Excerpt from Suzanne’s novella "A Man’s Gotta Do"

Jamie Baird was in the kitchen when he heard the brass doorknocker out front. Lorna? Nothing soft or seductive about that rap. It was all business.

"Come on in," he called out, reaching for a kitchen towel. "It’s open."

He’d dressed for the mid-summer heat in trunks and a tank top, standard beach gear. He’d also opened the terrace doors and the skylights to let in the balmy evening air that southern California was famous for.

He was picturing Lorna in shorts or a sundress, but a vision in black lace walked through the door. The gown she was wearing looked more like a negligee than a dress, and unless his eyes deceived him, she was naked underneath. He’d never been one of those guys who ogled women’s body parts, but her breasts moved when she did, and for a second, he couldn’t tear himself away.

She made him burn, just the sight of her. It felt like someone had struck one of those matches that wouldn’t go out.

"Recognize it?" She touched the skirt of her gown. "It came from Velvet, Leather and Lace, your catalog."

"If only our models could make it look the way you do," he said. His gaze dropped from her coral pink mouth to her breasts, again. They needed obedience school. Not her breasts. His eyes.

She smiled and set down the overnight bag she was carrying. On her way back up, she hooked her finger in the side slit of her gown and ripped it up to top of her thigh.

It took Jamie a moment to find the words. "What are you doing?"

"Isn’t this fun?" she said. "It’s like Velchro. All it takes is a little tug and your clothes fall off."

Jamie thought his jaw might fall off.

She tugged at her bra strap, and it came apart with a soft ripping sound that he was very familiar with. The black lace cup drooped forward, revealing one lush, creamy breast, almost in its entirely. Her nipple peeked out at him like a shy child. If she ripped open the other one, she would be topless.

"Want to see what else it does?" She touched the other strap as if she’d read his mind.

"No, that’s okay," he said. "I know what it does. I designed it."

"You designed StripLoc lingerie? How clever of you. I’ll bet you’re making couples all over the country very happy, possibly tonight. Sure you don’t want me to demonstrate? I tried it at home."

"In that case, the gown should come with a warning label."

She gazed at him, seeming puzzled. "Why, have I offended you somehow?"

"No, because you’re so— Wow."

Her smile warmed the room. "I’ll take that as a compliment."

"Please do. You’re a natural," he assured her. "I may have to put you in one of our ads." He was starting to wonder if someone had put her up to this. Maybe one of his partners? Either that or he should add another note in his black book after Lorna Sutton’s name: playful exhibitionist.

"I love the gown," she said softly, standing there, more exposed than not. She looked like a luscious dessert made of strawberries and whipped cream. Her breasts were milky white, the nipples pink tipped, and the delicate black material covering her blushing flesh looked like a lace doily. She’d already sucked all the air from his lungs, and she’d only been in the house a few minutes.