Steam from the dishwasher wafted across Eve's face, momentarily blurring her vision. Her arms ached from straining under a heavy stack of white plates. Damn! She couldn't see a thing.
No amount of blinking could rid her eyes of the persistent sting. She blindly set down the stack of plates on the counter, somewhere to her left.
As she opened her eyes, she stepped forward, but her hip caught the counter and pushed her off balance, and the stack of plates leaned precariously to the side. Eve groaned and tried desperately to regain her balance, but suddenly, someone behind her yelled.
Eve jumped with fright. To her humiliation, the stack of plates finally tipped too far and fell off the counter with an ear-splitting crash. As her eyes swept the kitchen, Eve found everyone staring at her, some of them sniggering. She cringed inside, heat flooding her cheeks with embarrassment. Eve wished the tile floor beneath her would open up and swallow her whole.
"Eve!" Mr. Munro shouted angrily above the silence. "That was the last straw! Get your worthless ass out of my kitchen----you're fired!"
The others quickly returned to their work.
She managed to save a single plate from the stack before it crashed to the floor; now, she hurriedly returned it to the countertop. Still hurrying----she could not get out of the kitchen fast enough----she didn't push the plate far enough onto the counter. Sure enough----crash!----it too smashed to the floor, adding to the pile of broken china.
Eve's chin wobbled, as she struggled to hold back tears. Three jobs in one week! How was she going to support her elderly grandmother, who depended upon her----and pay for the medicine! What Eve needed was a miracle.
Sin, six-thousand-year-old Moon God of Ur, and second born twin of the great Summerian God Enkil, was restless.
Long gone were the temples and worshippers of the past, in their place were bright artificial lights of human technology. He replaced his long-lost temple with a shining glass-and-steel replica, known worldwide as The Moon Temple Casino in Las Vegas.
Sin moved, silent as the moon above, as he scanned the darkened shadows of the back lot behind his property.
He was born seconds after his twin brother, Neman, who had been the previous Moon God of Ur. These days, Neman was busy hunting rogue demons and, along with keeping the Human Realm relatively demon-free, he looked after his pregnant wife. It was from Neman that Sin acquired the title of Moon God on the day his older twin had lost all his powers, and was no longer able to fulfill his duty as a god.
Sin snorted at the thought of Neman married again. He had always been a soft-hearted fool. Sin figured there were simply too many beautiful temptations flittering around each and every realm. It didn't make sense to be tied to just one. He was free to do whatever, whenever, and whoever he pleased. He enjoyed partaking of the many pleasures offered in the Human Realm.
Sin's Moon Temple Casino was a Mecca for all kinds of humans----from the wealthiest, down to those in the middle class. He even entertained the nonhuman, as long as they stuck to his guidelines for human/nonhuman interaction.
He used his own powerful magic to dampen the use of magic by others in the temple----especially on the casino floor. No one could cheat; the odds were fair to all. The only use he had for human money was to keep his human staff at his beck and call.
Teleportation was restricted to the upper floors, where humans were not permitted to wander. He couldn't have Outer Realm creatures popping in and out, scaring the human patrons.
As fleeting as they were, humans had been a constant source of amusement and pleasure, especially the women. There was no end to the parade of beautiful women bowing down and opening their arms----and legs----for him. Even the odd goddess would stop by to indulge in the pleasures he was known to provide.
Moon Temple Casino was Sin's city. He created it. He looked after it, and swiftly dealt with any demon or creature from the Outer Realm who brought trouble to town.
Walking the perimeter of his temple, sniffing the air, the foul scent of Lower Realm demons lingered. Four of them had already tried to breach his defenses twice tonight.
What are they up to? Most demons knew better than to attempt to breech the defenses of his temple. Still, he'd come down to personally investigate and make sure these creatures were not causing havoc.
Sin paused in the shadows near the main supply entrance. The doors were flung open, and two men in casino security uniforms escorted a small woman in kitchen whites, held between them. One of Sin's managers, Devon Munro, followed closely behind. The woman could not have been more than five feet three and a little on the plump side. But what startled him was a pair of strikingly clear, green eyes. The men roughly shoved her forward, and she stumbled to the ground.
"I don't ever want to see you here again!" Munro yelled, his face reddened in rage at the woman.
"I'm really sorry, Mr. Munro. It was an accident. Please! There has to be something I can do! I really need this job."
"You're nothing but a walking disaster!"
Hurt and fear flashed across the girl's pretty face.
