One Taste of You
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One night will never be enough...but a killer has other plans.
One night of glorious bliss.
One night turned into utter humiliation.
Zoe Sullivan doesn't want to see the man who took her for a prostitute ever again. But when her boss is murdered, she can't believe who the lead detective on the case is.
One idiotic mistake.
One more chance to make it right.
Detective Zeke Chance vows to make it up to Zoe for the way he treated her. Nothing will stop him—except maybe the killer.
Warning: This novel contains a sexy detective. There is insta-lust turned into insta-love. If you don't want to read that kind of book, turn back now! But you know you wanna.
The entire One Taste series: (Each book can be read as a standalone.)
One Taste of You (Book 1): Zeke & Zoe
One Taste of Love (Book 2): Ben & Rina
One Taste of Crazy (Book 3): Sauer & Dee
One Taste of Sin (Book 4): Stitch & Susan
One Taste of Redemption (Book 5): Newman & Amelia
Release date: January 8, 2017
Publisher: Amanda Siegrist
Print pages: 254
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One Taste of You
Whispers of doubt floated around. Too late to turn back now. She was no quitter.
Zoe inhaled a deep breath and walked into the bar, spotting her two best friends right away. Sliding onto a chair at a high-top table, she pulled down on her dress a little. Talk about short. Yet, sometimes a woman had to do something drastic.
“I swore you said you had a date with Mark tonight. What are you doing here?” Dee’s eyes grazed up and down. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in anything like that before.”
Zoe resisted the temptation to tug down on the bright-red dress that clung to her body and stuck to her like a glove two sizes too small. The back of the dress only reached to the lower half of her back where the fabric scooped in a graceful curve. The top of the dress hugged her firmly, her chest showing way too much cleavage, which was exactly the point she was trying to make tonight.
Sexy. This dressFF screamed nothing but sexiness.
“Mark who?” Zoe turned to Rina. “What is that? Looks yummy.”
Rina started to speak when Dee rushed in, her brow raised. “What did the douche do now? I still can’t believe you’re dating him.”
Rina offered Zoe a small smile. “What happened?”
“Yeah, Zoe, spill already. Don’t make Rina jump down your throat.” Dee primped her bushy red, curly hair as her other brow rose.
Dee was in high form tonight. Zoe almost slumped in her chair when a man walked by glancing at her appreciatively. The dress was doing its job.
Take that, Mark.
She redirected her attention to Dee, who she knew wouldn’t let anything slide. Rina, on the other hand, would wait patiently.
“Mark dumped me.”
“That low-down, dirty douchebag.” Dee pursed her lips as she shook her head. “What’s with the dress? You never wear things like this.”
“He said I had no sex appeal. I sleep with him one time, and he says I have no sex appeal. That man just totally checked me out. He did, didn’t he?” Zoe pointed nonchalantly toward the man sitting at the bar who had walked past them.
Rina nodded. “You’re gorgeous. Why wouldn’t he? I’m sorry about Mark.”
“Forget that douche. I told you from the beginning he was one.” Dee raised her hand to flag down a server.
“Is there any man who isn’t a douche to you?” Rina chuckled, then took a sip of her drink.
Zoe laughed. “Do I look silly?”
“You look like a woman I’d take home. If I swung that way, that is.” Dee looked her up and down once again. “Damn fine-looking tonight, Zoe. Screw Mark.”
A young blonde woman with more cleavage than Zoe would ever have walked up to the table. “What can I get you?”
“I think I’ll just have a glass of wine. White Zin. Thanks.” Zoe turned back to her friends when the server walked away. “And to think I was passing on drinks tonight because of him.”
They worked for an accounting company, Mills, Murphy, & Young Accountants, each one a secretary to one of the partners of the company. They became fast friends when they went out one night for drinks to complain about their bosses. Going out for drinks had become a weekly ritual, regardless of whether or not they wanted to complain about work. Until she started dating Mark.
