Read Some Like It Wild Online

Authors: M. Leighton

Tags: #Fiction / Romance / Contemporary

Some Like It Wild (5 page)

BOOK: Some Like It Wild
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NINE:
Laney

T
he only reason I’m letting Jake talk me into any of this is because I need it. As much as I hate to admit it, I know I do.

It’s out of character for me to be going to parties and drinking purple people eaters and jumping off things, but that’s what I want most right now—
not
to be the same old Laney. I don’t want to be the boring, predictable, good girl anymore. That got me nothing but heartache. At least I know I don’t have to worry about that with Jake. Trust isn’t really an option. I know who and what he is. He makes no bones about it. And I have no more intention of getting deeply involved with him than he does with me. That’s part of what makes this so perfect. It’s fleeting. And dangerous. Two things I’ve never before craved or pursued in my life. And two things I know I could never settle for in the end.

But there’s no reason I can’t lose the old me in
this person
for a while. Just a little while. If only I could learn to embrace her . . .

Hannah’s chattering stops, making me realize that I have been lost in thought and completely ignoring whatever it is she’s been talking about. “Is that okay?” she asks.

I have no clue what she’s referring to. “Sure.”

She gives me a bright smile and hits the keyless entry for a bright purple two-door car. “Great.”

She opens the door and disappears inside for a few seconds before reemerging with a couple of scraps of clothing. I look at her in question and she smiles again. “I’ll keep an eye out.”

With that, she turns her back to me, crosses her arms over her chest, and assumes the stance of a sentry, leaving me to climb into the passenger side of her car and change clothes.

After some creative maneuvering, I’m sitting in Hannah’s front seat, staring down at my bare stomach and a whole lot of bare leg. When Hannah said “shorts,” I made the very erroneous assumption that she meant real shorts, not these teeny tiny cut-off denim . . . things. And the T-shirt that goes with them? A scrap of cotton that might fit a doll.

Might.

I take a deep breath, reminding myself that I’m easy, breezy, and fun girl right now, not uptight Laney. I spy my glass of grape drink sitting in the cup holder. Impulsively, I drain the entire cup.

Liquid courage.

A burp bubbles up and surprises me. With a gasp, I clamp my hand over my mouth, hoping Hannah didn’t hear. I look out the window at her, but she hasn’t budged. I imagine that, if she’d heard, she’d be the type to mention it. So, figuring my embarrassing gastric mishap is still a secret, I grab my clothes, open the door, and exit.

Hannah turns around to size me up. Her eyes round. “Damn, look what you’ve been hiding under those clothes, Laney! You look hot!”

I feel my cheeks sting and resist the urge to cover myself with the skirt and blouse I’m holding.

“Thank you.”

Hannah reaches for my hand, taking the empty cup from my fingers, crumpling it up and tossing it into the bed of a truck as we pass. “Come on. Let’s drop your clothes off and then go show you off.”

After telling her which vehicle I arrived in, Hannah puts my clothes in Jake’s Jeep and then we make our way back to the party. We stop by the cooler for Hannah to refill her drink.

“You want another one?”

I know I should say no, but I’m feeling lighter by the minute. Happier. More carefree. Like my smile just might be permanent. And the drink really
is
good . . .

It takes me all of three seconds to consent.

“Sure.”

After she hands me a cup as well, we head toward the beach.

The sun is glistening on the water and laughter can be heard from every direction, even over the music the guys from Saltwater Creek are playing. The smell of grilled hot dogs hangs in the air, and my head is as light and fluffy as the few clouds overhead.

Feeling bold and brazen for some reason, I stop and scan the crowd until I see Jake. He’s talking to a couple of guys that look vaguely familiar. They’re both laughing at something. That’s the only attention I pay them before turning my gaze back to Jake. He’s the one I’m most interested in. And getting more so by the second.

Jake changed his clothes, too. He’s wearing black swim trunks. And nothing else. I scan him from head to toe. I notice two things. Number one, he makes my stomach quiver. Number two, his smooth chest and rippling abs seem to be begging for me to touch them. Then maybe kiss them.

As if sensing my eyes on him, Jake looks up from his place near the water and his gaze collides with mine. His mouth drops open a fraction as his eyes cruise every inch of my exposed skin. I tingle everywhere they touch—my throat, my stomach, my legs.

