Read Dream Girl Online

Authors: Kelly Jamieson

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary

Dream Girl (17 page)

BOOK: Dream Girl
3.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Ashlyn glanced between him and Zach, the air suddenly thick. “Uh ... probably not,” she said, glancing again at Zach. He nodded and put his arm around her possessively. Yikes. “Bye, Ben."

She hurried out, not wanting to deal with that conflict.

"I'm telling you, he hates my guts,” Zach said, helping her into his SUV. Rocky wagged his tail furiously and grinned from the back seat. Ashlyn gave him a rub on the top of his silky golden head and sighed.

They arrived at the swanky Rocky Harbor Country Club, all carnivaled-up with bright balloons, flags and tents for the Pooch Picnic. At one end of the lush lawn, a small stage was set up for musical entertainment.

"Is Connor coming?” she asked as they strolled to the entrance.

"Later,” Zach said. “If he doesn't, I'm going to go home and drag him here. He has to get out. He's growing mold on him from sitting at home."

She laughed, but it was true. Every time she went to Zach's place, Connor sat there brooding. She withheld a guilty little sigh. On the one hand, she was glad Jessica Montgomery had disappeared for a week, but on the other, she really needed to get this over with and free her conscience. It was killing her.

"You don't need to pay, Zach,” said one of the women sitting at the entrance. “You've done enough."

He grinned, but nonetheless tossed a generous donation into the basket as he led Ashlyn and Rocky into the park.

"The Best Smile contest is at two o'clock,” he reminded her. “After that, the Brewmasters are on stage."

"The Brewmasters?"

He grinned. “Yeah. My buddy's band."

Ashlyn couldn't help but smile as she looked around at all the different dogs, big and small, round and tubby, lean and long-legged. Two dogs on leashes barked and snarled at each other while their owners held on tightly and smiled embarrassed apologies. Other dogs sniffed and checked each other out in their canine way.

Rocky was calm and happy, his tongue lolling out.

"Oh, I forgot something,” Ashlyn said. She let her small backpack drop off her shoulder. On her knees on the grass, she rummaged through it and pulled out a funny-looking bottle. “I got a present for Rocky,” she explained. “It's a dog water bottle. See. It opens and"—she squeezed—"the water runs out, and he can drink from this bowl.” It was so cool, and she'd thought how perfect it was for a day like this.

Zach was looking at her oddly as she held the bowl for Rocky to slurp from. “What?” she asked.

[Back to Table of Contents]


Chapter Seventeen

Ashlyn frowned. “What's wrong? Is this not good for Rocky?"

"It's awesome,” he said in a choked voice, his face strained. “You're awesome."

She smiled up at him. Rocky had finished, so she dumped the last drops of water onto the grass and snapped the bottle closed. She stood up and brushed blades of grass off her knees.

They wandered around, enjoying the warm sunshine and all the activity. Zach stopped at the Surf Coast Brewery tent to see how things were going.

"Need any help?” he asked the two girls working there.

"We're good,” they said, happily serving beer to customers.

"This is Ashlyn Farrell,” he introduced her. “Ashlyn, meet Melissa Jackson and Ava Cooper. Ava's our sales and marketing manager, and Melissa is our salesperson."

Ashlyn smiled and shook hands with the other women, trying to study them covertly. She had been looking at everything in both their hard drives. These two both had access to Surf Coast's product development information. Ava was the one whose asset tracking had showed some large credit-card purchases recently, which had raised a flag for the investigators. Melissa was the one who seemed to be very religious.

Melissa was young and pretty, dressed in cropped pants and a snug halter top. Ava was older, maybe late thirties, also nicely dressed in a short skirt and T-shirt. Although the clothes were casual, Ashlyn recognized them as expensive, as was the gold and diamond jewelry at her ears and neck. The two women were busy serving customers, so she didn't have a chance to talk to them.

Rocky lost the Best Smile contest to an adorably cheerful Pomeranian in a close competition.

"I love your smile, buddy,” Ashlyn consoled him and gave him a hug. Zach tossed him a biscuit, which he eagerly devoured. Then Ashlyn noticed all the water bowls placed strategically around the grounds.

"I guess Rocky didn't need a water bottle after all,” she said, indicating a bowl.

Zach pulled her up against him for a quick, hard kiss. “Rocky
his water bottle,” he said fervently. “He'll get lots of use from it, not just today."

