Authors: Emma Jay
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica, #Romantic, #Romance, #Contemporary
"I did not know I could talk that much,” he chuckled, reaching for his glass of water. “You must be bored."
"Not at all."
"What about you? What do you like? What is fun for you?"
Those dimples deepened as he titled his head, and his brown eyes gleamed with the playfulness she'd come to love. “I'd forgotten what fun was until a week ago."
The glimmer in his eyes vanished and he focused on the glass of water in front of him. “I'm not talking about having sex in crazy places."
"Neither am I. I'm talking about feeling my heart pound again, feeling a zing of excitement just from the thought of leaving the apartment."
Now he frowned. “He hurt you so bad? Steve?"
"I let him. I gave him that power. It's not something I'll do again. That's something I've learned lately. I have my own power."
The smile returned, and he trailed his fingertips down the side of her face to rub over her chin. “Yes, you do."
The week before the presentation, they kicked into high gear. Vicente was a perfectionist, and required the same of his crew. The team worked so hard on the design of the hotel that Veronica and Vicente didn't have time to go to lunch or to talk about anything but the project. The Gaudi-influenced detail they'd included made the hotel perfect beyond her wildest dreams. Veronica looked across the conference room at Vicente, who squeezed Cathy's shoulder before he glanced up and smiled. Jealousy clenched her heart at the familiarity he showed the younger woman working with them, but the intimacy in his smile was just for her. He was a very physical man. He even clasped Mr. Forrester, the owner, on the shoulder when he came to check on the project. Veronica waited for their boss to show some enthusiasm about the gorgeous details Vicente had included, the absolute perfection of design, but the man said nothing. Vicente's expression betrayed no disappointment at the lack of praise, though Veronica narrowed her eyes at her boss's back when he left the room.
A soft chuckle sounded behind her, and a strong hand rested on her shoulder. “Don't concern yourself, Veronica. I do not need him to believe it is beautiful. I know it is. That is what is important."
Every evening, Veronica found herself staying later to help after most of the rest of the team went home. Laurie stayed late as well, despite Vicente urging her to go home. When she declared she'd stay as long as he did, he merely cast an apologetic look in Veronica's direction and continued working.
He was a perfectionist, but she could understand that. He wanted his visa extended so he could stay in the United States. Because she had the same goal, she worked as hard as he did, and tried not to wonder why he didn't have time for her anymore outside work, why he wouldn't come to her apartment after they left the office. He knew where she lived, after all, and the attraction was still there. She could see it when he looked at her from across the room, when he smiled at her, when he let his touch linger on her arm or the small of her back. But he was so driven. The project was first now.
And then the project was done. Veronica could see the relief in the set of his shoulders as he thanked the team and dismissed them.
"Veronica, could you wait just a moment? I want to go over the finer points of tomorrow's presentation,” he said without looking up from his papers as the others filed out of the conference room.
Laurie hung back. “I can help you with that."
He waved her along. “You have family waiting for you. You've sacrificed enough this week. This won't take us long."
She hesitated only a moment, for another reassurance that he didn't need her, and then Veronica was alone with Vicente for the first time in four days.
"The presentation?” she prompted when he didn't say anything, merely shuffled his papers.
"—is fine. I'm not worried about it.” He glanced toward the elevators, then picked up the phone. “You can make the delivery now,” he said into the receiver, then hung up.
He looked at her then. “We're going to have our picnic tonight, if that's okay with you."
Her heart gave a hard thump. She'd been pretty certain they'd have sex tonight, but hadn't counted on it. That had only led to disappointment the rest of the week. “Where?"
Again he glanced toward the elevators, then gripped her chair and turned her toward him. “All week long I've thought about making love to you on this table."
"The table.” Not in bed. Disappointment paired with excitement and arousal for a moment but she pushed the disappointment away and sat back in her chair. “Why the table?"
"You want to know why the table? I will show you."
The elevator dinged and he glanced toward it, but not before she saw the promise in his eyes.
