Authors: Holley Trent
Tags: #workplace romance, #enemies to lovers, #male submissive, #athlete, #sports hero, #baseball
“I don’t want it to be weird.”
“It’s gonna be weird, no matter what. Too late to stop that,” he said.
“And you don’t mind?”
“I trust you, then.”
“Fuck, I hope you mean it, Marina. I need you to.”
She pressed her palms against his chest and held herself up a little. Pulling her lip between her teeth and furrowing her pretty brow, she rolled her hips and clenched her sex around him. “You’re so big.”
“You like it?”
“Mm-hmm. Hold very still, okay?”
“Hard, but I think I can manage.”
“This isn’t going to take me long. After I come, I’ll help you.”
“For God’s sake, what makes you think I’m gonna last all that long?” He was in her, bare, and she was seriously overestimating his endurance. He’d never been in anyone like that, and he was pretty sure if he even
too hard about it, he’d come. “You feel so good, baby. You say the word, and I’m done.”
She rocked her hips. “I’ll try to make it good.”
“You don’t have to try. It’s already good for me.” He tracked his hands up her chest and toyed with her perked nipples. “So good. Just being here with you is good.”
“You need higher standards, Quinn.”
“They’re already pretty high. I’ve got the cream of the crop atop me right now.”
“You’re full of shit, but keep talking to me like that, anyway. Oh,
She was riding him so slow, but gripping him so tight. Every time she sank onto him, she rolled her hips in a way that made her clit dance over him, and all his air left his body.
He hadn’t lied. He wasn’t going to last. At the moment, he was practicing some
thinking and trying to focus more on the environment around him and less on his dick.
“You could come home to this every night,” he whispered and then sucked some air in through his clenched teeth. “Fuck, you feel so good. You treat me so good.”
“Keep giving me… Oh,
. Never want to get off you. Never want to stop.”
“Gonna have to, baby. Keep rocking your hips like that and I’m gonna come, and I’m gonna say
and hope you’re not too mad at me for not doing what you wanted.”
She ground out a sexy snarl and rolled her belly and hips, increasing the friction against him and her clit all at once. “Too…too sensitive.” She gasped, and he ground his teeth because he was going to come and there was no stopping it.
“That’s why I have to…” She threw back her head and dug her fingers into his pecs. “Why I have to…take the lead all the time,
. Fuck, I’m coming. Don’t you dare move, I’m…I’m coming.”
He didn’t need to move. Her sheath spasmed around him so violently, and then there was the pain of her nails in his flesh, and just the sight of her arched atop him with breasts thrust out. “Fuck.”
His heat left his body in an almost-painful torrent—like a fastball hurled over the plate when a gentle, underhanded pitch would have done just as well.
“God, Quinn.” Marina clenched him inside her a few times and fell onto him. Her ragged breaths tickled the side of his neck and hard nipples pressed teasingly against his chest. She rubbed his pectorals and sighed. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to claw you up.”
He picked up her hand and kissed it. “I don’t mind, baby. I like it.”
“Mm-hmm.” He kissed the hand again and down to its wrist, and then draped his arm over his body as he settled her beside him.
Don’t move away from me. Just stay.
“I should have asked first,” she said.
“Do you always expect to get carried away?”
“I’m usually a little better at controlling myself. I don’t want to break skin unless I have permission to.”
“Then a hell of a lot of people who get their backs scratched up during a vigorous fuck are doing it wrong.”
“You know what I mean.”
“Come on, don’t feel bad about not covering your bases.”
“Had to drop a baseball pun eventually, right?” He chuckled. “You knew it was coming. But really, don’t feel bad about getting carried away. You were giving me exactly what I needed.”
“So, you’re okay with me biting or scratching you?”
“To me, that just means you’re enjoying the ride. But if you really want a checklist to keep handy, I can give you one. I don’t mind a little pain before or during sex. I prefer some kinds more than others, though.”
“Pain arouses you?”
“Depends on who’s giving it to me, to be honest. Coming from you, I’m pretty sure I could get a woody from just a wink.”
“Good to know.” She trailed her fingertips around his nipple and giggled, but then her smile fell away and forehead creased. “Quinn, you’re not going to…leave tonight, are you?”