She smiled at him. Her heart melted a little bit at his words and his kiss. He was just the nicest guy.

They wandered up to the stage and found a place to sit and listen. The grass was cool and prickly beneath Ashlyn's bare thighs, and she tugged her skirt down. Zach held up a hand to his friends on stage as they finished a song with a crashing chord.

"Zach! Dude! Get up here!” called one man. Grinning, Zach shook his head.

The man jumped off the stage and strode over to them.

"C'mon man,” he said loudly, laughing and slapping Zach's back. “One for old time's sake.” He slipped the strap of his guitar over his head and held it out to Zach.

Still shaking his head and laughing, Zach let himself be pushed up on stage. To Ashlyn's amazement, he strummed some chords, checked out the guitar with a few riffs—and he was actually pretty good.

After conferring briefly, the band started to play, Zach appearing very comfortable on the stage. Actually, he was smiling broadly, getting into the music as the song went on, having a great time.

Ashlyn laughed out loud. What a guy.

At that moment, Connor dropped to the grass beside her.

"Oh, you came!” she said with delight, putting a hand on his shoulder. “I'm so glad!"

Connor looked at her, and a reluctant smile tugged the corners of his mouth.

"Look!” she pointed. “Zach's up there playing."

"What an asshole.” Connor shook his head. “He's such a show-off.” But he smiled and nodded to the beat as the tempo increased and the song finished loudly.

Connor and Ashlyn clapped enthusiastically, Rocky's leash draped around her wrist, and then Ashlyn put two fingers in her mouth and whistled, drawing a startled grin from Connor.

Zach returned, laughing and breathless. “You're crazy!” Ashlyn said, also laughing. “I didn't know you were so good!"

Zach shook his head and settled down beside her to listen to the music, one hand on Rocky, the other warm on her bare knee. He was close enough for her to smell his male scent, and she longed for him to slide his hand higher on her leg. Of course he couldn't—they were sitting in the middle of a crowd. But that didn't stop her from wanting it.

After the Brewmasters finished their set, they strolled back to see how the girls were managing at the Surf Coast Brewery tent.

"Hi Connor,” Melissa said, with a smile for him that set Ashlyn's senses on alert. She looked between the two of them and felt ... something. Some kind of tension. Connor was frowning; but then, he was always frowning lately.

"We're almost out of beer!” Ava gasped, handing two plastic cups to a man. “And we don't close for another hour!"

Zach and Connor exchanged a look. “I'll go,” Connor said. He glanced at his watch. “I can be back in twenty minutes."

"I'll come with you,” Zach offered. He turned to Ashlyn. “Sorry, sweetheart. Do you want me to take Rocky?"

"No, of course not! I'll look after him. Go!"

She waved them off. The two tall, good-looking guys made quite a sight sprinting to the parking lot. Ashlyn noticed Melissa watch them leave, then turn back to serve more beer.

She wandered happily around, watched the Best-Dressed Dog competition and the Tail-Wagging Contest, which had her laughing until her face hurt. Then she checked out the booth where kids were learning how to meet strange dogs. It seemed like no time before Zach was back at her side.

"You rock, sweetheart,” he said, kissing her appreciatively. “Didn't want to disappoint our customers. Hope we have enough now."

They went back to listen to more music, and Ashlyn ran into a girl she knew from school.

"Hi, Lisa,” Ashlyn greeted her.

"Hey, Ash!” Lisa said cheerfully. “How are you? Is this your dog?"

"No, it's Zach's dog.” She introduced Lisa to Zach and Connor. Lisa eyed the two brothers with interest and a warm smile. They chatted about the picnic for a few moments, and then Lisa murmured in Ashlyn's ear, “Is he taken?” She jerked her head toward Connor.

"Uh...” What to say to that? But Lisa apparently didn't care and hooked her arm though Connor's.

"Take me over to your beer tent,” she said, smiling up at him. “I'd love a beer."

She was a really pretty girl, with long golden-brown hair, big brown eyes and a stunning body. Connor disengaged his arm from hers and gave a slight smile.

"Sure, I'll show you where it is,” he said and walked toward the beer tent, Lisa tagging along.

Zach looked at Ashlyn, who grimaced and hitched her shoulders.

Connor was back moments later, alone.

"They okay for beer?” Zach asked.

Connor nodded. “We'll need to help take the tent down in a few minutes.” The crowd was starting to thin out as events finished. The last band of the afternoon played on the stage.

