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Authors: Anya Breton

SweetlyBad (4 page)

BOOK: SweetlyBad
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“Ah, don’t look so glum, chum.” Mischief curved her lips as
she gripped the doorknob. “Even if you’d given me the best kiss I’d ever had,
nothing could have happened. I have to babysit tonight.” She brought a purse
strap over her shoulder. “Please don’t destroy my garage because I teased you.
You’re better than that.”

Drew rolled onto his heels, startled that she’d think he was
good at all.

Erica gestured toward the garage. “There’s a closet in the
backroom with a few pillows and blankets. My sister Tina’s phone number is by
the phone.”

“And your phone number?”

She stared blankly for two seconds. “Um. That’s not over
there but I don’t think I want you putting me in your phone.”

“Don’t worry. I only put women I plan to fuck in there,” he
snapped before he could stop himself.

A full smile spread across her lips. “Perfect.” She hurried
back to the counter. She grabbed a pen, scribbling what he assumed was her
number. Too soon she strode across the office again.

“Call me if anything else catches fire.” Erica was out the
door before he could respond.

Drew fetched the sticky note with her number.

And then he fed it into his phone.

* * * * *

The kids had finally fallen asleep. Six times, they’d gotten
up, asking Auntie Erica for a glass of water, a bedtime story or a foot rub. A
foot
rub
for crying out loud. Erica had done it simply to shut them up.

She sank into Tina’s microsuede sofa, kicking her feet up on
the coffee table. A
Sex and the City
marathon was in full swing on the
satellite. Perfect. Finally a little relaxation time.

Lights flashed behind her. Erica quietly groaned.

Tina bounced in minutes later, wearing a chef’s hat and
giggling like a teenager. “You
have
to see what I got.”

Erica pasted on a smile while her sister dug around in a
shoulder bag.

Tina proudly displayed a package of parchment paper. “The
host gave this stuff away free. It’s supposed to improve baking and make
cleanup easier.”

Erica feigned ignorance. “Ah, cool.”

“I can’t wait to make chocolate chip cookies on it.” Tina
patted the cardboard box. “The kids are going to flip.” She paused at the edge
nearest the kitchen, turning back as if she’d only just recalled Erica was
there. “How were they?”

“A little hyper. I had some trouble getting them to bed.”

Tina nodded knowingly. “It’s Brad’s fault. He’s been letting
them stay up to watch this one show.”

“I’m beat.” Erica let a yawn rip, standing and stretching as
she did. “I need to head out so I can get some sleep.”

“You’re beat?” Tina made a show of checking the wall clock.
“It’s like…not even twelve. You need to get out more, girl.” She waggled her
eyebrows. “You’re so uptight these days. You really do need to get laid.”

Uptight? Out of the past month she’d given up three Fridays
and two Saturdays so Tina could have some fun. Erica wasn’t uptight, she was
exhausted
.

And bored.

“Brad knows a chubby chaser,” Tina said. “I could set you
up.”

A
chubby chaser
? Tina was a size twelve. Erica was a
size sixteen. They weren’t
that
different. Why did Tina insist on
fixating on Erica’s weight as the reason for her supposed unhappiness?

Erica ground her teeth rather than hiss what she really
wanted to say. Calmly she replied, “I’ll handle my love life myself. Thanks.”

Maybe it
was
time to get back on the wagon, she mused
on the walk to the car. Maybe Tina was right. Erica’s sex life had been
nonexistent since she dumped Jared. She suspected her ex had something to do
with that. The two dates she’d made since had canceled on her at the last
minute. Jared had gloated over her failure to attract anyone—curiously the very
next day.

Her thoughts floated to the garage, where a certain hot
blond even now slept on her cot. Or maybe Drew was spray-painting obscenities
on the wall because she’d said he sucked at kissing.

He really did suck at it. Maybe he was an expert at oral.
The guy had to have something going for him other than wealth to amass a
contact list that long.

An idea formed in her wicked little mind. Would it be
considered taking advantage of him if she offered to pay him for sex? Erica
pursed her lips to keep from grinning. She rather enjoyed the thought of taking
advantage of the hot, arrogant, newly poor yuppie.

This could work.

But just in case these were the feverish ramblings of a
tired mind, she’d sleep on it and see how she felt in the morning.

