Every Girl's Secret Fantasy. Robyn Grady
catching them out, so when Steve had suggested a romantic weekend away she’d leapt at the chance. But the niggling she’d experienced in the control room that night had surfaced again.
She’d been baffled. Steve was intelligent, attractive, built. The lack of stimulation had to be her fault, not his. Surely next time would be different?
Willing to let the emotion and enthusiasm grow, she’d persevered, showing him what she liked in the bedroom and trying her best to please him too. But little had improved and there had come a point where she’d begun to avoid situations that might lead to intimacy. She’d thought she was in love with him, but how could that be when she shied away almost every time he touched her?
After nine months two weeks and three days, she’d broken down and, cheeks flaming, admitted that something vital was missing. The connection—the hunger—that should be there simply wasn’t. She’d felt so bad. She’d begged Steve not to blame himself.
He hadn’t. In fact he’d puffed up his chest and lost no time insisting that, if she wanted to know, he didn’t much enjoy sleeping with her either. She was so tense and staid, he said. Boring was another word he’d used. He was sorry too…that she was sexually dysfunctional. When her back had gone up and she’d defended herself he’d less than kindly pointed out that a raging inferno drowning in jet fuel couldn’t spark her match.
She could have shaken off the insult, which was obviously the result of a dented ego, if only she didn’t have to see Steve and his jilted face five days a week at the studios. When they were in the same room, his “frigid” accusation played over in her mind and icicles would form, freezing solid in her veins. But there was nothing wrong with her. They simply weren’t sexually compatible. It happened.
Still, as more time went by and Phoebe looked back on her romantic past, she began to wonder if Steve might to some degree be right. She’d had intimate relationships before, but not many, and she’d never enjoyed the volcanic, lose-your-mind, cry-out-his-name kind of lovemaking that she knew must exist.
Sitting alone in her apartment last night, she’d decided she’d spent long enough torturing herself over it. It was time to act! Her doubts needed to be washed away—and not with a few trickles but a downpour. With no truly memorable sexual experiences to speak of, at twenty-six she needed to know that she was capable of being consumed by the mindless fever that went hand-in-hand with heart-pounding, out-of-this-world, give-me-more sex. She’d read about that kind of explosive euphoria—had even dreamed of it a few times. Other women found it.
Why not her?
But brazen bad boy Pace wasn’t the answer, as tempting as succumbing might be. Not only was that man a lesson in heartbreak waiting to happen, what if the unthinkable happened? What if she was wrong and Steve was right and she wasn’t capable of feeling the earth move, or seeing a thousand stars go off in her head? Tanking with Steve had been uncomfortable. But she’d coped.
Pace was another matter.
Now whenever Pace looked at her all she could see, all she could feel, was his barely contained desire. It sizzled over her, drew her in and made her feel as if she were some kind of goddess. If she slept with Pace and they failed to lift off, that smouldering attention would be replaced with something a whole lot less flattering…like disappointment. Or, worse, pity.
Shuddering, Phoebe walked faster.
No way. Not with Pace. She’d be humiliated into the next decade. That was the third and strongest reason she must stay well away.
Phoebe moved through the massive Brodricks showroom, its vast glass walls encasing a dazzling parade of gleaming vehicles that movie stars and Arab sheikhs might drive. Bentley, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce…She hated to guess how much this place was insured for. How must it feel to be that insanely rich? Like the vast majority of the world, she’d never know.
Outside a moment later, the early-evening air was brisk, with the crush of autumn leaves littering the pavement. Busy pedestrians swirled all around, and overhead deepening shades of blue had drawn up a blanket, preparing to tuck in for the night.
Her hand high, she hailed an approaching cab. Along with a fleet of other peak-hour traffic, it sailed by. So did a second and a third cab. Five long minutes later, when she spotted a fourth cruising down Botany Road, she shot out an arm and waved a giant arc. The cab slowed down. Smiling and waving again, she moved forward. She didn’t see the motorbike zipping in to stop ahead of the cab. Didn’t notice its helmeted rider…at least not until he reached out from his perch at the kerb to lay a steely grip on her arm.
She scowled. What the hell?
“Get your hands off me,” she growled, wrenching her arm free. “What do you think you’re doing?”
The first bell to ring was the white T-shirt, visible under the rider’s open leather jacket. The second, when the visor flipped up, was that delicious don’t-you-want-me? smile. The voice—a warm summer breeze—came in a fatal third.
Pace Davis leaned back and revved his bike. “Actually, I wondered if you’d changed your mind about that lift?”
“You?” Her mouth opened and closed twice before she got another word out. “I didn’t know you rode a bike.”
He removed the helmet and rubbed the dark, daylong bristles framing his wry smile. “For a few years now.” He hitched forward. “Here…jump on.”
“I—I don’t double on bikes.”
“You mean don’t or never tried?”
An unbidden fire ripped through her system, and for one dizzy moment she imagined herself, novice thighs clinging to hot metal, arms gathering living granite, breasts crushed against comforting firm warmth. The mere thought of being that close to definitely-off-limits made her sway a little and lose her breath.
Cursing the blush rising in her cheeks, she hurried on. “Either way, it doesn’t matter. I have a cab waiting.”
She gestured to…a vacant space.
Shifting her gaze, she spotted her taxi merging into the traffic with a passenger in the back seat. At this rate she’d never get home. Her attention slid back to Pace and her heartbeat thumped at his focused gaze. She shook her head slowly.
“This is not a good idea.”
“I’m not kidnapping you. It’s only a lift.”
Sure. That was why mischief was twinkling like rough diamonds in his eyes.
“Oh, come on,” he teased. “Live a little. I guarantee you’ll enjoy the ride. Bet my best wrench on it.”
Lateral thinking sent her head spinning at the prospect of winning this man’s prize tool.
Phoebe evaluated her attire…a cream bandage dress cut above the knee, five-inch gladiator sandal heels. How could she consider straddling that steed in this get-up?
A challenging smile lifted one side of his mouth. “Don’t think, Phoebe. Just do.”
Her gaze dropped from his entrancing blue eyes to his come-kiss-me lips. The smell of grease mingled with a hard day’s work and a faint tang of aftershave—something woodsy and distinctly memorable—and wrapped itself around her hypersensitive skin. Thoughts about possible embarrassment drifted away. He was right. She was overreacting. If she accepted this ride it would mean nothing more than a lift on a busy afternoon.
And yet she couldn’t help but look forward to clinging to his back, to moulding her hands over biceps that must be carved from rock. He would be so hot, so hard…more scrumptious than she’d ever dreamed.
Reading her mind, Pace widened his smile before he made the decision for her. Relieving her of the folder, he slid it into a slimline compartment on the bike’s side. Accepting the fact that every one of her marbles had suffered a major meltdown, Phoebe caught the spare helmet, took his hand, and swung a leg up and over the smooth seat behind the