Perfect Proposal Excerpt

Copyright © 2012 Leah Braemel

All rights reserved

You must be 18 years of age or older to read this.

Chapter One

Sunlight glinted off the solitaire diamond engagement ring and fractured into a thousand rainbows that danced over the walls and ceiling. Heedless of the display, Sam Watson juggled the hotel phone between his ear and shoulder. “What do you mean, the roses haven’t arrived? I ordered them last month.”

“We’re looking into the situation now, Mr. Watson,” the concierge responded. “We’re working with the florist to locate them and they’ll be in your room by the time you return tonight.”

Sam pinched the bridge of his nose, mentally running through his checklist. What else could go wrong? “You understand I want everything to be perfect tonight, right? It’s not just about the roses. I want the champagne chilling in the ice bucket, the music cued up, candles ready to be lit. It’s gotta be perfect, you hear me?”

Unlike the last three times he’d planned to propose, only to have his plans go awry. Rosie deserved perfect and if it killed him, he’d give her the perfect memory. The perfect proposal.

“Yes, sir. I’ll personally ensure everything is exactly as you’ve requested, even if I have to go out and purchase the roses myself.”

“Make sure they’re red roses. Not pink. Not white. Red.” To match his favorite shade of her lipstick.

“Yes, sir. All I need from you now is an approximate time you’ll be returning so we can be set up and out of your way.”

Now there was a problem. Every member of the Ramos family could talk the ears off a concrete elephant. A regular dinner generally lasted two hours—a birthday dinner might last until dawn. The way his luck was running lately, he hedged his bet. “Set it up before six.” Dinner shouldn’t be cooked and eaten before then, he doubted. “That way we won’t walk in on your staff and ruin the surprise. And call me if you can’t get the damned roses.”

After another assurance from the concierge that all would be done according to plan, he hung up the phone. Good thing too, because at some point during the call the shower had shut off. He closed the small blue box and slipped it back into his coat pocket moments before Rosie emerged. As it did every time she walked into a room, his whole body went on alert, needing to claim her.

A drop of water slid from the tip of one dark curl and over the curve of her breast before disappearing into the towel she’d tucked into her cleavage. Damned lucky towel.

Some of their clients had thought her natural sensuality, along with petite stature, made her less effective as a bodyguard. At least until he explained that those qualities made her less likely to scare the bejesus out of a client’s kids or pass undetected by anyone expecting to see a six-foot-six behemoth like himself. After that, he’d have Rosie give them a demonstration by taking him down with a quick-and-dirty leg sweep, or show them the results of her last shooting competition.

A second, then a third droplet followed the path of the first. He skimmed a finger over her skin, tracing the path the water droplets had taken to the edge of the towel.

“Well, were you?”

“Was I what?” Was the towel slipping? If it wasn’t, it should. A slight tug should be enough to—

The single finger tilting his chin until he met her eyes made him focus, as did the impatient tapping of her tiny foot. “Saa-am…”

Uh-oh, she was getting that tone in her voice. She’d said something, but damned if he knew what. “Sorry. I got distracted. What did you ask?”

She clamped a hand across her bosom, which only served to press the soft mounds until a hint of cinnamon nipple peeked over the terry. With her free hand she made a V with her fingers and aimed them at her face in an unspoken “eyes up here, buddy” command.

After a brief internal struggle he managed to wrench his gaze back to her face. Her narrowed eyes told him she knew exactly what had distracted him.

“I asked—”she enunciated every syllable, drawing his gaze to her lips, still swollen from their earlier kisses, “—if you were talking to me while I was in the shower.”

Shoot, he’d figured between her singing and the running water she wouldn’t hear him talking. “Nope. I was—”Keep your eyes up, Watson, stop thinking about getting her naked, “—checking in with Chad.”

“I know it’s a blow to your ego, but Chad doesn’t need you to micromanage things. He’s perfectly capable of running the office himself. And you took a couple of days off to relax.” She poked her index finger into the middle of his chest. “So relax already.”

“Hey, he contacted me first.” He didn’t have to mention that his second-in-command had reached him by text message, which is how he’d replied. “It’s not my fault the guy’s OCD about details.” Which was what made Chad so good at his job.

Her expression softened. “I worry about you, Sam. You’ve been working so hard lately. You deserve this vacation. Chad can handle any issues that come up back in D.C.”

“I know, but—“

“No buts. Now promise me you won’t be checking your email or texting him all day. Give yourself some time for fun.”

The scent of her shampoo—a light fragrance of ginger and some other spice—filled his lungs. Damn, she smelled good enough to eat. A quick check over his shoulder at the hotel room clock showed he had time to do a little taste test of the smorgasbord known as Rosalinda Ramos. Taste test, hell! Count him in for a whole sit-down dinner with her laid out as the main meal. He gave in to temptation and tugged at the terry tucked into her cleavage. “Well, lookie here, your towel’s come loose.”

Damned if she didn’t thwart him by pressing her whole body against him to hold it in place. “I know I said you should have fun but we’re due at my parents’ in less than an hour. We don’t have time for sex right now.”

He raised his eyebrows and drew himself up to his full six foot six to stare down at her. “There’s always time for sex.”

She slapped at his chest with little heat. “I still have to dry my hair—”

With her tight curls, drying meant using a boatload of hair products to help keep her hair straight and tame, which took her at least forty-five minutes.

“—and do my make-up.”

Shoot, he could have waited an hour or more to get dressed up in this monkey suit. At least he could loosen his tie while he waited. And maybe his fly. He always got a hard-on watching her apply her makeup—especially her lipstick, while he imagined the particular shade on her lips as they closed around his cock the way they had earlier.

“Then I have to get dressed.” The conviction in her voice faded as she nuzzled her face against his chest.

Yeah, they were definitely going to be late, thanks to the erection painfully constrained by his briefs.

“We can blame traffic if we’re late.” He slipped his hands beneath the terrycloth and palmed her bare ass. Drowning in Rosie’s sensuality, he gave in and allowed his carnal side to take over.

Rosie gasped when he lifted her until they were nose-to-nose, her bare feet dangling a foot off the floor. Though she teased him about lugging her around like she was a suitcase, she found his penchant for picking her up as though she weighed nothing incredibly romantic.

With a shake of her head in mock dismay, she locked her hands around his neck and hooked her legs around his hips. “You’re incorrigible, you payaso.”

“Even a clown would get hard watching you parade around in nothin’ but a towel, Rosebud.” As proof of the truth of his statement, he pressed his erect cloth-covered shaft against her mound.

She should have anticipated this when he’d ogled her cleavage instead of listening to her. Oh heck, she’d seen the look he’d given her when she’d headed into the shower, and quite frankly she’d been surprised he hadn’t joined her. The fact that they’d already made love before breakfast never slowed Sam Watson down.

“Have I told you I love you this morning?” he asked.

He had. Numerous times, in English, Spanish, French and what she thought might be German—once he’d discovered she got turned on by foreign languages, he’d exploited her weakness without a qualm.

*** *** ***

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