Out of Bounds
they were
pressing down against the mattress? They looked strong and
streamlined, and in the moonlight she could see the faint haze of
hair covering them.
    Perhaps if she could bear to be as close as
this tonight she might manage to overcome her fear. Some day.
    Flicky panic waves tweaked at her nerves,
calling her a coward, an inadequate woman, a crybaby.
    Uncle Graham had called her a crybaby.
    She stood statue-still, fighting her old
terrors. She had never been so close to a semi-clad man. Not on her
    She could manage being part of a group at the
beach or pool where friends acted as the buffer she needed. Where
she could edge away if she got too uncomfortable.
    She was fine at dinner parties. Or at movie
outings when there were at least two couples. Unbothered at work,
even when visiting a male client at his home for a design
consultation. That was business, and let’s face it, he was often
gay if there was no wife present.
    This was not business. This was as personal
as it got.
    A bed, a man, and way past midnight.
    A big handsome man who was sound asleep. Who
didn’t know she was there, wanting so much to look, and to learn,
and to test herself.
    She shook the blanket out and stepped
    He had shorts on. Proper outdoor shorts, not
underwear, she saw with relief. And although the fabric bulged at
his groin, it was nothing like the shocking big lump that used to
stick out in Uncle Graham’s trousers.
    Jetta knew what went on in men’s trousers,
and she was careful never to put herself in the situation where a
terrifying lump might rear up.
    So far, so good . She advanced a
cautious half pace and let the blanket settle beside him on the
bed. If he woke she had her excuse right there. But he continued to
breathe deeply and slowly. His chest rose and fell, and the deeper
breaths sometimes made his belly rise, too. His long, flat, smooth,
golden belly.
    Suddenly she wanted to touch. Wanted to know
how warm he’d feel. How smooth and firm. How nice. He was so much
nicer than Uncle Graham; the small hot ripples of pleasure between
her thighs made that abundantly clear.
    The memory of the morning returned. She’d
stood in front of the drawing board with him, aware of herself as a
woman—confused but strangely thrilled. She bit her lip. Her mouth
was watering! She swallowed, and felt the saliva begin to pool
    Anton drew a much deeper breath, tensed,
sighed and relaxed. The arm flung up over his eyes slid sideways.
Now she could see his face, but was he going to wake up?
    She moved the blanket closer in case she
needed to pretend she was covering him, and was pleased when his
breathing slowed and his eyes remained shut.
    Finding untold courage from somewhere deep
inside, she reached a cautious finger down and laid it on his
nipple. The small flat disk made such a tempting target. A warm
smooth target, soft as velvet. She moved her fingertip lightly to
and fro, and gasped as it changed shape and pushed up, almost as
though searching for her. She pulled her hand away, astounded. So
his did it too?
    Perhaps I shouldn’t touch him again, even
though I really want to.
    She lowered her face close to his chest and
sniffed instead. She smelled the soap from his earlier shower...
the biscuity aroma of hardworking man... the underlay of male
    She straightened, and touched his hair—the
lightest brush over the top of his head. At dinner, her fingers had
wanted to wander there, and it felt exactly as she’d imagined it
would. Springy and thick; as vital as he was.
    More daring now, she stroked again, and then
again—this time touching his brow before traveling slowly
    His nearest hand gave a sleepy swat at her as
though brushing away an annoying insect. His fingers curled and
clamped around her wrist, warm and inescapable.
    The panic came sweeping back, and Jetta did
her utmost to remain silent and calm. Why had she started this? She
had no right being here, touching him…using him as an

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