“Never again will I pass on drinks with my two besties for a man. He showed up at my house for our date and said, ‘Zoe, this isn’t going to work for me. There’s no spark here. No sex appeal.’ Then he left. I wanted to have a pity party. I decided he wasn’t worth it. Then I saw this dress in the back of my closet. It’s a little tight, but I feel sexy.”
“Girl, that thing is damn sexy. I’ll let Mark know exactly what he is tomorrow morning,” Dee said.
Zoe laughed, knowing quite well, no matter what she said, Dee would do exactly that. Who cared? Mark deserved every nasty word Dee would throw at him. He didn’t hold back when he broke up with her.
“I’m glad you changed your mind. You look great. That dress isn’t something you normally wear, but it looks wonderful on you,” Rina said softly as she swiped a lock of her beautiful auburn hair behind her ear. Utterly perfect. Everything about Rina was always perfect.
“It’s, like, three years old. I bought it on a whim. I never had any intention of wearing it because, you’re right, it’s not me.” Zoe pushed a strand of her sandy-brown hair behind her shoulder.
Why couldn’t her hair be perfectly straight like Rina’s? Or even overly curly like Dee’s? Instead, she felt cursed with slightly wavy hair that never straightened completely or curled flawlessly.
She managed to add a few curls tonight that had yet to flatten. Tonight would be her night. Already one man had given her a glance. Perhaps one would ask her to dance. Anything to make her feel like she was beautiful. Worthy. Not sexless.
God, she hated Mark.
“Here you go. Would you like me to start you a tab?” the perky blonde asked as she set the glass of wine in front of Zoe.
A tab? They normally didn’t do tabs when they went out. A drink or two after a crappy day at work and then back home. “Yeah, that would be great. Thanks.”
Dee leaned back, her brow raised again. “You’re gonna set the town on fire tonight, aren’t you?”
Zoe picked up her glass. “Hell, yeah. Screw Mark. I’m going to enjoy my time with you two and maybe with a guy or two. I feel like dancing, drinking, laughing, and having a grand time tonight.”
Rina picked up her drink and reached out. “Cheers, Zoe. You’re beautiful. Don’t let any man tell you otherwise.”
Zoe raised her glass to Rina’s and waited for Dee to join in. “To a good night with great friends.”
What the hell was he doing, sitting outside Rockster’s Bar when his bed was calling his name? Zeke had no idea how they’d suckered him into doing this when he worked homicide, not vice. One minute he had been working on his latest murder case, about to wrap it up, and the next minute, he was finagled into going undercover to find a prostitute.
“You’re the prettiest boy here, Zeke. That’s what we need,” Detective Tray Smith had said.
“I work homicide, man. I don’t do vice. Where’s Trevor? Isn’t he the normal pretty boy you use?” Zeke had asked, glancing around with hope in his eyes that Trevor would magically appear.
“He’s out with the flu. We got a tip that Ray-Ray has some of his ladies going to Rockster’s tonight. This is big. He’s the biggest pimp in this town and is constantly changing his operations to throw us off. We need his girls to put pressure on them to get Ray-Ray himself. Narcotics are even getting involved. Not only is he pimping, he’s getting into the drug scene. We need you to get one of his ladies. You have a natural suave with women,” Tray had said with a smile. “Your captain already gave the okay.”
“Geez, you went to my captain. You owe me big for this.”
“Great. You have to go looking distinguished and available. Maybe a hint that you want sex. Got it?”
“Whatever. I got this.”
But did he really have this? Sure, he was good with the ladies, but that didn’t mean he wanted to use his skills to catch a prostitute. Talk about feeling dirty. He never understood why women would want to earn a living that way.
Stalling. Not usually a word that popped into his vocabulary.
A go-getter. Persuasive. Confident. Those were good words to describe him.
