Excerpt Option 1:
“Did you have any questions about the prices your friend explained to you?” Ander asked. “You’ll pay for an entire evening. That’s the base price. I offer nothing lower than that.”
She looked up at him, frowning. He didn’t have a website like some escorts, instead relying on personal referrals, but details Sabrina had gotten from the women she’d talked to were quite clear. She was a professional woman. Not an idiot. “Yes, I was able to understand the services you offer and what you charge for them,” she said, her tone a little snippy.
His mouth twitched, so slightly she almost didn’t catch it. “Good. I just wanted to make it clear that you pay for the entire evening, whether or not you use it. I don’t hire myself out by the hour.”
For some reason, his dry tone made her want to snicker again. She stifled it, in case he would mistake it for mockery. “Understood.”
“We can do whatever you like for the evening. I can act as escort, play a part if you want or provide general companionship. If you’re interested in anything sexual, that will cost extra.”
Lori couldn’t believe she was sitting here, in the middle of a park in downtown Seattle, having this conversation. Her cheeks burned involuntarily, but she wasn’t as mortified as she’d expected. Ander was so business-like and matter-of-fact about the situation that it helped Lori feel that way too.
“I thought I made my interests clear when we talked on the phone,” she said.
Ander nodded. “Of course. The prices differ for oral on you, oral on me, and full intercourse.”
A nagging question that had been bugging her for a few days prompted her to ask, “Who would pay you that much money for you to get the blow job?”
Again, that slight twitch of his mouth. She wasn’t even sure it meant anything—his expression was generally so calm as to be stoic. But she found that occasional little quiver of his mouth the most appealing thing about him. “Women have different desires when they make use of my services. Some find giving more thrilling than receiving. Some simply want the practice.”
Lori thought about that for a moment. It was something she’d never even considered before.
Ander cleared his throat, bringing her attention back to him. “Perhaps you can give me a little information about your goals for this engagement.”
She nodded. “Right. Well, I sure as hell wouldn’t pay this much money for a date.” She took a breath. Summoned all her fortitude and courage. “I want to have sex.”
“Yes, but what are your goals for the sex? Are you looking for a particular mood or brand of excitement? Do you just want to relieve tension? Get something you can’t get from other partners? I’m not trying to pry into your personal motivations, but I need a little direction if we’re to make this a successful engagement.”
“Right.” She shifted on the bench. Told herself she would be paying this man a lot of money a few days from now so she had nothing to be embarrassed about. And surely he’d encountered a lot of stranger things in his line of work. “I want to have sex because I haven’t had it before. Yet.”
Excerpt Option 2:
Ander looked over, his eyes automatically scanning her body in her cashmere tank and pajama pants. But his gaze didn’t linger. He handed Lori an unopened packet. “Dental dams,” he explained. “For oral sex. I don’t have unprotected sex of any kind.”
“Of course. I wouldn’t be using your services otherwise.” She’d never seen a dental dam before so she studied the packet with interest, glad for any sort of distraction from what would be coming next.
“These are the best quality I’ve been able to find. Very thin and the texture is good. It will still be very enjoyable for you.”
She swallowed hard. “Pretty smug about your skills, aren’t you?”
He made a brief choked sound, as if he’d smothered a surprised laugh. Pulling out a tube of lubricant, he carried it with two dam packets and a couple of condoms to the nightstand. “I guess we’ll have to wait and see whether I’m smug or simply realistic.”
His dry response made her giggle a little, and she walked over to join him next to the bed. When she looked from his slick, sexy good-looks to the large bed draped with a fluffy down comforter, her giggle changed to a nervous gurgle.
“You’re in control of this,” Ander said, holding her gaze with a cool expression. “We do whatever you want to do. I can act however you want me to act. Just tell me.”
“I don’t want you to pretend to be romantic or hot for me or anything. I want it to be...be real. I mean, don’t pretend we’re doing anything other than we are.”
“Understood. I can do that. Would you prefer me to stay in my clothes or take them off?” Ander replied smoothly, not appearing to notice her anxiety.
She thought for just a moment but knew the sight of his undoubtedly fine, naked body would be the end of her nerve. “Keep them on.”
She crossed her arms in front of her chest, suddenly conscious of the way her full breasts were outlined in the clinging tank she wore and that her nipples were visibly tight from her arousal. “I’ll keep them on for now,” she said, “Until ...”
He nodded. “Lights?”
“Is there anything else you’d like? Questions or requests?”
He waited patiently, watching her with an oddly quiet look of scrutiny. When she couldn’t manage to get anything said, he asked softly, “What can I do to make you less nervous?”
