Authors: Nicole Austin & Allie Standifer
Tags: #Erotic Romance
Pink flushed her face and down her neck until even her plump breasts bore the signs of her embarrassment. “You…I was…”
Delighted with her unexpected shyness, he grinned at her. “I was masturbating while thinking of you. And, darlin’, my fantasies were blown away by the reality of you.”
“So you…ah…I mean if you can…again.”
“I can, will, and plan to as many times as you’ll let me,” he replied. “But first I need to get rid of this condom and grab the box.”
“A box,” she squeaked in a shocked tone.
“Yeah,” he answered, deliberately misunderstanding her. “I may have to make a fast trip out to grab some more, but don’t worry, I’ve got enough here to take the edge off.”
“What?” Trip gave her his best impression of an innocent guy look, complete with fluttering lashes and pouty mouth. “You didn’t think once would be enough, did you? Come on now, Karen, be honest with me. Did that one measly orgasm fill you up or are you still hungry for more?”
Big green eyes blinked up at him in bewilderment while her addiction worthy lips parted slightly. “Measly? You didn’t think—I mean I thought you…ya know…finished?” She added the last in a lower tone as if almost hoping he wouldn’t hear her.
Someone should have warned the sexy artist of his better than average hearing. He could almost hear a pin drop in the next room, never mind her whispered words. But the information dump would have to come later. For now, he needed to reassure her that he had indeed finished—finished so hard and long Trip wondered how he managed to keep standing, supporting both of them on his cooked noodle legs.
“Karen.” He freed one hand then tilted her chin up with his fingertips. When their eyes met, he gave her an understanding smile. “
,” he assured her. “I finished so well that I’m wondering how I’m able to stand here. That’s how good it was for me, but,” he continued on when she opened her mouth to speak, “once isn’t enough. I still want you, and I have a feeling it’ll take more than once or twice to satisfy this craving.”
He stopped speaking and gave her a chance to reply. Silence crept through the room, only the sounds of the A/C humming and noises from the streets below broke their cocoon of solitude.
Growing more nervous the longer she looked at him without talking, Trip forced himself to step back. He pulled out of the damp heat of her pussy, wincing as the cold air hit his semi-hard dick. “I’ll be right back.”
He made a record breaking dash to the bathroom, disposing of the condom and cleaning himself up as best he could. When he walked back into the living room, dropping the condoms on the coffee table, Karen stood just where he left her. His heart sank at the sight of her blank expression.
“Karen, I didn’t mean to come on so strong. You can walk out the door anytime you want.” He forced the words past his lips, not wanting her to go but needing to give her an out. “I’m not trying to hold you hostage or use you as my personal sex slave. I wanted to put everything on the table, for you to understand where I’m coming from. I guess I went too far. Jagger always tells me I’d end up with both feet shoved firmly down my throat. I guess he’s right.”
She blinked at him.
“Well, shit,” he cursed then ran a frustrated hand through his already messed up hair. “Say something, please, darlin’. I’m starting to feel like the bad guy in a B horror flick.” He paced away from her before a horrible thought stopped him in his tracks.
Trip whirled around, grabbed Karen by her shoulders, and shook her, not hard, just enough to get her attention. “Did I hurt you,” he asked, dreading her answer. “I thought you were ready to take me, but maybe I was wrong? Come on.” He dropped his hold long enough to grab her hand. “There’s an all-night emergency clinic along the freeway. I passed it on my way here. We’ll get you checked out in no time.”
Trip desperately tried to right her clothes, what little she’d been wearing when she’d knocked on his door. Absorbed in his task, he ignored the tugging at his wrists until filed nails bit into his skin. The pain dumped him out of the panicked fog clouding his brain.
He jerked his head up and met very amused but slightly irritated green eyes. “Trip, calm down and relax. I’m fine,” she assured in a calm tone reserved for six year olds on the verge of a meltdown.
Entwining their fingers, Karen led him to the couch and pushed until he sat. “Now it’s my turn to talk, okay?”