Sin didn't usually bother with the mundane task of running things in the bowels of his temple, but he also didn't like seeing human women treated so poorly----especially this human woman. She was short, frail, and, well, human.
The security team dumped the girl's belongings on the ground, spilling the contents of her backpack. Then they turned and went back inside. The supply entrance doors slammed shut.
Sin watched for a few moments.
She pulled off her white hat. Lovely, long, honey-blond hair fell free. The locks cascaded past her shoulders, down along her back and reached clear to her waist. Very pretty indeed.
He stepped forward, crouched and scooped up several of her things, which had scattered in his direction.
She gave a surprised yelp and fell back heavily onto her bottom. Her wide, green eyes stared up at him, first with fear, and then with confusion.
"Easy, little one. I mean no harm. I saw what happened. Are you all right?"
He saw her relax slightly before giving a nod of her blond head. Her green eyes now regarded him with suspicion.
"I'm a klutz. Mr. Munro is right. I'm a walking disaster zone."
Sin suppressed a smile. "I very much doubt that. How much chaos could such a little thing like you have caused?"
"Enough to get me fired from my third job this week," she said with a sad sigh.
He realized he was staring at her lips. They looked soft, pink, and full and glistened with a hint of wet moisture. No doubt they would redden and puff beautifully when thoroughly kissed.
No, she wasn't classically beautiful. Sin had known his share of unsurpassed beauty, but there was something about her. A shy innocence, maybe? Her nose a little wider than he liked, but that didn't seem to matter, nor did the dusting of pale-brown freckles scattered along the bridge. That moment, he decided he admired her high cheekbones, as well as the way the pale, milky skin of her cheeks flushed a deep pink.
Her lovely, green eyes widened in embarrassment, as she saw what he collected from her spilled bag. He glanced down at the items in his hand----a candy bar and a box of tampons. She scrambled to her feet, snatching the small box and the chocolate bar and shoving them into her bag. He couldn't suppress a chuckle this time, quite enjoying the high color of her face. This girl's innocence greatly appealed to him. It was a refreshing change from the many jaded women who had crossed his path in the casino.
"Um, thanks. I'd better go," she said sheepishly.
Sin stood and offered his hand. She looked up at him before slipping her hand into his. Instantly, her warmth hit him. His skin tingled with awareness, causing a blood rush straight from his brain into his dick.
He frowned, let go of her hand, and stepped back to examine the sensations suddenly assaulting him. He felt lust for this small human woman, that much was certain.
The other feeling was harder to identify, and it bothered him greatly. After six thousand years of existence, he should have known exactly what he felt, yet this sensation was something which escaped him. He frowned at the thought. There was little he didn't know, and what he didn't know, he needed to discover.
He didn't want to let her go.
"You don't have to leave."
He surprised himself by how genuine he sounded. Eve paused and peeked up at him, from under lovely, long, blond eyelashes. Sin saw the suspicion return to her gaze.
"You want a job, don't you, sweetheart? I happen to know the owner here, and I'm positive we can find you a new position." Naked and beneath him. Sin smiled. He would get her an easy job, even if he needed to make one up. He'd seduce her, and they could both enjoy some carnal pleasures for a while. When he was finished, he would make sure she was well compensated for the rest of her short, human life.
The girl's pretty face brightened hopefully. "Really? Why would you do that for me?"
He stepped forward and took the bag from her shoulder with one hand. His other arm gently encircled her waist and guided her back towards the supply entrance doors. It was a possessive move, but he didn't care.
"Let's just say, I cannot refuse a damsel in distress," he said. "Allow me the pleasure of helping you." The feel of her pressed against his body shot another jolt of desire through him. She blinked up at him and then nodded. "What's your name? As much as I enjoy calling you sweetheart, I'm sure you'd appreciate if I used your real name."
"Eve Gardner, or just Eve for short."
She sounded breathy.
"I'll do just about anything; I don't mind hard work."
He could feel the nervous pounding of her rapid pulse and the lovely smell of feminine arousal. He smiled inwardly with the knowledge he was affecting her, as much as she affected him.
It'll be a breeze to get her into bed.
"Eve Gardner. A very pretty name."
Sin stuck his hand into his pocket, flashed a swipe card into his palm, then pulled his hand and the card back out. Opening the door without swiping a card would have made her suspicious. Around mortals, he needed to take care and act as normal as possible. He swiped the card over the electronic panel, watching it beep from red to green.
"Who are you to have such influence with the owner?"