Excerpt Option 3:
Before Ander came over to join her, he turned off the overhead lights. “Is it all right if we leave the light on in the bathroom? It will still be quite dark, but it might help to have a little more light to work with the vibrator.”
“Sure.” She’d kind of liked the deep darkness of the room last time, but she wasn’t about to argue with what was obviously good sense.
Ander picked up the tube of lubricant and a couple of condom packets from his case before he returned to the bed. “Did you want to lie down?” he asked, putting the vibrator and other stuff on the nightstand and turning off the bedside light.
With a long exhale, Lori pulled up her legs and reclined back on the bed. She’d been doing so well—focusing on anticipation rather than anxiety—but now she was starting to get nervous. She was still aroused, but not so much she stopped thinking about what was about to happen.
“Do you want me to keep my clothes on this evening?” Ander stood, dark and looming, beside the bed.
Since she felt braver today, she replied, “Oh. No. I guess not. You can take them off.”
Ander started unbuttoning his shirt. His motion was slow, almost mesmerizing, as he gradually revealed his bare chest beneath. When he’d untucked the shirt, he let it slide with unhurried ease to the floor. His chest was toned and masculine. She could see the clean contours of muscle development on his abdomen and shoulders, even in the dim light of the room.
He slid his belt out of the loops. He moved naturally, not ostentatiously, but Lori suddenly realized he was giving her a little show.
It was effective. As she watched, her intimate muscles clenched in excitement and jitters rose up in her belly, but she also felt a gurgle of amusement. She had to press her lips together to stifle it.
Who would have thought that Lori Addison would be in the position to get such an elegant striptease from a bald man?
She must not have hidden her reaction well because Ander paused in the midst of unzipping. He arched his eyebrows. “Is something wrong?”
“Oh, no,” she said, keeping her eyes wide and trying not to stare down at what would be revealed when his pants came unzipped. “Everything’s fine. You’re doing an excellent job.”
Ander narrowed his eyes, a little suspiciously, before he let his trousers fall to the floor, revealing black silk boxers and a pair of very fine legs.
“Boxers?” Lori asked, working past the surge of visceral admiration at the sight of his near perfect body. “I was wondering what you wore.”
Ander took off his watch as he replied, “I didn’t know what you’d prefer. Since you’re American, I thought boxers were a better bet.”
Lori blinked up at him. “What do you mean?”
“American women tend to prefer boxers on men. If you were international, I’d have worn briefs. Obviously, once I know a woman’s preference, I accommodate it.”
“American women prefer boxers?”
“I have only my own informal assessment to go by, but, yes, I’d say three-fourths of them do. I try to pay attention.”
“Wow,” Lori breathed. “That’s what I call attention to detail.”
Excerpt Option 4:
Ander was silent for a minute, sitting perfectly still in his chair. Then he cleared his throat. “Did you want to proceed with our engagement tonight?”
She stared at him, wondering what had happened, why he had turned into this poised, detached stranger instead of the Ander she’d known for the last few months. He’d never been emotional or open or vulnerable, but he’d seemed real. In a way he didn’t tonight.
“Well?” he prompted, raising his eyebrows again. “I would have guessed you weren’t in the mood, but maybe my charms are simply too irresistible.”
Then he smiled at her. That smile she couldn’t stand.
“What’s wrong with you?” she snarled, nearly snapping her teeth with frustration.
Ander blinked, the smile fading abruptly. “Excuse me?”
“Why are you acting this way tonight? Totally fake.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Lori. We were having a conversation. Obviously, I behave differently when I talk than I do when I provide other servic—”
“Don’t give me that crap. That’s not what I’m talking about. You’re not acting like yourself. You’re all cold and...and fake.”
“I am myself. This is me.” He met her eyes with a look that was almost a challenge.
“No, it’s not. I mean, this isn’t how you’ve been with me before. And I don’t like it.” She stuck out her chin and glared at him, wishing he’d just break down and get mad at her like a normal person.
“My apologies.” He stood up and picked up his case. “In that case, I’ll just—”
Lori stood up too with a gasp. “I didn’t say you should go. I just wanted you to act like yourself again.”
Ander shook his head and started to walk toward the door, still perfectly polite, perfectly cool. “Obviously, this isn’t what you want anymore. I think it’s best if we just call it off. I wish you the best.”
And then the bastard just walked out the door.
Lori had been expecting an argument. She’d actually kind of wanted an argument—since then at least Ander would have been genuine. She certainly hadn’t expected him to just leave.
She suddenly realized that she didn’t want him to leave. She wasn’t ready for this to end yet.
