One Thing Leads to Another
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by Sheri Gilmore
Category: Erotica/BDSM Erotica/Romance
Description: Genre: BDSM Contemporary
When accountant Rose Daniels discovers she has to "learn the tricks of the trade" to claim her inheritance, she can't wait to explore sex in all the ways she's always craved, but never been allowed.
Hot as hell, Nathan Graham knows exactly what kind of tricks he wants to teach his new partner. He's just hoping that each lesson in sex frightens her enough that it won't lead to another lesson. But, Rose is a more willing student than he'd bargained for. The more she knows, the more he has to turn up the kink in hopes that her trepidations will keep her alive and out of the hands of a murderer and get him what he wants--full ownership of the best little whorehouse in the state of Nevada.
Publisher's Note: This book was originally released in November 2004 by Loose Id, and the content is unchanged from the original e-book with the exception of the cover art. It contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: BDSM theme and elements, f/f sexual interaction, menage (f/f/m).
eBook Publisher: Loose Id, LLC, 2004
eBookwise Release Date: June 2011
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [193 KB]
Reading time: 122-171 min.
"Ms. Daniels, can you tell me where you were the night of the murder?"
Rose Daniels turned to the man, who had appeared at the grave site after mourners had started to leave. He had to be a reporter from the looks of him. She felt her lips tighten in frustration. First the cops, now the reporters. She rubbed her forehead. The headache, which had started early this morning, throbbed with increased intensity. With a sigh she pushed around the reporter and headed for the limo.
"How do you feel being the co-owner of the whorehouse your late boyfriend left you?"
"Damn!" A male voice over her right shoulder echoed in her ear.
"How about the killer's poem, Ms. Daniels? Any comment?"
The male voice muttered another oath.
"What?" Rose asked, not sure she'd heard the reporter correctly over the outburst and the noise from the retreating crowd, which had surrounded her at Allen's graveside. They were moving off, but a few turned to linger when they heard the reporter's questions, then the other man's expletives. She glanced over her shoulder at a tall male figure. He stood behind her to the right, glaring at the reporter.
Nathan Graham. She knew he'd been Allen's right-hand man, but that still didn't make his being here at the funeral any less reassuring. He'd always made her feel both restless and reckless at the same time. Not a good combination for a calm, composed accountant.
"Did you know about the contents of Allen's will?" she asked, and watched a red tinge spread over Nathan's tanned complexion.
"I thought I did." He crossed over to the reporter and stopped within an inch of the other man's face.
A ripple of fear and something else raced through her at the raw intimidation oozing from Nathan. His presence tripped some unknown testosterone meter deep within her that she never knew she possessed. She glanced back at the reporter.
Rose had to be impressed. Nathan's six-foot-four frame topped the reporter's by at least four or five inches, but the man stood his ground and met Nathan's glare without a flicker of an eyelid. Oh, God, he's going to be mincemeat in a second if he doesn't back down. She moved forward and touched Nathan's arm.
"Nathan, please, not now." She tipped her head toward the retreating crowd.
Steely muscles flexed beneath her hand, and she felt the familiar twinge in her clit whenever they came into close physical contact. Rose shook her head to ward off the inappropriate response of her body. She had moved in with Allen only seventy-two hours before he had been found murdered in the office of their penthouse suite. She'd spent the last three days answering police questions and avoiding the press.
Nathan turned to her.
She felt his intense gaze through the black sunglasses. She tried to ignore the tingle of excitement his presence elicited from her. Since meeting him, she'd dreamed of his eyes, his mouth...God, his body...every night for six months. She bit her lip to stifle a groan of pure need. Not once had Allen's manager indicated any interest in her. And how could she be thinking of him sexually when her best friend had just been buried only minutes earlier?
Hell, he'd barely acknowledged her existence whenever she'd been in his presence. He would look at her with his gold-green eyes, nod, then continue with his business. When they were through reviewing contracts and other papers, he would leave with another nod in her direction. Now Allen was dead, and this reporter had mentioned the stalker and indicated she was co-owner of a...
"Did you say whorehouse?" she asked. She didn't want to discuss the threatening letters and phone calls with this man. She closed her eyes, not quite believing Allen was dead. Apparently the bluff hadn't worked the way they'd planned.
She opened her eyes and saw the reporter quickly hide a smirk from Nathan before he answered. He gave her a curt nod and moved closer. "Yes, Ms. Daniels." He held out his hand, and Rose shook it. "I'm Mike Townsend. I freelance for several of the major publications in the area."
"Yes, I've read some of your articles. You're good, Mr. Townsend."
Rose noted a gleam of pleasure in the man's eyes, but he didn't puff out his chest like Allen would have. Her late friend had thrived on publicity and constant mayhem.