He gave her his best dazzling smile. She faltered and stumbled again. If he hadn't been holding onto her, she would have tripped over her own feet. This clumsiness amused him even more. She had claimed to be somewhat of a klutz. Again, it didn't matter. She wouldn't be causing any accidents when he had her pinned securely beneath him, plowing into her soft lush body.
"Oh, the owner and I have an extensive history." Well, it wasn't exactly a lie.
Eve had been in a daze ever since the tall, overly handsome man put his arm around her waist. She felt the heat from his body, and smelled his spicy masculine aftershave. She liked the way he smiled as he casually led her through the corridors, into an elevator and up several floors. Only after he sat her down in a chair and moved away did she start to breathe again. She glanced around the office. It looked sterile and free of any personal objects, not even photos on the desk. Deep down, she was starting to suspect there was more to this man than met the eye. The way he smiled at her, the way he touched her, the way his hand lingered and almost caressed her----it was more than just casual. Each and every one of his touches sent her pulse into overdrive and refused to calm.
She sat awkwardly in the chair across from his desk. She could feel the dampness in her panties. This man was pure decadence to gaze upon, with slightly tilted, golden eyes, which never seemed to miss a thing. Her gazed lingered on his high, masculine cheekbones, a strong, square jaw line, a cleft in the middle of his chin, a straight nose and full sensual lips, and when he smiled, he had matching dimples. Everything about his face held a perfect symmetry. He was tall, much taller than she was. Eve guessed a good six three or four, compared to her measly five two, or maybe three on a good day.
Her breasts felt heavy, as if aching to be petted, and her nipples abraded against her plain bra. She felt hot, inside and out, all because of this hotter-than-hell man.
He made her a drink and placed it in her hands. Once again he touched her, but the caress was much more pointed this time. She took the drink and gulped it down quickly. The fiery liquid burned her throat and she coughed. She wasn't used to drinking such strong alcoholic drinks.
"Easy, there." Sin gently patted her back and then, with the final pat, left his hand there slightly longer than necessary.
It was a dual sensation, as heat from the alcohol and heat from his touch flooded her body.
"Who are you, really?" Eve asked. She watched as he removed his neat, expensive jacket and flung it carelessly over a chair. He took the glass from her hand and walked back to the small bar to refill it. Eve felt her head begin to swim from the buzz of the liquor.
He turned back to her with a seductive smile on his face, crossed the room and handed her the second drink. This time, she sipped.
"I'm Sin Templeton."
She gasped. She knew that name. There weren't many people in Vegas who didn't. He was the elusive owner of the casino in which she sat and had just been fired from.
"Yeah" She began, and then frowned and corrected her words. "You don't know the owner----you are the owner." Fuzzily, she wondered why the Moon Temple owner would help a lowly employee like her. She met the stare of his golden eyes and pondered the reason behind his interest in her. His intense gaze lingered on her, making her squirm in her seat from his scrutiny, almost as if he was trying to see inside her mind. She lowered her eyes. The alcohol in her system made it difficult to think clearly.
"Guilty as charged," he admitted. "Don't worry, sweetheart. I promised you a job. Trust me, I am a man who always keeps his promises."
He took a seat, as if he were trying to look less dangerously sexy. It didn't work.
She was unmistakably turned on by this attractive, powerful man. However, she knew she needed to stay level-headed. Still, she placed herself in this precarious situation----and was amazed she hadn't turned into a blubbering mess around him.
"You are very pretty, little Eve," he explained. "I'm going to be direct. I find you attractive, and there is something special about you. I would like to find out what that something is."
She felt her jaw drop and gripped the glass tightly as she stared wide-eyed at the man in the chair.
"In simple terms, I want you, and I know you find me attractive."
"Hell, who wouldn't?" She slapped her hand over mouth in mortification.
As if Sin heard such things on a daily basis, he gave a casual shrug.
"Yes, it's true."
His golden eyes darkened with a dangerous desire. She swallowed hard as he moved in on her.
"Let's dispense with the seduction routine. I want to offer you an opportunity you cannot refuse."
He squatted beside her chair as his hand skirted up her outer thigh. She jumped and trembled at his more intimate touch.
"You can have anything your heart desires----and I do mean anything. In exchange, I get to have you, whenever I desire, for however long I wish."
As she sat there in stunned disbelief, his hand slid to her waist and then up over her breast, his touch sending electric shocks through her entire body.
She already burned with lust for him, and yet, her mind battled her body. She was out of her depth, overwhelmed. Her reactions and feelings towards Sin frightened her. She knew she needed to stop this craziness before it went further.
