Step into Lush, the decadent art gallery that specializes in the sensual, and let your desires set your heart free.
Businesswoman Teal Jamison knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. With her dream art gallery about to open, she’s in need of some serious stress relief and virile carpenter Zack Dillon is just the man to give it to her.
Only Zack doesn’t think they’re a good match. He likes to be in control, always, and Teal’s anything but submissive when she comes on to him. When Teal refuses to give up the chase and the two come together in a explosion of heat, but will the flames of their desire burn them, or forge an unbreakable bond?
Amazon.ca * Amazon.com * iBooks * Kobo * Barnes and Noble
Anger turned to desire and excitement of a different sort flowed through her at the sight that greeted her. Soft faded denim stretched lovingly across perfect tight male glutes.
All thoughts of temperamental artists, inconsistent suppliers, and juvenile delinquents evaporated as she watched the man straighten from his bent over position and enjoyed the sight of a worn leather tool belt framing his ass perfectly.
Now, that’s a work of art.
“Looking’ good, Zach,” Teal purred as she dropped her backpack on the reception desk and continued in his direction. An hour or two of uncomplicated no strings naked wrestling with him would certainly take the edge off her stress level.
The carpenter ran a loving hand over the custom built mahogany shelf he’d just installed before turning to her. “Thanks, Teal, but I’m just helping bring your vision of the place together.”
“Oh, I’ve no doubt the gallery will be beautiful, but I was referring to the view when I walked in.” She winked at him and gave his impressive form an obvious once over.
His eye’s flared brightly at her brazen comment before they closed in a slow, lazy blink that made her knees weak. When he looked at her again, the heat was banked and his smile was unhurried. “Well, that’s the point of the set up right? That the view be good from every angle?”
Zachary Dillon had come highly recommended as the finish carpenter for her new art gallery and she’d made it a point to be completely professional with him. But his work for her was almost done, and she was ready to be more than his boss.
Her eyes followed his movements as he pulled a cloth from his tool-belt and wiped his hands. His rough, calloused, manly hands were large enough to hold her C-cup breasts and make her feel small. Her nipples pebbled in response to her thoughts and she lifted her gaze to his.
“I was talking about you, Darlin’.” She couldn’t help it. Flirting had always been second nature to her, man or woman, it didn’t matter, she flirted and charmed … and usually got whatever she wanted.
From the start, just being around Zach had made her blood heat and her pulse race, but she’d remained professional. Teal prided herself on always being a professional, no matter what job she was doing, but she was working for herself this time. Lush was her place. Her baby. And she didn’t want anything getting in the way of Lush’s success, especially her own libido.
Waiting until his work for her was completely done would be the smartest thing to do, but she’d had a shit day and her emotions were running high. Maybe letting herself go this once would be a good thing. One night of steamy love’n and her hormones would calm down, and she could concentrate on work again.
Yes, that was exactly what she needed.
She touched his bare arm lightly and gave him the slow sultry smile that always got her whatever, and whoever, she wanted. “You’re looking good.”
“Thank you.” His voice was a bit deeper as he shifted his weight to his other foot, taking him just out of reach. A knowing smile lifted his lips as he reached for the sweatshirt lying on a nearby stool, and pulled it on over his ragged t-shirt.
“I can’t do anything else until I pick up more varnish, so I’m done for the day. I’ll see you bright and early Monday, Teal.” He picked up an old wooden toolbox and waved to her with his other hand. “Have a good night.”
Teal said goodnight and watched him saunter away.
What the hell had just happened? She’d come on to him, in fact, she couldn’t have been more obvious if she’d stripped off her clothes and said, “Let’s wrestle naked.” And he’d walked away!
Men never walked away from her.
Her cheeks heated and she n=chewed on her lower lip. There was a definite attraction between them. She knew the spark of lust when she saw it. By investing all of her savings into opening the very first completely erotic art gallery around, she was betting her future on knowing that look.
So why would a big, healthy and attractive man walk away from a woman he desired?
A few of hours later she was working in the back room, and the question was still on her mind.
“Maybe he’s just shy.” The perky brunette said from her perch on top of a packing crate.
“No, that’s not it.” Teal shook her head and pulled the lid off the smaller crate on the table in front of her. She thought about the way Zach moved, the way he ran his hands over whatever he was working on, and a shiver danced down her spine. “He’s way too … confident to be shy. He’s quiet for sure, but he gives off this impression of restrained strength. Very strong and sexy, and completely alpha.”
