lady. He was really quite charming, however, she suspected referring to him as a gentleman would be a stretch. The glint in his eye left her longing to learn more.
Sasha tried to focus as each group member took her turn reading, but her mind wandered to the premature plotline itching to be developed.
Perhaps having the professor in the house wasn’t going to be such a terrible thing after all.
Overwhelmed with a sense of relief when the session came to an end, she stood and, after a quick goodbye, rushed back to the office. To her relief, the downward slope made for an easy escape.
She managed to refrain from bursting through the office door, half expecting Terri to be on the phone or assisting another member. She wasn’t.
“What’s so funny?” Sasha frowned when Terri greeted her with a hearty laugh.
“Honestly, if you could see your face, you’d be laughing too. Cute huh?”
“A little bit of warning would’ve been nice.”
“It wouldn’t have been very professional of me if I had’ve elaborated on his appearance over his literary worth.” Terri giggled.
“Okay, so he’s intelligent, but since when did poets start looking like that? He looks like he just stepped off the page and into a Nicholas Sparks movie.”
Terri’s eyes widened.
“What? You can’t deny it. He’s too perfect. Intimidating even. He looks like a movie star, with the mind of William Shakespeare, and the body—let’s not go there—let’s not even begin to imagine.”
“Oh, why not? it was just starting to get interesting.”
Sasha spun around, her face inches from Jed’s. “On that note, I will be going.” Her cheeks heated, and she knew she’d be glowing like an ember, an experience reserved for awkward teenagers. It wasn’t any wonder the teen depression rate was growing.
“Will you be writing my review for the website? Because what you just said would be perfect.”
Not a single nerve ending was safe as Jed’s sexy American drawl lured her attention. Her skin pricked, and she moistened as visions of his mouth upon her body intensified her growing appetite for him. Why did he seem to hold such power?
Again, she tried to pay attention, to focus on his words, and not of those he’d whispered, threatening to cuff and spank her. The idea appealed, shocking even herself. Sure she’d written about it, and she was as far from a prude could be, but the act had never crossed her mind as one she’d allow. At that moment she’d settle for the caress of his hand upon her ass if it were the only contact on offer.
The air thickened between them and the urge to leave had never been so prominent as that moment. “Dan, excuse me, please.” Sasha stood, but stooped so as not to block the view too much of the people behind.
“Do you want me to come with you?” Dan whispered louder than she was comfortable with.
She shook her head.
His hand, as he guided her past him, brushed across her ass. Looking to the front, she suspected Jed, too, saw, as he watched her. Their eyes locked, he didn’t falter as the words flowed like gentle caresses. Sucking in a breath, she escaped to the bathroom where she remained until long after his speech was over.
* * * *
“I’m ready whenever you are.” Jed came up behind her and whispered, his mouth close to her ear.
Tilting her head, he caught the scent of her skin and inhaled. She nodded. “I’ll just say goodnight to Professor Hendrick.”
“Of course.” Jed followed alongside, nodding his goodbye to the guests who waved or smiled in his direction. Sasha, the only one who hadn’t spent the night falling all over him—beside her fellow suitor—seemed oblivious to the attention.
“Sasha, my love, are you off?”
“Yes, thank you, Professor for yet another lovely evening.” She leaned forward, taking his hands in hers and offered a kiss to both his cheeks.
Jed glanced down, the pull of the fabric of her dress across her ass caught his eye. How he longed to caress, or grip her flesh. After being dismissed by her all evening, to spank her bare ass would be a more appealing option.
“Jed.” Professor Hendrick offered his hand. “Pleasure to meet you, and if you’re ever in Perth long enough we’d be honored if you’d consider lecturing for us.”
Jed shook his hand. “Thank you, I appreciate a most tempting offer.” Never had he considered the opportunity of staying longer to present itself so readily, certainly giving him something to consider.
As they walked to the carpark neither of them spoke. The strain between them was obvious, but that didn’t stop him from wanting her.
Once inside the car, he couldn’t hold his curiosity any longer. “So who was the suit?”
“Meaning?” She arched one eyebrow and glanced in his direction as she started the car.
“Don’t play with me, Sasha. I’m not in the mood for games.”
“What are you in the mood for, Jed?”
Her pout tempted him, as did her nipples he witnessed budding beneath her dress. His cock hardened, and he didn’t bother trying to divert his thoughts. “Honestly?” He didn’t wait for her response. “Are you without knickers as you are a bra?”
The breath she sucked in didn’t go unnoticed, so he continued with the shock therapy. “Right now I’d like to drag them off you, and peel up that sinful dress of yours, and spank you for every time your actions threatened my cock to harden tonight, and then I want to remind you what it’s like to be consumed by me, so no other man teases what I want.”
“Teases—who and how?”
“Didn’t I already tell you I wasn’t in the mood for games?” Jed glared at her. “You know as well as I do, that guy you were sitting in was after one thing and one thing only.”
“Oh, and are you the only one entitled to those thoughts, are you?” she spat back, her temper flaring.
“That’s it, baby, I want you as fired up as you can get.”
“And what makes you think I’m going to allow you anywhere near me?”
He grinned, leaning over. He didn’t bother to caress her leg as he reached up her skirt and fingered her wetness through the silk of her underwear. “Because you want me, as I do you.” He knew she couldn’t argue, especially when she moaned under his touch. Sliding his fingers beneath the fabric he buried two inside her. “I love how wet and responsive you are for me.”
“How do you know it’s not residue left from the suit?” she challenged, as she pulled her car up outside of his cabin.
“Are you coming in?”
Sasha shrugged. “I’m not sure I want to.”
Jed slid his fingers from her, watching as she looked to protest, then stopped. Smearing her juices around her clit, he increased the pace. “I think you do. And, it’d do you good to be spanked.”
Sasha gasped, and he drew his hand away. The temptation to take her then and there on the front seat of the car grew increasingly stronger, but he managed to get a grip. Opening his door he swung from the car, closing the door behind him without so much as a goodbye, certain she would follow him inside.