Yet, he sat immobile, unable to move from the car. Sitting in a crisp, button-down white shirt and black pants that screamed money didn’t even help boost his confidence to get out of the car.
How did he get suckered into this again? A smooth talker. Words flowed freely and easily. He should’ve been able to weasel his way out of this. Now, he had to use the right words to nab a woman.
He normally never lacked female attention, but lately, he had been suffering a long dry spell. Recently turning thirty-five, he came to the realization that maybe it was time to settle down and quit sleeping around. His sister had already been married for the past ten years and had three kids, and his mother constantly bothered him to start a family as well.
His skin crawled just thinking about settling down. Marriage meant commitment. Commitment meant one woman. One woman meant sex with the same woman for the rest of his life. Was he ready for that?
As his hand glided over the smooth steering wheel, he jerked. Damn, maybe he was finally ready. Or more like, he should be.
A clear night, the stars in addition to the streetlights gave a perfect view of the entrance to Rockster’s. People milled around outside waiting for cabs or deciding what bar to hit next. Compared to the other bars around town, Rockster’s stood out as one of the classier ones. Located in the heart of downtown St. Cloud near the university, it beamed with sophistication. Some college students ventured inside, but mostly, it attracted business-type professionals looking for a little downtime after a long day at the office or companionship. Probably the reason Ray-Ray picked this spot for his ladies.
The plan was for him to find his mark and lure her to a hotel near the bar. They already had a room set up. Normally, they would follow him and have cameras set up in the room. This time, he would go in solo and camera free. Ray-Ray had gotten smarter, training his girls to recognize a setup. Most undercover operations failed because the women realized beforehand what was in store for them.
The clock on his dashboard beamed eleven o’clock. No more stalling. Do the job. His bed was still calling his name. His latest case had drained his energy. This current situation wasn’t helping him either.
With a quick step out of the vehicle and a slight pause to inhale, he cleared his mind of everything but the task at hand. The night tasted clear, yet his insides gurgled with unease. He’d have to take a shower when he got home, just like the times he finished with a murder scene that left him feeling disgusted. He’d probably attract a gorgeous woman tonight, but he’d still feel dirty after it was all said and done. A prostitute. That’s all that needed to be said.
As he walked into the bar, his feet itched to turn back around. Definitely not something he wanted to be doing on a Wednesday night. People lined the bar, some sitting enjoying their drinks, others waiting for one. A peek at the dance floor showed it half-full with people swaying to the music. The tables and chairs scattered around were filled with people as well. Not one table appeared available.
He hadn’t gone out in a while, and if he did, Rockster’s wasn’t his normal hangout. Another reason Tray wanted him for the job.
Damn Tray for knowing so much about him.
He slid into a chair at the bar that just emptied, asked for a beer, and scanned his surroundings. A few women sparked his interest, and he glanced over them appreciatively. As he paid the bartender and then took a swig of his drink, he didn’t know which woman was his prize until his eyes landed on her.
One look and she took his breath away. She sat precariously on a chair at a high-top table all by herself. The bright-red dress clung to her delicate body and screamed, “I’m ready for sex!” Her legs, long and tan, asked to be felt up with a slow caress. His hands started to tingle with the urge to walk over there. The coldness from his beer seeped in, wiping that urge away.
Do the job. Getting hard as a rock over one woman with a simple glance wouldn’t accomplish his goal tonight. Only make it harder.
Pinching the bridge of his nose, he shifted in his seat to relieve the pressure in his pants.
He couldn’t help it. Just one more quick look.
Her creamy breasts gave a wonderful view, enticing a man to touch. To suck on a nipple and see the delight etch across her exquisite face. The way her hair fell upon her shoulders in waves undid him. Or the way her smile lit up the room, as if bright sunlight was beating down on him, heating his body up from the intense rays.
He started to throb painfully below his belt. Such a gorgeous woman within his reach.
Holy shit. Feeling this way about a woman, who in all likelihood was a prostitute. No way any normal woman would come in here all by herself looking like that.