With help from the alcohol running through her body, Eve found enough courage to stand up to Sin. This act of bravery was quite out of character for the timid little mouse she was known to be.
"N-no," she stammered. "It's an offer I can refuse."
She slapped at Sin's hand and shoved his shoulder. He was already somewhat off balance, so he fell flat onto his ass. She jumped to her feet, and the remainder of her drink splashed across the plush carpet floor.
From his bemused expression, she could tell he wasn't used to being told "no." She glared down at him.
"I can't, and I won't do that. I don't care who you are." She turned to leave, but her foot caught on a chair leg and she tripped. She never hit the ground----Sin caught her! How did he move so damn fast? She was stunned. She wrenched out of his grasp and insisted, "I don't know who you think I am, but I'mI'm not a whore!"
"Easy, sweetheart, I never said you were."
His touch sent more shockwaves through her system, and she battled the conflicting emotions of wanting to jump into his arms and, at the same time, run screaming from the room.
"We're two grown adults. There's no reason we can't enjoy each other's company," he calmly continued.
In one smooth move, he slipped his arm around her waist and pulled her against his hard length. Automatically, she put her palms on his chest, which trapped her hands between them.
"I can feel the reaction of your body, so I know you want me."
His voice deepened into a huskier tone, and a shiver ran through her body and centered in on her clit. Oh God, she did want him. But this still wasn't right. His hand slipped up to the nape of her neck and on into her hair, tugging it back. His strong arms around her felt oh, so good. Everything about him felt too damn good.
He dipped his head, and his mouth closed over hers. The hot suction of his lips on hers sent her thoughts scattering. She had been kissed a few times in her twenty-seven years, but never like this. She couldn't control the moan which rose in her throat, as his tongue plunged suddenly and deeply, like a man starved, needing to devour. She wanted to be his meal.
The room seemed to spin when Sin broke the kiss; blinking, she sucked in a lungful of air. Her eyes fluttered open, and she saw him smiling----like he just won a major prize. The prize, of course, was her.
"That's it, baby, you're mine now," he whispered.
He swooped down to claim her mouth again, but an unfamiliar anger flashed through Eve's entire being.
"No!" she snapped, turning her head. His lips fell on her cheek, and she shoved at his chest, while struggling to escape his grasp.
Sin sighed and let her loose. He was harder than damned steel! Eve tasted so sweet, her body soft and, for a moment, compliant. It may have been a small sample, but now that he had tasted her, he wanted a hell of a lot more. Still, he never took an unwilling woman. He watched her back up against the door, her heavy breathing making her bountiful breasts heave beneath the plain, white top she wore. She looked almost fearful and ready to flee. To be genuinely turned down by a woman was an unfamiliar position for Sin. Some women pretended to resist him, but she, to her credit, was truly trying----and doing quite well.
"I won't force myself on you," he reassured her. "Please don't fear me."
Eve watched him wearily, her pink tongue darting out and swiping along her lower lip, which was slightly reddened and swollen from his kiss. The motion of her tongue left a moist trail, sending a painful jolt of blood into Sin's cock. It took a lot of self-restraint to stop himself from closing the gap between them and forcefully taking those lush lips again.
"I suppose I don't get the job because I won't sleep with you?"
He could hear she was trying to keep her voice from quavering.
"I'm not a bad man, little Eve. Of course you will be gainfully employed here. I keep my promises. But you should also know, I don't give up easily. I still want you, and I want you to keep my offer in mind."
He watched as she swallowed hard. He knew her pulse was still hammering, and her breathing was still rapid. The way she fought her own natural desires and impulses was strange to him.
He gave her a friendly smile. He knew, if he kept the pressure up on her arousal, she would soon be unable to stand it and cave in to her desires. He walked across the room and crowded in on her personal space. Her eyes widened in panic, but he made no move to touch her. He just leaned down and whispered in her ear.
"Think of how good I am going to make you feel when I touch you, kiss you, lick every inch of your beautiful body, until you scream in pleasure. Then I'm going to take you, fuck you so hard and deep, you're going to see the heavens."
Then he pulled back. Eve's pupils were dilated and her breathing was shallow. He smiled seductively. He had planted his seed, planted it deep, and now, he just needed to nurture it. After all, he wasn't a fertility god for the hell of it. He backed up and headed to the door.
"Wait here, sweetheart, I'll get one my staff to locate a job for you."
Pretending to be casual and unaffected by her mere presence and her heat, Sin yanked open the door and strode out. Outside, with the door shut, he teleported straight into his security offices.