* * * * *

Drew stared up at the stained ceiling tiles in the storage
room behind Erica’s office. The cot was the most uncomfortable thing he’d ever
slept on. But that wasn’t what kept him awake. It wasn’t that his mother had
marked him as a rogue witch and canceled his credit—though that
did
contribute to his insomnia. The primary issue keeping Drew from slumber was the
knowledge that his life was a lie.

More than one woman had accused him of being shit in bed
when he called for assistance. Sure, several had failed to orgasm over the
years but he’d chalked it up to their problem. What if that wasn’t the case?

Erica had complained about his kiss. That could have been
her method of getting back at him for insulting her. But he didn’t think so.
There was something sincere about her.

So Drew sucked in bed and couldn’t kiss. How could he be an
affluent, playboy Air witch if he had no money, couldn’t kiss and was currently
marked as a rogue witch?

He couldn’t.

Everything that defined him had been stripped away in a
single day.

Drew rolled onto his side. Tomorrow he would start anew.
He’d find a way to get the seven hundred dollars Erica needed for a tow.

Most of all, he’d show everyone how wrong they were about
him.

Chapter Four

 

Erica stood, silently seething,
in the office at quarter to seven. The pizza crusts hadn’t been touched. Three
Coke cans lay discarded on the counter beside the computer. And a stained paper
towel was draped over the keyboard. Luckily the stain was from red sauce rather
than what it
could
have been.

Clearly Drew’s idea of cleaning up and hers differed
greatly.

A sleepless night following the frustrating day and evening
meant Erica was in no mood to babysit a grown adult at her day job. She stomped
through the garage, past the slightly charred Ferrari and burst into the
backroom with the intention of starting a scene.

Drew lay sprawled on the cot, nude except for a gray
blanket. The thin fabric coiled around one golden thigh, provocatively hiding
what he’d no doubt consider his pride and joy. Her protests lodged in her
suddenly dry throat.

He’d been gorgeous in his seersucker suit. Without it… He
was so out of her league.

Erica slowly backed toward the door and hoped against hope
he hadn’t heard her smacking the metal or the subsequent doorknob crashing into
the wall. His next breath was uncharacteristically long. And then his head came
up. She froze with her hand on the wall.

“Whu?” he mumbled in a way that shouldn’t have been
endearing but somehow was. Drew rubbed at his eyes with his fists. A yawn
elongated his mouth.

Erica took another step back.

He dropped his arms to his sides. The motion threatened to
drag the blanket aside. She forced herself to make it the rest of the way out
before she saw any more.

“Oh. Mornin’, babe.”

Erica halted midstride.

Babe?
Babe?
He’d called each and every one of the
women he’d phoned yesterday
babe
. And now he was calling
her
that.

She stomped back into the room, no longer affected by his
sleep-tousled hair and sloppy smile. “I’m not your
babe
. I asked you to
do one damn thing in exchange for sleeping on my cot—to clean up the pizza
crusts. You made the mess bigger!”

Drew stared at her uncomprehendingly for several seconds.
When his mute reaction continued, Erica’s disappointment turned inward.

What had she been thinking last night? Thank god she’d gone
home instead of coming
here
like she’d considered every time she tossed
alone on her bed.

“I didn’t expect you yet,” he said with a boyish crack of
his voice. “I would have cleaned it after I woke up.”

She opened her mouth to shout about business hours and the
responsibilities of
real
people but ultimately clamped her lips tight.
He was a grown man who shouldn’t need the basic lesson in common courtesy. But
he did.

Drew was a lost cause.

Erica stomped out without another word. Perhaps she should
tow his car down to Boston simply to be rid of him. Then her shop would go back
to normal. She’d only be out the gas and the mileage.

But it was the principle of the thing. He’d probably had
everything handed to him since he’d been born—including the Ferrari she’d never
be able to afford.

“I’ll get it,” he called after.

She quickened her pace so she could beat him into the
office. “Don’t bother.”

“Erica, I’m sorry. Really. I had a rough night. All I could
think about was how my own mother refuses to help me. Ae—er, hell, she’s made
the situation even worse.”

Erica’s frustration deflated at his gloomy answer. Drew
was
having a rough time. His day had been much worse than her night babysitting
kids who needed a little discipline. Maybe she should go easier on him.

She turned once she reached the counter and promptly forgot
what she’d been about to do. Drew stood at the door wearing only a pair of navy
silk boxer shorts, looking like one of those mysterious perfume advertisements
with the smoking-hot foreign hunk. The vision of all those toned muscles coated
in golden skin made her mouth go cottony.

