Interracial Erotica -
By Stephanie Morris
Published on June 12, 2009
Kristina Ward is looking for a fresh start. She has just gotten out of a relationship with a married man who also had children. She would have never guess a woman as intelligent as her would miss the warning signs. But she had. There was nothing like a heartbreak to make a woman reevaluate her life. Too bad her first night in town gets off to a bad start when she is propositioned by a complete stranger. Yes he is sexy as sin but so what. His rudeness deters from it. It only gets worse when Kristina finds out he is no only her co-worker but her boss.

Robert Cantu doesn't normally go out and he isn't much of a drinker either but it still doesn't excuse his behavior during his first encounter with Kristina. He also knows his first impression just might be his last. He can't afford to lose her. It is hard to find good, qualified help since most people are clamoring to leave San Angelo. He is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Kristina on board even if it means ignoring his intense attraction to her . . .

Propositioned: Prologue


Kristina Ward let out a frustrated growl. "Of all the nerve!"

She took a drink of her rum and coke then set it back down on the bar in front of her. She had never met such a jerk and it would have to be on her first night in a new city. She had moved from her hometown of Abilene, Texas to San Angelo, Texas for the employment opportunity and to get away from a bad break up.

There was nothing like finding out the man that you happen to be in love with, is married and has a family that makes a woman reevaluate her life. Deep down she had known something was wrong. But she had been so caught up in the idea of having a good man, the white picket fence and the two-in-a-half kids. She had been willing to overlook the warning signs.

Well that wasn't going to happen now!

Right now men were the last thing on her list of priorities, especially if they were like the jerk that had just accosted her. Instead she would focus on herself. Her career. Providing her own happiness. She was too young to be tied down to one man.

At the age of twenty-four she was next to the youngest of four girls. It had been hell growing up in a house full of girls. There had been countless fights and arguments but she would never trade her sisters or most of the experiences she shared with them.

Her two oldest sister's Regina and Courtney had moved away to Dallas but her youngest sister Melissa still remained in Abilene. She was attending Abilene Christian University and due to graduate soon. Kristina had tried the traditional four-year college thing, but quickly realized it wasn't for her. She always wanted to be a Dentist but just didn't have the patience to attend school for the amount of time required. So she had done the next best thing by becoming a dental hygienist.

She had almost died when she found out her ex-boyfriend's wife and children frequented the Dentist office she worked at in Abilene. Shaking her head she tried to clear the awful memories from her mind. Six months still hadn't been enough time to completely get over Warren's deception. What shocked her more was he expected her to forgive him.

For infidelity? Ha! Not in this lifetime.

Her parents would be disappointed in her inability to turn the other cheek but they would understand, if they knew what happened. She hadn't been completely honest with her parents, just telling them Warren had cheated on her but not revealing the wife and the children part of the messy equation. Her father might be friendly but he would be happy to use one of his guns from his collection on a lowlife like Warren.

Her parents were sad to see her move away but she wasn't too far away. She could return home quickly if needed. Although she hoped it would be a while before she had to return to Abilene. Too many bad memories where there right now. San Angelo represented a new and fresh start.
Her first day had been going well until she decided to stop by Burk's. Upon entering the bar she wasn't sure she had made the right choice. Besides herself there was only one other person of African American decent. Yet there was more to her discomfort than her ethnicity. Her lack of cowboy boots and a hat made her feel like overgrown weed in an otherwise pristine garden.

Still she had pushed the discomfort back and stepped into the bar and made herself at home. The people in the bar were friendlier than she expected. Being a transplant she hadn't really known what to expect.

She looked down at her half empty drink before looking back up at the bartender. He was down at the other end of the bar and she decided against ordering another. Her gaze wondered around the bar and took in all of the good-looking guys. Too bad they were all intoxicated, a fact which made them all off limits to her.

Regina had made the mistake of getting mixed up with a loser who had a drinking problem. Thankfully she was one of those people who learned from the mistakes other people made. But she couldn't help but to be a little disappointed by the guy who had been dragged from her presence a few minutes ago by his friend.

When he had first approached her, she let her gaze linger on the wavy brown hair, styled longer than usual but didn't quite touch his shoulders. His tan skin stretched tautly, over what she was sure were hard muscles. Then she had become aware of his broad shoulders and lean waist connected to long powerful legs. He had to be a few inches over six feet. If she had gotten to her feet he would have towered over her. Not an easy feat for most men when she stood five feet and nine inches herself.

However, what had completely stolen her breath and ability to think were his eyes. Intense, gray, smoky eyes that spoke of high sexual tones. Yes, he had definitely been the sexiest man she had ever laid eyes on...until he opened his mouth. The provocative suggestion he made to her was one she wasn't used to hearing. One she never cared to hear again but she still had to wonder if what he suggested was even possible.

Why did she care? Why did the words that repulsed her so, hold her attention hostage? 

Groaning in frustration she finished off the last of her drink then placed enough money on the counter to cover her drink and leave a nice tip. She had a long day ahead of her tomorrow. There was still plenty of unpacking to do and she still had to prepare herself for upcoming week at her new job. She wanted to make a good impression. This opportunity meant everything to her. Now all she had to do was hope that San Angelo was big enough for her not to run into her drunken assailant again. One proposition from him was enough to last her an eternity.

Propositioned: Chapter One

Chapter One

Kristina groaned at the sound of her cell phone ringing. It was too early in the morning. Her alarm clock hadn’t even gone off yet.

“Hello,” she grumbled not bothering to look at the caller ID. Only one of her family members was crazy enough to call her at such a God forsaken hour. To say she wasn’t a morning person was putting it lightly.

“Hey little sister,” Courtney replied way too cheerfully for the given hour.

“Do you have any idea what time it is?” Kristina questioned, half growling.

“Time for you to get up and get ready for your first day at work of course.”

Kristina opened her eyes with reluctance. There was no use in trying to rush her older sister off the phone. A glance at the clock told her that her alarm clock would be going off in the next few moments. No need to try to sneak in a few more minutes of sleep. It would just make her more irritable than she already was. She exhaled softly.

“Try again Court.”

Her sister laughed. “Late night?”

“No. I’m just tired. I spent all day yesterday unpacking.”

Wow. It sounds like San Angelo is giving you all the fun you can handle.”

Kristina rolled her eyes at Courtney’s sarcasm. “More than you realize. I ran into the worst drunk the other night.”

Oh. Oh.
Kristina smiled. “Tell me about it.”

“Other than your drunkard did you meet any cute bachelors?”

She groaned. “Perish the thought. Right now I could be single the rest of my life and it wouldn’t be long enough.”

“Let me know when you find one,” Kristina joked.

“The question is will you be receptive to him if I do.”

Kristina groaned. “If this is what you call wishing me luck on my first day you have some work to do.”

Kristina rolled onto her back. Her sleepiness was fading but she still needed a cup or two of coffee. Still she loved her sister. She wouldn’t tell her other sister’s but Courtney was her favorite sister, because she was strong, resilient.

Courtney had been through a lot in her life because of her birth defect. She was born with Diplegia, a type of Cerebral Palsy. Courtney’s legs were twisted at and odd angle that caused her to walk slow and her movements to be jerky. If her sister was on her feet too long pain could overtake her but Courtney wouldn’t complain.

Her sister had worked hard to fight the doctors’ prognoses that she wouldn’t be able to walk by the age of fourteen. Even then the teasing Courtney had endured when they were children and teenagers, she still turned out to be a kind a giving person. Still Courtney had her limits. All of her sister’s did. Kristina met one who tried hers a couple of nights ago.

“So tell me about this guy?”

Kristina sat up and rested against her headboard. “Well there are only two words to describe him, sexy and idiot.”

Courtney laughed. “Oh come on. He couldn’t have been that bad. You did call him sexy first.”

Embarrassment swept over Kristina as she recalled the proposition she received last night. One she wasn’t going to repeat, especially not to Courtney. If she did she might not hear the end of for a long time to come.

“Trust me he was. He makes our cousin John seem like a Saint.”

She held the phone away from her ear as Courtney’s shriek of laughter traveled through it.

“He can’t be that bad.”

That’s what you think.

“Well let’s just say after my experience Saturday night, I’m ready to face anything San Angelo has to shell out.”


Kristina rubbed her eyes. “When have you ever known me to exaggerate a situation?”

Courtney sighed. “Unfortunately . . . never.”

Kristina jumped when her alarm clock began to blare. She reached over and turned it off quickly. “Well I believe it is time for me to begin getting ready for work. I want to be on time.”

“Yes and you do move like a tortoise in the morning.”

Kristina shrugged. “I can’t help it. I take after dad.”

“In more ways than you will ever know,” Courtney murmured.

“And on that note I will talk to you later. Have a good day Court.”

“You too Kris. Call me later and let me know how it goes.”

Kristina smiled. “I will. Bye.”


Kristina hung up the phone and crawled out of bed. She headed for the shower and exhaled softly in relief when she stood under the warm spray. She reflected on the conversation she just had with Courtney. She had been telling the truth when she said she was ready to face anything now.

She bath quickly, then turned off the water and stepped out of the shower. Stopping in front of the mirror she brushed her teeth and checked her reflection. She felt tried but she actually looked rested. She had stopped crying over Warren months ago but her sleep pattern hadn’t returned to normal yet. Still, she had slept pretty soundly last night.

Walking back into her room she dressed for work. She smiled to herself as she walked back into her bathroom. It had been pure luck when received the chance to move to San Angelo. She was definitely going to take advantage of the opportunity.

Kristina crossed the room to her vanity mirror and picked up her hairbrush. She brushed her hair back out of her face, happy that her hair was cooperating today. She braided it in one neat French braid that stopped an inch or two below the base of her neck. She secured the braid with a hair band.

Heading downstairs she walked into the kitchen, inhaling the aroma of the coffee sitting in the coffee pot calling her name. She could kiss Melissa for buying the programmable coffee maker for her. She took the time to enjoy her two cups of coffee and watch the local news. Some of the headlines made her shudder and want to stay indoors.

Once she finished the second cup she noted the clock on the wall and smiled, punctual as usual. She turned off the television and placed her empty mug in the dishwasher before walking out of her apartment and toward her car. A short drive later she pulled up in front of Doctor Robert Cantu’s dentist office.

She fought back her anxiety. There was nothing to be nervous about. She was good at her job. If nothing else it was the one thing she excelled at. She opened the front door and gasped. The waiting room was the first thing that came into view followed by the people filling the waiting room to the seating limit and a little beyond. A few people were standing as well. He must have a huge patient base as well. From the looks of it all of those patients liked him very well and had an appointment this morning. 

The office had only been open for thirty minutes according to the hours Margaret told her.  She had been told to come in late this morning since she didn’t have a key yet. Doctor Cantu was supposed to drop the key off to her yesterday, which would have been her opportunity to meet her boss face-to-face for the first time. Instead Margaret had called yesterday to inform her to show up later because Doctor Cantu was indisposed. Margaret would have dropped off the key herself but she and her husband hadn’t made it back from Midland yet.

She was eager to meet the man who had been desperate enough to hire her without meeting her in person. Margaret told her the last hygienist had left without notice leaving them in the lurch. They had been searching for a qualified replacement for weeks before Kristina found the job posting and applied. Well she would have her opportunity and soon. She hoped the praise Margaret gave him was true. Doctor Cantu sounded like a pleasure to work for. It was the one thing that made it hard to leave her last job. Her boss and co-workers had been wonderful people. She wanted it to be the same here.

Just then the door a few feet from the desk opened and a man who she assumed was Doctor Cantu came out with his head buried in a chart. She gasped again as he looked up and her gaze met the same intense gray eyes that she had seen at Burk’s Saturday night. Only they had been bloodshot and blurred. Still they had been intense then. His soberness did nothing but magnify it.

Her thighs clenched at the attraction that surged through her and she willed herself not to give into the temptation. She could tell he recognized her too when shock fell across his face. He spoke first.

“Who are you?”

She looked down at her scrubs thinking it would be obvious to a man in his position. Who else would wear scrubs in a dentist office?

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. This had to be a nightmare. One she would wake up from and hopefully soon. The sound of a child’s laugh made her eyes snap open and Doctor Cantu reappeared in front of her.

Nope she was definitely awake. This was going to be so awkward.

Maybe he wasn’t the Dentist. He could just be a strange man in a doctor’s coat studying a patient’s chart for fun.

Oh whom was she trying to kid?

What were the chances she could find another job by tomorrow? Did she really want to? Taking a deep breath she tried to remain calm. The waiting room was full of his patients and she had already received enough curious looks when she walked in. Then there was the fact she felt her skin practically tingling from the stares penetrating into her back. She had a feeling these people were intrigued by her interaction with her new boss. No need to give them anything to talk about. She could be an adult about this, a rational adult. 
“I’m Kristina Ward, the new dental hygienist.”

Doctor Cantu seemed to remember his manners and shifted the file in his hand to the side while extending his free hand to her.

“Dr. Cantu at your service. Pleasure to have you onboard.”

“I’m glad to be here,” she managed to choke out. She hated to lie but she had no choice with so many witnesses nearby.

He checked his watch and smiled. “And early at that. You’re off to a good start.”

She looked around the full dentist office. “Apparently not early enough.”

* * * *

Robert smiled at the enigma of a woman standing before him. She was more beautiful today than she had been Saturday night. Her dark brown hair was pulled back into a french braid that was perfect for the oval shape of her face and her creamy cocoa colored complexion. She was tall, leggy, with a curvy figure that enhanced the medical scrubs she was wearing. But it was her amber eyes that captivated him the most. There was a deep sadness within them. He wondered if it was the reason why she had been so willing to come to San Angelo.

 Someone coughed behind him making him realize they weren’t alone and several people were on the edges of their seats trying to pick up sound bites of his conversation with his new employee. He knew first hand some of them could be gossips. No need to give them anything to talk about. He offered Kristina a gentle smile.

“Could you follow me to the back?”

She looked indecisive for a moment but finally nodded. “Sure.”

After his behavior Saturday night he didn’t blame her. He would probably think about running in the opposite direction as well. All he could say was he would never drink bourbon ever again. He would stick to his customary beer or two then he would stop. He turned and led the way to back of the office.

“I will give you a more in-depth tour of the office later. But right now I’ll show you the basics. There are three examination rooms and the fourth is the x-ray room. All I need you to do is prep the patients and if you can’t fix what needs to be done let me know and I will do it. In the waiting room the patients have signed the sign in sheet.”

He led her to the room where he kept the patient records. “Some are new patients and we will have to start a chart but most of them are old patients and have been coming to me for a while now. They will have records on file.”

Opening the door he showed her the neatly organized filing system. “They will be found here. If you need a new chart that are in the drawer on the back wall with all of the necessary labels and documents to go within the file.”

He flashed her another smile and was surprised when she frowned. Woman loved his smile. They told him so all the time. Not because of any major dental work either. Other than braces and an occasional whitening his smile was his, along the one dimple in his left cheek.

He chose to ignore her frown. “Any questions so far?”

She shook her head. “Not at this time.”

“Good. We have a closet for you to lock your purse up in if you need to. Once you are done come find me in exam room two with Margaret. I already have one patient waiting for an x-ray. I could use your help in prepping patients. Place them in rooms one and three.”

He watched her expression become one of business and knew she would work out just fine. As long as his behavior Saturday night didn’t ever come up. He turned and walked in the direction of room two saying a silent prayer while he did. Today was going to be a long day but if he was lucky he might be able to through it and without thinking about how her luscious hips filled out the pants of those scrubs. He stifled a groan at the thought.

Oh yeah. It was going to be a long day

Propositioned: Chapter Two

Chapter Two

“Okay Mrs. Riggs you are all set.”

Kristina smiled as she push the pedal at the base of the dentist chair to ease it into a sitting position. “Everything looks good. I will set your next cleaning for six months from now.”

The middle-aged woman smiled. “Thank you. Now don’t forget that I’m going to bring that pie by tomorrow.”

Kristina laughed. “I won’t and again thank you.”

“You are welcome. We are glad to have you here. You are much kinder that Janet ever was.”

Confusion fell over Kristina’s face. “Janet?”

Karen Riggs nodded. “Yes the young lady you are replacing.”

“Ah okay.”

Karen Riggs shook her head, clear disgust on her face. “Ran off with some fellow from the rodeo. Left behind her sick mother, husband, kids, and job. She left everybody in a lurch but that’s okay, irresponsibility and selfishness comes with a price.”

Well at least now she new the story behind why her new job had become available. She didn’t know what it was with the rash outbreak of infidelity she seemed to be surrounded by. However, if Mrs. Riggs was right Warren should be in line to pay a major price.

She reached for chart containing Karen Riggs information. After making a few notes she stood and led Mrs. Riggs back to the front. Kristina handed the file to Margaret who put it with the others left out for Robert to give a final review. She turned and made her way back toward the examination room to clean it. As she straightened Robert stuck his head in the room.

“Are you finished?”

She jumped at the sound of his voice and placed a hand to her chest. “Goodness you scared me.”

He smiled and her heartbeat stuttered at the sight of the dimple in his left cheek. “I didn’t mean to but it is getting late. Margaret is already gone home. You are free to go as well. I will take care of the rest.”

She looked at the watch on the wall behind her and grimaced. It was a lot later than she thought it to be. She didn’t really mind. The only thing she had planned was to go home and have dinner…alone.

“It’s no problem. I’m almost finished.”

He offered her a grateful smile. “Thank you for your hard work today. You did a good job and it seems like you fit right in.”

The corner of her mouth tilted upward. “Well all of the patients went out of their way to welcome me. By the weekend I will have enough food for the next two weeks.”

Robert chuckled and the sound arrowed through her, reverberating down her spine. Even his laugh was sinful. She didn’t know how she could be so attracted to this man after the way he behaved last night. Yes he was her boss and yes she had to get along with him but being attracted to him was off limits. He was dangerous, lascivious, and wicked. She had to keep her guard up with him. Otherwise she could get herself into trouble she couldn’t get out of.

“Stay away from the cookies and pie and you will be alright.”

She gave him a grim look. “Too late. Mrs. Riggs offered a Key Lime pie that I would never turn down and Mrs. Johnson is making me cranberry oatmeal cookies. With both I’m a lost cause.”

He smiled but remained quiet and there was a strained silence between them before he spoke again.

“I’m sorry about the way I acted last night. I hope you will believe me when I say I don’t normally act like an ass. I just had a little too much to drink and you know what they say about loose lips and all.”

Her left brow arched in his direction. This was the subject she had been trying to avoid all day. She wanted a peaceful working relationship with him, at least until she could find something else. But since he had been the one to bring the subject up she might as well address the issue.

A little? You propositioned me for sex in very descriptive words. You were even kind enough to suggest that we didn’t have to leave the parking lot. We could just do it in the backseat, or was it the front?”

She snapped her fingers barely able to keep her disgust in check. “Oh no. I believe you suggested that we rut on the hood of the car like wild animals in heat.”

She forced the last of the words out between clinched teeth. “I’m surprised you didn’t offer to pay me or would you have if your friend hadn’t come along and dragged you away?”

He looked sheepish as he rubbed the back of his neck. “Well maybe I had a lot to drink. I might have been out of line the other night but I assure you I didn’t mean it. If I had been sober I never would have said those words aloud.”

Her right brow joined the left her expression turning into indignation. He didn’t seem to get the seriousness of the situation. Nothing made her blood heat in anger more than a man who disrespected a woman in any way. Then there was the fact he just insulted her in a backhanded way.

Would he not have approached her at all if he hadn’t been drunk?

She bit back a sound of displeasure not sure whether she should be upset or satisfied that he seemed to be embarrassed about the entire situation.

Her eyes narrowed. “Doesn’t mean you wouldn’t have thought them which is still insulting. I’m not sure what type of women you are used to being involved with but I don’t stand for that. I have been disrespected enough by men-”

Robert held up his hands. “Hang on a second. I’m trying to apologize here but you seem to be missing it.”

He lowered his hands. “Now I’m not sure what gut you are making reference to when you say men but I’m not like him.”

She folded her arms across her chest. “How would you know? You don’t know him.”

He raked his hand through his hair. “Look, I don’t want to. He doesn’t seem like he is worth knowing. But it is also none of my business. I simply wanted to apologize for my behavior. You are a good worker and I would like for you to stay on. I don’t want something I said in a drunken haze to drive you away.”

He exhaled deeply. “So will you accept my apology?”

She studied him for a few minutes her anger fading away, even as she tried to hold on to it. He seemed sincere and after all of the good things she had heard about him from all of the patients she couldn’t help but to feel that Saturday night was a slip of the tongue due to the heavy alcoholic consumption he seemed to be under that night.

She closed her eyes. Having this job was just as important to her as it seemed to be to him. She wasn’t ready to walk away from the new opportunity. Today had been fun. She had really enjoyed herself. The patients were nice and so was Margaret. She opened her eyes and looked at the man who stared back at her with a wary expression.

When she thought about it Robert didn’t seem all so bad. Even today he had checked on her repeatedly making sure she had everything she needed. Taking over a patient she was working on, insisting she take a lunch. Okay, maybe she was being a little harsh still she couldn’t make it too easy on him. He had a lesson to learn.

