My heart gallops as I hear the banging on the door. I know who it is. I didn’t miss the sound of the bike speeding up the street. As Dylan pulled into my driveway, my mouth dried out while the rest of me broke out in a fine sweat. What’s he doing here? I thought I made myself clear earlier.
Maybe that’s why he’s here. He was unhappy when I told him to forget about it. He didn’t like me being the one to put an end to everything. But that’s too bad for him, I think with a small, smug smile. I’m tempted to ignore the insistent banging on my door, but after a minute I relent and go to rescue my neighbours from the noise.
It’s only as I watch the cold look on his face change to one of pure, sinful lust that I realise I probably should have chosen something else to wear when answering the door. The dark pink cotton drawstring pants and soft pink, lace camisole I’m wearing are hardly indecent, but I’m not wearing a bra or underwear and Dylan can clearly tell.
“Are you going to invite me in?” he asks huskily.
“I told you I don’t want to talk.”
“Who said anything about talking?”
“I…” I trail off as he walks in, shuts the door behind him, and then grabs me. He pulls me against him before lowering his mouth to mine and kissing me so thoroughly that every disappointment I’ve spent the last hour nursing immediately disappears.
I moan as his tongue curls around mine and my back meets the wall behind me. The explosion of lust is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. I push his jacket off his shoulders, right along with his flannel shirt. He cups my breasts through the thin material of my camisole, causing my nipples to tingle and tighten as I thrust my breasts into his hands. I pull away long enough for him to whip the top over my head and shuck his own t-shirt, and then he picks me up so that I can wrap my legs around his hips.
He grinds against me, kissing me deeply. I whimper and pant as he tells me how much he wants me, how much he wants to be with me, how he’s always craved me, and how he can’t wait to be inside me again. And then his hands are sliding into my pyjama bottoms so he can bring my hips even closer to his.
I cry out as his erection rubs against my heated flesh and his name is a desperate plea I can’t hold back.
He works his hand between our bodies, the sensation of my nipples scraping against his chest as his fingers find the sensitive area at the juncture of my thighs almost enough to send me right over. He’s barely slicked his fingers over the nerve endings there before I’ve climbed to the top of the mountain. My entire body shakes as I topple over the edge, the walls of my sex squeezing the two fingers he pushed inside me at the last second.
He lets me slide to the floor and I slide my pants off my hips while he undoes the belt and the catch on his jeans with fast, frantic moments. Within seconds, he’s sheathed himself and grips my hips, lifting me, the nudge of the swollen head of his cock against my flesh enough to trigger more waves of pleasure. He says my name and then drives into me, leaving me clinging to him as my world implodes.
I hear him swear as he tells me how good I feel, and then he presses kisses against my jaw and down my neck before nipping at my shoulder and driving himself into me over and over again. The pleasure builds swiftly once more and when my body pulses around him, he quickly follows me over the edge.
I’m so breathless and shaken that when he lowers me down to the floor, I can’t stand.
He chuckles softly as he holds my hips to help me stay upright. “And to think I wanted to waste my energy talking,” he says, fastening his belt back up when he’s confident that I can stand without his help.
“That was…much better than talking,” I agree, nervous as to where this is going.
I’m still not quite sure what just happened. Earlier, I told him I didn’t want anything from him and that we should forget the whole thing because he’d been about to end it. So, why is he here and why did we just have sex?
“I was an idiot to think that we could ever be friends,” he says.
I’m still trapped between the wall and his hard body. “You wanted to be friends?”
“I’m going to propose we try to be, but friends and casual sex don’t mix well.”
“If it’s just sex you want, I’ll give it to you. We’ll have fun, and then I’ll leave.” He pulls back to look at me. “I have to admit I didn’t think this could work between us, but I was wrong.”
“After last night I doubted that things between us could go down this road without it turning into something serious.”
Maybe I did fail his test last night after all. But it seems our conversation at Mum’s has convinced him that I’m fine with just being fuck buddies. Considering what I proposed in the first place, I should be elated.
However, elated is the last thing I feel. Instead, I feel empty and a tiny bit shattered. The idea of me having any feelings or hesitations was enough to guilt him into breaking our arrangement. Now that he’s certain I won’t get clingy – that I don’t want anything but sex from him – he is all for it. It’s a good thing Kara and Mum are wrong and I don’t love Dylan, otherwise his turnabout might have left me heartbroken.
