“You’re messing in my personal life.” Amber knew she shouldn’t take him up on it, but she was sorely tempted.
“Yeah,” he said. “I am. Now send her to the Aquamarine.”
Amber heaved a sigh.
Before she could send the message, Tuck scooped the phone out of her hand, typing into it.
“You know it’s the best answer.”
She did know it was the best answer. And she’d been about to do it herself. Further protests seemed pointless.
“She says great,” said Tuck.
“I’ll bet she does.”
He set the phone down on the coffee table. “You’re a good sister.”
“In this instance, I think you’re the good sister.”
“Never been called that before.”
“Neither have I.”
Tuck chuckled, obviously assuming she was making a joke.
Tuck was pretty good at handling late nights, but even he was starting to fade by the time he and Amber shut down the last client file. She looked exhausted, her cheeks flushed, makeup smudged under her eyes and her hair escaping in wisps from the updo.
“That’s as ready as we can be,” she said.
They were side by side on the overstuffed sofa, a lamp glowing on an end table, the lights of the city streaming through open curtains on the picture window across the room.
Tuck had long since shrugged out of his suit jacket and loosened his tie. His shirtsleeves were rolled up, but he was still too warm. The thermostat might be set too high. More likely, it was his attraction to Amber.
She was intensely sexy, every single thing about her, from her deep blue eyes to her rich brunette hair, to the delicious, sleek curves revealed by her fitted dress.
“Do you feel confident?” she asked, tipping her head to look at him.
He realized he’d been silently staring at her.
And he was still staring at her. He was overwhelmed by the urge to kiss her, kiss her deeply and thoroughly, taste those soft, dark red lips that had been teasing his senses all night long. He knew he shouldn’t. Her earlier reluctance was reasonable and well founded. Anything romantic between them was bound to be complicated, today, tomorrow and into the future.
“Tuck?” she persisted, clearly confused.
He lifted his hand, brushed the stray hairs back from her cheek.
She sucked in a quick breath and her eyes closed in a long blink. When they opened, they were opaque, misty blue with indecision.
It wasn’t a no, he told himself. She wasn’t ordering him to back off. She was tempted, just like him.
He knew there had to be a whole lot of reasons not to do this, but he couldn’t seem to come up with them at the moment. So he leaned forward instead, slowly and steadily.
She could stop him, run away from him, pull back from him at least. Whatever she decided, he’d accept. But he had to at least try.
She didn’t do any of those things, and their lips came together, his bold and purposeful, hers heated, smooth and delicious. He altered the angle and his arms went around her. He kissed her once, twice, three times, desire pulsing through his mind and electrifying his body.
She kissed him back, tentatively at first. But then her tongue touched his, tangled with his. Her body went malleable against his, her softness forming to his planes. He eased her back on the sofa, covering her from chest to thighs, tasting her mouth, inhaling her scent, feeling her back arch intimately and her heartbeat rise against his chest.
He wanted her bad.
He kissed his way down her neck, pushing the cap sleeve of her dress out of the way, leaving damp circles on her bare shoulder. He thought about her zipper, imagined pulling it down her back, the dress falling away, revealing a lacy bra, or her bare breasts, that creamy smooth skin that was silken to his touch.
“Tuck?” Her voice was breathless.
He stilled. He knew what came next, though every fiber of his being rebelled against it.
“Can’t,” she said, finishing the thought.
He wanted to argue. They could. They really could, and the world wouldn’t come to a crashing halt.
But he’d never coerced a woman into his bed before and he wasn’t about to start with Amber.
“You sure?” he asked.
He could feel her nod.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
He eased back. “No, I’m the one who’s sorry. I shouldn’t have kissed you.”