Authors: Celia Aaron,Sloane Howell
“Yes,” I breathed even as tension coiled in my stomach.
He bit and then sucked the spot where my shoulder and neck meet, all the while speeding his pace. “You sure I misheard?” He laughed against my skin. “Tell the truth.”
He stayed deep inside me, pulsing his body against mine to get the perfect friction on my clit. He already knew what I liked, what my body needed. “So, did I mishear?”
I bit my lip as he kissed down to my breast. “No.”
“Didn’t think so.” He let go of my wrists and ran one arm under my back, lifting me slightly and leveraging me into his strokes.
I clawed at his back and wrapped my legs around him, keeping him deep and hitting all the right spots. My tension ramped up as he moved his forearm down to my lower back, arching me into him as he took one of my nipples into his mouth. Pressing my feet into his calves, I worked with his deep, steady pace, lifting my hips to the rhythm. The movement pushed me closer to the edge.
“Grind on me, baby. Fuck, I love it when you do that.” His voice was just as big of a turn on as his body, masculine and rough.
My hips made smaller and smaller movements as he concentrated his strokes on hitting my spot.
“Easton, I’m going to come.” It was a breathy whisper.
“I want to feel it. Milk my cock with your tight pussy.” His dirty words sent me plummeting into my orgasm.
As soon as I started to come, he began thrusting harder, his cock rock hard and squeezing between my slick walls. I cooed his name on a loop as he pressed his forehead to mine.
“Fuck,” he bit out and kissed me hard as his hips slowed into deep, steady thrusts and he groaned his climax into my mouth.
He thrusted a few more times before breaking our kiss and taking in a gulp of air. I pushed the longer strands of hair off his forehead and stared into his deep blue eyes.
A grin spread across his handsome face, the dimples making an appearance. “Now you can go to work.”
“So, what’s your plan?” Nikki stripped her skirt and top off, opting for a baby tee in team colors and shorts so tight they may have been criminal.
“I’m not sure. I don’t know what to write about. I mean, I know Graciela doesn’t want what I usually write for
. I started a piece on the shift from the structural look of last winter to the more whimsical feel of the most recent shows, but it isn’t good enough. I need to go to an actual runway show to really get the heart of that idea. So I chunked it.”
I dug around in my drawers, looking for my light pink eyelet skirt. I found it and pulled it out before shimmying it up to my hips. The hem fell right above my knees, and I paired it with some wedges and a white v-neck top.
“What are you going to do?” Nikki walked into my bathroom and helped herself to my makeup. “Maybe you could write about something other than specific fashions. They have that gossip column in the back, sometimes they have ridiculous sex stories, and then their little love and relationship articles. What about something more human interest like those?” She poked herself in the eye with my mascara. “Fuck. That stings.”
I laughed before joining her in the mirror and freshening up.
“It’ll come to me.” Instead of spending my days at work actually working, I’d been racking my brain trying to figure out what sort of piece I needed to impress Graciela. I didn’t have the luxury of time, but I didn’t want to go down the wrong path and wind up turning in something that got me nowhere. I took a deep breath and blotted my lipstick. “I need to keep thinking about it, getting ideas, reading back issues.”
Nikki sniffed one of my perfumes, lifted her shirt, and sprayed her pits.
“Who does that?” I chose another scent and spritzed a small amount between my breasts.
She smirked, her brown eyes frank. “Tits or pits doesn’t matter. As long as we smell as good as we look, we’re getting all the dick we can eat tonight.”
I laughed and ran my brush through my hair before handing it off to Nikki who did the same. Once we were sufficiently primped, we took the short drive to the ballpark. Once again, Nikki’s horrible driving habits had me sweating to the point I reconsidered the whole “pit spray” idea.
We pulled into the deck, and I shot out of the car, slamming the door behind me.
“It wasn’t that bad.” Nikki sauntered up and hooked her arm in mine.
“I think I’d rather be driven around by a serial killer than you.”
“Really?” We walked past the deck, through the ticket gate, and up to the concourse. “What if he like, I don’t know, had a severed head collection in the back seat?”
“One, you’re sick. Two, it would still be safer.”
She snorted a laugh. “I think you’re being dramatic.”
The ballpark smells—hotdogs, popcorn, and cotton candy—floated through the air as we joined the river of people entering the stadium.
“Okay, what if your serial killer chauffeur handed you the lotion and told you to rub it on your skin?”
A guy in front of us turned to look at Nikki as she used a perfectly creepy falsetto to ask her question. He gave us a flirty smile and collided with the couple walking in front of him. We laughed and walked around the pile up.
“I’d take the lotion. Yep, I still prefer the serial killer.” I peeked through the openings in the concourse, staring down at the field and trying to get a glimpse of Easton.
“Okay, okay. But what if…” She squeezed my elbow and widened her eyes. “He had a pencil ‘stache?”
I laughed. “In that
instance, I would prefer you.”
“I win!” She grinned and sped her pace toward the stairs leading down to our seats. The green of the field overwhelmed me for that split second once I entered the stadium proper. It didn’t matter how many times I went to the ballpark, it always had the same magic.
We were right behind home plate again, a spot that was quickly becoming one of my favorite places in the world. Watching Easton play was a particular thrill. The way his body moved, the way he was able to focus on something with such intensity, was undeniably impressive. And when he used that same focus on me? A shiver went down my spine at the thought.