Never drink again.

“I will agree to call a truce for the sake of our working relationship. I like this job. I need it. But if you ever step out of line with me again believe me you will not like the consequences.”

He extended his hand to her. “You have a deal.”

She grasped his hand within her own but forgot about shaking it as soon as their palms touched. A shiver traveled up her arm. The man was pure lust personified. It was sad to say but if she had a little less self control she might just have ended up out on the hood of the nearest car with him.

She snatched her hand from his when the thought entered her mind. This was dangerous territory. The last time she chose a man because of the strong physical attraction she had to him she ended up where she was now. A path she couldn’t walk down again. Not with Robert. He was her co-worker. Her boss. Strictly forbidden. Just like lying men who were married and had kids.

“Good,” she murmured. “Now I needed to finishing cleaning up this exam room and I will be ready.”

He gave a slight nod. “Okay. I will be in my office finishing up the patient’s charts. Let me know when you are ready and I will walk you out. It is dark out.”

He would have to be a gentleman.

She held back a laugh. Delirium was overtaking her. She had been on her feet too long. One second she hated the man before her, the next she wanted to strip him naked and put the dental chair across the way to good use. Give him the hard ride he asked her for Saturday night. She shook her head to clear it. The quicker she got away from him the better off she would be.

“I will. It shouldn’t take me long.” She looked around the examination room. “I was almost finished.”

He nodded then turned to walk out the room. When he was out of sight she leaned against the counter trying not to collapse to the floor. The man was potent. Like the jolt from the first sip of coffee she took every morning. She allowed herself a few more seconds of insanity before pulling herself together.

She finished straightening up the room and put the instruments away to be sterilized. When the inevitable could no longer be put off she took a deep breath and went to find Robert. He was right where he said he would be only he was asleep. His doctor’s jacket hung open and he reclined back in his desk chair with his feet propped on the desk. Hard to believe the man could look more delicious, more tempting asleep than awake but he did.

Damn I need to get control of myself.

She cleared her throat but he didn’t move. She tried again a little louder and he stirred slightly. Finally he opened one eye in what seemed to be a great effort. He covered his mouth when he yawned before sitting up stretching as he did.

“And right when I had gotten so comfortable.”

“Sleep in your office a lot?” She teased.

“Sometimes,” he replied as he stood. She turned and left the office not trusting herself to behave when he was so close and they were alone. She pulled her purse out the desk Margaret pulled it out of earlier. A yawn escaped her and she barely managed to cover to her mouth.


She pulled her keys out of her purse and turned to walk out of the office. “Yes I am. It has been a long day. I’m beyond tired. I’m exhausted.”

It was going to be a longer night.

She stifled a groan as she reached the waiting room. Stopping to look at him over her shoulder. “Should I come in earlier tomorrow?”

He shook his head. “No you can come in the same time. We won’t have as many patients on the schedule tomorrow. Besides I wouldn’t want to tire you completely out in the first week.”

He reached around her and opened the door, surrounding him with his woodsy, masculine scent. She stepped out taking a deep breath as she did. She was starting to understand the meaning of lust. Never had she wanted Warren the way that she desired Robert. She didn’t even know the man but craved him. Her breakup with Warren had really screwed her up. She was more affected than she thought she was.

She stepped out of the dentist office putting space between them, inhaling deeply to clear his tantalizing scent from her nose. If she were smart she would start looking for another job. Otherwise she just might end up taking Robert up on his proposition.

* * * *

Kristina sighed as she walked into her apartment. The car ride hadn’t been long but it had been long enough to make her body feel the result of being back to work for a full day. She was also willing to admit she worked harder today than she had at her old job. The crew was smaller. Margaret told her that they had a part-time receptionist that came in four days a week to handle paperwork, transcribing and the front desk. She put her purse on the couch and walked into her bedroom. After changing into a pair of shorts and a T-shirt she sat down on the bed. Courtney answered the phone on the second ring.


“Hey Court.”

“Hey Kris. How did your first day of work go?”

Kristina settled back on the back drawing her knees up to her chest. “Exceptional, especially since the drunk that I ran into at the bar happens to be my boss.”

Courtney made a sound of surprise. “What? You have got to be kidding. Hang on a second.”

Kristina heard Courtney put the phone down it was followed by rustling sounds. Several moments later Courtney came back on the line.

“Okay I’m back. I just had to get out of my work clothes. When you called I had just gotten in from work.”

Kristina smiled. “What are you doing working so late? Normally you are moving gone at least one full minute before five o’clock.”

“Yes, well today was a busy day for me as well.”

Kristina sighed. “Yeah, well I’m one to talk. I put in over an hour of OT my first day of work.”

Interesting,” Courtney said. “So finish telling me about the boss who just happened to have come on to you in the bar.”

Kristina straightened her legs then reclined back on the bed. “Oh believe me he did a lot more than coming on to me. But it wasn’t too bad today. I will admit my mouth almost dragged the ground today when I walked in and recognized him. I wanted to disappear. I came close to turning around and running back out to my car.”

Courtney chuckled. “I can’t blame you. I probably would have had the same reaction myself.”

Kristina shrugged. “What gets me is that he is actually likable when he is sober. He is nice, articulate and caring.”

Courtney made a noncommittal sound. “Hmm. Do I sense attraction in the air?”

Kristina rolled her eyes. “Oh please. Give me a break.”

She heard the smile in Courtney’s voice when she responded. “It’s okay if you think he is good-looking.”

Kristina’s eyes widened. “Who said anything about him being good-looking?”

“The breathless hitch in your tone when you speak.” Courtney said in a knowing voice.

Kristina didn’t bother to deny it. If anyone could pick through her defenses and know when she was telling the truth and when she wasn’t it was Courtney.  

“ Besides there is nothing wrong with a little eye candy.”

He isn’t eye candy.”

“I beg to differ.” Courtney scoffed. “After the way you flipped out after Warren, any man who can get you to take more than once glimpse in his direction has to have a hell of a lot going on. So tell me what he looks like.”

Kristina shook her head. She wasn’t going to get herself worked up over telling her sister how scrumptious the man looked. The point was not to think about him. A goal she was failing at miserably so far. She had to find a way to change the subject and fast.

“You are a mess Courtney, an absolute mess. I am not going there tonight. I’m tired as it is and thinking on a high level of cognitive functioning is out of the question.”

You don’t say. Your new boss must really be hot. What’s his name again?”

Robert.” She replied through clenched teeth.

“I like the sound of that. It is a strong, dependable, trustworthy and sexy name.”

Kristina groaned. “Okay Dr. Ruth. No advice or psychoanalysis tonight please. I don’t want to go to bed with a headache.”

“Oh trust me. You will have to spill at some time. You can’t keep something like this inside because you will explode. I know you. Being that I’m the only sister you can tell this to you might as well go ahead and dish now.”

Kristina sighed. “Don’t get your hopes up Court. I’m done with dating and relationships.”

“Not permanently.”

Kristina rolled onto her stomach. “Maybe, maybe not. There is nothing wrong with being single. I need to be by myself for a while. Be happy. Not have to worry about pleasing anyone else.”

Courtney chortled. “Who said anything about a relationship? We all have physical needs. Like you said he has already made his clear. You should take him up on his offer. Just from a physical standpoint of course. “

Kristina made a sound of frustration. “Courtney please. I’m not hard up for sex. If I need physical release I will be happy to touch myself, repeatedly if necessary. Sleeping with my boss is not an option. Even if he isn’t as bad as I originally thought he was. He is still my boss and that is not a line I’m willing to cross.”

Courtney exhaled deeply. “Well you are better than me. Because this guy seems hot. He has to be since you weren’t this hot and bothered over Warren. If he looks half as good as I imagine you are a fool my little sister.”

Kristina shook her head. “When it comes to men lately I seem to be a major fool. All the more reason for me to stay away from him.”

Courtney paused for an instant. “Just tell me what color his eyes are.”

Kristina looked skyward knowing her sister wouldn’t give up until she had that much. “They are the most incredible shade of gray I have ever seen.”

Courtney made a sound of appreciation. “Are they gray enough for you to get lost in? Like storm clouds-”


What?” He sister replied with an innocence no one would fall for. “If you don’t want to drool over him I can. As a matter of fact I think you need help unpacking don’t-”

Courtney stop it!

Courtney laughed. “Okay. I will stop.”

Her older sister paused sounding like she was struggling to get her amusement under control.

“Seriously Kristina, I ‘m glad you had a good day at work. You deserved to like your new job after what you have been through. Still don’t group all men together because of one man. Warren isn’t worth you casting men aside.”

Courtney paused again. “You have been single six months, which is long enough. If you don’t to take Robert up on his offer try to find and date some other prospective candidates. Just don’t give Warren the satisfaction of making him think you aren’t over him.”

“Oh believe me. I’m over him.” Kristina stated vehemently.

“Are you?” Courtney asked softly.

“Yes I am.” Kristina replied quickly. “Yes I’m still hurt over what he did and I will probably have some trust issues for a while but I don’t want Warren back and I’m likely to give him a sharp kick in both ankles if I ever see him again.”

Courtney laughed. “How about you aim higher and show him what you really think.”

A sharp crack of laughter exploded from Kristina. “And on that note I’m going to let you go Court.”

“Have a good night Kris just promise me you will find a man who will make you quiver in anticipation if just for a night.”

Bye Courtney.”

Kristina hung up the phone before her sister could say anything else. How could she tell her sister she might have already found someone who did?

Propositioned: Chapter Three

Chapter Three

Kristina finished straightening up the exam room then made her way toward the waiting area. It was empty for a change. She had never worked in a dentist office that was always so busy. Margaret told her the half the patients were still coming to check her out and the other half were there to check out Dr. Cantu. Not that she could blame them. He was worth checking out. The past three weeks had been difficult for her to remember the real reason why she was here.

Exhaling deeply, she went to the patient schedule to make sure everyone had been marked off. Thankfully it hadn’t been too bad today with Margaret being out sick. Then again it was only lunchtime. To say there was still tension between her and her new boss was putting it lightly.

She left the waiting area and went back medical records room. After she unlocked the door she stepped inside and walked over to the stack of files beckoning to her. She opened the file on top and gave it a cursory glance to make sure everything she needed was inside of it, then filed the chart inside the cabinet.


Her spine stiffened and she bit her lip contemplating whether she should answer Robert or not. He was sure to find her anyway. The office wasn’t that big. Yet she wanted to avoid him at all cost. She picked up another chart and released a pent up breath.

“I’m in here.”


“The filing room.”

A few seconds later she heard the sound of his footsteps and he appeared in the door with his heart-stopping smile in place. 

“If you are almost done maybe we can go out and grab a bite to eat.”

Kristina glanced at him sharply, only breaking eye contact when the file in her hand slipped to the floor. She snapped out of her moment of stupefaction. Stooping to pick up the file she waved him away when he went to assist her. She gathered the file and stood up, placing the file on the counter, and looked up at him.


“No thank you.”


His smile widened and she did her best not to roll her eyes. She was sure his charm worked on other women. Actually she knew it did. She watched the female patients wither under his smile all day. She refused to be one of those women.


“Why not?”


Her dark brow arched and she turned to face him, crossing her arms over her chest. “Believe me I have two good reasons but I have a question for you first.”


He rested his hip against the counter and folding his arms across his chest. She tried not to focus on his impressive biceps. He gave a slight nod.


“Go ahead.”


“Do all women drop to their knees and become your willing servant when you flash your grin?”


He chuckled and this time she didn’t refrain from rolling her eyes. The man was too cocky and with good reason. Still she meant what she said earlier. Being a woman who fell for a man with an irresistible smile wouldn’t be good for her right now.


“Well I can tell by your reaction the answer is yes. Now let me give you the two reasons why I never will have lunch with you, and for that matter breakfast, brunch, afternoon snack, dinner, or midnight snack. One you have an insufferable amount of self-confidence. Secondly, your smile infuriates me.”


Without giving him the opportunity to respond, she went back to looking through the file she had retrieved. She gasped when he reached for the file and pushed it aside before stepping closing to her. He pinned her body against his and the counter. She looked him dead in the eye trying not to tremble the way she wanted to. She didn’t know which was harder, the counter or his body. He leaned closer to her and she caught a whiff of his minty smelling breath.


“First off there is nothing wrong with having self-confidence.”


Her eyebrows rose high on her forehead. Robert Cantu really was something else.


“Secondly I just asked you to lunch and lunch only, as a co-worker. I get tired of eating by myself sometimes and with you being new in town I thought it might be the same for you.”


He leaned closer to her and she hated how well their bodies seem to fit together. His lips were moving and she realized he was speaking and she had no idea what he was saying. She blinked slowly and forced herself to pay attention.


“I won’t even waste my breath on trying to defend my smile because I know that it would just be ignored by you anyway.”


She brought her hands up to push against his chest. “You are right and-”


Kristina didn’t have the chance to finish her sentence because Robert’s face neared hers and he captured her mouth in a searing kiss. She tried to resist his kiss by remaining immobile and pushing against his shoulders but it didn’t deter him.


Maybe she should just let him kiss her. She would be able to get him out of her system if she did. Then they could stop avoiding each other, the attraction that had been there between them from day one. She was almost embarrassed to admit her attraction to him was stronger than the attraction she had felt for Warren. So she gave in and relaxed against him.


He just deepened the kiss and slowly she responded to him. His tongue swept inside her mouth and her hands slowly slid upward around his neck. Robert Cantu definitely knew how to kiss. His demanding kiss sent a tremor through her so intense if his body hadn’t been pinning her to the counter she would have slid to the floor.


Strong, overpowering feelings raced through her. She moaned softly as he deepened the kiss with bold sweeps of his tongue, capturing the sounds she made. He claimed her mouth for his own. A claim she shouldn’t allow to make, wouldn’t allow him to make.


His hands slid down her waist and pulled her against him. A second later she felt his hand cup her round bottom in his hands and gathered her even closer. She gasped when she came into contact with his bourgeoning erection. He arched into her bringing her more snuggly against him.


His taste was different, unique in a way, which made her crave more. He drew her tongue into his mouth, sucking gently, passionately, sending desire rushing through her entire body. He drove her insane with desire.


Longing flooded her making her moan again in pleasure. She could never recall feeling this way when Warren kissed her. He broke off the kiss and she slumped against him. She gasped trying to draw in a deep breath, realizing that one kiss hadn’t gotten him out of her system.


Pushing against him she tried to create space. He released her and she moved away but he followed her cornering her against the wall. She put her arms out and he stopped.


“We shouldn’t have done that.” Her voice was shaky and more uncertain than she wanted it to be.


“Why not? We both wanted it. It would have happened eventually,” he replied in a low, husky voice.


Her body still quivered from his kiss and she had to look away from him. His gaze was too intense, too knowing. Studying her in a way that made certain parts of her get hot.




His extreme self-confidence began to irritate her again because she knew he could afford to be. She shook her head.


“No it wouldn’t have and it shouldn’t have.” She took a deep breath and forced her body to straighten itself from the wall she was using to hold herself upright. “It will never happen again. I have dated a man like you before with disastrous results. I learn from my mistakes the first time. You are trouble, plain and clear.”


Robert’s eyes darkened and his face tightened in anger. He raked his hand through his hair impatiently.


“I have told you once before I’m not anything like the guy you seem to want to compare me to. I would think a woman like yourself wouldn’t be the type to jump to conclusions without having all of the information first. However you are right Kristina. I am trouble and I plan to show you just how much.”


With that he turned and left. She stood there in shock her mouth gaping open. He had just turned her whole existence upside down with one kiss. His ominous warning didn’t help any. It was hard enough as it was to come into work daily and try to ignore him.


Knowing that she wasn’t going to be able to finish filing the charts she ignored them and headed toward the room where her purse was locked up. She grabbed her purse and headed for the waiting room. Robert was nowhere to be found and when she looked outside his truck was gone.


She wasn’t really hungry but she was going to go to the Tex-Mex place she had become addicted to. The aroma alone would be enough to motivate her to eat.


She locked up the office and walked toward her car. On the way to the restaurant, she surfed different radio stations to see what all was offered. She settled on a radio station that was playing an upbeat song.


Pulling into the parking lot she sighed softly and tried to steady her nerves. A quick look at her reflection in the mirror told her she looked a lot calmer than she felt.


She slid from the car and walked inside recognizing a face or two from the dentist office. She waved in their direction and made her way to the counter to place her order. Thankfully it didn’t take her long to get her order and she took her tray and maneuvered herself into a quiet corner. All she wanted was time to be by herself and gather her thoughts before she got back to the office. She still had a half a day to get through. Unfortunately her solitude didn’t last long for a shadow appeared over her.




She looked up at the attractive stranger happy that it wasn’t Robert but wanting to get rid of the man in front of her no less.


“Do you mind if I join you?”


Her eyes widened slightly and she made a point to look at all of the empty chairs around her before settling her gaze back on him.


“In case you didn’t notice there are plenty of empty tables around me.”


He gave her an unsure smile and shrugged. “I know but I hate eating lunch alone and you look like you could use some company.”


Her left brow rose. “Actually I thought I was looking the exact opposite.”


He chuckled. “Give me a break. I’m a nice guy I swear.”


Her brow lowered slightly and a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. “That’s what you all say.”


He laughed. “Do we?”


She studied him for a moment. He seemed harmless enough. What harm could come of letting him join her for a brief lunch? She didn’t have to do anything, more than talking that was. Besides he was nice looking enough and he didn’t seem to rub her the way that Robert did. Releasing a deep breath she smiled and motioned for him to join her.


“Please have a seat.”


He sat down across from her and she picked up her fork. “By the way, yes, you all say you are nice.”


He took his food off his tray. “I assume a few of those guys have turned out to be dishonest?”


She picked up her fork and focused her gaze on her food. “They all have been dishonest.”


He remained silent and she took a few bites of her food. When she looked up he was studying her. He offered her a smile.


“Thanks for letting me join you. I’m Brice by the way.”


She smiled in returned. “I’m Kristina.”


He offered his hand and she took it. “A pleasure to meet you.”


“Nice to meet you as well, ” he responded before releasing her hand. “So tell me where you are from.”


“How do you know I’m not from here?”


He shook his head. “I can just tell. Being a native of San Angelo I know when a person isn’t from around here.”


She took a sip of her soda. “Well you are right. I’m not from here but from nearby. I was born and raised in Abilene.”


He nodded. “Not far at all. So what brings you here?”




He nodded and a few moments of silence lagged between them. Finally he spoke again.

“Do you like what you do?”


She nodded. “Yes I do. What about yourself?”


Brice nodded. “Yes I do.”


Silence lapsed between them again and Kristina focused on eating. Maybe if she ate she would be able to think clearly. She looked across the table at the man who had joined her and studied him openly. He was a nice looking guy who happened to look very comfortable in his T-shirt and jeans. She like the way he had the front tucked into his pants to show off his belt buckle. Still he seemed to pale in comparison to Robert.


She groaned under her breath. Why was she comparing the two men? Neither were what she needed right now.


“So are you seeing anyone?”


Her gaze jerked up to his. There was open interest in his eyes and she shook her head. “No and nor am I looking to be.”


His smile slipped a little and she sighed. The way she sounded right now he probably wouldn’t be interested in her for long.


“Look it’s not you. I just moved into town and I am not long removed from a bad relationship. I’m not ready to get back out there yet. At least not until I get situated.”


His expression changed to one full of understanding. “So do you think there is a chance we could after you get situated?”


She opened her mouth to say no but no sound came out. She was worse off than she originally thought. Closing her mouth she cleared her throat and tried again.


“Let’s just say we will see.”


He grinned giving her a good view of the sexy dimple in his right check. “I will take maybe over no.”


She smiled and found herself enjoying the rest of their conversation. Several moments later he glanced down at his watch before looking back up at her with an apologetic expression.


“I hate to run but I have to get back to work.”


He reached into his wallet and pulled out a card sliding it across the table to her. “But feel free to call me once you get situated or if you just happen to need a tour guide before then.”


She took his business card and looked down at it then back at him. She liked the idea that he gave her his information without any pressure to give him hers in return.


“I definitely will.”


Kristina watched as Brice stood up and gathered up his trash. He graced her with another broad smile.


“Enjoy the rest of your day.”


She nodded. “You do the same.”


She watched him walk toward the trashcan. If she weren’t still so distracted by Robert’s kiss she would be able to completely focus on the fact that Brice was not only good-looking but he was nicely built. She shook her head. This was the last thing that should be on her mind. Looking down at her own watch she grimaced. It was time for her to head back as well. She wasn’t ready to face Robert but she didn’t have a choice.


After she finished her food she picked up her own trash and threw it away before exiting the restaurant and making toward her car. The drive back to work wasn’t long enough.


Spotting Robert’s truck in parking lot caused her to groan. Shutting off the ignition she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She could do four more hours. Opening her eyes slowly she released her breath then slid out of her car.


She made her way inside and cringed at the sound of Robert’s voice. She couldn’t see him but she could hear him. Letting him kiss her had been a major mistake. Well it was done now and she would have to live with it. She locked her purse away and walked back into the waiting room glad that it was still empty.


