Authors: Lisa Watson
ave you had sex yet?
Ivan could kill his brother for making him painfully aware that he would like nothing more than to be buried to the hilt inside Tiffany, as opposed to listening to his travel agent drone on. He had been thinking about her ever since his conversation with Cole. The energy Tiffany exuded was almost tangible. He missed her when she wasn’t around: her infectious laughter, her caring nature and her amazing body were the perfect trifecta for him. Soon his mind conjured up the things he would rather be doing—with her.
It had a domino effect. The more his employee talked, the more fidgety he became. Ivan prided himself on his ability to concentrate on the job at hand, but he’d reached his limit. The overwhelming urge to see Tiffany was too strong to ignore.
He wrapped up his conversation in record time, and changed from the pair of shorts he’d been wearing to an all-black jogging suit. He retrieved his wallet, keys and cell phone from his nightstand and ran down the stairs.
“Where you off to?” Cole asked from his spot on the couch.
“Just going to check up on Tiffany,” he replied without stopping.
Cole smiled knowingly as Ivan left the house.
He got into his truck and headed straight for the boutique. Tiffany mentioned doing inventory. He hoped that she was still there. When he arrived at her store, he drove slowly past her window. There was no one in the front, but the lights were still on. Parking the SUV across the street, Ivan got out and strode over to the store. He knocked several times before Tiffany came out of the back room. Cautiously, she approached the door. When she saw him, she grinned and unlocked it.
“Hi,” was all she managed to get out before Ivan scooped her up and kissed her. She wrapped her legs around his waist and ran her hands through his hair. He pushed the door shut with his back and then rested against it, never once breaking contact with her lips. Eventually, he turned around so that Tiffany was against the door, allowing him better access to kiss her neck and collarbone.
“Ivan,” Tiffany moaned. “What if someone walks by?”
“They’ll get a show,” he responded in a voice laden with need.
Moments later, he carried her through the store and into the break room. He placed her on the nearest table and continued his torturous exploration.
He raised her shirt up to rain kisses from her belly upward. When he reached her breasts, he kissed the top of each before he skimmed his hand over the silky material encasing them.
His amber eyes glowed with desire and purpose, as he nibbled her neck and ears, and then recaptured her mouth. Never had he felt such a blinding need before. It caused his body to vibrate with an unrivaled longing to possess her. Hearing her whimpers of pleasure only increased his appetite. He wanted more. He wanted all of Tiffany, but a romp on a store table wouldn’t cut it.
Ivan broke their kiss and stared down at Tiffany. She was disheveled, flushed and had never looked sexier.
“Hi,” he said raggedly.
He helped her up and gently adjusted her clothing with unsteady hands. She was just as affected, holding on to his shoulders for stability. After a few deep breaths, Tiffany ran a hand through her hair.
“What was that?”
Ivan wasn’t ready to break contact with her. He touched his hand to her arm, following the planes of her body up to cup her jaw. He struggled with the burning urge to sample her all over again.
“I...had an overwhelming desire to see you. I hope I didn’t scare you. Honestly, I don’t know what came over me.”
She bit her lower lip. “Well, whatever it was, I liked it—a lot.”
She ran her hand up his chest. “Heck, yeah. It was...an unexpected pleasure.”
“In that case, you should know that I didn’t want to stop.”
“Me, either,” Tiffany confessed.
He traced a finger down her neck and across the scoop in her shirt. “As much as I wanted to make love to you right here on this table, I think our first time together should be on a surface a lot more comfortable.”
“I agree. I’m glad you came to see me, though. I was hoping you would.”
He kissed the palm of her hand. “You want me to help?”
“That would make this go faster.”
“I’m at your command, milady.”
“Really?” she asked boldly.
Ivan cupped her rear end. “Don’t push your luck, or we’ll finish what we started, and table be damned.”
They worked well together, finishing up her inventory in less than an hour. Ivan helped her lock up afterward.
He walked her back to her car. “I’ll follow you home.”
Tiffany didn’t bother telling him that she was fine and didn’t need an escort. Granted, Ivan was a little overprotective, but it wasn’t worth getting into a disagreement about it. They were just getting used to each other. Pretty soon, he wouldn’t be so attentive, she reasoned. In truth, Tiffany was just happy to be able spend more time with him.
