Bared to You

Page 27


My fingers covered his mouth before he could open it. "But you're worth it, and I want you bad enough. So I guess I don't have a choice, do I?"
"Eva. Damn you." Gideon lifted me, hitching one arm beneath my rear to urge me to wrap my legs around his waist. He kissed me hard on the mouth and nuzzled his nose against mine. "We'll figure it out."
"You say that as if it'll be easy." I knew I was high-maintenance and he was obviously going to be the same.
"Easy's boring." He carried me over to the bar and set me down on a barstool. He pulled the dome off my place setting and revealed a massive cheeseburger and fries. The meal was still warm, thanks to a heated granite slab beneath the plate.
"Yum," I murmured, becoming aware of how hungry I was. Now that we'd talked, my appetite had returned full force.
He snapped open my napkin and laid it over my lap with a squeeze to my knee; then he took the seat beside me. "So, how do we do this?"
"Well, you pick it up with your hands and put it in your mouth."
He shot me a wry look that made me smile. It felt good to smile. It felt good to be with him. It usually did...for a little while. I took a bite of my burger, moaning when I got a full hit of its flavor. It was a traditional cheeseburger, but the taste was divine.
"Good, right?" he asked.
"Very good. In fact, a guy who knows about burgers this good might be worth keeping to myself." I wiped my mouth and hands. "How resistant are you to exclusivity?"
As he set his burger down, there was an eerie stillness to him. I couldn't begin to guess what he was thinking. "I assumed that was implied in our arrangement. But to avoid any doubts, I'll be clear and say there won't be any other men for you, Eva."
A shiver moved through me at the blunt finality in his tone and the iciness of his gaze. I knew he had a dark side; I'd learned long ago how to spot and avoid men who had dangerous shadows in their eyes. But the familiar alarm bells didn't ring around Gideon as they maybe should have. "But women are okay?" I asked to lighten the mood.
His brows rose. "I know your roommate is bisexual. Are you?"
"Would that bother you?"
"Sharing you would bother me. It's not an option. Your body belongs to me, Eva."
"And yours belongs to me? Exclusively?"
His gaze turned hot. "Yes, and I expect you to take frequent and excessive advantage of it."
Well, then..."But you've seen me naked," I teased, my voice husky. "You know what you're getting. I don't. I love what I've seen of your body so far, but that hasn't been a whole lot."
"We can rectify that now."
The thought of him stripping for me made me squirm in my seat. He noticed and his mouth curved wickedly.
"You'd better not," I said regretfully. "I was late getting back on Friday."
"Tonight, then."
I swallowed hard. "Absolutely."
"I'll be sure to clear my schedule by five." He resumed eating, completely at ease with the fact that we'd both just penciled "mind-blowing sex" into our mental day calendars.
"You don't have to." I opened the mini ketchup bottle by my plate. "I need to hit the gym after work."
"We'll go together."
"Really?" I turned the bottle upside down and thumped the bottom with my palm.
He took it from me and used his knife to coax the ketchup onto my plate. "It's probably best for me to work off some energy before I get you naked. I'm sure you'd like to be able to walk tomorrow."
I stared at him, astonished by the casualness with which he'd made the statement and the rueful amusement on his face that told me he wasn't entirely kidding. My sex clenched in delicious anticipation. I could easily picture becoming seriously addicted to Gideon Cross.
I ate some fries, thinking of someone else who was addicted to Gideon. "Magdalene could be a problem for me."
He swallowed a bite of his burger and washed it down with a swig from his bottled water. "She told me she'd talked to you, and that it didn't go well."
I gave props to Magdalene's scheming and the clever attempt to cut me off at the pass. I'd have to be very careful with her, and Gideon was going to have to do something about her - like cut her off, period.
"No, it didn't go well," I agreed. "But then I don't appreciate being told that you don't respect the women you f**k and that the moment you shoved your dick into me you were done with me."
Gideon stilled. "She said that?"
"Word for word. She also said you're keeping on her ice until you're ready to settle down."
"Did she now?" His low voice had a chilling bite to it.
My stomach knotted, knowing things could either go really right or really wrong, depending on what Gideon said next. "Don't you believe me?"
"Of course I believe you."
"She could be a problem for me," I repeated, not letting it go.
"She won't be a problem. I'll talk to her."
I hated the thought of him talking to her, because it made me sick with jealousy. I figured that was an issue I should disclose up front. "Gideon..."
"Yes?" He'd finished his burger and was working on the fries.
"I'm a very jealous person. I can be irrational with it." I poked at my burger with a fry. "You might want to think about that, and whether or not you want to deal with someone who has self-esteem issues like I do. It was one of my sticking points when you first propositioned me, knowing it was going to drive me nuts having women salivating all over you and not having the right to say anything about it."
"You have the right now."
"You're not taking me seriously." I shook my head and took another bite of my cheeseburger.
"I've never been as serious about anything in my life." Reaching over, Gideon ran a fingertip over the corner of my mouth, and then licked off the dab of sauce he'd collected. "You're not the only one who can get possessive. I'm very proprietary about what's mine."
I didn't doubt that for a minute.
I took another bite and thought of the night ahead. I was eager. Ridiculously so. I was dying to see Gideon naked. Dying to run my hands and lips all over him. Dying to have another go at driving him crazy. And I was damn near desperate to be under him, to feel him straining over me, pounding into me, coming hard and deep inside me...
"Keep thinking those thoughts," he said roughly, "and you'll be late again."
I looked at him with raised brows "How did you know what I'm thinking?"
"You get this look on your face when you're turned on. I intend to put that look on your face as often as possible." Gideon covered his plate again and stood, withdrawing a business card from his pocket and setting it down beside me. I could see that he'd written his home and cell phone numbers on the back. "I feel stupid asking this question considering our present conversation, but I need your cell phone number."
"Oh." I forcibly dragged my thoughts out of the bedroom. "I have to get one first. It's on my to-do list."
"What happened to the phone you were texting with last week?"