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Seduced by Sin Story Summary
(Rugged Book Three)
A bad boy with a commitment phobia living on the edge…
Sean Brooks doesn’t play by the rules. The notorious bad boy retired from his career as a NASCAR driver to pursue his most rebellious endeavor—street racing. By day he’s a savvy, real estate investor, but at night he takes on a different persona as a risk-taking daredevil. He keeps a low-profile and vows to never become blindsided again by women looking for one thing—money. He’ll date them, but he has a hard time trusting them. Yet, he will f**k them.
A pastor’s daughter struggling to find her own way…
Karlina Nguyen is sick of false promises. Ever since she moved to a new city to start what would’ve been the best job for her, the company closes its doors before she could earn her first paycheck. The part-time office job she found at the last minute barely covers her rent and student loan bills. Now she’s down on her luck, living in a condo she can’t afford and her bank balance is running low. She needs money…fast. To avoid moving back to the small town that she dreads so much, Karlina takes drastic measures. She agrees to become an escort in exchange for cash. All she has to do is be a pretend girlfriend for one night.
Sometimes it takes sacrifice to mend a broken heart…
When Karlina meets Sean, he has sex and sin written all over him. One night isn’t enough for her, and she agrees to see him again. Their relationship blossoms beyond their escort agreement, sparking an emotional attachment. They’ll have to work through the issues standing in their way, but do they have a chance with each other once the heart is shattered? Sean won’t give up easily. Just this once, Karlina will bend her rules to play the game of seduction.
Copyright © Ambrielle Kirk March 2016
The rumble of a motorcycle engine drowned out the commentary of the radio talk show host. I reached for the dial to turn the volume up, but it was too late. The show ended and went into commercial break.
I grumbled in frustration, thrust my keys into my handbag, and exited my car. It was Monday morning, and once again, I had woken up feeling groggy with a bad headache and absolutely no solution to a personal situation that seemed to be getting worse. My coffee maker had croaked this morning, and I was running on four hours of sleep. Being unproductive at the office today wasn’t an option, so I had stopped to get a latte on my way in.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the biker who’d made all the noise and nearly halted in the middle of the parking lot as I crossed it to get to the building.
The fine chocolate specimen had just tugged off his helmet, showing off a handsome face and his perfectly trimmed hair. His muscular arms were wrapped in dark, intricate tattoos that seemed to cover his whole body. I couldn’t tell because the rest of him was hidden under his clothes. His black T-shirt was pulled tautly over his chest, and I noticed that his jeans fit snuggly over a spectacular ass when he rose from the seat, still straddling the bike. On the back of the shirt, along with an intricate symbol were the initials: R.R.
I half stumbled, half galloped out of the way, just in time as another car came swerving around the corner. Once I made it to the sidewalk near the coffee shop, I bowed my head and pretended to dig in my bag for something, but I kept an eye on the gorgeous biker just yards in front of me.
This time, his attention was on the smartphone in his hand. His head was down as he punched some keys.
Jesus Christ, even the girth and tilt of his neck was sexy.
I had only been living in this city for two months, but in that time, no man had ever caught my attention for this long.
Did I know him from somewhere?
I couldn’t stop looking.
Suddenly, he unfolded himself from the motorcycle and his gaze swung across the street in my direction.
“Shit,” I exclaimed under my breath and walked fast toward the coffee shop. Once inside, I took a deep breath and attempted to collect myself.
My cell phone rang, startling me. The caller ID told me it was Tasha.
I answered right away as I’d been trying to reach her since yesterday.
“Hey, Tasha,” I said, stepping out of the line to take the call.
“Hey, girl, what’s up? I got your message.”
“Yeah.” I frowned. “I’m really not doing so well. You told me to hang in there, but I don’t know how long I can make it on this part-time income.”
“I’ve been through this,” Tasha said. “Trust me. You’ll get more interviews. The job market is tough right now.”
“But it’s better back in Chicago,” I countered. “And I know I can get a job quickly back home.”
“But do you really want to go back home?” she asked. “We came here together, remember? We said we’d do whatever we had to to survive. You can cancel your lease and come stay with me. Save some money.”
“No, I won’t do that. Besides, I’m paid up for another month and a half. I’m just worried about what will happen if I tap into all my savings and have nothing.”
“Well, I’m pulling into work now,” Tasha said. “I can’t be late today. I already got the talk from the boss last week about it. I talked to the woman in human resources, and they said they may have some full-time work coming open within a week or so. I put in a good word for you, so she might give you a ring.”
“I appreciate that. I don’t want you to lose your job over me. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Wait, Karlina. Are you sure you don’t want to get in at the agency?” Tasha sighed into the phone. “The extra money is the only reason I’m able to live like I do.”
“I thought about it this weekend. I don’t think I can sell myself and my body like that.”
“You won’t be selling your body, hun. It’s not a whorehouse or prostitution ring. This is a legit business. The customers are mostly men—rich, high-profile individuals. All you do is go out with them, talk with them, and boost their ego a bit. Most of them just want a female companion once in a while without the long-term commitment. There’s no sex involved, unless that’s what you sign up for. But that’s a separate division.”
“I don’t know…”
“It’s easy money, hun. I promise. We went out on dates all the time back home, but we didn’t get paid for it. With this type of work, you get paid for your company.”