He strode forward, heedless of the effect he’d had on her.
She remained motionless in her spot while he gathered up the plates of
half-gnawed pizza crusts. Strangely, Drew used the trashcan across the room.

Was he
trying
to get her going by bending toward the
can when he could have easily dropped the paper plates in? And did he know the
silk left little to the imagination when he folded in half like that?

Torment seemed to be his goal when he slipped behind her and
fetched the discarded Coke cans. He brushed against her thigh on the trip,
sparking awareness up her body. Again he showcased a perfectly plump ass when
he tossed away the cans. Erica swallowed a wistful sigh.

She hadn’t actually let it out, had she?

Drew returned to the counter, for what, Erica couldn’t
guess. His torment resumed when he sidled up to it—the surface hiding his lower
half. Posed like this she could imagine he was nude behind the furniture. All
that smooth…nearly perfect flesh. She focused on the two-inch wavy scar just
above his left pec. How had he gotten that?

He exhaled softly through his nose. Erica’s attention
snapped upward. Her cheeks warmed at the knowing smile he’d adopted when he
caught her staring at his naked chest.

Had he been awake in the other room while she stood gaping
like a teenager?

“What can I do to make it up to you?” His velvety voice
lowered. “Erica?”

Several suggestions graphically inserted themselves into her
thoughts, complete with limbs bending in impossible directions. Her neck seared
with embarrassment. Criminy, what was she
doing
?

She cleared her throat. “You took care of it before any
customers came.”

The left corner of his lip twitched.

Erica’s vision dipped to the six-pack etched in his abdomen.
She’d never seen one in person. Not even Jared was this physically fit.

Stop
, she silently hissed, forcing her attention up.

Drew’s gaze made an attentive sweep over her chest, much as
she’d done to him. “I gotta say, you’re looking…fresh this morning.”

His lame attempt at a compliment put her in attack mode.
“Yesterday I was fat. Today I’m fresh. What will I be tomorrow? Dapper?” Erica
twisted toward the computer, covering up her discomfort. She shouldn’t have
mentioned tomorrow. Chances were he’d be long gone by tonight.

“I didn’t say you were fat. I distinctly recall saying you
were attractive.”

“Whatever. I need to get some things entered—”

A pair of hands gripped her waist. She’d heard no movement
and yet Drew had appeared behind her. How did he do that? More importantly,
why
had he done that?

“So attractive that when I wasn’t thinking about my mother
last night, I was thinking about you.” Drew’s murmured words, and the intimate
waft of his breath, sent shivers against her neck until she worked out what
he’d said.

“Yeah, um, that’s so not sexy. I hope you didn’t mean it
to—”

He dropped a moist kiss to her neck. It was three times
hotter than the slopped kiss he’d given her yesterday. That made it half as
hard to ignore.

“You’ve been fucking me with your eyes since I woke up,” he
said. “I’m more than game if you are.”

Erica craned her neck until she could see his face. “Honey,
you’re not game.” Sarcasm thickened her tone. “You’re the whole damn
tournament.”

He lifted his head from her shoulder. A blank look glazed
over his eyes. “What?”

She opened her mouth to remind him of the list of women he’d
called yesterday. A quiet little voice whispered for her to shut it. He’d
offered sex—this down-on-his-luck Ferrari owner who was the hottest thing to
ever pass through Stoddard. She’d never get this chance again.

What would it be like to have him only once without fearing
what would happen tomorrow?

She nearly laughed aloud at the thought. Tina had called her
a serial monogamist. That described Erica perfectly. She’d never been with a
male for less than a year. But none of those had worked out well in the end.
Maybe it was time to loosen up and just have fun. Abysmal kisses aside, Drew
looked like the kind of guy who knew how to have fun.

Erica inhaled a shaky breath. There was only one way this
could work—a one-night stand.

“I’m game.
Once
,” she placed heavy emphasis on the
allotment, “and only once. Tomorrow you leave one way or another, if I have to
tow you to Boston myself on credit. Deal?”

Rather than answer, Drew spun her to face him. His mouth
came down over hers. The sucking motion of his slippery lips was reminiscent of
a fish gasping for air on land. Erica shoved at his shoulders. Disgust pinched
her nose at the sight of his mouth all puckered and smacking.

“But first,” she paused, making sure she had his attention,
“we have to do something about your kisses.”

 

What was wrong with his kisses? Drew had never heard any
complaints before.

