More Than Lust (Courthouse Connections Book 1) (6 page)

BOOK: More Than Lust (Courthouse Connections Book 1)
3.08Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Chapter Eight

 

Showering off sand and sunscreen, Gray missed Andi, who was using the guest room to clean up for the evening. They could have showered together—but for reasons he couldn’t define, he wanted this weekend to be more about getting to know her, less about nonstop sex.

Not that he had anything against sex, especially sex with Andi. She was the most giving, most naturally sexy woman he’d ever made love with. Just thinking about her had him hard and ready, but he wasn’t doing anything about it now. Not until he’d taken her out for a real, God-honest date.

Before getting in the shower, Gray had called his high school buddy, Sam Kramer, and arranged to meet him and Marcy at a trendy seafood restaurant and nightclub on nearby Madeira Beach. Good thing Sam wasn’t on call tonight—because Gray wanted to show off Andi to a couple she already knew, if only in a professional sense.

He didn’t consider what he and Andi were doing was casual—or a weekend fling, as she seemed to think. If it were, he’d order dinner to be delivered from one of the very good restaurants right here within walking distance. And he’d take Andi straight to bed and keep her there until the setting sun started rising again in the morning.

It was too soon to be certain, but Gray had a feeling he’d met the woman of his dreams, and he didn’t want to make it look as if he was primarily out to get laid as many times as possible before he had to board that plane.

The assignment he’d angled to get to avoid his mother’s constant interference now seemed like an unwanted burden—and the reason for his change of attitude had a lot to do with a hot, smart redhead with whom he wanted to explore a relationship, for a lot longer than a weekend. It was a lot too soon to say for sure, but he had a feeling he couldn’t shake that Andi Young would change his life forever, for the better.

She seemed to be the kind of woman he could fall in love with, not for a weekend but for a lifetime.

 

 

● ● ●

 

 

As soon as they stepped inside the casual restaurant, Gray spotted Sam and Marcy at the bar. His arm at Andi’s back, he worked their way through a mixed crowd of college students, young adults, and retirees, and joined his friends who were working on a pitcher of what looked like mojitos.

“Hey there,” Marcy said, fishing a lime quarter out of her drink and sucking out the juice. She looked as good now as ever, still blonde and gorgeous with a sparkling smile that had intrigued him back in the day. Her white halter top and shorts showed off the tan he’d never seen any way but perfect. And she still looked at Sam as if she thought he’d hung the moon.

That used to bother Gray. It didn’t now. He liked how Andi looked with her rosy cheeks and a simple sundress whose colors reminded him of the water—some green, some blue, and a little beige in the small seashells scattered onto the print. Unlike Marcy, who wore high-heeled sandals, Andi had on ballet flats.

The better to dance in
, she’d commented before they left his condo.

Yeah, Andi was practical and Gray liked that—a lot. “Is our table ready?” he asked Sam after pulling out bar stools for himself and Andi and joining the other couple.

“The host should be calling my name pretty soon,” Sam replied. “I signed up for it when we got here about a half-hour ahead of you two. “Hi, Andi. It’s good to see you again.”

Gray hadn’t considered that Andi might know Sam as well as Marcy, but he should have guessed they’d at least met since the two women worked together. “I’m guessing introductions aren’t necessary,” he commented.

“No, I occasionally insist that Sam come to the office to troll for new patients.” Marcy’s grin let Gray know she was kidding. “Andi, I like your sundress. It looks as though Gray let you get a little too much sun, though.”

Andi laughed. “The downside of having red hair. He noticed soon enough when I was beginning to roast out on the beach that he got me inside before any real damage got done.”

“Andi, what would you like to drink?” Gray asked when a bartender finally showed up and looked at him expectantly.

She glanced at the large, cardboard signs above the bar. “It seems the specialties here are mojitos and margaritas. I like either—just not by the pitcher full unless you want to see me dancing on top of the bar.”

“We’ll share a pitcher of margaritas, then.” When the bartender left, he turned back to Andi. “Rum and I don’t get along too swimmingly. I’d just as soon not have a headache in the morning, because I’ve got plans for you. Okay?”