When she got home, she parked her car, and then Ivan escorted her inside. He performed his usual check of her apartment while she waited in the foyer.
“Do you have to do that every time?”
“I feel better when I do,” he confessed. “Does it bother you?”
A part of her wanted to tell him yes, but instead she said, “No, of course not.”
She set her purse down on the table. “What a night.” She sighed.
“I don’t like you being at the store so late by yourself.”
“Ivan, I’m perfectly fine. You installed my security system, and I double-check to make sure my doors are always locked at closing. I’m good.”
He held out his hand. “Come here for a minute.”
She walked over. “What’s wrong?”
Ivan performed a series of movements in the air in front of her so fast that she could barely keep up.
“What was that?” she said in wonder.
“Three strikes you can use in close proximity to render an attacker defenseless. It’s what I’d planned to go over in the next class. I want you to get proficient in these moves—just in case.”
He walked her through blows to the groin, solar plexus and the tip of the chin.
“Now you try,” he instructed.
He let Tiffany move through the exercises, and coached her until her speed improved.
Ivan went to grab her wrists. Without hesitation, Tiffany escaped and caught him with a blow to the stomach. He leaned over and let out a loud breath.
“Oh, Ivan, I’m sorry,” she cried. “I didn’t mean to actually hit you.”
“Don’t apologize, Tiff.” He laughed. “It’s fine, I’ll survive.” He took a moment, and then stood up to his full height. “See?”
Without thought, she began to rub her hand over his stomach. That simple action generated more of a response than her hitting him. He sucked in his breath and covered her hand with his. Ivan slid her arm up his chest. When it reached his face, he kissed the inside of her wrist.
Suddenly, the air sizzled around them. Without warning, Tiffany used Ivan’s weight against him and propelled him to the floor. He pulled her with him, but made sure that she landed on top of him.
She gazed into his eyes. “Are you always prepared for anything?”
“I try to be.”
“You need to relax,” she instructed. “No more shop talk, no more self-defense lessons. I’m here with you, and I’m fine. You worry too much.”
“I’m sorry. It’s my job.”
“I know. But I’m not work.”
He nodded. “You’re right. The next time you think I’m being overbearing, just hit me.”
She smiled. “Deal.”
Ivan kissed Tiffany, and she immediately responded. Moments later, he said, “It’s time for me to leave, before I do something...ungentlemanly.”
“I don’t mind finding out what that is,” Tiffany said coyly.
Ivan’s eyes smoldered to a golden brown. He got up and helped her to her feet. She immediately jumped in his arms, refusing to let him go.
“Tiff, tell me to leave,” he growled into her ear. “Tell me before it’s too late, and we both end up sprawled on your bed, and I’m buried inside you.”
His sensual words sent shivers up her spine. Her heart beat a steady staccato inside her chest.
“Say it,” he commanded.
“I can’t,” she choked out. “Because I don’t want you to leave.”
“I don’t want to leave, either.”
She caressed his jaw. Their eyes met. “Then don’t.”
It was all the incentive he needed. Ivan swept her into his arms and carried her to the bedroom. He set her down. “It’s not too late to reconsider,” he told her solemnly.
Tiffany ran her hand up his massive arm. His thick muscles flexed under her firm touch. “Why would I want to do that? I’m not going to change my mind, Ivan. I want you to make love to me.”
Ivan leaned her back over his arm and kissed her on the neck. His lips trailed down her chest to the top of her shirt. He kissed her, and then moved lower. When he gently clamped down on her breast through her shirt, Tiffany gasped with pleasure. Her legs grew weak, but Ivan held her in a tight embrace.
“Relax. I’ve got you, sweetheart. You won’t fall,” he promised her.
He continued sampling her through the cotton fabric. He used his free hand to ease her top higher. He slid his tongue across her belly, causing her to squirm against him. He picked her up and placed her in the center of the bed. He followed her down. Stretched out next to her, his hand caressed her flat stomach. His fingers moved over the button on her slacks. He unbuttoned them with one flick before he unzipped them. The noise filled the silent room. His hand went lower, and then he palmed her through her pants. Tiffany sucked in her breath.
