Authors: Hazel Kelly
by a Stranger
2015 Hazel Kelly
rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, transmitted, copied,
or stored in any form or by any means without permission of the author. Your
support of the author’s rights is appreciated.
characters in this story are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons is
“You know it's gonna make it that much better
When we can spend the night and stay together”
-The Beach Boys
I was messing around with Photoshop when I heard a knock at the
door. I wasn't expecting anyone which explains why I was in shorts that hadn't
looked PG on me since I was in high school.
"One second!" I called, slipping some yoga pants on
and wracking my brain for who it might be. I couldn't recall having ordered
anything online recently. Then again, I’d been up late on my computer most
nights since I got home so it was very possible I had.
I smoothed my hair down as I leaned forward to look through the
peephole but something was blocking the light.
I opened the door slowly. The bright hallway lights shone down
on a person with a huge bouquet of flowers in front of their face.
“I think you have the wron-”
The delivery man lowered the wall of flowers between us.
I squinted at him at first, positive I was seeing things.
He shrugged, a familiar smile traveling up to his eyes.
“What are you doing here?"
"I came to apologize."
"How did you even find me?”
“I can explain everything,” he said, extending his arms. “First
though, these are for you.”
I took the flowers with both hands. “Thanks,” I said.
"They're beautiful." I looked between him and the flowers, not sure
which I was more surprised to see.
“Can I come in?” he asked.
“Of course." I stepped back, opening the door wider and
moving out of the way with the flowers so he could pass.
Once I closed the door behind him, I led him to the sitting room
while my mind raced, trying to remember if I left anything embarrassing lying
around that I didn't want him to see. “Can I get you something to drink?”
“I'd love a coffee if you have some," he said, sitting on
the edge of the couch. "I'm a big jetlagged."
"I'll see what I can do," I said, disappearing around
the corner where I was finally able to let my face convey the shock I felt.
“Isn’t Seattle famous for their coffee?” he asked from the other
“Seattle is,” I said, filling the kettle. “But I can't say the
same for me.”
I tiptoed out the other kitchen door into the bathroom to make
sure I didn't look like a complete wreck. I still had a little color from the
trip so bronzer wasn't necessary, but I decided a few coats of mascara wouldn't
go amiss and applied them in record time. Then I checked my teeth and swished
some mouthwash around before going back to the kitchen.
A minute later, I poured two mugs of instant coffee.
"Milk and sugar?" I asked, popping my head around the
corner to make sure I hadn't imagined him.
"Please," he said, his bright eyes making my legs feel
I added some milk and sugar to both mugs, gave them each a quick
stir, and carried them to the coffee table.
Jack had already unstacked two coasters so I put the mugs on
them and sat down on the opposite end of the couch.
"Thanks," he said.
I didn't know what to do. It felt weird to be in my apartment
with a man I'd been so intimate with so far away. It was like my worlds were
colliding and I couldn't tell yet whether I thought it was a good thing.
"So," I said as casually as I could, “what are you
Perhaps "what brings you to Seattle" might have been more
welcoming, but I was startled. After all, he’d showed up on my doorstep
uninvited twice now after standing me up.
At the same time, there was no denying that he was even more
gorgeous than I remembered, and seeing him made me hurt all over again.
“I needed to see you,” he said, angling himself towards me.
I lifted my palms. “Well, here I am.”
“Please, Audrey.” He laid his hand on the couch between us. “Hear
I took a deep breath, relaxing my shoulders so they dropped
“I didn’t like how things ended with us,” he said.
"I wasn’t thrilled myself."
“To be honest, I didn’t like that they ended at all.”
I swallowed. “How did you find me?”
“I tried to come to your room in the morning, but you were
I kept my face as still as I could.
"So I tracked down Matteo and he gave me Megan’s email
“Megan knew you were coming?”
“Why would she tell you where I live?”
His eyes crinkled at the corners. “Because I’m crazy about you.
And I wanted to tell you what happened so you’d know my missing dinner had
nothing to do with my feelings for you.”
I felt a slight smile trying to emerge like the sun breaking
Jack clenched his jaw. “Sorry. I thought I knew what I was going
to say, but I’ve gone completely off script.”