“Considering I’m leaving, I don’t want anything serious.”
“Of course,” I say, forcing the words out. “And neither do I.”
“Good. Then that’s settled. I’m not going to ask you if you still want me to forget your proposition because now that I know what you want, I’m not going to.”
No matter how I feel, I can’t pretend I don’t want to sleep with him again. I might have told him to forget everything, but after the way I responded to him just now, I can hardly pretend I’m unaffected by him. His kisses and his touch set me on fire. I’ve never experienced anything so earth shattering. But for Dylan, it’s probably all standard practice. He’s probably looking for the exit already, just like he was last night.
“Well, I guess I’ll see you Thursday, then?” I ask, pre-empting him.
He lowers his head and kisses me so hotly that I think I’m going to melt. “I’ll see you Thursday, definitely,” he replies lazily. “But I’m not leaving yet. I’ve been thinking about you and me getting horizontal for nine years. We have a lot of catching up to do.”
“Nine years is a long time to want someone. I have at least a hundred fantasies that I want to act out and I figure we should start now.”
“Oh,” I say as he picks me up bridal-style and carries me towards my bedroom.
I expected him to leave again right after sex, but now that he’s decided I don’t pose any risk to his bachelorhood, he doesn’t need to race out the door at the first opportunity. That’s fine, isn’t it? I do want him and this fling.
So what if Kara thinks I can’t do causal with Dylan? She’s wrong. Everyone is. I can – and I will – sleep with Dylan without looking for anything more from him. Just like he wants. And if the idea of him spending three months in my bed before leaving potentially forever makes me feel empty and twisted inside? That’s too bad, because this is exactly what I asked for and now I’m simply getting what I want, aren’t I?
On Thursday night, I leave work early. Well, not compared to my colleagues, but for me, leaving at five on the dot makes me feel as if I’m taking half a day off. As soon as I get home, I shower, do my hair, then spend a good half an hour worrying about what to wear on a date that really isn’t a date. I’m not sure whether we’ll even leave the house.
After throwing the contents of my wardrobe on the bed, I pull a skirt with a slit up the side out of the mess and pair it with a soft flowing green blouse that brings out the green in my eyes. With my outfit selected, I put the rest of my clothes away and get dressed. I put the finishing touches on my make-up, wondering if it’s crazy to go to so much effort when we might not make it out of the house.
Once I’m ready, I sit down. And then I stand up again. Staying still is impossible with the amount of nervous energy thrumming through my body as I wait for seven o’clock to come around, the time we agreed he would come over.
The five minutes that pass after seven o’clock drags by slower than the rest. He’s late. If he’s having second thoughts again…
No, I won’t entertain the possibility. We sorted out his concerns. He’s probably just late because…well, because he’s never cared that much about being on time.
I’m not used to lateness. That’s one of the points on the list. The men I go for are punctual and always respectful of my time and the commitments we make.
But Dylan isn’t a man I’m dating, now is he?
Fifteen minutes past seven o’clock, my mobile phone starts ringing. I pull it off the table straight away, knowing it’s Dylan. I count to three before answering. As desperate as I am to know why he isn’t here yet, I don’t want to appear as if I’m sitting by my phone, waiting for his call.
Even if that’s exactly what I was doing.
“Hey, I can’t make it tonight.”
The frustration in his voice curbs my desire to lash out. It doesn’t sound as if he’s happy about having to miss tonight. In fact, he doesn’t sound happy at all.
“Is everything all right?”
“Not really. I have one bartender out sick and another one who just didn’t bother showing up. Normally the staff are much more reliable than this. I can’t leave Mike alone all night. I have to be here.”
Someone has to manage the bar and clearly that falls on Dylan’s shoulders, even though it’s his night off.
“I was really looking forward to seeing you,” he murmurs. “Rain check?”
“Of course. I hope your night gets better.”
“Me too. I’d better go. I’ll talk to you soon.”
He hangs up and I put the phone back on the table. I look down at what I’m wearing and think about all the effort I put into tonight’s outfit. Then I think about the fact Dylan won’t be in my bed later. Dissatisfaction and arousal bounce around inside me, increasing the restless feeling in my body.
