Authors: Candi Wall
Tags: #letting go;trust;Texas;Texan;western;big city
She clamped her eyes shut, concentrating on the smooth thrusts of his finger, the scintillating movements over her aroused clit.
He froze, midstroke. “Want a blindfold?”
Chloe blinked, shaking her head. “What?”
He settled back, running a hand over the hard bulge in his jeans suggestively. “Since you’re thinking of this other guy, I thought you might want a blindfold to help with the fantasy.”
The suggestion had merit, more so since Seth was anything but put out by her wandering thoughts. Actually, he seemed to be turned on by the idea. Seth wasn’t one of her favorite people for nothing. “I don’t know if it will help.”
Seth nodded, thrusting his finger deep. “I’ll be whoever you want me to be, or no one at all. Just tell me what you need.”
That was the kicker, wasn’t it? Chloe forced herself to concentrate on what he was doing. Nick didn’t belong in her head. He belonged in Texas, in the still-believes-in-the-good-in-people hometown life. “I just need to forget him.”
“If that’s what you really want.” Seth didn’t wait for her to answer. He did what he did best. Each touch, lick and suck was designed for her pleasure. His fingers worked their magic, dragging her body over every heated erotic coal, but it wasn’t enough. No matter what he did, what he whispered he would do if they went back to his place, even his amazing skills couldn’t dislodge Nick from her mind.
Stroking his finger deep, Seth went for the extreme, tapping her g-spot. He’d found it once, and the orgasm had almost made her pass out from its intensity. They’d had fun, but her head and body had been into it. Tonight, they weren’t.
“Damn girl, your head is getting in the way.” He eased her up on the seat and straightened her clothes. “Want to go back to my place and try again?”
There was no judgment in his easy gaze. She was a lost cause. If Seth couldn’t get him out of her head, there was only one way to do it. And she had to do it herself. In person.
“Actually, I’d better take a rain check.”
He smiled knowingly and shifted in his seat. “You want a ride back to your place?”
Chloe laughed as he wiggled a finger to a pretty brunette straddling a barstool. “No thanks. I’ll catch a cab, but you have a good time for me, okay?”
“You know I will.” He smiled that devilish smile. “Hey, Chlo?”
The brunette sat down in the seat next to him and was already undoing the zipper to his jeans. He brushed a thumb over her lips before glancing back. “You let me know when you’re on the market again.”
“I’m not off the mar—”
Seth jerked slightly as the woman’s head descended beneath the table. “Stay and watch?”
Chloe glanced down, just able to make out Seth’s hard cock entering the woman’s mouth. With a quick wink, she shook her head. “I think you’ve got this handled. I’ll see you soon.”
She walked away from the bar without looking back. If Seth had read her thoughts, she had a problem. And that problem was Nick Westing.
Getting him out of her head wasn’t going to be as easy as she’d hoped, but she was going to do it. And she was going to do it now.
Nick sat in the chair situated next to the window and glared at the lights from the building suffocating his view of the stars. There was no night sky in the big city. If nothing else, the trip with Cash had provided them with one hell of a nice hotel room. Not that it could be called that. Hell, it was almost as big as his house. The damn bathroom alone could fit a good portion of his relatives comfortably, and no one would have to stand.
Cash hadn’t come back yet, probably wouldn’t if the way he and Chloe’s coworker, Shawna, were talking and looking at each other in the limo was any indication. He was happy for his brother, and wished him the best with any city girl. They were a breed of their own.
Honestly, Nick didn’t care at the moment. All he could really think about was Chloe.
He had no idea where she’d gone after he’d watched her speed off down the street with some guy on a motorcycle. All he knew was that Shawna had told him Chloe was fine and hanging out with a friend. He’d only learned that after he’d walked around several blocks hoping to find her before Cash picked him up in the limo. It had only taken five turns through the sky-high buildings and traffic-bogged streets before he realized how futile his search was. Damn needles in haystacks.
One thing was for certain. He was going to strangle her when he saw her tomorrow. If he did. Hell, there was no telling what kind of trouble she could get herself into in this horrid city. All matter of images and gruesome thoughts traveled through his head until finally he stood and started pacing.
He’d turned the lights off, though enough light poured in through the window to cast the room in a soft glow. Didn’t matter anyway—he’d never sleep tonight without knowing if she was okay.
A light knock at the door drew his attention, but he didn’t want to deal with anyone tonight. He ignored it and flopped down on the bed backwards. He stared at the ceiling until another, somewhat louder knock, sounded again. “Go away!”
“Nick Westing, if you don’t open this door, I’ll start screaming until security comes.”
Chloe? What the hell?
He jumped up, crossing the room to pull the door open. She pushed past him into the room and slammed the door behind her. For a moment all she did was pace back and forth, shaking her head slowly and mumbling. Then, she stopped, one hand going to her hip, her angry blue eyes meeting his gaze. “Why?”
Nick wasn’t sure what to say. Her hair was loose, tumbling down her stiff shoulders. She dropped her coat on the floor and paced faster. Goose bumps covered her arms. He wanted to reach out, pull her close, but he didn’t dare. He wasn’t sure what she was mad about and even though he was relieved she was safe, he was still pretty angry himself. Hadn’t she left with another guy? Anger won out. “Why what? Why wasn’t the guy you left with as good a fuck as I am?”
