Authors: Megan Hart,Tiffany Reisz,Sarah Morgan
Colleen stopped him, pulling his hair until he looked up at her. “No.”
His glazed gaze cleared a little. He licked his lips. “No?”
“I want you to go upstairs and get undressed for me. I want you to...” Her breath caught. She faltered, stumbling, but at the sight of his expression, Colleen went calm. Steady. And oh, fuck, so turned on she thought she might not be able to make it up the stairs herself. “I want you to get on your knees, and I want that pretty cock so hard for me that it bounces on your belly when I come into the room. Do you want that, Jesse?”
“Answer me.” She made the words hard, but not harsh.
“Yes, ma’am. I want to get on my knees for you.”
Him calling her ma’am should’ve made her laugh. It should’ve made him sound like he was reading dialogue from a bad porn movie. But looking at him, all Colleen could think about was how easily he did it. How willingly.
“Go,” she said.
He went. He knew where her bedroom was, of course. They’d spent enough time in it that last snowy weekend. She waited for the sound of his footsteps on the floorboards overhead, which was less familiar to her. When you lived alone, you didn’t often hear the sound of your own floors creaking from below.
When she’d judged he’d had enough time to do as she’d requested, Colleen climbed the stairs. Her bedroom was at the far end. It had once been two small rooms, but the former owner had knocked down the wall between them to create a master suite. Jesse had left the door half-closed, and she hesitated before pushing it open. Not because she was afraid he wouldn’t have done what she wanted him to do, but because seeing him on his knees, naked and waiting for her...the thought of it made it hard to breathe. Seeing it for real was going to be intense.
And oh, it was.
He’d done what she told him, all right. Stripped down to that tawny, naked flesh. On his knees next to the armchair she’d put catty corner by the window with a reading lamp. His arms were at his sides when she came through the door, but at once he put them behind his back. Back straight, shoulders squared. Head up. Cock hard.
She wanted to touch him and taste him, but first, Colleen wanted to look at him. She circled him, one hand lightly touching his hair. His shoulders. His chest. She traced the line of his collarbones and delighted in the way his cock did, indeed, bounce to tap his belly. When she dug her fingers into his hair and tipped his head back, he closed his eyes. Mouth open.
She kissed him, long and lingering, until they were both breathless. She reached to stroke him, remembering every inch as though it hadn’t been two long and stupid weeks since she’d touched him this way. A slick, clear bead of pre-come slipped out of him, and she used her fingers to smooth it over the head of his cock.
Jesse groaned. “Oh...fuck. That feels good.”
“I want you to feel good,” she whispered. “I want you to come for me so hard. Are you going to come for me, Jesse?”
He swallowed and murmured, “Yes. Please.”
She stroked him again. Up and down, fingers circling. His prick leaped in her hand, throbbing, and she gripped him at the base to keep him still. He was breathing hard, the skin of his cock going that lovely, delicious shade of aroused red. He opened his eyes to stare into hers, and she stroked him slowly, letting his slickness coat her hand. When he needed more, she held out her palm to him.
He did. It might have been disgusting, but both of them shuddered at the pool of clear fluid on her skin. When she reached to stroke him again, slippery now, he muttered what sounded like a plea.
“What’s that?” she asked into his ear, her lips moving on his skin.
“Feels good,” he said. “I’m close.”
Colleen slowed her stroking to study him. This was power, she thought, mesmerized at the sight of his arousal and how willingly he’d given himself to her. Her pussy clenched at the thought of it, how her simple touch could send him to the edge so quickly.
She eased off, not letting go of him but simply no longer stroking. He groaned, hips pushing forward, but she gave him nothing. Her breathing quickened. Colleen shifted, feeling the pull of her pajama bottoms against her swollen clit. Another stroke had him shuddering, but again she stopped just before he tipped over the edge.
Colleen stood up straight, making sure Jesse was watching. She stripped, slowly but without fanfare, setting her clothes aside until she was naked in front of him, her nipples hard, her cunt, slick and aching to be filled.
“I want your mouth on me,” she said in a low voice. “Just your mouth. Keep your hands behind your back.”
