Authors: Megan Hart,Tiffany Reisz,Sarah Morgan
His hands stayed locked over his head. And that, oh, that giving up, that giving
Her hips rolled, finally, unable to stay still. She wanted—no, needed—to move on him. To feel his thickness sliding in and out of her.
“You feel so good,” he whispered.
More heat flooded her, rising up her throat to paint her face. She rocked on him, her clit rubbing his belly every time she moved. He would grab her now, she thought. Change up the rhythm to suit himself. And then it would be a rush to see if she could finish getting off before he did. But Jesse didn’t do that. His eyes opened, locking with hers. He thrust, but in time with her motions. His fingers unlinked.
“No,” she said suddenly. Harder than she meant to. “Keep them like that.”
She thought he’d protest, or sneer, or, worst of all, laugh, but instead his gaze went dreamy and heavy-lidded. His hands locked tight to each other again. And best of all, he groaned, his throat working with that sound of pleasure as he arched and moved beneath her.
“How good do I feel?” Her voice didn’t sound like her own.
She rode him harder, desire rising. Her fingers dug into his lean sides, and Jesse gasped. “Tell me how good.”
“So fucking good.” His voice broke, rough and rasping. “Fuck, Colleen. You feel like heaven.”
She slipped a hand between them to stroke her clit while she fucked him. Her pleasure spiraled higher and higher, everything coiling and twisting and tangling as she rocked on his erection. She was lost in the ecstasy, urged on by the look in his eyes and the grim press of his lips. The sweat on his forehead. He groaned again, and she almost came from the sound of his pleasure.
They moved together, faster, in perfect time. Her climax teased her, just out of reach. She wasn’t going to make it, and anxiety pierced her again, making her want to move more desperately—if only to get him off so she could pretend she had.
And then she looked again at his linked fingers. The bulge of his muscles in his arms and the tendons of his wrists showed his struggle to keep his hands together. And why? Because she’d told him to.
Then she was coming, no holding it back, and the rush and push of her orgasm stole her breath. She wept with it, though she didn’t want to. She dug her nails into him, and Jesse bucked beneath her. They finished together, and Colleen let herself fall forward to rest on his chest, her face buried against the side of his neck. They stayed that way, breathing hard, until his arms went around her, holding her close. And even though she hadn’t told him it was okay, Colleen discovered it was the perfect thing for him to do.
“I’ve never eaten here.” Jesse pointed with his chin toward the front door of the Blue Moon Cafe, one of Fell’s Point’s most popular breakfast spots. “The lines are insane.”
Colleen, that glorious hair tucked under a ridiculous knit cap, grinned and kicked the snow off her boots against the concrete steps. “Tourist.”
“Hey!” he protested as he followed her into the tiny restaurant, furnished with an eclectic array of mismatched tables and chairs. “Unfair.”
She laughed at him over her shoulder and waved at the waitress behind the counter. “Hey, Sheila. Wasn’t sure you’d be open. But I had a craving for the French toast that just wouldn’t quit.”
“Mike made it in, so I did, too. But you might be the only customers.” Sheila waved at the empty tables. “Take your pick. Might be the only time you ever see it this empty.”
“There will be others,” Colleen said. “Bad weather doesn’t mean people won’t need to eat.”
The snow had fallen all night and halfway into the morning, tapering off but starting up again as they’d ventured out. They’d get another few inches, Jesse figured, not caring about being stranded because...damn. If you had to get snowed in, what better way to spend the weekend than with a sexy moon-haired goddess?
And she was a goddess, he thought, watching her surreptitiously as she looked over the menu. Last night had been incredible. Amazing. Thinking of it now, his dick tried to stir. There’d been a few moments when he’d been unsure that she really wanted him, or that she was enjoying it, but then wow. Something had triggered in her, and the way she’d taken charge had been incredible.
It had made him want to do anything to please her.
They both ordered the house specialty, Cap’n Crunch French toast, along with bacon and hash browns and coffee that Sheila brought in heavy-duty white mugs before going to the front door to look out at the snow.
“It’s just not stopping,” she said. “If I didn’t live close enough to walk, I’d never have made it in.”
“We’ll get out of here as soon as we finish,” Colleen told her. “Let you get home.”
Sheila laughed and looked at Jesse. “Take your time. Hey, aren’t you the bartender over at The Fallen Angel?”
“Yep.” Jesse lifted his mug.
“Think you’ll open later, when I want to get a drink? Kidding,” Sheila said at the look on his face. “Totally kidding!”
Colleen leaned close to him when Sheila went into the kitchen. “She wasn’t kidding.”
“I wasn’t scheduled to work this weekend anyway,” he told her. He wanted to kiss her. He would have, if he thought she wanted it, but despite last night, this morning Colleen had been a little distant. Friendly. Flirtier, sure, than she’d ever been on a Thursday night. But not the way she’d been the night before.
“Do you think you’ll try to get home?” She spun her mug around and around, not looking at him.
It wasn’t what he’d expected her to say. It sure as hell wasn’t what he wanted her to say. Before he could answer, Colleen spoke again.
