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Authors: Maryann Jordan

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Carol's Image (25 page)

BOOK: Carol's Image
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Both men greeted their women enthusiastically, although Tom felt cheated on his hello kiss since he had to rush back over to the grill. Flipping the steaks, he glanced over his shoulder at Carol, winked, and mouthed, “To be continued later.”

Carol grinned in return and headed into the kitchen to grab the rest of the meal. The four friends were soon sitting down to grilled steaks with all the fixings.

Carol tried to fight the feelings of counting calories. Knowing she was going to be getting into a bikini later made her feel less in control. She began to eat slowly, pushing her food around on her plate instead of eating it.

Tom noticed. He said nothing for a few minutes, but then realized he did not want to embarrass her, but wasn’t going to let her not enjoy her meal.

“Hey angel, I’m gonna grab some more beers. Can you come help me?” he asked casually.

“Sure,” was Carol’s quick response, already rising from the table.

Once inside the house with the patio door closed, Tom rounded on Carol, moving her backwards until her back hit the counter.

“You gonna tell me what’s goin’ on in that pretty head of yours? ’Cause I get the feelin’ you are bein’ clueless again, and we’re not goin’ back out until we get this out and deal with it.”

Carol opened her mouth to reply, but Tom put his fingers on her lips.

“And angel, don’t you dare try to tell me nothins’ goin’ on.”

Huffing, Carol looked down at their feet for a moment, hating to admit that he was right.
Deal with this. Get it out in the open. Don’t hold these feelings in.

Carol admitted, “I hate eating right before I’m going to be in a bathing suit. I know I’m not overweight –”

Tom interrupted with a rude sound.

Flashing her eyes at him in exasperation, she agreed. “Okay fine. I may even be a little underweight. But I don’t want to purge right before going to the pool. So I just figured that if I don’t eat much, I won’t be tempted.”

Tom hung his head for a moment, saying nothing.

“You’re angry,” Carol whispered.

Tom’s head snapped up, his eyes latching onto hers. “Angel, I am not angry, but I’m kinda pissed you think I would be.” Taking a deep breath, he continued. “Was gonna say you were bein’ clueless again, but when I asked you what was goin’ on, you told me. You laid it out clear. I’m proud of that, and I’m proud of you. I never want you to hide shit from me, angel. Told you before, we get it out, we deal, and then we lay it to rest.”

Carol stared into his beautiful face; the face that captured her heart the first time she saw him.

Tom reached up to cup her face, holding her gaze. “So now, angel. You got it out. Now let’s deal.”

Nodding, Carol agreed. “I’ll eat, but just don’t expect me to shovel it all in. That’s too much and I won’t enjoy myself. Laurie is so beautiful and compared to her…”

Tom interrupted her again. “Whoa, angel. Stop right there. Now you’re about to piss me off by goin’ clueless again. Yes, Laurie is a beautiful woman, but angel, she doesn’t hold a candle to you. I feel nothin’ when I see her other than I’m glad Rob decided to pull his head outta his ass and find a great woman. But you. Angel, when I look at you, I see everything. Beauty. Brains. Sweetness. Care. Love. I see everything I could ever want and everything I could ever need. That’s what I see. That’s my image of you.”

Carol felt a lightness that had escaped her for years. She knew deep inside she would always battle her own image, but hearing what Tom saw made her feel truly beautiful. Just as she was.

Sliding her arms around his waist, she pulled herself into his chest and held tight, letting his heartbeat echo throughout her being.
He sees me. He loves me. Just me.

Wrapping his arms around her in his powerful embrace, he pulled her even tighter. “You got me, angel?”

Nodding, Carol answered, “I got you, honey.”

Kissing the top of her head, Tom released her to grab some beers before they headed back out.

True to her word, Carol ate some of her dinner and then the four friends settled into the hot tub. Laurie’s curves were more lush than Carol’s, and Tom realized that in the past, that may have been what would have attracted him to a woman. But now? Looking at Carol’s toned, perfect figure and angelic face, he knew he had exactly what he could have ever wanted. Shifting her weightless body through the water, he maneuvered her to sit between his legs. She fit perfectly. Her slender body was completely framed by his massive one. Wrapping his arms around her front, he pulled her back into his chest and rested his chin on her head.