Damn. He would have to arrest her. Could he be wrong? Could he turn this night into a successful operation nabbing another woman and get the number of that beautiful woman who made his blood sizzle?
He needed to eliminate her and find a new possible target. Glancing around, he eyed several other women who fit the perfect bill of a prostitute. But, unable to control it, his eyes kept gliding toward the woman he considered forbidden fruit.
Perhaps this was his libido telling him he had gone way too long without a woman. Tray had been wrong. He wasn’t the perfect guy for this.
Sitting at the bar, nursing this beer wasn’t going to get him anywhere. He needed to snag a prostitute. Officially eliminating the woman of his desire would be a good place to start. He could cross her off his list and continue to seek his target. Once the job was complete, he could come back and ask her for her number.
Get the job done first. Get personal second. And then his libido could quit complaining.
This shouldn’t be any different from working homicide. Work with the evidence and start putting the pieces of the puzzle together to solve the mystery.
Taking another sip of beer, his eyes never wavered from her. She would look his way. One sultry glance usually did the trick. When she finally looked, if she didn’t get the message, he’d lost his touch.
Zoe pushed a strand of hair behind her ear as a sigh escaped. What had she been thinking? When Dee and Rina left an hour ago, she should’ve left, too. After three glasses of wine, her mind hadn’t been thinking. But her body had. She wanted a little more attention before the night ended.
The number of looks she’d already received, even a few dances with two different guys, meant the night had been a success. Thoughts of Mark had scattered into the never-gonna-care-again box. She proved tonight that she was sexy. That’s all that mattered.
She didn’t need a man. Of course not. She just needed to know she was sexy enough for a man. No need to sit here any longer. As she grabbed for her purse, her hands stalled on the strap.
Whoa. Talk about getting checked out by a man.
No words could describe the piercing stare that undressed her with ease. He had short, cropped black hair, slightly spiked in the front, enough to make her want to run her hands through the rest of his hair to make those ends stand up as well. He had a strong chiseled jaw, a smile that lit up her heart without effort, and deep-blue eyes. Even halfway across the room, his eyes mesmerized her. Pierced her right to the soul.
She’d never reacted to a man’s simple gaze like this. Yet, as she stared back, his invitation was obvious. The way he looked her up and down, begged her to come to him. His eyes roamed her body from head to toe, stripping her clothes until she was completely naked.
That one look almost made her instantly wet. If she had panties on, her wetness would’ve probably pooled on them. Except, in one moment of insanity, she had decided to go commando. “You don’t want your panty line to show, do you?” she had asked herself.
No, no, she didn’t. She wanted him to have easy access.
Whoa. Where had that crazy, insane thought come from?
He made her feel utterly sexy.
The previous men who had approached her hadn’t even come close to accomplishing her goal. She had obviously been waiting for him.
Without thinking about anything but his eyes reeling her in, she stood up from her chair with her purse and drink and sauntered over to him.
Since when did she know how to saunter?
Being brazen, something absolutely foreign to her, she stepped right between his legs. Leaning into his lap, her lips curled with delight as his touch sent her body into flames of desire. The heat of his body was almost as exhilarating as his eyes.
He grabbed her by the waist, gently pulling her closer. The tingles of pleasure increased. “Hi.”
She wanted to strip right there in the middle of the bar. What was wrong with her? She never acted like this. His eyes still held her transfixed. His warm hand soaked into her skin, heating her up beyond coherency. Words stalled. Hell, she didn’t even know his name.
“Nicer now that you’ve come to me,” he replied in a silky tone.
Her heart melted right then, seeping to the ground in a heap of pleasure. His face was pure heaven, but when he spoke, his voice slid over her like honey. She drained the last sip left in her drink, then leaned closer as she set it on the bar. “Mmm. You smell good.”
“You smell delicious yourself. What I wouldn’t do for a taste of you.”