Her joy was short lived when the front door to the office swung open and woman around and her child walked in. The first thing she noticed about the little girl was she had a pretty smile. The second was the little girl was beautiful. She smiled at both of them.


“Good afternoon. How can I help you today?”


The woman before her bestowed her with a kind smile. “My name is Leslie and this is my daughter Jessica. We are both here for our 1:00 p.m. appointment.”


Kristina picked up the appointment sheet and smiled. “Yes, a cleaning and check-up. Give me a moment to let Dr. Cantu know you are here.”


“Thank you.”


Kristina turned and went to the back of the office. She wasn’t ready to come face-to-face with Robert again but it would only be for a moment. She would take one patient and he would take the other. If all of the patients scheduled to come in showed up she wouldn’t be alone with him again until it was time to go home. By then she would be able to race out the door.


She found Robert in his office reviewing a chart. He looked up when she stopped in the doorway and she averted her gaze. Not brave enough to face his inquisitive gaze.


“Our 1:00 p.m. appointments are here.”


“Okay. I will be right out.”


She turned to leave his office and made her way back to the waiting area. She marked Leslie and Jessica off of the appointment sheet and waited for Robert. He showed up a few moments later and she was surprised at the bright smile that appeared on his face. The little girl who had been holding on to her mom’s hand tightly suddenly let it go and ran into Robert’s arms as he knelt down. He placed a kiss on her cheek.


“Hey Jessica.”


“Hi daddy Robert.”


Kristina paused at the statement. Clearly there was an explanation behind the words. One she wasn’t sure she wanted to know. She kept her expression pleasant, watching the interaction between the two of them.


“Every time I see you, you are prettier.”


Jessica giggled. “Thank you.”


Kristina watched Robert brush a strand out hair out of the little girls face. Wondering what his relationship was to her. It was definitely more than Doctor and patient.


“So are you ready to have your teeth cleaned today?”


Jessica nodded. “Yes.”


Robert stood again and clasped Jessica’s hand in his. He finally looked up at her and Leslie.


“I will take Jessica and you can take Leslie.”


Kristina nodded and watched Robert walk off with the little girl. He was back to being all business. The strange thing was his post kiss behavior bothered her. She wanted to know he was still affected by it like she was. She felt like she was straddling a fence of indecisiveness and she needed to figure out which side she wanted to be on . . . and quick.

Propositioned: Chapter Four

                                                                  Chapter Four

Kristina looked up in surprise as a shadow fell over the table she was sitting at. The two people standing at her table were two she hadn’t expected to see. She greeted Leslie and Jessica with a tentative smile.

Jessica graced her with an adorable smile in return. “Hi Ms. Kristina.”

Kristina looked over at Leslie who gave her an apologetic smile. “Hi.”

Kristina put her fork down. “Hi Jessica. Leslie. This is a surprise.”

Leslie shrugged. “I know. Jessica and I have dinner here every Wednesday night and she saw you. I thought it would be rude if we didn’t at least come over to speak.”

Jessica looked up at her mother and tugged her hand. “Can’t we eat with Ms. Kristina?”

Kristina froze at the thought. She hadn’t seen Leslie and Jessica since they came into the office for their cleaning a little over two weeks ago.

While she cleaned Leslie’s teeth, she had kept the conversation light and general, not delving into anything personal. Even now she still didn’t know what Robert’s relationship was to them and she was trying to convince herself that she didn’t care.

Leslie gave a slight shake of her head sending a wave of relief through Kristina. “No. We don’t want to interrupt Ms. Kristina any more than we already have.”

Jessica’s expression became so crestfallen Kristina felt her heart turn over in her chest. It wouldn’t kill her to allow the duo to join her for dinner. Otherwise she would just sit alone with her racing thoughts and feel bad about disappointing a precious little girl.

On the other hand this could be disastrous. Yes Robert was her boss but the kiss they had shared changed the dynamics of everything. She tried her best to avoid him, only talking about patients and their treatment. When it was time to go home she raced though her clean up routine and raced out the door before Robert had time to escort her to her vehicle. She had come to the conclusion that he was lethal.

She glanced at the disappointed looking Jessica before looking up at Leslie. “The two of you are more than welcome to join me.”

She didn’t miss the look of surprise on Leslie’s face and wondered if inviting them to join her was a wise decision. It was too late to change her mind now.

She was given a moment of reprieve when Leslie and Jessica’s order number was called. They were back before she had time to take a good breath.

What had she been thinking?

Kristina tried to smile when they sat down at the table, across from her. Leslie made sure Jessica was situated with her food before arranging her own. She smiled at Kristina again.

“Thank you again for allowing us to join you. I hope we aren’t intruding.”

Kristina shook her head and picked up her fork trying to focus on the food in front of her. She had come to Marcy’s expecting to enjoy a meal with a home cooked taste to it. By the time the night was over she likely to be on the receiving end of a little more.

“You aren’t. Eating dinner by one’s self has it’s disadvantages.”

Leslie gave her a wry grin. “It also has it’s advantages as well. Besides I know eating dinner with two complete strangers is not always ideal.”

Kristina smiled. “In West Texas is anyone ever really a stranger?”

Leslie laughed. “No. No matter how bad you might want them to be.”

Leslie picked up her own fork with one hand and pulled her plate closer to her with the other. “So how is it working with Robert?”

Kristina almost choked on the bite of green beans she just ate. “Um . . . well it is interesting.”

Leslie grinned. “In a good way or a bad way.”

Kristina remained silent while she chewed trying to figure out how to answer the question as politely as possible. She felt like she had no choice but to be completely honest. “Both.”

Leslie laughed. “I know what you mean. Robert has a way of making you like him on one hand and irritating you on the other.”

Leslie looked over at Jessica with a wistful expression on her face. “He also has a way of making you grow attached to him.”

Leslie looked back at Kristina and spoke in a hushed tone. “Sometimes I worry about Jessica being so fond of him. I don’t want him to feel obligated to take care of her.”

Kristina remained quiet, not quite sure how to respond. Not sure if she should. Leslie prevented her from having to say anything by taking a bite of her own food. It seemed the relationship between Robert and Leslie was more complicated than she thought.

“So, you and Robert seemed to be getting along very well.”

This time Kristina did choke and she coughed a few times before picking up her drink to get herself back under control.

“Why do you say that?”

Leslie shrugged. “The two of you seem to work well together the day Jessica and I came in and he has nothing but good things to say about you.”

Kristina tried to keep her panic from bubbling to the surface. She couldn’t believe he was talking about her to another woman. Especially one he seemed to have a deep connection with. Even though curiosity ate at her she didn’t want to know what he said. She was going to be awake half the night just knowing he was speaking of her.

“We get along well enough,” Kristina muttered.

A look of surprise flickered across Leslie’s face. “I don’t mean to pry. I just thought . . .”

Kristina gave her a look of understanding. “I know. Let’s just say my working relationship with Robert is a little complicated.”

“I know exactly what you mean,” Leslie replied before taking a bite of her food. She finished chewing and gave Kristina a small smile.

“My personal relationship with Robert is simple and complicated at the same time as well.”

Kristina held her hands up. “Your relationship with Robert is none of my business. I’m not interested in Robert, I swear.”

She surprised herself by being able to make the statement with a straight face and without stuttering.

Leslie’s mouth fell open in shock and she shook her head. “Oh no. My relationship with Robert isn’t like that at all. It’s a long story but I will tell you if you are interested. I promise it will clear up a few things.”

Kristina lowered her hands. Curiosity fought to claw it’s way to the surface but she did her best to hold it back. She wanted to know everything about Robert’s relationship with Leslie but she wouldn’t let it show even if it killed her.

“You don’t have to tell me anything about what you share with Robert, that is between you and him.”

“You are right but it isn’t a secret. The people who know Robert and I know the story. Besides working in the dentist office you are bound to hear about it.”

Leslie shrugged. “I’m surprised you haven’t heard about it before now but at least this way you will get a accurate recount. About six years ago I was involved with a guy named Justin. He was gorgeous and he was a heartbreaker, only I didn’t know it at the time. By the time I found out I had already fallen for him.”

Leslie sighed. “Robert didn’t really like Justin at first but he accepted him because of our friendship. Robert and I grew up together. Our parents lived on the same street all of our lives.”

Leslie smiled. “They still do. Robert and I were . . . are so close that a lot of people suspected otherwise. It never mattered to Robert and I. We always knew what our relationship was.”

Kristina could understand the statement. It was a very accurate one for she had been unsure of what to make of Leslie and Robert’s relationship. To some degree she still was.

Leslie stared down at her plated for a moment before looking back up. “About a year into my relationship with Justin, his mother passed away. We were all grieving and after the funeral services we went back to Justin’s place and began drinking. One thing led to another and I ended up having unprotected sex with Justin.”

Kristina kept her expression in check. She couldn’t begin to comprehend what that felt like. It was the one of the smartest things she had insisted on in her relationship while with Warren, with any man. Sitting here knowing what she did, she realized just how intelligent her decision had been. She cringed at the idea of having a child with Warren. Talk about a nightmare.

Leslie exhaled softly. She looked over at Jessica who was finished with her food and now seemed engrossed with the doll she had been carrying earlier. Leslie looked back at Kristina with a sad smile.

“I don’t remember a lot of it but then again I don’t remember much about that night. Robert wasn’t as drunk as Justin and I were so he drove me home. Robert decided he would crash on my couch. I think we ended up having a few more drink and the next thing I remember was waking up next to Robert in bed, sans clothes.”

Kristina felt her stomach drop. She didn’t want to think about Robert and Leslie sleeping together. Sure Robert was her boss and she had no intention of pursuing anything with him, yet knowing they had been together would make her look at things in a totally different light. She wouldn’t be able to work with Robert in any capacity.

Leslie closed her eyes briefly. “I felt so guilty. Robert assured me we hadn’t done anything but I could tell he wasn’t one hundred percent certain himself. We decided we would never speak of that night again. Then I found out I was pregnant. I thought my world was going to crash and burn.”

Kristina was struggling to keep up with this winding tale. The story she was hearing could easy be a scene in a soap opera.

Leslie laughed but it was void of humor. “I never would have imagined I would be pregnant and unsure of who the father of my child was. It was the most trying time in my life. I could still remember the looks on Justin and Robert’s faces when I told both of them. Robert was hurt because I didn’t believe him about not sleeping together. Justin was pissed off at being a father when he wasn’t ready to be.”

Kristina finally found her voice. “I’m sure that was tough.”

As soon as she said the words she knew it was the understatement of the year. She could recall how devastated how she had been with the way her relationship ended with Warren and a child hadn’t even been involved.

Leslie reached over and brushed a wild curl of Jessica’s face. “It was very difficult. Justin broke up with me right away insisting I was trying to trap him. Robert stuck by my side the entire time. He went with me to almost every doctor’s visit even carried Jessica’s sonogram picture around in his wallet. He was everything I wanted Justin to be.”

Kristina knew about that type of longing all too well. She hadn’t wanted Warren to be a lot of things to her, including faithful but it hadn’t happened. Leslie continued on pulling her out of her own mental rambling.

“In so many ways Robert became Jessica’s daddy. Then Jessica was born and I had to make the hardest decision of my life. I had to find out for sure who Jessica’s father was. So the DNA test was done and Justin turned out to be the father, proving Robert right.”

Leslie took a sip of her drink. “Justin didn’t change his mind about being involved with Jessica in anyway. Fortunately neither did Robert. Through it all he has been my solid foundation, Jessica’s as well.”

Kristina looked over at Jessica who had abandoned her doll and was rubbing her eyes. Leslie scooted back from the table and opened her arms. Jessica didn’t hesitate to crawl into and Kristina’s heart gave a hard thump at the sight. She wanted to have that at some point but a few years in the future and after she found a decent guy who fit the bill.

“I’m glad Robert has been a father figure for her but I didn’t want her to get too attached because one day Robert is going to meet someone that he wants to settle down with and start his own family. I don’t want her to feel like she is second best because in spite of everything that has happened I have never regretted having my baby. I never want her to feel unwanted.”

Kristina gave Leslie a sympathetic smile. “Jessica is a special little girl and somehow I don’t think Robert would be that kind of guy. Besides you may meet a special man of your own who will care for you and Jessica as much as Robert does.”

Leslie laughed. “I don’t think so. I have my hands full working a full-time job and taking care of Jessica. I don’t see myself dating again until she is off to college.”

“Impossible. You will meet someone before then.”

Leslie rolled her eyes. “Well he is taking his sweet time showing up.”

Kristina laughed. “My mom has always said good things come to those who wait.”

Leslie smiled brightly. “I believe that but I’m not waiting. There is no need to. As much as I would like to have a significant other in my life Jessica and I do fine as we are. Most men flinch or hesitate when they find out I am a single parent. Sometimes I still get mad as hell about Justin tossing us aside so carelessly.”

Leslie shook her head. “It doesn’t bother me as much as it used to because even as a friend Robert makes up for most of the crappy things Justin has done to me and his daughter by abandoning us without looking back.”

Kristina hesitated slightly before asking her next question. “Have you heard from Justin at all?”

Leslie shook her head. “No. The last time I saw him was about two years ago. Robert told me he heard from a neighbor that Justin left town to head to San Antonio.”

Kristina shook her head. “It’s sad that he doesn’t see his daughter like he should.”

Leslie shrugged. “I hate to say it but it might be better for everyone.”

Kristina looked down at Jessica who was asleep in her mother’s arms. “Justin made it clear he didn’t want to be tied down with a kid and he wouldn’t have been a good father because he isn’t mature enough. I won’t even mention his strong trait of selfishness.”

“Does Jessica know Justin is her father?”

Leslie nodded. “Yes she does but she always says she would prefer for Robert to be her dad. Robert concedes halfway by letting her call him daddy Robert.”

The phrase made so much more sense now and Kristina couldn’t keep a small chink of armor around heart from falling away. She would have never guessed Robert would be the type of guy to take the role of surrogate father but he had and he seemed to be doing a good job. It was obvious he cared a lot about Jessica and Leslie as well. She was willing to give him credit for his big heart but it didn’t change anything. Robert was still off limits.

Propositioned: Chapter Five

Chapter Five

Kristina sighed as she secured her hair back into a French twist. She was keeping her hairstyle simple yet elegant. Glancing at her reflection in the mirror she stuck her tongue out but it didn’t help lighten the situation any. To be honest she didn’t feel like going out tonight but she was going to make the best of the situation.

She smoothed her hands down the sides of the blue dress she decided to wear tonight, smoothing out imaginary wrinkles. Since they were probably going to end up dancing she put on her sandals that had a steady strap and heel. No need to make a spectacle of herself by wearing shoes that could be a hazard.

She put on a small dab of perfume before picking up her purse and keys. She was going to drive over to Leslie’s place where Alex and Brice were going to meet them. Over the past few weeks she and Leslie had become good friends. The more time she spent with Leslie and Jessica the more she realized Leslie had been completely honest about her connect to Robert. Their relationship was platonic.

Too bad Kristina was having trouble doing the same. She tried to keep her distance from Robert but it was difficult to do. It was as if he enjoyed cornering her when he could. She didn’t miss the smirk on his face whenever they were in tight quarters and she had to squeeze by without touching him. Robert enjoyed her torment a little too much.

It was part of the reason why she had decided to go out tonight. She needed a distraction in a bad way. Her wish had been granted a few days ago during dinner with Leslie, Brice had approached the table with his friend Alex. A very nice looking man whose interest in Leslie was transparent, very transparent.

Before the two men had walked away from the table she and Leslie had agreed to a night out with the men. As she drove to Leslie’s house she exhaled softly. This was a situation she didn’t want to be in. Yes she was attracted to Brice but there was something missing. What it was exactly she couldn’t put her finger on. Besides she had come to San Angelo for the employment opportunity. Not more trouble with men. Robert was already trying her patience and mental sanity.

If Leslie hadn’t been so nervous about going out on a date, her first since having Jessica, Kristina would be at the house. She could imagine being curled up on her couch in her comfy pajama’s and watching a romantic comedy. Instead she was out offering moral support.

Pulling up in front of Leslie’s apartment she shut off the engine and took a deep breath. All she had to do was relax and the time would fly by before she knew it. Reaching for her purse she slid out of her car and made her way up to Leslie’s apartment. Leslie opened the door before Kristina could finish knocking.

“Hi Kristina.”

She didn’t miss the tremor in Leslie’s voice as she stepped inside the apartment. “Hi Leslie. You look great.”

Leslie’s smoothed her hands down the front of her dress with a worried expression. “Do you think so?”

Kristina nodded. “Pink is your color. You should wear it more often.”

Leslie seemed to visibly relax before her. “Thanks Kristina. I needed that.”

Kristina was sincere in her compliment. The casual dress emphasized Leslie’s slim but curvy figure. Leslie was hiding a dynamite figure.

Leslie touched a hand to her hair. “I still can’t figure out what to do with this though.”

Kristina smiled. “Well if you lead me in the direction of your bathroom and hair pins I may be able to come up with something for you.”

Leslie glanced at the clock on the wall. “We don’t have long.”

Kristina looked in the direction Leslie stared in. “Twenty minutes is plenty of time.”

“Okay then.”

Leslie led the way to the bathroom and Kristina followed her wondering if there had ever been a time she felt so insecure. If there was a time she couldn’t recall it. Hopefully after tonight Leslie would see getting back into the world of dating wasn’t as bad as it seemed. She almost laughed at the irony. Courtney just uttered those same words to her a few nights ago.

She had to admit she was one to talk when the only thing she wanted to do was hiss or snarl at anything with a penis. Like she told Courtney it would get better in time. She wasn’t going to rush because she didn’t need a rebound situation.

She saw Leslie’s curling iron was already plugged up. The red light indicator wasn’t on telling her she had time to come up with a solid idea of what to do with Leslie’s hair. It was wavy enough to where she wouldn’t have to apply much heat for curls.

Leslie pulled a container of hairpins out of the drawer and sat them on the counter, then turned to look at Kristina.

“Do you need anything else?”

“Just a chair for you and a little holding spray.”

Leslie nodded and retrieved the items quickly while Kristina tested the iron and determined it was ready. When Leslie was situated Kristina took a little mousse and rubbed it together between her palms before rubbing it into Leslie’s hair. She curled the ends of Leslie’s hair before sweeping it to the top of her head and securing it with hairpins. When she finished Leslie smiled brightly.

“Thank you Kristina. You did a really good job.”

“You’re welcome. Now take a deep breath and relax. The guys will be here in a little while.”

When Leslie didn’t tense at the mention of the guys Kristina felt a little of her own tension evaporate. All she wanted was for this to be an uneventful night. The doorbell rang pulling her from her musings. Leslie jumped and Kristina laughed. She reached out and gave Leslie’s hand a reassuring squeeze.

“Breathe Leslie. Everything will be fine. I promise. Now let’s go have a good time.”

Even as Leslie left the bathroom and Kristina followed her to the front door. When it swung open Brice and Alex stood on the other side. The guys seemed to be speechless at the sight of them so Kristina broke the silence by speaking first.

“Hi Brice. Alex.”

“Hi,” Brice replied.

“Hello,” Alex said simultaneously.

Kristina smiled and Leslie seemed to collect herself. “Please come in. We just need to get our purses and we will be ready.”

The men stepped inside and Kristina saw that Alex couldn’t take his eyes off of Leslie.

“You look beautiful,” he told her.

Brice stepped closer to her and Kristina tilted her head slightly to look up at him. “Hey handsome.”

Even as the words slipped from her mouth she realized he paled in comparison to Robert. She felt guilty as soon as the thought entered her mind. Should she be comparing men? She made a small sound under her breath. There was nothing wrong with sizing men up. They did the same to women all the time. She wondered how often Warren had done it with her.

When the thought entered her mind it was hard not to frown but she realized Brice was talking and she needed to try to focus on what he was saying. She caught the end of his sentence and was able to comprehend that he was paying her a compliment.

“Thank you,” she murmured as she stepped away to grab her purse.

Leslie came to stand beside her. “I’m ready.”

The men offered each of them an arm and they walked out of the apartment, stopping to allow Leslie to lock the door. They all loaded in Alex’s SUV, Leslie riding up front with Alex, leaving her in the backseat with Brice.

When they arrived at the restaurant they were seated quickly and she was glad. She hadn’t realized how hungry she was. Then again Robert had been messing with her eating pattern. Poor Melissa didn’t know which direction to go in. She had begged her co-worker to switch lunch times with her. Just another way she could avoid being alone with Robert.


She looked up from her menu and saw that all eyes were on her. The waiter was staring at her expectantly and she could feel her cheeks heat with embarrassment.

“Tea,” she stated quickly, instinctively knowing she was expected to tell the waiter what she wanted to eat.

She needed to get herself together and fast. Otherwise Brice was going to assume she was crazy. She looked across the table at Leslie who was studying her with open curiosity and puzzlement. Kristina offered a small smile and dropped her eyes down to her menu trying to keep her mind focused on the present.

Right now she didn’t feel any better than Warren. Only she didn’t know whom she was cheating on. Thankfully dinner went fast, too fast. She couldn’t remember what she had ordered let alone eaten.

