Drew Trotter felt like a hobbled gazelle amid a pride of lions, and he knew the exact reason.
Carmen De La Cruz.
Even with the entire distance of the ballroom between them, her gaze effectively stripped him of all his clothes, leaving him vulnerable. Her eyes were sending out tractor beams he was trying his damnedest to avoid.
His dick wasn't helping matters either. Not with it being hard enough to punch through steel. His cock was like a diving rod set on Carmen's pussy. His brain and his dick were usually in complete agreement. Had been since he'd had a talk with it in his teens. When it came to Carmen, he and his dick had agreed to disagree.
There were only so many adjustments one could make to one's crotch. Any more and he may as well put a neon sign that read OPEN FOR BUSINESS with an arrow pointing down.
How could one female manage to turn him inside out?
She was a she-devil. There was no other explanation. Or a voodoo priestess. Chloe had told him that Carmen had been born and raised in the Dominican Republic. Maybe she learned some tricks to keep men panting after her even though they knew she represented everything that was bad for them.
So very, very bad.
He looked up just in time to catch her wink. Her eyes promised everything he knew her body would, and could, deliver. Sean, Drew's best friend and now Chloe's husband, had told him that Carmen was a great person but hell on men.
Nothing about her said comfortable or family or stability. She appeared like the kind of girl men always wanted to have fun with but never tie down.
And Drew very much wanted roots.
Especially now, seeing Sean and Chloe together. There could be no doubt that the two of them were meant for each other. Watching them over the past few months, seeing their love and complete happiness, had only served to strengthen his longing to have that closeness.
The last thing he needed was Carmen throwing herself at him, practically begging him to fuck her.
But sometimes what he needed and what he wanted didn't line up. As much as he didn't need her in his life, he very much wanted her in his bed.
“Dance with me.”
Drew stiffened at the husky words breathed into his ear. He'd been so lost in his thoughts he hadn't heard her coming up behind him.
“No, thank you.”
“Oh, come on. You know you want to.”
No, actually, he didn't want to dance with her. Not unless she wanted to do the horizontal mattress mambo.
Carmen cocked her head and crossed her arms under her breasts. The motion pushed them up and caused them to almost spill from her low-cut strapless dress.
Was that her nipple?
His dick jumped.
God, the woman was built like every man's wet dream: big, full breasts, tapered waist, and ample hips designed to take the brunt of a man's thrusts.
It was on those hips she now planted her fists. The pose thrust her breasts up and out.
She had made his breath catch when he saw her walking down the aisle. The entire world had fallen away.
The bright pink complemented her dark coloring to perfection. Her mocha skin glowed with vitality, and she seemed lit from the inside. Her normally wild riot of tight curls had been straightened and tamed into a sleek updo that showed off her long neck. But because she was still Carmen, stray curls had escaped their prison to frame her face.
Sometime during the reception, she'd let down her hair, and it floated around her shoulders in soft waves. His fingers itched to caress her curls to reassure himself that they were as soft as they looked.
She -- or someone else -- had done something to her eyes to make them even darker. Normally grass green, they were a smoky jade that held deep secrets, which belied innocence in the soft aura around her.
She was nothing if not a dichotomy.
Unlike the rest of the bridal party, she didn't have stars in her eyes as she watched the bride and groom. No, it had been more of a smirk crossed with a bit of confusion. She definitely wasn't having wedding envy. Carmen's entire demeanor broadcast exactly what she wanted.
The hotter, the sweatier, the dirtier, the better.
He could no more stop himself from imagining he was between those sleek, tan thighs than he could keep him damned dick soft.
Stop it, he told himself.
She was trouble with a capital T
. She was the ultimate flirt. Men were putty in her hands, and he knew that the same could be true for him if he let it.
He forced himself to remain impassive. “Think what you want.”
“Fine. Don't dance with me, but you're going to look very silly when I'm dancing with you.”
He lowered his eyebrows. “What are you talking about?”
Instead of answering, she leaned in closer, her eyes focused on his, a smile playing around her lips.
He resisted the urge to shrink back and felt very much like a gazelle in the sights of a cheetah. Not a feeling he often experienced.
