DATING A METRO MAN
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Like mother, like daughter? Or will Jenna Ranger give up on love and romance?
Book four of this humorous romantic comedy series continues this popular contemporary romance saga and explores it through a younger generation.
If asked, 30 yr old Seth Carter could not have recounted a single moment since he’d met her that he had not loved the stubborn, self-centered, and admittedly spoiled 28 yr old Jenna Ranger. Jenna admits to having her fair share of faults, but Seth is far from being the perfect man. No rational woman could want to invest in a relationship with someone who so obviously loves his cell phone more than he does her. How can she let herself love someone who chooses his work over everything else?
Jenna would have laughed if the urge to scream hadn’t been so pressing. The feeling of shame about how they had come together grew stronger. It only made her more determined to do whatever it took to rid herself of at least that one negative emotion about this man.
“But I heard—” Seth began, swallowing hard against the lump in his throat, “I heard you crying when I left, while I was standing in the hall.”
“I was angry and resentful of what happened and of how it happened without me being mentally prepared to deal with it,” Jenna told him fiercely. “It took me months to get over you, Seth. I was finally starting to get my old life back. You messed that up by forcibly reminding me of the chemistry between us. I’m still angry about the way you seduced me, and I haven’t forgiven you yet.”
Seth met her gaze, trying to understand, but her logic eluded him. “If you’re still that mad about us having sex, then why are you here?”
“Because—damn it, Seth—I still want you,” Jenna said sadly, but proudly. “I don’t like you. I certainly don’t trust you. I don’t want to stay all night or date you or anything normal that’s supposed to be between two people. This sexual attraction I feel for you pisses me off in ways I can’t begin to explain, but heaven help me, I want you inside me again despite all that. I want you so badly I can barely function for thinking about it all the time.”
Seth ran a hand over his face. It was his worst nightmare come true. Jenna didn’t want to be in his life. But it was also his perfect fantasy that Jenna was aching to be with him.
What did it say about his own self-respect, he wondered, that he was actually thinking that sleeping with her might be enough for him as well? It was barely half of what he truly wanted, but hell—maybe he could at least sleep again.
“So it looks like you and I have the same problem. Are you suggesting we do something to fix it? What exactly do you want from me?” Seth asked carefully. He had to work hard to keep his relief and his rapidly returning excitement from being too obvious.
Jenna kicked a piece of carpet lint with the toe of her leather shoe. She hadn’t thought about what would happen if Seth didn’t throw a fit or throw her out. His quiet question about what she wanted was a surprise to her. Beyond being sexual with him again, she didn’t want anything. How could she ever tell him that without sounding like a heartless bitch?
She looked resentfully at his calm, relaxed stance. Always the businessman, Jenna thought resentfully, watching Seth stand by patiently while she made up her mind. He seemed to be simply waiting to see what kind of deal she wanted to make. Well he was in for a shock.
“I guess I want you to be my damn booty call,” Jenna answered at last. “But that’s all I want from you.”
Jenna thought Seth once again looked like she’d slapped him.
“Your booty call? You mean you want to be involved with me for just sex? Even though you’re still mad at me?” Seth watch ed as Jenna nodded yes. “I have to admit I never saw that offer coming. People don’t usually want sex with partners they hate. So how do you see it working? Did you want me to sign a contract?” Seth finally asked, sarcastic and only half joking.
After Casey practically calling him effeminate, Jenna’s idea about him being only good for sex was at least a small step up for his ego. The biggest trouble Seth was having with the deal was that Jenna had concluded he was good in bed, but not good enough to spend time with out of it. There had to be more to her feelings for him than just sex, Seth thought. He just couldn’t imagine Jenna was that calculating a person or that she had so little faith in love.
“Look at my offer as a business arrangement, Seth. I know how serious you are about your business deals. I want to have sex with you, but nothing else. Could you live with that?” Jenna said. The more she thought about it, the more the idea seemed like a good solution to her. She could get all she wanted of Seth and finally get the man out of her system.
“Give me a minute to think about it,” Seth said.
He turned his back and looked out his patio door. Instead of seeing his courtyard, he ended up watching Jenna bite her lip in the reflection on the glass. The nervous gesture was a dead giveaway that Jenna was not at all sure she wanted what she was asking for, which was reason enough to consider it. Seth figured it’d be a toss up between them as to who got tired of the deal first.
The thing making him hesitate was the thought that maybe he should say no on principle. After all, he was in love with Jenna. He wanted to marry her and make babies with her. He’d told her that. A sex-only relationship was not even in the same ballpark as his other long-term goals for them.
Still it seemed like it might be a way, especially since it was Jenna’s idea and not his, to finish his remaining time-consuming business without offending her with how much time it consumed. Jenna wouldn’t be involved enough in his life to be offended by his need to take a phone call at odd times now and again. But maybe he could use their strictly sexual relationship to keep Jenna bound to him in a much stronger way than merely dating as friends ever would have anyway. A strong physical connection might keep her with him until he was completely free to romance her and convince her to marry him.
And while she was in his bed or he in hers, Seth decided, he would make double-damn-sure Jenna never felt the urge to shop around for better. The thought of not having to compete with any more Allen Stedman types was another damn good reason to do this. But they needed some ground rules so he knew for sure there was only him.
“I won’t share you intimately,” Seth said firmly, working to keep the venom out of his voice. “Casual dating is okay I guess, but if you want to sleep with another man—just call me and say goodbye.”
“Not a problem,” Jenna said. “I don’t do casual sex. You’re the first sex-only relationship that I’ve ever considered. Let’s call our agreement casual, but monogamous.”