I don’t want to stay in by myself tonight. I want another night with Dylan. He’ll be gone in a few months. He said he has a lot of fantasies to work through with me. Turns out, I’ve created quite a few of my own in the past three days. My need for him is so overwhelming at this point, I don’t know how to push it down. Worse still, I don’t know when I can see him again. We didn’t make any backup plans and he works every night except Thursdays.
It’s funny how I’ve always considered Dylan the most reckless and unreliable of the people I know. I’ve never really thought about the fact that he’s at Brody’s six nights a week, rain, hail, or shine. Not only that, but he manages it – manages the people there and always works harder when the going gets tough. He didn’t want to be there tonight, that much was obvious from his phone call. Yet he didn’t just reject his responsibility the way I imagined he might. And on Saturday night, when things got hectic, he thrived. How come I didn’t see that until now?
Before I can think better of it, I pick up my phone and head for the car, locking up behind me. Dylan may not be coming to me tonight, but I can go to him. Chasing a man who’s cancelled a date isn’t my style at all. It sends the wrong message to a potential mate. However, nothing about what I’m doing with Dylan is normal for me. It sounded like he could use my help, and I’m so over deluding myself about the man and my need for him. I refuse to pretend I’m not desperate to feel his body on mine again tonight.
As I walk through Brody’s, I worry that I’ve made a mistake. During the drive here, I convinced myself I was making the right decision to go to him – that he would be grateful for my help. But the moment I see him, I realise what a grave error I might have just made. We were only supposed to be sleeping together and showing up here will surely make me seem desperate. And yes, while I am desperate for another round between the sheets, Dylan might see my desperation as something else.
Moreover, it appears I misunderstood him when he said they were understaffed. The bar isn’t overly busy. At first, he did appear to be the only one serving, but then Mike walked out of the kitchen and I realised there were two of them. Dylan seems to have enough time to flirt with the woman he’s serving, anyway. He’s leaning on the bar and talking to the redhead the same way Sam talked to me last Thursday night, before he gave me his number.
Dylan passes the woman in front of him a wedge of lime. Instead of sucking on the lime, she puts the wedge in Dylan’s mouth and then leans in to suck on it while it’s still in his mouth.
Jealously, swift as anything, kicks me hard in the stomach. Even though there’s a lime skin firmly between their lips, it still looks like they’re kissing. When the redhead pulls away, Dylan takes the lime out of his mouth and smiles. I don’t have time to school my features before he glances over and sees me standing there, glued to the spot.
Confusion followed by a flash of guilt flickers across his face, but then he grins and shrugs – as if he’s just been caught taking a cookie out of the cookie jar instead of flirting with and practically kissing someone else.
Anger surges through me. He clearly doesn’t care that he’s been caught. Another quality on my list is fidelity. I want a man I can rely on. A man who won’t let me down or leave the way my father did. I would never marry someone who isn’t as committed to me as I am to him. He has to be a family man who puts family first.
But I’m supposed to be taking a timeout from the list. Even if I can see now how much of a hard worker he is and how dedicated he is to both Brody’s and his job as manager, I cannot afford to lose sight of the fact Dylan James embodies every trait that threatens my security.
There are two ways I can handle the situation.
He raises an eyebrow, clearly curious as to how I’m going to respond to seeing him with the woman at the bar. Technically, he hasn’t done anything wrong. We’ve made no commitment to each other. Hell, we haven’t even discussed monogamy. Is the word even in his vocabulary? I don’t relish the thought of him sleeping with other women while he’s regularly in my bed.
Actually, it would be more accurate to say I hate the thought. The idea of him with another woman…it makes me sick. But I don’t have much say in it, do I?
I ignore the ache in my chest at the thought. I wanted this just-sex relationship with him. I practically begged him for it. All for the chance to take a timeout from the list. But can I sleep with him while he’s sleeping with other women? I don’t know that I can. Would he be willing to be faithful to me while we’re having our ‘fun’?
Determined not to reveal how uncertain I am, I paste a smile on my face and walk up to the bar, relieved the bar is empty enough for me to snag a stool. Once I’m seated, he walks over to me.
