The VIP Doubles Down
Page 43

 Nancy Herkness

  • Background:
  • Text Font:
  • Text Size:
  • Line Height:
  • Line Break Height:
  • Frame:
“We have company.” Allie opened her eyes as Pie tried to find a comfortable way to recline on the abbreviated skirt of her dress. The cat was small, but the dress was smaller, so the cat’s back half was on Allie’s bare skin. Something about the juxtaposition of sweet, cozy cat and tight, slutty spandex made Allie giggle harder.
“That’s not the reaction I was looking for,” Gavin said. But he stroked Pie’s gray fur. The cat’s contented purr vibrated against her thighs.
“I-it’s h-hard to b-be a f-femme fatale with a cat c-curled up on my s-slut dress,” Allie said, laughter interrupting her speech.
“You looked like a femme fatale just wearing your PT outfit,” Gavin said.
That threw a bucket of cold water over Allie’s giggles, and she stiffened. “I didn’t do anything unprofessional.”
“No, and it was damned frustrating.”
“Seriously.” She pulled away from him so she could see his face. “I didn’t indicate in any way that I wanted to . . . to do . . . this.” She gestured at her dress.
He muttered a curse that included Hugh’s name. “I knew this was going to happen.” He tilted his head to kiss the side of her neck. “No more thinking.”
“I don’t feel right about this,” Allie said, trying to ignore the rippling pleasure his lips were creating on her skin.
He sighed against her, his warm breath sending the ripples wider. “And I haven’t felt anything so right in a long time.” He let her pull a few inches away before saying, “Scruples are very inconvenient.”
“Will you let me find you a new PT?” Allie needed to do something to assuage her guilt.
“I’m not sure I follow.”
“I see the way you hold yourself and wince when you think no one’s looking. You still need physical therapy, but I can’t be your therapist.” She gave his chest a gentle thump with her palm.
“I don’t see why. Who the hell would know if you’re still doing therapy with me?” There was a growl of irritation in his voice.
“I would.”
He rubbed the back of his neck as he looked at the ceiling. When he returned his gaze to her, his look and tone were pure seduction. “There are all different kinds of therapy, you know.”
“My degree isn’t in sex therapy, so you’re out of luck with that,” she said.
He put a big, warm hand on her bare thigh and gave her a hot, sexy smile. “Surely you can give me a massage. Lovers do that for each other without any training at all.”
This was a man who was used to getting his way. “I’ll give you a massage every day that you work with another PT.”
Exasperation banished the seduction from his face. “You are relentless, woman.”
“It’s one of my best traits.”
He scowled for a moment. Then the thunderclouds cleared from his eyes, and he squeezed her thigh. “Done. Now about that massage . . .”
He hadn’t done any PT today, but when he slid his hand under her skirt, Allie decided to give him a pass on that.
A couple of hours later, they lay in bed together, Allie on her back, staring at the cracked plaster ceiling, and Gavin on his stomach, with one arm wrapped over her waist.
“That was a hell of a massage,” Gavin said, his voice muffled by the pillow. “I think it cured every health problem I might have for the next ten years.”
Allie traced the line of his brachioradialis muscle with her fingertip, a smile tugging at her lips. “You did as much . . . um . . . massaging as I did.”
He snugged her closer to him. “Relax.”
“If I got any more relaxed, I’d be a puddle.” Her body hummed with satisfaction.
“I can smell thinking.”
“Are you implying that my head is made of wood?” She put her thumb against a pressure point on his arm and pressed gently.
“Ow!” He tightened his arm around her. “You shouldn’t use your anatomical training for evil.”
“So what exactly will I be doing to earn my pay tomorrow?”
Gavin rolled onto his back. “I knew you were thinking.” He turned his head to look at her, so close that she could see the separate rays of green and gray in his irises. “You’ll be assisting me. That’s what assistants do.”
“Where will I be working? In your office? Along with you?” She shifted to her side and propped her head on her hand.
He reached out to wind a strand of her hair around his fingers. “In my writing office, not my business office.”
“You have two separate offices?”
He released her hair and stacked the pillows so he could sit up against them. “I own the house next door. It has space for my business manager, my marketing manager, my bookkeeper, and my other assistants, as well as my security team.”
Allie pushed herself upright beside him, grabbing at the sheet as it started to slip downward. Gavin was quicker, tugging it to her waist so he could drag his fingers along the swell of her breasts. She’d thought her nerves were fried, yet electricity zinged straight to her core, wringing a tiny gasp from her throat.
She pulled his wrist away and tucked the sheet under her arms. “How many people work there?”
“About ten, I guess.”
“So you don’t need me.”
The wicked little smile hovering around his lips vanished. “It depends on how you define need.” He flexed his neck to one side and then the other. “You’re going to help me write again.”
Allie’s throat tightened with anxiety. “How?”
“I don’t know.” He frowned at the wall. “But since we started talking about Julian, I’m getting fragments of ideas. Nothing I can hold on to, but more than I’ve gotten in months.”
“So I’m supposed to just talk to you about Julian.”
He levered himself away from the pillows to give her a heavy-lidded look. “Between other activities.”
“That’s what I mean. We can’t do this while you’re paying me. You have to give me an actual job or I can’t accept your money.”
He sighed. “You’ll be updating the series bible. We’ll talk about Julian while you’re doing it. I promise you that’s real work.” His voice deepened. “Once you’re off the clock, though, I can’t be responsible for what might happen.”