Tempt Me, Tease Me, Thrill Me
Publisher: Kensington Brava
Erotic Contemporary Romance Novella
After one wild encounter with Judge Cait Campbell, Chicago cop Sean Logan finds out what’s under those long black robes: a body that’s as beautiful as her face. And he’s prepared to plead guilty to wanting her—and only her…
Until tonight, Cait Campbell had no idea that a black tie dinner could be even more disturbing than an aerobics class filled with a bunch of leering guys.
Of course, as the junior member of Chicago’s esteemed Maples & Weiss law firm, she was the sacrificial lamb for tonight’s event, which included a charity auction. In no time at all, the leering guys in here would be bidding on one dinner date with her in order to raise funds for a good cause.
God. For this she had graduated first in her class at Harvard Law, then clerked for a powerful Federal judge and now worked eighty-hour weeks that left little time for dates she might actually want. Not that she had had any of those recently, or even wanted to after what she had once experienced with Sean.
Cait closed her eyes and ordered herself not to think about him again. Okay, okay, so she would think of him only until she was auctioned off. You are hopeless.
For the last four months she had not been able to forget the man. Memories of Sean Logan flooded Cait’s mind before, during, and after just about everything she did with tonight being no exception. How could it be? This dinner was being held in the same ballroom that had hosted the reception for Cait’s cousin Julia, who had married Sean’s younger brother Tim.
It was at that wedding reception, or rather after it, that everything had changed for Cait.
Uh-uh. She really couldn’t think of that now. She really shouldn’t think of –
Too late. That night came back with such startling clarity, Cait’s breathing picked up. That night, as the other wedding guests were gathering around the lavish buffet and open bars that had been set up in here, Cait recalled holding back. There hadn’t been a thing on those tables that would have satisfied her hunger. She wanted Sean. It was a need that was soul deep and one Cait had not been able to deny.
Because of that, she had forced herself to wait. She watched the others eat and drink, then regarded the newlyweds, who were sharing a playful kiss that quickly turned breathless. Before they embarrassed themselves or anyone else, Julia smacked Tim’s butt, then pushed him into the hall for some privacy. Cait glanced from that closing door to another bridesmaid who had cornered one of the young servers with her soft voice, sultry look and billowy gown.
Cait knew that whatever the girl was offering him wouldn’t come close to what she would give to Sean.
Just a bit longer, she told herself, until she was aching inside. At last, she gave into her heart and glanced past the crowd.
Sean’s gaze was already on her.
Liquid heat poured through Cait, making her feel deliciously weak and completely female.
It was a stunning desire she had never really known, and yet experienced the moment she first met Sean only days earlier during the wedding rehearsals. It was as if she had known this man all of her life.
His clean scent was welcome and familiar, his confident bearing an unexpected comfort, while his masculinity – wow – made all the other crud in life bearable.
Oh, he was something. Tall, with deliciously male features, dark hair that was silky and thick, and a build that was lean yet muscular.
No way was anyone gonna mess with this man.
Even his pierced ear, a souvenir from his work as an undercover narcotics officer with the Chicago Police, made him seem wild, like a pirate, and aroused Cait beyond reason.
As did his approach.
He moved through the crowd that night as if Cait were his only reason for being.
How she adored that.
When he was finally so close that Cait could feel his heat, Sean leaned down to her and asked, “Enjoying yourself?”
Her skin tingled. There was nothing like his rich voice and luscious scent. Turning her face to his, all caution drifted away. The only thing that mattered was tonight with him. “Not yet,” she murmured, “but I hope to.”
Sean’s eyes grew hooded as he took her hand, his firm grip saying he had no intention of letting go.
This was a man who knew what he wanted. He was not going to be denied.
Minutes later, they were upstairs in Suite 854. What happened after that was deliciously wicked, achingly tender and something Cait just couldn’t think about again.
Her time with Sean was beautiful, but over. She had to get real. Heavenly sex, stimulating conversations, shared laughter, unyielding desire and a man who seemed to really want her did not necessarily make for a lasting relationship.
Just look at her mom and dad. Twenty years they had given each other and for what? Immediately after their own divorce, they started marrying and divorcing just about everyone else.
Those romances always started off good until the great sex wore off, loyalties were broken and the nasty prenups kicked in. And that was an eventuality Cait couldn’t face with Sean. From the get-go, she had wanted him too badly. To have him for a time, only to lose him in the future to another woman – uh-uh, no damned way. It was better to simply forget their one night, move on from that fantasy of Forever After and focus on the godawful date she was about to get.
Please, just make it go fast, Cait prayed.
The MC introduced her as Carmen, not Caitlin, Campbell.
As she eased past tables, Cait’s beaded gown whispered around her, twinkling beneath the enormous chandelier and the spotlight.
There were a few wolf whistles with one being interrupted by a hacking cough. Cait guessed that belonged to the elderly circuit judge who was expected to appoint her to the bench. That is, if she did well tonight.
Right. The moment she reached the stage, Cait turned and faced this crowd with the same cockiness she used when squaring off against adversaries in court.
Some of the guys must have liked that because their wolf whistles were suddenly prolonged.
The MC grinned so hard it had to hurt. “Now, now,” he said, flapping his hands, “let’s settle down.” When the wolf whistles were replaced by that same hacking cough, he leaned toward the microphone and began the bidding.
“Here,” Billy, her colleague, suddenly shouted to save her from the other men. “I bid twenty-five hundred dollars!”
Bless you. Cait lowered her gaze, delicately lifted the skirt of her gown and got ready to get the hell off the stage.
“Three thousand,” a male voice called out.
The gown slipped through her fingers. A moment later, Cait’s gaze slowly lifted even as her heart paused. She warned herself not to look into the audience. If she did, there would be no turning back.
It can’t be his voice. That’s just not possible.
“Thirty-five hundred,” another man called out.
Taking a cautious step back, Cait swung her head in Billy’s direction. He had to bid again. He had to win this date with her.
Come on, damn you, bid!
“We have thirty-five hundred!” the MC said with the same enthusiasm reserved for a million dollar bid. “Going once, going –“
“Four thousand,” that first male voice called out.
Cait’s mouth went dry, while her heart raced. Four months ago, she told herself she would never forget that voice, nor a touch that caressed her soul and a scent that so effortlessly aroused. Four months ago, she knew she would not allow herself to see him again.
This can’t be happening.
Taking a deep, steadying breath, Cait’s gaze finally swept the crowd. She glanced at faces she knew and those she did not. She saw bored expressions and questioning gazes. She moved past most quickly. . .
And finally lingered on one.
Cait’s lips parted on a quiet sigh as his gaze touched hers. In that moment everything else, even the last four months, faded away. Her gaze hungered over him as it had that night, touching his eyes, his hair, his mouth – oh, his mouth. It welcomed, it pleasured, it comforted, and healed all the hurt Cait had ever felt, all the loneliness she had endured.
How she had missed him.
Without thinking or pause, Cait stepped forward recalling the last time they were in this room. Then, Sean’s hand on hers had sealed the events of the night. Then, his breath had whispered against her cheek, his gaze had demanded and she had willingly followed. His effect on her was that great.
Her need for him was that foolish.
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