“Are you ladies ready to go dancing?”

She wanted to scream no but refrained. Leslie was having a good time and she didn’t want to ruin it for her. She knew what it felt like to have happiness ruined. A little over halfway into the date Leslie had relaxed. Alex made her laugh and Kristina liked him.

She looked over at Brice with guilt and gave him what she hoped was a smile. If he was bothered or upset by having just half of her attention the entire night he didn’t let it show. She should have waited until she wasn’t so angry and bogged down with her thoughts of Robert. It wasn’t fair of her to be out with him tonight but she had already committed to the date and she would see it through.

“Sounds like fun.”

The drive to Graham Central Station was a quick one and she could hear the music before they even made it to the door. They were able to find table but Leslie and Alex didn’t stay seated long. Kristina watched the head off to the dance floor. The two of them really were a cute couple. She looked over at Brice who was smiling at her. Now if she could just work on her feelings toward him.


Kristina sighed as she walked through her front door. She hadn’t even sat her purse down before the phone rang. The last thing she felt like doing was talking. Her body ached along with her head after the exhausting day at work. She scrambled around inside her purse until she found her phone. A groan escaped her when she viewed the Caller ID.

“This had better be good Courtney.”

“Wow! It sounds like someone has had a bad day.”

“Not bad, just rough. But do me a favor. I just walked in the door. Let me get situated and I’ll call you back in a few.”

“Okay’s that’s fine. Talk to you in a little bit.”

“Make sure you do.”

“Bye Court.”

Kristina disconnected the call and sighed. She so wanted to take a hot bubble bath and relax with a glass of Merlot but it was out of the question right now. If she did she would be out and quickly. Courtney would kill her if she didn’t call her back. She was expecting a full update from her date with Brice five nights ago. She would have to settle for a shower.

Kristina trudged up the stairs to her room. She turned on the shower setting the temperature of the water to as hot as she could stand it, before taking off her clothes and stepping under the spray. She stood there for a few minutes trying to relax, letting the water beat the tension out of her body, then she began to bathe.

A few moments later she stepped out of the show feeling more relaxed now than she had before she had when she came home. She put on her pajamas and headed back downstairs. Picking up her cell phone off the counter she dialed her sister’s number. Courtney answered the in the middle of the first ring.

“Hi Kristina.”

“Hey Courtney. I just wonder what you would have done if it hadn’t been me calling.”

“I would send my cell phone back for repair because my Caller ID would be off.”

Kristina rolled her eyes and walked into the living and plopped down on the couch. “You have serious issues Court.”

“Actually it sounds like you are the one with issues. Now tell me all about the hot date and the rough day at work in either order.”

“The date wasn’t hot. I can’t even say lukewarm. I was a chaperone and matchmaker more than anything else.”

“What? Oh come on now Kris. It hasn’t been that long since you have been on a date for you to forget how it really goes. You are supposed to concentrate on your own date.”

Kristina sighed. “You know Courtney I would love to argue with you but I know you are right. It would have been nice just be able to focus on the guy I was with.”

There was a pregnant pause before Courtney responded. “What do you mean by that?”

“Brice isn’t my type. I wasn’t sure at first but by the end of the date I was positive.”

“Is he a bad looking or a bad kisser?”

“No to both. He is gorgeous and a okay kisser . . .”

“Just not as good as someone else?”

Kristina groaned. “Oh my God Court. What is wrong with me? Why do I keep picking the wrong man?”

“Because you need a better matchmaker besides who says you have chosen the incorrect one.”

Kristina laughed. “I shudder at the idea.”

“Which one?” Courtney exhaled softly. “Seriously Kristina you know Brice isn’t the guy for you.”

“And Robert is?”

“From what you have said about him, yes.”

Kristina sat up straight and her mouth dropped open. “I haven’t said much about him and when I do it’s because you ask.”

“How long are you going to play this game Kristina? Do you honestly have the energy to keep it up? You sound more and more exhausted every time I talk to you. Instead of fighting your attraction to Robert why don’t you give into it?”

“I can’t,” Kristina moaned. “It would be disastrous. I can’t date my boss.”

Courtney laughed. “Who said anything about dating?”

Kristina gasped. “What are you suggesting Courtney?”

“Hot. Sweaty. Mind-Altering sex.”

Kristina dropped her phone and scrambled to pick it up. When she was able to get it back to her ear she could hear Courtney laughing again.

“This isn’t funny Courtney. If I won’t date my boss why would I have sex with him?”

Kristina could hear her sister struggling to stop laughing. “Easy. You can avoid the emotional attachment you seem to be so afraid of.”

Kristina sat back on the couch. “Oh please. With my luck I would still end up getting hurt.”

“Not if you go into it on your terms. Set the rules and if Robert wants you he will follow them.”

Kristina pondered what her sister just suggested to her. Robert had been the one to proposition during their first meeting. Sure he had been intoxicated and sure he had been embarrassed about how he had come across to her when he sobered up. Still he wanted her and he made no effort to hide it. If she gave him the go ahead they probably would end on the hood of the car as he suggested to her. The idea alone made her flinch.

She wouldn’t date him but she would have sex with him?

She didn’t know which thought scared her more. Both of them bordered on brink of being pure insanity and she wouldn’t have any part of it. She wasn’t that desperate or mindless.

“I can’t do it Courtney. With my luck it would blow up in my face.”

“So you are going to force yourself to like Brice?

Kristina could hear the disappointment in Courtney’s voice and it was similar to what she felt but for a different reason.

“No Courtney, I’m going to tell Brice we are better off as friends and leave it alone.”

“What about Robert?”

Kristina rubbed her eyes with her thumb and index finger. “I will ignore him like I have been. I have already decided to put my resume in at a few other places. I need to get away from him, far away from him, before I do something I regret.”

“Good luck,” Courtney replied in a mocking tone. “Let me know how it goes for you.”

“Whatever Courtney. I’m tired and hungry. I will talk to you later. Have a good night.”

“You know I just want the best for you right Kris?”

She exhaled softly. “I know Court and I appreciate it. I love you and have a good night.”

“I love you too Kristina.”

She disconnected the call and dropped the phone beside her on the couch. She had gotten herself into a hell of a mess. Now she had to figure out a way to get out of it and remain sane in the process.


Kristina tried not to pace nervously while she waited. She almost cried out when the doorbell rang and placed a hand to her chest. The jitters she felt made her nauseous. All she had to do was get through her spiel without losing her dinner. She walked toward the door and opened it the corners of her mouth tilting upward when she saw Brice.

“Hi. Come on in.”

“Hi,” Brice stated before kissing her check.

She wanted to curse her body for the lack of response. Why couldn’t her skin tingle, the earth move like it seemed to when Robert was near? She bit back a growl. Tonight wasn’t about Robert. It was about Brice and her.

“How are you?” she asked as she escorted him inside.

“I’m good.”

She led him to the living room and sat down on the couch, relieved when he sat on the opposite end. When he looked over at her she felt a twinge of guilt. He was so good looking. Why couldn’t she be attracted to him?

“Tell me what’s wrong Kristina.”

She looked up at him in surprise. “What?”

He smiled. “You asked me to come over to talk on a weeknight and at the last minute, so I figure something is wrong.”

Kristina shook her head. “No, nothing is wrong. At least not . . .”

Brice moved closer to her and took her hand in his. His comforting touch filled her with even more guilt. She didn’t deserve his kindness.

“Tell me.”

Even before she opened her mouth to speak she could see in his eyes that he knew what she was going to say. His expression was somber as if he expected the worst.

“I’m sorry Brice but I feel like I’m misleading you and I want to stop it before it gets out of hand. I think we would make better friends more than anything else.”

She could see the disappointment in Brice’s expression and the corners of his mouth turned down a little. He released her hand slowly.

“I had a feeling you were going to say as much. Is it still too soon after your break-up?”

Her mouth opened but no sound came out. She closed her mouth swallowed a few times and tried again.


He was silent for a moment and then his left brow rose. “Is there another guy?”

She sighed and looked away from him briefly before looking back. “Yes and no.”

His frown deepened. “So it’s me?”

Kristina shook her head. “No it’s me. I know the line sounds lame and I wish I could come up with something better but I can’t.”

She exhaled deeply. “In a way there is another guy but I don’t want it to be. He isn’t the right guy for me.”

Brice frowned. “If you aren’t involved with him how do you know?”

Kristina shrugged. “I just know. It is complicated to explain.”

“Is he a bad guy or something?”

Kristina couldn’t lie on Robert. For the exception of the disastrous first meeting Robert had done nothing but prove over and over again that he wasn’t a bad guy. However she had thought the same of Warren and how wrong she had turned out to be. She just didn’t want to get hurt again. She looked over at Brice.

“No he isn’t. He seems to be a good guy. I just have my reservations and for good reasons. I don’t want you to think I am putting the breaks on us for him. You are a great guy and you are going to make another woman very happy. However you deserve a woman who will do the same for you in return and I’m not that woman.”

Brice remained silent for a moment. “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed but you have made your decision and I can respect it because you are being honest with me. I can deal with being your friend.”

He chuckled. “I don’t think we have a choice. Alex and Leslie seemed to have hit it off.”

Kristina nodded. “They have and we will see each other around. I mean it when I say you are a nice guy. If things were different . . .”

“Yes, well I’m one who doesn’t believe in dwelling on what could have been giving different circumstances, since nothing changes. I also hope you figure out your relationship with the other guy. In the short time that I have gotten to know you I realize you are a good person and you deserve a good guy.”

She couldn’t agree with Brice more. Her fear was what would she do if Courtney was right and Robert was that guy.


Kristina came around the corner and shrieked loudly as she placed a hand to her chest. It took her a few moments to compose herself and she was glaring by the time she did.

“You almost scared me to death!”

Robert stood before her sans his lab coat leaning against the file cabinet she needed to get into as if he had been waiting for her. After the week she had so far this was the last thing she needed. Her conversation with Brice last night was still fresh in her mind. After she let him down gently he had stayed and talked and it became clear he was a good friend. Now she stood facing the man who had become a pain in her backside. Even as he stood looking so sexy he made her eyes hurt.

“I didn’t mean to.”

Her eyes widened at the lack of sincerity in his voice and the fact he didn’t make any attempt to move. “Is there a problem?”

He straightened from his reclining position against the file cabinet, and she took a step back before she could stop herself. When she realized what she had done she stood her ground. She couldn’t allow him to see how much he got under her skin.

He took a step toward her, and another, and another, until he stood directly in front of her making her tilt her head back to look him in the eye. She clutched the patient’s charts to her chest like a shield, a useless shield. He disarmed her quickly, sitting the files on the counter.

“Yes there is. I want to know why you are avoiding me. Did I do something wrong?”

This time she didn’t stop herself from taking a few steps back. She almost sighed in relief when he didn’t follow her. It made it easier for her to be honest.

To think.

His nearness seemed to incapacitate her, mind, body and common sense. She shook her head trying to pull herself together. All she had to do was get rid of him, put the files in her filing cabinet and leave.

Probably going to be easier said than done.

“No Robert. You haven’t done anything wrong. I’m just keeping space between us.”

His brows furrowed together in a way, which made him look even more handsome. “Why?”

She folded her arms across her chest. “Because I’m tired and ready to go home. Besides after what happened between us the last time we were in this file room, you have to ask?”

His frown deepened. “Is there something wrong with a healthy attraction between a man and a woman?”

She gasped. “Yes when it is between co-workers, not to mention a boss and subordinate.”

“It happens everyday.”

She opened her mouth to deny it but couldn’t. He had a point and a good one. Office romances weren’t uncommon but she knew well enough that it was discouraged when it came to direct relationships within an organization.

“It’s not wise Robert. I’m not ready to get involved with another man.”

“Are you saving yourself for any particular reason? If so is there a time frame I need to be aware of?”

Her mouth dropped open. “You are being rude.”

His left brow rose. “I was serious. I’m just trying to figure out what is going on in your head. I can’t understand why a woman would fight such a strong attraction. We are very compatible.”

“What if we aren’t compatible, Robert?”

“Excuse me?”

Her mouth curved into a smile. Apparently he found the idea ludicrous. In a way she did too but she had to fight this attraction. The end results could be devastating if it didn’t work out.

“I said what if we aren’t compatible? How do we know we’re really attracted to each other? That we’ll be able to click?”

He chuckled softly. “Trust me. We are very compatible?”

“How do you know?”

“Because you still remember the heated kiss we shared the last time we were in here. You just mentioned it, remember?”

She tried to keep her expression blank not wanting to let him know he had just back her into a corner without taking a step toward her. Still she wasn’t going down without a fight.

“I believe that was a fluke, a one-time occurrence. It wouldn’t happen again if we wanted it to.”

One of the first things she had discovered about Robert was that he didn’t like challenges. He preferred things to go smoothly and normally had a plan of action and back up plan in place before he did anything. At least that was his mode of operation at work. However, she could tell from his expression that proving she was incorrect was exactly what he wanted to do. Still, she hoped he would decline the opportunity to so.

It wasn’t going to happen.

She released a long, slow breath as he stepped closer to her. His eyes never left hers as he came to a stop in front of her.

Reaching out, he touched her arm and the shock of that touch for some reason almost took her breath away. This was the zing, thrill missing when Brice had touched her. It unnerved her and she struck out at him verbally.

“I thought you were a dentist not an expert on sexual attraction,” she said in a low, raspy tone.

She didn’t dare clear her throat. He already heard the effect he had on her with just a simple touch. She might be better off just remaining quiet.

“You are right but I am also a man and I know sexual chemistry on any level. Yet I think this will eliminate any doubt in your mind on whether or not we the first time was a fluke.”

Before she could respond he lowered her head, cupped the back of her neck and brought his mouth to hers. Her heart pounded hard in her chest the moment their lips touched. And when their tongues began mating with an intensity that shook every nerve in her body, she had to fight the urge to break the connection for fear of losing control.

In that moment she wasn’t aware of anything but the feel of his tongue stroking hers, the feel of hers stroking his, the rush of sensations flooding and overpowering her. She was also aware of the dampness between her legs increasing and of the way her body was beginning to ache with need. Slowly, he pulled back, their lips reluctantly separating and she felt a tremendous sense of loss.

“Now tell me,” he said slowly, dragging the words out as he eased away from her lips. “Are we compatible?”

She struggled to clear her mind, as well as hide the way her nipples had hardened. It was too late for his eyes zeroed in on them. Her lips felt thoroughly kissed. Her response to him was as potent as the intoxicating drinks she’d at Burk’s the first night they met. And from the heated look in his eyes, he was just as affected by the kiss as she was. There was no way she could answer his question without being truthful. It would be a moot point. She was surprised they hadn’t combusted with that kiss.

“Yes,” she finally said, pulling in a deep, hot breath. “I can say with all certainty that we are compatible. The question is what do we do about it?”

Propositioned: Chapter Six

Chapter Six

When Robert stepped through the front door of Burk’s he swallowed hard. He gave a customary head nod to the couple he’d passed and tried to ignore just how openly amorous they were with each other. Especially because it was the way he wanted to be with the woman who stood across the way from him. He noticed that unlike most Saturday nights, there weren’t a lot of people out and about. The place almost seemed quiet, too quiet despite the music playing. Or it could be the fact time was standing still due to his close proximity to Kristina.

He had no idea she would be here or he might have chosen another place to go to. After the steamy kiss they shared last night it had taken everything he had to let her go home . . . alone. He stepped further inside of the bar and Kristina chose that exact moment to look in his direction. Immediately their gazes locked. He was rendered momentarily speechless by how quickly blood shot from his head straight to his groin. His mouth suddenly felt dry and every muscle in his body tighten—some more so than others—felt hard as a rock.

She was wearing a dark green sundress with spaghetti straps that revealed just what beautiful shoulders she had. An ample amount of cleavage was showing, enough to make him appreciate the firm shape of her breasts, as well. Then there was her face. She had well-defined features. He decided at that moment that Kristina wasn’t just exquisite; she was what fantasies were made of. There was an innate sensuality about her that had been hidden beneath her medical scrubs. The scrubs represented her profession. The outfit she had on now showed her beauty, especially her sinuous figure.

He continued toward her. She sat alone and he took joy in the fact. Unless there was a date hiding in the restroom she had no excuse to get rid of him. The slight tilt to one corner of her mouth made him relax a little. He couldn’t recall her ever looking at him with any resemblance of a smile. He knew she had a beautiful one because he had seen her greet the patients with it. At least she wasn’t frowning and he would take what he could get.


His name was spoken in a soft tone and if he hadn’t been so close he probably wouldn’t have heard her. He watched her hands come to rest on her lap. For some reason he’d always enjoyed looking at her hands whenever she consulted with him on a patient chart and flipped through papers. Her nails were always neat with a simple manicure displaying a nonflashy look. The same extended to her fingers. He wondered if she played the piano. Her hands were long and graceful. Elegant. Sturdy. And he could just imagine those hands touching him, caressing the length of his hardened…

He sucked in a deep breath when he saw where his thoughts were headed. He tried to maintain his control, but found himself losing it and quickly recalled how long it had been since he’d had a woman for a bed partner and decided it had been way too long.

“Aren’t we on speaking terms?” she said as a teasing smile touched her lips.

Instead of answering her, he stepped even closer to her and pulled her to here feet. There was no need for formality. They both knew why they were there and as far as he was concerned, even if it wasn’t intentional. Now was just as good a time as any to get the ball rolling. And speaking of balls…he felt his tighten. His testosterone level was so high that he wouldn’t be surprised if he were to make good one the offer he made to her the last time they were here.

The thought of such a thing actually happening made him that much more aroused. It actually made his body ache. Seeing her again was doing a job on him, a real number. He couldn’t recall ever wanting a woman so badly. When he stood directly in front of her, he reached out and cupped the back of her neck to guide her mouth to meet his.

The moment their lips touched he felt it. Passion so thick you could cut it. And when he went past her moist lips and inserted his tongue inside her mouth, he knew he had been anticipating this very moment ever since the night they met.

Her response was immediate, absolute and totally appetizing. The reason they were here might be incidental, but predestined so to speak, but the sexual chemistry between them was as instantaneous and unprompted as it could get. The depth of her sensuality was enough to make him want to jump in Lake Nasworthy to cool off. A cold shower just wouldn’t work off the heat.

He had discovered ever since he had placed her proposal into her lap and he had accepted, that he desired her to the point of madness. And this was the result. He was getting a pretty good taste of her and she was getting a good taste of him, as well.

He heard her groan low in her throat and knew if he pushed hard enough they would be making love right here, possibly on the floor, which wasn’t where he wanted their first time to be. The spectacle they would cause would be bail worthy. He knew she could feel how aroused he was from the way his body was pressed against hers. He wanted her to feel it. Get used to it.

He really did need to slow down, he thought, as he continued to kiss her. He would take things slowly. This is what he wanted. What she wanted. And he was struck by the enormity of just how much passion was in one single kiss. Of how much tongue action was required. He was enjoying sharing both with her. There was nothing gentle about the kiss. Far from it.

There was hunger, gluttony and a desperation he hadn’t been used to before, but was getting familiar with now. For some reason she felt right in his arms. Right against his mouth. Right with her body pressed intimately against his.

It wasn’t easy, but he finally gained control and pulled back. She gasped for breath the moment their mouths separated. After pulling air into his own lungs he leaned back close to her, lowered his head close to her ear and whispered in a deep, husky tone, “Hmm, so much for us not being on speaking terms.”

* * * *

Kristina groaned softly and dropped her face into her hands. She couldn’t get her mind off of Robert. Saturday night had been hot and unexpected in so many ways. It didn’t help that he was in the next room finishing up the paperwork on their last patient of the day. She was trying to complete the notes on the last of her charts herself with no luck. All she could think about was Robert and his upcoming birthday.

He let the information slip while they enjoyed a few drinks at Burk’s. She wondered if he had anything planned. He hadn’t mentioned anything but it wasn’t surprising. They just returned to casual speaking terms.

She looked up in shock when the front door to the office swung open and Leslie came flying through it. Tears were streaming down her face and she had a frightened Jessica in her arms.

“Leslie, what’s wrong?”

“He’s back!”

Kristina stood up looking toward the open door making sure no one else was behind her. Not quite sure what to expect. When no one else appeared Kristina turned her gaze back to Leslie.


“Justin!” Leslie stated hysterically.

Kristina felt her eyes widened but tried to remain calm. “Okay Leslie. Sit down. We will figure this out.”

Leslie shook her head frantically. “No. I have to leave. Jessica and I have to leave. He has come back to take my baby. The courts must have served him with the child support papers. But the court date isn’t until two months from now.”

Kristina stepped closer to Leslie, her main concern removing Jessica from whatever was going on. The little girl was obviously scared.

“Calm down Leslie. Justin can’t take Jessica. You have custody of her. He would be arrested on the spot. Now how do you know Justin is back?”

“He stopped by my parents house looking for me,” Leslie replied in a shaky voice.

Shock reverberated through Kristina. The man had the nerves to show up at her parent’s home, unannounced at that. No wonder Leslie was beside herself. She would be too if the situation were reversed. Still she had to deescalate things or it might get out of hand.