“I don’t want it to be a permanent thing, though.”
“It doesn’t have to be. For me, the money is too good to pass up. Girl, my car note is almost paid off because of this. My next goal is my student loan balance. I can’t seem to find a good man anyway, so I might as well do something to pass the time.”
“Come on,” I said, skeptically. “You were going on and on the other day about you and Carl in the Jacuzzi.”
Tasha giggled. “The sex was sooo good.”
I laughed. “Well, at least one of us is having good luck when it comes to men.”
The door chime to the coffee shop rang, taking my attention away from the call. In walked the sexy motorcycle hunk from the parking lot. I wiped the smile off my face. My heart did a dive and my breath caught in my lungs.
“Anyway, the owner let me do a trial run when I got started. I can get you in, but if you’re going to get cold feet at the last minute, don’t bother, because it will be my name and reputation on the line over there.”
“Okay…” My mouth parted as I stole glances at the hunk as he passed by and stood in the line.
“All right, then. I’ll call you once I get a meeting set up.”
“Wait! I d—”
“I’ve gotta go. I’ve got three minutes before I have to be in my seat.”
Tasha hung up.
Three more customers walked in and got in line behind the sexy stranger. I was grateful. I couldn’t keep my eyes off his incredible ass or his body. Apparently, neither could anyone else. He wasn’t necessarily the elephant in the room. He just commanded the most attention. He was attractive, which was a small part of it, but there was something else about him that screamed for attention, even when he stood there quietly.
He grabbed his espresso shot and left and that’s when I could finally breathe and function like a woman with a brain.
“What’ll you have today?” the guy behind the counter asked me.
“A large latte with non-fat milk. Add vanilla and an extra espresso shot, please,” I said and pulled out my credit card.
“It’s your lucky day,” the guy said, pulling a ten-dollar bill from an envelope. “The guy with the motorcycle helmet paid for your drink already. He said to give you this.” He gave me a plain-looking business card with a name on it.
Sean Brooks. Next to the name was a telephone number. Under the telephone number was a small handwritten note. You’re beautiful. Smile more.
I swallowed. “Um…”
“Next customer, please.”
I moved away from the counter and glanced out the window of the coffee shop into the parking lot only to be greeted with the deep hum of the hunk’s motorcycle again. He’d already put his helmet on, and I couldn’t see his perfect features anymore…or thank him for paying for my coffee.
It was so funny. I hadn’t even thought he’d noticed me. Of course, he’d probably glanced my way once or twice, but I never even caught him looking long enough to notice that I wasn’t having a very good day.
Somehow he’d changed that around and just this one small gesture had just turned my shitty morning upside down. There was hope.
I looked down at the business card and smiled. When I looked up again, the hunk was gone.
One month later…
I couldn’t believe I was actually going through with this. I had been hired and even paid half of the money up front, just for agreeing to show up. Now, as I sat in the hotel lobby waiting for the mysterious man to arrive, I wondered if I should bail.
My phone chimed and I glanced down to see a text from Tasha.
Tasha: How’s it going?
Me: Still waiting.
Tasha: Text me back when he gets there. Let me know who he is.
Me: I have no idea who he is.
Apparently, the man I would escort would be kept a secret until we actually met in person. I wasn’t sure if this was a security or privacy measure, but the mystery about his identity had me more nervous than anything else.
Tasha: They didn’t give a name…nothing? Damn.
Me: Girl, bye! You’re making me nervous.
Tasha: At least text me back so I know he’s not a total sleaze bag
Tasha: Have fun pretending 🙂 !!!
Right after I tucked my phone down into my handbag, the entryway doors slid open and a sole male strolled through the entrance. I recognized him instantly. His unique swagger was unmistakable.
Sean Brooks. The hunky biker who’d bought me a latte the month before.
The only reason I remembered his name was because I had kept his card tucked away in the drawer of my nightstand.
He wasn’t dressed in biker gear tonight. He was looking chic and handsome in formal attire, which was fitting for a charity dinner at a well-known country club.
Nervously, I stood up from my seat in the lobby and paused for a second to make sure my stilettos wouldn’t give out from under me.
At that moment, he turned in my direction and halted in the middle of the floor. His eyes widened as he focused on me.
A lethal grin spread across his face and he lifted one hand to rub his chin as he began prowling toward me.
When he stopped in front of me, I couldn’t find any words, letters, or numbers.
Shit, he was dangerously sexy.
His pecan-colored complexion was smooth and literally flawless. His eyes were dark brown and deep-set, and every time he glanced at me, a strange warmth crept up through me. His face was clean-shaven, and his hair was also cut short and trimmed. He had a sexy mouth and a chiseled jawline. He was well groomed, but under the calm and collected exterior, I sensed something mysterious and dark.
“Well, well…” His voice was smooth and deep.
At first, I thought he wouldn’t recognize me with the way I had dressed myself for the occasion, but recognition flashed all over his face.
I swallowed. “Sean Brooks?”
He pulled his bottom lip between his teeth and then grinned.
“That’s me. You look exceptionally beautiful, just the way I remember you from the coffee shop. What was that? A few weeks ago?”
“Yeah, I think so.” A few weeks of picking up his card, almost calling him, and stuffing it back down into my nightstand.
“It’s a small world, after all. I won’t hold it against you for not calling me.” He held out his hand, palm up. “Ready?”
