Too far. Ellie knew she'd crossed the line the second Luke jumped from his chair and marched toward her and Miguel. Fire flashed in his gray eyes, filling the room--and her body--with a rush of heat.
She fought against the heavy thudding of her heart, gathering up confidence she didn't have and wishing she'd never decided to take this course of action.
"I need to talk to you." Luke's voice was rough, tinged with danger. He didn't once glance in the direction of Miguel. Didn't ask permission, just grabbed her arm and began leading her across the dance floor.
Her pulse quickened at the feel of his warm hand against her bare arm, but the brief desire-filled reaction dissolved into anger as he dragged her through the bar.
With a helpless glance over her shoulder, she silently pleaded with Miguel to step in, but her date looked too stunned by Luke's macho display to move.
"What do you think you're doing?" she hissed as Luke led her out the door of the club and into the humid night air.
He didn't speak, just tugged on her arm again and directed her to the alley next to the Dancehall. Darkness enveloped them, but the inferno still raging in Luke's eyes was enough to light up an entire city street.
"You're playing with fire," he hissed back.
Playing with fire. There it was, that phrase again.
She took a step back, her back against the brick wall, hoping to put some distance between them. Hoping her heartbeat would slow. But Luke only moved closer, until his denim-clad thighs pressed against hers.
"Don't think I don't know what you're doing." His hard gaze made her legs shake.
"I'm not doing anything." Her squeaky reply sounded unconvincing and they both knew it.
"Don't test me, Elenore. There's only so much a man can take."
Heat spilled through her cheeks. What was he saying, that he wanted her? No, that couldn't be true. He didn't want her, never had. Teasing him was supposed to make him head for the hills at top speed, not turn him on.
So why did he look turned on right now?
His silver-gray eyes continued to glimmer, with anger, heat. Lust. Dear God, lust. And as he stepped closer, pressed himself against her, Ellie felt the unmistakable hardness of his body.
"I'm on a date," she whispered.
"Bullshit. You're putting on a show." He chuckled, low and menacing. "For me."
The hard ridge of his erection brushed over her pelvis, and shockwaves singed each and every nerve ending in her body. A dull ache settled between her thighs. Her breasts grew heavy, her nipples hard. The dark alley seemed to grow even darker, until shadows danced over Luke's head, making him appear dangerous and seductive at the same time.
How had this happened? How had she gone from the seductress to the seduced?
"Luke..." Her voiced trailed off, the sound of his name coming out in a breathy whisper.
"Don't Luke me." His eyes narrowed into two dark slits. "You came here tonight to get to me, Ellie."
He dug his fingers into her arm, eliciting a swarm of shivers in her skin. "You wanted to make me jealous. That's why you were rubbing yourself all over that guy. Isn't that right?"
She swallowed hard before finding her voice. "Is there a reason you'd be jealous?"
Uncertainty flashed in his eyes, and the brief show of weakness gave her the confidence to continue.
"I'm Josh's little sister, remember? Nothing more. So why would you be jealous? Why would the sight of me rubbing against another man make you this crazy?"
His body tensed. "You're playing games with me, Ellie."
She held his gaze. His face hovered over hers.
"And I can tell you right now exactly how this game will end," he added, his voice rough.
"How?" God, why had she asked? She didn't want to know the answer at all.
He let out a harsh laugh. "You're a fool if you don't know that."
He slammed his mouth on hers and parted her lips with his tongue without invitation.
Oh God. His mouth felt and tasted like heaven. With the skilled ease of a man who'd obviously kissed many women in his time, his tongue explored her mouth, hot and greedy.
He demanded and all she could do was give. The sharp, urgent thrusts of his tongue, as it swirled and pushed against hers, were almost too much to bear. Heat spiraled down her body, hardening her nipples, making her clit swell. When he shoved a knee in between her thighs and pressed his straining erection against her, it was all she could do not to sink to the pavement.
Against all common sense, she reached up and held onto his shoulders, steadying herself, searching for the strength to put an end to this explosive, body-numbing kiss. But she couldn't. As one of his hands tangled in her hair, angling her head to give him better access to her mouth, she simply whimpered. When his other hand cupped her breast over the thin fabric of her dress, the whimper became a moan.
The sound reverberated against their mouths, sending a tornado of shivers spinning through her body, until she could barely let out a breath. Her breast throbbed under his touch, and a desperate wave of hunger crashed over her. She wanted his hands and mouth on her. All over her.
Pulling back, Luke's lips hovered over hers. "This is what happens when you play games with me," he muttered, keeping his hand firmly on her breast.
Wordlessly, she met his gaze, shocked by the need and urgency she saw in those gray eyes. "Luke--"
He didn't let her finish, just covered her mouth with his, and gave her another toe-curling and knee-buckling kiss, before prying his lips away and taking a step back.
His eyes glimmered with desire. Anger. Satisfaction. He looked pleased with himself, like he believed he'd won this round. And truth was, he had.
"Remember this." His voice was low, tinged with danger. "Because the next time you flaunt yourself in order to get to me, it won't end with just one kiss. And believe me, I won't be as gentle."
Ellie forced her mouth closed. Gentle? What on earth was his definition of gentle? The way her body still ached from his erotic assault, she wondered, what did he consider rough?
And a better question--did she even want to know?