Rob followed suit, positioning Laurie in much the same way, and Carol could not help but notice how good they looked together. Smiling, she was pleased with her part in getting them together.
Friends. This is what it is like to have real friends.
Other than Sofia and Jon from work, Carol realized that she had never allowed herself to have friends.

Tom leaned down to whisper in her ear, “What are you smiling about, angel?”

Carol could feel his breath against her ear, and she shivered even in the warm water. Twisting around so that she could look in his face, she answered, “I’m just enjoying friendship. I never really had that before.”

Tom held her gaze for a moment, allowing himself to peek inside of Carol’s past. No friends meant never having to disappoint someone. Never having to live up to their expectations. But is also meant never knowing the fun, the camaraderie, the joy of spending time with others. Leaning down, he placed a gentle kiss on her lips before turning her back around to face the others.

For a long time, the four friends talked and laughed as the men regaled the women with tales of their growing up on this very street.

Rob looked around the backyard, noting that Tom had not changed the house or yard much since he had taken it over from his parents. “Are your parents gonna be surprised when they come next week?”

Before Tom could answer, Carol tried to stand and turn quickly in the hot tub, slipping instead and falling backward. Water splashed all around as Tom tried to grab her.

“Damn, angel. What the hell are you doin’? Trying to drown yourself and us too?” he said as he finally got his hands on her slippery body and hauled her up out of the water.

“Your parents?” Carol spluttered. “You didn’t tell me your parents were coming!”

“It’s no big deal. They come for Thanksgivin’ every year, and we always have it with Rob’s family.”

“Tom, it is a big deal. Do you expect me to meet them?” Carol asked her voice raising.

Looking confused, he said, “Of course I expect them to meet my girlfriend. You’ll be eatin’ with us.”

“Well, you could have warned me. You could have told me.”

Rob and Laurie shared a look then Rob stood pulling Laurie up in his arms. “Well you two,” he said, looking over at Tom and Carol, “looks like you all need to talk and I’ve been dyin’ to get this gorgeous girl of mine home and in my bed.”

“Rob!” Laurie exclaimed, slapping him on his arm. “You shouldn’t say that!”

“Babe, I say what I feel and right now, I am wantin’ to be feelin’ you!” Rob retorted with a leer. Grabbing Laurie around the waist, he hoisted her out of the hot tub before pulling himself out. He grabbed their towels, and they said their goodnights as they headed off to his truck.

Tom looked down at Carol, water still dripping from her face and hair, but just as beautiful as always. “Don’t get clueless on me now, angel.”

Carol’s eyes snapped to his, but he put his fingers gently on her lips before she could respond.

“Are you my girl? Yes or no?” Tom asked.

Carol nodded.

“Do we love each other? Yes or no?” he continued.

Carol, with his fingers still on her lips, nodded again. This time though, she could feel his fingers slowly moving over her lips, caressing them. Her irritation fled as the feelings spread from her lips throughout her body.

He leaned close, bending so that his face was just a breath away from hers. “And isn’t it appropriate for adults who are in love to meet the families of their partners? Yes or no?”

Carol nodded, but by this time she would have agreed to anything as long as he kept touching her lips. Needing more contact, she stepped forward so that they were standing chest to chest.

“So, you are gonna to meet my parents next week at Thanksgiving. They are gonna love you. You are gonna be fine. I know it’s a big crowd, and I know there will be a lot of food, mixed with stress. But I will be right there with you every moment, I promise.”

With those words, Carol melted into Tom.
He gets it. He gets me. He understands.
Placing her hands on his chest, she slid her tongue out and pulled his fingers into her mouth, sucking gently.

Lust speared through Tom’s eyes as he pulled his fingers out and slammed his mouth onto hers. Picking her up, he felt Carol wrap her legs around his waist. He then settled back down into the hot tub, sitting with her facing him on his lap.

She could feel his erection pressing directly on her clit. Immediately she began rubbing herself on him to relieve the pressure building.

Tom gave into the lust that threatened his sanity at the moment. His hands slid from her ass to her back, releasing the bikini strap knot. Sliding the nothing material up and over her head, he pulled his lips away from hers just long enough to take in her naked breasts.
He was always amazed at her body. Almost fragile looking and yet, she was one of the strongest women he knew.