He held her a little tighter and furrowed his brow. “You want me to go?”
“No, I want you to stay. I don’t want you to rush away, and I guess I don’t know how to ask for that. I don’t usually want people to stay.”
“You’ve never had anyone spend the night?”
“I’m your first sleepover?”
She shifted a little against him and pressed her face against the side of his chest. “Yes. I don’t want to be alone. Okay?”
He grinned into the dark and let his eyelids droop, for once, on contentedness and not anxious fear.
He’d probably have plenty of shit to worry about in the morning, but at the moment, he was on top of the world.
Nice fuckin’ place to be.
“Don’t make that face, Marina. You make me feel like a turd for bailing on you.” Quinn paused at the front door of Marina’s newest acquisition and slipped the booties off his shoes. She was killing him with that pout.
She stuck her bottom lip out a little more.
Chuckling, he pulled her close and chafed her back. “We agreed that our relationship needed to be less complicated.”
“I’m not sure I was in my right mind,” she muttered against his chest. “I was naked at the moment and I may have made that agreement under duress.”
“Yeah?” He slipped his hands down to her backside and gave it a vulgar grope.
She sighed. “You’re going to get yourself into trouble, Quinn.”
“Mmm. That’s what I’m hoping. I like being in trouble with you. The punishment always feels so good.” He hitched up her dress to assist in her grinding against his thigh. The sidewalk was only fifteen feet away, but he didn’t care who saw them. He wanted to seize every possible moment with her. The past four weeks had been a blissful start to something Quinn hoped could be permanent, and it’d gone by too damned fast.
She’d canceled the manservant gig like they’d agreed, but he couldn’t stay away from the house, knowing how much being there stressed her out. He was pleased to be able to take some weight off her shoulders, even if it meant having to turn his schedule sideways to squeeze in other gigs. After all, he still had bills to pay, and was about to take a few weeks off to go home. He wouldn’t normally have made the trip, but his mother caught Lyme Disease and asked if he could take over her horse training job for a few weeks.
Marina sighed and tapped her forehead lightly against his chest a couple of times. “Are you sure the guy you found for me knows what he’s doing?”
“I swear. He used to be a contractor. Gave it up to go to law school. He could use the cash.” Donny picked up the occasional bar shift with Quinn. Nice guy. Had a wife and a baby at home.
“And he’ll be here tomorrow? Do I need to put him through his paces, or—”
“Stop worrying, baby. He’ll be tomorrow in time to meet the plumber for the hot water heater installation. And nah, don’t worry about it. If you don’t think you’ll have anything left in your tank to interact with him, I’ll fill him in tonight when I see him. He’ll just show up tomorrow and do what needs to be done. I’ll tell him to call me if he has any questions, but I think he’s intuitive enough to figure stuff out.”
“Hey, don’t sweat it.” He glided his thumb across her lips and tipped her chin up. “Do I get a kiss goodbye?”
“You really don’t want me to drive you to the airport?”
“Nah. If you go, I won’t want to leave you. I’m going home to pack right after leaving the bar, and then my roommate will drop me off on his way to his manservant gig.”
He locked the house door, handed her the key, and then hooked her arm around his to get them moving. “You’ll be fine,” he said. “Have I lied to you yet?”
“And I don’t intend to start.”
At her car, he opened the driver’s door for her then pulled the seatbelt across her body once she’d climbed in. “Be careful, okay?”
“That should be my line to you.”
He shrugged. Even with Donny handling business for her, Quinn was going to worry. She had a tendency to take on too much, and he saw how all the work wore her down. He didn’t know what the end goal of her non-stop real estate speculation was, but he regretted ever thinking a woman like her didn’t know what it meant to be busy.
He gave her the kiss he needed and cringed when her shoulders drooped.
“Maybe one of these days, I’ll get smart and will find a job that won’t require human interaction,” she said.
“Hire the right folks and you’ll never have to see them. That’s where we’re trying to get you.”
She pulled him down for one more kiss—lips, chin, and cheeks—before saying quietly, “Okay, I’m going now. Let me know when you’re boarding the plane.”
