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Authors: M. Leighton

Tags: #Fiction / Romance / Contemporary

Some Like It Wild (9 page)

BOOK: Some Like It Wild
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As spasms wrack my body, I feel his tongue thrusting rhythmically into me, hot and deep, prolonging the pleasure that’s coursing through me.

I pant behind my hand, my eyes squeezed shut against the burst of light that shines behind them. And then Jake is pulling at my wrist, moving my fingers away from my lips, driving his tongue between them. He licks the inside of my mouth, sharing with me what he found.

“See how sweet you taste,” he groans. It’s such a wicked thing to do, feels so naughty and forbidden, I feel another gush of warmth pool between my legs. I know that whatever Jake asked me to do right now, I would do. Wherever he wanted me to go, I’d go.

“I need more,” I say, mindless in my passion. “I need you.”

I don’t know what it is about those words that stop him, but they do. I feel him tense and cool, as though a puff of cold air whipped through the room.

“What?” I ask, confused. “What’s wrong?”

In the low light, his eyes search mine. For several long seconds, he says nothing. Then he reaches for my neck, pushing my hair away from my throat and kissing my pulse. “Nothing,” he replies. But I don’t believe him. “We’d better go. I doubt people would look kindly on me corrupting the preacher’s daughter this way.” His smile is wry, but I think he’s hiding something else behind it. I just don’t know what.

I know my smile is tremulous at best. I feel it melt almost as quickly as I could conjure it. “Okay.”

With that, Jake grabs the wine bottle from the floor (I was barely aware of him taking it from me), takes my hand, and leads me through the dark room to the door.

FOURTEEN:
Jake

I
’m more grateful than ever that Laney’s not the talkative type. Any other woman would’ve probably asked me a thousand questions about what happened back at the fire station. But not Laney. If anything, she’s just quieter.

We’ve only been back at the house for a few minutes, and now she’s making her excuses to get the hell out of Dodge.

“I think I’m going to move my stuff to another room and hit the sack. I’m pretty tired.”

I know what she’s doing, but I choose not to acknowledge it. She’s better off thinking the worst of me. That way, she’ll never get attached. Or have any expectations. Or, even worse, fall in love with me. She deserves better than that. I wouldn’t wish me on my worst enemy. I’m a black hole for love. It’s the way I was born.

“There’s no reason to do that. I’m not gonna take advantage of you in your sleep,” I assure her. “Unless you want me to.” I grin.

She frowns in confusion. I’m sure she doesn’t understand the swift shifts. And that’s fine. She doesn’t need to know all about the things that have made me who and what I am.

“If you’re sure . . .”

“Of course I’m sure.”

“All right then.”

Cautiously, as though she’s been singed if not actually burned by my earlier actions (actions, I’m sure, she sees as rejection), Laney makes her way up the stairs. And I let her go.

It’s almost three hours later before I follow. I stand in the doorway, looking at her where she’s spread out in the center of the bed. Her hair is like a platinum waterfall, spilling over the pillow. Her face is relaxed in sleep. Gone are the mistrust and the cool shell she sometimes hides behind. Gone is the hurt from earlier. It makes me uncomfortable how much I hate that I put it there. I remind myself it’s for the best.

For the best.

For the best.

I walk to the bed and gently touch her side. Her brow wrinkles and she mumbles something, but she scoots over and I slide in beside her. It isn’t long before she rolls back toward me and curls up with her head on my chest.

Damn, she feels good there.

My mind blinks back to the way she responded to me tonight, pressed up against a cold metal pole and not seeming to care. Sugar and spice.

For my own good, I try to put her out of my mind.

But it’s her face and her body that fill my dreams.

* * *

It’s hot and I’m sticky, and I could use a break. With Laney. I’m feeling a little restless and I think she sounds like the perfect distraction.

Heading into the house, I find her holed up in the dining room, as usual. This time she has a book and a bunch of pictures of different items in the house spread out in front of her.

“Wow,” I say as I take my customary place leaning against the jamb, watching her. “That looks boring as hell.”

“Does it?” she asks, looking up at me. She’s wearing glasses today. I’ve never seen her in them before, and I’m not normally fond of that look (or that type of woman, for that matter), but these are a turn-on. At least they are on Laney. She looks like a hot librarian or something. Uptight and all. And boy is she uptight today, especially since last night! It makes me that much more anxious to get her loosened up.

“It does. But lucky for you, I have the perfect antidote. Come with me.”

“I really need to get this done.”

“This is work, too. Just a variation. Something with a little more fun worked in.”

“And just how do you plan to make work fun?”

“Well, for starters, I’ll be with you. How can you go wrong?”