It was just after ten p.m. on Saturday night and she and Brina Jo were in the spacious back room of the gallery, unpacking the first shipment of items. Teal had spent the last two hours on the phone trying to line up a cleaning crew to come and wash the graffiti off her building, but since the next day was Sunday, nobody wanted the job. She’d lined up a crew for Monday, though.
She’d been enjoying her time alone in the back room. The first bit of quiet time she’d had in a while.
When the idea for an art gallery that specialized in erotic art had come to her, she’d run with it, and that meant the gallery was pretty much all she thought about. She lived and breathed whatever job she was working when she worked it, and Lush was the most important job she’d ever had. It was all hers. Besides that, full speed ahead and complete stop, were the only speeds she knew.
Unpacking inventory in the back room was a bit of both for her. She got to work fast and efficiently, and since she was alone, she could turn off her brain for a while and just enjoy. But her brain hadn’t co-operated. Instead, she couldn’t stop thinking about a certain well-built carpenter, and fantasizing about ways to get him naked.
Until she’d heard someone rattling the locked door of the gallery.
Thinking she might catch the graffiti punks, she’d dashed through the empty gallery only to open the door and find nobody. Well, nobody with a spray can anyway. What she had found was a flyer with the words “House of Sin. You are going to hell” on it, glued to her front door. Slightly creeped-out, and tired of her own thoughts, she’d called her long time friend and newly hired assistant, Brina Jo.
By the time Brina arrived at the gallery, Teal had scraped the flyer off the door with warm water and a putty knife, and pushed it to the back of her mind. However, thoughts of Zach would not go away so she’d blabbed uncontrollably to Brina about the brick wall hitting on him had been.
“If he’s not shy, maybe he’s not interested.”
Teal snorted. “Oh, he’s interested.”
“How do you know?” Brina asked. “I mean, if he’s as distant as you say and he’s not gay, then how do you know he’s interested?”
Turning away from the crate in front of her, Teal faced her friend. “I can feel it. Whenever we’re in the same room together, the air fairly vibrates with pheromones, and it’s not just me. I’ve caught him watching me and I’ve seen the look in his eyes. He wants me, too.” Why wouldn’t he?
“What look have you seen in his eyes?” She glanced up from the clipboard she was using to catalogue the items Teal unpacked.
“The look of lust.”
Brina Jo’s eyebrows jumped. “Lust, huh? Are you sure it’s lust and not just tolerance because he thinks you’re crazy? He has been in and out of here for the past two weeks, he’s seen your moods.” “Crazy is the way your husband looks at you!” Teal threw a handful of Styrofoam peanuts at her friend. “And my moods haven’t been that bad. It’s just a bit stressful getting this gallery ready to open in less than a month.”
Brina cocked her head to the side. “Tell me again why someone with no experience in art what-so-ever decided to open an art gallery?”
“I don’t need to know art for this particular gallery. I know everything there is to know about desire, hidden and otherwise.” Teal arched an eyebrow at her friend. “That includes what lust looks like, even in its subtlest form.”
“If you’re so sure of his attraction why don’t you just ask him out?”
Teal turned back to the crate in front of her so she didn’t have to look at her friend. She hated to admit it, but even though Zach’s hard to get act just made her want him more, she didn’t want to ask him out first. It was silly, but it felt like, if she did that, she’d be giving him the upper hand. And that was something she didn’t like.
She tried to think of a way to explain that to her friend as she reached into the crate and dug past the packing. She grasped the bronze sculpture within, and lifted it out, scattering the little peanuts everywhere and her jaw dropped. “Wow.”
“You’re not kidding.” Brina Jo hopped off the table she’d been sitting on and stepped forward for a closer look. “That is…”
“Amazing,” Teal finished for her.
“That’s one way to put it. Are you really going to display it?”
Teal set the sculpture down on the table to her left. She wiped a dust cloth over it lovingly, taking in every detail. It was a couple making love. The female stretched out on her side with the male on his knees, straddling one of her legs while cradling the foot of the other against his shoulder. She was spread completely open. Her head was thrown back, her expression one of pure ecstasy. There was nothing hidden to the viewer as the man plunged his cock into her. His cock was as lovingly crafted as her sex.
Teal turned the sculpture around and found it beautiful from every angle. Every curve and crevice detailed to the point that her own sex clenched in anticipation of being filled.
Brina’s voice broke the spell that had fallen over Teal and she pulled her hands away from the bronze couple. “Hmmm?”
“You’re not really going to display that in the main room?”
Teal looked at her friend. “Of course I am. Why wouldn’t I?”
“It’s very… it’s so…” Brina Jo waved her hand about.
Teal watched her friends cheeks flush as she searched for the right word. “Erotic?” Teal finally took pity on her.
