Authors: Ella James
A Love Inc. Novella
Las Vegas, Nevada
Love Inc. Ranch
“So I’m going to wear my white jeans and this really cute, funky, white denim jacket, and Hunter’s wearing his favorite AC/DC shirt, and—”
“No.” Suri, perched on the rim of the tub in the cottage where Hunter and I are staying, waves her hand at me. “Lizzy, as your friend, I cannot let you get married in an Elvis chapel on The Strip in white denim. Just one of those things, and it might be okay, but all of them…”
“I agree.” I glare at Merri, swathed in bubbles, through the mirror.
“It’s my wedding. I think this sounds like fun.”
“That’s all you want from your wedding? That’s your
?” Suri, wearing a navy and white polka-dotted one-piece, sits up a little straighter. As if she’s judging me. She
“What do you suggest, Miss Perfect?”
“Something else. Anything else.”
It might be easier to ignore her if her voice didn’t echo through the bathroom like it does. If we were out by the newly poured, heart-shaped Love Inc. pool, drinking strawberry daiquiris and watching the stars twinkle.
But there are workmen—and women—out there ’round the clock, working to get the brothel up and running again, and with the guys in town tonight, at Hunter’s poker tournament, and us girls trying to be safe and cautious, the bathroom is the easiest option if we want to soak our stress away.
And we do.
For different reasons, we all do.
I’m sitting at the counter with my tweezers in hand, trying to tame the vicious unibrow my pregnancy hormones are trying to give me. I lower the tweezers and look into the mirror again.
“Merri. Full agreement on all of Suri’s points?”
“Yeah. Pretty much. Even here would be better than The Strip. It’s just not very personal. And a white denim jacket? Lizzy, you’ll regret that.”
I pluck a few more eyebrows out and wince.
Even though my entire forehead is throbbing, I have this sudden vivid image of Hunter and me, standing in the field between the cottages, right about sunset one warm, Nevada evening. I can hear the wind moving through the oak trees’ leaves, hear the faint sound of the pond water lapping somewhere in the background.
It would be unconventional, but no more unconventional than an Elvis chapel. And definitely prettier. Suri and the Love Inc. crew have knocked themselves out with the re-build. The buildings are pristine on the outside, and close to being finished on the inside, too. Suri has been talking about paint colors since we got here, yesterday.
“I’m going to have to second the ranch,” Suri says. “Good call, Merri.”
And that’s how I let my two besties twist my arm into getting married at a brothel.
A WEEK AND A HALF LATER
Being pregnant sucks. The heartburn, the gas, the way your hands and feet swell like party balloons if you eat just
measly little salted cracker. The way your growing gut makes all your favorite pairs of underwear too small…
But the sex…
The sex is absolutely incredible.
I’m thirteen weeks now, which means my baby is about the size of…something small, but not super small. Say, a ping-pong ball.
Which means this baby is way too small to know what’s going on when the tide gets rough and happy hormones soak through everything.
It’s taken a lot of convincing to get Hunter to do me properly again, without fear of brain-damaging the baby, but now that he has…
We’re in our very own cozy little cottage, and I’m spread out on the kitchen table with my legs hanging off the side and Hunter standing between them, driving deep into me as I scream his name.
Naked, with his eight-pack abs and his head tilted slightly back as he rams into me, he looks like a god.
“Fuck me harder!” I cry. “Harder!”
One thing I’ve learned in the last little while is I like dirty talk. A lot. Who knew?
He thrusts harder, gently squeezing my hips. Just as I’m starting to writhe around like a crazy woman, stroking my fingertips along his hips, about to come, he lifts me up—he’s still inside me—and carries me into the living room, where he lays me down on the fluffy rug, pulls out of me, turns me over on all fours, and, after a quick rub of his finger through my moisture thrusts into me from behind.
He finds a rhythm and gives my backside a squeeze. “My baby mama is hot. I love this big ass.”
I look over my shoulder, still panting and about to come, even as I say, “It’s not big!” But okay—it kind of is. I’ve been eating a lot since finding out about the baby, and I’m a naturally curvy girl.
“I love every inch of it.” He rubs a finger over my bud, as much rear play as he can get from me these days. When I give a nice, loud groan, he reaches around and slides his fingers through my lips, fingering my slit while continuing to pound me from behind.
I start panting harder, and he hesitates.
“Hunter! The baby is fine!”
I clench myself around his dick, and his attention returns to me.
Another minute or two of hard, fast thrusts, and Hunter’s fingers writhing around my most sensitive spot, and I shout. He grunts, then groans, then pulls out. He scoops me up and carries me to the sunken tub in the en suite master bath, then sets me down on a soft, red rug and leans around me to start the faucet.
He grabs a bottle of bubble bath, pours a little in, and then lifts me into the deliciously warm water.
While I sigh, he grabs a bottle of water from the refrigerator under the counter—just one of the random perks of hanging out in a brothel cottage. He opens it, gives me a sip, chugs down much of the rest of it, and climbs into the tub beside me.
My eyes rove over his flawless body as he pulls me into his lap.
Under my butt, his dick is hard.
“Again?” I grin, and turn around so I can see his face. He’s smirking. I laugh.
“I bet you wouldn’t do me again, even if I begged.”
He arches his brows. “You’re in a delicate condition, remember?”
I reach behind me and stroke him up and down. “Really delicate. Too bad.”
He shifts me off his lap, into the rising bubbles, and scoops a tiny handful of them up and sits them on the tip of my nose.
“Don’t try me, woman. You’re the one who told me we can’t fuck in the tub.”