The song the band is playing brings a smile to my lips. It’s an old Warrant song called “Cherry Pie.” It makes me feel sexy and wanted and . . . daring as I step off the grass and into the sand to make my way to Jake.

The cool grains tickle my toes as I walk and a pleasant warmth suffuses my entire body. I’m not sure if it’s from the drink or from Jake, but, at the moment, I couldn’t care less.

He backs away from the other guys as I approach. I stop in front of him, pleased to see the heated glow in his eyes. “You’re gonna make me regret your change of clothes, aren’t you?”

“Why would you regret it?”

Jake takes a step forward, bringing his body to within an inch of mine. “Because I promised I wouldn’t be kissing you again until you asked me to. And this,” he says, reaching down to drag the backs of his fingers over the skin of my bare stomach, “isn’t going to make it easy.”

I’m trapped in the caramel pools of his eyes, in the low rumble of his voice, in the delicious web of this unfamiliar desire. The part of me that would normally resist him is curiously absent, leaving only the part of me that is fascinated by him and what he makes me feel.

I sway toward him. “Maybe I don’t want it to be easy.”

One inky black brow shoots up. “Are you teasing me, beautiful?”

“Maybe.”

“Have you ever heard that expression about messing with the bull?”

“Are you threatening me with your . . . horns?” I ask, knowing full well that I’m playing with fire, yet not quite able to care. I just feel the heat. And I want it.

I want him.

“Baby, I don’t make threats. I make promises.”

For a second, I forget that we are in the middle of a crowd, that we aren’t alone and that I shouldn’t be tempting fate this way. For a second, I just want him to kiss me. And touch me. And make me forget everything in the world and in my life except him. And I know Jake is just the kind of guy that could do that.

An unwelcome voice interrupts the moment. It’s Hannah. “There’s no excuse for you to still be dry, Laney,” she says. I don’t even glance her way, hoping that if I ignore her, she’ll go away. Only she doesn’t. “Come on, you two. Let’s go give that tire swing a whirl.”

One corner of Jake’s mouth curves up into a wry grin. “Didn’t you say you were here with a friend? What was her name, Lisa? Where’s she at?” he asks without taking his eyes off mine.

“Oh, she’s off flirting with some guy she met.”

While I am a bit irritated by the interruption, Hannah has been very nice to me, and I feel bad for her that her friend abandoned her so easily.

Swallowing my sigh, I turn to her and smile. “Lead the way.”

“Yay!” she exclaims, clapping her hands as she bounces, setting her generous boobs ajiggle. She flips her red hair and turns toward the huge rock where several people are waiting for their turn on the swing.

Jake and I follow, stopping behind her in line. I feel his warm palm slide around the curve of my waist to settle at my hip. It’s an intimate gesture, and I feel the heat of his hand all the way to my core, making me wish again that we were alone.

I don’t turn to look back at him. I don’t want him to see my smile.

I sip my drink until it’s my turn to climb up on the rock, then I hand it to Jake. “Here. Hold this.”

Jake takes it in one hand, glancing down at it before he winds the fingers of his other around my upper arm. He stops me from moving forward to take my turn. “Hey, are you sure you’re okay to do this? I get the feeling you’re not used to drinking, and this stuff isn’t exactly a wine cooler.”

His comment stirs up the resentment that I’ve been battling since things with Shane took a turn for the worse. I pull my arm free. “I’m fine. I’m not the goody-two-shoes you think I am.”

He quirks one brow, but says nothing as I turn and climb onto the rock.

The first level isn’t too bad, but the thing is, you have to climb up onto another, higher part of the rock to get to the tire and swing out over the water. When I reach the top and a guy pushes the rope tied to the tire into my hands, I look down. It seems that I’m at least a mile above the surface of the water.

“Uhhh . . .” The guy looks at me, raises his eyebrows and tips his head toward the water. “Umm, I’m not sure I want to do this,” I tell him.

“Aw, come on. It’s fun. You’ll be fine.”

I start to back away. “I don’t think I should.”

“Can you swim?” he asks.

“Of course I can swim.” I feel like saying
Duh! Why would I be up here if I couldn’t swim?
But I don’t.