“I will.” He started closing the door, but at the last minute, pulled it back and added, “Just so we’re clear, I’m not going to allow you to outsource your human interaction with
. You’re still on the hook for that.”
There might have been jest in his tone, but he’d meant every word. He may not have been working for her anymore, but he still had value. Lover, confidant, defender—he wanted be those things, and more than anything he dreaded that she’d turn him away.
“I wouldn’t outsource that,” she said, smiling softly. “I guess I’m like you. I’ll share my money, but not my man.”
Her man. Good.
That placated him enough to close the door, and as soon as he did, he missed her.
It was going to be a long few weeks.
Marina’s mood was one half “take this job and shove it” and one half “I’ll be able to build a vault for all my money when this project is done.”
The money was the only reason she was frustrating herself with a New York City flip. She’d been at the right place at the right time. While visiting her downstairs neighbor in her old building, the elderly woman told her she needed to offload the unit quickly before the bank foreclosed.
Quinn had been gone a couple of weeks, and had warned her that his stay in Montana might go longer. It’d been a month, and he thought the earliest he’d be able to leave wasn’t for another three weeks. She’d made the trip to New York so she’d stop obsessing about him and her flip properties back in Miami and…their baby.
They were going to have a
And now she had more things to obsess about.
The former condo owner Mrs. Kravitz was happily settled in with her sister in Arizona with a little bit of a financial cushion, and Marina was the owner of a condo that hadn’t been updated since Mr. Kravitz had died…which had happened when Marina was still wearing training bras.
The condo board was giving Marina hell about the contractors “monopolizing” the elevators and all the noise they were making, but Marina was going to suck it up and bear it. She had to. It’d probably be her last flip for a while and she’d already earmarked the profits for a charity donation. The organization was hurting bad for money. The fact that Marina had given away more money than she’d actually earned that year hadn’t dawned on her until her accountant called screaming at her.
She’d hung up on him. She’d been hanging up on a lot of people lately.
She leaned against the wall near the open front door and rubbed her bloated belly. Muscles low down were stretching and pulling to make room for her little peach, and sometimes the temporary pain took her breath away.
She’d found out she was pregnant a week after Quinn left and hadn’t figured out a way to tell him. The story of their love was such a short one, and they were going about things in the wrong order.
She was trying to make up for it. She talked to him every night and about almost everything under the sun, starving for knowledge about him. His voice had become a balm to her at the end of every frantic day. She loved how he explained to her all about the ranch chores he’d taken on during his temporary residency, and worried that maybe he’d want to stay—that he’d decide he was happy there and not want to leave when she needed him back.
He was the partner she desperately needed and the person she was falling more and more in love with every night. They’d tried to keep their relationship from getting complicated, but…it just
“Wish you were here,” she whispered to the skyline view out the picture window. “Or me there.” She’d never been to Montana. It seemed like a place she should visit at least once.
she texted, suspecting he wouldn’t immediately answer. He was always so busy.
“Cow-riffic. Been pitching in at a ranch nearby. The work is shit, but the money’s okay. Miss you. Tell me stuff.”
“Hi. Didn’t think you’d respond so soon.”
She chewed on the inside of her cheek and pondered what to tell him. There were so many things wrong at the moment—things too serious to divulge in text messages.
“Nothing. I just miss you, too. Maybe when this project is done, we can go out on my boat for a while. A getaway.”
“I’d love that. Just tell me when. I’ll stock up on Dramamine. A trip’ll give me something to look forward to. Haven’t had a real vacation since… Shit. Spring Break during my freshman year of college.”
She rubbed her throbbing temple with her fingertips and willed the unsettled feeling in her belly to quell. “You’ve got a lot to look forward to, Quinn.”
“By the way, I got a weird call from Wallace.”
She dropped her hand from her face, panic-stricken.
“Bruce Wallace? The Roosters’ team manager?”
“Yep. The one and only.”
“What’d he want?”
She had a sinking feeling that she already knew, and that her father was to blame.
“Offered me my spot back on the team.”
She pounded the wall, and spat, “Fuck.”
