Sexy All Over, страница 1
I’ve always loved makeovers. Even as a kid, I drew “before” and “after” pictures—stick people with bad hair and makeup, transformed by my third-grade artistic skills into more stylish, well-coiffed versions of themselves.
So when the idea came to me for the story Sexy All Over, I couldn’t wait to have fun with my heroine, who does makeovers for a living. I quickly found, though, that the story had a mind of its own, and that our commonly held ideas of perfection aren’t necessarily what we should strive for. Consider the hero, Zane Underwood, for instance. He is far from perfect, but he’s oh-so-appealing in his imperfection. I’d take him over Mr. Perfect in an “after” photo any day, and so, my heroine learns, would she.
I’d love to hear what you think of Sexy All Over, so drop me a note at [email protected] or visit my Web site, www.jamiesobrato.com, to learn more about me and my upcoming books.
Books by Jamie Sobrato
84—PLEASURE FOR PLEASURE
116—WHAT A GIRL WANTS
133—SOME KIND OF SEXY
167—AS HOT AS IT GETS
911—SOME LIKE IT SIZZLING
Sexy All Over
TORONTO • NEW YORK • LONDON
AMSTERDAM • PARIS • SYDNEY • HAMBURG
STOCKHOLM • ATHENS • TOKYO • MILAN • MADRID
PRAGUE • WARSAW • BUDAPEST • AUCKLAND
To the Temptresses,
one of the smartest, funniest, most talented group of women
I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing
SEXY ALL OVER
Copyright © 2005 by Jamie Sobrato.
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher, Harlequin Enterprises Limited, 225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada M3B 3K9.
All characters in this book have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name or names. They are not even distantly inspired by any individual known or unknown to the author, and all incidents are pure invention.
This edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
® and TM are trademarks of the publisher. Trademarks indicated with ® are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Canadian Trade Marks Office and in other countries.
COMING NEXT MONTH
WHEN NAOMI TYLER found her boyfriend sitting naked at her computer in the middle of the night, she first thought he’d gotten lost on the way to the bathroom.
But it only took a few squinty-eyed seconds for the naked truth to reveal itself.
Moments ago, she’d awoken to the inexplicable sound of heavy breathing coming from the living room, which was only one room away in her small apartment.
The glowing red numbers on the alarm clock had told her it was three in the morning, exactly two and a half hours before she had to be awake to prepare for a meeting with her most important client.
Soft light poured through the open bedroom door.
A moan reached her. And then, “Oh yeah, ohhhh…”
Jackson’s voice. A glance at the space next to her had confirmed that he wasn’t in bed, and the disoriented fog had begun to lift from her brain.
She’d sat up, her heart pounding. Why was her boyfriend up at this time of night, and why was he moaning? She’d slipped out of bed and gone to the door, afraid of what she might find. If he had another woman in her apartment…
Not possible. Jackson was sweet, loyal, faithful.
And sitting at her computer naked.
Now, she blinked at the sight of him on the other side of the living room, lit by the glow of her computer monitor. His blond hair had taken on a weird greenish tinge from the screen, and his hand was moving in his lap, his noises growing more urgent by the second.
His free hand was on the keyboard. With both hands he quickly typed something, then returned to his task.
What the hell?
A wave of nausea rose in her stomach, but she froze, unable to make a sound or move. A silly bit of advice from Cosmo played in her head—if you find him masturbating, join in and help him out. He’ll think it’s a huge turn-on.
Okay, fine. Maybe a turn-on for him, but Naomi was too pissed about having her sleep interrupted by his little rendezvous with the computer to work up any sort of amorous feelings.
She was considering slipping back into the bedroom and trying to get some sleep when his moaning reached its inevitable crescendo, and his grand finale ended with something oozing down the monitor.
An urge to retrieve the Windex from the kitchen nearly overtook her, as her emotions spiraled from shocked to disgusted to embarrassed in the space of a few seconds. But she suppressed her neatnik urge and decided the best way to face this little problem was head-on.
She coughed, and Jackson nearly jumped out of her desk chair, which she made a mental note to give a good scrubbing tomorrow.
“What are you doing?” she blurted. “No, don’t answer that. I see what you’re doing.”
Jackson heaved a sigh and looked at his hand, then at the computer monitor.
“Tissues are on the left.”
“I was just, um, instant messaging with a friend.”
“Instant messaging? Naked? At 3:00 a.m.?”
“It’s nothing, just a little cybersex,” he said, taking a different tack now—the casual, guilt-free male.
