Desire hit me in the chest like a blast wave, then shot south. “You shouldn’t be here.” She didn’t look like she’d sounded on the phone.
“I’m sorry.” Breathy, her voice wavered. “I thought you said—”
“I know what I said.” I’d replayed every second of our conversation earlier. I’d fixated on it because this woman wasn’t like any other client I’d ever spoken to. She didn’t flirt or make one suggestive remark. She was exactly how she was now. But a hundred times more innocent.
She drew in a breath through her sexy full lips, then straightened. “Okay, well, you said we should meet. We did. Thank you for your time.” Slim fingers reached behind her and she fumbled with the handle of the front door.
I stared at her sweet mouth. “You know what I think?”
“I’m sure you have many thoughts, Mr. Brandt.”
My name on her lips sounded too damn polite. “Only two right now that matter.” I stepped closer, wondering why the hell I’d told her my last name.
She pulled the handle, the door opened a few inches and she stumbled.
“Careful.” I caught her arm and her hand landed on my stomach.
She sucked in a surprised breath. “I’m so sorry.” She bit her bottom lip and pressed her legs together as she stared at her hand. “It was, um, the door.” She flexed her fingers over my abs.
I leaned closer. “Do you know what separates fear from desire?”
Her chest rapidly rose and fell, but she didn’t take her hand off me. “I believe those are two terms that should be mutually exclusive.”
Hard and fast, I slapped my palm loudly against the door, slamming it shut. Perversely getting off on her startled reaction, I bit out two words, “That’s fear.” Calculated, slow, I dragged a finger a few inches up her bare thigh, then I cupped her face. She shivered and I dropped my voice. “But this?” I stroked her bottom lip as I stared at the thousand shades of fuck-my-life-up green in her eyes. “Biting your lip, pressing your thighs together—that’s desire.”
Her hand fisted, gripping a handful of my shirt, but she didn’t say a word.
Still holding on to her, wishing like hell I wasn’t about to let her go, I calmly shifted her to the side. Opening the door, I removed all threat from my tone. “Fear is triggered. Desire is provoked. Leave.” I told myself not to say the next line. “Or stay and get what you came for.”