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.She felt that rough beard for the first time, and her mind shut down.He nipped at her ear, and a low moan reverberated from her throat.“Dylan—”His hand gripped her hair, tilting her neck back, and his mouth returned to hers.The slight tug on her scalp had the odd effect of arousing her; the moisture dampening her panties was a clear indication she liked this birthday gift and wanted more.Tongues tangled, and she reveled in his taste, a malty flavor from the beer he’d been drinking.No refined scotch for Dylan, he was rough in ways she hadn’t been exposed to before him.And she loved it, meeting his demanding kisses with more of her own.He turned and pushed her against the wall, his hard body aligning with hers.The thick swell of his erection pressed against her belly, and her knees went weak at the thought of what could come next.He grasped her jaw in one hand and brushed a finger over closed lids.“Open and look at me.”Her eyes fluttered open.Up close, he was even more devastating to look at, pure want and need in his expression.For her.His hand never left her neck as he gazed into her eyes.“Happy birthday, sunshine.” He leaned in and kissed her hard once again.Then he slid a box into her hand, curled her fingers around it tight, and stepped away.She glanced down at the gift, dumbfounded.Her body still tingled in all strategic areas, and her heart was beating a mile a minute.If not for the wall at her back, she would have collapsed to the floor in a heap.But before she could gather her wits, he winked at her.Then he turned and walked away.* * *Dylan’s head spun from that kiss.He’d wanted Olivia for a long time, and this party provided him the perfect opportunity to make it clear things between them were going to change.No more staring at those red-glossed lips and wondering what she tasted like.Now he knew.He ran his finger over his mouth, coming up with sticky gloss, and he grinned.He’d rendered her speechless, not an easy feat.The sexy vixen now knew where he stood.So no more using her job as an excuse either.“It’s difficult being a female in a male-dominated profession.Getting involved with you will make it look like I can’t handle things myself.”He’d called bullshit on that one.Once his assistant, Olivia was now the team’s executive director.She was dedicated to her job in a man’s world and had to work twice as hard to prove herself as her predecessor had.But she never complained.She was smart, intelligent, and everyone in the industry who met her came to both like and respect her.She’d more than proved herself in their world.And given her family’s propensity to mix business with pleasure … yeah.He wasn’t buying her reason.She was scared of something.Fine, that he could deal with.He sure as hell didn’t do well at relationships either.Which didn’t mean he wasn’t about to try one with her.They could be good together, given the chance.They shared a mutual passion for football, something that was rare.Dylan ought to know.He’d had enough women try to distract him from his love of the sport.Added to Olivia’s brains and wit, she had a killer body.She was slender with small curves in all the right places, breasts that were made to be held in his palms.He’d had to hold himself back from taking things in that hallway even further.Her waist was made for him to grip hard, and those legs starred in his most heated fantasies.He was a leg man, and he couldn’t shake the thought of those long limbs wrapped around him as he slid inside her wet heat.Now that he knew her sweet taste and her feminine scent, he craved so much more.He intended to have it too.Dylan headed for the door, only to be stopped by his boss, Olivia’s brother.“I’d like a word,” Ian said.He didn’t want to get into his personal choices with Ian, but he respected the man.So he gave him the time.“What’s up?”Ian glanced around.No one was around to overhear.“I realize I’m in no position to judge relationships in the workplace.”Dylan cocked his head.“And?”“I saw you two in the hallway.” Ian shifted on his feet, clearly uncomfortable with the subject.Dylan had made a scene by pulling Olivia away.He knew Ian was overprotective of his sisters, and since Dylan felt the same way about Callie, his sister, he wouldn’t lose his temper now.But that didn’t mean he was opening a vein for the man either.“I don’t owe you an explanation.”“The hell you don’t.That’s my sister you’re playing with.”Dylan blew out a long breath.“Who said I’m playing?”Ian inclined his head, acknowledging Dylan’s words.He cleared his throat.“My sister is tough on the outside, but she’s … more fragile inside,” he said, clearly considering his words carefully.“Your point?” Dylan asked the other man, not wanting information about Olivia from anyone but her.“Don’t play with her head or her heart.”Dylan inclined his head.“I don’t intend to.”Ian eyed him through his infamous narrowed gaze, assessing him, causing Dylan to straighten his shoulders and meet his stare head on.“We good?” Ian finally asked.“Sure thing.” He and Ian had known one another for a long time.They’d both attended the University of Florida, and Ian had given him a job.They’d run into each other again a few years after graduation.Dylan owed the man, but that didn’t mean he had to put what he wanted on hold.Ian would deal with whatever happened.He had no choice, because Dylan wasn’t backing down.He was going after Olivia.* * *The Monday after her party, Olivia grabbed her coffee from the break room and settled into her office at the stadium.She loved her job.Growing up, she’d always wanted to hang with her older brothers, Ian and Scott, both of whom loved football.Although Scott was now a police officer, he never missed a home Thunder game.And since their father’s brother, Paul, owned the team, Olivia had been exposed to the sport early.And often.When Uncle Paul had left the country to travel with his partner, he’d turned the presidency over to Ian, who he’d groomed for the position.Olivia had graduated college knowing she wanted a position in the front offices.She’d started in PR and moved to travel, learning all she could before being promoted to executive director last year.She loved her job, loved that she worked with some of her family members, and appreciated the players’ dedication to the sport and the team and how hard they worked.Coming into work was never a hardship.She considered herself lucky.Her birthday party had merely reinforced the fact that she was surrounded by people she loved [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]