Naomi watched as he wiped off the monitor. She tried not to feel disgusted, wishing she could be a sexually enlightened Cosmo girl. But mostly she was just pissed off.
“We haven’t had sex in weeks. Why aren’t you having sex with me instead of some girl—it is a girl, right?—on the computer?”
“Of course it’s a girl.”
“How can you be sure?”
He looked confused. “She e-mailed me a picture.”
Her temper flared. “You’re probably getting it on with some middle-aged, hairy guy.”
He gaped at her as if he’d never considered the possibility.
“Why not with me?” she asked, her voice revealing too much emotion. “Do I bore you?”
A guilty look crossed his face, and he shrugged.
Naomi was so very wide awake now. “Get the hell out of my apartment!” she screeched.
“Naomi, you’re not boring. I’m just tired, okay? Can we talk about this tomorrow after we’ve both had some rest?”
“Tired? You weren’t too tired to jerk off on my computer, but you’re too tired to talk? Get out!” She pointed a finger at the door. “Now!”
He stood and ca
She marched into the bedroom, fueled by fury and wounded pride. Jackson’s clothes, predictably, lay in a pile on the floor. She scooped them up, along with his shoes, went to the second-story window, opened it, and dropped everything onto the lawn below.
She turned to Jackson. “Your clothes are waiting for you downstairs. Now get out!”
“SO THEN THE BASTARD LEFT, and I was wide awake for the rest of the night.”
Naomi took a long drink of her iced tea, wishing she’d ordered something a little more caffeinated. She’d been dragging all morning and still had another client to meet after lunch. Her best friend Talia Ramsey sat across the table from her at their favorite lunch spot, trying hard not to laugh.
“I’m sorry, sweetie. I’m just so proud of you for making him leave naked.”
Naomi was absolutely sure she wasn’t boring in bed.
Well, mostly sure…
Okay, not sure at all. She liked sex as much as the next girl, but maybe she’d been working too hard lately, focusing a little too much on her career. And maybe she’d let her sex life slide.
“What if he’s right?” Naomi said.
“Frankly, I’m a little surprised Jackson even knows where his penis is, let alone has any ideas about what to do with it.”
Naomi leaned in and whispered, “We’ve had sex! Of course he knows what to do with it.”
Talia looked unconvinced. She’d never been crazy about Jackson, and now Naomi knew that in the future she should just trust her friend’s gut reactions to men the same way she could trust her own gut reactions about how people should present themselves to the world.
Too bad her instincts could never see past the surface of people to the cybersex-obsessed weirdos that lurked within.
“I know you think you were having sex, but really, you’ve slept with what, five guys? How can you be sure?”
“You’re keeping count?”
Talia shrugged. “Old habit. The important thing is, could he give you an orgasm every time?”
The guy at the next table looked over at them and smiled. Even if their conversation hadn’t centered around sex, men never could help staring at Talia. She had pale blond hair that fell past the middle of her back, silvery blue eyes and a sense of fashion that accentuated her strong, statuesque figure. Today she wore a head-turning fitted white business suit with a skirt that was about a half inch away from being improper for work.
“Could you lower your voice?”
“Could he?” Talia demanded, oblivious to Naomi’s protests.
“Every time is a tad unrealistic, don’t you think?”
“Not at all.”
“He did once,” she admitted. “Almost.”
Talia gave her a knowing look. “Almost doesn’t count with orgasms.”
“Don’t they get extra points for effort?”
She shook her head.
“If he’s nice, respectful, intelligent and good looking, I can take care of myself,” Naomi said, then lowered her voice. “With regard to other matters.”
“Have you ever had an orgasm with a guy?” Talia asked, finally whispering low enough so no one else could hear.
Naomi felt her cheeks warming. She had no reason to be embarrassed, did she? It wasn’t her fault all her boyfriends seemed confounded by the clitoris, mystified by the G-spot. “I’ve had…” A few, she almost said, which would have been a lie. And she made it a rule not to lie to her friends. “Okay, none.”
The expression on Talia’s face would have been more appropriate for the news that a loved one had died. “Oh, sweetie! You don’t know what you’re missing out on.”
“An orgasm’s an orgasm,” Naomi whispered. “What difference does it make if I have them with a guy or with me, myself and I?”
Her friend’s eyebrows shot up. “Are you serious?”
“Of course I am. I don’t see how it matters.”
“It’s like the difference between taking a warm bath and getting into a bubbling hot tub. They’re both nice, but one’s a lot more exhilarating than the other.”
Had Naomi really been missing out on the bubbling hot tub of sexual experiences for all this time? She frowned and tried to ignore the nagging feeling that Talia was right.