His large hands covered her breasts, feeling their weight as his thumb rubbed over her nipples. Pebbled and hardened, he had to taste one. Dipping his head, he captured a nipple in his mouth, sucking it in deeply. One hand slid to her back to support her, and the other hand slipped down the back of her bikini bottoms, tugging them down.

As his mouth devoured her nipple, Carol felt her weightless body rising in the water as she maneuvered her legs around to get rid of the bikini bottoms. Completely naked in the water, she straddled his body again as she settled on his lap, feeling his erection once again pressing into her pussy.

Tom tugged on her nipple gently with his teeth, eliciting a moan from Carol as she threw her head back, eyes tightly closed. He moved his free hand down to her folds, fondling her clit and massaging her pussy. She settled down slowly on his cock, gradually taking him completely in her waiting body. His head tilted back as he looked up to the heavens for a moment as the delicious feel of her surrounding him tightly wrestled with his control. Wanting to pound up into her, he forced himself to let her take it at her pace. With her hands on his shoulders, she lifted herself up and down, slowly at first then faster as the sparks between her breasts and her core began building.

Tom watched her, fascinated as the emotions danced across her face. Her eyes were closed, a smile curved her lips. She began to pant as she came to the edge, moving faster and faster.

Crying out his name as her eyes sought his, she powered through her orgasm, fingers grasping at his arms. As she slowed down, Tom placed his hands on her hips and took control. Lifting her slightly, he used his hips to continually thrust up, giving in to the desire to bury himself as deeply as he could. Pounding, he held her weightless body, almost afraid of bruising her hips from holding on too tightly. Finally, with his last few thrusts, he threw his head back and roared as his release came and he emptied himself into her.

“You okay, angel?” he asked, his voice rough.

“Mmmm,” was the only answer that came in return. Carol buried her face in his neck as he stood and carried her out of the tub.

Aware of her nudity, he bent and grabbed a towel to hold over her ass since her front was completely plastered against his chest. The walk to the back door was only a few feet and he quickly had her inside, where he carried her to the bedroom. Not wanting her to chill, he deposited her gently into his bed, pulling the covers up.

“Gonna lock up, angel. Stay here and stay warm. I’ll be back in just a few minutes.”

She looked up through her satisfied haze, smiling as he turned and left the room. I could stare at that ass forever. Giggling to herself, she let the warmth of the hot tub sex and bed covers lull her to sleep. Later, she felt the bed move and her body was pulled over against his hard front. Snuggling deeper, she drifted back to sleep, unaware of his tight hold on her, but instinctively knowing she was safe in his arms.

Chapter 18

arly Thanksgiving morning found Carol in the kitchen making a sweet potato casserole. Laurie stumbled from the bedroom rubbing her eyes, staring at Carol, who was already dressed.

“What are you doing up so early?” Laurie asked.

Carol whirled around, immediately contrite. “I am so sorry. Did I wake you? Did I make too much noise?”

Laurie walked over, embracing Carol in a hug. “Honey, calm down. No, you did not wake me and no, you were not making too much noise. But you are definitely jazzed up about today. Are you nervous?”

“Laurie, don’t you remember how stressed you were when you first had dinner with Rob’s parents? You had every outfit in your closet tossed all over your room!”

Laughing, Laurie agreed. “Yeah, you’re right. I guess I keep thinking about today just being with friends and family, having Thanksgiving meal. But for you, it is meeting Tom’s parents for the first time.” She looked at Carol’s face, seeing the doubt and concern. “Carol, you have nothing to worry about. From everything I have heard, Tom’s parents are great. They’re just like Bernie and Mac are to me.”

“I’m sure they are nice. I just…I just… well, it’s just stressful.” Carol looked over at the casserole sitting on the stove.

Laurie quietly asked, “Are you going to be okay?”

Looking into Laurie’s face, Carol felt the warm emotion flow over her, knowing that she had true friends who were concerned. Smiling, she returned Laurie’s hug. “Yeah. I’m going to be fine. I hope they like me, but as long as I am happy with who I am, then right now, that is all that matters.”

BOOK: Carol's Image
12.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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