She glanced at Nathan, who stood with tattooed arms folded across a wide chest. Narrow hips tapered down to long, lean legs encased in black jeans. A glint of gold caught her eye, and her gaze moved up to linger on the small, gold hoop earrings in each of his earlobes. In his late twenties, he represented something rugged and wild as sin. She wanted him, but at thirty-eight, she knew he would be one fantasy she couldn't have. She'd wasted enough of her life on domineering, arrogant men. Besides--she looked at his face--he was too young.
Her mouth went dry when a scene from her favorite daydream flashed through her memories. The discomfort in her lower abdomen increased to the point she needed a quick fix, but she knew masturbation wouldn't erase this man's impression from her mind when he oozed sex like hot, thick molasses. Rose cleared her throat and focused on Mike Townsend.
"Please"--she looked around at the near empty cemetery--"tell me what you were talking about a minute ago."
"I think you need to hear this from your attorney, Rose." Nathan's deep voice sounded husky and dark. "But, I'd like to know about this...poem?"
Like naked skin sliding over black silk. Rose looked around, scared someone could hear her thoughts. Rose felt another heat wave spread over her, but this time the blush settled in the crotch of her pantyhose. She shifted her hips in the confines of her skirt, but the tight material did little to ease her discomfort. She glanced up and stopped her movements.
He'd removed his sunglasses, and his gold-green eyes watched her every move. With his blond hair and tawny skin, he looked like a lion or tiger, about to pounce.
"I-It's nothing Nathan."
Mike Townsend cleared his throat, and Rose turned back to him, trying to ignore the sexual pull of the man behind her.
"Aren't you concerned about the killer being a possible stalker?"
"No!" She hesitated and glanced at Nathan, hoping he hadn't heard the question. "I mean, the police already know about the poem, Mr. Townsend. They're looking into any enemies Allen may have had."
"What about your enemies?"
She didn't like the frown on the reporter's face and feared he'd continue to pry into something she didn't have the strength to discuss at the moment. Her back to Nathan she let her eyes plead with the man to drop the subject. When he shrugged, she felt some of her tension leave her shoulders.
"According to my sources, Mr. Richard's estate is tied up in an investment he made several years ago." He flipped his notepad open and studied the contents. "That being the case, if you follow certain stipulations he has made, you will be a very wealthy woman--"
A loud thump sounded behind her like someone slammed their fist into a wall followed by a threatening voice. "How the hell do you know all this?"
Rose flinched, but ignored the distraction. She focused on Mr. Townsend's words. So far, she didn't know what Allen's will contained, but she had no intention of discussing the terms with this man. Nathan might think her naive, but she did have some sense of business. "I don't know about Allen's will, Mr. Townsend, but I don't intend discussing it with anyone until I've spoken to my lawyer."
"Are you worried about having to share your inheritance with others, since your...association...was so short?"
They don't have to know we didn't sleep together.
"I assume you're speaking of Allen's ex-wives?"
"Not necessarily, but what type of allowances do you think Mr. Richard would give his first three wives?"
"Did they know what kind of business their husband owned?"
"You can bet your sweet ass they knew." The words were an angry snarl in her right ear, and Rose jumped at Nathan's nearness.
That's it. I've had enough. She turned to him. Even though Allen had insinuated she might be interested in dating the man, she'd declined. Not because she didn't find Nathan attractive, but, because he made her feel out of control. Something she refused to allow since she'd left her overbearing ex-husband and tyrant father.
Besides, she didn't believe in casual sex. It didn't matter what her secret fantasies might be, she would never act on them, especially with a man who had a different girlfriend on his arm every week. Would she? And yet, his sudden protective streak confused her.
"Excuse me, but why are you still here? I thought being Allen's business manager, you would be out taking care of "--she waved her hand in the air--"business."
"Lady, you just became my business." Green eyes narrowed on her, and he looked her up and down with a slow and thorough perusal. When his gaze reached her breasts, her nipples hardened, and he smiled a lopsided grin.
"Let's just say I'm an...interested party."
Her reaction had been pure instinct; she felt a flush spread up her neck to the roots of her hair. He had mentally stripped her of every piece of clothing she wore in three seconds flat. She wanted to cover her breasts but resisted the urge. Instead, she raised her chin and stared at him.
"Interested in what, exactly?"
"Meooow." His eyebrows rose and he laughed. "You were always so polite and demure whenever I saw you with Allen. I always wondered what you'd be like...aroused."
Rose's hand moved to her blouse, but faltered. She would add fuel to the fire if she fanned herself. She looked away from his body to study his face. Not handsome, but chiseled and lean with grooves etched on either side of his mouth, like he smiled a lot. Women would be all over him.