Kristina reached for Jessica who amazed her by letting go of her mother without much resisted. The little girl clung to her body and she could feel Jessica trembling. She touched Leslie’s arm.

“Calm down. You are scaring Jessica.”

Leslie gripped Kristina’s hand and closed her eyes. When Leslie reopened her eyes some of the worry there had dissipated.

“Okay Kristina. I’m okay.”

Kristina gave her an understanding smile. “No you aren’t but it is understandable.”

“I’m going to take Jessica back with me and I will send Robert out here. He is just finishing up some paperwork.”

Leslie reached out to touch Jessica’s back with her free hand. Kristina squeezed her hand reassuringly.

“Everything will be okay Leslie. I will take care of her while you talk to Robert.”

Leslie gave a quick nod, clearly near tears. “Thanks Kristina.”

Kristina turned around with Jessica and walked toward the back. Robert was still in his office and he looked up in surprise when he saw her with Jessica in her arms. The look on her face must have told him something was wrong.

“What is it?”

“Go out to the waiting area and talk to Leslie. She will tell you.”

As Robert left the office, Kristina walked over to the chair he had abandoned and sat down. Jessica shifted in her arms. She pulled back and there were unshed tears in her eyes and her small chin quivered.

“Is he really going to take me from my mommy?”

Kristina’s heart turned over in her chest. She hated to see Jessica so scared. Brushing wisps of hair out of the precious little girl’s face she smiled with confidence.

“No sweetheart. He isn’t going to take you away. I promise.”

She hugged Jessica to her tightly. If she had a little girl she hoped she was half as adorable and well-mannered as Jessica. Kristina had no idea how long she sat there holding the little girl but she felt Jessica’s breath even out as the little girl fell asleep.

Several minutes later Robert and Leslie walked into the office. She was a lot calmer but her eyes were still red, her forehead and cheeks splotched. Robert didn’t look any better.

Leslie walked over to her. “Is she asleep.”

Kristina nodded. “Yes she is.”

Leslie sighed, her shoulders slumping a little. “Good.”

Kristina could see she was still upset and nervous. “Leslie if you don’t feel safe staying at your place you can stay at mine.”

Robert jumped in before Leslie could respond. “That’s a good idea. Even though we don’t know why he is actually back in town I don’t want him to be able to confront you with Jessica around.”

Leslie rubbed her temples. “Yeah. I guess you are right.”

Kristina smiled. “You can stay with me as long as you need to.”

Robert reached out and touched Leslie’s shoulder. “I will go with you to your place so you can pack a few things for you and Jessica.”

Leslie looked over at Robert. “What about Jessica?”

Kristina stroked Jessica’s back. “I will take her with me. We will go get something to eat then head to my place.”

“Good idea,” Robert stated.

Kristina nodded and reached for a piece of paper to write her address down. She slipped it to him and he tucked it in his back pocket before reaching for Jessica.

“You get your purse and keys. I will carry Jessica to the car for you. Leslie you come with me to switch her car seat over.”


As they headed out to her car, Kristina couldn’t help it as another chink of armor around her heart fell away. She had come to grips with the fact that she was attracted to Robert now she had to face the realization that she might actually like him.

* * * *

Kristina released a nervous breath before reaching out to ring the doorbell. She had never been this nervous in her life. It was Robert’s birthday and according to him he didn’t have any plans. He stated he wanted a quiet night in. Well he would have it.

After the adventuresome week they all had she couldn’t blame him. Leslie and Jessica were still at her place laying low. According to Leslie’s parents Justin had shown up a few times looking for Leslie and Jessica. He had even been brave enough to stop by Robert’s once. The next day Robert had been in rare form. She now knew he had a not so pleasant side. Nice to see he wasn’t human. Still she had taken a chance by getting his address from Leslie and coming here tonight.

The door swung open and a surprised Robert stood on the side of it. All mental function escaped her even as she opened her mouth to speak. Robert was definitely comfortable…and shirtless.

Sweet Mary did he have a gorgeous chest.

“Kristina what are you doing here?”

Her gaze jerked open and her mouth snapped shut when she realized she had been caught staring.

“Um . . . I-I j-just came by to say happy birthday and bring you your gift.”

Robert’s left brow arched upward then a second later her stepped back and allowed her to step inside. She jumped when the door shut. The sound of the locks turning made her heartbeat speed up. She turned to face him hoping she didn’t pass out before she said what she had to say.

“So you came by to bring me my birthday gift?”

She nodded. “Yes.”

He studied her for another moment then smiled. “Where is it?”

She exhaled shakily. “Right here. I’m your birthday gift.”

* * * *

“Excuse me?” Robert’s body tightened as Kristina’s words reached his ears. He couldn’t have heard her right. If he had it wasn’t what she meant. It couldn’t have been. He had never been that lucky on his birthday.

But she smiled and damned if his groin wasn’t hardening in response. Which meant that his day—hell of a week—might not end on such a bad note after all. Her gaze traveled from his chest to his mouth then remained transfixed on his lips.

“You heard me correctly,” she whispered.

He heard her, all right. Every fiber in his body had heard her—and responded accordingly. He still didn’t believe his ears. But if he heard her right, she wanted him—in his bed. If they made it there. Taking in the sensual expression in her brown eyes and the flush on her cheeks, he was sure he was right.

The only question that remained was why? He wasn’t stupid enough to delay the situation by asking. If she said she wanted him. He would take it at face value.

“I—I’m sorry,” she stammered, and he realized he hadn’t answered her aloud. “This was a bad idea. I should go—”

“Wait.” The word exploded from him causing her to jump. Reaching out, he brushed his fingers over her bare arm, enjoying the little moan that escaped her lips. “You can’t say something like that to me, and then leave.”

“Too ill-mannered?” The smile returned to her face and he was glad to see when her shoulders relaxed a little. He didn’t know the exact thought racing through her head, but if the even was going to lead to where he hoped, he didn’t want her tense.

“I’m not sure you could ever be ill-mannered.”

“Impolite?” She offered.

He hesitated and she punched him. Groaning he caught her hand and pulled her to him. She went willingly pressing her heat against his.

“Then again being polite is a little overrated.” He body tightened, and his erection pressed painfully against the confines of his sweat pants. With his other hand he tracked a path from her ear to her cheek, down her throat, to her collarbone and she shuddered in response.

“Is it?” She questioned and he heard the hesitancy in her voice read it in her eyes.

“Yes it is.” He took her hand and began to move backwards leading her toward his bedroom. He wanted her as much as she wanted him and he meant to show her. Not until he understood fully what she wanted from him besides the moment they were in right now. He didn’t know if his rationale made him gallant or hedonistic, and he didn’t care. He just wanted to figure it all out because then he could lose himself deep within her. Which was a strong motivating factor.

As they entered the darkened room, she tugged her hand from his. He let her go giving her the space she needed.

She pulled her bottom lip in between her teeth. “I shouldn’t have started this.”

Even as she stated the words he saw the longing in her eyes. He stepped closer to her and brushed her cheek with his fingertips.

“But you did.” She moaned and leaned into his touch making him smile with pleasure. “Now I want to finish it but the decision is yours. So what do you want Kristina?”

* * * *

What did she want?

Robert’s question hung in the air, and she struggled to find a rational answer. Earlier, it had all seemed so simple — she wanted him. But not that she was here she was being overtaken by nerves. After Warren she never thought she would be here like this with another man, especially one as virile as Robert. Truth be told, she had expected him to shy away from her advance.

Sure he had flirted and teased her. Even propositioned her but she never dreamed he would say yes when it came down to it.

Or had she?

But he had said yes. He had accepted her gift to him, with gusto. Which meant what had started out as an impulsive plan, was suddenly a reality. And now she had no idea what to do.


His amused expression made him look even more handsome than usual. “I hope you have an answer for me tonight because I don’t plan on wasting this opportunity tonight.”

She staggered backward, unable to think. His scent did something to her brain. Something breathtaking, and it made it hard for her to keep her thoughts together. “I shouldn’t have—”

“Propositioned me? Humor danced in his eyes. “But you did and I’m not complaining, at least not yet. You still have told me what you want to do about it.”

He moved toward her as he spoke, and now she was backed up against the edge of his bed, unable to escape. Not sure she wanted to. Instead she wanted to pull him to her and demand he kiss her with the fervor she saw mirrored in his eyes.

She knew she should say the words that would turn him away but her throat wouldn’t cooperate. His index finger found it’s way underneath her chin and tilted her head back. A tiny voice in the back of her brain told her to run away, protect herself. Do anything to get away from him. She knew she was playing with fire and bound to get burned.

But she wanted him, wanted this. God help her, she did, and when he lowered his lips to hers, all she could do was whimper and open her mouth in quiet invitation.

His arms tightened around her waist, pulling her against him into the warm solidness of his body.

“Are you sure about this? If not, say so now, because I have wanted for you too long. Wanted you too badly. I won’t be able to stop if we take this any further.”

Common sense told her she should stop him. Once they went down this path there would be no going back. Everything would change. Permanently. Instead she responded in a husky, raw voice. “I’m sure. I don’t want you to stop.”

He took her invitation and lowered his mouth to hers tasting and teasing in a frenzy of passion that left her breathless and moaning. When he lifted his head she groaned.

“Please don’t stop.”

He lowered his head again and her enthusiasm matched his. She squirmed closer as his hands cupped her butt, pressing her tight against him, So tight he would have entered her had it not been for their clothes.

“Robert, please. I need . . .” Her voice trailed off on a gasp as his lips found the sensitive column of her throat.”

He lifted his head when she didn’t continue. “What do you need?”

She met his eyes, losing herself in the pleasure his intense smoky gaze guaranteed. “I need you to touch me.”

Her words were all the assurance he seemed to need. His hands came up and went to work on her clothes undressing her slowly. Somehow he managed to lose his sweatpants as well. Before she knew it, he was right there, hot and hard. She was so ready.

He inhaled deeply as she when his thumb brushed over her nipple and he cupped the full globe, bent his head to kiss it, then looked up to meet her gaze.

“I want you Kristina.”

“I want you too,” she whispered. She didn’t doubt his words in the least as he lifted her and placed her on the bed. She felt the proof his desire for her, saw it.

She wanted him to enter her, but instead he continued to stroke her breasts, his mouth dueling with hers, his stiff sex taunting and torturing her. His hands skimmed down her luscious body, then back up again. He kissed her throat, then licked and lightly sucked because he couldn’t get enough of the taste of her.

He was beyond sexy to her. Beyond size and strength and manliness. The pressure in her very center that had been building was coiled tight, waiting to burst free. She reached for him when he moved away but he was back before she could. He placed a condom in her hand.

“You do the honors,” he whispered.

She realized what he wanted her to do and why. Yes she had said she was sure but now she had to show him as well. Robert wasn’t going to force her to do anything she didn’t want to. She took the condom out of his hand and ripped the package open. She sheathed him, smiling at the primitive sound he made. A gasp of surprise escaped her when he rolled onto his back pulling her with her.

Before she could draw her next breath he was lifting her over him. She braced her hands against his chest, lifting slightly then easing down encasing himself within her slick heat.

She moaned, tightening her thighs against his hips as they moved together. Her back arched and she took him as deep as she could, relishing in the feel of his body against hers. Robert was a hard slab of muscle beneath her, his hands spanning her waist, his face full of pleasure. He penetrated her, filled her up, filled the emptiness that had been inside of her for the past several months. She had never been so physically possessed.

She moved with him as if she had been doing it all her life. Moved as graceful as horse and rider. Excruciatingly slow at first, getting her bearings, adjusting to the thickness of him. She stretched out on top of him, her face cradled against his neck. She rocked her hips, pushing lower and lower until her cleft pressed directly against the base of his hard arousal.

“Yes Kristina, that’s it, that’s it,” he whispered.

She continued to move, spurred on by the passion in his voice until something changed. A deep need raced through her. Her body opened even more to accommodate him and slowly she sat up. This time when she began to move it was with urgency. To obtain something they both had denied themselves for too long. Her hips began to move again in the age-old rhythm, speeding up with each rise and fall, until her bottom was smacking against his hips, eliciting the most erotic sounds from him she had ever heard.

Soon the bed began to vibrate. It seemed the whole room was vibrating from the frenzied motions of their bodies. She tried to prolong the pleasure but it was a waste of effort. Her body flew apart her climax hitting her with the force of an oncoming freight train. Her entire body was engulfed in a scorching, quaking release that started between her legs but unfurled throughout her entire body.

She gasped incoherently, shuddering holding on as Robert threw his head back and roared, delivering two more long, deep thrust into her. His whole body convulsed underneath hers as he reached his own explosive release.

She collapsed against him and laid her head on his chest. His heart was pounding and his breath matched in rhythm. They were both covered in sweat but the moment couldn’t be more perfect. She snuggled into him, amused when he kissed her forehead. Several minutes later he surprised her by maneuvering her so that she was under the covers before joining her. Worn-out, she cuddled closer to him and tried to stay awake. She wasn’t going to spend the night. Yet the warm, coziness of his arms overpowered her and she fell asleep. His gentle kiss on the tip of her nose was the last thing she remembered.

Propositioned: Chapter Seven

Chapter Seven

Kristina shifted underneath the cover trying to turn her head away from the sunlight starting to peek through the windows. She wanted to sleep for a few more minutes before she got up and started moving around. Her foot bumped something solid and furry and her eyes jerked open.

She stiffened and bit back a cry of alarm when Robert came into view. Last night hadn’t been a dream. She should be panicked but she couldn’t muster up the energy. She felt too good. Too sated.

It hadn’t been in her plans to spend the night but here she was and she didn’t regret what they had done she just hated what the implications of spending the night meant. She was certain she would find out soon enough.

She relaxed and rolled onto her side to study him. A man shouldn’t be allowed to look so scrumptious in the morning. And she shouldn’t be lying next to him. Her intent had been to give him a birthday gift he wouldn’t forget. She smiled.

Neither would she.

She wondered if he would be up for a repeat performance. Her eyes widened at the thought. This was the reason why she shouldn’t have spent the night.

She let her eyes drift over him. He appeared bigger than life and was definitely impossible to miss. The sunlight shining through the window on him at an angle that made her insides flutter. He was a very attractive man. She shifted in bed and the ache she felt in certain muscles quickly reminded her that he was also a skillful lover.

She lost track of how long she lay there and watched his boyish expression while he slept. But he finally stirred and his eyes opened slowly. When she came into view he smiled and reached for her. She went into his embrace without protest.

“Good morning beautiful.”

“Good morning.”

He brushed his lips against hers before pulling back to look into her eyes. “What do you have planned for today?”

She gave a slight shake of her head. “Nothing.”

“Good. So that means you don’t have any objections to spending the day with me, right?”

She opened her mouth to protest. This wasn’t the morning after conversation she expected. She hadn’t thought there would be a morning after but here she was.

“Um . . .well I do have some things to do to get ready for the upcoming week.”

Robert frowned and rose up over her in a smooth display of rippling muscles. “Don’t do that Kristina.”

Her eyes widened. “Don’t do what?”

“Don’t shut down on me.”

She tried to pull out of his embrace but he wouldn’t let her. “I’m not shutting down on you.”

His left brow arched upward, a clear indication of his disbelief. “Then what do you call it?”

She rolled her eyes. “Trying to get out of bed and get my day started.”

He gave a slight shake of his head. “I’m afraid I can’t allow that because I know what you are trying to do.”

“What am I trying to do Robert?”

He tightened his embrace slightly. “You know what you are trying to do Kristina. Did you really think you were going to be able to sleep with me one time and then walk away? Like you can get what is between us out of your system?”

She opened her mouth to deny the claim but no sound came out because last night it had been exactly what she planned to do. Even when she opened her eyes a several moments ago she had been alarmed when she realized she still lay next to him.

“Well it isn’t going to happen Kristina. If you think I am going to let you walk away after last night you have another thing coming. So you aren’t going anywhere right now. Not until we talk.”

She shook her head. “It’s a little too late for talking.”

“I beg to differ. Besides I was at a disadvantage. I am a lot less distracted now.”

It was just her luck to find a man who was just as stubborn as she was. She ought to show him just how much but his hold on her told her she wouldn’t be able to go anywhere until he was ready, although she could get out of his grip if she really wanted to. Deep down she wanted to hear what he had to say.

She sighed. “So talk.”

He nodded. “Okay but after we take a shower and get dressed. I’m not sure either of us could focus on a serious conversation laying here like this.”

She nodded her agreement. As soon as he had rolled over on top of her she had lost the ability to focus completely. “Fine. We will talk after we shower.”

Seeming satisfied with her answer, he released her and rolled away from her. He slipped out of bed and she watched him stroll to the bathroom naked and with a confidence, only he could have. She tugged the sheet tighter around her and sat up against the headboard. She hoped he wouldn’t take long. Her thoughts were already racing. She didn’t need a lot of time to think alone or her brain might explode.

Maybe she could sneak out once he was in the shower. She smiled as soon as the insane idea crossed her mind. There was no way she could hide from Robert. He knew where she lived but more importantly they worked together. She would rather face him now than in front of an audience.

She heard the shower come on and closed her eyes. How could she be so torn about the best night of her life?

“Are you going to take a shower with me?”

Robert’s question made her stomach lurch in heated lust. She had awakened wanting him but tried to ignore the blooming desire. Now with his simple but loaded words an ache started at the juncture of her legs. She opened her eyes and looked at him.

He was still nude and she let her eyes roam over his magnificent body. She skipped over the part of him that she wanted the most and focused on his thighs. And they were such muscular thighs. She cleared her throat to swallow the hard lump that had formed there.

“I would rather wait until after you shower.”

He looked amused at her statement. “Why?”

Was he serious? Did he really not know after the explosive night they had together last night?

She shrugged. “Because the point of us getting out of bed is to talk with clear a head, or so I thought. Taking a shower together isn’t going to help the cause in any way.”

He gave her a smile that intensified that ache in her body. “You don’t think we can share a shower without keeping our hands off of each other?”

“What do you think?” she asked with an incredulous tone.

He stared at her for a moment, in that way that always got to her, making her hot all over, as his gaze traveled up and down her body. The sheet might as well not have been there. It felt like it wasn’t.

Finally, he said, “I think you are probably right.”

Oh I am right. There is not doubt about that, she thought.

“I’ll wait here for you to finish and then I’ll take my shower,” she said. “As a matter of fact I will go and wait for you in the living room. Right now I feel like the more space we have between us the better the chances are we will actually talk.”

Robert chuckled as she climbed out of the bed taking the sheet with her. She headed out of the bedroom refusing to let him convince her otherwise.


She turned back around. “Yes?”

“I think you should know that I want you and we are going to make love again and soon.”

She saw the heat in his eyes, felt the lust and desire in them from across the room. She was no novice at being wanted by a man, but this was the first time she could actually feel the intensity. And what was so amazing was that she craved him just as much.

“I want you too,” she said softly. “But we do need to talk first.”

She decided to put her feelings out there since he was doing the same. Still they needed to talk. Set some boundaries. After all they did work together. The moment she woke up she knew there was no going back. She had crossed a line she couldn’t step back over. Nor did she want to. Still, she needed to know what to expect from Robert. Tell him what to expect from her. This wouldn’t work any other way.

“Come here Kristina. I want to give you something to think about while you are waiting on me,” was his response in a husky tone.

She started to tell him no. She had enough to ponder already. But she figured he was going to kiss her again, which she didn’t have any qualms with. After all the man could kiss and she was looking forward to it. Her lips began to buzz at the memory of their last heated kiss.

She crossed the room to him, trying not to stare at his naked chest and finding it excruciatingly hard not to do so. Especially not letting her eyes veer downward, where the peppering of hair trailed off into a low path toward his waist and even lower.


She shifted her gaze from his chest to his eyes. “Yes?”

She’d been caught gawking. He didn’t say anything for a moment; he just continued to look at her, especially her mouth. And the more he stared the more her lips itched for him to taste them.

“I really do think we should take a shower together,” he said, as he reached out and gave each a quick tug at the sheet she was holding.

She hadn’t been expecting it and before she could blink, the sheet dropped to the floor and she was as naked as he. She opened her mouth to say something but couldn’t because his tongue found it’s way inside, instead. At that moment she forgot about everything else except what his mouth was doing to hers. She would even go so far as to say he was an expert. She’d been kissed before but never like this. When their mouths touch time seemed to stop.

Instinctively, she angled her head to get more of the pleasure. If this was what he wanted to give her to think about then he was succeeding. He had her thinking. He also had her getting wet.

He released her mouth. They were standing so close, their lips mere inches apart, as if ready to go at it again, devour each other senseless, when she discovered the kiss wasn’t all he wanted to give her to think about. She sucked in a deep breath when she felt his fingers touch her breasts. At that moment her brain seemed to turn to mush.

He cupped her breasts in his hands and began ardently caressing them, letting the tips of his fingers rub gently across her hardened nipples. He met her gaze and the heat she saw in the depths of his green eyes made her a lost cause. At that moment she wanted to make love to him and she didn’t care if they talked or not.

