Punchline

Free Punchline by Jacqueline Diamond

Book: Punchline by Jacqueline Diamond Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jacqueline Diamond
protested.
    “That’s from playing volleyball.” He didn’t take his hand away, though. In fact, Darryl seemed to be enjoying probing underneath her blouse.
    “What are you doing?” Belle demanded.
    “Seeing if I can feel the baby.”
    “It’s too small. Even I can’t feel it yet,” she said. “Besides, the baby isn’t up there. ”
    His hands had found the sports bra she’d worn, due to the fact that she had outgrown her regular ones. Through the soft fabric, his fingers probed her nipples. “Pregnancy really does make you larger, doesn’t it?”
    She tried to pull back, but there was no room to retreat. She grabbed Darryl’s wrists, only to find he was too strong to push away. Besides, his persistent kneading was sending heat waves through her body. It made a nice change from nausea.
    “They say women get very sensual during pregnancy,” he murmured, sliding his hands beneath the elastic waistband and down her hips. His body pressed into hers, taut and hungry and hard. Definitely hard.
    She wanted to object. Maybe in a few minutes…
    Darryl curved over her, his mouth descending toward hers. Then he stopped.
    “What?” said Belle.
    “Are you going to bite me?”
    “I might.”
    With a groan, he moved away. At least, he lifted his hands and retreated an inch or two, which was the most the storeroom would allow. His breathing was abnormally loud, and she was grateful that the sound masked her own sharp breaths.
    “I guess we can forget that idea,” she said. “If you move in, there’ll be nothing but trouble.”
    Darryl blinked as if emerging from a daze. “Don’t be ridiculous. Think of the massages I could give you. And my article—Belle, you’d be educating not only me butmen all over the country to be more sympathetic to women.”
    “You really intend to write an educational article?” she asked.
    He nodded.
    “And not mention my name?”
    He gave another, somewhat less vigorous nod.
    Belle shook her head. “Nope. You couldn’t hack it.”
    That brought his head up in defiance. “Excuse me?”
    “Are you telling me you really want to know what pregnancy’s like?” she demanded. “Every minute of it? Well, you can’t. You might take time off work to go to the doctor’s appointments and you might even try swallowing those humongous vitamin pills. But you won’t wake up five times a night to go to the bathroom. And you certainly can’t experience labor.”
    “I can cater to your every whim,” he offered.
    Now, there was a fabulous idea. Her every whim. Well, not every whim. Belle had no intention of landing in bed with the man again.
    Maybe that was what he had in mind. She couldn’t imagine why Darryl would be lusting after her, but it appeared to be the case. If so, he was in for a major disappointment.
    He deserved it.
    “You’ll rub my back?” she pressed.
    “I will.”
    “Whenever I like?”
    “Within reason.”
    That seemed fair enough. Besides, what if she did have some serious problem in the middle of the night? “We can give it a try,” she said. “Now will you let me out of the closet?”
    “Certainly.” Darryl opened the door with a flourish and bowed as she swept outside.
    As soon as she’d taken a few breaths of fresh air, Belle realized she’d made a very risky decision. But what was life without a few risks?
    Already, she couldn’t wait until her first back rub.

6
    A DJUSTING COPY to make it fit around ads was not Darryl’s favorite task, and today he’d had to do it with two stories that he particularly liked.
    He couldn’t afford to cut the ads, so he had to trim the articles. One was the main piece on “New Sports and Old: How to Choose What’s Right for You.” The other was a wickedly funny item called “Which Babe Tonight? Coordinate Your Date with Your Activity.”
    Belle would dislike it when it came out in February. But not as much as she would dislike the article Darryl planned to publish in March.
    Remembering the warm feel of her

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