“You’re doing fine,” I said. “Why don’t you start with why you
didn’t come to dinner?”
Jack scooted back a few inches on the couch. “It was an
emergency. My Dad was in an accident.”
“Is he okay?”
“No. He’s not okay. He’s a drunk.”
I realized I was holding my breath and exhaled.
“I didn’t tell you because I don’t tell anyone,” he said. “To
make a long story short, my Mom kicked him out years ago. He was drinking
himself into financial problems, getting into fights, spending nights in jail.
I was worried it would come out when I started getting publicity for my book.”
“I thought he might destroy his reputation and my career,” Jack
said. “So I took him to Thailand where the drinks were cheap and the cops could
be paid off when he got into trouble.” He looked down at the floor. “I didn’t
know what else to do. It was only ever supposed to be a temporary solution.”
“Did you try rehab?”
His eyes met mine. “Six times.”
“So the night we were supposed to have dinner…?”
“He drove my motorcycle into a mango cart. If he hadn't broken
his leg, they would've taken him to jail instead of the hospital. As far as I’m
concerned, he got lucky because I was in no mood to pay his bail after he made
me miss our date."
I placed a tentative hand on Jack’s shoulder. "I'm so
“Not as sorry as I was thinking of you all dressed up for a
night out and feeling blown off.”
“I was really disappointed.”
“I would never do anything to hurt you,” he said. “I just wanted
to protect you from my Dad’s bullshit because you were on vacation.
Unfortunately, my plan backfired terribly.”
“I understand,” I said, lowering my voice.
“Do you really? Because I can’t bear-”
“My Dad’s an alcoholic, too. The accident I told you about- he
was drunk driving when it happened.”
Jack looked at me with a pain in his eyes I hadn't seen before.
“I’m so sorry,” he said, shaking his head.
I nodded. “Me too. For both of us.”
Jack took a sip of his coffee and forced a smile.
I shrugged. “Sorry to disappoint.”
He put his cup down and turned to face me on the couch. “That's
the thing, Audrey. You could never disappoint me. That’s why it was killing me
to know I’d disappointed you.”
“Is that what you came all this way for?” I asked. “Just to say
“And to check on your foot.”
“Seriously, though, I wanted to apologize in person and explain
my inexcusable behavior.”
“Well I forgive you,” I said, feeling instantly lighter.
“But there’s something else.”
I raised my eyebrows.
“I wanted to thank you,” he said.
I tilted my head at him. “For what?”
“For giving me some much needed perspective.”
“Thinking I’d lost you made me realize my priorities were all
screwed up.” He pursed his lips. “I don’t want to throw my life away taking
care of him. I want to take care of you.”
I felt my stomach drop.
Jack took my hands in his and locked his eyes on mine. “Audrey,
you’re the most beautiful, vibrant, engaging woman I’ve ever met.”
“And I would give anything to have just one more day with you.”
My lips fell apart.
“What I’m trying to say is-” He looked down at my hands in his
and then back up at me. “It was never a fling for me.”
looked so confused I was worried I hadn't said anything out loud. All she
did was break eye contact with me and look down at our hands.
clenched my jaw.
for letting me know," she said, lifting her eyes to mine. "And I'm
really sorry again about what happened to your Dad."
wanted her to smile or something, anything to let me know I wasn't totally out
of line coming here.
you say it wasn't a fling for you," she said, wriggling her hands away and
tucking her hair behind her ears. "What does that mean exactly?"
looked between her blue eyes, noticing the freckles fading across her nose.
"It means I don't want this to be over," I said, scooting towards her
on the couch. "It means I want to keep seeing you."
pursed her lips for a moment, and when she relaxed them, they looked bigger and
pinker than ever. "But you live in Thailand?"
know," I said. "But I figured I would come see if you wanted to go
out with me again before I started making any massive changes to my
smiled, but she seemed nervous.
a moment, I was worried there was someone else. Maybe I'd been a fool to think
a woman this special would even be available. "But if you don't want to go
out with me again, you don't have to. I just thought-"
she said. "I do. I-"
sorry. I just wasn't expecting you today. Or ever. So I'm not sure what I'm
supposed to say."
could start by saying you're happy to see me."