He lowered his mouth to her breasts and sucked a hardened tip into his mouth. Then his tongue went to work like a man starving for the taste of her. She responded with a soft moan and reached out and sank her fingers in his hair to hold his head to her, experiencing a fiery breakdown of all her senses. Her stomach began trembling with a need that was as intense as anything she’d ever experienced.

She let out a deep, startled moan when he suddenly slipped a warm hand between her legs. His fingers dipped inside of her sensitive flesh. Blood pounded in her ears when he began stroking her intimately. She wasn’t sure what was sending her over the edge the fastest, his mouth or his fingers. She released a soft sigh when he intensified the kiss at the same time he increased the tempo of the stroke of his fingers.

He was showing no mercy. She pulled her mouth from his and called out his name when a shudder of immense proportions rammed through her, shaking her to the core. She squeezed her eyes shut when everything in the room seemed to come rushing together, bearing down on her.

She could barely stand and her mind was void of any conscious thought except the intense pleasure ripping through her. When his fingers finally stilled it took a few moments to get her mind back in check. She opened her eyes and nearly lost it again when he took his finger, the same one that had intimately stroked her, and brought it to his lips and tasted it.

The corners of his mouth distended into a serious smile when he said in a huskily erotic voice. “Now go and wait in the living room for me Kristina, but know this, nothing you say will keep me from making love to you again. It’s just a point of when.”

* * * *

Kristina paced the carpet of Robert’s apartment. Even though he made enough money to purchase a home he told her he was waiting until he found the right woman. He wanted a home to be a joint purchase between himself and his wife. A choice she could respect because it was sweet and thoughtful. Plus his apartment was tasteful, masculine but tasteful.

She groaned at the sound of her cell phone ringing. She hoped it wasn’t Robert calling to say he had been caught up and he would be there until much later than he already was. She was at his place waiting on him. He had given her a key to his place after work and told her that he would be right behind her. He had a stop to make. That had been thirty minutes ago.

She found her cell phone and groaned again. It was Courtney. The one person she didn’t need to hear from. Not right now. Her nerves were already high as it was. Still she flipped the phone open and accepted the call.

“Courtney, I swear this had better be good. I mean real good.”

Her sister laughed in her ear. “It is always good when I call and why do you sound so impatient?”

“Because I’m waiting on Robert,” she half growled.

Courtney laughed. “You know having sex with a man is supposed to relax you not make you sound more tense.”

Kristina almost dropped the cell phone. “Who says I’m having sex with Robert? I haven’t said that.”

She flinched at the defensiveness in her voice. It was a secret she had been keeping from her sister the last week because she knew she would never hear the end of it if she told her.

“You didn’t have to. For the last week you have been avoiding his name like the plague. I figured something had to be up and since you sound more relaxed I just put two and two together.”

Kristina tried not to growl. She hated when her sister was right. “I swear you make me so sick sometimes.”

“Why, because I’m all knowing?”

“Courtney, did you want something? If not I’m hanging up. Robert will be coming through the door any minute now.”

Her sister laughed. “And I know what you will be doing when he does.”


Her sister laughed again. “Okay. Okay. I will let you go but you had better call me back before the weekend is over. I expect a full report."

Courtney hung up the phone before she could reply and Kristina growled. She was going to kill her sister. She tossed the cell phone aside then jumped as she heard a key in the front lock. She gasped and ran to get into position barely making it before the door swung open.

“Kristina I’m sorry I—”

Robert’s voice trailed off and his eyes widened as he caught sight of her. Just the reaction she was looking for after not being able to get him alone for seventy-two hours. His mouth gapped open and after a moment he composed him and stepped inside closing the door.

“I thought we were having dinner.” His eyes roamed over her slowly. “Not that I’m complaining. But if you think you are going to sit across the dinner table from me in that, you have another thing coming.”

She moved toward him, slowly crossing the room toward him. Her eyes lowered briefly and she smiled as an erection he couldn’t hide even if he wanted to, began to form. She had been nervous when she picked out the wisp of lingerie she chose tonight but his expression wiped all nervousness from her mind.

She came to a stop in front of him and he stared into her eyes, fully understanding the message in her gaze.

“I hope you don’t mind but dinner is going to be delayed for a while,” she stated in a deep, seductive tone.

He gave her a heated smile before taking a step closer to her with his total concentration on her mouth.

“I beg to differ. Dinner won’t be delayed at all.”

“It won’t?”

He shook his head, his gaze now focused on her mouth. Inched his lips down closer to it. “No, because I’m going to consume you instead.”

She smiled and moved her lips closer to his. When she spoke she murmured in a soft, sexy tone, “In that case I guess I will devour you as well.”

His body immediately responded to her words, but before he could fully react, she wrapped her hands around his neck and connected their mouths. When his lips parted on a low groan, she took full advantage of the opening and darted her tongue inside. Overcome by desire so intense that it shook her to the core, he began mating his tongue with hers in a kiss intended to rattle her and destined to build a need within her. Their kiss was hot. It was passionate. It was possessive. Tongues mingled hotly, explored greedily and devoured relentlessly.

He broke off the kiss just long enough to sweep her into his arms. “If I had known this was what I was coming home to, I wouldn’t have stopped to run my errand,” he said on a low growl, and he began walking toward the bedroom.

Kristina gazed up at Robert, drawn to the intensity of his gray eyes. He wanted her. She wanted him. When he laid her down on the bed, their gazes locked and she felt the heat of his desire all the way to her toenails. It was affecting her the most at the center of her legs, a throbbing that was about to get fulfilled.

She watched as he took a step back away from the bed and leaned over and began removing his shoes and socks. Straightening, he took off his shirt to expose his muscular chest. Tossing it aside, he then went for the zipper of his trousers. Her breath held as he slowly eased it down and while doing so he kept his gaze fastened on hers.

When he lowered his pants, along with his briefs, to the floor, her gaze shifted and went directly to his midsection, then lower. There it lingered while taking in the magnificence of his manhood, the vastness of his erection that emphasized the degree of his arousal. He was big, thick and hard. And there was no doubt in her mind to the degree of his need. Or hers.

She wanted to reach out and touch him, hold his hard, warm flesh in her hands. Slide her fingers all over it and feel its texture, its strength and its heat. Her gaze shifted to his face. As if he had read her thoughts, he gave her a seductive smile before moving his completely naked body toward the bed.

She inhaled a deep breath and whispered his name when he placed one knee on the bed and reached for her. She rose up and went into his arms willingly, without haste, and the moment he leaned over and captured her mouth, she knew she it was over. His mouth was hotter than before. It ignited every cell in her body, causing low groans to circulate in her throat, get caught in her chest.

Then his mouth became demanding, dominant in a way that made her stomach tighten. And when he suddenly pulled back, she inhaled deeply before lifting her gaze to his. He didn’t say anything. He reached out and with a flip of his wrist he took off her gown and pitched it aside.

“I never realized how much I like the color blue.” He murmured the words against her throat, seconds before she felt the gentle nip of his teeth, the lap of his tongue and the sucking on the soft skin in the curve of her neck. She knew what he had just done. He had put a passion mark there. No one could doubt whom she belonged to in this moment.

“You are exquisite.” His words, spoken as a deep growl from his throat, had her lifting her face up to his.

The heated desire in the gaze looking back at her made her heart beat that much faster in her chest. And when he reached out and trailed his fingers from the top of her shoulders down to the twin peaks of her breasts, she swallowed deeply, trying not to detonate from his touch alone.

His touch was smooth and slow, as if he would not be rushed, and when he reached her nipples, he took his fingertips and gently caressed each hardened bud with a skill and a purpose that shot intense hunger through her. Then he leaned down and his tongue circled each tip, before taking them in his mouth one at a time and gently sucking on them.

And with each pull she felt the intensity of her need for him in the center of her legs.


He reached down and his hands found their mark between her legs. She was hot, wet and ready. And there was that frustrating ache that she needed him to take away. Intense emotions were tearing into her and creating a raw need she had never felt before. He pulled away from her and she reached for him only to stop when she realized he was reaching for protection. He put it on quickly and came back to her, taking her back into his embrace.

“And now I consume you,” he rasped near her ear.

Robert’s words, both self-assured and desperate, nearly took her breath away. But she didn’t have time to think about that when she suddenly found herself flat on her back beneath him. His masculine form loomed over her, every flawlessly formed muscle.

She looked up into his eyes, locked in his gaze the moment he gripped her hips and raised them to him. Then he entered her. It was a joining so splendid, so supreme that it almost brought tears to her eyes.

Her body instinctively gave in to him, stretched for him. And when he began moving, it had her trembling inside. Heat flared within her, taking over her mind and body with an intensity that shook her to the core. But Robert didn’t let up. He meticulously increased the tempo, increased the pace.

Holding her body motionless beneath his, he began thrusting into her nonstop with domineering deliberation, undying accuracy.

Kristina’s body was suddenly hit with something parallel to an electrical jolt and she felt her muscles clenching, tightening. She pulled him deeper inside of her when waves of pleasure consumed her body.

The exact moment she came, he did, as well, and she heard Robert’s deep, harsh growl and felt his hot release shoot into the latex. He bucked inside her again at the same time she felt the warmth of his breath on her lips mere seconds before he took her mouth with a hunger that sent her over the edge yet again.

Sensations rippled through her body when she was hurled into yet another orgasm and felt intense pleasure consume every part of her. Robert had been right. He had consumed her.

* * * *

Robert felt himself floating back down to earth after having soared to the Heavens and beyond. There had never been a time when he’d made love to a woman and had been left feeling that way. He lay there transfixed, drained and completely satisfied. But still, that didn’t keep him from wondering what the hell had happened.

Why even now, when Kristina was trying hard to catch her own breath, he wanted to make love to her again. How had it come to this?

Maybe it had been the sexy blue nightie she’d been wearing. Or it could have been the fact that before her, the last time he’d made love to a woman had been months ago. He knew any number of things could have raised his testosterone to a degree that even after the earth shattering orgasm he just experienced, still had him hard and refusing to disengage his body from hers.

That was the weirdest thing of all. Never had he made love to a woman and not wanted to removed himself from her immediately afterwards. But with Kristina, he liked the thought they were still intimately joined.

“You’re still hard.”

He moved to let his gaze rest on her eyes. A disbelieving look glazed their depths with that observation.

“Yes I am,” he responded, feeling his erection harden even more as he spoke. “I like being inside you.”

And it wasn’t a lie, not even close to a mild exaggeration. He then ran his eyes over the rest of her. She was lying underneath him, her breasts full and firm, and her stomach taut and flat. That was the most of what he saw, since he was still joined with her, locking her body in place to his.

Even now what was so vividly clear in his mind was the exact moment he’d reached his first climax with her while thrusting into her repeatedly, liking the way her inner muscles had clamped tight around him, holding him in their grip, milking everything out of him and—

“Now you’re getting harder.”

Her voice interrupted his thoughts. Then with full awareness of what was taking place, he lifted his hips giving her a slight thrust, keeping her in a fixed position underneath him.

“Yes I am,” he said huskily, unable to stop what was about to happen yet again. He heard her suck in a trembling breath, watched as her eyes darkened to the point where he could barely see the long lashes covering them. But he was able to make out the expression on her face.

There was something about seeing the look of an aroused woman, especially a totally naked one.

He reached down and rubbed the tip of his finger around her nipple. His caress didn’t change even when he heard the sharp adjustment in her breathing pattern or when he felt the slight trembling of her thighs beneath his.
“Robert, what are you doing to me?” she asked softly, barely able to articulate any of the words.

Hearing the amazement in her voice endeared her to him even more. He figured he could show her better than tell her. Leaning forward, he came within inches of her lips.

“Exactly what I should be doing?” he said, as his hand trailed lower and he softly stroked smooth planes of her stomach with his fingertips.

“Oh my,” she whispered, closing her eyes on a low sigh. He pulled out of her and she protested but he had to get another condom. No one hated the idea more than him right now but better safe than sorry. He was back over her with new protection and inside of her before she took her next breath.

Then he began moving, agonizingly slow, deep inside her, gradually withdrawing, then filling her again, deeper still in a unhurried thrusting motion.

“Look at me Kristina,” he whispered in a gravelly voice, as he continued to thrust slowly in and out of her, relishing each and every time he did so.

He watched as she did what he asked, met her gaze mere seconds before he leaned closer and took her mouth. The stroke of his tongue with hers was as slow and deliberate as the joining of their bodies— pushing forward, retreating and then pushing forward again. He could feel his erection expanding inside her with each gentle thrust he took.

She suddenly pulled her mouth away from him. “Robert!”

He felt her muscles tighten around him and clench him in an unwavering grip. Her thighs began to quiver uncontrollably and due to the deliberate pressure of his hips pressing down then upward where they were joined. Sensations began surging through him, eliciting his own torrid release. He felt the full impact of their orgasm in every part of his body.

“Kristina,” he said in a deep, throaty groan before leaning over and kissing her while simultaneously going over the edge with her. For a fraction of a second, he just stared at her, feeling the heated flush of their joined bodies. It was nothing short of pure, raw sexual pleasure. And as he eased his body to lie beside her, still not ready to pull out of her, he already looked forward to the next time they would make love.

Propositioned: Chapter Eight

Chapter Eight

Leslie closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She had to remain cool. If she remained composed Jessica would remain calm too. She never thought this day would come. Not like this. After a lot of soul searching and deep conversations with her mother she knew she had made the right decision. One she could live with because it was best for her daughter.

She looked down at her beautiful daughter who was huddled close to her side. Her lower lip trembled. Reaching down she stroked Jessica’s untamed hair.

Jessica looked up at her with genuine fear. “I want to go home mommy.”

She smiled. “We will but don’t you want to see your daddy first?”

Jessica shook her head. “No mommy. I just want to go home.”

Leslie lowered herself until she was eye-to-eye with her daughter. “I know you do. I also know you are afraid but there is no reason to be. Everything will be fine, I promise.”

Leslie gave her daughter a quick hug and stood hoping she would be able to keep her promise. She agreed to meet Justin today. Their court date was fast approaching and she hoped they could come to some sort of agreement before then.

After all this time he stated he wanted to see Jessica and she decided to pacify him. He was her father and there was no reason to deny him the right, even if she didn’t think he deserved it. She was willing to do anything to make this situation go smoother . . .for her daughter’s sake.


Her head jerked up at the sound of Justin’s voice. She could feel Leslie move behind her and hug her legs but she hardly noticed. Her attention was on the man who had broken her heart many years ago along with her–their daughter. The man Jessica looked so much like. She tried to smile but it ended up being more of a grimace. Feelings of bitterness bubbled up to the surface as she faced the man who abandoned her and their daughter but she fought them back. It wouldn’t solve anything even if it did make feel better.


“It’s good to see you.”

She gave a brief nod. “You as well.”

She watched his gaze move over to Jessica who stood well hidden behind her, her hands hugging Leslie’s legs.


Leslie winced as Jessica’s grip tightened around her legs. “Mommy!”

Leslie reached for her daughter, struggling to pry her arms from around her legs. She scooped her daughter up into a protective embrace. Jessica all but burrowed into her chest, burying her face into her neck.

“Remember what I said Jessie. There is nothing to be afraid of.”

She looked up in time to catch the disappointment in Justin’s expression. The sympathy she felt for him was slight. It was his fault that his daughter was afraid of him. He was a total stranger to her. She had never spoken ill of Justin to Jessica. In fact she had done the opposite, trying to get her daughter to embrace her father, or rather the idea of him.

Justin stepped closer to them and Jessica shifted in her arms. She watched a gentle smile spread across his face. He had nothing but eyes for Jessica.

“Hi Jessica.”

He reached out and brushed a strand of hair out of Jessica’s face. Jessica moved away from his touch and huddled closer to Leslie. A look of pain flashed across his face. She stroked Jessica’s back in a soothing fashion.

“Give her time Justin. All of this is new to her.”

Justin exhaled deeply, then nodded. “So should we sit and talk?”

Leslie nodded and followed him to the hostess stand. They were seated quickly. Jessica next to her still crowded close.

“She’s beautiful,” he commented. “Just like her mother.”

Leslie shook her head. “I don’t know how since she is a splitting image of you.”

Justin looked over at Jessica. His eyes studied her cautiously and a smile spread across his face. “You’re right. She does.”

There was a long pause as the waitress came up to their table and took their order. When she walked away Justin looked over at her.

“How have you been Leslie?”

“I’ve been good Justin. A few rough times but I can’t complain. How about yourself?”

He leaned back against the booth and interlaced his hands together. “Life has been good.”

His gaze drifted back to Jessica and Leslie looked down at her daughter. She was staring at her father just as intently.

“Say hi to your daddy Jessie.”

Justin’s gaze jerked up to hers. “She knows?”

Leslie nodded. “Of course she does. Did you think I wouldn’t tell her?”

Justin shrugged. “I wasn’t sure.”

“Well right now the word is just a title to her. It is your responsibility to make it mean more.”

Justin paused for a few heartbeats before he responded. “I messed up Leslie.”

“Yes you did.”

He sighed. “I wasn’t ready.”

She arched a brow in his direction. “And I was? Reality check Justin, I wasn’t prepared either. I know it was my decision to have Jessica but I couldn’t bear the thought of any other choice.”

She looked down at Jessica. “I don’t regret my choice in the least. Even if it has been a struggle on occasion.”

“She is beautiful Leslie. You have done a good job with her.”

“Thank you.”

The waitress came back up to their table with their food and Leslie made sure Jessica was settled before turning her attention to her own food.

“I’m sorry Leslie.”

She paused in the middle of cutting her burger. Justin’s apology caught her off guard. She didn’t even know what he was sorry for but she was curious to find out and she wouldn’t make it easy for him. If he was going to apologize it had to be heartfelt.

“You’re sorry?”

He shrugged. “For everything. I have messed up big time. I was at a point in my life where I wasn’t thinking straight. I swear if I could do it all over again I would.”

She could see the sincerity in his eyes. Hear it in his voice. Still she needed to know why he was here. Where they stood. She didn’t want her daughter hurt again.

“It still doesn’t change things Justin. Why are you here? Was it because the court served you with child support papers? Would you be here if you hadn’t been?”

“I’m here because I made a mistake Leslie, a huge one. I’m not going to lie. I was ticked off when I received the paper’s requesting child support.”

He paused and an expression crossed his face that she couldn’t decipher. “Then a few weeks ago a friend of mine and his wife lost their baby. She made it to full-term but the baby was stillborn.”

He shook his head in disbelief. “They were devastated. Sitting there watching them grieve I felt like the worlds biggest jerk. I have a daughter I’m not even taking care of, a daughter who doesn’t know me, while my friends are grief stricken over a baby they would have given up everything for.”

He exhaled heavily. “I don’t want that Leslie. I don’t want to continuing being the unfit father I have been when I shouldn’t be.”

Leslie sat down her knife. “I don’t want that either Justin. I want Jessica to know you. You were a good man–are a good man. There is no reason why our daughter shouldn’t know you. I want her to know her father.”

She hesitated. “But I also have to protect her. I need to know you are for real Justin. That you won’t run away at the first sign of difficulty. Jessie deserves more than that. Promise me you won’t hurt her.”

Justin expression was since when he spoke. “I promise you I won’t do anything to hurt our daughter. I want to get to know her. Catch up on all of the things I missed out on . . .if you will let me. Believe me, I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t.”

Leslie looked over at her daughter who was distracted by her food and the toy it came with. She couldn’t deny her child anything she deserved. It was up to Justin how his relationship with Jessica evolved. It wasn’t for Justin but before her daughter’s sake. She looked back across the table at him.

“Don’t mess this up Justin. You won’t get another chance if you do.”

* * * *

“It’s about time you called me back hoochie mama.”

Kristina sat down on the couch and rolled her eyes. “You know Courtney, each time I pick up the phone I am quickly reminded why I shouldn’t have.”

Courtney laughed. “Oh whatever. You know you love me and your life would be dull and empty without me in it.”

Kristina shook her head. “Try sane and normal.”

Courtney laughed again. “Never and before you try to distract me away from the real reason I called tell me about Mr. Wonderful.”

Kristina closed her eyes and rested her head on the back of the couch. “Who would that be?”

“Mr. Robert Cantu of course. The man who seems to have you so distracted all the time you are constantly walking around with your head in the clouds.”

“I am not,” Kristina protested.

“Oh but you are and I must say Robert has some major mojo. You weren’t even this distracted with Warren.”

She stiffened at the mention of his name. “Courtney please! We are all better off if you don’t mention his name ever again. He is history and he will stay that way.”

Courtney paused. “Are you sure?”

She groaned. “Don’t start Court. It has been a good week. A really good week and I have plans with Robert later. Let’s not ruin it.”

“I want to meet him.”

Kristina’s eyes popped open. “Oh uh-uh! You can’t even behave yourself around me. There is no telling what will come out of your mouth if I let you in his presence.”

“Oh come one Kris. It isn’t like I am going to ask him about his intentions toward you. I will leave the make-an-honest-woman of you speech for dad.”

“Good Lord Courtney. I swear you are out of your mind sometimes.”

“I’m out of my mind all of the time and so are you.”

Kristina sat up straight. “How am I out of my mind? I haven’t done anything.”

