wasn't sure how a caterer dressed in an elf's costume could look so sexy...
Her gaze dropped to his mouth and Tom
barely refrained from groaning.
One taste. One kiss. Just to
satisfy this inexplicable, insatiable curiosity. He lowered his head, slowly,
giving Merrie the opportunity stop him, but instead she lifted her face and rose
up on her toes.
He brushed his lips over hers, once,
twice, experimental touches that enflamed rather than satisfied. He lightly ran
the tip of his tongue over her bottom lip, a favor she instantly returned. And
in a heartbeat he was lost.
She tasted exactly the way she
smelled--sweet, seductive, and delicious. He heard a low groan. Him? Her? He
didn’t know. Didn’t know anything beyond the satiny, luscious warmth of her
mouth, the erotic friction of her tongue rubbing against his. The bewitching
feel of her pressed against him as he drew her closer and she wrapped her arms
more tightly around him.
Heat, want, desire, pumped through
him, rapidly depleting his control. His hands glided slowly up her back,, and
he plucked off her elf hat to sift his hands through her silky soft curls.
Everything about her was curvy, feminine, and soft and fit so well against every
part of him that was so...not soft. She strained closer, shifting against him,
and his erection jerked in response.
Some small, barely audible kernel of
common sense worked its way through the fog of lust clouding his judgment and
reminded him that they stood in the Baxter’s kitchen and that this had gone far
He lifted his head and fought to
control his ragged breathing. Merrie clung to him, shorts puffs of breath
emanating from between her moist, parted lips. A hint of crimson stained her
cheeks, and she slowly opened her eyes. A growl of want rose in his throat.
She looked glazed, dazed, and thoroughly aroused. Much the way he assumed he
“Holy cow,” she said in a breathless
Personally, he didn’t think ‘holy
cow’ did that kiss justice, but damn, he was impressed she was capable of
speech. He sure as hell wasn’t there yet.
She blinked several times, her
stunned gaze searching his face as if she’d never seen him before. “I, um,
didn’t know accountants could kiss like that.”
He had to swallow twice to finally
locate his voice. “I didn’t know elves could kiss like that.”
“I’m not sure they normally do.
Seems like it would melt the north polar cap.”
She could say that again. He felt as
if he were roasting from the inside out. And if he didn’t step away from her,
he was going to kiss her again. Which would definitely be unwise--for some
reason he couldn’t think of right now, but he was pretty sure there was one.
After slowly releasing her, he took a
step back. Her arms slipped from around him, then settled at her sides. He
immediately missed the feel of her against him, which was bad. Really
bad. But now that she wasn’t touching him, his brain was kicking back into
action, shouting recriminations at him. Since he felt responsible for starting
this...whatever it was, it was up to him to cut it off at the pass.
He raked his hands, which weren’t
completely steady, through his hair. “Look, Merrie, as pleasant as that kiss
was, I think we can agree that it wouldn’t be a good idea to repeat it.” He
forced himself not to wince at using a tepid word like “pleasant” to describe a
passionate exchange that had steam all but exuding from his pores. “You’re my
client, and I wouldn’t want to start anything that could be construed as a
conflict of interest, especially where your loan might be concerned.”
A soon as the words passed his lips,
however, his inner voice scoffed and shoved the reasoning aside. Hey, you’re
her accountant, you prepare her financial statements, but it’s not like you’re
the loan officer. Now that would be a conflict of interest.
He could imagine that Merrie’s kiss would induce the loan officer to not only
give her the money she requested, but also the keys to the freakin’ vault.
She nodded, slowly at first, then
more vigorously. “You’re right, of course.” Then her familiar smile flashed.
“Besides, it’s not as if that kiss could go anywhere. Let’s face it,
personality-wise, we’re like oil and water.”
“Exactly,” he agreed, wondering why
he didn’t feel quite as relieved as he should. “Like night and day.”
“Like wet and dry. So we’ll just
forget it. Go on, business as usual. Blame the last few minutes of insanity on
that common holiday malady, Mistletoe Madness.”
It took him several seconds to answer because he was still trying to figure out
which one of them was ‘wet’ and which one was ‘dry’--a difficult task because
nothing about their kiss could be labeled ‘dry’, and when he thought about
wet...hell, his train of thought completely jumped the track.