Authors: Keri Ford
“So what about tomorrow night?”
She chuckled and bent over for more angle to loosen the pipes. “Already told you I don’t like to date.”
“What do you like, Flora? Other than a brick wall in a dark alley behind a bar.”
Just about anything he could throw her way so long as he had that heat in his eyes and wore nothing at all. She cleared her throat and figured it would be best not to lead with that. “I’m not against a sandbar along a pond or river, though have a blanket. I’ve never been a big fan of sand.”
She gave the collar on the pipe one last good twist, it loosened and the trap flopped in the bucket, water gurgled and sucked from the sink. She lifted the P-trap and looked inside. Food was crammed and packed in from end-to-end. She pulled her pencil from her belt and dug the food from the pipe. Rolls, bones, and potato salad flopped out in the bucket. To be honest, she wasn’t sure how he got all that shit this far down the drain.
Jacob squatted behind her. Close enough his rain clean scent was stronger than the barbeque-scented drain. “What do you think?”
She swallowed roughness out of her throat and focused on maintaining their fun banter. “I think clogging your drain with rib bones and dinner rolls is a pretty pathetic way of getting a girl in your house.”
He grinned. “Worked though, didn’t it?”
She shook her head and leaned back under the sink to reattach the pipe. “You’re going to be charged for this afterhours service call, you know. Purposely clogging your drain isn’t covered under your rental agreement.”
“It was worth it. Are you going to get pissed off if I touch your hair?”
“Asking permission first?” She fitted the pipe back in place, but as she reached for her wrench, her ponytail was yanked, her head pulled back and Jacob’s mouth covered hers.
It was open, fast, and aggressive and she moaned into him. Desire spiraled through her belly. Her thighs squeezed together and the pipe wrench slipped from her fingers. She reached for him, wanting more, but he pulled away. His lips escaped hers, but his face remained close to her mouth.
His forehead rested against hers. His lips kissed along her cheek, jaw, to the spot just behind her ear. He gave her ponytail a soft tug and pushed her back to sitting up and facing the underbelly of the sink.
She could do nothing but sit there. Gasp for air and try finding her footing…even though she was knocked on her ass while sitting on it. She forced a thick swallow down her throat and sense finally returned. Oh God, how she didn’t want this to end. Guys she’d known in the past didn’t try stuff like this. Granted they’d never needed a reason. If she was interested…that was typically it. They fooled around and went their separate ways.
This thing with Jacob Iverson was so much more of something. Something she couldn’t put her finger on, but she liked it. She wanted to test limits, see just how far she could push him. See just how far he could push
until she just couldn’t stand it anymore and absolutely had to have him.
The roots of her hair tingled where he’d pulled. Heat deliciously filled her belly and wrapped her tight. Chills rolled in continuing waves down her spine as he remained squatting at her side. Close enough his breath just barely grazed over her neck.
The back of his knuckles trailed up and down her throat. Back up again, touched her ear, smoothed along her hairline. “I can do this all day, Flora.”
And so could she. Late into the night too. Then he got up and left her side. He crossed the kitchen and moved to stand behind the bar.
Even though he wasn’t beside her any longer, she could still feel him. Still smell the spicy scent of his skin. Feel the heat of his naked chest against her bare arm. Oh, she had it bad with this one. Worse than she’d ever had it before. “Why am I over here alone and you’re hiding behind that counter like it’s a shield?”
His eyebrow lifted. “Half the fun is the anticipation. Don’t you think?”
Was that a dare on who could hold out the longest? A knot lodged in her throat and she pushed it down, giving him a nod.
That was something she couldn’t argue. She was just wondering how long she could let this go on. How much longer before the sexual tension snapped and couldn’t be contained anymore. When it’d build to so much, waiting wasn’t an option. If she didn’t get out of his house in less than two minutes, she’d reach that limit and strip. She turned and began work again under the sink.
Heat filled her, flooded in her cheeks. A tingle crawled up her neck where his slight touch had lingered. Today was exciting. Tonight she’d toss and turn. Tomorrow would be a thrilling new day and she couldn’t wait for it. That was, if she made it out of this house before pushing him toward the bedroom.
She twisted the collar back in place and got busy getting out of there, getting items in their spots under the sink and cleaning herself up in record time. She grinned, finished her work and dropped her tools in her belt.
This was survival of the fittest and it was time to beat a hasty retreat. “All right, Mr. Iverson. You’re all fixed up.”
“I’m Mr. Iverson now?”
She stopped before him, outwardly ignoring his remark. Inwardly, his voice slid through her and stroked her core like butter melting off hot cornbread. “I can bill you, or would you rather pay me now?”
He leaned on the bar. “Are you in a hurry to leave?”
A spark lit his eyes. Corners creased with laughter. Biceps bulged and rippled. His strong hands tapped the top easy, just like his smile. Just easy. Even though nothing about this man was easy. Yeah, she had to get her ass out of there sooner rather than later. “Bill or pay up?”
“Bill me.” The corner of his mouth turned up.
That mouth she just had against hers. Supple lips. Warm taste.
She jerked her libido in place and continued her retreat out the door. “Very well. In the future, use the trash can for any solids or grease to prevent this mishap again. There’s no garbage disposal on that sink and grease is never good on your pipes.”
“If you’d like to install a garbage disposal, Gretchen has often agreed to split the cost fifty-fifty for upgrades as long as she decides which product is installed. Any questions?”
He propped his elbow up and rested his jaw in his palm. “Will I see you tomorrow?”
“Depends on how hard you look.” She headed to the door and he followed. Close behind her.
Just as she reached the knob, his hands settled on her shoulders and stroked down her arms. The roughened tips left a ticklish tingle in his wake that left her shuddering. “I have another question.”
