The Espionage Effect
Author: Kat Bastion and Stone Bastion
Released: July 14, 2015
Genre: Romantic Suspense / Action-Adventure Romance / Erotic Romance (sensual, explicit, sexual awakening)
Author contact links: Blog, Facebook, Newsletter, Kat’s Twitter, Stone’s Twitter, Kat’s Website
Purchase links: Amazon, iBooks, Kobo
When I reentered the suite’s bedroom area, Alec reached over and dropped the hotel phone’s handset into its molded plastic cradle with a jostling clunk.
He glanced up at me. “Twenty-two minutes.”
I tilted my head, observing the imposing man who no longer sat on the edge of the bed. He’d stretched out into the middle of it, rolling onto his back after ending the call. Still dangerously shirtless, he’d now gone shoeless. Only his cargo pants remained. My gaze scanned back up to meet his. “How precise. Not twenty or twenty-five, but twenty-two minutes. They’ve got that delivery down to a science.”
“Precise is good. Gives me plenty of time.” He flattened his hand and patted a spot beside him on the rumpled white duvet three times.
I stared at the golden skin on the back of his hand. At the loaded indentation beneath it.
A sensual invitation. Not an expectation.
For once in my life, I maintained control with a simple choice before me: agree to obey the unspoken suggestion…or not.
Every cell in my body hummed to life, wanting what the mysterious stranger who’d stumbled into my world seemed to want in equal measure right along with me.
Before a conscious decision filtered into my brain, my weight shifted to the balls of my feet. Cool sheets met my knees. My gaze locked on to his, and the sizzling connection affected me on a visceral level, like he didn’t just see me—he saw right through me, down to every last dark secret and untapped desire.
And instead of his blatant stare into the very heart of me feeling threatening, I found the action soothing. One lost spinning soul finally stabilized by another. Drawn in by its undeniable gravity. Not wanting…not even trying…to escape.
With efficient movements, I settled beside him, feeling the heavy weight of his watchful gaze. It scoured over every inch of my skin, heating the surface as if he commanded my blood to rush there.
He didn’t ask me to remove my skimpy boxers or thin cotton tank top, but his attention drifted to my breasts. My thoughts went along for the ride, prisoner to his, as if joined by unseen bonds. And as my nipples hardened under his perusal, ached as they scraped beneath the near-transparent fabric, my breaths shallowed, chest rising and falling.
“Do you trust me?” His measured words held no tone.
“No.” The word snapped out in knee-jerk reaction. But he was a relative stranger, after all. And trust had never come easy for me.
“Good.” His reply volleyed back just as fast.
I frowned when he failed to elaborate.
“Care to make this interesting?” He arched a single dark brow.
Mentally thrown, I stared up at him, incredulous. “How could it get any more interesting?”
“Depends. How much do you like rules?”
Constricting shadows edged into my mind. “Lived my whole life by rules. Despise them.”
“Good. Then I’ll only give you three.”
My mouth fell open, but I snapped it shut, biting back my instinctive protest. He’d said interesting. Sure as hell better be.
When I remained silent for a beat longer, he continued. “Much as I love that luscious smart mouth of yours whipping out million-dollar words, no talking.”
Sure enough, I gaped again.
His eyes flared wider as my first challenge went tested one second after he’d uttered it.
I pressed my lips together in obedience, not for him, but for me. If the kiss he’d delivered earlier had been a mere appetizer, every vibrating cell in my body wanted to taste the next course.
His short nod followed. “Keep your eyes shut at all times.”
This time I didn’t obey. We hadn’t begun yet, after all. And I wanted to use all the senses I had to watch him, gauge his reactions.
If my nonresponse affected him, he didn’t show it. He kept going, “And no touching.”
“For you. You are not to touch: yourself or me.”
My brow wrinkled in confusion. “Where’s the fun for you?”
His lips curved into a wicked smirk. “Everywhere.”