Before.
When he’d been a wealthy member of a
prominent family. Now he was poor and the family’s prominence was in question.
Every woman he’d discarded felt free to come clean.

Two days ago he’d have scoffed at Erica and told her she
couldn’t do better than him—bad kisses or not. Having twenty-three witches
reject him had a humbling effect on a guy.

“What’s wrong with my kisses?” Was that
his
butt-hurt
voice?

“It’s like you’re trying to suck off my face.”

“I’d think you’d want me to suck you off.”

Her mouth twitched. “No,
you
want
me
to suck
you off—”

“I do.” His dick lengthened as he imagined her sinking to
her knees exactly where she was.

“First, you have to do something about how wet your lips are
when you kiss,” she said, ignoring that she had only half of his attention
while he was in the throes of a raging fantasy. “I’m no expert at this but
maybe you should discreetly wipe your mouth on your sleeve.”

Drew brought his arm up, pointing out a flaw in her plan. He
was nude from the waist up. Yet rather than make a new suggestion, she merely
stood waiting.

Was she pointedly ignoring the erection tenting his silk
boxers? Or was she that blind? Whatever the case, Drew wanted her. And she
wanted…

What had she wanted?

Ah, right, the kissing lesson.

He tentatively brushed his mouth with the back of his hand.
“What if they’re too dry now?”

“They’ll be fine. Now don’t lick them or you’ll ruin the
effort.”

He took a step forward. His intent was clear—to kiss her.
She shut him down with a palm to the nose. Erica’s sober expression was visible
between the fingers splayed over his face.

“Second, you’re not actually supposed to devour a girl’s
entire head when kissing.”

“I can’t help getting into it,” he mumbled against her hand.

“Try starting soft. Think of teasing with your lips.”

He wanted to tease something with his lips. It wasn’t her
mouth. Erica would taste sweet.

“Brush them against the corners,” she said. “Tease beneath
the lower lip. Lightly kiss the entire mouth. Then and only then should you
increase the pressure.”

“Babe, that’s not always the—”


Don’t
call me babe.” She emphasized her displeasure
with a squeeze on his sinuses. The hint of pain hit his eyes. “That’s what you
called half the female population of Manchester yesterday.”

She was strangely worked up about other women, given her
demand for this to be a one-night engagement. Nonetheless, he wanted that
one-night engagement. He’d apologize even if it went against his nature.

“Sorry, Erica. It won’t happen again.” Her furrowed forehead
prompted him into action. He smoothed a palm up her arm, rubbing at her elbow
with the circular motions that had always gotten women going in the past.
“Tease with my lips. Light at first. What’s next?”

She relaxed in two seconds’ time. “Don’t shove your tongue
down a girl’s gullet. You’re not excavating a cave, you’re making love to her
mouth.”

Drew took advantage of the topic shift to press himself
against her. She was soft and warm—better than the sumptuous bed with Egyptian
cotton sheets he’d missed for the past two weeks. His erection settled between
her thighs, close to where he needed it. “I want to make love to more than your
mouth.”

Her breath puffed against his cheek, filling his nose with
the fragrance of coffee and something sweeter. “Later—”

One swift tug on her elbow had her plush breasts smashed
against his bare chest. She gasped, a sound he cut short when he brushed his
lips against the right corner of her mouth. Erica’s skin tasted of
sugar—perhaps a flavored lip gloss. He wanted more of it,
all
of it, but
recalled he wasn’t supposed to devour her no matter how much he wanted to. She
went pliant against him, a marked change to how she’d behaved since she hopped
down from her tow truck the first time.

He lifted his lips from the right side of her mouth and
deposited them on the left portion. Her small sigh ruffled his hair. He
stealthily flicked it back in place. Erica’s eyelids fluttered shut.

Drew needed to touch her breasts. It was integral to his
continued existence that he have at least one in his palm in the next few
minutes. While he distracted her with the teasing smooch beneath her lower lip,
Drew tugged at the tank top she’d left hanging over her waistband. She
snuffled—a pleased sound if he’d ever heard one. Was that for the not-kisses?
Or for the shirt he was about to remove?

He had his answer when her eyelids snapped open a split
second before he plunged his finger beneath the cup of her bra.

“What are you doing?” Her sharp question nearly put him on
the defensive. But he’d not defend against what they both wanted.

“Um. It’s pretty damn obvious. We agreed—”

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