Leaning away, she couldn’t do anything but stare into his deep-blue eyes. Nothing needed to be said. She saw what he wanted. The same thing her body ached to have. How could one man make her want him so easily with one simple glance?
Those eyes. She couldn’t explain it any other way. Acting like this—well, she didn’t act like this.
“What I wouldn’t do for you to taste me...” Did she actually say that? Utterly insane.
The lack of his touch would bring her back down to the real world. Her heel rose to take a step back when his smooth, honey-silk voice slid over her—again.
“Then let’s have a taste.” He pulled her closer and nibbled at her neck. “I have a room not too far from here.”
No question asked. She didn’t need to be asked. The only thing she needed was the delightful nibbles caressing her neck not to stop. She pushed away, her body already missing his touch, and grabbed his hand. “Lead the way.”
Zeke pulled her out of the bar, maintaining a firm grip on her hand. Soft. Smooth. Delicious. He imagined her skin felt the same all over. Letting her hand go would take a dozen men to rip him away. Ridiculous. Where was his control?
He had a job to do. He couldn’t open his pants to a prostitute, and yet, he wanted to so badly. No doubt she was what he came for. The way she brazenly stepped up to him and spoke to him were clear giveaways. The evidence spoke for itself.
Never again. No one at the precinct would talk him into doing this again. His body couldn’t handle it. Once he got her to talk money, he’d have to pull the cuffs out and take the worst cold shower of his life when he got home. This night just went from tiresome to unbearable.
The silky touch of her hand had him shoving her against the wall as soon as they stepped into the elevator, kissing her with an intense passion as they went up. Just one taste. Definitely against normal protocol when it came to a working girl, but her simple smiles directed his way couldn’t keep him away any longer.
Suddenly, the door opened. He instantly let go, snatching her hand again, and made his way down the hall.
Allowing her to enter the room first was a bad idea. She sashayed inside, increasing the excitement coursing throughout. Even from behind, she made him weak in the knees. Her back was openly bare, revealing more creamy, smooth skin. Her ass could make a man die of happiness. The urge to grab it and squeeze compelled him to follow her.
As he walked farther into the room, the hotel essence screamed at him. Plain bed with a taupe comforter. Uninspiring paintings on the wall. Fake flowers in an off-white vase that wasn’t centered on the table. The look of the room snapped him back into the ruse.
Talk price for services. Not ravish her body until they were both sated with pleasure.
His mouth started to open to begin the game when she dropped her purse to the ground and whipped around. Her delicate arms wrapped around his neck as her lips met his. Their tongues swirled together in unison. A moment of insanity hit him in the elevator, not resisting the urge to kiss her. This kiss ranked as sweet and delicious as the first one. Her hands brushed his neck with tiny tickles, then snaked their way through his hair.
Passion and excitement ran together like heavy waves. The sweet taste of wine she drank intoxicated him even further. Kissing her didn’t seem like enough. He needed more.
Something subtle pricked his senses that a normal prostitute wouldn’t act this way. Why weren’t they talking prices? Or perhaps this was how Ray-Ray’s girls performed. Tray had given him a breakdown of the operation beforehand. Ray-Ray’s women were more sophisticated and high-end. They gave their mark what they wanted, recognizing right away what the man’s needs were.
He pulled away from her mouth. Conversation first. She obviously read his needs very well, but they needed to talk prices. Instead, she yanked his mouth back down, her movements forcing him to take a few steps back where he hit the wall. Her body instantly molded to his.
Grasping her body, wanting her more and more as each minute passed, he knew he had to stop this. He was a cop. The only reason he held this beautiful woman in his arms was because he was a cop. He would’ve never been out tonight if not for this damn assignment. He couldn’t cross the line no matter how much desire, need, and want flowed through his veins.
Foolish. His behavior was completely foolish.
