Lisa backed off, making sure to get more than an arm’s length from him. “Braden, I’m sorry, but I’m not interested in you that way.”
He relaxed against the counter, crossed his arms and gave her a pointed look. “I thought we didn’t bullshit each other.” A small smile softened the words. “I’m not ashamed to admit I want you. Why pretend you don’t feel the same?”
Ignoring the rush of wet lust in her panties, she insisted, “I’ll admit you’re very attractive, but that doesn’t mean I want you like that.”
“With all due respect, Ms. Taylor, your eyes and your body say you do.”
“Pardon me?” She wouldn’t have responded had she not been so totally caught off-guard by his comment.
“Your pupils are dilated; you’re breathing like you just ran up the stairs; your cheeks are flushed; and…” His own darkened eyes dipped down to her breasts.
She didn’t have to look to know her nipples were hard. And now they tightened even more for him, the traitors. Humiliated, she crossed her arms over her chest. “I’m not having this conversation.”
“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about, it’s just your body’s involuntary response to certain stimuli. It’s physiology. Happens to everyone.” Before she could interrupt, he asked, “Do you remember at the lake house once, about ten years ago, I pitched a fit and ruined the whole day?”
He chuckled. “Yeah, I know. I was a brat.”
“And what’s that got to do with my wanting to crawl under a rock and die right now?”
“I’m thinking of one tantrum in particular. My dad was giving me shit because I had a hard-on, which, of course was my body’s involuntary response to certain stimuli. It happened a lot back then, and dad never missed an opportunity to call me out on it.”
“That day, the stimulus occurred when Jake was grabbing at you, trying to get you to pick him up. Your bikini top slipped for a second, and I got my first glimpse of a nipple.”
“Oh god,” She gasped from a mixture of embarrassment and something else.
“Five minutes later, dad caught me starching a sock and decided to be a complete dick about it.”
“I’m sorry,” she winced. “For what it’s worth, though, I appreciate your telling me. Nobody’s ever starched a sock in my honor before.”
He laughed at her. “Yeah they have, trust me.”
Lisa felt her face flush. “Oh. Well, no one else ever told me about it.”
“Maybe no one else has been out of his skull in lust with you for half his life.” He took a deep breath at the same moment Lisa lost all ability to breathe.
“Braden, I’m beyond flattered, but there’s Jake… and everything else. You know this can’t happen.”
His eyes and voice were dark as sin as he inched closer, “I know we’re both adults, both single. I know I’m dying to touch you. I know I can make you feel good.”
“Are you trying to kill me?” she whispered.