She stopped a few inches in front of him, not touching, but if she took a deep enough breath, her nipples would brush against the front of his shirt.
“Dance with me,” she whispered.
God, he wanted to throw her over his shoulder and take her to a spot where no one could hear her scream as he pleasured her with his body. However, he wasn't a child and knew she was about as good for him as a pound of taffy was for his teeth.
Oh, but she'd be infinitely sweeter!
He didn't trust himself so he kept his mouth shut, hoping she would take the hint.
The music changed. Instead of a slow dance, the beat thumped with a hip-hop rhythm.
“I love this song,” she said, her hips swaying.
He tried to keep his gaze at some point past her ears. Tried and failed.
She moved like sin itself. Her entire body seemed to be caught up in the music. Her head was thrown back, and her eyes closed as she let her body move to the beat. He tried to swallow, but all the moisture had dried from his mouth. His hands itched to touch her. To grab her and pull her against him. His cock twitched in his pants.
“Come on,” she said, reaching for his hand.
He should resist. This was definitely more than a bad idea. However, the minute her hand touched his, any and every reason not to accept the blatant invitation in her eyes seemed to go out through his ear. He allowed himself to be pulled onto the dance floor. Her smile took on a satisfied edge.
She placed his hands on her hips and wrapped her arms around his neck. The heat from her body sank into his. He took a deep breath, inhaling her spicy and exotic fragrance. It was the epitome of the woman herself. His cock hardened and twitched. As close as they were, there was no way to hide his reaction to her. She didn't seem to mind as she settled her pelvis even closer to his.
“You're a good dancer,” she said into his ear, her lips not quite brushing against his skin.
“You sound surprised,” he answered as he tightened his hands on her hips, holding her closer than was decent.
Not that people noticed. He and Carmen were not the naughtiest couple on the floor. Not by far.
He looked over to find Sean with his hands all over his new wife's ass while he whispered in her ear. Drew didn't have to be a genius to know whatever he said was dirty, judging by the blush on Chloe's face.
“Oh, I have no doubt you have all kinds of moves. I just didn't think any of them would be on the dance floor.”
“You don't know me well enough to make judgments.”
“That hasn't stopped you from doing the same to me.”
That shut him up. She was right. From the moment they'd been introduced at Sean and Chloe's engagement party, he'd gone out of his way to avoid her. She was too...too... Too beautiful. Too seductive. Too much of a temptation.
He'd never gone for her type before. He preferred cool, willowy blondes. Carmen was tall with curves that would put Jessica Rabbit to shame. In those sexy-as-hell three-inch heels she always insisted on wearing, she was only a couple of inches shorter than his own six feet two. He ached to wrap the silky locks of her hair around his fists and pull tight as he ravaged her mouth. He wanted to feel it against his skin as she took his cock between her full, luscious lips.
But it was her skin that drove him crazy. It was nut brown, telling of her Dominican heritage. He imagined it to be the texture of velvet, and he wanted to spend hours just stroking her.
Within minutes of meeting her, the intensity of his longing hit him like a baseball bat between the eyes within minutes of meeting her. It was only his stiff New England breeding that had kept him from panting at her like a cartoon wolf. Instead, he'd done the best impression of his mother he could muster and looked down his nose at her.
To wink at him and pat his ass as he'd passed by her.
She was outrageous. She was gorgeous. She was wrong for him in every possible way.
And he wanted her so bad his teeth ached.
The worst part was she knew it. She used every opportunity to tease and torment him to the point he wanted to throw her against the nearest flat surface and fuck her until neither one of them remembered their own name.
She turned in his arms. He tried to stop her until he realized the reason for it. He tightened his hands on her hips and held on as she ground her high, round ass against his raging erection.
She pressed her back to him, raised her arms around his neck, and laid her head on his shoulder. The smile she gave him was pure sin and punched him straight in the gut.
It was over.
He was done fighting her. At least for tonight, he was going to give both of them what they'd been craving.
“I'm going to fuck you tonight.”
Her smile widened, and her eyelids came down to shield her gaze, but not before he saw the smoldering spark of interest flare into an inferno.
“The song's not over yet.”