It wasn’t that she didn’t want his hands. It was that having him obey her turned her on as much, if not more, than his fingers on her skin. She moved forward to give him access to her pussy, bending just enough to put her hands on his shoulders. Her legs spread, his mouth buried in her heat, she rocked her clit against Jesse’s willing and eager tongue.
It wasn’t going to take long. She’d been turned on since seeing him come through her front door, and her arousal had been building steadily the entire time. With his lips and tongue and oh, shit, teeth, his fucking teeth, working their magic on her flesh, Colleen was going to climax without much effort at all.
She cupped the back of his head to hold him to her as her hips moved helplessly. She didn’t care about the awkwardness of the position, or that her calf muscles were starting to ache or that surely his knees had to be killing him by now. All that mattered right then was the pleasure spiraling up and up and up until she was suffused with the glory of mind-shattering ecstasy.
He cried out, muffled against her. Wet heat spurted against her thighs as he came, and this sent her over the edge again into another shuddering climax. He’d ejaculated without touching himself, shooting high enough to hit her, and purely from the pleasure of making her come. She thought her orgasm might never end, but at last it eased and left her breathless and weak-kneed. Colleen took a few unsteady steps back to let herself sink onto the edge of the bed. She cupped her pussy, feeling the aftershocks rippling through her.
Jesse looked stunned. Slickness glistened on his belly and chest, and she could still feel it sliding down her skin. She was sure she looked stunned, herself.
“I never,” he began, but seemed incapable of saying more.
They looked at each other. Colleen let out a low, unexpected laugh. Jesse looked surprised, but in the next moment he’d started laughing, too. Oh, this was going to hurt so hard when it ended, she thought. It was going to slay her.
But it wasn’t over yet.
“I had a dog when I was married.” Colleen handed Jesse the box of canned food and supplies she’d helped him buy at the local pet supply store for his Saturday volunteer shift. “His name was Pete. He bit my ex-husband once.”
Jesse closed the trunk of his car. “Ouch. Bet that made him angry.”
“He’d been drinking and teasing the dog. You don’t poke a dog without risking its teeth,” she said with a shrug as she went around to get in on the passenger side.
Jesse got behind the wheel. “We always had dogs growing up. One of the first things I’m going to do once I can get into my own place is get a dog. Probably even foster some. It’s good for kids to have pets.”
Colleen adjusted her seat belt. “Can’t you get a place that allows dogs?”
Jesse paused, then figured what the hell. There was no point in trying to pretend he wasn’t broke most of the time. “Nothing I can afford. Not in Laila’s school district or close enough to work to make it worthwhile.”
“Oh.” Colleen looked uncomfortable, which hadn’t been his intention. “Sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry. I’ve got a dozen pooches waiting for me at the shelter,” Jesse replied lightly.
He reached to hold her hand as they drove, letting his thumb rub the back of it. Her skin was so soft. He wanted to hold her hand forever.
At the shelter, he showed her where to put the supplies, then took her into the back room where the rescue dogs that hadn’t yet been put up for adoption were kept. Five today, ranging from puppy to senior dog. All had been taken from abusive homes. Some were recovering from surgeries or injuries.
“This old girl here, this is Sasha.” Jesse led Colleen to the quiet black-and-white mutt in the corner. “She’s friendly but skittish. But if you give her time, she’ll give you plenty of love. She wants to be a lapdog.”
Colleen bent to let Sasha sniff her fingers. “Hey, sweet girl.”
Together, Jesse and Colleen spent an hour or so grooming and giving the dogs the love and attention they’d been missing. Then another hour cleaning pens and putting away donated supplies. He’d been concerned she might find the work too dirty or boring, but the time passed with them laughing and joking the entire time. Even singing. She had a terrible voice and was very proud of it.
“Surprised the dogs aren’t howling,” she said when she’d finished a verse of some pop song that had been getting constant airplay.
Jesse took the chance to pull her into his arms. “What did you do with the money?”
“What money?” Colleen pushed up on her toes to brush her mouth to his.
“The money I gave you for—”
“Singing lessons,” she said along with him, then swatted him. “Jerk.”
He laughed and pulled her close again. They were alone in the supply closet, so he took another chance. The kiss was sweet but had the promise of heat. She broke it first with a small, self-conscious laugh.
“Thanks for coming with me today.” Jesse kept his hands on her hips.
Colleen smiled. “Thanks for asking me. It’s good to give back to something. You know?”