I placed my hand in his bigger one and almost melted to the floor.
All I had to do was look pretty, smile, and engage in light conversation. After all, Tasha had said most of the men expected very little. As high-profile business men and women and sports figures, they would show their faces at these events, making themselves and their investors look good in the long run. In the end, the men would succeed in acquiring or retaining funds for whatever arrangement was in place at the time. Just last month, Tasha had flown out to New York to attend a banquet. The guy she’d been escorting was a NASCAR driver, and his team obtained funding and sponsorships year after year from the sponsor’s company. I didn’t ask Sean Brooks why he was here. I intended to follow all the rules about keeping the affair private. The less I knew, the better.
Everything was going well so far, probably because we’d arrived just in time for Sean to exchange some words with the host of the event, Mr. Donaldson and then be seated at a table. I would never forget the look on Mr. Donaldson’s face when his gaze landed on me. He smiled widely, but it wasn’t in a creepy way. His comment to Sean about being proud of him for finally settling down with a respectable woman explained almost everything. But it also brought up more questions that probably weren’t any of my business at this point.
The speech introducing the charity and dinner ceremony began shortly thereafter. The music volume had been turned down and the lights were dimmed. This was the first time I had ever been in one of the Atlanta area’s country clubs, and I figured it would be my last. At least, I could pretend for one night that my money issues didn’t exist.
We were seated at a four-seater table with one other couple.
“I’m Vivian.” The woman held out her hand to me. “And this is my fiancé, André. We’re getting married in September.”
We exchanged handshakes from the across the table, and I congratulated them.
Vivian unfolded her cloth napkin and looked back and forth between us. “You two look lovely together? How long has it been?”
Sean cleared his throat, and there was an uncomfortable silence.
My gut instincts told me that he was unprepared for probing questions about our “relationship.”
“Oh, we met recently,” I answered, nonchalantly. “And thanks for the compliment. Where are you getting married?”
Vivian began a lengthy conversation about the wedding plans, and I was grateful that I had successfully derailed a discussion that would have probably blown our cover. And I certainly didn’t want to be outed as a high-priced escort.
Vivian continued to speak, “We met Mr. Donaldson at the mayoral race last week when he told us that he was raising funds for his charity organization. How long have you two known him?”
“Years,” Sean replied.
Not only was Sean direct, he was also short with his answers. He looked as excited to be here as a nun at a frat party. But then again, this didn’t look like the type of event Sean was accustomed to. When I’d first seen him at the coffee shop, he was all decked out in motorcycle attire. His complete three-sixty was very telling. He was here for business reasons, not for pleasure.
“Oh, well,” Vivian exclaimed. “How do you two know him?”
“He was…actually he still is a sponsor for my former stock racing team.”
Vivian’s hand went to her mouth. “You’re a NASCAR driver?”
Her declaration must have been loud enough to broadcast to the table next to ours because the people sitting there started eyeballing Sean.
He nodded. “Was. I’m now retired.”
“Oh, man, really?” André, Vivian’s fiancé’s, eyes widened. “I’m a big NASCAR fan. Wait a minute? You said your name was Sean, right?”
Sean nodded uncomfortably.
“Oh, God, baby. He’s a legend.” André’s excitement escalated. He pulled a small business card out of his pocket, flipped out a pen, and thrust it toward Sean. “This is kind of unexpected, but I really want your autograph. I wish I had known. I hardly recognized you.”
“Sure,” Sean said, reluctantly.
“Baby, keep it down,” Vivian told André. “I don’t think he wants people to know who he is.”
“Don’t worry. My lips are sealed.” André pretended to zip his lips closed.
“Thank you,” Sean said. “I keep a low profile now. And the night belongs to Mr. Donaldson.”
A hush fell over the room as someone took the stage and walked behind the podium. When the woman began talking, I tuned out.
My gaze dropped to the table first before I slowly lifted it again to take another glance at Sean. Like mine, his attention had fallen elsewhere. I could tell he was glad that both Vivian and her fiancé hadn’t called him out somehow. Any worse than they already had, anyway. Apparently, he didn’t like being in the limelight.
He commanded my attention even when he wasn’t trying, and I couldn’t help but admire him. He looked up unexpectedly and caught me staring. We shared a brief private moment, completely oblivious to the speech and everyone else.
Catching me by surprise, he reached for my hand under the table and held it. His hands were strong and comforting as he laced his fingers with mine.
I breathed in and out unevenly as heat raced up my spine.
Why did this feel real and so right?
For the next hour, the food was served, which kept conversation to a minimum since most everything on the plate was appealing to everyone. The country club was located next to a five-star restaurant, so top-notch quality was expected. We ate with the other couple, exchanging light banter when appropriate.
After our table had been cleared, Sean got up and took my hand. “Karlina and I are going to mingle for a bit. It was nice meeting you two.”
As we headed away from the table and Sean led me through the crowds, I heard more than a few folks pointing and mumbling about Sean’s identity and him being a former NASCAR driver.
“I think someone has already let the cat out of the bag with the scoop on you,” I informed Sean as we reached the opposite side of the dining hall.
“I know. It happens all the time. That’s why we’re leaving,” he said. “I’ve shown my face long enough. My work here is done.”
I wasn’t about to protest, but couldn’t believe how easy this job had been. Actually, it was the easiest, shortest, and best paying job I’d ever had in my life.