Naomi had been missing out.
She was nearly thirty, and all this time, she’d never taken a dip in a hot tub. She glanced down at the club sandwich she hadn’t touched yet and felt like throwing it across the room.
“Are you sure it’s that much better for everyone? Maybe it’s just you, or the guys you’ve been sleeping with.”
“Naomi.” Talia gave her the look. The look that said she’d lost her mind. “If it was just as good alone as it is with a partner, then we wouldn’t need men until we were ready to pop out babies. Why do you think people even have recreational sex?”
Naomi gave the question some serious thought. “For the intimate contact?”
“For the industrial-grade orgasms.”
“I can’t be this naive.” Could she? “I mean, how could I be the only person on earth who doesn’t know about this?”
“Because you were raised by Senator Atchison Tyler, the man who wrote the book on being virtuous?”
Literally. Her father had written a bestselling book on how to lead a morally conscious life, entitled The Angel On Your Shoulder.
She made a face. “I actually believed when I was a kid that there was an angel camped out on my shoulder at all times. But she wasn’t there to give me advice or watch out for my well-being—she was acting as my spiritual tattletale.”
“I’m sure the nunnery where you got your education didn’t help.”
Talia took a sip of her white wine, somehow managing not to get even a speck of her pink lipstick on the glass.
“It wasn’t a nunnery—it was an all-girls academy.”
“Same difference. The point is, you’re warped, and as your best friend I’ve always felt it’s my personal duty to unwarp you.”
“I thought I’d done a pretty good job until now.”
“Give me a little credit. I can walk into Victoria’s Secret and actually buy lingerie now without feeling weird.”
“Okay, okay, and you made good progress at Ally’s bachelorette party last fall.”
Naomi winced at the memory of drinking way too much and dancing like a complete idiot with a male stripper. She’d starred in her own personal 1980s party movie.
“Progress is not tucking dollar bills in a strange man’s G-string.”
“You have your definition, and I have mine.” Talia smiled, and then her smile transformed into a wicked grin. “I’ve got the best idea ever.”
“Your orgasm problem. I know just the guy for you.”
“Oh no, you don’t. I’m not enduring another one of your matchmaking attempts.”
“I’ve only ever set you up with a guy once, and that was just so I could get an in with his friend. Now this will be an entirely different kind of setup.”
“Ken is the kind of guy women call for one reason and one reason only.”
“Dare I ask?”
“He’s the king of all booty calls.”
“I am so not going to make a booty call.”
“Naomi. Just listen. This guy can give you an orgasm just by breathing on you. Seriously, he’s the master.”
Naomi shifted in her seat and finished off the last of her iced tea. It wasn’t sweet the way she loved it, but she’d learned to endure drinking it without sugar for the sake of her no-longer-twenty-year-old thighs.
“Forget about it!”
“Do you want to risk walking around for the rest of your life never having an orgasm with a guy?”
“You’re being ridiculous. Sooner or later I’ll find a guy who
Or would she? Maybe her equipment was the problem. Maybe she was the reason she’d never been able to come with a guy.
Talia saw the doubt in her eyes. “What?”
“What if it’s me? What if I’m frigid?”
“Don’t be silly. But with Booty Call Ken, you’ll know for sure. I can’t imagine he’s ever left a woman unsatisfied.”
Naomi truly had reached a point of desperation when one of Talia’s wild ideas wasn’t sounding all that ridiculous.
“What does he look like?”
“Remember Luke Duke from The Dukes of Hazzard?”
“He does not look like Luke Duke!”
Talia nodded her head, smiling. “Oh yes, my dear. He does.”
Naomi sighed. Luke Duke had been the fantasy man of her childhood, before her parents decided that watching The Dukes of Hazzard was a morally bankrupt activity. “I’ll think about it, but no planning anything without my approval.”
“I’ll give you twenty-four hours to decide. If you don’t get back to me by then, I’m calling Ken and giving him your address.”
“You are not. You’ll wait until you hear from me, or you’ll never see your favorite Kate Spade bag again in this lifetime.”
“Fine, if you want to play dirty. I’m just looking out for your best interests.” Talia stabbed a leaf of lettuce with her fork. “Now, what are you going to do about Jackson?”
“We’re through.” Naomi could hardly believe she managed to sound so sure of herself. She’d been dating Jackson for nearly a year, had entertained more than a few notions of him being The One, and now, within the space of twelve hours, she’d decided she never wanted to see him again?
It was an awfully drastic move for her.
“You’re dumping him,” Talia said, barely containing her laughter. “Over a little sperm on your computer?”
“You’re not funny.”