“How do you like it, Flora?”
There was no swallowing her heart out of her throat or stopping the aching need wetting the part of her thighs. “To get right to what I want, take it and be finished.”
His breath was hot on her shoulders. “That sounds very temporary.”
“That’s the point.”
“Most girls like the forever thing. At least in my experience.”
She frowned toward the floor and pushed her hands in the pockets of her tool belt. Most girls didn’t have her totally and completely screwed up history. Didn’t have her drunken daddy. Her pathetic mother sleeping with her uncle on the side. Or her uncle coming on to Flora when he wasn’t busy with her mother. She shuddered. “You’ve never experienced me.”
“Sounds like we agree.”
She dared a glance over her shoulder. She didn’t last long in arrangements, but if Jacob continued making her this excited, she might break a record. “This should be fun, toying with you.”
His brows lifted, but she darted out the door, closed it in his face and leaned against the side of the trailer for a moment to catch her breath. Lord, it was hard to walk away. Hard to play and tease. This might be more difficult than she initially thought.
A smile came to her as she crossed the lot back to Gretchen’s. Difficult, but it was going to be fun.
Jacob sat back in his chair at the diner and waited as Flora came toward him with a tray loaded down with food. Some man’s birthday was today and it was tradition for the townspeople to pack in the diner to celebrate. From what he gathered, the man was pushing seventy or so and had eaten here for his birthday since he was a kid.
Flora and Gretchen were filling in as waitresses helping their friend, Tonya, out on the busy night.
Not that Jacob minded. Hell no. This was the most he’d seen of her for the past three days since she’d fixed his kitchen sink. She was always slipping through his fingers. Sliding past him in the crush of the crowd during lunch…but always managed to have her breasts press on his arm and her hand move over his chest. Another day it was across his stomach until today at lunch when her hand slipped across the front of his pants before she eased out the door and sprinted to her truck before he could catch her.
But no more. Tonight, he was going to have to corner her and do a little payback for all her teasing and gaming. When he’d said the anticipation made it all the better, he hadn’t meant to the point where his nonstop hard dick would drive him crazy.
She slipped around tables and stopped next to him. Over the heavy scent of fried food and sizzling burgers, there was that sweet scent. With the tray on her shoulder, her shirt was lifted just enough that a tiny inch of skin around her waist showed. If he thought he could press his lips there without the tray of food on her shoulder falling over his head, he’d go for it. Instead, he suffered a little longer and moved his drink aside as she lowered the tray to their table. When she was free from the danger of dropping it, he eased his hand under the table and caught her thigh in his hand. Her leg muscle tightened, eyes glanced to his, and only the smallest of smiles lifted the corner of her mouth.
She put his plate down, and he couldn’t wait anymore. For an hour now he’d been in this plastic chair watching her move through the diner. Watched her laugh and smile and tease dozens of other people. Only once had he caught her gaze on his, and it was but a second before she broke their stare. It didn’t help that he was seated in the complete opposite end of the section she was working. The only reason she stood there now was to help bring out their food.
He stroked up her thigh, safe because from his seat against the wall and the top of the table, no one knew he was completely copping a feel. He squeezed her leg and satisfaction went down with a swallow as she shifted and trapped his knuckles. “You’ve been ignoring me.”
She rolled her eyes, but smiled through it. “Hard to ignore what I didn’t know was here.”
His eyes met hers.
“You’re killing me.” He reached for her, above the table, but Flora popped his fingers with the round tray.
She put her hand flat on the table and faced him. Her shirt gaped open, and, knowing her, it was on purpose. It gaped so far and right in his face that he damn well did look. And when he met her gaze, she was grinning and he knew she’d meant him to see the edges of her blue lace bra and curve of her tits hugging against it. What she didn’t know was that by the end of the night, he’d know what that lace felt like against his tongue. How the little metal latch securing it in place would feel releasing against his fingers. And how it would look on his floor.
She leaned a little closer, eyes focused as she searched him. “It’s
be close, but I think you’ll survive.”
Snickers came from his brothers, but he ignored them for the woman in front of him. “Aw, honey—”
Her knee slid against his outer thigh under the table. Her eyes were bright. “Give me one more pet name and I’ll tell your brothers how you stuffed your kitchen sink with rolls and ribs in a last ditch effort to get a woman in your house.” She grinned and winked at the table. “Whoops.”
He cursed soundly while his brothers laughed and she walked away. She peeked back to him before slipping behind the kitchen doors at the far side of the room. He gave a small salute with his beer, letting her know she’d won that round.
“Man. What the fuck?”
Jacob faced his oldest brother and triplet, Trent. “What?”
Trent gestured to Lane. “Both of you. You’re idiots and embarrassing.”
“We’re playing a game,” Jacob clarified.
Trent’s brow rose. “Is the goal to look like a dumbass? If so you’re winning.”
Lane sat up a little straighter. “I’m not doing shit. I didn’t want to be here, but you dragged me out of the house.”
Hell, don’t even get that going. Everyone at this table knew it was only a matter of time before Lane ended up with Gretchen. It didn’t matter how the man argued it, how he thought it was going to work out. Anybody who’d seen them in the same room couldn’t miss how Lane stared after her. Why his brother held back, Jacob didn’t know, but he wished the man would get on with it and do something. If Lane got laid, maybe his sour attitude would finally improve.
Jacob glanced to his youngest brother,
Grant, at the end of the table and the woman on his arm, Rebecca. “
knows what it’s about.”
does not.” Grant shook his head. “And stop calling me that.”
Rebecca chuckled. “It’s true. Grant never acted like you two.”