Authors: Laramie Briscoe
“You okay?” he asked, his deep voice still at her ear.
She wasn’t sure what he was talking about until she felt his big hands move up her waist to cup her bare breasts. Then she felt his nose nuzzle her neck, his teeth nipping lightly at the skin there.
“Fine,” she breathed out on a moan when he used one hand to tease the tip of a breast. She felt him use his other hand to push the bikini bottoms down her hips. Reaching out to the edge of the pool, she grabbed hold and helped him kick the bottoms off.
“Good,” he rumbled in her ear. “If I ever do anything you aren’t comfortable with, I want you to always tell me.”
It wasn’t something that they always talked about before they made love, but if they did something out of the ordinary, he still felt the need to reassure her. In a way it wasn’t necessary anymore, but in another way, she was so appreciative when he did it. Meredith knew Tyler would never hurt her, but there were some moments—even now—in her everyday life that something would trigger a memory of that night and cause her to be transported back to that night under the bridge. The fact that he took a moment—where she knew he was as far gone as her—to let her know that he remembered meant more than anything else ever could.
At some point while she’d been lost in her own mind, he’d rid himself of his swimming trunks, because now he grasped her hips with one hand, his other hand clasped over the one she still had on the edge of the pool, holding it there. To keep herself grounded, she moved her other hand to the metal siding and gripped hard. The first entry of his body into hers always took her breath away. She wondered if it would always do that. There was a part of her that had wondered if their passion would burn out. Especially for those months when they were trying for a baby—when she hadn’t let passion take them away. It had been about one thing and one thing only—getting pregnant. Shame still crept up on her when she thought of those long months. In her want for something that God saw fit she didn’t need, she’d almost ruined her marriage.
Throwing her head back against his shoulder, she breathed deeply as he surged into and out of her body. What she smelled was Tyler. She could smell the leather that always clung to his skin, she could smell the tobacco he had a penchant for smoking. God, she loved everything about him.
“You still with me?” he asked, his voice rough as he reached up and grasped her under the chin so he could pull her head back further. Their eyes met as she nodded to say she sure as hell was still with him. “I was worried there for a sec,” he breathed out on a low breath.
“Always with you,” she told him, hooking her arm around the back of his neck and holding onto his hair with her fist. The move pulled her breast above the water, and he abandoned holding her hip to reach up and grab hold of the flesh again.
Meredith’s legs were beginning to burn, but this was the best workout she’d ever had in her life. Dropping her eyes down to see where he cupped her, she took pleasure in the look of his dark skin against her pale, white skin. Even in the summer she didn’t tan well. She loved that he had a tan year-round. Just one of the many things she loved about the man she’d dubbed the gentle giant. Rolling her head against his shoulder, she finally let her mind go and gave herself over to the feelings he evoked in her body.
“Don’t know if I can hold back, baby,” he ground out between gritted teeth.
She took his hand from her breast and moved it down the middle of her body to where they were joined. He knew exactly what to do to make her detonate, and she didn’t want him to let go without her. In less than sixty seconds he had her with him, and she was squirming against his fingers, lifting her legs up in an effort to get closer to him.
“C’mon, Mer.” He nipped at her earlobe, soothing the bite with his tongue.
Out of nowhere he grasped her around the waist and pulled her into a sitting position on him, shoving himself deep inside her, not stopping his fingers where she needed them the most. The weightless feeling was all it took for her to join him. He groaned loudly in her ear, and she put her own hand up to her mouth to smother the sounds of her pleasure. They had no idea where everyone was, and there was no reason for them to advertise what they’d done.
She giggled minutes later when her heart rate leveled itself out and her legs no longer felt like jelly. She turned in the circle of his arms, taking in the fact that his face was still red, wearing the evidence of his exertion. “You okay, old man?” she teased, grasping him around the waist. He was close to turning thirty-six and hated for anyone to remind him.
“Do I need to turn you back around and show you what an old man can do?” he questioned, his eyes blazing. “Old man, my ass,” he mumbled.
“I’m teasing.” She giggled at how upset he got whenever she mentioned it. There weren’t many things that upset Tyler Blackfoot, but he was having a very hard time going past the thirty-five mark. “You’re still hotter than any other man out there, be it younger or older.” She squeezed him around the waist, burying her head in the crook of his neck.
“Damn right,” he grumbled, clasping his arm around her neck and pulling her into his body. He breathed deeply, taking comfort in the familiarity they had with one another. There was nothing else in this world that could ground him like having her in his arms.
“We need to get out of here,” she whispered. “There’s no tellin’ what time it is, and you know as well as I do that Addie likes to wake up early—especially when we stay at the clubhouse.”