Finding our seats, we sat down and watched the teams warm up. Even from this distance, I could hear Braden talking shit to his pitch and catch partner. He and Nikki made a great pair. I scanned for Easton, but he must have been in the bullpen. I settled in, itching for the game to start. Music filtered over the stadium speakers and a light breeze kicked up, ruffling the emerald green blades of grass in the outfield. As night fell, the lights came up and everyone stood for the National Anthem.
The announcers chattered as the players took the field. Easton wouldn’t be up yet. He was a closer, but I still loved getting glimpses of him in the dugout or the bullpen. The game was interesting, too.
Braden trotted out and gave Nikki a small salute by touching his glove to his helmet. She squealed and wrapped her arm around my shoulders. “Isn’t he hot?” She asked the same question anytime he ran onto the field.
“Yes. Very hot.” I put as much enthusiasm as I could muster into it, though I had no problem overlooking Braden in favor of Easton.
“I know. I wonder who’s up first? I think Graves pitched last game, so he’s probably resting now. Hare maybe?” Nikki went through the starters, trying to figure out who it would be, when a player strutted out from the dugout.
The announcer came over the speaker and belted out the pitcher’s name. It washed over me like a winter rain, frigid and draining.
A cold sweat broke out along the back of my neck and my upper lip. Nikki’s grip on my shoulder tightened and, even though I was sitting, I felt like I was falling.
“Sean Richards.” I said his name, the words unfamiliar on my tongue after two years of disuse. “He’s back.”
Sean walked to the mound, the same cocky tilt to his chin that I remembered. The same dead-eyed stare at every batter that came up to the plate. Everything was the same. I was sitting here, watching him pitch. I ran my thumb over my ring finger, the phantom of my engagement band still there.
“Kyrie?” Nikki put her hand along my cheek and turned my head toward her. I got the feeling she’d been saying my name for a while. “You okay?” She winced. “I know you aren’t. That was dumb of me to ask. Do you want to go? It’s okay. I can catch up with Braden later.”
Sean ran his fingers through the dirt and gripped the ball. Each movement was familiar. I hadn’t seen him since that night two years ago, and now here he was, as if the clock had reversed and I was still the same naïve idiot that trusted him with my heart.
“Come on. Let’s go.” Nikki started to get up.
I grabbed her knee, keeping her in place. “No. This is
place now. Not his. He isn’t running me out of here.” The steel in my voice surprised me, but I meant every word.
I stared as he threw a few warm up pitches to Braden. Sean didn’t glance up at us in the stands. I couldn’t tell if I wanted him to see me or not. I tucked my frozen hands under my legs and simply watched.
The other team’s batter stepped up to the plate and the game finally began. Nikki scooted into my side, ignoring the arm rest between us.
He threw his first pitch, then another, and another. Three strikes. The crowd warmed to him, their cheers fueling him onward. I chilled even more, each beat of my heart sending shards of ice splintering in all directions.
A pop fly, caught by Braden, and another infield fly, caught by Sean, and the inning was over. Sean stepped from the mound and trotted to the dugout, but he threw a look at me over his shoulder. He’d seen me. I knew it when I saw the smirk twist his lips—the same smirk I’d seen the night I’d caught him in our bed with another woman.
I slid into the booth and pressed myself against the wall. The cool paneling of the bar should have been soothing. Instead, I couldn’t concentrate on anything—not on the waitress taking our drink order, or the words pouring from Nikki’s lips, or the raucous crowd in the bar celebrating the Ravens win. My heart thumped like a drum in my ears.
“God, why didn’t I take you home?” Nikki leaned into me.
“No, it’s fine.”
“You sound like Mr. Roboto. It’s not fine.”
“I’m here for Easton, not Sean.” I hated even saying my ex’s name.
I’d watched, frozen, as Sean pitched the first eight innings before they called in Easton. Seeing him take the mound and shoot me a confident smile helped melt some of the ice seeing Sean had placed around my heart, but not enough. When he’d come to the net after the game, I’d been distracted, worried Sean would show up and start something. He never did, but Easton had noticed something was off.
To smooth it over, I begged Nikki to take me to Johnny’s, the bar frequented by the team after games. I wanted to see Easton, maybe explain to him about Sean before it all hit the fan. Sean wasn’t known for his tact. Then again, it had been two years. Maybe he’d changed?
The front doors burst open and the team spilled in, laughing and pushing each other as the patrons all stood and cheered their arriving heroes. The bar was decked out in Ravens memorabilia and filled to the brim with people. Nikki waved Braden and Easton over to where we were seated.
They were freshly showered and dressed in button downs and jeans. Easton slid into the booth next to me and put his arm around me. I scanned the crowd, checking for Sean. I let out a sigh of relief when I didn’t see his lanky frame amongst the players.
Easton pulled me into his side and put his lips to my ear. “What is it, baby?”
I forced a smile. “Nothing. Don’t worry.” I kissed him, a chaste peck at first, but he turned it into more by refusing to let me go. His tongue teased at mine before he finally let up.
Braden began a slow clap across the table as Nikki smiled and took a drink of her beer.
“Shut up, douche.” Easton turned to the waitress and ordered a pitcher.
The front doors swung open again and I couldn’t hold back a curse when I saw Sean strut in. He studied the room, and I tried to shrink back in the booth. It didn’t work. He spotted me and walked to the bar, shooting me glances every few moments as he chatted with his team members.