But his aching heat told him maybe he could help her get out of this life. She could do so much better than selling herself to men. His hands tightened around her waist at the thought of other men having their filthy hands on her, the jealousy strong and clear. The kiss turned hotter as the image wouldn’t dissipate. No hands would touch her body unless they were his.
Just one little taste underneath her dress and then he would stop. He’d finish the job and work on piecing her life back to a better path. One that involved him.
His hands slid down her back to her ass, slowly sliding to the edge of her dress. His fingers brushed back and forth before reaching underneath and gliding his hands back up. The moment he felt nothing but pure skin, he lost all thought. Nothing else mattered.
He led her gradually to the bed as he pulled the dress up, barely losing connection with her mouth. By the time he reached the bed, he had peeled the dress off. One gentle push and she lay on the bed ready for the taking. Pure delight in every sense. Bare-naked—not even a silky, lacy bra needed to be removed by his skillful hands. His pants became tighter by the delicate picture lying in front of him.
He quickly removed his clothes and slid over her body, connecting them, skin to skin. Dying to do this the minute he’d laid eyes on her, he took her breasts and caressed them as he sucked on a hard nipple. She cried out in delight, arching into his body, pleading with him to take her already.
Her wet moisture clung to his tip. He could explode into oblivion at any moment. Slowly, he entered her inch by sweet, delicious inch, staring into her eyes the entire time. No words were necessary. Communication with a simple gaze. Rocking into her, he swiftly felt a deep intimacy he had never experienced before. Sex normally was a release, a fun way to connect with a woman. Not this overwhelming sense that he never wanted to let her go. He wanted to explore her body and find every spot that made her cry out with pleasure.
Moving closer, kissing her neck as they moved as one, they clung to each other as if this would be the last time they ever shared a moment. The intensity, the magic swirled around them, creating a beautiful scene he would never forget.
The moment would end soon. He knew it, sensed it by the tiny noises she made. The way she became louder and louder. Thrusting harder, she met him each time. Suddenly, she cried out, squeezing delightful pleasure out of him. He came with her to the height of oblivion, pushing one last time and spilling his seed deep inside her.
Without moving, Zeke lay on top of her, absorbing her beauty. The connection between them made his heart beat faster, made his mind into putty, made him realize he never truly knew what sex meant—until her. How in the hell had he lost control? He didn’t even put a condom on.
Just like that, glorious bliss turned into sheer panic.
He had sex with a prostitute. Not simple sex, but the best sex of his life. And they didn’t use protection.
Shit, what did he just do? How in the hell did he forget he had a job to do? Clearly, she was better than he imagined.
Without a word, he quickly rolled off her, refusing to meet her eyes. He yanked his pants from the floor with a jerk and started to shove them on. How would he explain his actions back at the precinct?
Simple. He wouldn’t. This never happened.
He couldn’t arrest her now. His heart couldn’t take it. Not to mention, his job would be over. Finished. Unemployed.
Sleeping with a damn prostitute. For the first time in his life, he had been thinking with the wrong head. He had to pay for her services rendered. She had to make a living somehow. The thought of pulling his wallet out had his fingers itching like he was swathed in poison ivy.
How did he help her out of this life and ask her out? How pathetic did that make him? He could lose his job over this and all he could think about was when he could see her next. His hand clenched around his wallet as he wrenched it out of his pocket. No other man would ever put his hands on her body again. Only him.
He turned toward her to see her dress back on. The sight of her made him salivate all over again. But he had no choice.
The wad of money hung in the air. “I’m not sure how much you charge, but this should be more than enough.”
Her eyes darted to the money, then back at him. No expression filtered anywhere. Not delight. No satisfaction. Nothing but hollow emptiness.
Without a chance to react, she slapped him in the face and walked out of the room.
His cheek stung from the blow, tiny pinpricks radiating down his jaw as he stared at the door.
Shit. The best thing to walk into his life had just walked out. And not as a prostitute as he’d originally thought.
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