Authors: Dee Tenorio
He found the right girl...too bad he’s the wrong date.
The Lonnigans, Book 1
Kyle Lonnigan can’t say he hasn’t enjoyed the bachelor life. Good times and good money have always come easily to him. But now he wants something more, maybe even—gulp—a wife and family. Always the man with the plan, he consults the expert in boring, his identical twin Lucas, who suggests secretly switching dates for a night. Kyle never expected to meet his dream woman…and now she thinks he’s someone else.
Career-minded Jessica Saunders fully intends to break up with Lucas, but the man who meets her for dinner is soooo delicious, she can’t resist seducing him first. When she learns she’s been duped—worse, that Kyle wants more than a part-time lover— she sends him packing. Jessica doesn’t believe in happily ever after. If her early life taught her anything, it’s to trust no one but herself.
Yet for a man who’s done everything wrong, wants everything she’s not and drives her absolutely insane, Kyle is getting under her skin. And into her bed. And, if she’s not careful...into the heart she thought no longer existed.
Warning: Contains a playboy with skills who attempts to seduce his way into the heart of his lady—watch out for screaming Os!
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This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.
Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
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Macon GA 31201
All of You
Copyright © 2010 by Dee Tenorio
Edited by Deborah Nemeth
Cover by Scott Carpenter
All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
First Samhain Publishing, Ltd. electronic publication: April 2010
All of You
For Zoe Nichols, because no one loves a good story quite like her…
Well, there’s four months of my life I’ll never get back.
Jessica sat in the same booth she and Lucas always met for their dinner dates with a decided lack of excitement. Then again, who looked forward to a breakup? The sense of being free, yes. She always looked forward to that. The frown of confused rejection from the man she was cutting loose? That never got easier.
Still, she doubted tonight’s news would be any kind of surprise. They’d both known upfront they weren’t looking for anything serious. As it was, their casual dates could barely be described as dating. More like dinner and business. Well, business and dinner, if she were honest. They hadn’t even gotten around to a decent makeout session—and apart from her growling, deprived sex drive, she hadn’t really cared too much.
But God, she could use a little interest these days. Something fast and hot, wet and delicious. Something with stamina, so she could have him again, slow and deep. So very, very deep. She shivered, languishing for a few long seconds in the sensory fantasy. If she gave herself permission, she could almost feel strong male hands coursing over her skin, rolling her nipples into hard nubs before stroking over her quivering belly to the moist folds waiting below…
Jessica shook herself out of her imagination before something embarrassing happened. Like Lucas walking up and asking her in his direct, tactless way why she was so flushed. And really, she shouldn’t have to tell him. Four months was a long time to go without being pinned by a hard body that knew how to turn hers into a satisfied puddle.
The only problem was, Lucas never seemed interested in pinning her. Or maybe she just wasn’t interested in getting pinned after getting to know him better.
Which left her between a rock and a not hard enough place.
Frowning to herself, she nearly missed Lucas walking in.
At least, it looked like Lucas.
Same midnight hair, if somewhat longer. Expertly cut too, which wasn’t like him at all. Truth be told, it looked a lot better than her own brown tresses ever did. He was wearing a suit as well. A nice one. Dove gray with a jewel-toned blue shirt that made his eyes glow from across the room. She couldn’t remember anything about Lucas glowing before.
He spoke to the waitress for a moment, smiling so casually that Jessica was glad to be sitting. As it was, her chin fell off her hand, making her jar the table and rock the water glasses. Lucas had dimples? If she hadn’t seen him eat, she would never have been sure he had teeth. Since when did he have dimples?
His easy grin might as well have set off a seismic shift through the restaurant, especially given the drunken response of the teen hostess he was talking to. Jessica’s hands suddenly didn’t know what to do with themselves, one pressing itself to her suddenly tightening thighs and the other automatically smoothing her hair. That couldn’t be Lucas. It just couldn’t be.
Even across the distance, Jessica could see countless differences, far more drastic than the eye-catching suit and the stunning smile. His hands were in his pockets, casually dipped in place while he chatted. Chatted! His broad shoulders looked somehow wider. And he wasn’t standing with his usual rigid posture, instead swaying a bit as if hearing some kind of music in his head that kept him perpetually upbeat. Lucas Lonnigan didn’t have an upbeat bone in his body.
In short…he looked like someone had finally flipped his switch and lit him up. Jessica stopped wondering who when Lucas’s eyes met hers and he walked across the room to her, smile still intact and growing warmer by the second.
