| Saturday, May 31, 2008
| Temptation City
Mixing business with pleasure has never been so tempting.
Ashia Forrester has always lived by one rule: Never mix business with pleasure. As the owner of Temptation City, a male strip club, that has never been a problem. Until now. The talented new stripper she's hired stirs a desire in her that cannot be denied.
Jalen Spencer is an undercover cop who loves his job. His next assignment is to pose as a stripper at a local club and find out if the owner is laundering money for the mob. He's pretty sure this mission will be a walk in the park, until he meets the sexy owner. It isn't long before Jalen's giving hot performances on stage and in bed.
But how will he handle it when she learns everything about him is a lie?
Ashia picked up her walkie-talkie. "Who's next, Vivian?"
She glanced down at her watch. "How many are left?"
Thank goodness. Maybe she would actually have a lunch break today. "Ten-four."
Ashia sifted through the mound of applications and paperwork she’d collected. Not one decent dancer in the bunch. Oh, there were plenty of good-looking guys, but they didn't exude the sexuality and attitude Temptation City was known for. She dropped the folders in the box behind her.
The rich baritone voice sent a tingle across the back of her neck. She swiveled around too fast and tripped over her chair. A pair of large masculine hands grabbed her forearms and held her up. "Are you okay?"
Shock waves charged up her spine. She sucked in a breath, looked up and got a blast of remarkable hazel eyes with tiny flecks of green. "Y-yes. I’m fine. Thank you."
He released her and stepped back. "I'm here to interview for the position you have open."
Yes, yes, oh yes.
Now this was what she was talking about. The man shouldn't be allowed outside without a bodyguard. The way he looked at her was enough to make any woman come on the spot. And the way he filled out a plain black t-shirt with those broad shoulders and chest, his superman arms…it just wasn't fair to the female population.
Ashia allowed her gaze to travel his body from head to toe and then back up again. Close-cropped hair cut, trimmed mustache and full lips slanted upward in a smirk. He looked like he'd been sculpted by Michelangelo, dipped in caramel and left for human admiration.
She saw him peeling away every stitch of clothing on his body and every woman in the club screaming her head off, begging to put money between his ass cheeks.
"Ma'am?" he asked, an eyebrow arched.
She shook away the arousal that threatened to turn her into a complete idiot. "Um, the position?"
"Yes, I heard you had a bartender position open?"
She glanced down at her papers and back up again. "I'm not hiring, um, bartenders at the moment. I'm only looking for…" Her voice trailed off as her eyes zeroed in on his crotch. "…strippers."
A look that bordered on disbelief crossed his incredibly handsome features. "Strippers?"
"Yes," she replied. "The only ad I placed was for male exotic dancers."
His lips thinned. "Well, I didn't come quite prepared for that."
"Have you ever danced before?"
"Not that kind," he answered looking toward the stage.
She looked him up and down again and smiled, tilting her head. "There's a first time for everything."
His eyes pleaded with hers. "You sure you don't have any other positions open? Bouncer? Anything?"
She was beginning to enjoy this. Obviously, someone had given this guy the wrong information. But if she convinced him to step onto that stage, she'd have a full house of dollar-flinging women for the foreseeable future.
Regretfully, she tore her gaze away from his body. She moved in front of the table and leaned against it. "With a body like yours, you could make a lot of money here. Easily seven-fifty to a thousand a weekend."
"Why don't you get up there, try it out and see if you like it?"
He just stared at her.
All right, he was going to take a little more convincing. He didn't give off the "look at me, I'm gorgeous" vibe. He was more reserved. Laid back, a more "I like to be in the background" sort of guy. He'd have to be coaxed into it.
"You got a girlfriend?"
He raised a brow. "No."
"Family in town? Mom? Grandmother?"
He tossed her a wicked smile and shook his head. "No."
"Then, you won't have to worry about it getting back to them, if that's what you're worried about."
"That’s not it. I just wasn't expecting," he waved his hand toward the long ramp, "…this."
"Well, what's that saying? If the world gives you lemons, make lemonade." She sat and crossed her legs. "You need a job, right?"
"And you want a job at Temptation City?"
"Yes," he answered again.
"Well, up on that stage is all I've got." She paused for effect. "If you can handle it."
It was a dare. She knew it. But for some reason, he struck her as the type of guy who never backed down from anything. Especially a challenge.
"I didn't bring any music."
She yelled to her DJ without taking her eyes off him. "Hey, Ravyn, play this guy some music."
Seconds later, Tyrese's "Signs of Making Love" came over the speakers. Perfect. With his face and body, and if he could tantalize her with a dance, she’d hire him on the spot.
"I’ve never done this before," he reminded her.
She grinned. "I know. Just let the music move you. Let it seep into your mind, your soul, and see what happens."
The lyrics asked her if she was a freak.
His dance was seductive and slow just like the music, and his eyes never left hers as he moved. The words guaranteed her that he’d give her body whatever it needed.
Ashia squirmed in her chair.
When he began to remove his shirt, pulling it from the bottom straight up over his head, she saw an exceptional six-pack and imagined running her hands over his taut muscles. The shirt landed at her feet.
The melody wanted to know if she was the freak he’d been looking for.
Her eyes glazed over when he began to unbutton his jeans. He bent over and slid them down and off his legs. A pair of red knit boxer briefs hugged his muscular thighs.
Her favorite color. She gulped. Oh God.
The next thing she knew, he was coming off the stage toward her. He'd really gotten into his performance. A line in the song asked the listener to whisper in his ear. Jalen leaned over to hers.
"How am I doing?" he asked, a sexy tone in his voice.
He was close enough for her to get a whiff of his scent. She caught a brief hint of tangerine, mandarin and sage. Ashia cleared her throat. "F-fine."
He turned around, spread his legs and bent over to touch the floor, leaving his ass right in her face. She itched to reach out and palm him to see if his cheeks were as firm as she thought they were.
Right now, he was the embodiment of temptation. A graceful animal in motion stalking its prey. A cougar or a panther.
Perfect for Temptation City.
Perfect for her.
Available NOW from Samhain Publishing
|posted by Lyric James @ 8:14 PM