The last place he wanted to be tonight was this woman's apartment. Brian clenched and unclenched his fists, trying to get a hold of himself, but he couldn't quite manage it. No more wine at dinner, especially not with Andrea. She was his best friend, and all he'd been able to think about since they'd stepped through her front door was tearing off her clothes and getting inside her. This sudden, unexpected need was quickly driving him insane. Now he stood in the hallway of her small apartment, back pressed against the white wall, staring at the front door and wondering if she'd kill him if he made a quick exit.
Deep down, he knew the feelings were wrong, and that Andrea wouldn't welcome them, but lust had overridden common sense at some point during their shared meal. He shouldn't be here tonight. He should be as far away from her as possible until the urges faded. If he didn't get control of himself--now--he was going to lose his best friend, one way or another.
"Could you help me with this zipper?" Andrea poked her head out of the bedroom door. "It always sticks. Usually I can unstick it myself, but tonight, I can't seem to get my fingers to work right."
A side-effect of the wine, Brian thought to himself. He'd been feeling about the same when they left the restaurant, but now his motor functions were starting to come back. With a vengeance. He had to close his eyes for a brief moment to regain some semblance of composure. God, he wanted to touch her. Everywhere. He'd never wanted a woman naked as badly as he wanted Andrea that way, right this second. Did she have any clue that what she was asking him to do would be pure torture?
He opened his eyes and thumped the back of his head against the wall. Of course, she had no idea what she was doing to him. "Yeah. No problem."
"Thanks." She disappeared through the door again, so he followed, meeting her in the middle of the bedroom.
The dress she'd worn to work that day was the same type she usually wore. Neutral-toned, just a little on the baggy side. Not boring or matronly, at least not exactly, but nothing designed to tempt a man, either. She hadn't given him any signs she was interested in him, so he couldn't figure out why his body was acting as if she had. He was primed. Ready to go. Too bad the only place he'd be going tonight would be home to an empty bed.
It would kill him to pay the cab fare for the half-hour ride back to his apartment, but what could he do? Driving home was out of the question. They'd planned for him to sleep on the couch for the night and drive back home tomorrow, but suddenly that didn't seem like such a good idea anymore.
His fingers shook as he touched the material between her shoulder blades. This close, he could hear her breathing. Was it his imagination, or did he catch a hitch in her breath when his thumb brushed her skin?
He unzipped the dress for her and started to walk away, but when she stripped the drab gray material from her body and he saw what was underneath, his feet froze to the floor. Damn it. The single light on the nightstand was dim, but provided plenty of light for him to see every detail. She was wearing red. Not only red, but a lace thong, of all things. Her toned ass made his mouth dry. Her back was sleek, her legs long and firm. Andrea Ray had a killer body. How had he not known what she was hiding under those boring clothes she wore to work and the plain T-shirts and jeans she liked out of the office?
His cock, semi-hard since they'd left the restaurant, went rock-solid. His eyes started to glaze over. He wanted to cup those ass cheeks in his palms while she rode him all night long.
If he told her that, she'd break his nose. Forget slapping him. Andrea wasn't that kind of girl.
"Thanks, Brian," she said again, her back still to him as she kicked off her shoes, shimmied out of her nylons, and walked to the dresser to take the clips out of her hair. Since she always pulled her hair back, he'd often found himself wondering how long it really was. The pale blonde mass fell down her back, nearly to her waist, and his cock jumped against his zipper. Holy fucking hell.
What was wrong with him? This was Andrea. His best buddy. One of the guys. Why did she suddenly look so damned appealing? It had to be the wine. He was still just a little drunk.
That excuse worked until she turned around, showing him what he'd been missing all his life. Her breasts were full and round, nearly spilling over the lacy cups of the bra that matched her thong. He barely resisted the urge to lick his lips. Her skin looked so soft. So creamy. If he could just get a taste of her...
"What's the matter?" she asked, her mouth dipping into a frown.
Funny, but he'd never noticed how lush her lips were until tonight.
And why hadn't he? The fact that he'd never before seen how gorgeous she was spoke volumes about him. He was a shallow jerk who noticed curves before he noticed brains. He supposed it wasn't really his fault. Men needed visual stimuli. Red lingerie and long, silky golden-blonde hair were about as stimulating as it could get.
"I'm going to hell," he muttered, shaking his head.
"Why do you say that?" Andrea laughed, and even that sound made the lust twist his gut harder. The woman was damned near perfect, and he hadn't even known it until tonight. What a complete idiot he was.
"Because I want to kiss you so bad right now, I think I might explode." And he didn't want to stop with kissing, either. What he wanted to do to her scared the hell out of him. She was his best friend.
He shook his head. Like that was going to stop him. No matter how many times he reminded himself, his body didn't seem to care.
She said nothing, just narrowed her eyes, and he decided to get the hell out of her apartment before he made an even bigger fool out of himself. "Just pretend I didn't say that. I'm going to go outside and call a cab to get home. I'll call you tomorrow."
Without waiting for a response, he spun around and rushed toward the door. He expected her to agree with him. To tell him to get out of her place before she threw him out.
"It's cold outside. Unusually cold for this late in the spring."
The sound of her voice made him stop inside the bedroom doorway. He didn't dare turn around. His shoulders tensed. She couldn't be saying what he thought she was saying. It couldn't be this easy. "Yeah, it is."
"You could stay here until morning, like we planned when we left the restaurant," she said softly, a hint of something in her voice he couldn't quite place. "And get a cab back to the restaurant to get our cars tomorrow."
His answering laugh was tinged with a bitterness he never felt around her. The pullout couch he used on occasion had zero appeal right about now. Less than zero. He'd rather sleep on a bed of nails than toss and turn thirty feet away from her all night long, "I can't stay here tonight. I don't know what's wrong with me, but it isn't good. Even the couch isn't far enough away for me to keep my impulses in check."
"Who said anything about the couch?"