It didn’t take long for our driver to spot us and pull up in front of the door.
Once we were alone in the back of the car, Sean turned to me and asked, “What’s your story?”
“What do you mean?”
“Do you honestly think I believe that you escort all the time?” he asked.
“You’ve apparently come to some type of conclusion about me, but how…when you barely know me?”
“For one, you look too innocent to be a career escort. And two, you don’t come off as a gold digger,” he replied.
“Well, you’re right. This is my first gig. And digging for gold that belongs to someone else comes with a price, doesn’t it?”
“Well, that’s an oxymoron. So, are you going to tell me how you ended up working with this agency?”
I nibbled at my bottom lip nervously. “I know someone who works there.”
Sean looked at me questioningly.
“If you think I’m going to give you a name, you’re mistaken,” I said.
“All right, then. Do you have money issues?”
“Mr. Sean Brooks, the rules about this arrangement were simple. We’re both supposed to follow them. I won’t ask you personal questions and you should do the same.”
“Fair enough. But I don’t believe for a moment that you don’t want to know something personal about me now that we’re alone.”
“I do, but I signed a confidentiality agreement, so I’d rather not know anything. That makes it easier.”
“This agreement makes it easier for you to hide your curiosity about me.”
“Wow, your ego is big,” I told him.
“My ego isn’t the only thing that’s big.”
“You like big things?”
“This is off topic. Besides, you don’t look like the type of man who gets declined very often. I don’t see any reason why you’d need to consult with an escort agency to get a date.”
“I wanted something discreet; a one-time deal.” He paused, and his gaze ran up and down my body. “And a woman who wouldn’t have outrageous feelings about who I am.”
“Sounds like you’ve had problems in the past.”
“And these types of arrangements keeps those kinds of problems at bay.”
“Let me guess: girlfriend issues.”
“Bingo,” he said.
I was shocked by his candid honesty. Yet, he couldn’t have been all that honest if he was living a lie, pretending that he had a nice, respectable girlfriend when he really did not.
I gave him a challenging stare. “Then you’re promiscuous.”
He chuckled softly. “Your accusation is condescending.”
“Well, if you’re not promiscuous that implies that you do have a girlfriend.”
I got a bad taste in my mouth just saying that, but why did I care one way or the other? This was a business arrangement. Wasn’t it?
“Your implication is false,” he said. “Both of them.”
He found this amusing. But for me, I found the situation enlightening.
“It doesn’t matter,” I said. “My stop is up ahead.”
The driver had just veered off the interstate and would be at the hotel in only a matter of minutes. I grabbed my handbag and pretended to shuffle around for my keys.
“Will you be staying here tonight?”
“Absolutely not,” I told him. “You and I both know the hotel is there as a location for escorts to meet the clients and then go on about their business when everything is said and done.”
“Is it now?” he asked.
Did he know something that I didn’t? I’d done a good job so far of heeding the agency contact’s advice about not asking the client too many questions, but Sean’s appeal and my curiosity was making it difficult to stick to that advice.
“I had an interesting night, Sean. I hope I lived up to your expectations of an escort,” I said.
“I had a good night, too. May I walk you to your car?”
The driver came to a stop directly in front of the hotel and let us out.
“You know, it feels kind of nice to get out and do normal things once in a while. I just arrived back home from a month-long stay in California, so this was my first outing since I got back. The event was kind of impromptu, but Mr. Donaldson and I go way back. He gives a lot of advice…and sometimes, I listen,” Sean said as he walked me to my car.
“What else do you do? I mean, you are retired, right?”
“I invest…mostly in real estate and sometimes in cars. I have a dozen other things going on, as well, so I barely find time to enjoy anything else.”
“Is that part of the reason you have girlfriend issues?” I couldn’t help myself.
I came to a halt in front of the driver’s side door of my car.
“The truth is, the reason I stay so busy is so I don’t have girlfriend issues,” he said.
“Well, then…mission accomplished. I was your girlfriend for one night, and now my work here is done.”
“But…I never expected to run into a beautiful woman like you—not once, but twice. For some reason, I don’t think us meeting again was an accident.”
He was so close that his warmth projected straight into me as we stood there.
“Of course it wasn’t an accident. You requested an escort and you got me.”
I stepped back and bumped into my car.
I unlocked my car door, and he pulled it open for me. He held out his hand as if he would touch me again, but I slid inside before his fingers had a chance to graze my arm. My dress rose up, showing my bare thighs, and he didn’t even try to hide the fact that he was staring.
“Are you full-time at the agency?” he asked.
“If I were to call again and request you specifically, would you accept?”
I laughed nervously. “I don’t know what kind of woman you think I am.”
“Well, you’re the one working for the agency.”
Sean’s smug smile rendered me speechless. His lips were sexy as sin.
I didn’t know whether I wanted to slap Sean across the face or kiss him.
“Shouldn’t my involvement at the agency be your hint that I don’t do long-term relationships either,” I said.
His eyes narrowed. “Really?”
“I just moved here and I’m in the process of job hunting. I’ve got a lot on my plate. I don’t think I could deal with someone who plays the field.”
“I don’t play on a field. I race cars. And win.”
“I’m not here to challenge you,” I said. “I don’t date. It’s not what I’m interested in right now. It’s why I don’t have boyfriend issues. Good night, Sean.”