“Exactly. So tell me what is really up between you and Robert.”

Kristina opened her mouth to respond but no sound came out. She hated when her sister was right.


“Yeah Courtney. I’m still here. Just thinking.”

“Well it’s a start but it might be too late the way you and Robert are burning up the sheets.”

She didn’t even bother to correct her sister. She and Robert were scorching the sheets, the shower, the floor in the living room, the kitchen table, the–


She jumped. “Sorry Court. I was lost in thought.”

Her sister laughed. “I can only imagine about what. So what is the skinny on you and Robert?”

Kristina sat back again and pulled her knees up to her chest. “I don’t know Courtney. I honestly don’t know what I’m doing.”

“Having fun with a gorgeous man,” he sister supplied.

“Something like that but . . .”

“Oh-oh. Kristina are you falling for him?”

She shrugged then realized her sister couldn’t see her. “I don’t know Court. This is supposed to be fun. It is fun but –”

“The game is starting to change?”

Kristina sighed. “I don’t think it ever started. I am so confused Courtney. What the hell am I doing?”

“Well if you have to ask me whatever you are doing you can’t be doing it right.”

“You aren’t helping Courtney.”

“Yes well according to you that wouldn’t be anything new.”

Kristina exhaled deeply. “I’m serious Court. I need to help me. Tell me what’s wrong with me.”

“Who says anything is wrong with you?”

“Me. I can’t even think straight. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

“I do. What you are experiencing with Robert is intense and it scares you. He might have started off as a itch you were trying to scratch but it has become more even if you didn’t mean for it to . . .didn’t want it to. It’s okay Kris. Warren hurt you but don’t let him keep you from having something real with Robert.”

“Um Courtney, you are supposed to be telling me how crazy I am.”

Her sister laughed. “You are crazy. If you are thinking about giving up Robert you are insane. I haven’t even met the guy Kris but I can tell you like him and I have a feeling he likes you just as much.”

Kristina groaned. “That’s what I’m afraid of.”


Kristina sighed. “Because I’m not ready for this again Courtney. This was only supposed to be about having fun…and good sex.”

“Who says it can’t be that and more?”

“I do. I’m not ready to go back into the world of relationships.”

Courtney paused before responding. “Did you tell Robert that?”

“No I didn’t and I’m starting to think I should have.”

* * * *

Kristina bit her lip and tried to focus on the movie on the screen. It was hard to do when the couple on the screen was locked in a passionate embrace reminding her of what she was trying to avoid with Robert. She had to tell him what she was thinking. Let him know what her doubts were. Her fears. Before things got out of hand. It was only fair.

“You are quiet tonight.”

She jumped in surprise and placed a hand to her now rapidly beating chest. When she looked over at Robert he was smiling.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

She shrugged. “It’s my fault. I wasn’t paying attention.”

“So I noticed. Is something on your mind?”

She averted her gaze back to the television wondering what she should say. It was a mistake. Her eyes widened at the couple on the screen and the woman cried out in a mixture of pleasure and agony. She couldn’t blame her because she would probably react the same if she were on the receiving end of what the woman on the screen was getting.

Suddenly the television screen went black and it was then that she noted he held the remote in his hand. If the small lamp in the far corner weren’t on she wouldn’t be able to see him.

“Scoot over here Kristina.”

She swallowed hard as her eyes adjusted to the dimness of the room and she met his gaze. Emotions churned within her at the desire he wasn’t trying to hide in his eyes.

“Why?” she asked, struggling to get the single word out.

“Because we need to talk.”

She heard the edginess in his voice and for a long, endless moment, she didn’t say anything, and then, “I don’t think I should. If you touch me right now I know we won’t talk.”

“We can use more than our mouths to communicate with. We have been since the beginning in case you haven’t notice. So trust me on this, Kristina. We really need to talk. I think you will like what I have to say.”

She remained silent, knowing that if she closed the distance between them. The real conversation they needed to have would be put off. She wondered if he were doing it intentionally. As if he knew what she had to say might not bode well in his favor so if he kept her from saying it out loud they could continue on like they were.

She was good at practicing avoidance but even this was pushing the limit. He was still staring at her when she finally slid over toward him, coming to sit directly next to him. With a deep sigh and not knowing what to expect, she said, “What do you want to talk about?”

He leaned closer to her. “You aren’t close enough.”

She felt searing heat flow through her veins. “I can’t get any closer to you Robert. Not without climbing onto your lap.”

He gave her a sexy grin. “Exactly the point.” And then he reached out and lifted her into his lap.

She soon realized the massive size of his erection. It was protruding rigidly against her bottom. She placed her arm around his neck, which made her shirt gape open. Before she had a chance to pull it back together, Robert’s hands stopped her.

“No, I’m enjoying the view,” he said in a deep, husky voice.

The warmth of his touch on her skin sent shivers down her spine. He then leaned closer and gently dropped his head in the center of her chest and brushed a kiss there. Then she felt a flick of his tongue and a lick in that very spot. She could feel the area between her legs getting wet. A simple touch from him was all it took.

He suddenly shifted positions and she felt herself gently being pushed back against the sofa’s cushions with him looming over her. He had stretched her out on the sofa and had gotten on his knees beside it.

“What do you have to say in response to what I have said so far?” he asked, reaching out and unfastening the buttons on her shirt until it hung open revealing the satin bra underneath.

Kristina couldn’t keep the heat from suffusing her body when Robert’s gaze roamed over her semi-nakedness. And as she stared at him she saw his eyes darken even more and detected the exact moment his breathing changed.

He lifted his gaze and looked at her, forcing her to respond. “I think I agree.”

She paused mentally as she pondered what she just said. He was becoming an addiction and she wasn’t sure how long it would last. They really hadn’t made any ground rules. Hindsight told her it might have been a mistake.

All thoughts were suddenly pushed from Kristina’s mind when she felt Robert’s fingers settle between her legs. She recalled what had happened the last time he had touched her there. He pushed her panties aside without pause.

With the skill of his fingers, it wasn’t long before he had her entire body quivering. There was no doubt in her mind that his intimate touch was being branded on her brain. Sensations were roaring through her and she bit her lower lip to stop from crying out.

She met his gaze and saw the heated lust that darkened his eyes and knew they had to be a mirror of hers. He was purposely teasing her feminine core, making her want him to the point where she was almost ready to plead.

“You’re extremely wet, Kristina,” he said in a low, throaty voice as he continued to stroke her with expert precision. “Do you know what you are saying to me? What your body is asking of me?”

Take her to his bedroom and make her forget everything but his name, she hoped. Now.

He was looking at her expectantly. Did he really expecting an answer? She doubted her mind could form coherent words to give him one. Instead she forced herself to respond, “No, what is my body saying to you?”

“That I should taste you,” he murmured as she shifted removing her from his lap and settling her on the couch. He came to rest on his knees between her thighs. She lifted her lips at his urging and her panties disappeared quickly.

When he lowered his head between her legs it hit her that he had been serious. He was taking what he wanted. And when his tongue thrust out and gave her that first intimate touch, she felt boneless; pleasure of the most intense kind oozed through her pores.

“Robert.” She closed her eyes on a pleasurable sigh as he continued to kiss her in the most intimate way a man could. Even while part of her mind was telling her to resist him—to reach out and jerk his head up—the only thing she could do was reach out and grab hold of his head to hold it in place.

But the reality of it was that it didn’t look as though he planned to go anywhere anytime soon.

He was assaulting her with thorough, leisurely strokes of his tongue, relentless in his actions. And she was brazenly enjoying it. She became aware of the shiver that raced through her body, and his tongue probed deeper, becoming more insistent, ravenous.

She let out a passionate moan from deep within her throat. Her hands holding his head tightened as if to draw him closer and he continued going at her as if her taste was something he couldn’t live without.

Her body exploded, seemingly into a thousand pieces, and she let out a high-pitched cry as deep fulfillment seared through her. She realized his hold on her was just as firm as her hold on him. He had a unyielding grip on her thighs, not intending to let her go anyplace until he’d gotten his fill, and that thought sent her over the edge again.

Never in her life had anything happened to her like this before. Not so close together at least. With Robert it seemed to be the norm. Yet this just wasn’t normal, not for her and she wondered if it would have been normal for any woman.

She suddenly had a ephemeral thought that continuing this form of communication wouldn’t be bad if she got to experience something like this every time. She finally felt her body floating back to Earth when Robert lifted his mouth from her.

He raised his head to stare down at her while licking his lips in the process, and the gesture was so erotic she reached out and pulled his mouth to hers. She tasted herself on his lips, his tongue, leaving her with no doubt of how intense his intimate kiss had been. And then she felt her body being lifted into his strong arms and knew they would finish what they had started.

She pulled back slightly her eyes meeting his as they entered his bedroom. He stood her on her feet. She allowed him to undress her before reaching out to help him with his own clothes.

“You are so exquisite.”

She watched his hand stroke her nipples as he spoke, using the same fingers he’d used to stroke between her legs earlier. His fingers were moist as he spread her very wetness over the hardened peaks of both breasts. Another shiver, this one of pleasure, ran up her spine.

What was he doing to her?


“Just close your eyes and listen to what my touch tells you.”

She did what he asked and the moment her eyelids fused shut she felt his tongue flicker out and capture a bud, flickering over it, tasting her before closing in and taking it fully into his mouth. Need, the kind she only knew with him, consumed her insides as she felt his mouth on her breasts, tasting and teasing her in a way that was simply his. He devoured one and then the other, almost depleting her of her wits, her reason and her self-discipline. And when his mouth found the smooth skin of her stomach and begin placing kisses all around it, she became lost within a vortex of sensations that had her giving in to pleasure of the most erotic kind.

His warm breath fluttered across her belly as he placed a kiss there. His non-verbal words were making her surrender to emotions she was trying to control and didn’t want to feel. They were also causing another deep hunger to take place inside her. Then she felt the warmth of his breath move lower, and she held still, knowing what he was about to do.


By now she should have grown accustomed to him kissing and caressing her there, but she wasn’t. It couldn’t be helped. He had a skill with his tongue whenever he went down on her that she just couldn’t control, deny or resist. Besides not much time had passed.

After what they’d shared she wasn’t sure she could withstand another onslaught of pleasure. She didn’t know if she could take her body exploding into a million pieces again. She opened her eyes to tell him but all she saw was his head, down between her legs and she could only close her eyes the moment his tongue flicked over her sensitive flesh. Automatically, her body came up off the bed still sensitive from the last release. He grabbed her hips, holding her to his mouth as he consumed her with a sense of hunger that left her panting for breath. She closed her eyes as sensations tore into her body once again.

She reached out for him, held his head in place, inviting him to go deeper, and he did, as his sinfully skilled and seductive tongue continued nonstop, increasing the pace, redefining the urgency. Her senses were being driven wild and her fingers threaded through his hair as he continued to barrage long, deep, drugging kisses into her.

“Yes Robert! Oh my . . .don’t stop. Oh yes,” she sobbed over and over as a powerful throb overtook her. And then she felt it, some part of her that his tongue touched, that sent her over the edge, fragmenting her into several pieces and making her shriek at the top of her lungs. Slowly, deliberately, he continued to bestow the intimate kiss on her as she felt waves of heated pleasures float all through her, and she continued to squirm beneath his mouth. She felt herself losing awareness, and the last thing she remembered after sighing his name was him pulling up and taking her into his embrace, holding her tight as if he would never let her go.

Propositioned: Chapter Nine

Chapter Nine

Justin took a deep breath then raised his hand to ring the doorbell. He could never recall being so nervous in his life. But the feeling was the same every time he arrived at Leslie’s apartment. The door swung open and Leslie and Jessica stood there. His heart squeezed as he took Jessica in. He felt a rush of emotion—love, awe, and tenderness—so strong, it was almost painful.


He shook his head. Every time he thought about all the years he had missed out on with his daughter because of his selfishness, his stupidity, he grew angry with himself. He planned to right that wrong as much as he could. Whenever he could. He had even talked his job into relocating him from Odessa back to San Angelo so he could be closer to her and see her more often.


He knelt down until his was eye level with his daughter. “Hi Jessie.”


She smiled shyly before stepping forward and placing her arms around his neck. “Hi daddy.”


His heart melted at the words. Every time he heard her say them she wrapped him a little more around her finger. He stood scooping her up in his arms and stepped inside. Looking over at Leslie he smiled.


“Hey you.”


Leslie returned his smile. “Hey yourself. I’m almost finished packing her bag. Unfortunately we arrived home a little behind schedule but it won’t take me long. Make yourself at home.”


Justin nodded and watched Leslie walk down the hallway before turning his attention back to his daughter. He walked with her over to the couch and sat down. “Did you have a good day today?”  

Her face lit up like a Christmas tree and she smiled. “Yes daddy! Erica invited me to her birthday party.”


He grinned at his daughter’s excitement. “She did?”


Jessica nodded. “Yes and she is going to have pizza, and a Hannah Montana cake and strawberry ice cream. And she said we’re gonna play games!”


He chuckled. “Sounds like fun. When is the party?”




Justin laughed. “This Saturday?”


Jessica shook her head. “No daddy. Next Saturday. Can I go, please?” Jessica gave him and expectant look. “Mommy said I had to ask you since it is on the weekend and time we’re supposed to spend together.”


Justin stared at his daughter knowing he couldn’t disappoint her. “Yes we can go to the party Jessie.”


Jessica let out a shriek of joy and looked over his shoulder. “Daddy said we go to the party, mommy!”


“Lower your voice. We are inside and I’m right here.” Justin turned to find Leslie standing there, a small smile on her face. “I heard. I’m sure you will have a good time.”


Leslie walked toward them with Jessica’s bag. He stood up setting Jessica down to stand on her own. He reached for the bag and smiled. “I’m sure we will.”


He looked down at Jessica. “Are you ready to go?”


Jessica bounced around excitedly. “Yes.”


Justin looked back up at Leslie. “You are welcome to join us, tonight.”


Leslie shook her head. “Thanks for the offer but I already have plans.”


Justin paused. “Oh yes. Alex right?”


Leslie nodded. “Yes.”


Justin swung Jessica bag over his shoulder. “Well have a good time tonight and you can call to tell Jessie goodnight if you want.”


Leslie nodded. “I will,” she murmured before kneeling down. “Come give me a hug Jessie.”


Jessica released his hand and ran over to her mother. Leslie embraced her then pulled back and kissed her cheek. “Be good for your daddy and I will see you Sunday evening. Okay?”


Jessica nodded. “Okay mommy. I love you.”


“I love you too Jessie.”


Jessica walked back over to him and took his hand. She looked up at him. “I’m ready daddy.”


Justin nodded and Leslie stood and walked them to the front door. He led Jessica to his car and waited for her to climb in before helping her with her seatbelt. Weekend visits was something he looked forward to with his daughter. He was just glad he and Leslie settled their differences before the court date. Things were going a lot smoother because of it.

He placed the bag next to Jessica before closing the door and going around to the driver’s side. His gaze met Leslie’s and she waved at him. He waved back before backing out of the parking spot. It was too late but he realized just what he had given up by walking out on Leslie. There was no way he could mend his relationship with her but he wouldn’t fail his daughter. From this point on he vowed to do everything in his power not disappoint or fail his daughter in anyway.

* * * *


Kristina stepped into Robert’s bedroom and stopped dead in her tracks. He had disappeared into the room shortly after they finished eating dinner that they had prepared together. His idea had been a good one because she was beat and if she had to rely on dinner on her own it would have been take-out.


It had been a tough workweek. She had so many things on her mind. So many things to figure out but when she looked at Robert it was hard to remember what they were. She wasn’t afraid to admit that she was starting to look forward to the weekends she spent locked away with Robert.


Her breath quickened at the way Robert was looking at her. She knew what his expression meant and thought of making love with him again made hot blood rush through her veins. She was surprised by his reaction. He couldn’t seem to get enough of her. Right now the feeling was mutual. Yet there was so much she and Robert needed to talk about. And they would. After he ravished her. Again. 


When she came to stand in front of him, she said, “Do you have any idea how special you make me feel?”


The look he was giving her made her skin tingle. “I have an idea but trust me I’m not done. When I’m done, I don’t want there to be any doubt.” He swung her up into his arms and carried her to the bed. Once her body touched the mattress, she didn’t want them to waste any more time and began removing her clothes, beginning with her top.


She vowed to herself that they would talk this time. Even if she had to drag him out of the house to do. He had to know what her plans were. It was only fair.


“No, let me. I love undressing you.”


She glanced up when Robert moved closer to the bed and reached out his hand to pulled her off the bed to him. Then his arms folded around her and he simply stood there for a second holding her in his warm embrace. His manly scent teased her and her stomach began to quiver. Moments later, he leaned back and met her gaze and the look she saw in his eyes let her know there wouldn’t be time for any small talk. The idea of that made her pulse leap, her heartbeat swift and furious in her chest. Then he began removing the rest of her clothes, taking his time as a cool breeze drifted down from the ceiling fan and touched her naked skin.


When she was completely naked, his gaze moved over her, taking its time and lingering on every inch of skin until it was hard not to squirm.


“You are exquisite,” he whispered as a content smile curved his lips. “You are wearing my mark,” he added as he touched a fading mark just below her collarbone. He had a habit of branding her when he touched her.


Kristina swallowed, thinking he had done a lot more than that. There was no way she would tell him how she felt at this very moment. What was between them had become way more than she ever thought it would be. She wanted to remain unemotional. After the way he had propositioned her that one night she thought she had an idea of who he was. What he wanted, but this was becoming personal. On a level she didn’t think she would ever reach again. Whenever they came together like this, the bond between them seemed to grow. Yes, it was getting about as emotional as things could get. Right now she would use it to her benefit.


“Now it is my turn to undress you,” she said softly, reaching out and lifting up Robert’s shirt over his head. When she had removed it, she tossed it aside and went to the snaps of his pants. He was very aroused, she noted when she eased down his zipper. His manhood was enormous, she saw when he stepped away from the bed to remove his shoes. And when he eased his shorts and briefs together down his thighs, she saw that he was also extremely ready. The size of him no longer bothered her as it had the first night they spent together. Her body had adjusted to his size.


She pulled him down on the bed anxious to have him within her. He reached for protection and she watched him put it on before reaching for him to pull her over him but he shook his head.


“I want you on top,” he stated huskily. “I like it when ride me.”


She liked to ride him as well because it was a position that gave her the most pleasure and because it placed her in a dominating role. She understood what Robert was doing. He wanted her to be in control of her own pleasure, to take what she wanted from him.


It also meant she couldn’t hide from him. Every part of her was open to him. Even when she wanted to close her eyes she couldn’t. Watching him watch her experience the throes of passion was a hedonistic high. It was another piece of the equation that she hadn’t counted on. She had a tendency to let herself go when they made love and had convinced herself she was only doing so because each time they came together, it was earth shattering and unlike anything she had ever experienced with any other man.


What if she let herself go too far? What if he rocked her world to the extreme and she never recovered?


She had to fight hard to retain her composure. Just being here with him, sitting naked in the middle of the bed, staring into the intense gray of his eyes was rocking her world, slinging her into an arena of emotions and feelings she hadn’t counted on, nor was prepared for.


He had a shadow from the facial hair that had grown back since this mornings shave and the mass of hair on his head was tousled from him running his hands through it as he poured over paperwork earlier. Her gaze raked over his face and her breathing quickened when her eyes lowered to move across his manly chest and then down past his waist to his huge manhood that was fully erect in a bed of dark curly hair.


And she knew at that moment that yes, she would take him up on his proposition and ride him. The need to do so had become an ache in her belly. There was no other position that could quench it. A surplus of rising excitement filled her entire being.




She moved her gaze back up to his face. She saw the intensity in the dark pupils staring straight at her. She felt the heat and the persuasive force of his sexuality. It was dominant, overbearing and dangerous, and it was calling out to her, touching her in some of the most private places. Instead of giving him an answer, she eased toward him and reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck. She studied his lips and thought his mouth was enticement at its finest, and with a gentle push he was tumbling down on the bed beside her.


Their mouths touched and she began drowning in his heat the moment their tongues met. And knowing just where their kiss would lead sent a response through her that went beyond anything she’d ever experienced before. And then he was shifting their bodies to place her on top and she pulled back and stared down at him.


She wanted him. She needed him.


Her arms grabbed hold of his shoulders and she felt his muscles tighten beneath her fingertips. She felt his manhood in the center of her legs and it was hard not to lower her body onto it. However, temptation made her bend forward and take a taste of his lips with her tongue. His jagged intake of breath made her smile.


“I like riding you too,” she informed him softly.


He continued to look at her and lifted a brow. “You do?”


She chuckled. “Yes I do, in case you can’t tell. You make a good mount.”


She saw the way his eyes darkened. She felt the way his hard length seemed to thicken beneath her. Then suddenly he gripped her hips and lifted them enough to position his shaft at the opening of her womanly core. She felt the tip of its head right there.


“Then lets not waste anymore time,” he said in a strained voice, lowering her hips downward to inch inside her.


She felt the heat of him, big and thick, as he entered her, stretching her body again to accommodate its presence. He continued to lower her onto him and she could barely breathe at the feeling of him filling her so completely. She felt the exact moment he lifted the lower part of his body off the bed to drive into her to the hilt.