Those words were true. The little girl loved being around the clubhouse. It was probably because she had built-in playmates with Liam and Denise’s daughter, Tatum, and Rooster and Roni’s son, Carter. Even though Carter was littler than the two girls, he still managed to keep up. He was crawling, and that was all he needed to do to be a nuisance to them. He took great delight in making the two girls cry whenever he could. Add that to the fact that every woman in the clubhouse who didn’t have children doted on the three of them and it was hard for Meredith and Tyler to get Addie to want to leave when it came time.
“Let’s go,” he told her, pulling her through the water and over to the ladder so they could step out.
“Hang on.” She swatted at his hand. “Let me put my clothes back on.”
He helped her tie the string on her bikini top and slip the bottoms over her hips, while she helped him tie the string at the waist of his swim trunks. “We’re presentable now,” he told her, lifting himself out before reaching down and offering her his hand.
As they both stood on the deck, she took a moment to look up at the sky and sighed when she saw a full moon. “It’s gorgeous tonight,” she told him.
“That it is, but we’re gonna have to be a little cold when we run back in here. Seems as if the both of us forgot towels.”
“Damnit. We’re gonna track water in, and everybody will know what the hell we’ve been doing out here.”
His smile was a gloating one. “Doesn’t bother me.” He shrugged.
“It wouldn’t.” She laughed as she opened the door and took off at a run for their dorm room.
Tyler laughed behind her as he gave chase. The perfect ending to a perfect night.
eredith awoke to the sunlight streaming brightly between the blinds of the dorm room. Wrapped in Tyler’s arms, she was content and at peace—more than she’d been in a long time. She sighed deeply, allowing herself a few moments to think about the changes that had come about in her life. If this had been a time not so long ago, she’d be lying here wondering why she was defective, why she couldn’t give herself and him the one thing they both wanted. Not being able to get pregnant had been a major blow to her self-esteem, in some ways even more so than the rape. It had made her feel like she was less of a woman, like something was wrong with her. That only doubled the frustration she felt when she went to the doctor and they told her there was absolutely nothing wrong with her or Tyler. In her darkest days, she’d fallen to her knees and questioned God. She’d not only questioned, but she’d begged. Promises had flown from her lips like a river. If God would give her a child, then she’d do all these things.
Thinking back on it now, she realized it hadn’t been healthy. It had driven a wedge between her and Tyler. It was a small wedge and not nearly as big as it could have been, but she could look back now and see that it had been there. In her mindless pursuit of something that was obviously never going to happen for
, she’d almost thrown away the best thing that had ever happened to
. Shaking her head, she sent up a thank you that God hadn’t answers her prayers. As she got older, she realized there was a plan for every person on earth and that plan was decided on way before any of them knew it.
“What are you thinking about so hard?”
That deep voice put goose bumps on her arms and caused a little shiver to run through her body. She turned around in his arms. “Just thinkin’.”
“Are you sure?” His tone and the scrunch of his face told her he didn’t quite believe her.
“I promise.” She crossed her heart with her fingers. “I guess I should see about waking Addie up and getting some breakfast.” She shifted in the bed so she could look over his big body to the bed they used for the little girl. To her surprise, she wasn’t there.
“I think I heard B come in and get her a little while ago.” Tyler yawned, stretching his hands over his head. When he did, his whole body cracked, and he moaned.
Her grin was saucy and she winked. “How’s it goin’, old man?”
His gaze turned predatory as he advanced on her, turning over so his body trapped hers. “I think you keep callin’ me old man so I can prove to you I’m not.”
“Hmmm? Really? I guess there’s only one way to find out.” She grinned up at him, shrieking when his lips went straight for her neck.
Tyler knew he wouldn’t give Addie up for a million dollars, but these kinds of mornings were the things he missed the most about their lives before her. Their life with her had taken some adjustment, and he knew it would continue to take adjustments, but he knew without a doubt he wouldn’t change anything.
“I think I’ll go into the shop and help out today. B’s got some online class she’s got to do this afternoon, so I’m free.” Jagger grabbed a piece of bacon off the plate in front of him. “That way, maybe we can get caught up.”
Liam sat in front of him, chewing on his own piece of bacon. He could never figure it out, but when William had run Walker’s Wheels, they did well to make any money. Now that he and Roni ran Walker’s Wheels, they couldn’t stay caught up with the work, and they always had a waiting list. It was a good problem to have, but it always made him wonder what the man had been doing that had caused them to not have any business.
“Sounds good. Rooster’s coming too, because Roni’s coming in to get caught up on billing people. Jessica’s writing today, so Layne called and said he’d be on his way.”
Jagger took a drink of his orange juice. “Steele’s working on programming chips today too. The only one we’ve not heard from is Tyler.”
Liam grinned. “We’ll hear from him soon, but I have a feelin’ he’s taking advantage of Addie being out here and having the bedroom to himself with his wife.”