A tantalizing taste of Rafe and Joss . . .

This scene takes place early in UNDENIABLE: The Mind Bender Tamed. Rafe has spent months traveling, trying to run away from a broken heart. He uses his gift for influencing minds to have endless nights of consequence-free fun . . . until one day in New Orleans, when he meets an intriguing redhead who just might be his match . . .this is a peek into Rafe and Joss’s first evening together. 

“Okay.” Joss traced the stem of her wine glass with one finger. “So, I’m kind of a prodigy, I guess. I graduated high school when I was fourteen and finished college two years ago. The people I work for approached me when I was still in school. I trained for a while and then went full-time once I graduated.”

“So you’re like a Doogie Howser?”

She scooped a small yellow tomato into her mouth and rolled her eyes, all at the same time.“Talk about reducing something to its lowest form. Okay, yeah. I guess.”

“And you thought I’d be threatened by that? Come on. How do you know I’m not working on my second doctorate right now? You might not be the only smarty pants around, you know.”

The smile playing around her mouth sparkled in her eyes. “Oh, really? Your second doctorate? I highly doubt it.”

“Just saying, it could happen.” I lay down my fork and grinned at her. “But you’re right, not hardly. I just finished high school. Not sure about college yet. I haven’t decided if I want to embrace higher education or let the road be my professor. But either way, someone like you impresses the hell out of me. And doesn’t threaten me one bit.”

Joss’s cheeks pinked a little, and she dropped her eyes. “Then you’re not like a lot of other guys I’ve known.”

“Hey.” I reached over and grabbed her hand, squeezing it for a minute before I let it go. “They’re assholes if they don’t see how great you are. And I’m serious, being that smart and motivated is cool.”


We ate in silence for a while before Joss spoke again.

“So you just finished high school. And you’re not sure about college. How does your family feel about you traveling? Are you planning to get a job?”

Most of the girls I picked up during my nocturnal adventures didn’t bring up anything more serious than the next bar or how fast we could get back to their hotel rooms. I didn’t talk about my family at all. But Joss was sitting there looking at me expectantly, with the material of her dress dipping into the valley between a really nice set of breasts. Since she wasn’t going to remember any of this in the morning anyway, I decided to make an exception to my rule.

“My grandparents are my family, and this was kind of their idea. I needed to get out of town for a while, and they were cool with me hitting the road.”

The teasing smile was back on her face as Joss leaned in again, just far enough to confirm my suspicion. Yep, no bra. Hot damn. Suddenly this chair wasn’t as comfortable as it had been.

“Why did you have to get out of town so fast? Did you do something illegal?” I struggled to bring my eyes back to hers, my attention to her words. All the blood in my body was rushing elsewhere.

“Umm…uh, no. Not illegal. It was actually a girl. A bad break up.” What the hell was I saying? I never talked about Tasmyn, never told anyone what had happened during my senior year. Be cool, I reminded myself. Not like she’s going to retain this anyway.

“That’s too bad.” Joss reached across and trailed one finger over the inside of my wrist where it lay alongside the table edge. A shiver ran down my back, and I swallowed hard.

“Yeah, no big thing. Shit happens, right?” I lifted my wine glass and took a drink. I never had nerves with the girls I picked up. I didn’t know what the deal was this one, but she was knocking me off my game.

Marlene appeared again. I took advantage of the break in conversation to get a grip on myself as she set two dome-covered plates in front of us. With a little flourish, she removed the silver covers to reveal the bowls of gumbo surrounded by sliced baguettes. I might have been a little skeptical about the alligator, but this smelled like heaven.

“Good, isn’t it?” Joss scooped up some of the broth and meat with a hunk of bread. “See what I mean? Best food in the city.”

“Comes damn close if not.”

“There’s just something about New Orleans, isn’t there? The food tastes better, the wine is more potent…” She glanced up at me from under her eyelashes. “Everything is just more… intense.”

Before I could formulate an answer, I felt her bare foot stroking up the inside of my calf, running a teasing line from the ankle to just above my knee. I could feel the muscle of her instep, firm yet lazy as she stroked. The touch set me on fire until I couldn’t think of anything but tossing over the table that came between us. That, or grabbing her and throwing her down on top of it. Either way worked.

Instead, I laid down my fork and sat back. “God, I’m full. I don’t think I can eat another bite.”

“That’s a shame.” Jocelyn touched the linen napkin to the corner of her mouth, and I watched the tip of her tongue dart out and run over her lips. “They have the most amazing bread pudding here, in a brandy sauce.”

“I don’t think I could do it justice right now. Maybe in a few hours.” After I’ve worked up an appetite. I let the words hang there unsaid but most definitely understood.

“Then let’s ask them to box it up to go. We can take it back to my hotel if you want.”

This time I didn’t hesitate. I let my eyelids droop to half-mast and lifted one side of my mouth in a half-smile. “Oh, I want. I want very much.”

Joss didn’t flinch. She didn’t blush or pretend to be shocked. She only returned my smile and lifted one hand in the air, signaling to Marlene.

The evening air had cooled considerably by the time we stepped back into the dark of the courtyard. Joss shivered, and I helped her into the sweater she’d brought.

“Thanks.” She shifted the bag that held the bread pudding into her other hand, and I reached to take it. Okay, so I didn’t usually need to woo the girls I picked up, but still, my grandmother had hammered manners into me. I harbored a sneaking suspicion that she’d know if I weren’t holding coats and doors, or at least offering to carry heavy packages for women.

And then, since we were standing there, it was only natural that I reached for her hand. Once I touched the warmth there, I just went ahead and pulled her against me.

She stumbled a little, and I caught her, wrapping my free arm tight around her waist and tucking our joined hands between us.

I looked down at her face, her mouth so tantalizingly close to my own. What I did on a nearly nightly basis was routine by now. It was my way of pounding Tasmyn out of my system, out of my soul, but this was more. The brown eyes that stared into mine were sober beyond the desire that shone there. Her lips parted, and I felt the warmth of her breath against my chin.

As though against my will, I lowered my mouth onto those lips. I was tentative, inquiring. I never forced myself on any girl, no matter how hard she flirted or how much she teased. It just wasn’t my style. I’d never had to do it, anyway. No one ever turned me down.

Jocelyn answered my question by moving a fraction of an inch closer, angling her face so that our mouths aligned better, sealed. Her tongue played against my lips, inviting, making me think of her foot on my leg just a little while earlier.

I opened my mouth, deepening the kiss, and tangling my tongue with her exploring one. Tightening my arm slightly, I brought her against me, leaving no doubt in her mind about how turned on I was.

“Rafe.” She broke away enough to whisper in my ear.

“Yeah.” I steeled myself for her to tell me we couldn’t do this, that we had to stop.

“Let’s flag down a cab. It’ll be faster than walking back to the hotel.”

Peace, love and romance~