Ride me,” he growled from deep in his throat.


* * * *


Robert’s body shuddered and he groaned as Kristina’s body slammed down on his again, her knees firmly against his sides, her hands planted solidly on his chest. Her head was thrown back and she was giving the bed one hell of a workout while at the same time driving his body closer and closer the edge, once again.


He’d come once already and she twice, but she didn’t let up and he body didn’t seem to want to go down. She was doing more than just rocking the bed again. She was also rocking his world, distorting his senses, overwhelming him with more pleasure than he could have imagined possible.


The total impact of how she was making him feel simply overpowered him. And the aroma of sex along with the scent of her perfume wasn’t helping matters when he inhaled it deeply. It only made him that much more aware of what they were doing and how they were doing it. The deep throb in his veins and the degree of his arousal wouldn’t go away.


She kept going moving up and down, as if working up to one more orgasm that would probably incapacitate them. Still each time she came down on him, he was there to thrust up into her, grind his body, going as deep inside her as he could, and the more he did so, the more vigorously she pushed and pumped into him, going at it feral and wild.


He felt another release ready to hit him at the same moment he felt her inner muscles clench his and felt this climax would be too good to squander, so he quickly shifted positions and brought her beneath him the moment her body jerked. She let out one spine-tingling cry of pleasure when she exploded. He followed her and flooded the condom praying it would contain the essence of him, holding her, refusing to let her move, wanting to relish in every last ounce of pleasure.


Her reaction didn’t help and when she wrapped her legs around him, locking him in, he lowered his head to kiss her while slipping his hands into her hair to hold her mouth in place. She was being held prisoner, under his intense desire. He knew that he was being held captive under hers, as well.


* * * *


Kristina lay on her back staring up at the ceiling caressing Robert’s back. The ceiling fan blew cool air over their bodies while their breathing evened out. She still clutched him to her protectively, running her fingers up and down his back.


He was a man who understood her. A man who wouldn’t hurt her or use her. He wouldn’t make her feel used. 


Now she just had to convince him to take it slow. Tell him she had been hurt. Show him she did want someone special in her life. Still she needed a little time to figure it out. After what they just share now would be the perfect time to tell him.


She released her hold on him when he shifted against her. He lifted his head and the emotion she saw there was blinding.


“I’m in love with you Kristina,” he whispered.


Her eyes widened and she stiffened against him. She tried to push him away but her attempts were futile.


“Let me go Robert. Now!


He released her and she pulled away from him. She slid out of the bed before she looked at him. His expression was clouded and she was certain hers was panicked. She felt sick and queasy to her stomach. Her mind raced. She liked Robert, more than she ever thought she could. But love was something else. She wasn’t ready for love. The last time had ended up being a disaster.  


“I have to go,” Kristina whispered softly.


His eyes turned cold. “What? I just told you I’m falling in love with you and this is your response?”


She shook her head hating the confusion, the hurt, the anger, she heard in his voice. “What do you expect me to say Robert? Yes I care about you. I really do. But love—


Her voice cracked and she stopped speaking. She cleared her throat and tried again. “I’m not saying I can’t grow to love you but this is too fast. We are moving too fast. I have been trying to tell you but every time I go to say something you touch me and I can’t think.”


His eyes widened. “So this is my fault?”


No! I’m not saying that. It’s my fault more than anything. I should have tried harder to say something but I didn’t.” She sighed and began looking around her clothes.  “I’m just saying I need time. I need space.”


Space? What the hell Kristina? What do you mean you need space?


She jumped at the booming sound of his voice. When she looked up at him she could see the vein in his neck pulsing.


She swallowed hard. “Look. I’m going to drive up to my parents home for the rest of the weekend so I can do a little thinking and when I get back we can talk.”


“I don’t believe this,” he murmured as he leaned back. He closed his eyes.


For a brief, painful moment, she felt like taking her words back. Tell him that she did love him even if she wasn’t sure. Anything to wipe away the pained look from his face. She needed him to understand so badly why she needed this time alone to think.


“Okay.” He sighed. “Do what you need to. Believe me I know nothing I say will matter. It hasn’t from the beginning.”


Kristina stopped in the middle of fastening her bra. Her eyes narrowed at his spiteful tone. “What is that supposed to mean?”


He pinned her with a hard gaze and she almost wished she hadn’t asked. “Just that from the beginning it has been all about you. I have tried to make you happy. Tried to make you see I’m not the asshole who has obviously caused you to shut your heart off to a man who deserves it. I see now it was a severe mistake.”


Her mouth dropped opened. “Don’t you dare talk to me like that Robert, I don’t deserve it.” 


His laughed was void of humor as he climbed out of bed. She watched him disappear into the bathroom, wishing she had something to throw at him. When he returned she had slipped into her shorts but couldn’t find her shirt. He began picking up his clothes and stepped into his underwear before stopping to look at her.


“You do deserve it Kristina. You say you care for me but you haven’t shown it. From the beginning I have been doing all of the work. Forcing you to see me for the good man I am. Making all the moves. The entire time we have been together you have only planned something twice, once for my birthday and again for dinner.”


He tugged on his pants with a vicious yank. “I thought if I showed you kindness, support, we could make it through your commitment issues. Make you see I would never do anything to hurt you, that you could trust yourself to care about me, to love me.” 


He shook his head. “But I’m done Kristina. I’m tired of banging my head against the wall for you. I won’t be the man you can care about but not love. I refuse to be the one who continues to do all of the work. Believe me, I know firsthand that one sided relationships don’t work.”


Her own temper flared and she snatched her shirt up when spotted it peeking out from underneath the bed. “No you weren’t doing all of the work Robert. You were calling all of the shots. There is a difference. Every time I opened my mouth to talk to you about how confused I was you would charm me, seduce me, make me forget. Well it worked Robert and this is what it gets you. So I hope you like it.”


He stared at her for another moment and shook his head. “I thought I understood you. I guess I was wrong.”


He turned and walked toward the door. He paused but he didn’t look back. “Take all the time you need Kristina. I hope you find all of the answers you are looking for at your parent’s.”


She sighed. “I will be back Sunday evening. I will come straight over and we can talk then.”


Robert turned and looked back at her his expression filled with disappointment, hurt and anger. “Don’t bother.”

Propositioned: Chapter Ten

Chapter Ten

“So what are you going to do now?” Courtney asked.
Kristina sighed then down on the bed in her old room of her parents home. She stared out the window wondering just what her sister had asked.

“I don’t know,” she murmured.

Courtney’s sound of disgust traveled across the phone line. “Well I say you are a fool. How could you walk away from Robert? The man is in love with you. He even told you he was.”

“So did Warren,” Kristina added softly.

Courtney groaned. “Oh God Kristina. Come off of it already. Yes Warren was a low down piece of trash who did you wrong, but are you really willing to let a good man get away from you because of it?”

“I’m not letting a good man get away.”

The protest sounded weak even to Kristina’s ears. She closed her eyes and groaned. When had relationships become so difficult?

“Kristina, Robert is head-over-heels for you. I haven’t even met the man and I know it. Please don’t sell yourself short because some two timing bastard made you doubt yourself. You are so beautiful Kristina and so smart and he really likes you for you. Promise me that you will give Robert a chance and a whole-hearted chance. This is your once chance to be truly daring, go for it. You only live once.”

Courtney laughed. “I dared you to take Robert up on his proposition and look where it has gotten you so far. You would be insane to let a man like Robert get away because there aren’t many men out there like him.”

Courtney paused then exhaled softly. “Don’t make Robert pay for Warren’s mistake.”

Kristina jerked as if she had been shot the instant the words came out of her sister’s mouth. That was exactly what she had been doing to Robert and he didn’t deserve it. She closed her eyes and groaned, certain she had messed up a good thing.

“Oh Court, I have screwed up big time.”

Her sister sighed. ”Yes you have. Now the question is what are you going to do about it.”

Kristina continued to contemplate the question long after she hung up the phone with her sister. God help her, maybe it was love, or maybe it was infatuation, but she had to figure it out because she knew she didn’t want to give up Robert. She also knew they couldn’t go on with the way things were right now.

She sighed. With the finalization she heard in Robert’s voice last night she wasn’t sure there was a ‘them’ anymore. She couldn’t remember a time when she had felt so good, been so happy than she had during the time she spent with Robert. It was scary. What had started out as sex for her had become so much more. She knew better. She should never have slept with him.

She groaned and stood up. What she needed was some fresh air so that she could think. Could clear her head. She stood up and left the room before heading downstairs. Her parent’s were in the living room watching a movie. She stopped and smiled at them. If she were in San Angelo, she and Robert would be on sitting on his couch doing the same thing.

She sighed and shook her head. Pining over him wasn’t going to help. She had to resolve her past before she could have a future with him. She just didn’t know how. Her parent’s must have finally realized she was in the room and to look at her. She smiled at them.

“I didn’t mean to disturb your movie. I just wanted to let you know I am going to go out for a little while. Probably just grab a bite to eat and see if I can catch up with Melissa.”

Her mother nodded and smiled. “Okay. Have fun and don’t stay out too late.”

Kristina turned and walked toward the foyer. She reached for her purse and keys, then walked out the front door. It didn’t take her long to make it to D’Angelo’s, her favorite pizza spot. She hadn’t been here since she left Abilene. The smell of fresh baked pizza dough and roasted tomatoes assailed her nose as soon as she entered. Her stomach grumbled with anticipation.

She walked up to the counter and ordered two slices of cheese and a soda before walking over to an empty table. As she sat down she thought about how nice it would be to have Robert here with her. How nice it would have been for him to meet her parents. They would love him. There was no doubt about it. Well it wouldn’t happen if she didn’t get her head and her heart together.

She finished one slice of pizza and started on the second. She would have to come back to D’Angelo’s before again before she left out tomorrow. It might be a while before she could get back to Abilene.


She stiffened in mid-chew at the sound of the familiar voice calling her name. She looked up from her plate and her gaze fell on the man who just called her name. A man she never wanted to see again. One she had hoped she never would.

It was all she could do not to toss her soda in his face. She finished chewing her pizza before acknowledging him.


He stepped closer to the table with a mixture of hope and anxiety on his face. “Do you mind if I join you?”

Kristina felt her eyebrows go up on her forehead. He had to be kidding. If he didn’t know the answer to that question, he was dumber than she thought. She realized he really was waiting on an answer from her. She frowned.

“Yes I do mind if you join me Warren. After what you did to me you have some nerve to even approach me.”

Warren stepped closer to the table but he didn’t sit. His expression was contrite. “I know Kristina and I apologize. I really do. What I did to you was unforgivable but I hope you will give me a chance to explain.”

She shook her head at him. “Don’t bother Warren. Your actions did all of the explaining for you.”

He gave her a tentative smile. “I’m divorcing my wife.”

Her mouth dropped open. He had really some nerve. To think this was a man she had been attracted to at one point-in-time. Now he stood before her looking like the loser she knew he was. She stood up, the pizza in her stomach starting to feel like bricks.

“I’m happy for you Warren. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to get going.”

She went to go by him and he reached out to touch him. She looked down at his hand then back up at him with disgust.

“Take your hands off me.”

He dropped his hand quickly. “I have the divorce paper’s if you don’t believe me.”

Her eyes widened and the ability to speak escaped her for a few moments. When she was able to speak, she told him exactly what she thought of his announcement.

“Go jump off a bridge Warren. No, better yet, go jump in front of a fast moving truck, preferably an eighteen wheeler.”

She turned and walked away from him hoping he wouldn’t follow, but he didn’t get the hint.


She put her trash in the bin before slamming her tray down on reserved tray space on top of it. She whipped around to face him. Several heads turned in their direction but she didn’t care.

“Are you serious Warren? You lied to me for months, almost a year. You have a wife and kids, both of which you failed to ever mention. You never would have mentioned if I hadn’t caught you. Now you have the audacity to show up here in my face and act like everything is supposed to be okay because you have proof of you filing for divorce? Get real Warren and while you’re at it get lost.”

She turned and walked away from him again. To think this was the loser she had been pining away over. May have lost Robert over. It made her sick. This time she made it out the front door before he approached her again.

“Kristina, I love you.”

She topped in mid-step, turned and slapped him in the face. “And I hate you.”

He rubbed the side of his face. “I deserved that.”

She shook her head. “No Warren. You deserve worse for what you did to me. I loved you Warren. I imagined a future between us, the house, the kids, the car, successful career, everything. Do you know how I felt when I found out you already had it with someone else?”

He remained silent and she shook her head. “I felt like a fool, a complete idiot. I thought to myself how could a smart woman like me fall for a snake like you? How could I have missed all of the warning signs? You are despicable Warren. You have made me doubt everything I believe in.”

She moved aside letting a patron who walked up by. He glanced at her and Warren with open curiosity but she didn’t care. Her focus was on the man in front of her. The one she didn’t realize she had so much pent up anger behind. Now was her time to get it all out. To let him know what he had done to her.

“You hurt me Warren. You crushed me. I have a man, a good man, in my life and I can’t even give myself to completely because of what you did to my level of trust. I’m making him pay for what you did to me and he doesn’t deserve it. No more than I deserved what you did to me.”

She stepped closer to him. “So screw your divorce papers Warren. They are worthless to me, just like you are. I don’t want to ever see you again. If you see me in public, pretend like you don’t know who I am.”

She stepped back from him. “But I do want to thank you Warren, because until I saw you tonight I didn’t understand just how lucky I am to have the man that I do. My only hope is that I haven’t ruined what he and I have in my blindness, no my unwillingness, to accept that what he and I have is real because of the way you hurt me. So you know what Warren. I will have my future, the house, the kids, the car, successful career, everything.”

She smiled. “It just won’t be with you and you don’t know how happy that makes me. Have a good life Warren.”

Kristina turned her back to Warren and walked away. She smiled to herself feeling an overwhelming joy. Like a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders. For the first time he didn’t follow her and when she climbed into her car, he was wearing a saddened expression. Close to the one she had worn when she found out he was married with kids, like the one Robert wore when she told him she was leaving.

Some of her happiness diminished. She had messed up badly with Robert but she planned to fix it. Tonight she would go back to her parent’s, get a good night sleep and leave out first thing in the morning going back to San Angelo. She had made a mistake by shutting Robert out the way that she had, but if he gave her a second chance, she would never do it again.

* * * *

Robert sighed in disgust. Why did everything have to remind him of Kristina? He looked down at the spaghetti sauce in disappointment. His lunch no longer looked appealing to him. He knew why. If Kristina had been here, they would be in the kitchen together making it. He hadn’t realized how domestic he had become with her. He didn’t realize how much he would miss her once she was out of his life and it had only been a day. Then again he never imagined she would be out of it.

The phone rang pulling him out of his thoughts. He turned down the heat and walked over to the cordless extension.


“Robert?” It was Leslie.

“Yep, it’s me.” He replied tucking the cradle of the phone between his ear and shoulder as he walked back over to the stove

“Um, okay. Did I catch you at a bad time?”

“Nope. Just cooking lunch,” he grumbled.

Leslie sighed. “She still hasn’t called.”

Robert sighed. “No Leslie and I don’t need to be reminded of it either.”

“Ouch! That stings.”

Robert closed his eyes. He knew he was being rude to Leslie and she didn’t deserve it. He opened his eyes and rubbed his forehead. “I’m sorry Leslie. I’m just . . .”

He could hear the smile in Leslie’s voice. “I know. Just give her a little time Robert. Trust me I know how she feels right now and I’m glad Alex is being patient with me.”

Robert smiled. He was happy his friend had found a good guy, even if his own love life was in the pits right now. “Good. He seems like a nice guy and I like him.”

“He is Robert. But I don’t want to keep you I just wanted to call and check on you.”

Robert reached the stove. He turned up the heat before giving the sauce a good stir. “Thank you Leslie. I appreciate it. How is Jessica?”

“She is with Justin and they are having a blast. He is doing a good job Robert. He is doing everything he can to be a part of Jessica’s life, including volunteering to take her to a birthday party.”

Robert smiled. “I’m glad Leslie. Jessica needs him.”

“She still needs you too,” Leslie whispered.

“And she will always have me. No matter what.”

Leslie paused. “I hope the same goes for Kristina because she needs you too, whether you know it or not.”

Robert shook his head. “She doesn’t need me Leslie. She won’t even talk to me. I don’t know what’s going on with her. I’m not sure I want to stick around to find out.”

“Don’t talk like that Robert. Kristina is a good woman and you know it. Just give her time. You don’t want to rush her. She will come to you when she is ready.”

He exhaled deeply. “I’m not sure she will.”

Leslie groaned. “What did you do Robert?”

He sighed. “When she left I told her not to contact me anymore.”

Leslie gasped. “Robert!”

“I know Leslie, I know, but I was frustrated. I feel like I am beating my head up against a brick wall with her. I’m tired of giving her everything I have and getting half or nothing in return.”

Leslie sighed. “I know if doesn’t seem fair right now, Robert. But there has to be a reason, so don’t blow this Robert. I know you can be stubborn, but the two of you can work through this.”

“I know we can Leslie and that’s the crazy thing. I don’t want to let her go. I care about her and I want to work through whatever it is but—”

He was cut off by a knock on his front door. He wasn’t expecting anyone. “Leslie, let me call you back. Someone is at my door.”

“Okay. I’m here for you if you need me.”

“Thanks Leslie.” He disconnected the call before turning off the burner. At this rate he wouldn’t be eating anyway. All of the talk of his relationship with Kristina not working was making him sick to his stomach. He wanted it to work. Would give anything for it to.

He made his way to the front door and opened it. Kristina stood there on the other side and he stood there numb with shock. He hadn’t thought she would show up on his doorstep so soon. She looked as uncertain as he felt. After their parting words, it wasn’t hard for him to imagine why.

“Hi Robert.”

He stared at her for several heartbeats before responding, thousands of emotions rushing through him at the sight of her. He had missed her. “Hi.”

She cleared her throat. “Can I come in?”

He stepped aside and allowed her to enter. He closed the door behind her then turned to look at her. Her mouth curved into the sexy, heart-stopping smile that had the power to make his heart skip a beat.

He opened his mouth to speak but before he could she walked up to kiss him. He drew back before he became entangled within the web of desire. This had been the problem in the past. When they touched the rationale of talking seemed to go out the window. She placed a finger to his lips.

“Me first,” she said, her gaze locked with his. “I love you, Robert.”

He stared at her. This had been the last confession he expected her to make. “You do?”

She nodded her head, a flicker of fear mixed with uncertainty in her eyes, the display of vulnerability squeezing his heart.

“Are you sure?”

That startled a laugh out of her. “I’m sure. I wouldn’t say it if I wasn’t.”

He smiled feeling as if some of the weight on his shoulders had been lifted off. “Good. I love you too.”

She slid her arms around his waist and laid her head on his chest. “I’m sorry I ran from you Robert, from us. I just had a lot of fear because of recent events.”

She pulled back and looked up at him. “A part of the reason I came to San Angelo was because of a bad break-up.”

She took a deep breath and he knew whatever she had to say was important to the future of their relationship.

“I was dating for a guy for about a year and I found out he was married and had children.”

Robert frowned as everything fell into place. All of her resistance to open herself up again made sense.

“I was devastated to say the least. Then I started to doubt myself, and my feelings. I tried to figure out how a woman like myself could be fooled by such a creep. More importantly my dreams had been crushed.”

She took a deep shuddering breath. “I thought he was the man I was going to marry. We were talking about a future together. What we had seemed so real, it felt so genuine. To find out it was just a joke to him hurt me in a way I can’t describe.”

She looked back up at him. “But I know you understand because in a way I did it to you as well. You have been nothing but good to me Robert and that’s what scared me. I thought I had perfection before and it crashed and burned around me. Then you came along. I couldn’t believe it was true. Not with what I had just been through.”

He cupped the side of her face. Understanding every word she said to him, knowing how hard it had to be for her to tell him such intimate details of a betrayal. It made him want her even more. To give her everything she was worthy of.

“So now that you have discovered what I feel for you is real, that what we have is real, what do you plan to do about it?

She gave him a watery smile. “Well I have a few ideas the main one being I hope you will take me back and give me another chance.”

A slow smile spread across his face. “I like your plan so far.”

She sighed in relief and dropped her face into his chest. “I’m glad, although I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t want to.”

He leaned back and caught her chin with the tip of his index finger. “I love you Kristina. I know we have a lot to work through and we will, together. I also have a few ideas of my own on how to move forward.”

Several emotions flickered across his face and he smiled. “You do?”

He nodded. “Yes I do.”

“Like what.”

He released her chin and touched his forehead to hers. He was ready to put it all on the line for the woman he knew was meant for him. No matter what her fears or reservations were, they would work through them together.

“I am hoping you will marry me”

Her mouth dropped opened and tears sprang to her eyes. A few tears slipped down her cheeks and her bottom lip trembled. Finally her arms come up and encircled his neck.

“That sounds like the best proposition I’ve heard in a long time,” she whispered. “Yes, Robert. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

He laughed before lowering his mouth to hers. It didn’t get any better than this.