Dancing made her feel sexy. Knowing Nate had watched heightened her senses. In spite of
her efforts to calm down and act nonchalant, her body betrayed her. Hormones raged and lust
filled her thoughts. The need to have a man see her dance and want her was a fantasy she
harbored about the whole amateur dance night competition.
And right now, Nate had seen her. He probably wouldn’t make it easy for her to unravel
herself from her secret upcoming performance. She stuffed her feet in her shoes and waited for
him to move through the doorway. He bent down, picked up her jacket and held it out to her.
Carla sighed and shook her head. “Is it your intention to embarrass me any further?” She
took the jacket as he walked closer.
“We’re colleagues. Why would I embarrass you? You’re good. I told you that.” He smiled.
“Look. What will it take for you to forget this? You wouldn’t tell anyone, would you?” Panic
rushed through her. If word got out about her upcoming naughty adventure, gossip would
spread through the campus.
A devilish grin spread on his face. “Have dinner with me. I’m fascinated about all this.”
She shook her head. “Sorry. I have plans for tonight.” Her only instinct was to escape.
“I’ll walk you to your car while we talk.” He led the way out of their department door.
“Nate,” she checked her watch, “I’m going to be late.” She picked up her pace to exit the
”Late for what? Got a hot date?” he teased.
“No. I don’t date.”
“Oh. So it’s not just me you turn down.”
She stopped short and stared at him. “Look. Men are trouble. I keep my distance to save
“Carla, I just asked you out for dinner. Not a lifetime commitment.”
“Well, like I said, I have a class to get to.”
“Class? What class? Are you teaching more summer classes somewhere else?”
Damn. She hadn’t intended to mention her class. “Will you leave me alone so I can go if I tell
He rocked back on his heels. “Probably. What’s your next big secret?”
“I’m taking pole dancing lessons for my routine. There. Are you satisfied now?” She turned
and quickened her pace to her car.
“Hey. Wait a minute.” Nate caught up with her just as she unlocked her car and threw her
tote into it.
“Nate. I answered your question. Forget all this. Go home.” She folded her arms in front of
her as if to ward off any more questions.
“Not so fast. Are you practicing in your office tomorrow?”
Huh? “Yes. There’s no carpet here so I can slide better than in my apartment. And it’s
closer to my pole dancing classes than going home and leaving again. I’ve gotten into the habit
of just dancing here. Why?”
He leaned in closer and placed his hands against the car on either side of her. “I want to
watch you dance again.”
Gazing deep into his eyes, Carla detected a blaze of desire. It rattled her composure while a
frisson of lust shot through her system. “Why?”
“I enjoyed it.” He stepped closed until she backed against her car door. “And, if you’re
honest with yourself, I think you liked knowing I saw you. I saw the passion in your eyes and
your body language invited me. Some part of you wants me to watch.”
Carla felt heat scorching her cheeks. She gently pushed him away. “No passion. No
invitation. I just want to leave.”
“If you want me to watch tomorrow, leave the door ajar. And, if you don’t have lessons,
dinner after you’re done. Goodnight, Carla.”
In silence, she stared at his retreating back, noting the swagger in his steps. Out of all the
men she’d refused to date, he’d been the hardest to avoid. Tall, with wavy brown hair and deep
blue eyes, Nate often caught her attention. His causal friendliness with everyone made him a
popular man on campus. Unlike her dull, functional look to ward off conversations, he was
approachable and made others feel comfortable around him.
Shit. He was right. That tingling feeling from her head to her toes meant having Nate watch
her boosted her self-esteem. He liked what she did. She relished knowing he did, and wanted to
Carla got into her car and put her head in her hands. Four more days to practice. Pole class
tonight and again on Wednesday. What the hell should she do tomorrow?