When Vetta St. Claire sets her prodigious—and somewhat frightening—intellect on something, nothing can veer her course. Not her loving but mostly spacy parents, not her sly, all-seeing, all-judging assistant and certainly not Travis Carmichael, the only rival who has gone toe to toe with her and lived to tell the tale.
Travis Carmichael has battled all his life to get where he is—overcoming financial and social hardships to work on real science. Usually he doesn’t let Vetta’s pop-experiments get to him, but when her crazy sex study starts spilling into his lab, he takes matters into his own hands.
Note: This book is a reissue of the previously published work, “Test Me”
“Dee Tenorio’s TEST ME is an interesting look into the lives of two people whose opinions of one another are so one-sided and whose real feelings are kept locked inside them…Ingenuity and plain old lust make this a great read. You’ll love the way they’re so antagonistic toward one another in the beginning and then they began to thaw, both in feelings and attitudes. Don’t let this story pass you by. Ms. Tenorio creates some delish characters and these are two of her best.”
—Nickie Langdon, Romance Junkies
“Dee Tenorio lives up to her reputation as an author who delivers an emotional punch as well as hot sensuality in nearly every scene…
“With Test Me! Dee Tenorio has definitely secured her position as an author I will jump for every time.”
—Lynn, Fallen Angel Reviews
“This was my first book by Dee Tenorio, but after reading it, it wasn’t my last. I am now the proud owner of four more of her books…It’ll make you laugh, and in places Travis acts like a ‘man’ and makes you want to kick him in the knee, but it’s definitely a great read!”
—Melissa, Simply Romance Reviews
“A tempting, yet emotional tale, TEST ME brings together two people who have considered themselves enemies for almost seven years…Both Travis and Vetta have some baggage, and their respective hang-ups cause a few problems in their relationship, as well as make for a heartwarming story. TEST ME is a book I highly recommend.”
—Jennifer Bishop, Romance Review Erotic.com
“Test Me! is fun and it rather convinces me that this author is stronger in her craft when it comes to romantic comedies… I have no problems enjoying this story from start to finish.”
—Mrs. Giggles, Everything Romantic!
Disentangling from Travis wasn’t nearly as hard as escaping him.
What had she done?
One second, she’d been yelling at him, ready and willing to berate him for his utter lack of respect. The next…well, she still wasn’t sure what happened next. His eyes took on that angry, hungry gleam and he started saying things that got her head pounding from her heartbeat racing. All she’d been able to think about was the way he had made her feel in her shower, which made no sense analytically because he hadn’t really been there in the first place.
After the sex—could you call it losing your virginity if you’d already tossed that on a vibrator?—she hadn’t known what to do. She’d never planned on her first time with a man being outside, against a door, still dressed and with a man she couldn’t stand. All she could think of was getting away.
She’d pushed at his shoulders, disconcerted at how comforting it felt to be cradled in his hold that way. She didn’t want to be soothed by the silk of his hair against her cheek or the warmth of his breath. She didn’t want to be held as if she was precious. She didn’t even want his hands on her ass. She just wanted to be free.
“Vetta,” he grunted when she pushed harder, setting one of her feet on the ground and forcing him to slip free from her body.
She pretended that the slippery sensation didn’t make her shiver, that the sudden absence of him from inside her didn’t make her feel empty. Her skirt fell back to her ankles, covering all evidence as to what had happened. To her, at least.
Travis backed up a step, his jeans still open, his penis still exposed, still wet…still nearly erect. He quickly went to work covering up, but when she dared to look in his eyes, she could see that an apology was forming. Or maybe it was just a reflection of the confusion inside herself.
His eyes were downcast and the stark lighting of the fluorescent lights on the roof made his expression hard to read. All she could see now were the wide planes of his cheekbones, the grim line of his mouth and the shadows in his eyes.
“I have to go,” she blurted, spinning in place and frantically reaching for the flat handle of the doorknob. She yanked it down, but the door wouldn’t open.
