Exclusive Excerpt
Playing With Fire

Playing with Fire by Kate Meader

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Alex had fantasized about Eli, not just because he had kissed her in that closet, but long before that. Even when he was a jerk, it fueled her fantasies, because it was deliciously sinful. Taboo. A man she despised who got her engine running unlike any man she had ever liked.

So the fact that she now liked him, maybe 5 percent more than she had six hours ago, should have ruined the forbidden fruit thrill, but it did not. Her feelings for him were a clash of discordant sounds: he was the jackass who disrespected her, but now he was also the boy who’d endured so much, the man whose life she saved, the god she needed between her thighs. Such complexity, and it only heightened every sensation, layering one on top of another until she could barely breathe for wanting him.

He was an evil fucking genius. And he was kissing her mouth, her jaw, her earlobes.

“Eli,” she whispered as he fed hot kisses down her throat.

“Tell me to stop.”

Hell no. She shaped her hands to his broad back and pulled him closer, giving him her answer. The reason behind his attentiveness to her parka-removal needs earlier was now clear—he’d been practicing to bring out his big game later. Rather efficiently, her coat was slipped off her shoulders, her scarf was unwrapped, and then the zipper of her hoodie was inched down.

Skillz. He had them.

He hesitated, and the moment terrified her with all its weighted uncertainty, but all he said was, “Pink.”

Her favorite color—no, the irony didn’t escape her—and the hue of her bra.

In record time, that pesky bra was unhooked with astonishing ease and her breasts were lacking in considerable support. Until they were cupped in Eli’s very supportive hands. He pushed one strap off her shoulder, then the other, and exposed her completely to him. She felt his gaze, its sensuous weight on her skin.

“Beautiful,” he murmured. “You’re so damn beautiful, Alexandra.”

Alexandra. Before she had chosen to see his use of her full name as a chauvinistic reminder that she was a woman doing a man’s job. But she realized now how wrong she had been. Eli called her that because no one else did. Because he saw her like no one else could.

The out it provided felt liberating. She could be this new person with him, ceding control to his demanding desires. Let him tame her. Dominate her.

Own her.

He kissed the hollow of her throat, the line of her collarbone, and oh!—the pleasure that rocketed through her veins when his mouth latched on to her peaked nipple took her off guard. Everywhere, she felt it. In her breasts and her belly. In her legs and her pussy. A tightening want that built with each soul-deep suckle. While his mouth drove her to the edge, his other hand palmed her ass, holding her core against his erection. Locking her into this prison of pleasure.

Throw away the damn key.

He unhinged his mouth long enough to rumble, “Get your other tit ready for me.”


“You heard me.”

Moisture pooled between her thighs, his demand going straight to her clit. So bossy. So hot. Apparently satisfied he would be obeyed, he returned to lavishing attention on only one breast. It was crazily arousing that she could be so sensitive there, every nerve ending primed to ignite. That she could be this close—

To coming. Oh, God, she was going to come and he hadn’t even moved below her waist. Lost in a fever dream of Eli’s making, she cupped the breast not attached to his mouth and plumped it, stoking the fires of lust, loving how her fingers felt against her ruched nipples.

She was offering her aching breast to Eli Cooper like it was a rich, decadent dessert.

“You taste so fucking good,” he panted, his breath hot against her damp, tender peak. “I knew you would. I knew.”

“Please. Oh, God, Eli, please.” And then he accepted the sensitive flesh she fed him on a heartfelt groan, as if it were water after forty days in the desert. Her orgasm hovered on that sweet edge, tottered, and as Eli changed up his hungry suckle with a scrape of his teeth across her abraded nipple, crashed over. She screamed her release while her body rocked against him in jerky throes, and then went completely still.

After several taut moments, he raised his head. “Did you just—?”

“Yes,” she gasped, annoyed with him for asking, but mostly with herself for being a complete embarrassment. What the hell was wrong with her that she shattered with the slightest provocation? Gone in sixty seconds.

In the dim light filtering through the half-circle window of the front door, she watched his reaction, willing him to be a dick about it.

“Been awhile?”

And we’re back. She called on the two brain cells she had left to form a few well-chosen words. “I’ve been fantasizing about the entire Hawks defense all night. You’re just convenient.”

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