She sniffed at the thought and had to bite back a groan. Up close and personal, his scent assailed her nostrils--all male with a hint of some kind of spruce cologne.
She had never believed in instant attraction. Rose swallowed against the unwanted sexual awareness she felt toward him ever since she'd met him six months ago. He might be a lot younger, but she recognized him as a man with years more worldly experience than she had.
Her palms were sweaty, but she didn't dare wipe them on her dress. He'll know I'm attracted to him. "Nathan--"
The reporter smiled and nodded. "Oh, so you're Nathan Graham. Allen Richard's star protege, and Ms. Daniel's--"
"New partner," Nathan said.
"My what?" Rose jerked her head toward Mike Townsend, then back to Nathan.
A large hand with long fingers and a grip of steel took hers. She tried to break his hold, but Nathan wouldn't let go. Whenever she pulled back, he exerted enough pressure to pull her forward a few steps. The heat of his body radiated through the silk of her blouse, and his unique scent smothered her. A dizzy haze crossed her vision, as a cold sweat peppered her forehead. She grabbed his arm for support and felt corded muscles flex beneath her fingers.
Rose looked up to find his hungry gaze narrowed on her. She shook her head. "I don't understand what's going on."
That makes two of us, babe. Nathan wanted to hit something. Five years of his life down the drain. Shit! He could have killed Allen if the man wasn't already dead. The bastard had promised him the business when he died.
Nathan looked at the tiny hand on his arm and wondered what this woman could have done to his friend to make him leave her half of his business assets. He'd met her a few months ago when Allen had brought her to the main office. Allen had indicated they were special friends. Nathan had felt his eyebrow rise and had held back a snort. Right. He should have guessed what that meant. But--he let his gaze travel over her blonde, curly hair and pert nose--she didn't look like a hustler.
Her skin held a gray color, and she looked like she would pass out any second. Nathan frowned. She wasn't Allen's usual type, but for an older woman, she wasn't bad-looking. Hell--who was he kidding--she's gorgeous. Even with his eyes closed he could picture her petite figure with its sexy curves. Her blue eyes begged a man to jump in and drown. He'd done a double-take the first time they'd met.
Humph, go figure. Maybe the old coot had fallen in love and, in a span of three days, blown everything Nathan had worked for.
At that moment, Rose swayed toward him, as if her knees had given way. He couldn't say if the move was an accident or not, but on reflex he caught her weight in his arms. With a grunt he lifted her up, one hand under her bottom and one under her back. His hand moved over the swell of her hip.
Hmm, nice ass. He ground his teeth together. Dammit. His plans were in the shitter, and here he was groping the ass of his new...partner.
"What are you gonna do with her?" Townsend asked.
Nathan gave him a look he hoped said go to hell. The man was a pain in his ass, coming here and pouncing on Rose with news she...correction, they...should've heard from Allen's lawyer.
"Oh, I don't know, maybe lay her on the ground?"
"Right." The other man moved to take his jacket off and spread it across the smooth grass. Nathan wondered what kind of story Mike Townsend really wanted. He remembered Townsend mentioning a stalker.
"What's this about a poem?"
"You don't know?"
"News to me." Nathan took a few steps and laid Rose down as easily as he could. She weighed less than a feather, but his back hurt like a mother. He'd spent hours trying to "console" the girls over Allen's death. He arched his back and heard his spine pop, then he let his gaze travel over her petite form. Wonder what she's gonna think about Allen's girls?
She moaned and eased onto her side. Her skirt rode up her thighs and exposed pale, creamy skin through the nylon of her pantyhose. Another turn onto her back and the edge of her skirt shifted to tease him with a glimpse of a dark shadowy patch between her thighs.
Waste. With legs and skin like hers, she needed thigh highs attached to a wisp of a black garter belt to leave her open and free for...His dick rose against the zipper of his pants. He turned his back on her, but couldn't stop wondering what color pussy hair she had. Nathan shook his head.
"Well, Townsend, what's the deal?" He faced the reporter and fought a surge of anger at the other man's gaze traveling over Rose.
"Do you think she's okay? Shouldn't we call an ambulance?"
Nathan didn't look back at the blonde goddess stretched out on the grass. "No, she just fainted. Probably the...shock...over Allen's sudden death and finding out she's an heiress." Right. She's probably in shock over the fact she's got to share half of the pie with him.
Nathan had no illusions when it came to women. In the world he'd grown up and now lived in, the women were hard and money-hungry. He looked at Rose for a second and focused on the rise and fall of pert breasts through the outline of her silk blouse. He couldn't classify her in quite the same category as Lila and the other girls who worked for him. He clenched his jaw and fought the pull of attraction for his late boss's girlfriend He'd sworn off older women years ago when he met Allen and had made enough money not to starve to death.
