The moment she glanced out of the peephole, her heart stopped. It was Jared. She hadn’t expected him back until late Friday. Taking a deep breath she slowly opened the door. “Jared, you’re back.”
He leaned in the doorway, and they stared at each other for a moment before he said, “Yes, I finished up earlier than expected but I haven’t made it home yet. I thought I would drop by here first.”
Dana was curious why he would come by her place before going home. The only thing she could think of was that maybe he’d heard about her having lunch with his mother and wanted an update. But then he could have called her to get that information. She cocked her head and looked at him. He stood in front of her door with such a strong, manly presence, she barely found her voice to say, “Come on in.”
Jared sighed deeply as soon as he walked into Dana’s home and the door closed behind him. Her expression had indicated that she was surprised that he had come straight from the airport. Hell, he was surprised himself. He had missed her like crazy and the only thing he could think of was that when the plane landed he had to see her.
He looked at her, thinking that the late-afternoon sun that shone through the living-room window seemed to make Dana all aglow. He could only stand there and stare at her, thinking just how beautiful she looked while wearing a pair of shorts and a T-shirt that said I’m Yours. Boy did he wish. Every fiber in his body stirred at the thought.
Being alone with her was causing his brain to short-circuit and he felt heat slowly move around in his belly. He breathed in her womanly scent and watched all the questions that were forming in the depths of her dark eyes.
“Did you miss me?” he finally asked. Needing to know. Wanting to know. Hoping like hell that she did and at the same time not understanding why he cared if she had or hadn’t.
Dana tried shoving aside the shiver that raced up her body. Yes, she had missed him. Damn him for asking. It didn’t take much to recall what happened the last time they were together, in this very same room—the heated kiss that had had her tasting him for days afterward. She could lie to him and say that she hadn’t missed him or she could tell the truth.
But first, before she would admit to anything, she had a question of her own. “Did you miss me?”
Slow amusement lit the depths of Jared’s dark eyes at the way Dana had turned the tables so he would be answering her question instead of her answering his. He smiled. She was about to get an answer he doubted she was ready for. But she had asked.
“Oh, yeah, I missed you. I thought about you every day, although I didn’t want to. I also dreamed about you every night, and in those dreams I did all those things that you aren’t ready for me to do. I made you realize how wonderful it can be when two people—the right two people—make love.”
He crossed his arms over his chest and after a short moment of silence he said, “Okay, I’ve answered your question so how about answering mine. Did you miss me?”
They stood facing each other, both intently aware that something had shifted between them. They were doing more than wavering on the edge; they were hanging on for dear life. The chemistry between them was more powerful than ever, explosive, and deliriously potent. At that very moment, Dana wondered what could be the worst thing to happen if she told him she had missed him, and with the same intensity he’d claimed and so vividly stated.
She had also dreamed about him each night and each time he had invaded her sleep he had made love to her. In the deep unconsciousness of her mind she had easily and willingly given everything to him and he had pleasured her in ways she could only imagine. She had felt safe in knowing that when she awoke, she could face reality. But a secret part of her yearned to see how close her dreams were to the real thing. Could he actually make her reach an orgasm that many times? Even reaching one would be a first for her.
He reclaimed her attention. “Yes?”
“I asked if you missed me,” he said softly.
Yes, he had. And she would try to answer him, although not in the same depth that he’d done. “Yes, I missed you. And I dreamed about you, too.” She watched as his nostrils flared and she heard his quick intake of breath.
He slowly uncrossed his arms. “And in these dreams…”
Dana tilted her head and looked at him. “That’s for me to know.”
A smile touched the corners of his lips as he took a couple of steps toward her. “And for me to find out?”
She held his gaze. “I doubt that you can.”
Jared lifted a dark eyebrow and Dana immediately knew her mistake. She had given him a challenge.
She couldn’t help but let her gaze lower to his fly and felt herself stirred by what she saw. He was an unashamed, very aroused man. She swallowed deeply and snatched her gaze back to his face. She tried desperately to remember the last conversation they’d had here in this house. Hadn’t it been a mere five days ago? But for the life of her, her mind was getting fuzzy, heated and filled with more desire than she could handle.
“I thought we decided not to complicate things,” she said, trying to hold on to her sanity as much as she could.
Another smile curved his lips. “Finding out just what kind of dreams you had is the most uncomplicated thing I’ll ever do. Uncomplicated and very satisfying for the both of us.”
Dana saw the look of intent in his eyes and took a step back. She folded her arms beneath her breasts. “I won’t sleep with you, Jared.”
She saw him lift another eyebrow as he regarded her. She realized too late that she had made another mistake because she had intentionally given him another challenge.
“And I told you, Dana, that I won’t push you into doing anything you aren’t ready for.”
She frowned slightly. “And what do you think you’re doing now if not pushing.”
He lifted a shoulder in a shrug. “Making an attempt to destroy your theory that sex is overrated. But, I don’t have to sleep with you to do that.”
Dana swallowed, saw the intensity in his gaze. She believed him. Now she understood why he was one of the most successful attorneys in Atlanta. “You’re smooth,” she decided to say, meaning every word. He was using every weapon at his disposal to break down her defenses. There was the huskiness of his voice, the look of heated desire in his eyes and his very obviously aroused body. Even his stance was provocatively sexy.
“I’m also thorough, Dana.”
She swallowed again and wondered why on earth was he making this difficult? But then another part of her couldn’t help but be curious. Could he really prove that sex wasn’t overrated without sleeping with her? What would he do to prove it? Just thinking about what approach he might use stirred her up. Boy, was she tempted to find out. And his penetrating stare wasn’t helping matters. He was definitely rattling her resolve and kicking good common sense straight out the window.
“You once asked me how you would know when you were ready for me, Dana,” he said softly, reclaiming her attention—not that he’d fully lost it. “You might not be ready to sleep with me but I think you’re ready for this. What do you think?”
Dana sighed. How could she know if she was ready for this, when she didn’t have a clue what this entailed. But she did know that whatever it was, it would be something she would regret not experiencing if she sent him away.
Her gaze swept over him thoroughly one more time before she made her decision. “I think you might be right.”
He nodded slowly. “It’s your call.”
There was considerable silence. Then finally, Dana retraced the distance between them and stood before him, met his gaze, held it. Everything inside of her stirred with heated lust. “Then I’m making it.”
Jared smiled. He liked everything about her—her smile, her body, her mind. He shook his head. Forget about what he liked. It was time to focus on what he wanted. Dana Rollins was one hell of a seductive woman.
And he wanted her.
He had told her they wouldn’t sleep together, but he intended to drive her as far over the edge as she could go. “Do you trust me, Dana?”
She nodded, realizing what he was asking and why he was asking it. She stared deeply into his eyes when she answered. “Yes, I trust you.”
“Good.” And then without wasting any more time, he swept her into his arms and quickly moved in the direction of her bedroom.
“But—but you said we wouldn’t sleep together.”
He gazed down at her. “We’re not. We’re going to play a game.”
She clutched the front of his jacket to hold on to since he was walking so fast. “A game?”
“Yeah. My version of Red Light, Green Light.”
Jared smiled thinking of the possibilities as he placed her on her bed. He was glad Tom was nowhere around, and just to make sure the cat didn’t show up later, Jared walked over to the bedroom door and closed it.
He sighed when he turned back to Dana and saw the look of uncertainty in her eyes. He had to remain composed for both their sakes. “Do you want to change your mind about this?” he asked softly, respecting her doubts and fears. It wasn’t about taking care of his body’s needs but rather, introducing her to how wonderful things could be between a man and a woman.