Arthur walked in with the picnic basket and Veronica's heart gave a bump of alarm. Vicente had been more, well, protective of her when making love to her after the first night in front of Arthur. And making love in front of Arthur in the car, when his back was to them, was one thing. Did Vicente mean for him to watch them now? She didn't want that. She wanted tonight to be about her and Vicente Relief pulsed through her when Arthur merely handed the basket to Vicente, who tucked a bill in the other man's hand before sending him on his way.
And they were alone with the picnic basket.
Vicente gathered up his papers. “Will you unpack it? I want to put these away."
She rose to open the basket as he left the room. The blanket they'd had sex on in the park lay on top, clean now, and she spread it on the table, then pulled out a bottle of red wine, two glasses and a corkscrew. Also tucked in the basket were linen napkins, crackers, and a jar of artichoke dip, rotisserie chicken, and strawberries.
There, in the deep corner of the basket, was a rectangular package slightly longer than her palm wrapped in shiny red paper and a white ribbon. She lifted it just as Vicente returned to the room, closing the door behind him. She turned with the package in her hands.
He crossed the room, picked up the wine and the corkscrew, one eyebrow lifted in amusement. “For you. To remember me if all doesn't go well in the morning."
"Don't think like that,” she murmured, holding the package to her heart with one hand, stroking the other down his arm. “You worked hard, you did a good job. Don't worry."
He shifted his arm out of her reach to open the bottle. “Open your present, Veronica."
She looked at the size, measured the weight.
"Open it,” he urged, removing the cork from the bottle.
She did, slipping the ribbon from around it, gently peeling the tape from one end and sliding the box free.
A box from a jeweler. “Oh, Vicente.” She glanced at him, then back at the box to snap it open. Inside nestled a cloisonné cross on a gold chain. She stroked her finger over the fine detail, since the tears in her eyes prevented her from seeing it all that well.
"Do you like it?” he asked, a hint of nervousness in his voice.
She quickly blinked back the tears before she looked up at him. “I love it."
He stroked a finger across the line of her collarbone. “I notice you don't wear necklaces. I hope it is something you will enjoy."
"I'll treasure it.” Unable to hold his gaze, to block the emotion there, she turned her attention back at the velvet lined box.
"I'll put it on for you?"
She handed him the box wordlessly, then turned her back and lifted her hair. “It's Spanish?” she asked.
"Yes.” He draped the necklace around her throat and his fingers brushed the back of her neck as he hooked it, then let the weight of the cross fall against her chest. “Let me see.” He turned her toward him and admired the pendant. “Beautiful."
She meant for the kiss to be soft, gentle, but it had been days since they kissed and she moved into him, angling her head, deepening the caress, toying with the seam of his lips, teasing the tip of his tongue before drawing back. He stroked his fingers through her hair, smiling, then climbed up to sit cross-legged on the table, gesturing for her to do the same. She hesitated, then hiked her skirt up her thighs, kicked off her shoes and sat sideways at the edge of the blanket while Vicente poured the wine.
The meal was a seduction in itself. They drank wine and pulled chicken with their fingers and smeared dip on crackers for each other. He held a strawberry for her. She closed her lips around it, touching her tongue to the tips of his fingers, watching heat flare in his eyes before she bit into the fruit.
He leaned over to lick the juice from her mouth as she swallowed. She parted her lips for him and tilted his chin up with the heel of her hand to deepen the caress, her tongue playing in his mouth, savoring the flavors of him. He shifted, trailing his thumb along the chain of her necklace to the cross, then lower, between her breasts. He lifted her hand to his mouth, licked her fingers and then his own, tasting the combined chicken and strawberry juices. Fingers still damp, he reached for the buttons of her blouse, loosened them one by one, slowly, trailing his knuckles against the swell of her flesh. She'd forgotten how sweet seduction could be as he dragged his stubbled chin back and forth over her jaw, making her shiver against him.
She whispered his name as he slipped his fingertips inside her blouse, over the curve of her breast, tracing the lace of her new bra with the gentlest touch. She gasped as his fingers moved back and forth, her nipple tightening in anticipation, her pussy heating. She squeezed her thighs together, as if that would help her wait.