lifted a hand and ran it over my shoulder, watching where her palm made contact
like she still hadn't accepted the fact that I was really there.
am happy to see you," she said. "How could I not be? I mean, I
thought we had something, too.”
felt the tightness in my chest dissipate.
just a little shocked because I spent the last two weeks trying to convince
myself that I was okay with never seeing you again."
could say I'm even better looking than you remembered."
eyes swept over my face.
you are," I said, unable to help myself. "I swear I spent every
minute with you trying to remember the details of your face, but even my memories
don’t do you justice."
shook her head. "So you came all this way to hit on me?"
came all this way to have you again," I said, lifting her legs and laying
them across my lap.
I have to admit I'm flattered that you would travel so far for sex, especially
when I know how rampant it is right on your doorstep."
the thing," I said, tilting her chin up with my fingers. "It's not
just sex with you."
breath grew shallow as her eyes dropped to my lips. "What is it
then?" she asked. "If it's not just sex-"
couldn’t describe it. And I didn’t want to. All I wanted to do was kiss her. So
I did, leaning in and interrupting her with my lips.
gave into the kiss slowly, her tongue moving as if it was in unfamiliar
territory, but her kiss was no less sweet for it. On the contrary, it was
pleasantly surprising how tentative she was. Even though we were in her comfort
zone, she still seemed vulnerable in a way that excited me.
while it was never my intention to jump her bones as soon as I arrived, I knew
nothing could make me pull away from her after coming so far.
leaned her back on the couch without unlocking my lips from hers and kicked my
shoes off as softly as I could. "I never would've stopped looking for
you," I said, running a hand up her thigh and under her t-shirt. "I
had to see you again."
looked up at me through shiny eyes and kissed me back.
felt myself swell in my pants at the feeling of having her underneath me, at
the idea of sinking into her the way she was sinking into the cushions.
moved my hand up over her chest, running my palms over the outside of her bra,
no less excited about unwrapping them than if I were fifteen. Then I pulled my
hand out from under her shirt and trailed my fingers over her pants to the
warmth between her thighs.
sucked the breath from my mouth as I pressed my fingers against her opening and
circled her clit through her thin pants. My intention was to warm her up until
her body was so overwhelmed she would have no choice but to let me take over.
with every whimper from her lips, I could feel her giving into me as my fingers
grew warmer. Soon I couldn't wait anymore to feel her hot center, so I leaned
against the back of the couch just enough that I could slide my hand down the
front of her pants.
I discovered that she’d already soaked through her underwear, I let out a guttural
growl of approval. A moment later, I laid my fingers against her wet slit and pushed
them inside her, relishing the way she gushed around them.
craned my neck back to look at her as I worked them deeper. Her cheeks were
flushed and her eyelids looked heavy. But as I forced my fingers to her center
she only broke our gaze when her eyelashes fluttered.
Jack," she breathed.
sound of my name in her throat filled me with a desire for her that frightened
me, and I plunged my fingers deeper again, causing her to gasp.
lifted her hands to the front of my shoulders and let her head roll to the side
as I began to fuck her with my fingers, savoring the way her pussy clenched
my dick started to hurt from wanting her so badly, and I became desperate to
see more of her.
twisted my fingers into her as deep as I could one last time and then slipped them
out slowly, her eyes widening as I pulled them out.
up," I said, helping her to her feet.
made her stand between my knees so I could admire the way her stretchy black
pants hung off her curves, the way her tousled hair looked from writhing
against the cushions.
off your shirt," I said.
swallowed and pulled her shirt off. Her bra was so plain, but I knew there was
nothing plain about what it concealed.
your bra," I said, feeling bolder with each new flash of her flesh.
bent her arms back and unhooked it before sliding it off one shoulder and
letting it fall to the floor.
smiled and reached forward, pulling her pants down to her lower calves.
stepped out of them.
nipples were hard and dark, her snatch looked more inviting than ever, and her
fading tan lines highlighted all her sexiest parts.
pulled my shirt off as fast as I could so I wouldn't have to take my eyes from
her gorgeous body any more than necessary. Then I looked up at her as I moved
my hands to my belt.
expression was a mixture of trust and impatience.
intended to reward her for both.