She went after him, catching him just as he stepped onto the elevator. She made it onto the elevator too before the doors slid shut.
“Why are you leaving?” she demanded, glaring at him heatedly. “You’re acting like a jerk. We were having a conversation. There’s no reason for you to walk out on me.”
He lifted the eyebrows again. “The conversation was going nowhere. I understand that you feel uncomfortable about seeing me when you were with your boyfriend Saturday night. It’s perfectly natural. And you needn’t feel any guilt about discontinuing my services.”
“He’s not my boyfriend,” she snapped, beginning with the most irrelevant of her objections. “And none of that is the point. You’re not acting like yourself. That’s all I wanted.”
“Lori, you’re presuming too much.” He wasn’t looking at her now. He’d pressed the button for the ground floor and was staring at the numbers light up as the elevator started to descend. His voice was still cool and controlled, but his jaw and shoulders had tensed. “We’ve never had a personal relationship.”
Excerpt Option 5:
Finally, he met her eyes again. “Lori, you don’t have to be nice. You pay me for my services.”
She almost sputtered in outrage. “What the hell does that mean? Of course, I have to be nice. You’re a human being, aren’t you? What the fuck did your father do to you to make you think you don’t deserve to be treated with dignity and humanity?”
She hadn’t really meant to voice that last question. Her volatile feelings and confusion got the best of her. But she had voiced it. Almost spit it out in his face.
It finally broke the iron control Ander had been using to rein in his feelings.
He turned on her abruptly, stepping forward, pressing her back against the wall with his intense presence rather than force. “Lori,” he began, his voice thick and low. He planted one hand on the wall next to her head. “I fuck you. You pay me. That’s our arrangement. That doesn’t entitle you to invade my privacy, demand to see the ‘real me,’ or pry into whatever motivations I might have for doing what I do.”
She gulped. She’d never seen him like this before. His blue-gray eyes held hers imprisoned. He was almost pulsing with some sort of intense emotion, and the force of it left her trembling and boneless. “I didn’t mean ...” She had to start over when her voice cracked. “I didn’t mean I wanted you to spill your guts. I just didn’t want you to act so hard and cold. You’re mad at me, and I don’t know why.”
“I’m not mad,” he said again, although his entire body belied his words. He was coiled so tightly he was practically shuddering. His cheeks were slightly flushed, and his eyes had ignited.
Absurdly, Lori felt her body respond. She knew it was entirely inappropriate. They were in the middle of a very bizarre argument, and sex should be the last thing on her mind. But he looked so intense, almost passionate. For once, he seemed to be expressing something real—with his body language if not with his words.
Her inner muscles clenched, and she felt her nipples tighten. Hoped it wasn’t visible through the slinky silk of her camisole.
“You’re sure acting mad,” she snapped back. “You look like you want to rip my head off.”
“Lori.” His voice was even thicker than before, and it ridiculously made her think about sex. He leaned his face toward her and gritted out against her ear, “Lori, give this up. If you want to keep our appointment, we can go back upstairs. But my private thoughts are none of your concern.”
She shuddered. He wasn’t even touching her, but she felt him all over her skin. Blazing with heat and desire, she still managed to hold up her end of the argument. “I told you I don’t want you to spill your guts. Keep your private thoughts to yourself. Just tell me how I made you mad.”
“For the fourth time,” Ander rasped, still speaking into her ear. “I’m not mad.”
She shifted restlessly against the wall, dying for some sort of friction against her skin. Her squirming caused her to brush up against Ander.
She felt something. Something that shocked her so much her mouth fell open. Her lower belly had brushed against the front of Ander’s trousers.
He was hard.
She hired him to take her virginity...but now she wants even more.
Lori might be a popular romance writer, but she's never been anything but a flop with sex and love in her personal life. Still a virgin at twenty-six and increasingly frustrated by her inexperience, she decides to take matters into her own hands. She hires a talented, sexy male escort to take care of her inconvenient virginity.
She assumes one time with Ander will be enough, but she never dreams how much pleasure he can make her feel. Once isn't nearly enough. Twice isn't enough either. Soon, she becomes one of his regular clients.
Lori knows that nothing would be as foolish as falling in love with her paid escort, but she's never been wise with her heart. And, despite his professionalism, he doesn't seem entirely immune either.
Claire has been writing romance novels since she was twelve years old. She has a PhD in British literature and, when she's not writing, she teaches English at the university level.
She also writes contemporary romance under the penname Noelle Adams.
Facebook (as Noelle Adams): https://www.facebook.
Twitter (as Noelle Adams): https://twitter.com/
Prizes - open INTL:
-10 signed copies of Escorted
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