Read The Dating List Online

Authors: Jean C. Joachim

Tags: #love story, #contemporary romance, #romantic story, #sexy romance, #sexy love story, #spicy romance, #story about love, #contemporary love story, #spicy love story

The Dating List (2 page)

BOOK: The Dating List
10.1Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

"Low enough," Carrie piped up.

Leah nodded, licking her lower lip, her eyebrows

"Do you like it?" She asked Carrie. "Do you think
it's sexy?" She glanced at Colin.

"I think it's amazing…so original, Leah. It's
beautiful. I've never seen anything like it. But as for sexy, let's
get a man's opinion." Carrie turned to face Colin then raised her

Heat pooled in his chest as the two women trained
their eyes on him. Suddenly his throat went dry. His gaze dropped
down to the picture. The model had hair the color of Leah's. In the
drawing, the soft garment in pink and cream, draped gently around
the model's curves. Colin narrowed his eyes to picture it on Leah.
He stole a glance at her hips and legs, outlined perfectly by her
leggings. He could visualize the edge of the lace on the garment
Leah designed barely covering her luscious rear end. Her
long-sleeved aqua tunic was cut low enough to reveal a nice helping
of inviting cleavage, especially when she leaned slightly in his
direction folding her arms under her breasts. For the neckline of
the garment, again he stole a peek, figuring, with quick male
calculation, Leah's breasts would fill his hands as well as the
bustier. Mentally, he made the switch from the tunic to the bustier
top. His breathing snagged for a moment.

The heat of the mental image of Leah in the skimpy
garment brought warmth to his cheeks and between his legs. He
shifted his weight, trying to readjust his jeans which had suddenly
become tight. Not only could he picture her in the garment but he'd
have given his right arm to see her in it at that very moment.

"So…what's the verdict? Sexy?" Leah asked, biting a

"That's an understatement." Colin said when he
managed to control his breath.

Leah clapped her hands together, jumping up and down
like an eight-year-old who was told she was going to Disney World.
Grey appeared in the den doorway.

"Did I hear someone say 'sexy'?"

"Mister One-Track-Mind has returned!" Carrie

Grey moved over to the counter, resting one hand on
Carrie's shoulder.

"So what's sexy, besides my fiancée?"

Carrie handed the sketch to Grey.

"Whoa! What's this?" Grey stared at the paper.

"It's one of Leah's lingerie designs," Carrie

"Can I buy this for Carrie?"

"It's only a drawing now but…" Her eyes glistened as
she paused.

"Give!" Carrie demanded.

"Lady Jeanne wants it. She wants to buy the design
and three more of my Wild West lingerie designs. You should see my
saloon gal one…it's…well…"

"Hot, I'll bet," Carrie finished. "You're selling
these to Lady Jeanne?"

"Better than that. She's invited me to come to Paris
for six months and design for her."

"Ohmigod! Leah! You're going to Paris?" Carrie
clapped her hands together.

Leah hopped on tiptoe and grinned, nodding her head

"Wow…you're going to be a Paris designer? That's the
woman who designed the…uh… special Christmas present I bought for
Carrie," Grey said.

"A Paris designer…" muttered Colin, staring at Leah,
"I've never met a Paris designer before."

"You have now," she said with a giggle.

"This calls for a celebration! Dinner out," Grey

"Someplace French?" Carrie suggested, brushing Grey's
sandy-colored hair off his forehead.

"Madame et Monsieur?" Grey asked, cocking an

"That's so fancy…" Leah protested.

"So what? It's a celebration." Grey raised his fist
in the air. "Can you ladies be ready in half an hour?"

"That's enough time."

Leah wheeled her suitcase into the den. Carrie joined
her, closing the door to the men.

Colin put his hand on his brother's shoulder. "I
don't have any fancy clothes, Grey."

"You didn't bring a sport jacket and some nice
slacks? This is Manhattan, Punk."

"I figured we'd hang out and drink beer."

"Some of us aren't twenty-nine anymore..." Grey
ruffled his brother's hair.

Colin looked at the floor as he felt heat seep into
his face. "I don't own a decent sport jacket, let alone a suit.
Don't need 'em teaching Phys. Ed. in Pine Grove."

"Leah can fix this."