It didn't, instead sending a wash of dreamlike unreality over her. The room became a haze of sensuality as he kissed her again, sliding his fingers inside the cup of her bra, tugging lightly, her nipple between his fingers, his mouth open on hers, tongue stroking along hers, teasing the inside of her lips as if he was licking her pussy. She moaned her approval, skimmed her palm over his stubble, down his throat to his chest as he eased her back on the blanket, tucking her against his side as he leaned over her.
"I want to see you naked,” she murmured, working his buttons. “I want to feel you naked with me."
He drew away, smoothing his shirt against his chest. “I found something interesting in here.” He rolled off the table and she whimpered. He flashed her a grin from near the door, then flipped a switch.
A screen flickered to life at the front of the room, showing her curled on her side on the table. She sat up, smoothing her skirt as she scanned the walls, pulse picking up.
"There's a camera in here? Why?"
He strolled back to the table, hands in his pockets. “To record presentations, I guess."
"So why is it angled toward the table?"
He pushed the remains of the dinner down to the end of the table before climbing back on all fours, stalking her. “I did that earlier."
The predatory look in his eyes made her pussy tighten, her skin heat in anticipation. “So we could watch ourselves?"
He skimmed his palm up her calf. “Do you like that idea?"
"You're not going to critique the performance afterwards, are you?"
"Not recording.” He closed his hands around her ankles and parted her legs, sliding her across the table toward him.
"Wait.” She sat up and gripped his wrists. “Naked."
He tilted his head and smiled. “Give me a chance."
"No. You. Naked. I want to undress you."
He released her and sat back on his heels, hands raised in surrender. “Your wish is my command."
She rose on her knees and reached for the buttons of his shirt. “How long is that offer good?"
He lifted an eyebrow. “Is there something you want?"
She unbuttoned his shirt, spread the fabric, sliding her hands over his strong chest, scattered with dark hair. As he watched, she twirled her fingers through it. They'd had sex so many times but she'd never seen his chest or shoulders or arms. She leaned forward to kiss his collarbone, dragged her mouth across to the hollow of his throat, and flicked her tongue out to taste his skin as she pushed the shirt from his shoulders, down his arms. She slid her hands back up, tracing the defined muscles in his arms, and drew in a breath to see a tattoo of an intricate cross on his upper arm, almost identical to her necklace.
"I never thought you'd have a tattoo."
"No?” He covered her hand tracing the tattoo with his own hand, keeping his gaze on her. “Why not?"
"You're kind of ... serious."
"And tattoos are not?"
"Mm-mm.” She brushed her mouth over the cap of his shoulder. Why did the sight of a tattoo on his skin make her want to lick his entire body?
Okay, to be fair, she wanted to do that before she saw the tattoo.
She glided her hands down his chest, following them with her mouth. He traced his fingers in circles on her thighs as she slipped his belt free from the buckle and unfastened his pants. His cock strained against his briefs, and she stroked a teasing caress down the length of him before peeling the fabric away. She couldn't resist another tease, blowing warmly over him, touching her tongue to the rigid head of him. He twitched under her attention, and she felt an answering throb in her cunt. She wanted him so much, but she'd waited so long to savor him, for him to savor her. She couldn't rush it now.
She urged his slacks over his hips, down his muscular legs, and could imagine the roughness of the hair of them between her thighs.
"You have me naked,” he said, bracing his hands behind him on the table, his cock thrusting up, thick and dark, reflected in the screen on the wall. “Now what?"
"Now.” She scooted up beside him, smelling her own musk, feeling the wetness between her legs thicken as she curved her hand around his heavy shaft. “Now I want you to undress me. And,” the word stopped him when he reached for her hem, “I want you to speak Spanish."
"You don't understand Spanish.” His fingers were under her hem now, high on the back of her thigh.
"I don't need to know what you're saying. I just—it would really be sexy."
"Yes, okay.” He tugged her leg, urging her over him. “Just don't make me translate while we're making love. I can't switch like that."