"Okay, I can do this. How hard can it be, right? She's just a woman." Brian paced his living room while tapping a large envelope against his thigh. His even cadence should have calmed him, but not this time. He was growing more agitated by the second. "She's a fucking woman!" He fell into a heap on his couch before running a hand through his short hair. "This would be so much easier if she was a guy."
Brian never hid his bisexuality, but for the most part, he spent a good deal of his time hooking up with men. This was different.
Rearranging his schedule to take her classes became the norm. Talking to her every day in one way or another was commonplace. What didn't change was his anxiety level whenever he planned to see her. He blew out a breath and let his head fall back. "How the hell am I supposed to talk to a woman?"
If he had to classify his behavior around her, he'd call it bipolar. One minute he was a walking erection brimming with snark and sarcasm, the next he was a gentleman, pining after her with the sweetest words he knew. "Why does she make me crazy?" She'd grown on him in no time at all.
"If she were a guy, I'd have fucked her into a coma by now." He dropped the envelope onto his lap and rolled his eyes. "If I'd done that, she'd probably be gone by now."
Brian settled into the seat cushions and let a bit of his bobcat come forward. He wanted to run, to think, but he had a dinner date with the woman occupying nearly all of his brain power.
Being a loner came naturally to him, it was what he was used to, made it easy when he was sent off on assignments in remote locations. Sure, he'd take a tumble whenever the opportunity presented itself, but nothing long term.
What was it about this funny, teasing, intelligent vixen, wrapped in a body he wanted to explore for years? Why did she make him think about the dreaded R word? Relationship. "Fuck!" His teeth elongated and his cock hardened in an instant. "I haven't even kissed her yet and look at this shit"
He was on his feet again, stomping into the bathroom with quick steps. His pants were around his ankles in a flash, while he fisted the base of his pulsing dick. One pump, and he purred, picturing her face and the joining of her neck and shoulder. Another pump and his thoughts returned to the view of her spandex-clad breasts during class, the rhythmic heaving of her chest, the way she leaned forward when she rode her bike, her sexy cleavage.
His hand moved to its own tempo as he pictured sinking not only his cock, but his teeth into her. Would she slap his ass while she squeezed around him? Would she bite him back? What did she taste like? Would she know how to massage his prostate?
He nearly lost his balance when he came, but steadied himself at the last minute with his back against the wall. "God, this woman is killing me." Once again he'd worked himself into a near frenzy at the thought of her, and yet again, he had no idea how to proceed. His cat wanted out, filled with the need to run off some of the adrenaline still flowing through his veins, but he tamped down the urge to shift. "Not now. Don't want to be late"
After sorting himself out and cleaning up, he grabbed his envelope, and headed to the restaurant to meet Nulli. He knew she was there before he spotted her. Her unique scent teased his nose. Earthy, but floral, overpowering, yet delicate. How can she be all those opposites at once? The better question was, why were her extremes so appealing?
Brian let his nose lead him to her table, where she sat typing away on a small tablet. She wore a short, red sundress that rested at her knees, showing off her toned legs and trim figure. No one would ever know just looking at her, but there was power in each of her extremities, he'd gotten a delicious taste of it firsthand. He stared at her, noting the gentle curve of her neck, the smoothness of her skin, the endless, tiny brown curls piled on top of her head. Shit! He was getting hard again.
He maneuvered the envelope in front of himself and tried to think about the time he worked on a ghost hunting show. Endless nights searching for residual life essences in the dark were enough to cool his head, but only barely. "Hello again, kitten."
When she looked up and smiled, he sat down. "Hey. How are you feeling? Are you sore anywhere?"
"I was, but I went for a run last night and that seems to have done the trick." Okay, keep asking questions and I'll be fine.
She looked him over with her chocolate colored eyes before settling her gaze on the envelope. "That's good." She tilted her head toward the package resting on the table. "Brought your work with you, or is that the info?"
"This is the contract from the network regarding the show. They're definitely interested, but there's no pressure. Won't bother me if you take it or turn it down." That was important. For some reason, God only knew why, he didn't want her to think this opportunity was contingent upon his interest in her. He handed her the envelope, and returned to staring at her.
"I'll take a look at it later." She put her small computer and the contract into her purse and folded her hands on top of the table. "So, Mr. Bad Kitty, when are you coming back to my class?"
Telling Nulli he was a bobcat shifter was easy. He wasn't the first paranormal she'd gone out with. There was freedom in that. He'd played with humans before, but he always had to be careful not to let anything slip. This time around, he could be himself. "I'll be there again tomorrow. What are we doing anyway?" Not that it mattered. He'd climb Mount Everest if it meant he could inhale her scent while she worked out in front of him. God, her aroma should be illegal. Watching her move her lycra-covered body was becoming an addiction.
"I have biking tomorrow. Think you can keep up?" She smirked.
Damn it all, she's trying to kill me. He shifted in his seat and tried to stay calm. Don't think about fucking her. Don't think about fucking her. Don't think about... A thought entered his head and his leg muscles tensed. With all the shit she does, she probably has as much stamina as a shifter. Oh man, did he want to find out.
"Brian?" She raised both eyebrows and tilted her head to the side.
He didn't realize he hadn't answered her. He'd been too busy imagining her bouncing on his lap while he fingered her ass and sucked on those tits of hers. "Yeah. You know I can keep up, kitten." He'd have to get the right head in the game, and quick. "If you have any questions about that contract, let me know. If I can explain anything, I will." Professional works, right? Just one problem. Who the hell goes on a professional date?