Somewhere in her head—faint and from a nearly forgotten warning system—a Chastity Alarm started sounding.
“Hello Jessica,” he said softly, bending down to kiss her cheek—did his lips give her a caress?—sending shivers from her now-flaming cheekbone through her neck to her spine and on down to regions that did not need the tingling buzz of pleasure.
The pitch on the alarm warped in speed and scale, starting from its mild do and shifting to a breakneck, warbled la.
He slid into the booth across from her, not bumping her feet even once, though he always had before. A new equation to calculate better body positioning in average booth confines?
“Hi,” she said, and she felt flames rise higher on her cheeks when her voice sounded breathless. Good lord, she was here to break up with the man! She had no business getting all flustered because he’d found some way to embody candy-apple sex when he walked. At least that much was pure Lucas—the timing was completely off.
Somehow, acknowledging that fact was not reassuring.
“Did I keep you waiting long?” He caught her gaze and leaned forward as if her answer was important to him. Had his eyes always been this blue? And God, was that cologne his? It hinted at sophistication, a cool but inviting scent teasing her senses. Masculine, but light. Fresh.
She forced her eyes to open, hoping he hadn’t noticed how she’d leaned closer and inhaled deeply. “No, only a few minutes.” She hastened to correct herself when his smile turned sheepish. “I’m always early, you know that.”
He nodded and reached for his water. Oh, to drop her head in her hands right now. But no, she had to remain poised. She could not watch his jaw tip up slightly, or stare at his Adam’s apple as it moved up and down while he swallowed. When had that become sexy? The man was drinking water, for Pete’s sake. And yet, her awareness of him—of the lips that had gone from merely sensual to hypnotizing, the cleanly shaven jaw with the slight shadow of dark beard waiting to escape, the tanned throat leading to the hollow where his shirt parted, revealing a secret curling chest hair or two—refused to tamp down.
So he was wearing a suit. So he’d smiled. He was still Lucas Lonnigan, boringly bored financial analyst.
See, she told herself as she sighed in relief, he’s playing with his tableware. Who other than Lucas does that? She’d noticed his quirk for keeping everything at right angles at about their second meeting. He lined up his pencils and his papers like a religious fanatic. Whenever they ate together, he rearranged his place setting automatically, pushing the dish and bowl into a precisely straight stack on the linen placemat and squaring it to the table. The process would be repeated on the napkin and utensils. By the time he finished, he’d have ignored most of what she’d said and she’d be debating using her own fork to get his attention.
Good old Lucas. He hadn’t really changed, she was just looking for things to notice because she apparently needed a hard body more than she’d realized. He was as completely uninteresting as ever. A man uninspired by her and she was equally uninspired by him. All they really did was work together and she needed that to become the recognized focus of their relationship.
Breaking up now would keep things even between them. No harm, no foul. He wasn’t her last chance for sex in the world, but he was her best chance at winning her cases for a long time to come. Nothing mattered to her more, raging hormones or no. His body might be fabulous, but his brain was priceless.
And until she replaced him, she had an amazing vibrator at home.
She smiled, her center returned. This is the best course. I’m not sleeping with you. I’m not thinking about sleeping with you. I’m thinking only about reaffirming our mutually beneficial professional connection before kicking you to the curb and finding the hottest, most forgettable man for the one night stand of his dreams.
Then he looked up and grinned sheepishly when he realized she was watching him, stopped what he was doing and blew all her reassurances to hell.
“So how’ve you been, Jess? Had a busy week?”
She frowned at the diminutive of her name, but figured it was just a slip on his part. She was already breaking up with him, she didn’t have to browbeat him. “I’m sure the average superhero still has me beat, but I’m gaining on them.”
He blinked at her. Surprised? It wasn’t like he didn’t know what her workload was like. There was a reason they only met on occasional Saturday nights. He recovered in a flash by clasping his hands together in front of him and offering her his entire attention. The sensation was enough to stagger her.
“Anything particularly interesting or just your run of the mill?” Those eyes that had never seemed so bright blinked at her, patiently waiting for her to pick up the discussion, but his tone set off other kinds of alarms in her ear. Run of the mill what? He’d trailed it off faintly. Waiting for her to fill in the blank?
“You know, same old, same old.” She frowned. Something strange was going on, she could feel it. If she could only get the desirous fog out of her brain, she might be able to put her finger on what. “Writing wills, helping tax dodgers, saving stodgy old men from accounting software. I might have a few references for you in that department, actually.”
“Uh—great.” The light in his eyes dimmed at the sound of work.
Okay, this was getting weird.
