Can friends become lovers...can lovers remain friends?
A prequel to "Ask Adam"
Daniel Tanner's through with being loved like the proverbial brother. He intends to make his best friend, Amy Morgan, blaze with the same desire he feels for her. The plan? Initiate a series of escapades that will have Amy falling into his arms--and into his bed.
When her trusted buddy suddenly turns up the heat, Amy finds it impossible to resist his sexy advances. But as his best friend, she knows a thing or two about Daniel. While he may be charming and gorgeous, he's also commitment phobic.
If she trusts her heart to him, she's sure he'll leave it--and their friendship--shattered in a million pieces.
This book has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.
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May 01, 2008
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Excerpt from Photo Opportunity by Jess Dee
She squeezed her eyes shut for a second and sighed. "Look, I need to explain something to you. Could you please just let me speak, without interrupting and without contradicting me? And for God's sake," she raised her voice slightly, "stop touching me."
Daniel smiled ruefully and pulled his hand back. He'd been about to wind it through her hair, pull her face close to his and kiss her. Ravish her mouth until she whimpered and moaned like she had last night. Until her body was on fire and begging for his touch, begging for release.
"Go ahead," he assured her. "I won't say a word until you're finished."
Amy bit her lip. "See, the thing is, you're my best friend. I can't remember a time in my life when you weren't. You're always around when I need you. I love you and I don't know what I'd ever do without you."
She loved him. That's what he wanted to hear. "I--"
She cut him off. "I'm talking!"
"Sorry," he mouthed silently.
"What I was saying is that I never want to imagine life without you. And if I...slept with you, that's exactly what would happen. We'd do it and then you'd dump me." She grimaced. "I know you too well. I know how you work with women. God, I've been through enough break-ups with you. You're just not capable of sustaining a long-term relationship."
She held up her hands as if to placate him. "I'm not criticizing you. That's just the way you are and if it works for you, fine. But that's not what I want from you. If we got involved, it would be for a few weeks or a few months and then you'd be off again, looking for another conquest."
His heart filled with hope and he smiled. "Are you saying you want a long-term commitment from me?"
"No." Her response was rather too emphatic for his liking. "I'm saying I want you to be my friend. Period. You're unable to commit. You would leave me and that would ruin our friendship. Because no matter how hard we tried, we could never go back to what we have now. A friendship unspoiled by sex."
Daniel felt like he'd been punched in the gut and swore out loud. "First of all, I would never jeopardize our friendship. It's just as important to me as it is to you. And second of all, I would never leave you."
"I know our friendship is important to you, but I also know how bored you get with women. Trust me, Danny. You would leave."
"Trust." He rolled the word around in his mouth. "Funny word choice, since you seem to have very little trust in me."
"I trust you with my life."
"Just not with your heart."
"All I know is that you're my friend and that's the way I want it to stay. Call me selfish, but I'm not willing to let you go for the sake of a little recreational sex."
"You think that's all sex between the two of us would be? Recreational?" He gave a cynical laugh. "Trust me, sweetheart, it would be a whole lot more meaningful than that."
She eyed him warily. "It doesn't matter. I'm telling you this because I don't want last night to happen again. Sex would kill our friendship."
"It could also make it so much stronger." Hell, sleeping together would be the best thing that could happen to them. It would be fun, it would be hot and it would leave them both so gratified, neither would be able to walk for a week.
"I've given this a lot of thought," Amy countered. "It's the right decision."
"For both of us."
Daniel started to argue but she cut him off. "Look, let's just leave it at that. I've said what I need to." The look on her face told him she was not open to negotiation.
"That's it? What about what I have to say?" Even as he asked the question he knew he had to stop arguing. Time, he reminded himself. She needs time. She was barely over Simon. Throwing himself at her feet now would scare the hell out of her.
"Can you please just not say it," she begged.
Daniel nodded slowly. "All right," he said. "We'll play it your way." Because he couldn't help it, he added, "For now."
The look she shot at him was deadly.
They were quiet for a few minutes, the air between them tense. Then she touched his arm. "Thank you. For not pushing the issue."
He shrugged and looked around. It was almost dark. "Come on," he said. "I'll walk you home."
Together they set off for her flat, which was a couple of blocks from the beach. They walked in silence, neither saying anything until they reached her unit.
"Danny--" she closed the front door behind them and looked into his eyes, "--I know I'm being unfair. But life without you would be too horrible to even consider and I don't ever want to have to."
"Believe it or not, I understand where you're coming from." One of the reasons he needed to move slowly was for fear of losing her. If she ran from him now he'd curse his hastiness until the day he died. He pursed his lips. "But you need to know what you're rejecting, what you won't have if you insist on keeping things platonic between us."
He watched her mind working, could almost see her brace herself for whatever he might say, determined to contradict his argument with a brilliant defense strategy of her own.
So he never said a word. Instead, in a whirl of motion, he wound his arm around her neck, pulled her close and kissed her.
He expected her to resist, to fight him off, but she didn't. Maybe she was too stunned. Maybe she didn't really want to. Whatever the case, her lips accepted his immediately and parted to give his tongue access to her mouth. Its velvety warmth seared him and played havoc with his libido. He'd been hard since he saw her at the beach. Now even her slightest movement played havoc with his self-restraint.
Her nipples beaded against his chest and he pressed against them. A moan escaped her and she deepened the kiss. Damn, the woman could kiss. His toes curled and his stomach tightened.
Slowly but deliberately, he withdrew his tongue from the silky confines of her mouth and continued to hold her, to rub his chest against the soft breasts and tight buds. Looking into her glazed green eyes, he said, "Give me five minutes of your time. That's all I need. Five minutes and I promise I'll get out of your hair." He nibbled her chin and jaw line.
A soft sigh of indecision escaped. "This is a very, very bad idea."
He kissed her lips. "Five minutes, Morgan. That's all. What can happen in five minutes?"