“Yeah, okay, sure.” Trip had never been more embarrassed in his life. The woman he was gaga over just saw him make a complete and utter ass of himself just because she needed a minute to think. Something Jagger had said after screwing up royally with Alexa came to mind, fitting this situation. Here he was, a highly intelligent Navy SEAL with extensive training to remain cool, calm, and in control in any situation, but all it took was a pretty, curvy woman to fry his mental circuits and turn him into a complete idiot.
Never had she been more out of her element, but Karen knew if she didn’t find the words—the right words—then everything she’d shared with Trip would end up nothing more than a tainted memory. That she would not allow. Not when the sex between them had been so explosive she’d lost the ability to think or even speak complete sentences. She wanted more of that, more of him, and if it meant lowering her pride a degree or two, then that’s exactly what she’d do.
“Trip,” she started, sinking down onto the plush leather sofa next to him. She found sitting on the couch nude for a serious conversation rather disconcerting. Pushing aside the odd feeling, she fought to focus her thoughts. “I’m not hurt. You didn’t hurt me.” It satisfied something deep within that her well-being had been first on his mind. Reaching out, she cupped his chiseled jaw with her free hand.
“But you couldn’t talk.”
“Yeah,” she said. “I guess that’s what happens when I come harder than I’ve ever come in my life. Then you said you wanted me again, would want me over and over again. It kind of blew my mind.” His lips parted to speak. “Wait.” She lifted her hand from his handsome face to hold out in front of her. “Let me finish saying what’s on my mind before I lose my courage.”
Trip, a smarter man than most she’d encountered, simply tightened his full lips and nodded.
“Okay.” She nodded, tried her best to organize the crazed thoughts whipping through her head at speeds to rival NASCAR. “I’ve never had casual sex before. And I’m not the kind of woman most men look at twice.”
She stopped as he twitched in his seat, but when Trip kept his mouth closed, Karen knew he’d keep his word and not interrupt again.
“Right, well it’s never really bothered me before. I mean why should I care if most men on this planet are self-absorbed idiots with more blood in the cocks than their brains. But I guess it took meeting you to realize I have some issues where men are concerned. Not hack somebody up and use them as spaghetti noodles issues, mind you, but self-esteem issues. I’ve had my heart walked on more than once.”
Karen let out a sigh before slumping back into the cushions. “I can’t believe I’m dumping all this on you after we’ve known each other less than ten hours, but there it is. Of course, it might have something to do with the two buttery nipple shots I slammed before knocking on your door. Liquid courage gives everyone balls or ovaries of steel. At least, that’s what my great grandfather used to say after his evening whiskey.
“So yeah, I’m not most men’s ideal, but I’m not ashamed of myself or my body. I’m happy with how I look, and most days, with who I am.” A quick sideways glance showed her new lover had turned to face her, one knee bent on the saddle brown sofa.
“Yes, I want to continue sleeping with you until you leave. I don’t expect a promise of forever or meaningless love words. The only thing I want, no demand, is that we’re it for each other so long as we’re together. You want someone else then be man enough to tell me, and I’ll quietly disappear. We’ll still be friends, and there won’t be any bullshit drama.” Karen paused to ensure she’d hit the major topics. “I think that’s everything on my part. You have anything to add?”
“Is it safe for me to speak?” The quirk of his dark brow and the spark of humor attested to Trip’s acceptance of the situation.
Playing along, Karen nodded her head and waved her hand in an imperial manner. “You may speak.”
Reaching out, he clasped both her hands within the rough cage of his own. “I’m not touching on the issue of other men. It makes my head hurt. I have a thing against pain so there’ll be no lashes or superglue in our sex play.”
“Damn,” she swore, doing her best to look disappointed. “There goes the monkey glue and grapefruit spoon I wanted to order.” Karen made sure her lower lip stuck out in an exaggerated pout.
“Brat.” He laughed and nudged her shoulder with his broad one. “Seriously, Karen, I don’t have a clue what’s going on between us. I know from the second I set eyes on you I wanted you.”
She couldn’t help the snort that came out. “Of course, you did. I was almost naked on a bed with my hand between my legs.”
He gave a mock wiggle of his brows. “Tell me about.”
“Come here, my little sex toy.” Trip released her hands long enough to pull her onto his lap. Once there he positioned her so she sat across his legs, her head in the nook between his shoulder and head. She’d never felt more comfortable in her life. Trip made something tight inside her unwind while at the same time he wound her up with arousal.
