WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN
Harlequin Blaze #472
Say “sayonara” to your inhibitions!
Juliana Thompsen always hated her family’s ridiculous feud with the Coles. Especially since sexy Tristan Cole has haunted her hottest dreams since high school! But now she’s traveling to exotic, erotic Japan on family business, and she’s looking for someone to make her forget all those naughty thoughts about Tristan.
Until he shows up on his own family business! And once they both realize the sexual heat burning between them is mutual, they decide to indulge in all the sensual experiences Japan has to offer.
Their encounter is wild. Hot. Unstrained. And it turns out to be much more than a fling. But will their love last once the sun goes down?
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Excerpt from WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN
Tristan and Juliana had left the ramen house, making their way down a hushed alley lined by store windows.
Her cheeks had an extra blush to them, even though a sulfur-laced sea breeze was now cooling the temperature. But there were still grates in the ground that seethed steam from mountain water sources that fed the hot springs.
The sight of her all flushed and bothered just made him hotter, encouraging him to picture her without clothing, bare and sweating in front of him.
Finally having her, Tristan thought. That’s all he wanted. A chance to get what he hadn’t before, then he’d be fine.
But how did a guy work up to that, even after the flirting touches, even after the sound of “yes” from Juliana’s lips?
Something told him to handle her with care because he didn’t want her to run off this time.
She stopped in front of a candy shop, smiling enough to show him that she wasn’t just perusing the pastel, flowered goodies.
He lingered a foot away. “I don’t know about you, but I’m only too glad that I won’t have to get on the phone right away to call home with the news about the missing shipment.”
“The time change gives us a reprieve, doesn’t it? And so does this shipment error.” She pushed the hair away from her neck, her skin soft and pink.
Damn, she’d taste good. All over, too.
Then she glanced at her bangle-type watch. “I suppose I should call Sasha and meet up with her now.”
He knew she was testing him, seeing if he’d meant what he’d said back at the restaurant.
“Don’t,” he whispered.
She lowered her hand, gave him a wondering look that wrapped his belly inside out.
“I’m staying in Tokyo,” he said. “Are you in Atami?”
“No, I’m in the big city, too, since Jiro’s gallery is there. Sasha and I are in the Shinjuku district near the train station.”
When she told him exactly where they’d booked a room, he smiled at how close they actually were.
“We’re practically neighbors,” he said. “Just like in Parisville.”
“Not the same.”
“No,” he said. “Not nearly the same at all.”
She shot him a glance that could’ve meant a lot of things, but he hoped it offered a subtle invitation.
To do what? He wasn’t quite sure yet, but he was set on discovering the possibilities while they could get away with it, so far from their real lives.
Until Jiro Mori had information about the painting’s location, time was all theirs.
Could she be in Tristan’s hotel room within the next couple of hours?
Clearly, it was taking him too long to decide just how to gracefully go about getting her there, because he could see Juliana adapt a look of uncertainty as she wandered away from the candy store window.
“I imagine you’ve got a lot of plans for this trip,” she said. “When you get back to the city, I mean.”
Still testing him out.
He followed, off to pursue her in this lazy chase.
But he liked this—how they were circling each other, getting closer, semi-acknowledging that no one knew who they were and wouldn’t care about their pasts or histories. Not here, not now.
“I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of guy,” he said, “so I don’t have any set plans.”
They came to a dark, recessed entryway that was partially blocked by a half-door.
She glanced at it with those vivid eyes that were twinkling with what he thought might be mischief. She had looked the same way that first night, after he’d kissed her and she’d grabbed his T-shirt to draw him against her so she could kiss him right back.
Now, she backed into the alcove.
His body didn’t wait for his brain to form another thought—not that he would’ve listened to any “She’s just gonna leave you again” warnings, anyway.
He followed her until the half-door and dimness hid them both.
“What’s this?” he asked.
She smiled as she leaned back against a wall and tilted her head, as if running through those same warnings he’d rashly disregarded.
Then something in her gaze shifted, and he knew he had her.
“Back in the ramen house,” she said, “it seemed as if we’d come to an agreement.”
He wanted to hear her say it—that he’d always been her secret desire—and his heart was shredding his chest, making so much noise that he could’ve sworn his pulse was audible.
“About…” She swallowed. “…forgetting everything else and seeing what might’ve happened with us. Just this once.”
He gently took her by the silk of her shirt near the waist. In the hushed light, she slid a low glance to his hand.