“Like I said, it was weird,”
“Stipulations, of course. I’d be benched for about half a season before I could get back on the field. They’re making me promise to be on my best behavior. It’s as if they doubt I can be good, LOL.”
“If you actually behave yourself, they might wonder if some alien is walking around in your skin.”
“Tired of all the fighting. Too old to keep getting dragged into that shit.”
“Do you want to play?” Please say no.
Things would be so much easier if he didn’t want to. He wouldn’t be crawling back to the franchise with his tail between his legs as if he weren’t good enough to be anywhere else. He was
good. The Roosters just hadn’t been the right team for him. Had it been any other team, she’d want him to go back, baby or no baby, but it wasn’t her decision.
“Hell, I miss playing. They’re probably just hard up with all the turnover in the roster, but I’m excited they asked.”
“Yeah. I know,” she whispered, then texted,
“Let me call you in a bit, okay? I need to deal with a guy.”
“Okay, baby. Give ’em hell.”
“Oh, I will,” she muttered.
She dialed her father, and he answered on the third ring.
me, Daddy. What did you do?”
“What do you mean?”
“Did you make Wallace take Quinn back? I told you to stay out of my business. Do you remember me saying that after Lena rooted that pregnancy test out the trash can in my bathroom?”
“Don’t be like that. She was just concerned about you, is all. You hadn’t said anything about there being anyone in your life, so I guess she made assumptions. She wanted to make sure you knew you had options.”
Marina stifled a laugh. “I’m a grown woman. I know all about my options. The only reason I told you who the father-to-be was so that you’d know that
know how your wife spends your money when you’re not paying attention. I trust Quinn. I
trust Lena. Never have.”
“Marina, you should be kind. She’s your stepmother.”
“That’s right. She’s my stepmother. She’s a woman I can choose to, or
to, have a relationship with. Given how her relationship with
started during your marriage to Mom, I choose not to. I reminded her of that before she started up with the crocodile tears and went into my bathroom to fix her face. You think she’s a nice person, but she’s not. But whatever. She’s
arm candy. You can do what you want with her, but keep her out of my business. You stay out of it, too. What the hell were you thinking, calling Wallace? How many people know about this, huh?”
“You’re overreacting, and I’d even say you’re out of line.”
“You know what? It’s fine that you think that. Think what you want, but let me tell you this—baseball was important to him. Don’t dangle the carrot in front of him unless you’re serious about giving him a shot.”
“What difference does it make to you? The guy needs to work, and Wallace is giving him a job.”
work. What you’re trying to do is keep an eye on him.”
“That wouldn’t be such a bad thing, given who he is.”
“Says the man who can’t even keep an eye on his own wife?”
“Don’t go there, Marina.”
“Same to you.” Marina pinched the bridge of her nose. “I can’t even believe we’re having this conversation. You’re judging him for how he earns money, but you don’t cast any blame back to Lena for how she’s spending it. Maybe Quinn wouldn’t put out for her, but who knows how many men didn’t have his standards and figured it wouldn’t hurt to give a pretty lady what she’s asking for.”
Daddy didn’t say anything, and that probably was worse than him yelling at her. When he was quiet, that meant he was thinking, and whatever he had to say next would probably cut right to the bone.
Marina was tired of holding her tongue, though. She wasn’t going to have him putting Lena up on some pedestal while he tried to knock Quinn off Marina’s.
“I could cut you off. You know that, right?” Daddy said low.
“Go ahead, Daddy. Do what you have to do.” Like Quinn, she was used to hustling, so if push came to shove, she’d find a way to eke out a living.
She forced a swallow down her tight throat and closed her eyes. “I think you’ve forgotten, though, that I have my own assets. I haven’t touched my trust fund payments in probably five years. They’re sitting in high-yield savings gathering interest. Go ahead and revoke the rest if you want. Your prerogative. If you paid attention to any of the reports from your accountant, you would have seen that I haven’t drawn from the allowance account Mom had set up for me during your divorce. So you can threaten to not give me anything all you want. If you taught me anything, it’s to always assume an income source will dry up. I can make money. I know that. All this means is that without that generous cushion, I’ll be giving less away.”
“You’ll be giving plenty away, if you plan on keeping Quinn as a lover.”