“I didn’t think I was going to see you tonight.”
I ignore the woman who just sucked the lime out of Dylan’s mouth, despite the fact I can feel her glaring daggers through me.
“I thought you might need the help.” I look around the bar, settling a moment longer than intended on the woman who was flirting with Dylan before I look back at him. “You don’t appear too busy, though.”
I keep my tone light, but he seems to read my thoughts.
“She was flirting with me. It’s always just been instinctive to flirt back. It’s what I’ve always done. It’s good for business. Good for the bar.” His voice is a touch defensive, but his eyes soften as he continues to study me. “If I’d realised you were there, I wouldn’t have done what I did.”
So he would have hidden it?
“I’m sorry if my actions bothered you,” he adds.
Bothered me? Seeing another woman sucking a lime out of his mouth devastated me. And if I hadn’t been here, he wouldn’t have felt guilty over it? Would happily have done it all over again?
“This isn’t a relationship. I know that. I don’t expect anything from you. But…”
“You do expect something from me?”
“No. I don’t. I’m all for fun, Dylan, but that said, I can’t…I can’t sleep with you again knowing I’m not the only girl you’re sleeping with.”
He’s been leaning into the bar, listening to me and giving me his undivided attention, but he stands back now, hands braced on the wood. His expression going from passive to angry.
“I’m not going to screw anyone else while we’re together.”
“But that’s the thing. We’re not together, are we?”
“I’m not interested in sleeping with other women when I’ve finally got you where I want you after all these years.”
His words send a rolling wave of heat through my belly. “Then it’s just you and me?” I ask.
“Unless you want to invite someone else into the bedroom with us, yeah.” He smirks. “Does that float your boat? Is that something else you want to try while you’re making fun your business?”
I shake my head, partly disgusted and partly amused. He’s teasing me, isn’t he?
“Have you had a threesome before?” I ask.
He shrugs. “A few times.”
“And were they good?”
His grin is so wide and his eyes so wicked, my stomach flip-flops. “They weren’t bad.”
Jealousy stabs through me. Thank goodness Dylan and I are just a short-term thing, because I have the horrible suspicion I could never be what he needs long-term. Not as adventurous and exciting as he needs. And if the thought of him with another woman pulverizes my heart, the thought of him with multiple lovers leaves my breath stuck in my lungs while my chest constricts.
“But there’s something to be said for one guy and one girl, too,” he says softly. “I like the idea of just being focused on one other person’s pleasure.”
The gravelly words stroke between my legs and I struggle to breathe for an entirely different reason.
“You’re good at it,” I whisper back huskily.
The way he’s looking at me…it makes me think he’s considering all the ways he’d like to pleasure me right now. I’m damn tempted to lean in, grab him by the collar and kiss him.
“Later,” he says, reading me perfectly. “I’ve got time to teach you how to make a few drinks if you want to get your arse back here.”
I slide off my stool, happy he’s asked me to his side of the bar rather than leaving me on the paying side with the woman who flirted with him. “Sounds good.”
“You really came here to help me?”
The way his eyes track my curves and my body through my outfit convinces me I made the right choice in coming.
“That, and I didn’t want to wait for another round between the sheets with you.”
I’ve never been this forward with a man. Even when I propositioned Dylan on the weekend and made it clear in no uncertain terms I wanted only sex with him, I never came right out and told him how desperate I was to feel his body on mine.
My breath catches in my throat as he moves closer to me and whispers, “I had no idea you had this insatiable streak in you, Claire-bear.”
Neither had I until I slept with Dylan. Sex was always saved for relationships. It never happened before the third date, and generally I used it to keep the man I was with satisfied, rather than partaking in it for my satisfaction.
“I like this side of you.” His thumb strokes down my forearm with a featherlight caress that shouldn’t make me tremble but does. “I’m really glad you’re here.”
Thank God he’s agreed he’ll only be sleeping with me from now on. I’m so in lust with him, so amazed by the sensual pleasure I’ve discovered in his arms, I don’t know how I would have coped with the disappointment of having to let him go already.
A/N: Thanks for reading! 🙂 Please like, share or leave a comment if you enjoyed the chapter, or please just keep reading.