“Did you sleep all right after you got home last night?”
She seemed to war with herself before shaking her head. “No.”
“Neither did I.”
“The girls have all gone home for the holidays. It was too quiet.” Then, as her pretty skin flushed, she added, “But that wasn’t the real reason I couldn’t sleep.” Honest desire reflected in her eyes. “You are.”
Lord, he’d never wanted anything as badly as he wanted to pull her into his arms to kiss the fresh lipstick off her gorgeous mouth.
In a low voice, he said, “The only reason I’m not kissing you right now is because Georgina will skin me alive if I mess you up in any way. I’m not too proud to admit that she scares me.”
Mary’s lips curved up as she took a step closer anyway and reached behind him to close the dressing room door. “I’m really good with makeup. I can fix it.”
He would have had to be superhuman to resist that invitation and, since Jack was just a flesh-and-blood man, a split second later she was in his arms, and he was kissing her senseless.
Sweeter every time he tasted her, her scent and the feel of her soft curves in his arms had him nearly forgetting where they were as he spun them around so that she was pressed up against the door and her hands were in his on either side of her head.
Dragging his mouth from hers, he looked into her eyes to see they were soft and fuzzy with pleasure. “One of my brothers called this morning. Ethan is unexpectedly back in town for the weekend, and it turns out my brother Max and his wife and son will be here from Seattle, too. Unfortunately, William can’t make it in from the East Coast due to other commitments. Come with me after the shoot. I want you to meet them.”
“That’s very sweet of you to ask.” Her lips curved up into a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes. “But you’ve already been spending so much time with me. I’ll be fine on my own tonight.”
His hands reflexively tightened over hers as she tried to let go. “There could never be enough time with you.”
Her eyes widened and he silently cursed himself for saying too much too soon when the depth of his feelings was bound to scare her off instead of bring her closer. Somehow, he managed to slip his fingers from hers and take a step back to give her some personal space.
“It’s just that I wouldn’t want them to get the wrong impression,” she said softly, “or to think that I was leading you on, especially since I keep telling you we should keep our distance for the rest of the campaign. And then, at the same time, I can’t seem to stop asking you to kiss me.” Guilt flickered in her eyes.
“You’ve been completely honest with me from the first moment we met,” he reminded her. “And I’ve been honest with you, too.” He ran a rough hand through his hair. “So let’s be honest one more time, okay?” When she nodded, he said, “I’m not going to deny that I’d love to be able to tell them you’re my girlfriend. I hope to do that in the very near future. But, for tonight, I’m asking you to come meet my family as my friend. My very, very good friend whom I love to steal kisses from.”
This time when her lips curved up, her smile was entirely real. “I would love to meet your family.”
They were interrupted by a hard knock on the door that had them both jumping away from it a split second before it flew open. Georgina shot both of them an irritated look.
“You,” she said, pointing to Mary, “had better fix your hair and makeup, or people are going to think we’re shooting a love story rather than an electronics campaign. And you—” Jack was instantly reduced to feeling like a naughty little boy as the woman pointed out the door “—need to do a better job of staying out of my way today.”
Barely resisting the urge to salute, Jack caught Mary’s eye as the director stalked out, and he was glad to see her gaze filled with barely repressed laughter.
* * *
Later that evening as they stood on Jack’s brother’s doorstep, Mary couldn’t wait to meet Jack’s family so that she could find out where a man like him had come from. He wasn’t only intelligent and sexy and wonderfully straightforward, he was also a gentleman who walked her home and noticed when she was getting tired in front of the camera. She had been invited to a half-dozen glitzy entertainment industry Christmas parties and she hadn’t wanted to go to any of them, so Jack’s invitation was perfect in so many ways.
Ethan Sullivan opened the door to his tricked-out bachelor pad with a grin. He shook Jack’s hand, and Mary loved the easy way it automatically turned into a hug.
“Ethan, I’d like you to meet Mary.”
Just like Jack, Ethan was an extremely good-looking man. Tall, dark, and handsome obviously ran strong in the Sullivan gene pool. But where she was sure most women’s hearts probably beat a little faster for the wealthy man in the sharp, tailored suit, Mary felt nothing more than healthy female appreciation.
“It’s lovely to meet you, Ethan.”
“Same here. Come on in. Max and Claudia will be here soon with their little guy. They would have been here earlier, but they called and said something about a diaper emergency.”
“How long are you home this time?” Jack asked his brother while he poured drinks for them at the bar in the corner of the living room.
“Depends on how the deal I’m working on shakes out over the next couple of days.” Ethan handed Mary a glass of white wine. “You must do a lot of traveling.”