Brina Jo planted her hands on her ample hips and rolled her eyes. “Yes, erotic. But blatantly so.”
“Well, that’s what Lush is for. I want it to showcase the erotic art that normal galleries think is too ‘out there’ or ‘too edgy’. I can’t call it an erotic art gallery and then hide the most erotic pieces in the corner.”
“True, but you know you’re going to take some flack for it right?”
Teal shrugged. “I’m prepared. Plus, I know that sex and sexuality is a huge part of human nature, even if some people like to pretend it isn’t. I’m banking on a lot of people getting more turned on by these things than they thought possible.” Teal smirked at her friend. “Just like you.”
“What?” She laughed. “You going to tell me you’re going to go home to Doug after handling all these and not want to try this position out?”
Brina Jo’s lovely chocolate eyes glittered and she bit her lip. “That’s beside the point.”
“No, Brina baby,” she said, pointing a finger at her friend. “That is exactly the point.”
You wanna see some of the steamy stuff? Here’s a little sample of what’s in store for you ( and Teal ) with The Principles of Lust.
Teal kept her eyes closed while she heard Zach move about. She wanted to watch what he was doing, but she knew she needed to stay inside her own head if she wanted to maintain some control.
She expected a light teasing touch from Zach, similar to the way he’d played her body the night before. So when he stepped right up between her thighs, gripped her waist and slanted his mouth over hers, her body reacted as if electrified. Her mouth opened for him, letting him plunder and ravage with full intense passion as her arms flexed against the restraints in an effort to reach for him. He pressed into her, letting her feel the hardness of his erection against her sex. Her heart pounded and mewls of passion escaped at her inability to touch him.
Then he was gone.
Her eyes snapped open to see him less than a foot away from her, his lips wet, his chest rising and falling rapidly and he watched her. “Don’t close your eyes during this. I want you to see me, to never doubt that it’s me who’s touching you and me who’s going to give you what you want. Don’t shut me out by closing your eyes. Understand?”
She nodded and he leaned in and kissed her again. This time his domination was softer, but just as thorough. He tasted like fresh mint and honey, fresh, and sweet, and potent.
“Good girl,” he purred and stepped back again. “Now, let’s find out just how much you enjoy letting someone else be in charge every now and then shall we?”
Their gazes locked, Teal saw the flare in his dark eyes when he touched her. The same flare of heat that was deep in her belly. Like they were connected.
He ran one hand up and over her rib cage, stopping just below the curve of her breast, then the other. Then his thumbs skimmed the tender skin before his hands moved up and completely covered her breasts. And he wasn’t gentle.
Heat shot to her pussy as he fondled her breasts. He tweaked her nipples and she gasped. He squeezed them and she moaned. He pulled at them and she bit her lip to stay a whimper as juices flooded her core. She’d never been handled so gruffly, yet not. He was testing her, staring deep into her eyes and searching out each response to see just what effect it had on her.
He stepped back and reached for something silver and shiny from inside the armoire. A touch of unease seeped through her when he grasped one breast in his hand and slipped a rubber tipped clamp over the nipple. Watching her eyes carefully, he released it.
Immediate pain shot through her like lightening. “No! Ouch, No!” Before the word ouch passed her lips he had the clamp off.
“Shhh, it’s okay,” he crooned. His hand covered her breast, the warmth of it soothing the nipple. “That was little too much for you, eh?”
The twinkle in his eye made her giggle as she nodded, and the pain faded away. Still apprehensive, she watched as he adjusted the little screw on the clamp, and placed it over her nipple again. Their eyes met and he released it.
Pain whipped through her again and she tensed, but it quickly eased to a dull throb. He grinned, and pleasure suffused her. He repeated the process with the other breast, this time without the too tight first try. When both breasts were bound, he tugged lightly on the chain between them and electric heat jumped from her nipples to her clit.
Zach nodded and stepped forward. He cupped a hand around her jaw and titled her head up, giving him complete access to her throat. His lips brushed against her neck, then his tongue and his teeth. He nibbled and sucked, making shivers dance up and down her spine. Her nipples tightened, the throb in them increasing.
A warm hand slid over her belly and between her thighs and she moaned. So good, his touch was so good. He swiped a finger the length of her slit, parting her folds. The heel of his hand pressed against her aching clit and he thrust a finger inside. Then another. He rocked his hand, his fingers fucking her, his chest pressed against hers, the clamps making her extra sensitive to every brush of skin.
Her panting breath filled the room; the world fell away until there was only her, him, and their connection.
Check out these other Lush novellas.