“Yeah. I think so.” He wanted to kiss her again, but held off, not wanting to push it. “Hey, you hungry? I promised you dinner.”
“You did. And I am.” She backed up as much as the small space allowed. “Are we finished here?”
He nodded, trying to think of a reason to stay with her in the closet long enough to steal another kiss, but unable to find one that wouldn’t be totally transparent. “Just let me put my name on the schedule for next week, and we’re good to go.”
He’d thought a lot about where to take her, wishing someplace fancy like Fogo de Chão was in his budget instead of a local dive diner, but Nancy’s Hot Spot had the best steak and eggs he’d ever tasted, no matter what time of day you went. They made a pretty good gyro, too.
“Hope it’s okay,” he said as they slid into one of the cracked red vinyl booths toward the back.
Before Colleen had a chance to answer, the tiny woman with a towering dome of teased crimson hair came to give him a hug and a kiss. Without asking, she poured them both mugs of steaming coffee. “Hey, hon. Good to see ya. Where’s the little one?”
“Laila is with her mom today. This is Colleen. Colleen, this is Nancy.” Jesse grinned as Colleen made the connection.
“Nancy’s Hot Spot Nancy?” She looked around. “This is your place?”
“Been for ’bout forty years or so. Yep.” Nancy poked Jesse’s arm. “The usual, hon?”
“Steak and eggs. Sunny-side up. Hash browns. And a biscuit.”
Colleen oohed. “I’ll take the same. And coffee, obviously.”
“Sounds like a match made in heaven.” Nancy winked and headed off to put their orders in.
“This place is great.” Colleen added cream and sugar to her cup and sipped. “Coffee’s good, too.”
“I love this place. I started working here in high school. Nancy made sure I did my homework during the slow times and that I also picked up enough hours to help make ends meet when Laila was just born. I owe her a lot. She keeps trying to talk me into buying the restaurant, but I haven’t been able to get together the cash to make her an offer I wouldn’t be ashamed of.” Jesse pushed another sugar packet toward her, noticing she’d only used two.
Colleen paused before picking it up, but then tore the paper and dumped the sugar into her coffee. “You want to own a diner?”
“Yeah.” He looked around, then back at her. “Yeah, I think so. I’ve thought about a bar, but...yeah, I’d like to own a diner.”
She smiled. “I’d never have guessed it about you.”
“Now you know.”
They stared at each other across the table without saying anything. They didn’t have to. It was easy being with her.
They stayed at that diner for another two hours, covering all sorts of topics. They challenged each other to the tic-tac-toe games printed on the front of the place mats, each of them winning one game and Colleen taking the third. She’d polished off her entire plate of food, matching him bite for bite, which was impressive and a little intimidating, since she was only half his size.
“This is one of the best dates I have ever had,” he told her sincerely when they were back in the car heading for her place so he could drop her off. Night had fallen, and the air promised more snow, even if the weather report wasn’t calling for any.
Colleen twisted in her seat to look at him. “This was a date?”
“Well...yeah.” He pulled into the spot he’d cleared for her, glad the plows had come through to open up the rest of the street, and turned off the ignition. He twisted toward her. “You didn’t think so?”
She bit her lower lip for a second. “I wasn’t sure.”
“I could’ve made it fancier, huh?” He gave her a hangdog look that fortunately made her laugh, which was what he was going for.
“No. This was great. I had a great time. It’s also one of the best dates I’ve ever had,” she told him. She paused, then said, “It’s been a long time since I went on a date. I guess I wasn’t thinking of it that way. Because...well...”
Because they’d slept together already? Or because he was a bartender who couldn’t afford an apartment that allowed dogs? Or because he’d taken her to a diner instead of a fancy Brazilian steak place? Jesse didn’t want to ask.
“Come inside with me,” Colleen said suddenly, and then it no longer mattered what she’d meant.
* * *
Jesse was in her living room. Again. After a date, no less. Of course it had been a date. Why else would he have taken her to the shelter, then to eat? Colleen thought. It wasn’t like they were...friends.
She already knew how he tasted and smelled and the sound of his voice when he cried out during an orgasm. Now she knew so much more about him, and though she tried as hard as she could to think of something she didn’t like, there hadn’t been one thing today that had turned her off. If anything, the more time she spent with him, the better she liked him.
