Kinsey stepped off the escalator in the Omni Hotel, struggling slightly to stay upright on her strappy heels as she spotted the bar on the other side of the lobby, her heart racing. The silk of her dress grazed against her as she walked, making her aware of every brush of her thighs. Three hundred bucks on the mint green strapless dress with an A-line skirt and empire waist that stopped just below the knee was going a bit too far, considering it would be off in less than an hour. But boy, did she look good in it.
Sweet merciful heavens above.
Nerves tumbled through her stomach at the idea of a complete stranger undressing her. What in the heck was she doing? She had to be suffering from mental insanity. Only the terrifying thought of sitting in front of her empty computer screen kept her from spinning around and running back to her car.
She looked around the semicrowded bar. On one of the sets of the deep, soft couches, a group of noisy business women laughed at each other. From the looks of their disheveled clothes and finger-strewn hair, she guessed they'd been tossing back cocktails for some time. On a nearby chair, an older woman with a persona of faded elegance shot a condemning look at the group, leaning close to whisper to the young man beside her. Up by the bar, a piano player was slaughtering a Frank Sinatra classic. There ought to be a law, Kinsey thought. And then she saw him, sitting on a couch, an empty glass on the table in front of him. He raised a signaling hand.
Her knees turned to mush.
Rhonda's friend hadn't lied. Astonishingly, good-looking didn't come close to describing him. Thick, dark hair stopped just at his collar, a few curly locks falling down over his forehead. His face was sharp, angular, his eyes too shadowed under the veil of thick eyelashes for her to see the color.
His skin was bronze, a natural tan from what she could tell. If she had to guess, she would say he was Spanish. That thought gave her pause. While she'd never dated a Spanish man, she had dated outside of her race. Clearly, he didn't have a problem with her being African American or he wouldn't have beckoned her. More importantly, he wouldn't have shown up in the first place.
She took her time doing another perusal of him. Her gaze paused when it reached his mouth...surrounded by a goatee that connected to the low-cut beard covering his jaw.
An image burned through her mind: her naked, on her back, glancing down to see his mouth on her. And it was going to happen, everything she desired, everything she could think of.
Oh my word.
She inhaled deeply, attempting to fill her lungs with oxygen that seemed so hard to come by. Then she repeated the action.
All right. The game plan was to be classy, composed, casual...For goodness sake.
All she needed to do was walk up to the couch, introduce herself, then go upstairs with the fine specimen of a man. Kinsey reached the couch. Amber. His eyes were light brown, the color of a premium scotch. As he looked her up and down, she was grateful for her dark skin, for her cheeks had to be on fire. Classy, composed, casual.
He arched a dark brow in his direction.
"Hello. I'm Kinsey." She offered him her hand.