She grins and rolls her eyes, but it’s a playful expression.

We’re off to a good start.

“What does this ‘fun work’ that you speak of entail, exactly?”

“It’s a surprise. But I can tell you that it will involve some walking, so you’ll need to change.” I let my eyes drift over her prim form, sitting so straight and tall in her chair. “Not that I don’t love the thought of loosening every one of those buttons . . .” I say, looking pointedly at where her breasts are straining against little pearl closures down the front of her shirt.

Although still casual, she’s wearing some slacks and a little blouse, something far too dressy for this house. But, more importantly, it’s far too dressy for this excursion. I wasn’t lying, though. Seeing her in her standoffish clothes really does make me want to get her out of them even more. To leave her with nothing for cover, nothing to hide behind.

She eyes me wryly, but it doesn’t hide the pretty blush that stains her cheeks. Although I have no desire to pursue any kind of relationship with her, I don’t want to leave her in any doubt that I
want
her.

Badly.

“Come on. Chop, chop!” I prompt.

Laney lays her glasses aside and gets up. When she’s even with me in the doorway, I lean down and whisper, “If you need help with those buttons, holler.”

I wink when she looks up at me.

“I think I can manage,” comes her sassy reply, but I can tell by the way her eyes dart away that I’m making her nervous. And, for my purposes, that’s a very good thing.

“Suit yourself. Just hurry. We need to be back by dark.”

With that, she moves off a little more quickly.

Less than five minutes later, I’m standing at the bottom of the steps when she hits the top one. She’s twisting her hair up and securing it with a clip. The action makes the thin material of her yellow tank top stretch across her chest. I can see the outline of her nipples perfectly. My mouth waters with thoughts of having one of them against my tongue again.

I look away from her chest to take in legs that look a mile long in her khaki shorts, feet covered in cute little hiking boots. I’d much rather throw her over my shoulder and carry her to my bed, but that’s not an option.

Yet.

“You brought a little bit of everything when you left your dad’s, huh?”

Laney stops mid-descent and looks down at herself. “What do you mean?”

“Hiking boots?”

“I always bring them when I come home. I hadn’t unpacked yet, so I just grabbed my bags and took off. Pretty much everything I own is on your bedroom floor.”

“That’s exactly where I picture your clothes every time I look at you.”

“You could do this all day long, couldn’t you?”

“Do what?” I ask, assuming my most innocuous expression.

“Tease me.”

I wait to answer until she’s on the next to last step, nearly tall enough to look me in the eye. “Baby, I haven’t even begun to tease you.”

“Well, maybe it’s best if you don’t.”

As I suspected, she’s still stinging from last night.

“No, I can guarantee you that it’s best for
both of us
if I do.”

“How would you know what’s best for me?”

It’s not a sarcastic question, but more a genuine one. I wonder if she asks herself that same thing often.

I step up on the last step, my chest close enough to brush hers. “You need to let your hair down a little. And I can help you with that. Neither of us wants anything serious. It’s perfect. You’re perfect. And I’m perfect
for you
.”

“You’re perfect for me
right now
maybe, but normally . . .”

“I know, I know. Normally you’re a good girl. And I’m the kind that corrupts them. Normally, you’d stay far away from me. And I’d probably stay away from you. But this isn’t normal. I’m willing to go with it. And I think you are, too, if you’ll get the hell out of your own head.” I reach out to take a thin wisp of hair that’s lying by her ear. I wind it around my finger. “Leave ‘normally’ behind, Laney. Leave all this shit with your dad and your friend and your shithole-of-an-ex behind. Give me a try. I promise I’ll make you glad you did.”

I see her swallow. Hard. “What if I can’t do it? What if I’m not this girl?”

I stroke her trembling bottom lip with my thumb. “We already talked about this. Trust me. You’re this girl.”

To show her what I mean, to show her how good we are together and how much her body knows that her mind denies, I bend my head and press my lips to hers. I take it slow and easy at first, brushing her mouth with mine, tracing the outline of her lips with the tip of my tongue. When she parts them for me—not because I ask her to or because I’m pushing her, but only because she wants to taste me as much as I want to taste her—I slide my tongue between them and lick it like I licked her last night. Like I’m tasting the world’s finest ice cream. Like I’m savoring every last bit of it. Of her. And I am. Something about her is sweet. The sweetest I’ve ever tasted. And it’s got me hard and ready for her, even now.

As much as I want to take her back upstairs, I pull away instead. That’ll come soon enough . . .

And then so will she.

“Believe me now?”

She looks down at my chin and pulls her bottom lip between her teeth. It’s a shy gesture, but she nods in agreement.

