He was never part of her plan.
Declan Murphy has just made his big career move, going from little-known European cinema to Hollywood blockbuster awards-bait in the blink of an eye. One actor’s highly public arrest for possession of narcotics is another actor’s lucky break, right? Declan’s eye is on the prize, and no one will keep him from proving to the producers that he’s a consummate industry professional.
No one, that is, except Fiona O’Brien. After a time in the spotlight that nearly destroyed her, Fiona wants nothing more than to fade into the background and do her job as part of the studio’s hair-and-makeup team. The last thing she needs is a hotshot actor with a panty-melting Irish accent and killer smile messing up her careful plans.
There’s nothing careful about the immediate attraction between Declan and Fiona, and soon that initial spark of lust is sizzling out of control. But when things get complicated behind the scenes, they’ll have to decide if their movie magic should stay on set…or if their love can survive away from the silver screen.
The desire that had burned into his bones on the dance floor now knotted his stomach as his gaze slowly, slowly traveled from the tips of her toes—painted a glossy Smurf blue—up sleek calves so smooth they gleamed in the faint glow from the overhead light stretched across the alley. That floaty green skirt he couldn’t take his eyes off of inside the cantina flirted a good six inches above her knees, brushing over the supple curve of strong, feminine thighs, and he wanted to touch her. God, he wanted to feel her flex under his palms, nothing but hot skin and hotter woman as she wrapped those legs around his waist and let him shove her back against the rough brick. Let him thrust into her, all while those pretty thighs clutched him closer.
As if she’d heard his naughty thoughts, she smiled, a subtle quirk of full lips that were usually stern whenever he was in the vicinity. Leaning her bare shoulders against the wall, she lifted a sandal-clad foot to rest on the brick behind her, and the skirt shifted. Lifted. Fell away until most of one lovely thigh and the beckoning inside of the other snared his unswerving attention—a provocative pose.
Declan scrubbed a hand over his mouth and stared. He was being rude—worse, he was being obvious, but he couldn’t help it. Her body called to him, stirring recognition at a gut-deep level and whispering, I’ll fit. Against you, atop you, beneath you. The itch in his fingertips was in no way relieved as they scraped over his bristled jaw. “I like how you move, darlin’.”
She plucked at the gauzy fabric of her top. “Most men do.”
His eyes met hers, the translucent gray piercing even in the alley’s lengthening shadows. “You weren’t dancing in there for most men.” He stepped forward until his knees brushed her leg, angled out from the wall. “You did that for me.”
“Wrong. I did that for me.” But her hands reached out to fist in the thin cotton of his tee shirt. Her knuckles brushed over his abdomen, and he sucked in a breath. “You’ll know it when I dance for you, Mr. Murphy.”
When. When she danced for him—not if. He didn’t even have to close his eyes to imagine her thumbs hooking around the thin straps of her creamy top, sliding those straps over the caps of her shoulders with a gentle tug. Her torso would twist as it had earlier, pulsing to the beat provided by the salsa band. A swish of her hips, the skirt flicking around those sublime thighs as she twirled. “I want that,” he murmured, studying her face for clues that he was being too aggressive—because he certainly felt aggressive, more than he’d ever been with a woman. “What do I have to do to see that dance?”
Eyebrow arching, she lifted her chin, and there was a glimpse of the familiar Fiona, the aloof woman whose face was the first he saw on set each morning, and the last he saw each night. “See it?” Her fists relaxed, fingertips petting the ridges of lean muscle hiding beneath his shirt until he wanted to purr. To pounce. “You have to earn it first.”
“Oh, I’ll earn it.” The air between them thickened as he planted his palms on the wall on either side of her head and sidled closer. His leg nudged her bent knee aside, making a place for his hips in the cradle of hers, but he didn’t lean into her. Keeping the heavy ache of his erection away from the heat of her welcoming body was imperative—if he touched her like that, he’d lose any chance he had of keeping this encounter flirtatious. His need would yank them both into the dark yearning that kept prodding at his chest every time he saw her.
It wasn’t smart. Kissing her wasn’t smart—Rick knew it, Fiona knew it, and the Declan who knew that his career and not a woman should be his priority knew it. If he messed this up—
A hint of salt and salsa at the corner of her mouth, the sweet tang of lime margarita when he dipped his tongue past full, giving lips. More tentative than he’d anticipated, she let him lead the kiss, and a curious ache bloomed high in his chest. For all that she moved like wild sex on the dance floor, in the moment of their first kiss, Fiona seemed almost shy.
It gentled the harsh edge of his lust. Without thought, he stepped into her, dropping one hand from the wall to cup her cheek, flushed and warm. He stroked his thumb over the high curve of one cheekbone. Her lashes fluttered closed as he angled her head, nipping playfully at her lower lip. “You taste like you dance.”
“What does that mean?” She let go of his shirt to loop her arms around his neck, holding him closer. Holding him to her.
The simple action soothed that unnamed ache. “Hot. You’re so damn hot.”
2013, 2016 © by Edie Harris