“Yeah, I guess they do say that…”
He arches his brows, and I splash him. “You’re hot, okay? And my vagina is a sex machine.”
“It’s my machine, and I intend to start it up again...” His hand grazes over my thigh. Then he smiles and says, “Okay, okay. I’ll think about baseball.”
“Me too.” I take another sip of water and slide off his knee to sit beside him, so we’re shoulder to shoulder. Totally cozy. Totally perfect. “How was your day?” I ask.
He wraps an arm around my shoulders and pulls me closer to him, so our hips and butts and thighs are touching.
“How was yours?” he counters.
I’m not sure what he’s avoiding, but I supply him with my deets anyway. “It was pretty good. I had my last dress fitting with the seamstress and sampled some wine. How was the poker game?”
He smiles, a little tiredly. “Not bad. Missed you, though.”
I kiss his shoulder. “Missed you, too. So, there’s another semi-final tomorrow?”
He nods. “Yep.” His hand starts to knead my shoulder, and he looks down at the water. After a few minutes, just sitting there with his jaw clenched, he says, “I’m not sure what to do about my dad and sister.”
He can’t decide if he wants them at the wedding or not.
“Want to flip a coin?”
If you ask me, he shouldn’t invite them, especially his dad, but for some reason he’s kind of hung up on the decision.
I lean up and kiss his lips, because we’ve talked about this more than once, and I’m not sure what I can say that would help. He pulls me onto his lap, spins me so I’m straddling him, and starts to rock his hardness against me.
I moan a little, and that’s all it takes. We’re rising out of the water. I’m being dried by Hunter’s big, deft hands. Wrapped in a huge, plush, black towel. And then I’m being carried to the bed.
He lies me on my back, drives himself into me, and makes me scream until my throat hurts. Then he pulls me under the covers, holds me close, and whispers, “I think I’ll invite them. If it goes badly, I’ll still have you.”
“Yes. You definitely will.”
. Harder, baby.”
Suri giggles, and I strain to look over my shoulder. She’s behind me, grinning from underneath a helmet of tin foil she got at the salon. We’re on my bed, and she’s giving me what I’ve come to think of as my nightly back massage.
“You’re making me want to…do some other things,” I pant.
“Oh, is that right?” She keeps rubbing. “Maybe after this,” she says. “For sure, after this. And I want to hear about Marissa, too. Specifically, if she confessed yet.”
I don’t know why it doesn’t bother her, but Suri doesn’t mind hearing about Marissa. She’s in rehab in Denver, and her counselor thinks her addiction issues have something to with our mess, so she’s called twice these last two weeks. Most recently about an hour ago, while Suri was having her hair done. Neither time has Marissa been willing to admit that she came into my house and hurt Suri. But we all know she did. She’s the police’s only suspect.
Suri digs her fingers into my sore muscles, and I make noises in my throat.
Another giggle. “You’re such a ham.”
“You’re fucking good.” I turn around and see her smug little grin, and I have to have her—now. I toss her gently down onto her back and start to stroke her pussy through the pink fleece robe she’s wearing, but instead of moaning like she’s supposed to, she sits up a little, looking tense. “Marchant…I’ve got foil in my hair.”
“I don’t care.”
She laughs. “You’ll mess up my new, copper highlights.”
She scrambles up, grabs me by the hands, and tugs me toward the edge of the bed, until I’m sitting there with my legs dangling off. My cock is hard, because I think I know where this is going.
She scoots down off the bed, parts the flaps of my black robe, twirls her hands around me and grins. “Foil or no foil, I can still do this.”
She leans down and takes me deep into her mouth, and I start groaning. I’ve never been loud before, but Suri brings it out of me.
I grip her shoulders, since her hair isn’t available to be tugged, and after a few more sucks, I’m really wanting to taste her, too.
I pull her up onto the bed, lie beneath her, and murmur, “Let me eat that pussy.”
I do, and she returns the favor, gobbling me down, and when we’re finished, she shrieks and says, “It’s time to wash the dye out! Help!”
So I take her into the bathroom and do it in the sink. A couple of days ago, I got her a little chair to do her makeup. I sit her down in that and lean her had back into the sink, where I wash out what she tells me is organic dye, and rub her head a little longer, just for shit and giggles.
I lean down and kiss her lips and smile at her. “You look good with some sud, baby.”
She gives me a sleepy smile, and I go back to massaging. “Thanks.”
I try to do something like this for her every day. More than one thing. Something to make her want to stay. And I think it’s working, because since the day Marissa was here—she says she didn’t come here, but we know she did—Suri hasn’t gone back to California once. Well, she has once. I flew with her, even though I fucking hate to fly. We got some books of fabric swatches she left under her bed, but she flew back with me. She got me nice and drunk and did me on the plane. One of the better flights I’ve had.
My garden house is starting to feel like home with her in it. Sometimes, I wake up at night and I’m scared I’ll be in bed alone, but so far I never have been. Suri’s always tucked beside me.
I’m trying fuck hard not to question it.
When I get her hair all washed out, I lean down and kiss her lips, then wrap her head in a towel. I almost bump over the bottle of Lithium on the counter as I reach around her.
That shit is out on the counter, like it’s no big deal. It’s fucking weird, but she doesn’t seem to mind. At all.
She doesn’t even mind Marissa calling. I think she wants Marissa to admit that she was here. I think she can’t relax till then, even though we still have increased security.
She looks tired as I wash, so I don’t say much. When I’m finished, I pull her up and turn her around, and she smiles.
I run my hand through her hair. “Is this how it’s supposed to look?”