It was disgruntling.
“I don’t have anything stronger. Sorry.” She handed him a glass of brewed iced tea.
Jesse had made himself at home on her couch. He took the glass and set it on the table, on a coaster even. “That’s okay. Just because I work in a bar doesn’t mean I always have to have booze. This is good, actually.”
“I don’t drink,” Colleen said.
He smiled. “Yeah. I know. Except maybe once every long while, huh?”
Embarrassment stung the back of her neck and tips of her ears. “Kind of proved my point, didn’t it?”
“I don’t know,” Jesse said. “What’s the point?”
“You mean why I sit every Thursday night with a glass of whiskey and don’t drink it?” Colleen put her own glass on the table next to his and took a seat on the couch, though she kept a distance between them.
“The question had crossed my mind, yeah.” Jesse leaned forward to put his elbows on his knees, hands clasped. His gaze was earnest. Sincere. Open.
She didn’t want to tell him.
“It’s a way to prove something to myself, I guess. That I don’t need it.”
His brow furrowed. “Okay?”
“Thursday nights were the start of the weekend when I lived with my ex. He’d come home from work and have a beer or two while I got ready to go.” She paused, thinking. “Even if I was all ready to go. And then we’d go out to one of his favorite places. Usually Doc’s, but sometimes we’d have dinner, too. He was a fun drunk on Thursday nights. By Sunday afternoon, he was usually hurting and not as much fun.”
To give him credit, Jesse didn’t look appalled. He didn’t look too surprised, either. He probably saw a lot of that sort of drinking at The Fallen Angel. It wouldn’t even faze him, she thought, but that didn’t make the memories any easier.
“And you?” he asked carefully.
“I drank with him. To keep him company, at first. And then because he liked to tell me that I needed to loosen up and have a few so that I wasn’t so uptight. He was right about that, I guess. At least the more I drank, the easier it was to be with him.” She took a drink of iced tea, though she wasn’t thirsty. She gave Jesse a sideways look. “After a while, it got hard to tell if I drank to get along with him, or because I needed it as much as he did. That I needed booze to keep me from being uptight and controlling. Because having control and being controlling aren’t the same thing.”
“I know that.”
“So...I come in on Thursday nights and order that whiskey to prove to myself that I don’t need it. I don’t even really want it. And that night, that first night with you...”
“You drank it then.”
“I was upset,” she told him. “Steve had said some things that really hit home. You know how some people know exactly how to get to you? A word or two, right where it hurts?”
“Well, he did that to me, and I went to the Angel thinking I was going to let him win. I was going to drink and get loose and be everything he’d said I was. I don’t know why. I was worn down, I guess.” She frowned, hating herself for that. “I was stupid.”
“You are anything but stupid.” He reached for her hand, and she let him take it.
His fingers were strong and warm, and she couldn’t help thinking about how he’d made her feel when he touched her. With a shaky breath, Colleen squeezed his hand. “You barely know me.”
“I could get to know you.” He moved closer.
Then he was kissing her, which was what she’d wanted him to do all day long. Colleen opened her mouth for him, inviting his tongue. When he gave it to her, she put her hand on the back of his neck to hold him close. They kissed and kissed and kissed, until both were breathing hard and she had to pull away to get some air.
“You’re an amazing kisser, Colleen.”
Her first instinct was to scoff, but something stopped her. “I know.”
He didn’t laugh, which was good because she hadn’t been making a joke. With Jesse, she felt like an amazing kisser. She felt amazing, period.
He pushed some hair off her forehead, then let his hand rest on her shoulder. “I had a great time with you today.”
“I know,” she repeated softly, inching closer.
“You’re a lot of fun,” Jesse whispered as she fit herself against him. “You’re smart. And pretty. And so damned sexy.”
“I know, I know, I know,” Colleen continued and kissed him long and hard.
“I want to touch you.”
She smiled into his mouth. “I know.”
“I want to be inside you.”
Her breath hitched, cracking her answer, but even though the words were garbled, she was sure he understood them. “I...know.”
“Tell me to go, if you want me to, but...”
“Upstairs,” she told him. “Take me upstairs, Jesse, and fuck me until we both forget how to walk.”