“How does that feel?” he asked.
“Incredible,” she groaned. “Like I’m on fire.”
“Are you on fire, Tiff? Are you burning for me, baby?”
She was nodding and saying yes at the same time.
“What do you want me to do next?”
Slowly, Ivan eased his hand down the front of her pants. When he touched her, she was more than ready for him. He teased her flesh with his fingers.
“Ivan.” Tiffany writhed on the bed. “Please,” she begged.
“Talk to me, sweetheart. Tell me what makes you hot.”
“You do,” she rasped out.
“Yeah? What about now?” he asked, teasing her with a practiced hand.
“Yes.” She raised her hips up off the bed to meet his hand.
Ivan rocked her then—up the precipice, right to the edge and then barreling over the side of it. Tiffany’s hands clamped down on his hand to hold it in place. She shook violently against him as he coaxed her to delights that she had only dreamed about. Tiffany called his name repeatedly as tiny electrons fired simultaneously throughout her body. Eventually they subsided, but she was still shaking from the intensity of it.
He kissed her then with infinite tenderness and a promise of more physical delights to come.
“That was incredible,” she panted. “You really are an Army of One.”
Ivan kissed the bridge of her nose. When she recovered, she pulled him in for a long, lingering kiss.
“I liked that,” he said thickly.
“There’s much, much more where that came from,” Tiffany assured him.
He wore a boyish grin, and he smoothed his hand up her rib cage. “Is that so?”
Before she could answer, Ivan’s cell phone rang in his pocket.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” he complained, before kissing her soundly. “Give me a minute, Tiff.”
He eased off her and sat up on the bed to answer his phone. “Mangum,” he said tersely.
Tiffany listened with growing disappointment. She sat up. It seemed they would not be finishing what they’d started.
Ivan hung up the phone. “I’m sorry, baby. Something’s come up at work that I have to deal with.”
“It’s okay,” she told him. “Go.”
He studied her face. “Are you sure, sweetheart?”
She loved when he called her that. It was new, and she liked it. Almost as much as the explosive orgasm he’d just given her. “Yes.” She smiled. “I’m sure. I’m just sorry it was before I could...return the favor.”
He bent down to kiss her neck. “I’m not going anywhere, Tiffany. I’ll be more than happy to take a rain check.” He grinned wickedly. “If it’s not too late, I’ll call you.”
“You’d better call me when you get home—no matter what.”
“Ah, yes, you take your job seriously.”
“You bet I do.”
“I’ll call you shortly,” he promised.
Ivan helped Tiffany off the bed. She zipped her pants back up. Her blouse was still askew, but she didn’t bother to fix it. When she turned around, Tiffany gave him a sultry look.
“Are you purposely trying to kill me?” He groaned.
“No, of course not. I need you alive. I’m hardly through with you, Mangum.”
She walked him to the door. Tiffany stood on her tiptoes and wrapped her arms around his neck.
“Thanks for coming to my rescue earlier,” she whispered. “You saved me a lot of time and headache.”
Ivan placed his hand under her chin and tilted her face to meet his. “I’ll always come to your rescue.” He kissed her a final time and left.
The void Tiffany felt at his departure was instantaneous. It was as though a warm breeze had dissipated, and in its place, nothing but cold air remained. She locked the door and padded into her bedroom to undress. She wanted to be done with her shower when Ivan called her.
Tiffany shuddered. She’d just had the best orgasm of her life. She would be crazed when they finally made love without any interruptions. She didn’t know if it would be before or after Ivan returned from Venice, but one thing was clear: Tiffany wanted Ivan with a vengeance, and when they finally came together, it would assuredly be worth waiting for.
Wearing a huge grin, she strolled into the bathroom.
* * *
Ivan tried Tiffany again, but got her voice mail. He left a message and hung up. She was probably asleep. He was tired, too. It had been a long day, and thanks to Tiffany tempting his thoughts, it would be an even longer night. He had tasted the pleasures that awaited him, and that preview had only made him want her more. When his cell phone rang, he answered it on the first ring.
“There you are. I thought you’d gone to bed.”