“Vetta, we need to talk about this.”
“No, we don’t.” They would never talk about this. She had no inclinations whatsoever to be mocked. She was twenty-five years old. If she wanted to have meaningless sex on the roof of her own property, she would.
“Vetta.” His voice was gentle. Gentle. From Travis!
“I’ve dropped into the twilight zone,” she muttered, reaching for her keys from her lab coat pocket. Except she wasn’t wearing her lab coat. Feeling wild now, she looked around, ignoring his attempts to get into her frame of view. Finally, she saw it, floating like a phosphorescent ghost a few feet away. She hurried over, snatching it from the ground and reaching into the pocket with growing desperation. The lump of keys, just where they usually were, jangled into her palm. She turned back to the shed door and found Travis waiting, arms crossed, decidedly in her way.
He shook his head. “Not until we talk.”
“What’s to talk about? We had sex. We’re done.”
Against the door that way, his expression was even more inscrutable than before. She hoped he couldn’t see any better than she could. Despite his flaws, the man was a brilliant observer. If he realized for one second her disconcertion, she’d never hear the end of it. What she needed was to go downstairs, take a shower and hide in her room until this entire situation faded into obscurity. She did not need to talk about it.
“Why are you running away?”
Was he stupid? “This was a mistake, Travis.”
“Why do you say that?”
Yes, he was. He really, really was. “Because you hate me. Because I don’t like you.”
She watched him shrug. “You of all people should know sex doesn’t have anything to do with liking one another. It’s about chemistry. Need. Desire.”
She balled her fingers around the keys, his words making a sick feeling in her stomach. She’d been the one to say it, but oddly, it hurt having him agree to hating her. Thankfully, she’d long ago learned how to keep from showing a response to things said or written about her. Growing up, her mother’s stardom and her father’s money had made her a target for the press. Nothing Travis could say would be worse than what any of them had said.
“You wanted me,” he continued, proving her incorrect again. “There’s nothing wrong with that.”
“Will you please move away from the door?” Moisture was dripping down her leg and she preferred to be mortified in peace.
“I wanted you too, Vetta,” he added quietly.
“Good,” she snapped. “Great. We wanted. We got. Satisfied?”
“Not even close to it.”
She wished she could reply, wished she had something to say that would shut him up, but opening her mouth yielded no sound at all.
Travis sidestepped the door, finally getting out of her way. He even waved her through, bowing gallantly, his dark stare never leaving her face. Refusing to be afraid—of what exactly, she didn’t know—she made herself go back to the door, moving past him to unlock it with the keys.
As she searched for the right one, Travis slipped behind her. His body blocked the breeze, emitting a heat that had her skin tingling again. He leaned down to her ear, as if he were going to touch her, but made no contact. The correct key slid into the lock on the door.
“It’s not over yet, Vetta.”
She yanked down the lever. “Like hell it’s not.”
He lay his hand over hers, pulling the heavy door open. Voice deep, intimate, probably subconscious staining, he whispered, “You can’t hide from things you don’t want to face. Your problems will always be there when you turn back around.”
Vetta stumbled, but he caught her elbow.
“I’m not saying this to scare you. I just know that we’ve started something here, whether we like it or not.”
“Something stupid,” she corrected as primly as she could.
He nodded his head. “Maybe. It’s not good timing for either of us. You’ve got your weird little experiment and I have…”
She frowned at him when his voice trailed off, then shook her arm free. “I’m not going to be your convenient lay, Travis. This was a one-time thing because you saw me naked. We were curious. Don’t make more of that than it was.”
That seemed to snap him out of his little mini-trance. “I don’t have to. Sooner or later, we’re going to end up in bed. It’s just a matter of time.”
This book was originally published as “Test Me”, with Samhain Publishing, Nov 27, 2007, 978-1-59998-965-5 & 978-1-59998-699-X