More Than a Night
© 2018 Jasmine Haynes
A stand-alone erotic romance
“Ms. Haynes has an outstanding tale here -- don't miss this one!”
~ The Best Reviews
“A wonderful mix of family loyalty, sexual lust, and tension that bring the hero and heroine together.”
~ The Word on Romance
“Amazed at the way Jasmine Haynes brought an excellent story and all that hot steamy sex together”
~ The Romance Studio
All Justine Jarreau wants in a one night stand is an uncomplicated, casual, mind-blowing sexual experience. And Len No-Last-Name seems like the perfect candidate to fulfill her fantasy. The sex is utterly mind-blowing. But then Justine discovers Len has an ulterior motive. Not only does he disclose that her father just had a heart attack, but that he is her new stepbrother and the CEO of Jarreau Wineries, the job Justine coveted until her father disowned her years ago. So much for uncomplicated and casual.
Len Falconer wants Justine to come home for good, for her father’s sake, a man Len now considers part of his family. And family is the most important thing in the world to Len. But Justine isn’t falling in with his plans. His only option is to seduce her into staying. He did it that first night, and he knows he can do it again. The pleasure will be all his.
But can a relationship begun with lies and manipulation last more than a night?
More Than a Night
© 2018 Jasmine Haynes
Justine Jarreau wanted a man. But only for the night.
She’d found her quarry seated two tables away. The trendy but casual restaurant on Union Square overflowed with tourists, out-of-town businessmen, clubbers from the suburbs out to enjoy San Francisco nightlife on a warm June Friday.
The mandatory package of condoms lounged in her purse.
Not classically handsome, the man bore a square jaw, strong lines, and thick, short brown hair. She liked short hair. The rugged lines at his mouth and his tan were manufactured out-of-doors rather than in a tanning booth. Muscles bulged beneath his black polo shirt.
As he’d passed her table on the way to his, she’d noted that the rear view was equally scintillating. Mid-thirties, she judged. Well-tended body.Excellent. Neither inexperience nor sloppiness was on her list of attributes.
His looks alone didn’t make him the best candidate for the evening. It was the glass he’d sent to her table, a chardonnay, right as she’d finished her first.
A woman likes to be noticed, especially dressed as she was in a short skirt, tight knit top, and four-inch killer heels. Her strawberry blonde hair curled softly at her shoulders.
Better yet, a woman likes subtlety. He’d tipped his drink to her as she’d sipped. And that was all. No harassment, no asking to join her, no swaggering dickhead mentality. Just a compliment.
And an unspoken invitation, if she chose to take him up on it.Which she most definitely would.
He called for his check. She signaled for hers. After signing the charge slip, he laid his money down for the tip and rose to leave, with one last smile for Justine.
She caught up with him outside, on the sidewalk rippling with excitement. A rich coffee scent drifted out from the café next to the restaurant, effectively dousing the car fumes from the street. The June evening had grown muggy with the purr of car engines belching exhaust, yet goose bumps pimpled her bare legs.
Maybe it was the realization that she’d actually have to make the next move.
He turned and smiled as if he’d been waiting for her.
God. She’d thought him attractive inside, but up close, he was melt-in-your-mouth gorgeous. It was the eyes, a deep brown as rich as the coffee perfuming the air. Long dark eyelashes and a smile hot enough to make her heart flutter capped it. She was almost afraid to hear his voice in case it ruined the fantasy.
Her knees weakened with the knowledge that she’d never done anything like this before. She’d struggled through relationships, sure, but found they only got in the way of her career. And her career was more important than anything.
The concept of a one-night-stand was somehow liberating.
“Thank you for the drink. Can I buy you one in return?”
His eyes darkened to deep chocolate. “It would be my pleasure to accept.”
Justine liquefied. He had a phone sex voice, low, deep, toe-curling.
“My hotel’s across the street,” he went on. “Good jazz piano in the bar.”
An out-of-towner. Good. Very good. She checked his ring finger for a telltale band of white skin. She wanted a man with no strings attached. Even if this was just for a night, she didn’t want to poach on someone else’s territory.
She smiled, giving him a slow, sexy dip of her eyelashes. “Sounds perfect.”
He took her hand unexpectedly. Warm. Solid. She had to catch her breath against the jolt of his touch. Pins and needles tingled along her skin. She felt naked beneath her skirt, and warm, oh so warm, right in that spot . . . there. She almost sighed.
“My name’s Justine,” she told him as he pulled her close, almost protectively, threading through the stopped traffic.
On the opposite curb, he looked down at her eyes, her lips, and finally their clasped hands. The moment before she couldn’t breathe, now, her heart seemed to stop altogether.
“Len,” was all he said with an electrifying smile, but he might have been citing flowery poetry or talking dirty for the effect it had on her.
The man made her absolutely hot. And wet. God.
The St. George doorman ushered them through the gold-trimmed entrance. Her heels sunk into the lush rose carpet as the man named Len guided her up the stairs to the lobby. Plush chairs and sofas surrounded by ferns dotted the reception area. Women clad in elegant evening wear and men in tuxedos undulated in flowing groups near the restaurant entrance.