I started the ignition.
“Wait, Karlina.” He placed his hand on my shoulder. “I want to see you again.”
I swallowed, glanced up into his face, and contemplated his request. I wanted to see him again too.
“I’m going to try this again,” he continued.
He pulled a business card out of his wallet and handed it to me. Only there was no personal note this time around.
“No agency involvement. No rules. Call me,” he added.
When I took the card, our fingers touched. I already felt disappointed about ending our fake date, but business was business. Even if this were personal, I’d already warned him that I wasn’t after the false promises that came from career-focused, yet unstable men when it came to relationships.
“Goodnight.” He closed my car door and backed away.
As I drove out of the parking lot, I already knew what I’d end up doing. Sean Brooks was too irresistible to forget. And he knew it.
When I arrived at the office the next morning, there was a tremendous stack of files and paperwork in the inbox on my desk. I sighed. For this to be a part-time job, my boss was really piling on the work. I glanced through a couple of files while my laptop started up. From the Post-It marked “URGENT” on a couple of folders, I didn’t have to open them to know that the company had obtained new clients. That meant that I would be on the telephone most of the day, verifying information.
As I was opening up my email, I reminisced about the night before. My cell phone had rung not five minutes after I arrived home. Tasha had been on the other end, wondering how the night had gone. She just couldn’t wait to tell me what I had already figured out. Working for the agency ensured easy, fast money. But, of course, I would never be happy doing that type of work all my life.
I had been thinking about Sean since last night, but I still felt hesitant to call him. However, I’d wasted no time Googling him and reading about his high-profile NASCAR career over breakfast this morning. If he were so successful career-wise, why would he have to live a lie, especially where his dating life was concerned?
“Karlina,” Sandra, my work partner called from the doorway of my office. “How’s it going?”
We basically shared the same job, but unlike me, Sandra actually preferred part-time work.
“I’m just fine, Sandra. How was the cruise in the Bahamas?” I asked her as she entered my office. Sandra and her husband had gone on a four-day cruise to the Bahamas for their fifth wedding anniversary. She’d confided in me a month ago that they were trying to have their first child.
“It was so fun! We had a blast and the weather was fantastic,” she exclaimed. She handed me a small glass figurine, shaped like a seashell. “I brought a few souvenirs back for a couple of people in the office. I thought they were cute.”
“Wow!” I said, holding it up to the light. “Thank you. I’ll make space for it over here on my end table. We need some more decor in this place. I’m glad you enjoyed your vacation.”
“If you ever need a good recommendation for a vacation away from this place, let me know; my travel agent made the whole process so smooth and easy. All we did was show up at the airport and board the cruise ship.” She clapped her hands together.
“I’ll let you know,” I told her, knowing full well I didn’t have time or money for extravagant vacations.
“Well, have to get back to work. I see you received a shitload of files as well this morning.”
“Yeah, tell me about it…” I rolled my eyes.
After she’d left, I finally got started on my work.
* * *
Later that evening, after my dinner and a long, hot bath, I settled down with my laptop to see what new job postings had popped up. I told myself that I wouldn’t do another search on Sean again, but I was only lying to myself. The man was a legend, and I had gone on just one pretend date with him. Plus, he had asked to see me again. What could he possibly want with me?
I picked up Sean’s business card again. It was a plain, beige-colored card with only a name and phone number on it. I suspected the vague information had been done on purpose. I ran my finger across the raised lettering, contemplating what the consequences would be when I actually called him. I was clear in my thinking that I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but there was something about Sean that implied more than just a normal relationship. I dialed.
The phone rang three times before Sean’s voice came on the other end. “Hello?”
“Hi, Sean, it’s Karlina.”
“Of course, it is.”
I imagined his smug smile on the other end.
“How was your day?” he asked.
“Pretty good. It was a busy day at my job.”
“So, you do have a job outside of the agency?”
“My arrangement with the agency was just a one-time thing, if you must know. I was surprised they even called me back with your gig. I needed money, so I took the opportunity. ”
There was silence on the other end.
“What are your plans for this weekend?” he asked.
“None, at the moment.”
“I’ll pick you up at six on Saturday night. What’s your address?”
“Um…wait a minute. Did you just ask me on a date? Because that didn’t sound like a question.”
“You said you didn’t date,” he replied.
“I was implying how you just incorrectly propositioned me,” I said.
“I didn’t know you preferred a certain way. How would you like me to position you?”
His dark, sexy tone affected my sanity, even over the phone.
“I said proposition,” I repeated.
“I heard you. Let’s make a deal. I’ll take you out—on a date or whatever you want to call it—and I’ll tell you anything you want to know.”
“You want to spill the beans on yourself? What’s the catch?”
“There are two actually. I get to see you again. You ask me what you want.”
“I can’t do six on Saturday. Make it seven.”
“Where should I pick you up?”
I reluctantly gave him the address to my apartment.
I stepped out of the shower and immediately checked the time. 5 PM. I had about two hours to get ready before Sean arrived. I was trying hard to call it anything but a date, and I was also doing my best to keep the news from Tasha. There was an unspoken rule in the agency: never date a former client.