"Hold on," Grey knocked on the den door. "Leah! Can
you come out?"

She stuck her head out.

"One minute."

Grey went to the coffeemaker to refill his and his
brother's mugs. Colin rooted around in the refrigerator for

When the women opened the door, Leah entered the
kitchen wearing a low-cut, silver beaded dress and black patent
leather pumps. Colin choked on his coffee when she appeared. Carrie
attended to him while Grey took Leah by the elbow.

"This guy has no dress clothes. I can lend him
something for tonight, but we have theater tickets, there's the New
Year's party, we'll go out to dinner again…he needs the proper
clothes. Would you mind taking him shopping? I'll give you my
charges at Paul Stewart, Brooks and Lord & Taylor. You're
better at this than I am."

"It would be my pleasure, we can go tomorrow
morning," she said before turning to face Colin. "Okay, country
boy. I'll get you fixed up fine." She motioned for him to turn
around in a circle, casting her most discerning gaze up and down
his fine form. "We have a lot to work with here."

"Now I know how those prize pigs auctioned off at the
state fair feel."

"Sweetheart, I'm not buying…but I might borrow…" she
wrapped her fingers around his bicep. "hmmm…larger suit size.
Forty-two regular?"

"Don't know. Haven't bought a suit in a while."

"Don't worry, Sweetie, I'll take good care of you.
Need to buy everything in time to have it tailored and ready before
the party. And you
need some tailoring…shoulders a mile


"With your body? No off-the-rack suit is going to be
wide enough for your shoulders and narrow enough for your waist."
She placed her hands lightly on his waist, sending a little shock
up his spine.

"That's good?"

Now it was Leah's turn to blush. "I'd say so."

"Come on, Punk, let's find something of mine that
fits you."

The men walked up the stairs together, followed by
Carrie, leaving Leah alone, staring into her cup of coffee. At the
top of the stairs, Colin turned to glance down just as Leah looked
up, their eyes met. His gaze held hers for a few seconds before she
looked away. He smiled then followed his brother into the




The next morning, Colin and Grey went out to shovel
snow that had fallen during the night. When they were ready for a
break, Carrie delivered hazelnut hot chocolate to warm their bones.
The men lingered out in the fresh air.

"You think there'll be any hot chicks at the party?"
Colin asked his brother.

Grey and Colin sat on the stoop they'd just cleared
of snow.

"Hot girls at Leah's New Year's party? Undoubtedly."
A smirk curled Grey's lips into a knowing half-smile.

"Not girls, women."

"Oh? And you know the difference?" Grey raised his

Colin nodded as he blew his breath on the steaming

"Do tell, little brother." Grey wrapped both hands
around the warm mug.

"I'm almost thirty, Grey."

"So tell me, I'd like to know."

"Forget it." Colin looked away in disgust.

"No, seriously." Grey rested his palm on Colin's

"Girls are well…not as serious as women. They're
still talkin' an' worryin' about their weight, their makeup or
stupid stuff like movie stars…shopping…"

"And women?" Grey interrupted, raising his

"Women know what they want. They're
focused…confident. They talk about something real, like politics,
their jobs…they're better in bed, too."

Grey hid a smile behind his hand. "And how many
"women" have you slept with?"

"Enough." Colin dropped his gaze to his shoes.

Grey laughed. "Name one."

"What? No."

"Can't eh? Don't remember their names or
name?" Grey continued to laugh.

"Okay, okay, yeah, only one. That time in St. Thomas.
I was drunk. I don't remember her name but it was the

"Best sex ever, huh? And you were drunk?" Grey cocked
an eyebrow at his brother.

Grey laughed so hard he spilled some of the cocoa,
which immediately froze on the stoop.

"Thanks for your understanding," Colin said with more
ice in his tone than was on the sidewalk. He stood up.

Grey placed his hand on his brother's arm. "Sit down,
sit down. Don't get all bent out of shape."

"You ought to know what I'm talking about. You were
there." Colin stood looking down at Grey.

"I was?"

"Yeah, you screwed the redhead…left me with her older

"Guess I took the wrong one, 'cause I don't

Colin laughed, shook his head before returning to the
stoop. "Now who was drunk?"

"Was I?" Grey rubbed his face, lost in thought,
trying to remember the woman.