"Thanks, I'll let you know."
"How many paranormals do you know about?" Okay, conversation starter. Hopefully she'd answer.
"Lots. I've written stories about a few. Demons, witches, warlocks, werewolves, elves, vampires, you name it. Guess they like to find me." She shrugged and let out a light laugh.
Find her? He didn't want to laugh. He wanted to punch something. "Did you sleep with any of them?"
Her tone was a definite red flag. "Damn. Sorry. I could have said that better." He rubbed the back of his neck and tried to force down the wave of heat rising to his face. A guy wouldn't have batted an eye at that question. He probably would have bragged.
"You probably shouldn't have said it at all." Her eyes narrowed, the sight filling him with unease. Would she leave? Did she hate him now? How the hell was he supposed to read her eyes?
His mouth started moving before his brain could process. "That was out of line, I get it. It's just, I really like you. A lot. I guess that was my jacked up way of asking if you've ever been in a relationship with a shifter or any other paranormal before." He scooted his chair next to hers and took her hand. When she let him hold it, he lifted it to his lips and kissed the backs of her fingers. "Does a shifter stray have a chance, kitten?"
"Brian..." She leaned in and smiled. "Stop before someone notices."
"Stop?" So she wasn't interested in more? Had he really screwed up that badly? Already? "Oh. Okay." He released her hand and started to slide away from her.
She gripped his wrist and shook her head. "Such a bad kitty." She placed her mouth near his ear, and whispered. "You were purring."
"Was I?" Was it even possible that he didn't notice it?
She sat back and nodded. "Yeah. That's probably the hottest thing I've ever heard." A light flush of red tinted her cheeks and she sighed.
"You like the purring, do you?"
"Mm-Hmm." Her eyes were half-lidded, her scent rose higher, infused with the distinct fragrance of arousal, and she licked her lips. "I'm going to have to keep an eye on you." She looked him up and down before her gaze settled on his mouth.
Hell yeah! His heart raced, his bobcat roared. We are about to go for the gold medal in the human/shifter, Fucking Olympiad.
"Are you ready to order?" The waiter hovered near the table, but Brian didn't look up.
"No." He spoke in a firm tone, and fought hard to keep the growl out of his voice. He heard the server leave, but he didn't take his eyes off Nulli, and she hadn't stopped staring at his lips either. How much jail time would I get if I bent her over this table? “Haven’t been around a lot of cat shifters?” He leaned closer and inhaled next to her ear.
“No. Not that I know of anyway. I think I’d remember that sound.” She pulled back and pulled her lips into a smirk he hoped was the result of dirty thoughts. “I’ll have to write this down. Maybe I can use it in a story.”
“A story?” What kind of story would a human write about a shifter?” A tiny alarm went off inside his head. Shifters usually kept their existence secret. What exactly was she planning?
“Do you know what else I do, Brian?”
I know what I want you to do. “Let’s see, wicked gym temptress, and since you spoke to the waiter in Korean, I’m going to guess, translator.” Her laughter was a good indication that he’d guessed wrong. “Assassin?”
“Are you crazy?”
Wrong again. “Exotic dancer?” Oh, dear God, if you exist, let me be right!
That was one way to wipe the smile off her face. “No.”
Okay, so he was batting a zero. He pulled out his phone and did a quick search on her name. He found the exercise info, but then another link caught his eye. “Author?”
“Bingo. Does it say what kind of books I write?” She rested an arm on the back of his chair, but didn’t read over his shoulder.
“Fantasy, sci fi, paranormal...” He froze for a few seconds. “Erotic romance...” It wasn’t exoctic dancing, but it might be just as good.
“Right. So if I use that sinful purring of yours in a story, it’s going to be a little steamy. Think you’d be all right with that?”
“Steamy how?” He’d been intrigued before. He’d been curious all his life, but the look in her eyes, the barely hidden lust, the rawness of it ignited more than just interest.
“Well, I can think of a few things off the top of my head. How about this.” She pulled out her phone, and after a few taps, his buzzed to let him know he’d gotten a text.
He read the paragraphs, mouth agape, breaths heavy. “You wrote this?”
“Mm-hmm. How about I write a little scene for you and your purring? I can bang it out right here.”
Hell yeah, she could bang it out and he’d... Wait. Not that kind of bang. Damn it! “Okay. Yeah. Let’s see it.” He reread the first text she’d sent and swallowed hard. “Am I going to need to use the restroom after I see it?”
“If I’ve done my job well enough, maybe.” She winked and pulled out her tablet. She moved her slender fingers with a speed he wasn’t prepared for, but she didn’t ignore him. They chatted for the few minutes it took her to finish and when the waiter returned, they placed their orders. “Sending it now.”
Another buzz, and he couldn’t deny the thrill of excitement swimming through him. What did she come up with? How did she really see shifters? More importantly, how did she see him? The piece started out innocuously enough, but then things changed. By the time he was done, he was more than willing to act out the scene she’d created.
“What do you think?” Expectation danced in her eyes as she sat with her fingers hovering over the virtual keys.
What did he think? The words she’d used described a scene that was beyond mere carnal lust. The pair were joined by something rare, personal, soul stirring. This wasn’t a fling, or some meaningless romp. The people on those pages seemed to have something special, something he wanted even more than sex. He definitely wanted it. He dared to dream he could have it with her, but after that story, he’d settle for a good, hard fuck. “I need to use the restroom.”