As I work to get the edits and additions done for PEAK EXPERIENCE… here’s another excerpt from WAVES OF PLEASURE. Today… Drew and Lyria finally meet :).
The combo was in full swing when Drew noticed the gorgeous woman at the bar. Her very long red hair was hard to miss since it hung loose to the center of her back with strands curling around her face. She turned as if sensing his attention and he was riveted by her features. Her mouth was full and lush, begging to be kissed, and her eyes were almost doll-like in their size. He wished the room wasn’t so dim so he could see their color, but even from a distance he noticed an uncertainty.
He watched her sip a margarita. The pleasure on her face as she swallowed made him long to keep her pleased. It was the strangest reaction, but too strong to ignore. She wore a light blue sleeveless dress that appeared to be made from a material so thin he wondered if in the ankles. He was dying to see her legs.
He saw other men noticing her and, with a sudden feeling of possessiveness, he moved to introduce himself. He was glad for the noise because it gave him an excuse to lean close to her when he spoke.
“Welcome to The Siren. I don’t think I’ve seen you here before. I’m Drew Crawford.” He held out his hand and she slid hers gently into it. No businesslike handshake from her. Instead the touch had an intimate feel as though she were caressing the most available part of his body.
“I’m Lyria, and no, you haven’t seen me here before. I only arrived in town today.”
“How did you hear about us?”
“I didn’t hear about you. I heard the music and came to hear more.”
“You like it?”
“Yes, very much. It has a beautiful flow and harmony.”
“We only started hosting jazz nights a few months ago.”
“Clearly it’s popular,” she said, gesturing to the crowd.
It was the most casual conversation he’d experienced in a while, but as long as her attention was on him, he didn’t care. “So, what brings you to the area?”
She paused before answering and he hoped her reply wouldn’t mention a man. “I needed some time away. I’d visited years ago so when I was looking for a place to disappear to, and this seemed like a good choice.”
“It’s still early in the season. Wait until schools are out. Then it gets really crazy.”
“I can handle a little crazy,” she said with a smile. The uncertain and distant look in her eyes disappeared when she smiled. It was as good a reason as any to keep her smiling. Unfortunately, business took the opportunity to intervene in the form of one of his servers.
“Hey, bossman, there’s a problem in the kitchen. A clash of wills—or won’ts—again.”
He shook his head. Drew’s two lead chefs were at each other’s throats at least once a night, more often if he was unlucky. He had come to understand the literal meaning of too many cooks spoiling the broth.
Something needed to change and soon, or it was going to be a long and painful summer. Tonight, however, was not the night to do it. For now he’d calm the waters and get back to Lyria as quickly as possible. “I need to take care of this personally. I hope you weren’t planning on leaving.”
“I’m enjoying being here, so I expect I’ll be staying.” A stray piece of salt clung to her lip and she licked it away. Drew wondered if standing up without attracting attention was going to be an option.