I glanced in the mirror, checking to see if I had been careful enough to not mess up the curlers in my hair. I couldn’t remember the last time that I had made so much fuss over a man. I had just enough time to trim and retouch my manicure with shiny, clear polish. Only, I couldn’t decide what to wear tonight. There was the strapless number that I had worn to a party once, and then there was the little black halter-top dress that was more modest.
After trying on both dresses and prancing around in front of the mirror, I decided to go with the strapless. I wasn’t sure where Sean was taking me, so I decided to mirror the classy, chic look from the other night. After applying my makeup, I pulled out my curlers and waited anxiously downstairs.
* * *
When the doorbell rang, it was about ten minutes before seven. I closed up my laptop, took one last glance in the mirror in my foyer, straightened my dress, and opened the door.
Sean looked very handsome in nice, casual slacks and a collared shirt. All black. His wristwatch was all ice, though, with diamonds that were probably worth more than my car. The sleeves of his shirt were short, just like they had been the day at the coffee shop, showing off most of the tattoos on his arms.
His dark gaze swept across my figure and he grinned. “Beautiful.”
He handed me a half dozen white roses from behind his back.
I stepped back a bit and looked up at him. “What are these for?”
“For you. Can’t I do nice things for you and bring you roses without you being suspicious?”
I smiled and took the roses. “Thank you, you look handsome yourself. Let me put my flowers in some water and get my purse. Would you like to come in?”
“Sure.” He came in and closed the door behind him. “You have a nice place. Smells like you and your perfume. Nice and sweet,” he exclaimed, looking around my living room.
I blushed. “Thanks. I just showered.”
“Too bad I missed that part.”
I gave him a warning look, but by now, I expected comments like that from him.
I walked over to my kitchen area, grabbed a tall vase, and filled it with water. I put the roses into the glass. “There.” I set the vase on my coffee table among some magazines. “I’ll be right back. You can take a seat while I go grab my purse.”
I turned around to go and get my bag from my bedroom. I could feel his eyes on my backside as I walked out of the room. While there, I went back to my vanity to touch up my makeup and do one last check in the mirror.
God…Sean had me running around like a brainless idiot. Why did my appearance suddenly matter so much? Was it because he was the Sean Brooks—high-profile, famous racecar driver? Or was it because I was actually attracted to him?
I took a deep breath and hurried back into the living room. “Ready to go?”
He had made himself comfortable on my loveseat.
“I am. But first, we need to decide where to go.”
He had both arms rested on the back of my sofa, and his shirt was pulled taut across his chest. I had the urge to join him and trace every curve and ridge on his body. The front of his slacks bulged where his dick was securely tucked away. I recalled the day he’d slid off his motorcycle and walked right toward me with swagger that commanded attention. All the attention. When I looked up again, he had a wide Cheshire grin on his face as if he knew that I’d been checking out his sizable package.
“There’s a lounge nearby that’s hosting a comedy hour during dinner. They also have a full bar in the lobby,” he said.
I shrugged. “If that’s where you want to go, I’m game.”
I locked up my condo and we headed towards the elevator and down to the parking lot. We walked across the street to where he had parked in the visitor parking area. He placed his hand at the small of my back and led me toward his Range Rover.
“What do you race now?” I asked as we made our way across the lot.
“Cars and bikes. I’ll show you one day…if you want to take a ride with me.”
“Sounds good.” My heart fluttered in my chest. The thought of jumping on a motorcycle with him while he drove at speeds faster than I’d ever gone excited me.
“As for me driving this big truck, I need more space to carry my junk around. I look at a lot of real estate throughout the day. My nighttime hobbies, my street racing, call for something smaller, of course.” He opened the door for me and helped me up into the SUV.
As we drove to the lounge, we talked about our workweeks. He mentioned nothing about NASCAR or underground racing, just his legitimate business. But I wouldn’t let him off the hook completely tonight. He’d told me I could ask anything. Before the end of our date, I wanted to delve deeper into what Sean was really all about.
When we arrived at the lounge, he asked for valet parking before assisting me out of his Range Rover and handing the keys to the guard. When we were in the restaurant, we took booth seats near the back of the lounge. After sharing an appetizer, we enjoyed our main entrees paired with a bottle of wine. It took us about an hour to get through our meals. The whole time, his focus was on me. I almost wondered if his primary goal in taking me out was to just see me.
I wasn’t interested in dessert, so we spent the rest of our time out on the restaurant’s deck, overlooking a large lake.
“It’s so pretty out here,” I said, glancing up at the stars. I leaned on the railing and looked down at the moon’s reflection on the water.
Heat enveloped me from behind, and then firm muscles were pressed against my back.
“Not as pretty as you,” Sean said.
I didn’t turn around or move away. He snaked his arms around my waist, and I let him. My eyes fluttered closed and I breathed in the fresh night air mixed with his cologne.
“I guess I should say thanks,” I said. “I don’t get out very much.”
“Why not? Don’t tell me it’s because of money. Because enjoying yourself has always been free.”
“I’ve only been here a few months, so the city is still new to me. I’m not very trusting of anyone either,” I said.
“I grew up in Virginia. I just made Atlanta my permanent home, as well. Most of my brothers are here. I like it.”
“How many brothers?”
“I have two blood brothers and the rest are my bonded brothers,” he said.
“Bonded brothers? That sounds interesting.”
