Aware that her mouth gaped open, Nicki closed it. Again, he swung his hips. The muscles in his legs and backside moved in fluid harmony. Every shift in his position showed off his rippling back to perfection.
Where had this guy come from, Hunks R Us?
Finally, he turned and faced her, arms swinging at his sides, as he and his taut belly undulated closer. Now she had to peer up at him, and the new angle had her wishing she had invested in a video camera. It also gave her a really up close and personal view of the fact he wasn’t small anywhere.
Resisting the urge to wipe her sweaty palms down her jeans, she sat on her hands instead, to restrain herself from the powerful temptation to touch. Her panties had gone beyond damp.
Mark smiled, as if he could read her mind.
He dropped to one knee in front of her on the raised stage, and they were nearly eye-level. His gaze seemed to say that he would love nothing more than to master her body, grant her every midnight fantasy. Everything below her waist wholeheartedly accepted.
The music throbbed around them, hot and insistent. He reached out. Toward her. Closer, closer, those long fingers and that broad palm came. He held a lock of hair that framed her face between his thumb and forefinger and slowly drew it through his grasp. Then he feathered his thumb along her jaw as he stared deep into her eyes, as if she was the most fascinating creature in the world.
Her heart all but stopped. Her skin tingled. Everything between her legs ached. She’d run out of adjectives to describe how amazing Mark Gabriel was—a first for her.
With a wink and a dimpled smile, he stood, swung his hips once more, and struck a bodybuilder’s pose that delineated every muscle of his mind-blowing body as the music stopped.
Nicki didn’t know whether to clap madly or run to the stage to attack him, ripping off her clothes as she went. Or send him away before she indulged in the latter.
Instead, she sat stunned, mute.
Mark uncurled from his pose. Casting her a quick glance as if to gage her reaction, he casually gathered his clothes and music, then hopped off the stage. He stood right in front of her, glistening and gorgeous and—oh God—she could smell him now…pine forest, a hint of sweat, and a whole lotta man.
She exhaled and pasted on a smile. “Well done.”
The smile toying at the corners of his mouth displayed his amusement. “Thank you.”
He shifted right, directly into her line of vision, so that she was suddenly staring at his rigid six pack and ample…attributes. Hot tamales, he was temptation on two legs. It would be so easy to indulge her craving for a little afternoon delight and put an end to the lengthy celibacy that suddenly constricted like a spiked collar. His golden skin sliding over thick muscle just brought on fantasies of the power he could bring to bed, the—
Great, he’d caught her staring. Well, duh! She’d been as subtle as a dog panting after a whole pile of juicy bones. She glanced again at his…package and figured any analogy that contained the word “bone” was just a bad idea right now.
Clearing her throat, she stood and met his gaze. “Sorry. Zoned off for a minute. Remembering some things I left unfinished in my office.”
And if you buy that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you…
“I know you’re busy. Sorry if I kept you too long.” He shrugged into his shirt.
“It’s fine. Um, since all I have is a name, I’m going to need some contact information. I’ve got a few more auditions over the next few days, but I’ll call once I’ve made a decision.”
He gave her the number to his cell phone as he donned his pants. Thinking it was a shame to cover up such awe-inspiring scenery, she scribbled his number greedily. Gee, if she called him during a weak moment and lured him into great phone sex, would he know it was her?
“I’ve got caller ID. I don’t always answer the phone, but for you I will.”
Nicki bit her lip to hold in a gasp. Had he read her mind?
No, he wants a job, you idiot. Focus!
“Address?” she asked.
He hesitated. “I just got into town yesterday, so I don’t really have one. Once I find a job, I’ll be looking for a place. For now, I’m staying at a motel.”
“No sweat. I’ll just…call.”
“I’ll look forward to it.” He extended his hand in her direction.
Oh, goody, she was going to get to touch him. Even if he only offered her a handshake instead of an invitation to do the wild thing. Her belly knotting, she folded her much smaller hand in his. Lightning singed its way from her hand, up her arm, straight to her chest the instant he touched her. From the moment she’d set eyes on him, she’d known he had potent written all over him in big red letters. His handshake more than confirmed it. The knot in her stomach tightened…just like her nipples.
Lord, what would happen if the man kissed her, spontaneous combustion?
“Thanks for coming out.” She hoped her smile looked nice and impersonal, as if she were talking to her uncle or old Mr. Piedmont who bagged at the grocery store a few blocks away.
“My pleasure. And hopefully yours, too.” He winked.
Oh, yeah. If the gods were kind, he had no idea just how much.