“Who says he wasn’t?”
“The clock, doll.” He glanced at the alarm next to his bed. “Last I checked you were in for the go-round, not an eight-second ride. If he did anything, he must have done it quick.”
Now they were getting somewhere. If he’d learned anything about Chloe Garrison, it was that she was at her most vulnerable when she was aroused. She’d come to him, and he was going to take advantage of her weakness. “Already did that. Wanna try something new?”
Her hand flashed out but he caught it before it hit his cheek. “Let go,” she snapped.
“Let’s start again with your first question.” Some of the heat went out of her fight, and he released her wrist. “Why what?”
“Why did you hit Ian?”
“Because he had his hands all over you, and it looked to me like you were asking him to stop,” he answered honestly.
She pulled her wrist free and walked to the window, the sway of her hips sending the soft, silver fabric, barely covering her ass, to shimmering. “He’s gay. He was just messing around and had a couple drinks too many. No reason for you to hit him.”
“And I was supposed to know that how?” Nick shrugged and plopped down on the bed, leaning back on his elbows. “The woman you nearly fucked on the dance floor was one thing, but Ian touching you when you didn’t want him to? No way I could stand for that.”
She turned from the window, her eyes moving over his legs, to his cock and higher until she finally met his gaze. He hardened instantly.
“It didn’t matter if you knew or not.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “You don’t own me, and I certainly don’t need you to protect me.”
“Tonight proved differently.”
“How do you figure?” she pressed. “I’ve survived this long without your caveman-like help.”
“Luck,” he quipped. “Don’t get me wrong, I see how strong you are. But ten minutes in this hellhole of a city showed me how dangerous it could be for anyone, let alone a beautiful woman with a chip on her shoulder the size of Texas.”
“I don’t have a—”
“You can do whatever you want, doll,” he interrupted. “But don’t lie to me.”
She glanced around. “Where’s Cash?”
“Last I saw him he was headed into Shawna’s apartment.”
Her smirk was even sexy. “At least someone is getting laid tonight.”
That got his attention. “What’s the matter? Pretty boy with the bike didn’t work out?”
There was a moment of silence before she shook her head. Her shoulders slumped just a bit, but enough for him to notice. Then he read something in her eyes, something vulnerable.
“Why did you come here?”
“Why?” Taken aback, he walked over to where she stood. “To see you. To be with my brother. To see you.”
“Oh, God,” she mumbled. “Couldn’t you have just left it as a fuck?”
Her brain worked in a way he’d never encountered. “Why’s it so bad that I like you? That I want to spend time with you?”
“You really want to know?” She poked a finger into his chest, not waiting for him to answer as she backed him toward the bed. “It’s bad because I haven’t thought of another guy since leaving Texas. It’s bad because if you hadn’t shown up I would’ve gotten over whatever this crap is that makes me want you. The guy I left with tonight—” she rolled her eyes to the ceiling, “—is amazing in bed. An incredible fuck, actually, and I couldn’t even—”
When she didn’t finish, he bit back a laugh. Yes. She hadn’t fucked the Ken-doll motorcyclist. Damn good news. “Couldn’t what?” he pressed, trying to keep the stitch of excitement from his voice.
She didn’t sleep with him.
“I couldn’t fuck him.” A soft sigh passed her lips, her gaze furious. “I thought of you when he touched me.”
“So?” he goaded. Finally, they were making some headway.
She poked him again. Harder. And he liked it.
“So?” she screeched. “I’m Chloe fucking Garrison. I don’t
men. I play with them. I eat them for breakfast. Use them for what they’re good for, and hang ’em out to dry.”
He so wanted to tease her for using one of Miya’s sayings, but he didn’t have the heart. She was unraveling at a steady trot, and he needed to rein her in carefully. “But not me?”
“Yeah.” The pokes to his chest didn’t hurt, but her anger had him wired up tight. “Not you. Do you know who I think about at night?”
The bed blocked him from going farther, so he sat down, hazarding a light caress to the back of her smooth thigh. “Me, I hope.”
“You and your body.” She pushed him back, sliding her legs up onto the soft bed to straddle him. “All I can think about is how your hands feel on my skin, how you taste and the soft drawl of your voice.”
“No.” She dug her hands into his chest, her body rubbing over his. “No, it’s not good.”
She hadn’t stopped him from touching, so he pressed on, moving his hand over her hip, groaning when he encountered nothing but her flesh. “If I’d known you were naked under this tiny scrap of material when we were in the club, I’d probably have killed that Ian fella. You’re not wearing anything. What the hell’s the matter with you?”
Her hips twirled a bit, her warm pussy centered over his pelvis. She reached down with rough hands to undo his pants, jerking them down to grasp his cock. “We’re not talking about my clothes. I don’t want you in my head anymore.”
“So you just want to fuck again, huh?” He clenched his teeth against the pleasure her touch caused. As frustrating as her behavior and thoughts were, her rough handling and angry tirade were turning him on to insane levels.
