Thursday, August 23, 2012

Another Peek at Venus Aspiring

Doing a lot of writing yesterday and today... trying to get Venus Aspiring finished before the end of this month. I'm not sure I'm going to make it, but I'm definitely going to try! I know I'm close to the end, I'm just not sure how close yet. 

At any rate, here's another little teaser to whet your appetite for what's coming soon!:

They showed up at her desk at 5:30 on the dot. As time had ticked closer Jessica had stopped being able to concentrate on any of her work, feeling like every minute was bringing her closer and closer to hell. Or heaven. And no telling which side of the coin was going to come up.

Seeing them took her breath away.  They were dressed differently, Mr. Flood in a navy suit and Mr. Fire in slightly more casual pants and sports coat, and they both looked fantastic. Sexy. Masculine.  It was another side to them, like the completely casual clothes she’s seen them in during the weekend at the Venus School.

“Hi,” she managed to say.  And then winced, realizing how stupid she sounded. But they both smiled at her.

“Hey beautiful,” said Fire, he grinned and winked at her, obviously thrilled that she was coming with them.

“Hello,” said Flood. Although he hid his feelings better, she detected a general air of impatience and anticipation around him. “Are you ready to go?” As soon as he asked, Jessica’s lips quirked into a smile.  Definitely some impatience.  And definitely the same men that she’d gotten to know, playful Fire and serious, dominating Flood.

Speaking of which. “Do I get to know which one of you is Justin and which of you is Chris first?”

Olivia had told her their real names but had neglected how to tell which was which. The men glanced at each other and flushed a little. Good, at least she wasn’t the only one off balance.



“I feel like we should shake hands,” she joked.

Justin’s eyes glinted. “We can do that.”

He held out his hand and she automatically took it, but instead of shaking it he used it to pull her from her chair.  Suddenly his large body was inside her personal space and she found herself wanting to step forward not back.  Although he didn’t move, she could see him watching her facial expressions, waiting for a cue as to how she was taking his forwardness.  Whether or not it was turning her on.

It definitely was.

But then again, she’d already know that the sex wasn’t going to be the problem. Getting to know them in real life was. Trying to decide between them was. Or trying to convince them not to make her decide, which would just bring on its own host of problems.  And there she went getting ahead of herself again.

“Come on Jessica, I’m starving,” said Chris from behind Justin, breaking the tension. He clapped a hand on his buddy’s shoulder as he stepped up to join them. “Plus we have to get to Justin’s before the delivery guy shows up. I hope you like Chinese.”

Jessica rolled her eyes. Silly her forgetting that both of them had that habit of taking control. Chris was just slightly less intense about it. Too bad for her that she found it kinda hot. At least as long as they didn’t run right over her opinions. It hadn’t occurred to her that men who were used to taking control in the bedroom might be a wee bit more controlling outside of it too.

“Alright,” she said, turning to get her purse, but Chris had already moved past her and grabbed it. Justin was still holding onto her hand, his thumb rubbing over her skin in a sensuous movement. She let out all the air in her lungs, feeling a little bit overwhelmed. They seemed determined to do everything they could for her. And seduce her. With Chris standing behind her and Justin standing in front of her she was forcibly reminded of being sandwiched in between them.

Not going to help her keep a cool head. Not at all.

The walk to Justin’s was surprisingly pleasant rather than awkward.  Justin walked with his arm around her shoulders, so she wrapped hers around his waist, and Chris wanted to hold hands. It was a surprisingly comfortable arrangement although she did see a few raised eyebrows from passerby.  Those looks made her wince internally.  That’s what it would be like if one of them didn’t end up appealing to her over the other.

Or she could lose both of them.

Noticing that she was starting to look pessimistic, Chris distracted her with a string of terrible punny jokes, starting with the offspring of a melon and a collie.  They were terrible but they did make her giggle, until Justin finally interrupted by asking her about her job with the company.  Which in turn led to them telling her about the social network marketing, which sounded a lot more fascinating than her day to day responsibilities of paperwork, memos and fielding phone calls.

Once they were in Justin's house he got her a glass of wine. White. The kind of drink she usually had at Happy Hour, at least when it wasn't martini night. They really had been watching her, that or Olivia had given them even more information than she thought. Either way it showed that they cared. Warmth bloomed inside of her.

The doorbell rang and Justin went to get the Chinese food as Chris sat her down at one of the barstools next to the island in the middle of the kitchen. It was a very nice kitchen, obviously well maintained.  Either he cleaned it a lot or he didn’t use it much.  Judging from what she’d seen at the school, she was betting on the former.  The dark gray granite countertops were completely bare of anything other than a small stack of towels and a coffeemaker. The dishtowel hanging from the oven door matched the blue of the curtains over the windows to her right.  Nothing lacy, but definitely decorative.

Justin came back in with the bag of food, which smelled heavenly. It didn’t take her long before she had a plate filled with beef and broccoli and chicken lo mein in front of her.  Chris sighed as he lifted a forkful of peanut chicken to his mouth.

“I could really get tired of eating this stuff,” he said with a heavy sigh.

Before Jessica could ask why he was eating it, especially considering the assortment that had been ordered, Justin glared at him and spoke up. “Then you shouldn’t have ordered it twice in one day, idiot.”

“You’ve already had Chinese food today?” she asked.  Maybe she’d been wrong and Justin didn’t use his kitchen much.

“For lunch,” Justin said. “But he’s a picky eater about some things and that’s the only thing he’ll order. Ignore the whining, it just encourages him if you give him any attention about it.”

She had to giggle at Justin’s blasé explanation which left Chris looking both indignant and amused. Sitting here with them, talking and joking was far too easy.  This should have been awkward. Strange. Instead it felt right. Like coming home. Down girl.  Thoughts like that could get her into serious trouble.  Heartbreak trouble.

As she finished her meal she looked up to find both of them looking at her.  A subtle tension filled the air.

"You must have questions," Justin said. He smiled gently at her as she gave a small start of surprise. Ah yes, Mr. Flood. All dominance and hard edged steel, until you got to the gentle caretaker underneath. "Go ahead and ask."

Of course, now that he'd opened the door, her mind was like a blank slate.

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