A sexy new friends-to-lovers standalone romance is out now from authors Melanie Harlow and Corinne Michaels, and I have a sneak peek for you.
I look up from the ziti in surprise and see Willow standing in the archway between the kitchen and living room wearing nothing but a towel, her hair dripping.
“Jesus, Wills! You scared me.”
“You break into my apartment and I scared you?”
“Yes.” I take another bite and try to keep my eyes in my head where they belong, but damn. I know it’s Willow and we’re just friends and all, but that towel is short and her legs are fantastic and the top of her boobs are sort of pushed up above her arms, which are folded across her chest. Plus she’s wet. She’ll have to forgive the stare.
And the twitch in my pants, if she saw it.
I try to covertly adjust myself. “I didn’t think you were home. And I didn’t break in—I used the key you gave me.”
She gives me a flat, unamused look. “I gave you that key so you’d water my plants while I was on vacation.”
“I know.” I stuck another bite in my mouth and tried to concentrate on chewing it.
“You didn’t do it. They all died.”
“Oh yeah, that’s right,” I say with my mouth full. I point the fork in her direction. “You probably should have taken your key back right then.”
She rolls her eyes. “I should have. Maybe I will. Didn’t you eat dinner?”
“Leo and I ordered pizza but it sucks.”
“So you just came over here to raid my fridge?” She taps her foot on the kitchen floor. Her toenails are painted bright red, which reminds me of the time I lost a bet—I can’t even remember what it was about—and she made me paint them for her. I did a terrible job and complained the whole time even though her feet are small and kind of adorable. It wasn’t really much of a punishment, to tell you the truth. In fact, standing here trying not to ogle her body in a towel might be worse torture. That twitch is now a full-blown erection.
“Yes, sorry. Were you planning to eat this for dinner? I left you the lemon chicken thing.”
“How nice of you.”
I shrug. “I’m a nice guy. How was the gym?”
“Fine.” She turns around and walks out of the kitchen. “I have to get dressed.”
“Why? It’s not like I’ve never seen you naked.”
She stops halfway to her bedroom door and looks at me over one shoulder, her mouth open in outrage. “What? You have not.”
“Have too. That time we got drunk and jumped off the dock at your parents place in Michigan.”
She whirls all the way around and faces me. “It was pitch dark that night! And I was wearing a bra and underwear!”
I consider that. “Maybe, but if I recall correctly, they were white. White doesn’t hide much. And it sort of glows in the dark.”
She huffs and crosses her arms even tighter over her chest. “You said you wouldn’t look.”
“I was drunk,” I say. “You know you should never believe anything I say when I’m drunk.”
The look she gave me could have singed the scruff on my face.
God, I love making her mad. It’s so much fun and it’s way too easy. I don’t even know why I’m saying this shit right now—we don’t usually flirt, but her body is making me all kinds of crazy, and the best thing for her to do would be to go put some damn clothes on before I remember how long it’s been since I’ve had sex.
Instead she juts her chin. “Well, I saw you naked too.”
“Oh yeah? When?”
“Same night. I was the only one who kept my underwear on. You jumped off that dock in your birthday suit.”
“You were completely turned in the other direction.”
She looks smug. “Not when you got out.”
I have to think about that for a moment, but the memories of that night, beyond her perfect curves in white cotton and lace, have my brain a bit muddled. “I guess it’s possible you saw me naked.”
That makes her snort. “Oh, it’s more than possible. I saw you.”
“Why didn’t you ever say anything?”
“Why didn’t you?”
Setting the empty container and fork aside, I shrug. “I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable.”
“Ha! Since when?”
“I don’t know. I guess I didn’t want you to worry that I thought about you like that.”
A few seconds tick by, during which I wonder what the actual fuck I am doing.
“But … do you? Think about me like that?” Her voice has grown softer. More curious and less accusatory.
“Sometimes,” I admit, and it’s the truth, although a second later I want to kick myself. I should have lied. “But it’s no big deal.”
She blinks. “What?”
“I mean, I’m a dude. We’re always thinking about beautiful women like that.”
Her defenses go right back up. “So, what you’re saying is, I’m not special.”
“I’m not saying that at all. In fact, you’re so special I shut down those kinds of thoughts about you right away. Because I don’t want anything to ruin what we’ve got. But it doesn’t mean I never have them.”
“Oh. Okay.” With that, she turns around again and walks away.
“Hey, wait a minute!” I chase her into the darkened living room and grab her by the elbow. “What about you?”
She looks back. “What about me?”
“Well,”—I struggle with words, which is odd for me—“do you ever think about me like that?”
Her eyes are wide and innocent. “Like what?”
“You know.” Letting go of her arm, I make a forward-motion gesture with my hand. “Like when you saw me naked, did it make you want me?”
“Want you?” She tilts her head and squints a little, like she’s thinking back. “No, not really.”
I’m so stunned, I just stand there, jaw dropped.
She moves toward her bedroom again, and it’s not until she starts giggling and breaks into a run that I realize she’s fucking with me.
I take off after her again, reaching her door just as she tries to slam it shut. Without even thinking, I burst through it with so much force I crash into her and we both go down onto her bedroom floor. She’s trapped beneath me, squealing with laughter and scrambling to get away, and I manage to get her wrists pinned over her head, snickering triumphantly. My body is sprawled over hers, that towel and my clothing the only barriers between us, and neither of them hides my hard-on very well.
She stops struggling, and both of us stop laughing. Her breath is coming fast, her chest rising and falling rapidly beneath mine. My heart is beating way too hard.
The lamp on her nightstand is on, and her face is in the light. Her lips are open. Her eyes are locked on mine. Her expression is expectant—what comes next?