“Then you’ll be fine. Just put your foot up here and I’ll swing you out.”

I pause, teetering between sucking it up and doing it to save face, or braving the humiliation of climbing back down.

A familiar voice interrupts my musing. “Want me to go down with you?” Jake rumbles at my ear.

I feel a sigh of relief swell in my chest before I ask, “Can we do that?”

Jake reaches around me to take the rope from my fingers. For just a second, nearly every surface of his front is pressed to my back. He pauses before he straightens, as if he’s giving me time to enjoy the feeling of being enveloped by him, of being touched all over by him.

“We can do anything we want,” he answers softly, his breath tickling my neck.

And just like that, we’re talking of much more than just the swing.

I turn around to face him. He’s so close I can count the dark stubble that dusts his cheeks.

“So how do we do this?”

Without taking his eyes off mine, Jake winds his arm around my waist, pulls me in tight against him, then lifts me off the ground. “Just hold on to me. I’ve got you.”

I don’t know if it’s just in my head or if Jake
means
to make that sound like more than the obvious. Either way, my brain, spinning with drink and fear and anticipation, interprets his words differently. In some ways, I think Jake
does
have me. My attention, my attraction, my curiosity, my desire—but what comes next? Some part of me anxiously awaits the answer to that question. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to let go of the old Laney long enough to enjoy what I find.

My arms slip easily around his neck and my legs intertwine with his, leaving no space between us. We fit together perfectly, like our bodies were designed with the other in mind.

“Ready?” he asks as he watches me intently. Again, in my mind, it seems he’s asking me about so much more.

“As ready as I’ll ever be.”

With a grin, he pulls back on the rope, steps up onto the bottom of the tire and pushes off. We swing way up into the air, enough for my stomach to drop, before Jake lets go.

Then we’re flying.

And I’m falling.

Down, down, down we go, and I hear Jake’s whoop just before cool water engulfs us. I can still feel the heat of his body and, even as our momentum slows and I begin to swim upward, Jake never loosens his hold.

We break the surface at the same time. Jake’s laughing as he shakes his head, sending droplets of water in every direction. When his eyes meet mine, they’re sparkling.

“Well?” he asks.

“That was awesome.” My heart is still hammering, although I’m not sure if it’s from the swing or from Jake’s legs tangling with mine. “Thank you for doing it with me.”

His smile turns wicked. “There are many, many things I’d like to do with you. I hope this was just the beginning.”

“There are?”

“Oh, I think you
know
there are.” I smile into his eyes as his arm tightens around my waist and he drags me slowly toward shallower water. He stops when his feet hit solid ground. Mine are still dangling freely. My head spins with purple drink. My stomach flutters with anticipation. My heart races with excitement. “Tell me to kiss you,” he commands in his gravelly voice.

Uptight Laney would pause to consider. And then politely decline. But today . . . right now . . . she’s not here.

I don’t give it a second thought. I want him to do it; I want him to kiss me. “Kiss me,” I whisper.

His lips twitch with satisfaction just before he lowers his head to mine.

The touch of Jake’s lips is familiar, yes. His lips are firm yet yielding, and, even after eating, he still tastes vaguely of cinnamon. But in all other ways, this kiss is different. There’s promise in it, the promise that this is where the ride starts, that this is where I have to take a deep breath and
really
jump into the unknown.

His mouth teases mine until it opens and he can slide his tongue inside. As it tangles with mine, stroking it, licking it, his hands skate down my back. He angles his head and deepens the kiss. I’m caught up in sensation as his palms cover my butt and then slide down the backs of my thighs to pull my legs around his waist.

With the intimate contact and no one to jerk on the reins, heat explodes between us. An urgency flourishes between us, making lips hungry and hands desperate. Suddenly, none of this feels too soon or too rushed or too dangerous. It feels just right.

Out of breath, Jake drags his mouth away from mine, trailing it to my ear, where he nips at the lobe. “I was thinking earlier about rubbing my hand over your wet panties, about what it would feel like to put my fingers inside you.” He groans. Chills shoot down my back and my nipples tingle into tight points that beg for the brush of his chest against them. “You know I’m going to do that, right? Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But it
will
happen. You’ll be mine, Laney. Before all is said and done, you
will
be mine.”

BOOK: Some Like It Wild
8.38Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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