“I don’t even know where you live. You probably can’t get home, huh? Certainly not if you have to drive. You should just...stay. With me.” She looked at him then, her gray eyes faintly shadowed. “I mean, if you want to.”
“If you want me to,” he started, but went quiet when Sheila brought out their food. He waited until she’d settled everything for them before he said in a low voice, “I don’t want you to feel like you have to invite me.”
“Where else would you go?”
“I could crash at the Angel,” Jesse said. “There’s a bunk in the back room.”
She stared at him for a heartbeat.
“I can’t just leave you stranded.” Colleen cut her French toast into precise squares and gave a nod, as though she’d made a decision and there was no changing her mind.
Not that he wanted to. But he didn’t want to be a pain in the ass, either. “Look, really, I can hole up in the Angel if I have to. I don’t want you to feel obligated just because we...because of last night.”
She frowned. “Do
feel obligated because of last night?”
It wasn’t the word he’d have chosen.
would’ve been a better choice. But he didn’t want her to think he was just another horny asshole taking advantage of the situation, though. So all he said was, “Of course not.”
Then the check came, along with Sheila’s unspoken urging for them to finish their food and get the hell out of there so she and Mike could get home. Jesse grabbed it before Colleen could, holding it out of the way when she protested. He laughed when she tried to grab it, but she didn’t.
“My treat,” he told her. “For keeping me warm.”
It came out wrong, he saw that at once when her frown deepened. She sat back in her chair. Her chin lifted.
They finished their meal in near silence after that. On the street, the snow was up to the bumpers of parked cars. The footprints they’d made on their way here had disappeared, not even a dimple in the white fluffy expanse to show anyone had been there at all.
“It’s so quiet.” Colleen’s breath blew out in front of her in frosty plumes, and she gave him a sideways look. “And beautiful.”
She was beautiful. And melancholy. The deadliest combination, as far as Jesse was concerned. It made him want to take care of her, which was going to be trouble, he knew it. He’d been burned before, such a sucker for the damsel in distress. He also knew it didn’t matter. He’d get burned again.
Back in her town house, one of the really nice refurbished ones, he admired the gas fireplace in the living room. He hadn’t noticed it the night before. Hell, he hadn’t noticed anything but her.
“It doesn’t work,” she told him. “I mean, it probably works, but I haven’t figured out how to do it.”
He looked it over. “It’s probably just the pilot light. I can start it for you. It might be nice to have a fire, huh?”
“Oh, I don’t need—”
But he was already kneeling in front of the glass to twist the knobs and check the pilot light and the valve for the gas supply, both of which had indeed been turned off. It only took a few seconds of fiddling to get them both working and then turn on the fireplace. He grinned over his shoulder at her.
“It hasn’t worked since I moved in. Thanks,” Colleen said. “I didn’t really need—”
His phone rang then, and he made an apologetic gesture before pulling it from his pocket. “Hey, kiddo. What’s going on?”
“We’re snowed in,” Laila said. “Mom says it will be Monday before we can go anywhere. I’m bored! Can’t you come get me?”
“I’m snowed in, too.” Jesse sat back from the warmth of the fire, watching as Colleen bustled around turning on a ceiling fan and then rearranging the couch cushions they’d scattered last night. “Couldn’t get you if I tried. You’ll have fun with Mom. Don’t worry.”
“Where are you?”
“I’m at a friend’s house.” Jesse gave Colleen a glance, but she wasn’t looking at him. “I’m okay.”
“Daaaaad!” Laila sighed, ever the drama queen.
“Sorry, kid. Blame Mother Nature. Put your mom on the phone.” He chatted with Diane for a minute or so, making sure they were both fine and laying out the child care arrangements for the next week. When he disconnected and set his phone on the coffee table, Colleen had just returned from the kitchen with a tray of mugs and a teapot.
“Everything okay?” she asked.
“Yep. Laila, that’s my daughter. She’s snowed in with her mom but was bored and wanted me to come get her. Her mom doesn’t have cable TV.” Jesse looked at the tray. “Coffee?”
“Cocoa. Is that okay?”
“Perfect.” He moved to the couch, hoping she’d join him, but Colleen sat in the armchair across from him.
“How long were you married?”
“Oh.” He paused. “We never got married. We had Laila when we were seventeen. We met at a party, got a little drunk. Did something stupid. We stayed together for a couple years and tried to make it work, but it was mostly over by the time we graduated from high school.”
Colleen coughed lightly. “Oh.”
“She lives with her mom most of the time, but we raise her together.” Jesse poured cocoa for each of them and added marshmallows from the small bowl on the tray. “She’s a great kid.”
“I’m sure she is. We never had children. My ex, Steve, wanted a son. But we never got pregnant.” She hesitated, then cleared her throat. “It’s a good thing, really. If I’d had a child with him, I’d never have been able to leave him.”
He wasn’t going to argue with her about that, though he knew plenty of people who hadn’t stayed together for the sake of the kids. “You’ve been divorced for...?”
