Sinful Desire - Lauren Blakely

Chapter One

The light was playing tricks on him.

The golden haze of the late afternoon sun, and its halo glow, was some kind of illusion. No way, no how, was it possible for anyone to be so gorgeous that she actually shimmered.

Mirage was the more plausible explanation for the platinum blonde stepping out of the Aston Martin at three o’clock in the afternoon on a Thursday in July, looking as if she belonged in a gangster movie. She was the woman they all fought over. The woman who brought the men to their knees.

From the pinup dress, to the pouty lips, to the gleaming car that stretched a city block—or so it seemed—she was…

Glamorous. Sultry. Voluptuous.

Ryan’s fantasy woman.

No question about it.

This was lust at first sight. Pure, unadulterated lust knocking around in his chest and threatening to make matters in his charcoal gray slacks harder than he needed them to be right now.

But he was willing to deal with that problem because the woman could not be ignored. A groan rolled around in his throat as he stared shamelessly over the top of his aviator shades. He walked along the palm-tree lined sidewalk that framed police headquarters, cycling through his best opening lines, even though he had a hunch a woman like that—a woman who wore a black dress with a cherry pattern and bright white sunglasses—had heard them all. Busty and bold enough to pull up to Vegas’s municipal building at midday looking like sin come to life, this woman wasn’t going to be wooed by lines or a standard come-here often?

With one hand on the car door, she glanced to the left, away from him, and pushed her sunglasses on top of her hair. In her other hand, she held a phone, a notepad, and a pen. She bumped her rear against the car door, shutting it with her ass.

What a lucky car door.

He half wished she’d drop the pen, just so he could swoop in and pick it up. Bend down, grab it before it rattled to the street, and gallantly present it.

Then he’d get her number with that pen. She’d be the type to push up the cuff of his shirtsleeve and write it on his arm.

He scoffed at himself. As if that would work. But something had to, because the clock was ticking, and he was ten feet from this heavenly vision. Checking his watch, he saw he had two minutes to spare before he met with the detective. He could do this. He could meet her in 120 seconds.

The sun pelted its hot desert rays at him, radiating off the sidewalks, as he ran a hand along his green tie and cleared his throat. She looked up from her phone, and instantly they locked eyes. Hers were blue like the sea. As she caught his gaze, she arched an eyebrow.

This was it. No time for lines. Just fucking talk to the gorgeous creature. “Seems I’ve been caught staring,” he said as he reached her, claiming a patch of concrete real estate a foot away.

“I’m afraid I’m guilty on that count, too,” she fired back, her voice laced with a torch-singer sultriness, her words telling him to keep going.

She had the pen in her hand and she twirled it once absently.

He tipped his forehead toward it. “Incidentally, I’m astonishingly good at picking up pens that beautiful women drop outside our fine city’s government buildings.”

Her lips twitched. Red. Cherry red and full. He wanted to know what they tasted like. How they felt. What she liked to do with them.

She brought the pen to her lips, danced it between them, raised her eyebrows in an invitation, and then let it drop. It clattered to the sidewalk. “Is that so?”

The pen was like a promise. Of something more. Of flirting, and then flirting back. Of phone numbers to follow. And then some. Oh yeah, so much and then some.

“That is so,” he said in a firm voice, bending down to pick up the writing implement, just as Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ crooned from her phone. He rose, and she was tapping her screen, sliding her thumb across it.

“Must answer this. But thank you so much for the pen. By the way, I like your tie.” She reached out to trail a finger down the silky fabric, her hand terribly close to his chest. Then she held up that finger, asking him to wait.

“So good to hear from you,” she said into the phone, keeping her eyes on