“Okay. I’m surprised that a sailor like you doesn’t have a taste for rum. Isn’t it the favorite drink down in the Caribbean?”

“Yeah. Even the best brands give me an awful hangover, though, so I try to steer clear of everything made with it.” Gray poured some of the margaritas into two plastic glasses and handed a glass to Andi.

Just then the host called Sam’s name. They gathered their drinks and followed a jeans-clad waitress to a table overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway on one side, the dance floor on the other. “The band tonight’s country-western, and we’ll have karaoke between sets,” she informed them as she handed them menus. “Enjoy.”

 

 

● ● ●

 

 

Simple beach fare—fried jumbo shrimp and homemade French fries were served in a huge platter along with creamy coleslaw and cocktail sauce—three varieties ranging from smooth and mild to bright red and fiery hot with grated horseradish and habanero peppers. Marcy, whom Andi had noticed eating sparingly when they went out for lunch during trial recesses, put away almost as much as the men.

Marcy grinned. “Yeah, I sometimes splurge and forget my figure, especially when Sam brings me here. We’ve been coming to this place since high school—I’m a sucker for their shrimp, especially the hot, hot sauce. Good thing for me that Bennie’s doesn’t serve this, or I’d probably weigh two hundred pounds.”

Sam reached over and patted Marcy’s tummy. “That would never happen, sweetheart, unless you should get pregnant with triplets. I’d still love you, though, even if your amazingly hot body should go to pot.”

When Marcy laid a hand on Sam’s thigh and said something obviously meant just for him, Andi remembered Gray saying that Marcy and Sam had been together since high school. What they had together was rare—a couple who were obviously not only in love with each other after so many years, but whose desire for each other was palpable even to the most casual observer.

Could even casual acquaintances feel the sizzling chemistry that flowed between Gray and Andi? She found that possibility didn’t embarrass her as she’d thought it might. She wanted Gray as she’d never wanted any other man—and she didn’t care if others could see the feelings that had to be obvious from the way they looked at each other, in the casual touches that promised so much more.

Their boss’ declared lack of need for a live-in lover had made sense to Andi, until she met Gray and discovered a sudden need to pair up. “Marcy, do you think Sandra really doesn’t want a long-term relationship with a man?” she asked when curiosity got the best of her while Gray and Sam had gone to speak with one of the guys in the band.

“You’re kidding, aren’t you? Haven’t you seen that very unusual choker she always wears?”

“Yes, I’ve seen it. What does that have to do with our boss’ not being on the lookout for a lover?” Andi didn’t understand.

“Sandra Giancone is into BDSM. She has a master—he’s the only one who can unlock that choker. From what one of the older assistant state attorneys told me, the man’s a general contractor. He’s seen them together at that posh, private sex club down in Ybor City—really together, as in having sex in public.”

Andi could hardly believe her ears. “BDSM? As in whips and chains and rubber bodysuits?”

“I don’t know about that. I don’t envision our boss being a masochist, since she’s anything but that on the job. My impression is that she’s into sexual submission—and that her partner is a Dominant. To each her own, I say. Sometimes it’s fun when Sam tells me what to do in bed, but I wouldn’t go so far as to put up with domination in other areas of our life together.”

Andi glanced over at the men, who were deep in conversation with the lead guitar player. “Sam? I’d never imagine that he’d be into kinky games.” She had no trouble imagining Gray stepping over the line from forceful lover into handcuffs and other fun and games. What surprised her was that she got turned on, thinking about him tying her up and banishing her inhibitions.

“Well, he’s not into kink, at least not by what I’ve heard goes on at those clubs. My parents would die a thousand deaths if they thought their little girl was going to that club and having sex where everybody could see—not that I think Sam would ever take me there.” Marcy grinned. “So would Sam’s parents, for that matter. Sandra’s local too—from one of the old Sicilian families that settled in Tampa years ago—but I guess she’s been on her own too long for her parents to pay much attention to what she’s doing or with whom.”

“My parents might not say anything, but I’m sure they’d be disappointed if I suddenly started frequenting sex clubs.” Disappointed was an understatement—Mom and Dad would be shocked out of their wits, conservative churchgoers that they were, if they even thought Andi was doing anything they’d consider scandalous.