“I didn’t want to say this out there,” she said.
“Where people might see and hear?”
“I do keep promising myself that I won’t cause any international incidents, Tristan. Public displays of affection aren’t the norm here.”
Her uplifted gaze dared him to do more, so he tightened his grip on her shirt, pulling her closer, breaths away.
Then a whisper.
God, her scent…
He became aware of people shuffling by outside the half-door, and he let go of her shirt. Even so, his body stayed on red alert, his blood pumping.
“You know what a love hotel is, Juliana?” he asked, liking how her name sounded. He realized that he’d only said it out loud during the rare moments when it’d been necessary. That he’d mainly kept it inside.
At the mention of the hotel, her gaze got all the brighter. “It’s a Japanese institution, a so-called ‘fashion hotel’ where people can rent rooms for short times for ‘rest.’ For assignations, really.”
“You did your homework.” He tugged at her shirt. “The rooms can have different themes. Anything that gets a couple going. And they’re very private.”
“Good for keeping secrets.”
He wound the material of her shirt around his fingers, bringing her near again, until their lips were inches apart.
“Maybe we can find a room that resembles the backseat of my old car,” he said.
When she laughed, her breath skimmed his mouth. “Or maybe something a little more comfortable.”
He planted his other hand against the wall, just over her head, loving how her mouth moved around every word.
What else could her lips do?
“By the time we take a train back to Tokyo,” he whispered, his voice graveled, “it’ll be late afternoon. We could meet, walk to the Kabuki-cho section—the red light district—and find us a cultural experience.”
Her breathing seemed shaky. “I heard that those hotels cater to Japanese people only. I don’t know how true that is, but we don’t even speak the language.”
“I might be able to get by.” At her curious glance, he added, “Lots of self-education.”
He hadn’t been kidding, but it’d sounded like a double entendre, and that seemed to amuse her.
“And what would I tell Sasha?” she whispered.
“Everything. Nothing.” He lowered his mouth closer to hers until they were all but touching. “Anything.”
They breathed against each other, the seconds knocking at his head, his groin.
But then she spoke.
His cock was pounding by now, so he would agree to rope the moon if that’s what she wanted. “Name it.”
She drew back from him a bit, not even an inch, but enough to send a dagger to his belly.
“When we get back home,” she said, “it’d be like nothing ever happened here. I don’t want to cause any more tension than what already exists.”
For an instant, he wondered if, all these years, he’d kept his young affair with Juliana quiet for nothing. He’d been too naive to know as much as he did now about their families’ history where it concerned Terrence and Emelie.
Would everyone actually applaud Tristan if they learned that he’d nailed a Thomsen—just as Terrence had once so thoroughly seduced Emelie before things had gone to hell between them all those years ago?
If Tristan were to walk in his great-great grandfather’s footsteps, would that prove the Coles could be the masters of the situation? That the Thomsens were submissive?
He held back a frown. Sometimes it seemed that Gramps purposely ignored how much Terrence had loved the angry Emelie. Based on family lore, Terrence had possessed such feeling for her that no other woman had ever captured his heart again—not even his arranged wife.
Yet Emelie had gotten her revenge by taking that painting.
Or, at least, that’s what the family said.
But the feud didn’t matter right now. Not with the heady scent of Juliana’s hair winding through him like a corkscrew to his gut. Not with her so close, so warm, so much the fantasy that had a chance to come to fruition.
He’d promise almost anything to her for a shot at having what had escaped him before.
“Mum’s the word,” he said. “I won’t tell a soul.”
She exhaled, warm and moist against his lips. Tristan got closer, just a moan away from her mouth.
But then someone called out in what sounded like Aussie-accented English from outside, and she straightened, as if realizing where they were.
Before he could even open his mouth, she’d untangled herself from him and slipped away, out of their hiding place.
He moved to the alcove entrance, finding her standing in the alley, sunlight bringing out the silver of her long hair.
“I’ll call you in a few hours to tell you I’m waiting in your lobby,” he said. “Be ready, Juliana.”
She smiled, turned, and talked over her shoulder while moving away.
“I’ve been ready for longer than you can imagine.”
Then she flashed him a smile and was gone, just as quickly as she’d appeared only about two hours before.
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From the book: When the Sun Goes Down
By: Crystal Green
Imprint and Series: Harlequin Blaze
Publication Date: 06/09
By: Chris Marie Green
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The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
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