“Good. Let’s go.” I take her hand in mine and lead her from the house and across the yard toward the orchard gate. “You wanted to see the property, right? Well, there’s a lot to see, but today I think a good place to start would be the east grove. It butts up against the river, which will be a cool and refreshing place to visit on a day like today.”

She stops dead. “I’m not wearing a suit. And I’m not going skinny dipping.”

“Damn, you really
are
going to be difficult. But who said anything about skinny-dipping?”

I tug her hand, and she reluctantly resumes her walk at my side. I tell her what I know about the orchard—number of acres, average yield each year, labor and upkeep, the average season length. She takes it all in.

She listens and looks around as we walk, never saying a word or asking a question. Then we fall silent. It’s when she speaks after a few minutes that I realize why she’s been so quiet. She hasn’t been thinking about the orchard or work at all.

“What did you mean when you told my father that you were unlovable?”

I sigh.

Aw hell! Don’t start this, Laney
, I think in exasperation.

“Nothing. I was just making a point.”

She looks up from the piece of grass she’d been twirling in the fingers of her other hand and watching intently. Now she’s watching me intently.

“No, you weren’t
only
making a point. That was sincere. And I want to know why you think that.”

I think long and hard before I respond. “I don’t do this, Laney.”

“Do what?” she asks, puzzled.

“Do the whole spill-your-guts thing. We aren’t dating. I don’t date really. What I’m offering you is pretty much all I’m capable of.”

“But why? That has to be a choice. You’re smart and charming, you’re driven and competent. You’re funny on occasion.”

I laugh at her qualification. “On occasion, huh? You’re so generous.”

“Don’t change the subject.”

“I don’t feel the need to know people very well. And I don’t think they’d want to know me very well, either. So I just avoid that kind of thing.”

“But why? What makes you think you’re so unworthy?”

“A lifetime of living with me, that’s what.”

“Maybe so, but there’s something else, Jake. I’m not stupid. And if you simply don’t want to talk about it, fine. Just know that I don’t know if
I’m
capable of having this kind of . . . thing with someone I know nothing about.”

It’s my turn to stop. “But you do know me. You’re getting to know me every day. You just said I’m brilliant and witty and charming and drop-dead gorgeous. Not to mention sexy as all hell. What more do you need to know about me? Maybe I’m just not that deep. Maybe there’s only a puddle where you think there’s an ocean.”

She narrows her eyes on me. I can’t imagine what she’s thinking. This part of a woman’s mind is a mystery to me. And I have no problem letting it stay that way. Having feelings about something every two seconds and then obsessing about them for days—that shit’s for the birds.

Finally, she shrugs. “Maybe . . .”

But she’s not fooling me. Not only does she not believe that for a second, but she’s nowhere near letting it go. I can tell by the way she still watches me, like she’s trying to see what’s going on behind my eyes.

“Come on,” I say veering off the path to the left. “I’ve got something to show you.”

She makes no comment, asks no questions. But she follows. That’s how I know she’s still in this. There’s something inside her that wants to pursue this. I just have to give her good reasons not to change her mind.

I hear the roar of it long before it’s within sight. The air smells a little bit different here. Fresher. Cleaner. This is one of my favorite places. Always has been. And it’s the only waterfall in the county.

We step through the trees. The cascade of white water gushing over the rocks and hitting the pool below creates a spray that makes rainbows in the sun. I glance down at Laney. Her eyes are wide and her lips are slightly parted.

Yeah, this was definitely the right place to bring her.

Although it wasn’t my original plan, I can see it was the right choice, all things considered. I don’t normally bring people here and risk spoiling it for me, but in this case . . .

I don’t even know what “this case” really is. It’s not just to get Laney in my bed. I could do that other ways. Maybe it’s to put her mind at ease about me. Maybe it’s to share something of mine, some part of me with her when she so obviously needs it. Anything beyond that, I’d rather not consider. I just want to sleep with her. That’s it. End of story. And that’s the way it has to stay.

It has to.

I could never risk loving someone, much less someone like Laney. She’s actually a nice person. She deserves much better.

“Wow! It’s . . . it’s just . . . wow! Breathtaking.”

“Funny,” I say softly, reaching out to touch her smooth cheek, “that’s just what I was thinking.”

When she looks at me, I know she knows I’m not referring to the waterfall.

“Come on. Let me show you the other view.”

I take off upriver, along the bank. I know there’s a path that cuts through the trees that leads to the top of the fall. There are a couple of tricky spots, especially where it gets rocky and the moss is thick. I turn and offer my hand to Laney, pulling her along safely behind me.

BOOK: Some Like It Wild
13.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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