ENTICE ME EXCERPT - Operation Man Hunt
by Marianne Stephens
At the door, she looked through the peephole. “Tony. Just a minute.” She unlocked the door and invited him inside. “Hi. I’m surprised to see you.”
With a grin, he replied, “You left your watch at the barbecue. I volunteered to return it.” He looked around. “Nice apartment.”
She took her watch from his outstretched hand. “Thanks. Would you like a drink? Coffee?”
“Glass of wine if you’ll join me.”
“I have a new bottle of red wine I’ve been thinking of trying. Would you open it for me?”
“This way to the kitchen.” She grabbed the bottle and handed it and an opener to Tony. She opened a cabinet and took out two glasses. He immediately popped the cork and poured their drinks.
“Let’s go in the living room.” She strolled away and he followed. “Have a seat,” she said and nodded to the sofa.
Once comfortably settled, Tony quipped, “Let’s toast to new friends.” He clinked his glass with hers.
She smiled and added, “And interesting friendships.”
They sipped their wine in silence for a few seconds. “Unique taste.” He gave her a wink.
“Do you enjoy living here? I moved here a few years ago and love it.”
He frowned. “I’ve kinda been a workaholic for the past two years. Haven’t seen much. Moved here from Texas.”
“So neither of us are long time locals. I’m from Virginia.”
Tony finished his wine and refilled his glass. “Ready for more? This is good.” He looked at the label. “I’ll have to remember it. It’s a Missouri wine.”
“More, please.” She held out her glass and he poured. “That’s why I bought it. I wanted to try something from this area. I like it, too.” She settled against the sofa cushions.
“Tell me about yourself. Why live here? Enjoy teaching?” he said as he scooted closer to her.
“I love my job. Coming here gave me what I wanted. A new location. Meeting new people. And you? Same questions.”
The distance between them could be measured in inches. Chris caught a whiff of his aftershave, a woodsy scent she always savored. It reminded her of naughty fantasies she’d had about him.
Tony placed his arm along the back of the sofa. “Same answers. I needed a new start in life.” He grinned. “I think we need to toast new starts with fascinating people.” He lifted his glass.
Chris brought her glass to meet his. That’s when Sassy jumped, hitting both glasses and spilling the contents on Tony’s lap. “Sassy!”
Tony stood, took both their glasses and put them on the coffee table. “Guess your cat wanted some wine,” he quipped.
She grabbed a napkin from the table and began to wipe away the wet, red stains on his clothes. “I’m so sorry.” She turned to the cat. “Naughty girl. Go to bed!”
Tony grabbed her hand and she looked back at what she was doing. While yelling at the cat, her hand had slipped down his body and rested on his zipper. She quickly pulled away.
He let out a laugh. “I certainly enjoy your effort. I’d hafta take off my clothes if you want to continue,” he drawled.
Her heart pounded. “Take off your clothes.”
He stepped closer. “Is that a question or an invitation?” he said in a whispered tone.
Tony drew her into his arms and kissed her. A slow, wine tasting kiss soon became more urgent. Chris wrapped her arms around his neck and moved his head closer to hers.
Tongues danced between teeth, and she moaned. Chris tried to weigh the pros and cons of inviting him to her bedroom, but her passion, and need, surpassed clear thinking.
For the moment, all she could think about was exploring his body and making love. She missed feeling wanted and having sex. Every fiber in her body urged her to continue. Even though her hormones were on full alert, she stepped back and out of his reach. She needed a moment of sanity.
Tony was breathing fast. “Wow. I’m guessing it’s an invitation.”