Seth nodded, fighting to keep from grinning, and fighting hard not to dash across the room and throw the damn stubborn woman to the floor again. Jenna had just confessed to wanting only him, but he sure as hell wasn’t going to point that out to her at the moment.
“If either one of us wants out of the deal, what then?” Seth asked, when he could trust himself not to smile like an idiot.
“No harm. No foul.” Jenna crossed her chest as she spoke. “I think that’s only fair.”
“Fine. Since I still want you too—and badly—I can’t see not accepting this deal,” Seth said, walking across the floor to her, stopping only when they were toe to toe.
“Should I expect a call for sex soon?” Seth asked, hoping the elation wasn’t showing so much that he’d scare her away. If Jenna thought he was hard for her last time, the woman was in for an even bigger shock next time around. He’d have to be careful since she had confessed to it hurting before.
Jenna bit her lip, wondering if she dare tell him what she wanted. Again, Seth just seemed to be waiting on her. It was just sex, she reminded herself, and the nature of this type relationship was to just ask—anytime.
“How about now?”
The question barely made it out of her mouth, before Seth had his lips searing hers again with the heat she’d been dreaming about for days. Her arms came up to help her wrap herself around him. He felt so damn good. The tension inside her unwound as she groaned his name.
“Take a shower with me,” Seth demanded against her mouth as he broke for air. “I need one, and then I need you.”
Seth pulled the purse off her shoulder with one hand and pulled off the jacket she was wearing with the other. He tossed both on a nearby chair.
When his cell phone rang, they both froze, staring at each other.
“Take it,” Jenna said, lifting her chin. “It doesn’t matter. I’m staying. I need this.”
Seth clamped a hand around her wrist to be sure she couldn’t leave and dragged her with him to the phone on the end table. Japan, he saw, looking at phone, and then at the clock. Damn it. He had to take the call. He had specifically asked them to call at this time.
“Take it,” Jenna said again, not believing the words coming out of her mouth. She was determined never to get upset over a simple phone call again. That was over. No more hurt feelings. “Take the damn call, and then I want you to—”
Seth closed his mouth hard over Jenna’s, his tongue dancing against hers before she could say words that would make him forget the call entirely. He wanted to be with her now. It was almost as bad as the first time. The last thing in the world he wanted to do was deal with a business call.
He was going to fix that next.
When Seth broke the kiss, he stared hard at Jenna, contemplating his options. She nodded hard to reassure him she meant what she said. Finally, Seth answered the call, speaking Japanese to the person on the line.
Jenna put her hand on Seth’s chest, felt his heart pounding beneath it. The harsh sounding language rolled through him as he spoke, vibrating powerfully through his chest muscles, which were tightening and bunching under her hands. Jenna’s thoughts floated in a lust-filled dreamlike state. At least she had something interesting to do this time while Seth took a business call, she thought wildly, letting her free hand roam. Seth still had a death-grip on the other wrist and showed no signs of being willing to release his hold.
Jenna let her roaming hand find its way down and across a flat stomach, and then even farther, exploring new territory. She was barely able to refrain from touching what she wanted to explore, but knew it would destroy his ability to talk on the phone. Seth was already breathing hard. It made her giggle. She wanted to tease him and ask him if he always became short of breath when he spoke Japanese. But that was too friendly a comment to make, and she wouldn’t want him to think she was jealous or cared about his business.
Seth watched Jenna exploring his body, and then heard her wicked giggle. He would definitely never take a phone call on the way to bed with her again. There was no cutting short the cultural courtesies that were expected in the call. But damn it, Seth thought, sighing at the heaven her hands were on his body. He wanted her. A ragged sigh spoke volumes about the twisted emotional state Seth was in.
Jenna understood. With her hands on him, she was so tuned to Seth, that she knew instantly when she had pushed him to the edge of their teasing. Tugging Seth by the wrist he still held of hers, Jenna pulled him down to the couch, and did what she hoped would ease the situation slightly for both of them. She crawled into his lap and put her face against his throat while he talked. Seth let go of her wrist to put his arm around her and hold her close.
Stupid, Seth thought. So stupid that he had not been intimate with this woman before. He had been so very, very stupid to not celebrate all the passion between them. Some twenty minutes later he hung up the phone only to find that Jenna was fast asleep in his arms. Evidently, he hadn’t been the only one not sleeping. He wrapped his other arm around her and turned them both until they were lying together on his thankfully large couch.
Jenna wouldn’t like this, Seth knew, enjoying the sensation of holding her sleeping body. She also wouldn’t like knowing that he wanted this intimacy as much as he wanted to be inside her. Lust still was on him, but love for her had him cradling Jenna in his arms and sighing in contentment. He couldn’t believe that a mere hour ago he thought he’d never speak to her again, and now he held her.
He loved Jenna Ranger, would probably always love her. It was the last conscious thought Seth had before he fell peacefully asleep as well, relieved to have Jenna in his arms at last.
What a fascinating author! McDonald’s not only broken the mold, she’s completely shattered it with her tales of mature love. Her books are heartwarming, encouraging, and every woman should read this series! ~ JM Madden, author of Wet Dream, Second Time Around, The Awakening Society, A Needful Heart, and Urban Moon
SERIES: NEVER TOO LATE, BOOK FOUR
PUBLISHER: CREATESPACE PUBLISHING
FORMAT: TRADE PAPERBACK & EBOOK
LENGTH: 246 PAGES
RELEASE DATE (PRINT): JUNE 28, 2011
E-BOOK ISBN: 978-1-939988-04-1
PRINT ISBN-13: 978-1-466207-26-4