Oh, he still found them attractive, but these days he did the choosing. He chose the time, the place, and the women he wanted to bed. And, more often than not, he chose younger women, who didn't make him lose control like he'd done when he'd been younger and hungry. Hungry for food. He looked at Rose. Hungry for love. Back then, he'd done anything to please them in hopes they'd love him enough to take him home with them.
His jaw tightened. He had to remember the major difference between Rose and his girls lay in the fact she convinced poor, rich bastards like Allen to leave her expensive gifts before she put out. What else could it have been? Look at how Allen had left her half the business after he'd promised Nathan everything.
He watched Rose shift on the soft grass, and her blouse opened to reveal a hint of the curve of her breast. Nathan felt the familiar twinge in his groin. Shit. This situation had just become complicated. He rubbed a hand over his face. He wanted her. He'd known that six months ago. After Allen had asked him if he might be interested in dating Rose and he'd declined. He had been too afraid that what he felt when he was around her resembled the need he had experienced when he'd been a teenager. He had no intention of going backward in time.
Allen had been disappointed, but that hadn't stopped the old man from taking her to live with him in his penthouse. The unexpected move had hinted Rose was "off limits," and Nathan had tried hard to rein in his libido whenever he happened to be around her. That had rankled, but Nathan had respected Allen. If the old man had decided he wanted her, then Nathan would have to live with it. So he'd buried his desire and done his job, trying to ignore her whenever she came by the main office.
"Did you know about your new partnership?" Townsend asked.
Nathan shrugged. "You know, 'Q&A' works two ways."
He hesitated long enough for the reporter to catch his meaning. When Townsend nodded, he decided to give the reporter a little information. He didn't want to, but Nathan needed to know more about this stalker. If he found the person responsible for his mentor's death, he'd personally kill him. Taking a deep breath he answered Townsend's question.
"The lawyer called me this morning and told me to come by this afternoon to discuss the will." He snorted. "I thought the business was mine until a few minutes ago, but I guess Allen changed his mind."
"How much do you think her share of the business will be?"
"Well, that's hard to say. The type of...um...assets that Allen dealt in are hard to put a price tag on."
"Uh huh, I bet."
Nathan shook out a cigarette and put the butt in his mouth. He patted his jeans pocket for his lighter, but couldn't find one. With an irritated sound he jerked the cigarette from his lips, and threw the whole pack across the grounds. He forgot he'd made a decision to quit.
"Any chance you could hazard me a guess?" Mike Townsend scratched his head. "I mean, you are in the business, so to speak."
Nathan narrowed his gaze against a stab of jealousy. "Just trying to sniff a story, Townsend, or thinking of making a move on the heiress?"
The reporter's face turned beet red. He stabbed a finger in Nathan's direction. "I happen to be a damned good reporter, Graham, and this lady is going to be big news before all of this is over."
Nathan stiffened. "What's over?" He stepped closer to the other man. "Give, Townsend."
Townsend hesitated, then shrugged. "Nothin', just instinct, but there was a note connected to the knife sticking out of Richard's back."
"And, the poem contained Rose Daniels' name."
Nathan suspected the slime knew something, but didn't look like he wanted to share the information. He'd play ball with him and see how far he'd get.
He rattled off a few numbers and calculated them out loud. "Well, counting the fact that the business is open every night of the week, I'd say...ten girls at twelve-hundred a night for seven nights...over fifty-two weeks...that's about--"
"Four million three-hundred sixty-eight thousand dollars a year!"
Nathan turned at the same time Townsend did toward the sound of a high-pitched feminine voice. He thought he'd come on the spot at the sight of Rose Daniels in a disheveled state.
Sweet Jesus. Nathan gripped the edge of a tombstone in an attempt to ease the throb in his balls. Sweat broke across his upper lip, and he felt a vein in his temple pound in beat with his fierce pulse, which shifted through various parts of his anatomy. No wonder Allen had scooped the woman up. If he couldn't hurry up and get her into his bed, he might have to resort to more desperate measures, like marriage.
The clip she'd used to capture her curls with had broken, and blonde hair cascaded around her shoulders. Two buttons of her silk blouse had pulled apart to reveal a black push-up bra. Any red-blooded man within one hundred feet would be enticed by the ample cleavage exposed. The combined sight of her skirt, still hiked up around her hips, and her black spiked heels, tapping against the grass, resembled that of an angry dominatrix.
Wrong! The throb eased to a dull ache. He might have a roll in the proverbial haystack with her, but he would never go anywhere near an altar to say I do. He may have made a post-mortem promise to Allen that he'd watch out for Rose, but the word "commitment" and Nathan Graham had decided against each other years ago.