Lunchtime Chronicles – Tequila Sunrise Read Online Amarie Avant

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Contemporary, Erotic Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 28
Estimated words: 27128 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 136(@200wpm)___ 109(@250wpm)___ 90(@300wpm)
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Tequila mixes well with everything except… decisions, and I’m old enough to know better.

ESSENCE
With a face chiseled in arrogance, Antonio Emmanuel Rivas pushes all my buttons. The younger artist acts like my gallery, and everything in it belongs to him.
Including me.
Secretly, I crave Antonio’s dominating hands all over my body like I’m one of his signature pieces.
But he’s a tyrant. A monster. Trouble.
He’s dangerous for my business and heart.
While the beast chases me relentlessly, I wonder if the man I should hate is also the man my soul can’t llive without.

ANTONIO
I’m only gentle with a paintbrush, and Essence Traver’s cruel, luscious mouth has incurred my wrath.
I respect Essence’s curation acumen. However, the pulse between her thighs and at her throat leaps in defiance when my name is involved.
There’s no secret I imagine adorning every inch of her body with . . . paint.
So while Essence intends to keep me at arm’s length, I’ll have my obsession in my arms soon enough.
All men have a vice; mine happens to be tequila and a blank canvas.
Until her.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

Chapter 1

Essence

“Maybe being fashionably late will give more guests time to arrive?” my assistant, Kyleigh, suggests, pushing a few crinkled braids away from her babyface.

Compared to the young lady, I only hold softness in my hips, ass, and, unfortunately my arms. The Good Lord didn’t see fit to put the extra weight into my breasts instead of my biceps.

I fork a nervous hand through my natural, thick tresses. I’m fashionably late, as it is! It doesn’t get any sexier than this. I’m wearing Italian silk, and the champagne color compliments my dark skin.

“How many people are here?” My stilettos echo over the natural wood of the upstairs of my gallery’s loft. From my vantage point, outside the glass-walled exit, there’s not a single person in line. The prime location of A Touch of Essence apparently hasn’t appealed to the Saturday night crowd.

Kyleigh places herself in my way before I reach the steel railing and can really glimpse below.

She winces. “Give it another 30 min...”

“Honey, our Essence here can wait all night long. The exhibit will have ended, but there’ll still be enough wine to pass around for the next few art showings.” The words of my critical mentor are followed by the diva herself, gracing us with her presence as she ascends the stairs. Imani Whitfield has the same honey complexion and the regal style as the actress who shares her surname.

“Imani, it can’t be that bad,” I say laughingly, thumbing my gold bangles.

“You’re showcasing nobodies. I will say this, most of whom aren’t the legal drinking age.”

Maybe I should take that as a reason there will still be wine left. I wrap my arms around myself, then think better of wrinkling the dress I desperately want to keep, but my finances aren’t built that way. Not yet.

Oh, screw it. Let it wrinkle. I need this hug. Arms wrapped around myself, I retort, “Imani, out of a million black girls, you gave me a start. What type of person would I be for not returning the favor?”

“You have, extensively. Would it hurt to add a name to the roster?”

Fury burns beneath my cheeks as I snap, “Shame on those who value art after gleaning the signature on the corner of the—”

“Actually, Miss Imani, Miss Essence,” Kyleigh cuts in, gripping the railing. Her attention must be on the ghost town of an art showing below. “Essence invited... invited one of the most sought-after artists in the world, and damn if rich, old ladi—ahem… If he isn’t drawing in art critics!”

She names a few prominent people while my eyebrows pinch together. I invited who?

I’ll be damned if my mentor’s swagger doesn’t exceed mine as we walk over to the top of the landing.

The servers on rotation, with Sam’s Club microwaved canapés, are college interns. The violinist is a sistah from my sorority. Imani’s right, I invest more into supporting others than... myself.

I glance down at the sea of faces, noticing the four young artists who’re on display tonight and people. More living, breathing beings than my art gallery has seen in the past few years combined.

And every single upturned nose or lustful, wealthy gaze fades as I scope out what every other woman is staring at.

Desire draws my nipples to irate diamonds that slide beneath my dress with every breathless exhale. My eyes relentlessly follow the same pursuit—dragging over the archetype of sex appeal I neither invited nor would I ever.

Antonio Emmanuel Silva appears mysterious, with piercing dark eyes, long hair, and golden skin that no palette of paints could recreate.

His body leaves a sigh curling past my lips; lips I had no idea were ajar until said damnable sigh.

There’s confidence in Antonio’s swagger and how he holds himself. A person might forget how almost three years ago, Antonio beat a critic at an art show.

Beat the man half to death.

I’ll admit, I’ve been in my feelings before. My art means everything to me. Granted, I’ve never seen a flaw in Antonio’s vibrant paintings or in the physicality of the man himself. But you don’t go around bashing an appraiser of your work, no matter how baseless their statement might have been.

Now, the reminder of Antonio’s misconduct breaks the compulsion.

“Essence, you are no man’s fool,” I undertone to myself. I would, otherwise, mentally dictate the mantra. But dammit, speaking those words into existence helps, while my gaze roams the lines of his tailored suit. A linen shirt is tucked in, boasting what steel, muscular planes lie beneath. He’s left it unbuttoned at the collar.

Not too much.

Just enough to reveal a chest that Michelangelo lacked the skill to carve.

You’ve been played by an artist before, Essence. Cut it out. He ain’t that fine.

Oh, yes he—

“I do believe a grand entrance is in order,” my mentor suggests with her tone excitedly pitched. “It would be an honor to announce you.”


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