“I’m pledged to Rugged, a motorcycle club. We’re a very close-knit group of men. We call each other brothers. We’re just as tight and loyal.”
“Rugged?” I turned in his arms. “Is that what one of the R’s stands for on the shirt you were wearing at the coffee shop when we first saw each other?”
He smiled. “You remembered what shirt I was wearing?”
I blushed. “I remember a lot from that day. Thanks for the coffee, by the way.”
His face was really close to mine, but he felt so good in my arms.
“You’re welcome.” He reached up and slid his palm over my hair. “I’d very much like to explore more of the city with you, if you agree to stick with me.”
His hand moved to the small of my back, and then his fingers traveled upward along my spine.
He moved in closer and pressed his mouth to mine. His lips were incredibly soft—so perfect, so smooth against mine. His tongue found its way between my lips. We shared an intense kissing session under the moonlight, oblivious to any and everything around us.
When he finally pulled away from me, his hand was on my ass. I tugged on the front of his shirt and pulled him back down for another kiss. I took control, threading my fingers at the back of his neck and deepening the kiss.
He pulled away briefly and moved his lips down to my neck. When I felt his soft, warm breath against my skin, I whispered his name. I lifted my chin and closed my eyes as he nibbled and sucked gently on my neck. I moved my hands to his chest and kneaded the muscles there before moving down to the ripples of his abs. I wanted more of him. I wanted him in my bed.
Suddenly, I realized where we were. And his hands had delved up under my dress. I pulled away. “We’re…we’re in public.”
I was still panting lightly. I looked around at the few people nearby on the opposite end of the patio, but it didn’t appear that anyone had seen our intimate moment.
“Yes, I know. I don’t think anyone else is concerned besides you, but I understand.”
“I know. I got a little carried away. We shouldn’t have…I shouldn’t have…” my words trailed off.
“You know, I’m sorry if I moved too fast,” Sean started to apologize. “I’m telling you the honest to God truth when I say that I really couldn’t stop myself. This attraction between us is something I can’t just ignore.”
“Then we’ll work on it,” I said. “I appreciate that you understand.”
“Have you been hurt before, Karlina?” he asked.
I looked up at him. “Can you tell?”
He sighed. “Let’s just say, it takes one to know one.”
I pressed my hand to his chest. “Want to divulge a little more about that?”
His throat seemed to tighten as he swallowed visibly. “No. Not that.”
“Then we’ll leave it behind us and move forward.”
The smile that followed was the highlight of my night.
After another half hour of cuddling on the patio, he drove me home and took me back up to my condo.
“I wish this night would never end,” he said, standing next to my door.
“I had a great night, Sean. I hope we can do this again sometime.”
“Well, why don’t we? My weeks are really busy with my flights in and out of the state, but I promise it won’t be for long.”
I stroked his chin. “I understand.”
“I’ll take you for a ride. What about next Saturday?”
He took both of my hands in his.
I leaned in to him to initiate the kiss. It was soft and sweet.
“Goodnight,” I whispered, stepping into my condo.
He pulled the door closed.
I locked the door and listened until his footsteps subsided. I couldn’t help but realize that I had never felt so anxious about getting to know any man as I felt right now.
The next week, Sean and I called each other several times at different times throughout the afternoon and night. I spoke with him at least once right after I got home from work, and once again before bed. As he had said last Saturday night, he had been out of town on business, so unfortunately, I hadn’t seen him at all. He’d missed his flight on Saturday after a business meeting went sour, so we had to call off our date. Today, Sunday, was the only time we had to spend one full day together before he had to do it all over again. He claimed he had some more personal business to conduct at a motorcycle shop here in the city, but we still wanted to see each other. I couldn’t wait to see him again.
I got dressed in the sexiest casual outfit I could find, input the address he’d given me into my GPS unit, and drove over to the motorcycle shop to meet him.
* * *
When I arrived on the scene, I spotted Sean right away, standing in front of a huge garage with one other guy. The lot where the motorcycle shop was located had been recently filled in with asphalt. The parking lot lines I pulled my car between were also recently drawn. The garage that the men stood in front of was attached to the shop.
I got out of the car, and Sean stopped everything he was doing and came to greet me.
Before I could even utter a word, he kissed me with such urgency I felt like I was being swept off my feet. Actually, I was. He cupped my ass with both of his palms and pulled me against his body to kiss me deeper. He smelled of aftershave, cologne, engine oil, and man—all rolled into one. I loved it. I gripped his shirt in my palm and pulled him solidly against me.
“I’m glad to see you,” he said when we broke away from the kiss. He took a small step back and looked me up and down.
My top and jeans were a little tight, but I’d purposely worn the outfit for him.
“The feeling’s mutual.” I smiled, equally admiring his sexiness. Even in a plain white t-shirt and worn blue jeans, he was ridiculously handsome.
The other guy behind us cleared his throat, so I reluctantly lifted my attention away from Sean. The resemblance between the two men was striking.
“Are you two…?”
“Meet my brother, Marcus,” Sean said.
Marcus approached me and we shook hands. “Nice to meet you, Karlina.”
“Hi. You two have to be blood brothers. You look almost exactly alike,” I said.
“We are,” Marcus said. “Except I look way better.”
The brothers shared a laugh and a few jabs at each other.
“Marcus is the middle sibling, and I’m the youngest. Besides brothers, we’re both part of the Rugged crew.”