“Officially, three years.” Colleen took her mug, warming her hands but not drinking. When she put the mug back on the tray and fixed him with a look, Jesse braced himself. He’d seen that sort of look before. “I just want you to know something. Last night... I’m not usually like that.”
“Hey, no judgment.” Jesse shook his head. “We’re both grown-ups. It seemed right at the time. It doesn’t mean I think less of you or anything. And, believe it or not, I’m not usually one to just hop into bed with any random stranger, either.”
“But when you do, you make sure you’re prepared.”
“Learned my lesson the hard way,” he told her lightly. “I love my kid more than anything in the world, but it sure did make me a helluva lot more careful about sex.”
“It’s not the sex. Well, yes, the sex,” she amended. “But not the fact we did it. Just...how it was.”
He smiled at her. “You mean fantastic?”
Color rose in her cheeks, and her eyes glittered. “I mean how I was. With you. Telling you what to do and... Well, I’m not really that controlling, I’m really not like that. I don’t have to have it all my way.”
Her voice cracked. She picked up her mug and sipped, grimacing. She must’ve burned her tongue. The cocoa spilled over her fingers, and she yelped. Jesse grabbed up a paper napkin and pressed it to her hand, blotting the spill and taking the mug from her at the same time with his other hand. He set it down.
“I’m fine!” She was clearly anything but fine as she got up to pace in front of the fireplace. “I just wanted you to know that I’m not like that. That’s all.”
“Like what? Powerful? Strong? Sexy as hell?” Jesse watched her without getting up.
She whirled to look at him. “Uptight and controlling and demanding and...needy! You think I needed you to fix my fireplace? That I couldn’t do it on my own?”
“You didn’t do it on your own,” he pointed out.
“That doesn’t mean I couldn’t!”
Jesse bit back his defensive response, which left nothing but silence between them. She was breathing hard, her color high. Snow from earlier had melted in her hair, making it gleam. Like starlight. And damn him, he still wanted to bury his face in it and let her do whatever she wanted with him.
“I didn’t think you were uptight or too controlling,” he told her finally. “If you want to know the truth, I liked it when you took charge.”
For a moment longer, she said nothing. Then she scoffed, “Sure you did.”
“Colleen, do you really think I didn’t have a good time last night?” Jesse got up to approach her, but she took a step back and he stopped. “It was amazing, being with you. When you told me to keep still. The way you moved. I don’t have to tell you how sexy you are.”
“I’m not begging for a compliment, Jesse.”
“It’s not a compliment. It’s an opinion.”
Colleen’s eyes narrowed, and she bit her lower lip. “You liked being bossed around?”
“Well. I can’t say I love being bossed around in regular life, no. But in the bedroom, yeah. A little bit.” He took a deep breath, thinking about it. “Okay, a lot.”
“I’m not a dominatrix,” she said flatly. “If you’re expecting me to pull out the whips and chains and leather, you’re going to be disappointed.”
The idea of that, no lie, did get his cock a little thick, but he kept his expression neutral. “I’m not disappointed.”
Colleen put her hands on her hips. “I just didn’t want you to think that’s how I am.”
how you are,” Jesse said.
“You think I like telling you what to do?” Her eyes blazed, but she didn’t look angry. Not quite.
“Yeah.” He took a step closer, waiting for her to pull away. She didn’t. “I think you do. I think you get off on it, the way I get off on you doing it.”
“What’s bullshit is you trying to act like being in charge sexually makes you a controlling bitch, when one has nothing to do with the other.” Jesse took another step toward her. Close enough now to grab her, though he made no move to do so.
“My ex said—”
“Maybe,” Jesse told her, “you should think about letting go of what your asshole ex-husband said and just do what makes you feel good.”
She stifled a gasp. “You think fucking you made me feel good?”
“I know it did. And I’d like to do it again. And again, until you come so hard you can’t stand up.”
He’d blown it. Gone too far. He could see it in her eyes and the twist of her mouth and the way her shoulders squared. But Colleen surprised him.
“Take off your clothes,” she said. “Now.”
His hand went to his belt at once. Unbuckled. Unbuttoned. Unzipped. He shoved his jeans down his hips, past his thighs, and stepped out of them. She glanced at them when he kicked them away, but only for a second or so before her gaze fixed on his face. Jesse held Colleen’s stare with his as he pulled his shirt over his head and tossed that, too. Standing in only his socks and boxer briefs, his cock already straining the soft fabric, he hooked his thumbs in the waistband and waited. Heart pounding.
“Everything,” she told him. “I want you naked.”
“Yes, ma’am.” He’d tried to sound light, but failed. His voice was as thick with need as his hardening dick.
Colleen groaned softly, drawing out her reply, spoken so softly he barely heard it. “Fffffffuck.”
Naked in front of her, cock bobbing, he should’ve felt ridiculous. But when she circled him, admiring, letting one hand reach to trail along his shoulder blades and then down the line of his spine, all he could do was close his eyes and enjoy the caress. When she slid a hand to cup his balls, then stroke him, his knees buckled.