“Here come the guys,” Marcy said as Gray and Sam crossed the dance floor. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Gray was into sex games. He had a miserable childhood, having to toe the line for Mommy Dearest, especially after his dad died. It would make sense if he rebelled in a big way once he got out from under her thumb.”

Andi wondered . . . If Gray wanted to tie her up, would she let him? It might enhance the sexual experience for her if she felt she had no choice but to submit. Oh well, she’d probably never know, she thought as Sam and Marcy hit the dance floor to a slow, sexy rendition of “Memories of Us,” the song she’d always thought she’d like played at her wedding—if, that is, she ever found the right man.

“Want to dance?” Gray stood and held out both hands. When she stood, he led her to the floor.

“It’s obvious that your dance classes paid off,” she said when he held her confidently and led her to the gentle four-beat rhythm of the song. It felt right in his arms. Not weekend hookup right, but
really
right, as if this was exactly where she belonged.

When he bent and kissed her, it felt as though this seemed right to him too. Later, when they were alone at his condo, making love as though they’d done it every night for ages, with a familiarity that was practically unheard of in the short time they’d known each other, Andi decided to go with the flow. What felt so right couldn’t possibly be wrong, as Gray had said earlier when they’d danced, sung karaoke tunes together during breaks . . . and enjoyed the company of friends he’d known for years but she’d only shared professional ties with before this evening.

Chapter Nine

 

On Sunday morning Gray woke, keenly aware that this would be his last day with Andi for a while. Determined to make the best of it, he shook her gently.

“Wake up, sleepyhead. I don’t want to miss a minute of the time we’ve got before I have to catch that plane. What would you like to do?”

She reached up and pulled him down on top of her. “Everything. Anything. As long as we do it together,” she told him, her words hardly more than a whisper against his cheek as she sought and found his lips.

“You don’t know what you’re asking for,” he murmured, invading her mouth with his tongue when her lips opened slightly as though in invitation.

Meeting his gaze, she shot him a smile that took his breath away. “Yes I do. But this time I want to pleasure you.”

“You always pleasure me.” That was no exaggeration. No woman had ever given him more pleasure than Andi, in bed or out.

She ran one finger down his chest, paused at his navel, and looked up at him as though she thought she needed permission to go lower. “But this time I want to explore every inch of your fantastic body . . . set the pace.”

That sounded like too interesting a prospect to turn down, even though Gray usually liked to be the one to control his sexual encounters. “Be my guest,” he said, grinning at her as he flopped on his back and waited to see what she’d do. “Just remember, though, that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Tonight I’ll be the one in charge—and I may have some ideas that will shock your semi-innocent little mind.”

When she wrapped a hand around his erection and slid it up and down, he thought for a minute that he was going to come, just from that simple caress.
Because it’s Andi’s hand, Andi holding me
, whispered a voice in his head.

It had been just thirty-six hours—a day and a half. Hardly long enough to form the sort of connection he was feeling. He felt it, though, sensed the beginnings of emotion he hadn’t experienced since—well, ever.

“Does that feel good?” Her breath blew warm on the head of his dick when she lowered her head.

He wanted her to stop. No, he wanted her to take him in her mouth and suck his aching flesh. Damn it, Gray didn’t know what he wanted, until she reached out her tongue and tasted the lubrication at the tip of his cock. “Oh, yeah, it feels good. But you don’t have to . . .”

“I want to touch you . . . taste you . . . do everything you do to me that feels so incredible.” She licked him again, this time sliding her tongue along his entire length, stopping to kiss his scrotum. “I want to make memories for when you have to go.”

Memories of us
. They’d danced to that song last night, making love as much as two people could do fully clothed, in a public place. As Gray recalled that dance, he grew harder, desperate to roll over and claim her again, in the morning light, the way he’d made love to her last night . . . and the night before.

Surprising him, she moved, straddling him, taking him inside her warm, wet sheath. “Oh yeah, sweetheart, fuck me. I love the feeling, being inside you this way.”