“Now I see why I’m being shoved aside today, bro,” Marcus exclaimed. “I won’t even try to convince you anymore.”
“I tried to tell you. Don’t even try.” Sean pulled me against his side and kissed the top of my head.
Marcus jangled his keys in his palm. “Well, I’m going to head out before it gets too late. Tanya’s cooking my favorite dinner tonight and then we’re watching some old comedies. You two are welcome to stop by anytime if you aren’t doing anything.”
I lifted my chin and kissed Sean after his brother had left. “You’ve been working.”
“Not really. The shop’s closed today, but Marcus and I are revamping an old racecar I bought. A Mitsu Evo.” He walked us into the garage area. “This used to be a chop shop until we bought it from the owners to launch the motorcycle shop. The guys will repair just about anything, but this place is mostly for motorcycle lovers.”
“Do you plan on using this in a race?” I asked, walking into the garage and checking out the car.
“Yeah. As soon as she’s ready,” he said.
“When was the last time you raced?” I asked, turning around and meeting him by the workbench.
“Just this past Wednesday, down in Florida,” he answered.
“It’s dangerous, no?”
“It is, but I’ve been racing since high school.”
I traced the tats on his arms. “Why continue to do it?”
“I’m addicted. It’s in my blood. Once a racecar driver, always a racecar driver.”
“What does your family say about it?”
He chuckled. “They want me to stop, of course.”
“One day…most of the time one addiction replaces another,” he said, pushing his hand up the base of my neck and then pulling me to his lips. “You know what else I’m addicted to?”
He pressed his lips into mine. Once. Twice.
“You, and kissing you.”
“That sounds promising.”
After a few minutes of fooling around in the garage and asking about his races, we agreed it was time to venture out and find something to eat.
“I’ll drive.” He held up a helmet. “If you’re up to it today.”
I bit my lip.
“Nothing too fast today,” he said. “I promise. You can leave your car locked in the garage and I’ll drive you back out to come get it.”
I took the helmet. “Hmmm. I can’t believe I’m trusting you with my life so soon.”
He threw his head back, picked up his own helmet, and laughed. “I’m a pro, baby. You have nothing to worry about.”
* * *
I lived through the motorcycle ride, but of course, that wasn’t really a surprise. I had come to trust Sean more than I thought.
Once he brought the motorcycle to a complete stop in the parking lot, he tore off his helmet and then helped me out of mine. To the right of the parking lot was a huge warehouse and garage and the racing tracks were situated to the left of us. There were a few cars on the circuit driving their laps and about a dozen others were seated on the bleachers looking on and socializing.
“Is this where you race?” I asked him as we headed toward the tracks.
“It’s where I used to come to practice before an official race,” he said. “Now that I’m retired from NASCAR, I come out every once in a while to hang out with my old crew.”
“And what about your other side gig?” I asked.
“Street racing?” he asked. “That happens spontaneously at odd hours and it’s usually just for fun, to satisfy my need for speed, or for money. I used to earn more on racing bets in a week than I do with flipping houses, but the risk is not ideal…obviously.”
“Yes…obviously.” I grabbed his hand and linked my fingers with him. “But you’re a pro, right?”
He grinned and leaned down to kiss me just before he opened the gate for me.
As soon as we were spotted, a handful of people immediately flocked to Sean. After several handshakes and bear hugs, the attention shifted to me.
“I don’t believe we’ve met your new lady,” a guy named James said.
“This is Karlina, my girlfriend. I brought her out to check out the scenery.”
“Ah, nice to meet you. You race?” James asked.
“Of course not,” I half laughed. “I barely held myself together on the motorcycle on the way here.”
“Oh, you’ll be fine, sweetness,” James reassured me, tugging on a pair of leather gloves. “You racing today, Sean?”
“Maybe just one lap after these guys finish up. I’m here to show Karlina the ropes.”
James clapped Sean on the back. “We’re testing out that high-octane Aston Martin I told you about. Wanna give it a try?”
Sean’s excitement grew and I witnessed the spark in his gaze go from fifty to one hundred. Even though I was new to the sport and very well aware of the dangers involved, I could tell he was passionate about this and I didn’t want to take that away from him.
I looked out onto the track and my breath hitched when a car whizzed by on the track at an insane speed.
Sean turned to look at me. “Will you be okay?”
I smiled. “I came to watch you do what you do.”
He led me over to the bleachers and made sure I was comfortable. Then he gave me another kiss and joined his racing friends.
He quickly suited up in a racing jumpsuit, and I caught the spectacular shape of his ass just before he folded into the Aston Martin. The same butterflies that had awakened in my stomach when I’d first seen him in the parking lot at the coffee shop excited me today.
When he revved the engine, my heart took a double dip. I wrung my hands together and bit my bottom lip nervously. I knew this wasn’t the real thing, not a real race with all of the dangers involved, but this would be the first time I had ever seen a man that had truly grown on me do something like this. Risk his life this way.
When he pulled off, I braced myself. One minute into the lap, my nerves started to calm down and the tension folded away. For the next ten minutes or so, I enjoyed the show. Sean was in control and there was nothing to worry about. I loved when a man had everything going for himself and never took on more than he could handle. I saw all of those qualities in Sean.
Seduced by Sin ~ Available for purchase exclusively at Amazon. Click HERE.