“Lucas, are you okay?” she finally had to ask. “You look…different.”
“Really?” That seemed to perk him back up. “I’m trying a few new things.”
“Like the suit?” And the personality?
“You like it?”
“It’s certainly…different.” There had to be another word to describe him, but she couldn’t think of one. He looked so disappointed that she smiled and went for honesty. “Yes, I like it. It’s very professional.”
He almost seemed to preen. “It’s my favorite.”
“And you wore it for me? I should be touched.” She would be, but she had the strongest sense that he wore it for himself. She just couldn’t be sure if that was good or bad.
“But you’re not.” No offense showed. If anything, he looked amused. “Hmmm, guess I’ll have to find something else to satisfy you.”
Banter. Interesting. She risked propping her chin on her hand again. “So how about you? What have you been doing in the last three weeks?”
“Three weeks?” His eyes widened with what could almost pass as genuine shock. “I’m not dumb enough to have left you alone for three weeks, am I?”
She couldn’t resist it. “I guess you are.”
Again, no offense. Instead, the corner of his mouth turned up, slow, as if pleased to be challenged. Oy vey. “You must be reading your calendar wrong, I’d never be that stupid.”
“Come on now, Lucas,” she chided, wondering when he’d learned to play games. And with who? “I refuse to believe you of all people can’t count to three.”
That made him laugh. Startled, Jessica’s elbow fell off the edge of the table. She looked around the room to see if anyone else was noticing the miracle, but no one was particularly interested.
“I know it probably doesn’t mean much now, but I’m really sorry. I should have called to explain. I guess time got away from me, is all.”
“Along with a few other things,” she murmured. Like his mind. First a laugh, then an apology. She was tempted to pinch herself.
“I’m trying to better myself. What do you think?”
Jessica eyed him suspiciously. He’d sounded startlingly close to requesting a compliment. Odd considering Lucas once told her that compliments were an unusable commodity. “I think the body snatchers got a hold of you.” She leaned forward again, but this time, he leaned back. “Are you on medication?”
His expression darkened, looking a little grim and a lot more like himself.
“Okay, maybe not the body snatchers, but something is definitely off about you.” More like everything.
“I’m sure I’ll be back to my old self in no time,” he groused, going back to rearranging his napkin.
Wouldn’t that be a shame? But how could she say that to him?
Thankfully, she didn’t have to because the waitress came and took their orders. She requested a small steak and potato plate, he ordered the seafood platter. A platter…from a man she generally had to push into ordering more than lightly flavored pasta. She raised an eyebrow but didn’t comment.
“So tell me what else I’ve been an ass about.”
She blinked. “I wouldn’t say—”
“I would,” he interrupted, almost cheerily. “There’s no reason to beat around the bush. I’m a pain in the neck most of the time. Always calculating things that I should just accept. My idea of scintillating conversation is arguing over how far into infinity prime numbers actually go.” He shrugged, his mouth once again stealing her attention as it quirked into a self-mocking grimace. “Believe me, it’s a boring conversation.”
“Not if you love numbers,” she felt compelled to argue.
His bright eyes widened. “You love numbers that much?”
His commiserating nod was softened by an effacing grin. “See? Ass.”
She shook her head. “You’re being too hard on yourself.”
“Okay, then, let’s be hard on you. Did I ever ask you why you decided to become a lawyer?”
Her enjoyment in the conversation froze. “No, but it’s not a very interesting story.”
“Sure it is.” He dive-bombed her with a full-fledged smile, his even teeth, dual dimples and mischievous eyes setting the chastity alarm squealing until it died a loud, overworked demise. Beneath her blouse, a flush rose up her chest while she shifted in her seat to offset the sudden fluttering of her sex. Dear God, one look and she was wet. She hadn’t known that was actually possible.
Why? Why did he have to suddenly be sexy? Was this his revenge? Some pesky man-pride trick designed to make her regret what she was about to do? Well, she wouldn’t regret breaking up with him and she certainly wouldn’t regret not sleeping with him just because of a grin.
She watched him take another quick drink of water and bit back a gurgled groan when he licked his lips afterwards.
Stop it. I am not going to sleep with you. I already made up my mind.
“So, come on, spill. What made you want to be a rebel with a cause?”
“I’d hardly call finance law a cause.” It was a means to an end.
“So I guess that means young Jessie wasn’t a lawbreaker? No heinous juvenile records or handmade shiv collections?”
She made a face. “Please, don’t call me Jessie. It makes me feel like a five-year-old. Or a man.” Which, in her experience, was often the same thing.