She pulled back, and when she did he remembered too. Being inside her felt so incredible because they’d forgotten protection. “In the night stand drawer. Grab a condom and put it on me.”

She did, grinning as she sheathed his erection. “We wouldn’t want any lasting results from our weekend fling, would we?” she asked teasingly as she lowered herself on him once more.

Part of Gray—the alpha male that sometimes took over for his brain—wanted nothing more at that moment than to make her pregnant. The saner voice in his head urged caution. “Not now, when I’m on assignment and wouldn’t have the fun of watching you have morning sickness. Someday, though, after I get back and quit the DEA . . .”

He didn’t finish that statement because it was flat-out insane to be thinking of a future with a woman he just met. Even though it felt as if he’d known Andi all her life.

The way she moved on him was making it impossible to think at all, of anything except the hot, tight sheath that fit him like no other. Of the pressure building in his balls and the need to roll her over and fuck her until they both achieved nirvana.

He’d promised, though, so he endured her pace, savoring the sight of her flushed face, her tousled auburn curls as she made love to him. The sheen of sweat on her breasts and belly aroused him beyond measure, and when they came together and she stretched out on top of him, their bodies still joined, a peaceful, satisfied feeling practically overwhelmed him.

Much later, after packing up her things and grabbing the bag he’d put together for his assignment, Gray and Andi mapped out the rest of their time together.

 

 

● ● ●

 

 

After checking out a craft exhibition in downtown Tampa, Gray surprised Andi by suggesting that they drop in on her parents.

What she’d expected would be a quick visit ended up including a picnic lunch in her folks’ backyard, with her brother and his family joining them. He seemed interested in everything, even anecdotes from her childhood that should have embarrassed Gray as well as Andi herself.

“I like your folks,” Gray told her after they left and headed back toward a shopping center in Ybor City, where he said he wanted to get a few toys for them to play with. When he led her into a store market “For Adults Only”, she realized just what kinds of toys he meant and felt her cheeks grow hot.

She imagined they were getting beet-red, even redder than her hair, and it got no less embarrassing when she watched him pick out something called a mushroom that the store clerk snickered as he placed into Gray’s basket. “What’s that for?” she whispered once they’d moved away from the pimple-faced clerk who had her thoroughly unnerved.

“You just wait and I’ll show you.” Gray grinned as Andi looked in the basket at the clear plastic device that looked sort of like the vibrator she had at home—but not quite.

Judging from the items on display in the store, she assumed the mushroom had something to do with sex—everything in the store seemed to cater to one kink or another. She just hoped Gray would find everything he wanted and get them out of here before she died of embarrassment.

He must have sensed her discomfort, because he selected a vibrator that looked very lifelike other than its fluorescent purple color, a pack of batteries—and a set of handcuffs that looked very real, indeed. After settling up with the clerk, he took her hand and led her outside.

“Do you want to spend the night at your place, or shall we go to a hotel?” he asked after they got in the car.

“My place.” Andi wanted, at the very least, to have memories of the two of them together in the apartment she called home. “If it’s okay with you.”

“It’s fine. I was hoping you’d ask.” Gray stopped his car next to hers, helped her out, and took her hand as they walked together in the light of a crescent moon. “I wish I didn’t have to go, but I’ll be back, and we’ll see where this relationship is headed. It may have started out as a casual hookup, but it’s way more than that to me.”

Andi tried to choke back tears, but now wasn’t the time for histrionics. “To me too,” she managed. “Let’s go inside and make some more memories to hold us while you’re gone.”

Not a word of love crossed his lips, or hers. It was too soon for that, Andi knew as she showed Gray around her apartment. But one thing for sure, she thought when he crawled in bed beside her, gloriously naked, what they’d found together was more than lust. She couldn’t wait to see where their feelings might lead them—when he came home again.

BOOK: More Than Lust (Courthouse Connections Book 1)
3.08Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Lost by Francine Pascal
That First Kiss by J. C. Valentine
In the Name of Love by Smith, Patrick
Redeem My Heart by Kennedy Layne
A Bird on a Windowsill by Laura Miller
The Guestbook by Martin, Holly
Fire on the Horizon by Tom Shroder