After some sassy banter between the two, Jake asks her or maybe dares her to go out with him. What if they develop real feelings for each other? Will either be brave enough to admit it? I liked this little story for the most part. Jake was real hero material--a self made man with a rocky past on the verge of making it big.

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Lucy recognized the look that crossed his face. That empty expression, the one that signaled lonely. There had to be some way to get her father to let loose of this ridiculous marriage idea. Otherwise he could manipulate the situation. He knows everyone I know. To keep your dad from playing matchmaker. What in the world was he talking about?

Just help you out. Appearances and all. Had she just stepped into some outer dimension? She had to get her mind around the thoughts swirling through her. Her father. It was all too much. Her father had been anything but gracious to Jake. She still burned at his condescending manner. The thought had merit.

It was ludicrous of course, but still, parts of it intrigued her. How long had she fought against her father? Against his ridiculous notions of society and classes? How many times had he tried to drum into her head that the Fairchilds were the elite?

The elite who did not, under any circumstances, mix with the lower classes. Yes, her father was a snob. He would positively have a fit if she started parading Jake around as her boyfriend. Might be fun to get a few digs into your old man. Just enough to let my father, and Alex, see us together.

He can be rude, downright nasty at times. Not dating. And besides, after being with me, anyone you pick after that will be a huge relief to your father. Sadly, he was right. But how did Jake feel about that? His expression was unreadable. She had to take control of her life, make her father understand that she would choose the man she would marry. Not that Jake was that man. Guilt niggled its way into her heart. This could be rough on Jake. Really rough. I need to get out more, anyway.

But the more she thought about it, the more it seemed like the key to her freedom. Her father was a smart man. And if it irks your old man in the process, all the better. He was great looking, had a good sense of humor, he was smart, and, admittedly, she liked him. She really liked him. He made her feel good. She liked touching him. Jake stood and held out his hand.

Practice being together for when your dad sees us. You might as well get used to it now. Jake took a few steps away from the table and drew her against him. Solid, warm, he wrapped his arm around her back and entwined his fingers with hers, then swayed to the music of a ballad. She really did need the practice. The way he looked at her, the way his lips curled in such a sexy manner, the way he leaned in as if was going to— His lips brushed hers, casual, a soft caress.

Lightning struck and she was rooted to the spot, unable to take her next breath. Then he pressed more firmly. Shocked at first, Lucy did nothing but freeze up.

Jake leaned back. Of course not. I just Really, no wonder he thought her inexperienced. What an idiot. She shivered as he leaned in again, and this time she was ready. Or she thought she was ready, but not for the power of a kiss that rocked her right off her feet. Instead, he leaned her back over his arm and took her mouth in a kiss that spoke of possession, of demand, forcing her mouth open to slide his tongue inside.

She felt every part of that kiss in every nerve ending of her body. When Jake raised her up and pulled away, she was dizzy, turned on and ready for more. Disoriented, Lucy grabbed her beer and took a couple deep swallows. Jake nursed his beer and grinned at her, seemingly unaffected by what had just happened. But could she? A lot more.


Dare to Love



Dare To Love






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