Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Delora Daye
Word Count :74628
Publication Date :2013-03-25
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-77111-535-3
She’s a runway sensation who’s fixated on her new chauffeur, but someone who’s fixated on her wants her gone. Will love and distraction drive her straight into danger?
Everyone is fixated on beautiful but career-weary fashion model Jules Davenport: the strange but immensely talented photographer, Jon Priest, who believes she is his ultimate muse and wants her not only as his subject but also as his lover; Raphael Garcia, a struggling pest of a photographer who desperately wants to work with a model of her caliber to boost his career; and a mysterious stalker who wants her out of the picture entirely and seemingly will stop at nothing to scare her out of the business.
Dreaming of leaving the runway and opening her own art gallery, will Jules’ own drive to stay in the modeling business long enough to finance a smooth exit put her in danger, or will the one man on whom she is fixated—her ultra-sexy French chauffeur Adrien Marchand, a gifted painter who has his own share of problems, including a scheming ex-girlfriend who refuses to let him go—be able to protect her?
The sight of Adrien, paint-splattered in torn jeans with ripped, rock-hard abs visible under an unbuttoned denim shirt, caught Jules’ breath dead in her chest when he opened the door to the loft upon her return. He had been in his studio completing the cognac painting, and he looked hotter than hell. Now the long-legged, barefoot Michelangelo had started another commission and, despite their earlier altercation, he seemed amiable enough to show it to her. The dinner and news of her business deal had erased Jules’ ire over Lisa. The base worries lingered, but she regretted losing her temper and wanted nothing more right this minute than for Adrien to forget everything, sweep her up in his arms and carry her to bed. Yet she found herself in the studio, trying to summon interest in his art and pretending not to yearn for his nakedness against hers.
“So this is what I accomplished while you were at your dinner with Olga,” he said, gesturing to the Lisa painting and then to another canvas streaked with vibrant blue and green strokes.
“It’s beautiful already.” She hoped to get a read on his mood.
Adrien planted himself with feet apart and arms crossed, his tall, lean frame both imposing and appealing. “How was your meeting?”
Relieved that he was talkative, Jules brightened at the chance to tell him about doing more work for Elysium.
“It went well. Great, in fact. Xander Christenson, the owner of Elysium, liked the photographs I’ve done so far with Jon and wants me to model for his other lines. I think I’ll get a contract out of it.”
“Well, that’s good news. I’m glad you’re getting more work.”
Her blue eyes studied him. His tone sounded patronizing, to the point that she wondered if he still was annoyed with her. Undeterred, Jules kept the conversation moving.
“I think Jon is pleased more that anyone. He calls me his muse. I think he half has a crush on me.”
“You must find it flattering to be the muse of such a noted photographer.”
“I’m not sure what to think of it, actually. He’s overbearing.”
“He does seem to dote on you.”
“Dote? It’s unabashed flirting, the likes of which I’ve never had from a photographer before. No matter, though. He probably gets a new muse with every ad campaign he shoots.”
“That would be a strange way to work.”
“Well, Jon’s a strange guy.” Best to get off of this topic and change the subject. “You’ve done quite a bit of work tonight. I see you finished the cognac painting.”
“I’m finished with it,” he said with a nod. After a beat, he added, “I’m not sure that you are, though.”
Inhale. There was no avoiding the inevitable. “Listen, Adrien. I’m really sorry about all that. But I did come back.”
“I knew you’d be back.”
Jules’ eyebrows shot up. How cocky of him, standing there as if he half expected her to fall at his feet in worship. That would be the day. “Oh, really? You think you know a lot of things.”
“I know you’re hung up on me.”
“I most certainly am not,” Jules fired back. “I’m only here because you asked me. In fact, you insisted.”
Adrien’s laugher pealed in the studio as his head tossed slightly back. “As if anyone could make Jules Davenport do something she doesn’t want to do. You could have stayed elsewhere. With another model friend, with Olga. You came here and you know why.”
“Oh? And why is that?”
“Because when it comes right down to it,” he said with utter assurance as he slowly walked over to her and took hold of her wrists with both hands, pushing them behind her back to hold her in place, “you don’t really care about Elysium or Jon Priest or some modeling contract or even Lisa.”
Just inches from her face, his eyes burned green fire into the icy blue of hers. The tension between them was electric. Jules knew by the strength of his hold that she could not pull away. Part of her didn’t want to. She ached to kiss him, bold as he was. She half wanted to knee him in the groin for this galling display of machismo. The other part of her wanted to free one arm from his grip and shove her hand down the front of his jeans.
Neither said a word. The only sound was their breathing. He pulled her body into his sharply enough to make her gasp. She purposely held eye contact, daring him to continue. Wanting him to continue. Gathering both her wrists in one hand, he clasped her neck underneath her dark hair with the other and drew her waiting mouth to his. Lips touching, tongues seeking, the kiss built in intensity. She melted, and a faint whimper escaped her as Adrien bit her lower lip lightly and bent her head back to expose the ivory smoothness of her neck against the red of her blouse. She moaned softly as he feathered small kisses across her skin. He lifted his head to look at her.
“You care about this,” he whispered.
Her reflection was liquid in his eyes. She felt as if she would float into his gaze. He kissed her lips again—short, nipping little kisses as he walked her several steps backwards and up against a wall counter cluttered with painting supplies. With deftness, Adrien turned Jules around and pressed himself up against her back, hands caressing the sides of her body. The feel of his erection rubbing against her ass made her push back onto him, pussy wet and wanting, as she held the counter’s edge for resistance. His breath hot against her neck, he encircled her with his arms and moved his hands to her breasts. He spoke in her ear.
The words this time pierced. He knew her. He knew she wanted nothing but him. It was as if he saw inside of her, and at that moment, she felt as vulnerable to his insight as she felt helpless to his touch.