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Signed, Sealed, Delivered (SYTYCW winner)

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CHAPTER FOUR

No doubt who was calling the shots tonight, then! And it wasn't Adam Quinn.

Was he gaping? Adam thought he must be.

But maybe not, because Lane just kept unbuttoning herself. She managed to get half her buttons undone before Adam could find enough of a voice to say, "Keep your clothes on."

But that stopped her. "Is it a ... a ... turn-off?"

Turn-off? She sounded so uncomfortable saying that. It was in the douchebag vein, he guessed. Weirdly, it cheered him up, that she couldn't say it easily. "Is it a what?" he asked, hoping she'd repeat it.

"I mean, is it unappealing?" she clarified. "When a woman takes the initiative and starts the ... the ... you know ... the ball rolling."

Starts the ball rolling? Adam swallowed a laugh. She was brazen enough to pay a man for sex but couldn"t actually talk about it without sounding like a prude. Ball rolling? It was kind of adorable.

"Well, is it unappealing?" she asked again, a little impatient.

Adam knew exactly what the early stages of arousal felt like, and figured Lane was certainly appealing to something in him, because the half-moon of bra he could see through the slackened opening of her blouse was pushing him into it - and God only knew why, since it was the most utilitarian garment he'd ever seen. Maybe seeing Lane even slightly dishevelled was as forceful as seeing another woman butt naked. Especially coming on top of that kiss earlier, which had been so much hotter than he'd expected it to be.

"I like women who take the initiative," he managed to get out in a fairly normal tone. Lane's shoulders seemed to slump - and yet they didn't actually move. "Then what is it?" she asked, re-buttoning her blouse briskly.

Adam closed the distance between them. "There's just no need to hurry."

"But there is," Lane said, and then winced. "And no - I'm not ordering you to do anything. It's just that I'm giving a presentation on economic indicators in the morning so I have to be in the office early. I can't take all night."

"One of the first things to learn ..." Adam reached out one finger, and ran it smoothly, slowly around the outer rim of her lips. "... is that you don't have to do everything all at once." He moved the tip of his finger so that it circled inwards. "Waiting can be extremely ... exciting. Lesson ... Number ... Two."

Oh God, her lips are soft. He moved his finger again, running it down her chin and in a straight line down to the top of her collar, dipping it just below the stiff white fabric to rest where her clavicle dipped in the centre, at the base of her throat. He had to pause there because his breathing started to get a little erratic. And he was supposed to be the experienced one! Finger still hooked in her blouse, he kissed her widened eyes closed.

He moved back again, but Lane's eyes stayed closed. She was leaning slightly forward, lips parted. Showing him that he was her guide in this, that she was willing to be led. It was as though that uncomfortable scene at the office had never happened. She was smart - she'd had him pegged at the office; she was clearly not a sulker; she was driven - as Sarah had told him. All these things had led her to forgive the embarrassment he'd caused her and move on, and that was pretty damned classy in his books. In short, she was anything but unappealing just then.

Stop now, Adam's brain ordered. But somehow, his finger moved again. And then both hands were moving together. One button ... two ... were skipped though their openings. A third, then a fourth. One more.

Adam watched the rise and fall of her chest. The plain white cotton bra was bared to his gaze, the hint of her surprisingly full breasts visible over the tops of the cups. The freckles meandering down her cleavage were surprising. His finger couldn't seem to help sliding along their path.

*****

Lane's breath caught. His touch was so soft it was almost a whisper against her skin. She could feel a spinning sensation inside her, but didn't know if it was in her head or somewhere else. She wanted to open her eyes, see what he was doing, watch his face, but her eyelids felt so heavy. Her arms felt heavy, too, which had to explain why she was standing there like a rag doll. Even her breasts - especially her breasts - felt heavy, the tips so sensitive she was willing his questing finger to touch her there.

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