“Maybe if I fuck you enough, I’ll get tired of it.” But her words had lost some of their heat and she shook her head. “I like you, Nick. And I really don’t want to.”
It was a moment of softness he’d yet to see in her since he’d come to New York. There had been a few flashes of it back home, but not to this level. Sitting up, he pulled her hand away from his erection and kissed her palm. “What’s wrong with liking me? Hell, I’m crazy about you.”
She looked away, her body trembling. “Because liking you means more. Liking you means I have to give a shit. I don’t want ties. I don’t want to fucking care what you think or how you feel.”
Damn. No one should be that detached. “Why don’t you get close to anyone?”
Her smile was sad, and he could feel her withdrawing the closer they came to the core of her detachment. “It’s hard to care when the people you should be able to trust have hurt you.”
Her mother and the men her mother had brought home. He recalled the little she’d mentioned of her life before coming to New York. “You haven’t had a connection, a relationship, with anyone since you left home?”
“No. And I liked it that way.” She shook her head. “Maybe New York wasn’t the best place for a young girl to learn about life, but I learned a lot. The man I let in, well, he said everything I needed to hear and took everything I had in the end. I swore I’d never open myself to that kind of pain again. Guess it’s all habit from there.”
Nick pulled her down to the bed with him and tucked her hair behind her ear. She looked so fragile, so lost. How could this be the same woman who’d tempted him into sex along the side of the road? The same one who played men along like puppets, never letting them dangle enough to dislike her?
He knew how. It was all a façade. A face she showed the world, so the world couldn’t see her hurt. Well, she wouldn’t have to pretend with him. Ever. And he was going to prove it to her. Come hell or high water.
He stroked her hair, enjoying her soft sigh as she closed her eyes. He kept his voice soft as he spoke. “You need to come back with me. This town is going to kill you eventually. The reasons you came here were right at the time, but you need to let it go now, find some peace, not mask them with the life you lead here.”
“You can.” He kissed her eyelids. “There are any number of things you could do.
and the magazine world don’t have to be your life.”
“But they are.” She shook her head. “I love what I do.”
“Then can’t you do it elsewhere?”
He traced slow circles over her arms, smoothing away the goose bumps that rose on her skin. She shifted into his touch. “There are other offices.”
Brushing a finger over her lips before following the long column of her throat, he encouraged her. “Any in Texas?”
“One.” Her lips parted on a sigh as he traveled the smooth path between her breasts. “In Houston.”
Not too far. It was a start. Her nipples had hardened, and he couldn’t resist running a finger over one. The soft fabric of her shirt clung to the pads of his fingers, and he pulled it aside slightly. Tempting as hell. That’s what she was. “So you could work there, and we could see what to make of this ‘liking’ you’ve got for me.”
Her body arched off the bed into his touch. “Nick, I want you.”
“Not yet.” He licked the nipple closest to him and the fabric clung to her skin.
She rolled over onto him. Her limited weight pressed to his body. “Look, I just came here, opened up to you, told you that I wanted you, and you’re not going to give me a break.”
The way her body moved over his made him reconsider taking it slow. He reached up, curving a hand behind her neck to pull her close. “Kiss me and I’ll stop teasing.”
She resisted. “I don’t like kissing.”
He laughed, ignoring her attempts to pull away. “Yes you do.”
She shook her head.
His eyes narrowed. “Don’t make me call in the twenty hours you owe me.”
Whether she would have said more or not didn’t matter. He crushed her mouth to his, and held her there until she melted, soft and pliant in his arms. And she kissed him. Hard and deep, setting a tentative rhythm at first, but becoming bolder.
Not letting her pull away, he slid his hand down her back and the tight curve of her ass. She moaned into his mouth, and he reached around farther, drawing his finger over her damp opening with a growl. When she bucked under the touch, he slid his finger into her wet pussy, wanting nothing more than to bury himself deep inside her.
She broke away from the kiss, taking more of his finger with a heavy sigh. “I need you.”
His finger slipped out of her body as she moved down, her hands ripping aside his shirt. The tiny talons of her nails dug a pleasure-pain path over his ribs and stomach before she stopped at his navel. Her eyes met his then. “I want to taste you.”
He shook his head, but there was no denying he wanted it too. Her mouth was so warm, so soft, he could barely imagine what it would feel like wrapped around his cock, the firm pressure of suction tugging at the sensitive head. He groaned at the thought, drops of excitement spilling free.
When her hands worked his jeans the rest of the way down and she pulled them off, he thought he’d lose his mind. But it was nothing compared to the touch of her skin between his legs and the warmth of her slow exhalation as she breathed over his swollen cock. She smiled up at him, her eyes dark, holding his gaze as she sucked just the head into her mouth.
In that moment, knowing what she fought against, what she wanted, and what she needed broke him. He might not believe in love at first sight, but he believed in loving someone because it was right.
Chloe had walked in to his world and turned it up-side-fucking-down. And for the life of him, he couldn’t imagine a moment of it without her. Telling her so was the first thing that came to mind, but he knew better. He’d have to ease her into it. And if sex was the only way, he’d do what he had to do.