Theater-goers filled the bar, having a drink and a gossip before the show. The piano bench sat empty due to the early hour. The city didn’t truly come alive until after nine.
Len waved a bill, and the waiter found them a table in the corner by the window overlooking Powell Street. Justine curled her legs beneath her on the bench seat and leaned an elbow along the back.
“I love watching people,” she said, letting Len order the drinks, Campari and soda for him, another glass of wine for her. “That’s what I like best about living in the city.” She turned to him. “Are you here on business?”
“Just for the day. I’m driving back tomorrow.”
Their drinks arrived. Len tapped his to hers and drank. She had the urge to lick the bitter Campari from his lips.
Ostensibly to hear her better over the din of voices and laughter, he pulled his chair closer until his knee rested against hers. The contact pulsed along her thighs. She’d worn a bra, but he couldn’t avoid noticing her nipples peaking against the thin lace.
“I take it you live in the city?” he questioned. “Do you work here, too?”
“No, I work on the Peninsula.” That was the thing she hated about the city, the grinding commute south, the endless rush hour. “I’m Controller for a small manufacturing firm.”
His eyes grazed her tight shirt, short skirt and bare knees. Then the corner of his mouth lifted.
“You don’t look like any accountant I’ve ever met.”
Her gaze followed the muscles of his chest down to the flatness of his abdomen, then onto the tight lines of his black jeans outlining the promise of some very tasty equipment. Heat suddenly burned between her legs.
She really had let sex go for too long, way too long.
“And you don’t look like a . . . shoe salesman from Muncie.”
He laughed, a sound she felt low in her belly.
“Thank you, ma’am. I’ll take that as a compliment.”
“Where are you from?”
“The Central Coast.”
Not very definitive. That could be anywhere from Salinas to Santa Maria, a stretch of over two hundred miles. She’d lived there, too, a very long time ago.
But she didn’t pry, just made conversation, a prelude to asking him to spend a few very mutually satisfying hours with her.
If he didn’t prove to be a dickhead.
“So what do you do?”
“I’m a CEO for a medium-size manufacturing firm,” he answered, using her earlier phrasing.
She sipped her drink, looking at him over the rim. “Hmmm, a CEO.” She looked around at the fine accouterments of his hotel. “Your company must be doing very well.”
“Yes.” Not a trace of smugness or conceit, just confidence. He leaned forward, his gaze traveling over her face. He continued the obligatory getting-to-know-you small talk. “So, Ms. Controller, what do you want to do with your life?”
Easy answer. “I want to be a CFO.” Before she turned forty.Only five short years away.
“At the same company?”
“Hopefully.But not necessarily. What about you?”
“I want to be Chairman of the Board.”
“I like a man who knows what he wants.”
“I like a woman who knows what she wants.” A wealth of innuendo lurked beneath the words, smoldered in his hot eyes, simmered in his smile.
Justine sucked in a breath. She’d never get a better opening. Butterflies swarmed in her stomach, and beneath her skirt, she felt herself moisten.
And all the while Len watched her as if suddenly she’d become the prey and he the predator.
She’d bought the condoms. She’d shaved, lathered, scented and lotioned. Damn, he was so tempting. But she hadn’t quite made up her mind about him yet. Just a little more conversation seemed necessary.
“I dearly love my career.”
“What about family?”
“All my family’s dead.” She ran her finger around the rim of her glass as she wrapped her lips around the lie.
He stared at her with unreadable eyes, then murmured with an eye on her ring finger, “I’m sorry. What about kids, husband?”
She let out a puff of air. “I know men hate to hear this, but while a man can have a career and a family, a woman can’t, not and do motherhood or a spouse justice.”
“You’re right, we hate to hear it. But we also know how true it is. I take it you’re opting for the career.”
His tone told her nothing of how he felt about the statement, about her. She wouldn’t volunteer her reasons for the choice.
“My career’s important.” Nor was she ashamed of that fact.
“A CFO’s a lofty goal,” he agreed.
His gaze roamed her face. Heat rose to her cheeks.
She detected no censure from him at all.
“So, no marriage. What about a steady boyfriend?”
She shook her head. “If they don’t have marriage on their minds, single men seem to prefer variety.”
She’d soon find out if she did, too. With this man. Len was growing on her.
“Variety, yes, but that doesn’t mean always having a different woman. The variety can be in the act itself, the creativity a woman and a man put into it.”
He sipped at his drink. The slight smack of his lips drew her attention. She squeezed her thighs together for relief, but the action only made the ache worse.
How the hell had they gotten into this conversation? He wasn’t simply growing on her, she’d made the choice. If she didn’t ask him to bed soon, she’d simply melt on the bench seat listening to that voice.
He looked at her expectantly. Had he said something? Drowning in her own thoughts and his coffee-colored eyes, she hadn’t heard. His glass sat on the table, and the heat of his hand jumped across the three inches that separated their fingers.
Holding his gaze, she said, “I’d like very much to test out my creativity with you.”
The words fell into the deepest, darkest silence, the kind where all the voices fade, the laughter mutes—the moment between life and death, love and hate, yes and no.
He felt it, too, and drew it out until finally he exhaled.
“I thought you’d never ask.”