Saturday, November 8, 2008

Closer to You: Lee by Marie Rochelle

Out in the main room, Lee popped another mouth-watering crab puff into his mouth. He savored how flaky and good the fresh crabmeat tasted. Whoever fixed these had a talent that was probably worth more than Amanda was paying them. He had been bored since he stepped foot in the huge loft apartment.

At least Amanda had good taste, the place was decorated as only an art dealer could do. Looking to his left, he saw a smiling Amanda working the room as she usually did, wearing a very low cut dress for her rich male buyers. The more paintings the artist sold, the more money put into Amanda’s bank account. Walking around, he tried to find more crab puffs, but the servers only had the pretzel pastries that were good, but not as excellent as the crab.

Knowing his date would be in a conversation for a while before she missed him, Lee sneaked into the kitchen. Moving around the large area, he was about to give up hope on finding anymore crab until he saw a tray sitting by the stove. From the looks of them, they just came out of the oven. Lee walked over and popped a warm one in his mouth.

Swallowing it down, Lee licked his lips savoring the wonderful taste. As his hand reached for another crab treat a sexy voice spoke behind him, “Sir, if you go back out to the party. I’ll send the tray out by one of the servers.”

Placing the puff on a napkin next to the tray, Lee thought the voice sound very familiar. He turned around slowly and his eyes connected with Cherise’s. He grinned at the stunned look that passed over her gorgeous face. This night was going to turn out better than he first thought.

“Hello, sexy,” he said walking closer to her. His eyes stripping the green wrap around dress from her tempting body. “Are you the one catering this party?” he asked standing so near now that Cherise could feel his breath on her cheek.

No, Cherise’s mind screamed. Lee isn’t standing in front of her looking so handsome in his black suit. I can’t be caught in here with him alone. It would be another five minutes before any of the servers came back in for another tray. Her body would betray her in two minutes if Lee touched her, let alone pressed those firm lips of his on hers.

“Lee, what are you doing here?” Cherise asked, trying to move around him, but Lee placed his arm on the table blocking her in.

“I know you won’t answer me until I answer you,” he said reaching out to touch her shorter hair. “Why did you cut your hair? I liked the way it brushed your breasts when you wore it down.”

Gasping at his intimate talk, Cherise leaned back from him. “You didn’t answer my question,” she whispered looking at his mouth.

Lee noticed her eyes on him and it made his body respond. “I’m friends with Amanda Green and she needed a date,” he answered, running the pad of his thumb over the pulse beating in her neck.

Cherise didn’t believe any man would be just friends with a woman who looked like Amanda. “Sure, you’re just friends with Amanda and I just won the lottery,” Cherise snapped, pushing at his chest so he would move.

Was that jealousy he heard in her voice? He was ecstatic because if she was showing this kind of interest in him, maybe it would lead to more things. “Cherise, are you going to answer my question?” Lee whispered in her ear.

The feel of his breath on her earlobe made Cherise’s eyes close for an instant and then reopen them. “Yes, I’m working here at the party,” she responded looking into his beautiful eyes. God, why did he have to be everything she wanted but in the wrong package? Traci found her prince, but Lee Drace would never be hers because she wouldn’t allow it.

“Could you please move so I can check on the food?” she asked, her hand touching him in the middle of the chest.

Lee always lost his train of thought when Cherise touched him. “I’ll move on one condition.”

“I’m not going to kiss you,” she muttered.

Running his fingers through her shoulder length pageboy haircut, Lee cupped her chin in his hand making her look him in the eye. “I don’t want a kiss, yet, but I will get one in the future,” he promised his mouth inches from hers.

Licking her lipstick-covered mouth, Cherise asked, “What do you want from me?”

Easing his hand down her back, he cupped her firm butt. Yanking her to his aroused body, he brushed his lower body slowly against her making a gasp ease between her lips. “A date,” he said, staring into her eyes.

Her eyes widened in fear. To go out on a date with Lee would be committing suicide to her mind, body, and soul. He was way too devilish to ignore. “I can’t,” Cherise answered trying to get out of his light yet strong hold.

“Why not?” he asked, forcefully.

“Let go of me,” she said squirming in his hold, the feel of him through her thin dress was driving her crazy.

“Not until you tell me why,” he replied, pressing her body completely to his.

Biting her lips, she looked into his eyes again. “I can’t tell you, Lee,” her soft voice whispered. Sinful eyes widened then narrowed with anger.

Picking her up, Lee carried her into the bathroom that he knew was to the left of him. He closed and locked the door behind them.

She gasped at how quickly Lee moved with her weight. “You picked me up,” she whispered as he sat her on the vanity in the large bathroom.

“Don’t start with me about your weight,” he growled. “Are you dating someone?”

Shoving at his chest, Cherise got him to move back from her. “How dare you ask me that? You’re dating Amanda, which means you have no claim on me,” Cherise informed him hotly.

Moving quickly, Lee pressed her back against the mirror with his large body, “I’m not dating Amanda, she’s dating me,” Lee said.