Once again Ashlyn looked after Rocky while the guys helped pack stuff into a truck to take back to the brewery.

"You've been great today,” Zach told her afterwards. “What would Rocky and I have done without you?"

She grinned. “You'd survive."

He looked serious. “I don't think so."

Her heart squeezed.

Zach couldn't stop himself from watching Ashlyn with hungry eyes as she took off her skirt and top and stood there in a tiny bra and panties. God, she was gorgeous. Her body was lean and smooth, lightly tanned to that golden honey color. He swallowed hard.

They were in his bedroom changing their clothes.

"Stop staring,” she told him with a smile. “So what will we be eating tonight?"

"A friend of mine is a chef in Santa Barbara, and he's doing the food as a contribution to the shelter. His cooking is incredible."

"Good, ‘cause I'm starving."

"Get changed.” She jerked her head towards him, and he realized he was still standing there, admiring her.

"Sure. No problem.” His baggy cargo shorts dropped to the floor in a flash, and he whisked his T-shirt over his head. Her eyes darkened as she looked at him, and he moved purposefully towards her.

She put a hand on his chest. “Easy, buddy. We're going out."

"Lots of time,” he said softly, looking at the curve of her breasts. He bent his head and kissed the top of one breast, gently sucking the soft flesh there. She gave a little moan.

"Zach.” She ran her fingers through his hair. He buried his face between her breasts, inhaling her scent. She smelled like strawberries and warm sunshine from being outside all afternoon.

He slid his hands down her smooth waist, around to cup her behind, and pulled her against him. Her skin felt so good against his as he kissed her, a long, deep, full-mouthed kiss. He thrust his tongue in, stroking her. Her mouth was delicious, warm and sweet.

She melted into him, her arms around his neck, and her breathing quickened. He wanted to touch her everywhere; his hands roamed and stroked and gently squeezed.

He lifted his mouth and they looked at each other, panting, wide-eyed. Then he pushed her backwards. She took several stumbling steps back, Zach holding her up until she hit the wall of his bedroom. Jesus, he had to have her. Right now, fast and hard.

Pressing her against the wall, he put his hands on either side of her shoulders and his mouth took hers again, hot and hungry. He ate at her mouth, long devouring kisses which she returned, almost as desperate as him.

He was so hard and full he hurt. He pressed into her rhythmically as he kissed her, wet, hot, consuming kisses. Then he reached down and lifted one knee, giving him access between her legs. He could smell her, and he thrilled to know how he could arouse her. With his other hand, he pulled aside the tiny strip of fabric between her legs. It was wet, and so was she, as he slid his fingers over and into her.

His hard cock throbbed, pressed against her, and he bent his knees and pushed up and into her. The angle wasn't perfect, given his height, but she grabbed his shoulders and tried to lift herself against him to let him in.

As he thrust, her head fell back against the wall with a soft thunk. He looked at her face—cheeks flushed, eyes closed, mouth open. She rolled her head slowly side to side against the wall as he took her, driving hard, pumping fast until heat rushed over him and he was coming. At the last second, he realized he'd forgotten to glove up, and with fumbling, urgent fingers he pulled out. Hot semen spilled over his hand and Ashlyn's tummy, and he slumped against her, his head pressed to the wall beside her head as he shuddered through his release.

"Sorry, sorry,” he muttered a moment later. “I forgot protection. And you didn't come."

Her hands stroked over his damp back. “It's okay,” she said softly. “I don't need to come every time. It's still good."

He drew in several deep breaths, letting her leg lower to the floor, still pressing her to the wall.

When he drew back, he ruefully surveyed her sticky stomach and his hand. “Oh, man,” he groaned. “I'll get a cloth.” He went into the bathroom and ran water over a washcloth. Returning, he dropped to his knees in front of her and gently washed her smooth belly, and then pressed a kiss there. He looked up and met her gaze, her gentle hands in his hair, and kissed her again. Then he rose and tossed the cloth into his hamper.

Ashlyn went into the bathroom. He heard water running, and she emerged looking adorable and sexy in her underwear. She retrieved her black dress from where it hung on his closet and slid it over her head. Zach would have given just about anything to toss her on the bed and climb in there with her instead of getting dressed and going out, but duty called. There was a time when he would have given in to impulse—okay, never mind, he'd just done that by fucking her up against the wall. He grinned.

BOOK: Dream Girl
3.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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