“Now, where was I? Oh, yeah,” he answered himself. “No other men in your life while I’m in your bed. There won’t be anyone else in mine. I don’t cheat. I never have and I never will. It’s not part of my makeup. When I’m with a woman, I’m with her alone. Since I don’t like to share, why the fuck would I expect any woman I’m with to put up with that crap? Understand?”
“Yes.” She felt more secure and turned on by the second.
“There are no promises I can make about my feelings or emotions. I reserve the option to develop feelings if I want to. Plus, you can’t help what feelings grow any more than you can pick the person you fall in love with. If that were the case, Alexa would have had the intelligence to fall in love with the awesomeness that is me. Syndra, too, for that matter. I’m the best piece of man candy they’ll ever find, but sadly they’ve allowed themselves to be talked out of being my harem girls.”
“You’re nuts.” She laughed not believing his banter for a minute. The affection and ease in which he spoke of the other women said he’d firmly placed them in a mental sister category. She did wonder why he wanted to talk so seriously when she had no idea how long he’d even be around, but she shrugged it off as odd post-coital emotional gooblie gook.
Strong arms wrapped around her in a tight hug. “I am nuts, but since my mama had me tested, we know I’m not crazy.”
“Where’d she have you tested, Wal-Mart? K-Mart blue light special? You might think about getting a second opinion.”
“Shush, I’m trying to explain the facts of the world to you, little girl. Now hush up and listen to your wise and well-hung hunka burning love.”
“Wise and well hung?” She snorted and dramatically rolled her eyes.
“Gonna argue?” He did that sexy move again, the one where he managed to lift one black eye brow while smirking down at her.
“Of course not, oh wise and ancient grand poobah.”
A swift swat to her butt jumped her arousal from simmer to full boil. Who knew she’d get off on a little pain? Although she had wondered about sexual spankings. Karen silently speculated what else Trip would be able to teach her.
After theatrically clearing his throat, he continued on in the same lecturing tone. “We are human beings and as such there is no rhyme or reason to our actions or emotions. You could wake up tomorrow hating me and make me into your personal voodoo doll. Or we could take one look at each other over a piping hot Chicago style pizza and decide to call it quits. There’s no way to predict the future so let’s agree that we’re it for each other, for now. We’ll get to later when it comes.”
“Yeah, let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” she agreed.
Trip tilted her chin until her head bent back and they met eye to eye.
“But know this, Karen. I’m not putting any roadblocks in the way. I won’t fight or deny any emotions that grow. I’d be a fool to turn my back on the possibility of future happiness. The only promise I want from you is that you’ll do the same. Give us a chance without any barriers. Let your emotions free to be whatever they are.”
“That doesn’t scare you?” Fear rocked her all the way to the tips of her toes. Getting involved with Trip for the sake of sex only had been one thing. Involving him in her life outside the bedroom put a whole new spin on things. Should she take the chance? Did she want to? He could be called off to fight in some godforsaken backwater country at any moment. “How the hell did we get from mind-numbing orgasms to talking about sappy feelings? As a woman, isn’t that supposed to be my job?”
“What can I say, I’m more evolved than most men.”
“You’re more something that’s for sure,” she muttered. “So you want us to keep talking like this plus have sex?”
“No.” Trip shook his head.
Her heart stopped cold.
“I want us to continue to get to know each other, but we’ll be having world-creating, star-exploding, grateful to God, amazing sex.”
“You’re such an ass,” she stuttered between chuckles, smacking his arm. “I know now why you’re still single.”
“‘Cause I just hadn’t met you yet, darlin’.” Trip’s expression turned serious as he looked down, their eyes meeting for a heated, emotionally charged moment before the familiar smirk stretched his lips. “And you hadn’t had the chance to rock my world.”
He winked at her and something deep inside her winced. Shoving the pain and the weird emotions aside, she got back to the teasing foreplay she was better equipped to handle. “What if I expect you to rock my world?”
“Well, then, little darlin’,” he drawled, “I’d say get ready to bend over for my pleasure.”
“I thought you’d never ask,” she teased and scrambled off his lap. “What are you waiting for, cowboy? Saddle up.”