Author: Tamsen Parker
Released: December 12, 2016
Series: Compass #5
Genre: Erotic Romance
Author contact links: Facebook, Twitter, Website
Purchase links: Amazon, ARe, Google Play, iBooks, Kobo
“We can’t keep doing this.”
“Doing what? We’re just…” She narrows her eyes, giving me a meaningful glare. “Oh, right, that. Well, yeah, of course not.”
My heart sinks through the soles of my shoes and into a sad puddle on the floor, but am I surprised? No. I was lucky to get what I had, and I shouldn’t be so greedy. Of course Lucy doesn’t want to keep having some sordid breakroom affair. And I don’t want her to. She deserves way better, and that’s all I can offer her. But it’s still a bummer.
Weirdly, she looks disappointed when I agree. Is that not what I was supposed to say?
“Yeah, of course not,” she echoes and looks askance. Like maybe she’s looking for another possible answer, because she doesn’t like it either. “We should definitely not do anything remotely like that ever again.”
That level of insistence seems excessive, especially since I’ve already agreed: this can’t keep happening. But the look on her face has shifted, as has her voice, and it’s starting to sound more like a challenge. I dare you.
“Yep,” I begin, trying to match her tone, which I’m still working out. Is this a flirting thing? Because I feel like it might be, but I’ve never been a gifted flirt. Or one at all. Too afraid I’m going to say something stupid or insulting. But I’ll give it a go, just in case. “We should absolutely, positively never even, like, look at each other again. Never mind…” If I were braver, I’d go for it, because her eyes have got that luminous thing going on, and her lips have parted. I may not be an expert, but I’m pretty sure she wants me, but if I’m wrong… My stomach shrivels, and I take the easy way out. “Kiss. Nope, certainly not.”
Her lips purse in a contained laugh, and she blinks at me, those long lashes framing her verging-on-hazel brown eyes. Maybe one of these days, I’ll get close enough, not in the dark, to figure out what color they are or if they’re made up of a spectrum. I want to know. “Yeah, kissing is definitely not allowed. Or touching.”
My mouth goes dry when she says it, her tongue pressing against her teeth to form the words that sound so delightfully lewd making their way out of her mouth. She may as well have said “f**king” for the way it takes my breath away.
“No. And no licking.”
Oh my god, how many words are there to describe sex acts? I feel as though we could keep doing this all day, except I’m pretty sure my pants would not survive. They’re straining at the zipper some already, and this entire episode is painful in so many ways. Also we’d eventually start venturing into ridiculous euphemisms, and while that would be entertaining, I’d rather do that on some Sunday morning, lying around in bed with coffee mugs on the bedside table, not here, now.
She blinks at me, her eyes wide, her cheeks flushed, and then she clears her throat. She’s going to tell me to go, because she’s right, we can’t keep doing this.
“You, um, have something on your face.”
Crap. I want to retreat to the bathroom because that is embarrassing. Even for me. “Where?”
I swipe at one cheek and then the other, the corners of my mouth, but Lucy shakes her head and gestures me closer. “No, you missed it.”
What did I miss? It’s not like I’ve eaten anything since going to the restroom a couple of hours ago, and I didn’t even dare drink coffee so what the hell is it? Pen? That’s it, isn’t it? I have accidentally drawn a d**k on my face while I was trying to figure out whether there’s a mechanism for the PRA to issue the required continuing disclosures.
I lean forward, half-expecting her to lick her thumb and wipe off whatever schmutz I’ve gotten myself into. Instead, when I’m close enough, she reaches out and grabs my tie, yanking me down hard across her desk, and her mouth crashes against mine. Our teeth gnash together and I’m almost positive I’m bleeding, but I don’t care.
This thing—this thing we were not supposed to do, ever again, is happening, and despite its awkward beginning, has melted into one of the dead sexiest kisses I’ve ever had. Lucy tastes sweet, as if she’s been eating candy. She keeps lollipops in one of her desk drawers, but she only eats them when India’s away. The last one must’ve been cherry. Not usually my favorite, but it tastes amazing mixed with Lucy’s breath and her mouth. I suck at her bottom lip and nip before sliding my tongue against hers while her hand holds my tie fast.
Lucy’s desk is at an unfortunate height, the top grinding into my crotch as I devour her. I don’t want to pull away, but if I don’t, I might bruise, and Lucy’s counting on me to provide a certain level of service. I don’t know if I could do it with a bruised d**k.
“Luce,” I gasp between our mouths meeting. “Luce, we have to stop.”
She lets go of my tie, and the look of betrayal on her face is soul-crushing.
“Not for good! I just had to—” I make a frenzied gesture between the desk and the tented front of my pants. “It was…uncomfortable.”
“But you’re probably right.” Her tone is slow, but steady, and I don’t want her to talk herself out of this again. “We could both get fired and neither of us can afford to lose our jobs, and—”
My brain is spinning because she’s not wrong, but god what I wouldn’t give to have something for me. To have something good and bright in the black and white of my days. Something bright red and cherry-vanilla flavored. To have Lucy.
Tamsen is generously giving away a signed paperback copy of Due South to one (1) lucky commenter. To enter, please leave a comment at the end of this post letting Tamsen know what you are most looking forward to this holiday season. Please include contact email or twitter account so I can notify the winner. The contest closes December 22, 2016 at 11:59PM EST.
Winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries. This contest is open to U.S. mailing addresses only, where not prohibited by law. Open to participants, 18 years or older, who are legally allowed to participate in such a contest as allowed by their local laws. All federal, state, local, and municipal laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. By participating in the contest, participants agree to be bound by the decisions of the contest sponsor. Prize will be delivered by the author. This blog, its reviewers, and the owner are not responsible for items lost in the mail. By entering this giveaway, participants agree to abide by these terms.