"I didn't think so at the time...but you get it…the
woman versus girl thing, right?"

"I do. I do." Grey nodded as he took another sip.

"Carrie's a woman, not a girl." Colin stared at Grey,
resting his mug on the step.

"Absolutely…all woman." A small smile played at
Grey's lips.

"And?" Colin raised his eyebrows at his brother.

"Don't go there. Don't even think about it. Stuff
about Carrie is private."

"I can ask, can't I?" Colin broke into a teasing

"Ask all you want, Punk. Ain't happening. Where does
Angela fall? Girl or woman?"

"Girl. Definitely girl."

"Sex no good?"

Grey brought the mug up to his lips for a longer
drink now that the chocolate had cooled some, waiting for a reply
from Colin.

"Hey! You're not talking, so I'm not talking."

"Have it your way. Thought maybe she left you horny
and broken-hearted."

Colin laughed a hearty belly laugh. "Horny, always.
Broken-hearted? No way."

"Good," Grey said, clapping his brother on the

"I'm still looking for that one woman."

"The one with your name tattooed on her ass?"

"And other places." He said, snickering.

"Let's finish this, get back inside. It's damn cold
out here," Grey said, pushing to his feet, draining his mug before
placing it on the top step.

"Got a hot date with Carrie? Gonna do her in the
kitchen?" Colin grinned at his brother as he set his mug down.

"What did you say?" Grey asked, picking up a handful
of snow from the hedges lining the front of his brick townhouse
then hiding it behind his back.

"You heard me," Colin said, turning to face his

Grey whipped his snow-laden fist around and wiped
Colin's face with the snow. Colin sputtered, the icy water went
flying. He wiped his face with his hands. Anger lit up his eyes
while Grey's glowed with glee.

"Told you not to go there," Grey said, backing

Colin grabbed a handful of snow. Soon a snowball
fight was in full swing on the front sidewalk. The area they had
painstakingly cleaned of snow became dusted again as the men fired
snowballs at each other, laughing with glee when they made a direct
hit. Carrie came to the front door. She picked up the mugs.

"Hey, you're getting snow all over where you already

Grey stopped at the sound of her voice. Colin rifled
one more snowball at Grey's back before he, too, halted. Both men
looked at the ground.

"Shit," Grey muttered, picking up a shovel.

Colin followed suit. Within fifteen minutes the extra
snow was cleared off and the two men, soaked to the skin, shivered,
retreating to the warmth of the house.

"Oh, no, stay there!" Carrie commanded holding her
hand up.

The men stopped inside the front door.

"Take everything off here. Don't want that dirty wet
snow tracked all over the house. And you're both soaked…" She
picked up Grey's muffler to slip her hand underneath. "…to the
skin. Jackets off. All off right here. Wait, I'll get a bag."

While Carrie scooted back to the kitchen. The men
toed off their boots and began to peel off layer upon layer of wet
clothing. When Carrie returned with a large plastic bag, they
stuffed their jackets, flannel shirts, socks and t-shirts in it.
With nothing but wet jeans on both men padded into the kitchen.
Grey took off his jeans, went into the bathroom to hang them over
the shower curtain bar, then trudged upstairs.

Colin looked around for a moment before doing the
same. The kitchen was beautiful with gleaming white appliances
against a bright coral wall, off-white cabinets, an Italian ceramic
tile floor in earth tones and a gorgeous granite countertop with
lines of black and brown running through the natural stone. A
generous, rectangular island covered in the same granite divided it
from the living room, leaving the room airy and open. Carrie didn't
like feeling trapped or stuck away in the kitchen when she cooked.
The kitchen she had renovated was elegant and practical at the same

"Maybe we need a fire," Grey said approaching the
fireplace in the living room.

Chapter Two


Leah stepped up to Grey's front door at nine-thirty
the next morning. As she depressed the doorbell, she saw a shadow
in the snow, sensed a presence behind her. She whipped around to
see Colin standing there. Despite the cold, sweat dripped off his
forehead, his hair hung in his eyes and his t-shirt was soaked
through in a vee in the front. He tried to catch his breath while
smiling at her at the same time. Leah caught her breath at the
sight of the handsome young man; his disheveled state made him
practically irresistible.

BOOK: The Dating List
10.1Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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