Had she omitted to put the ‘do not disturb’ light on? When the third knock sounded, Debra stood up, irritated and ready to tear a strip off someone who didn’t take silence for an answer.
She forgot there was a security peephole and pulled the door open, saw who was on the other side and went to slam it.
“Naughty, naughty.” Braam put his shoe-clad foot between door and jamb and held it open. He bet she wished she’d remembered to put the chain on, or at least look through the peephole. Then he reckoned he could have hammered until he put a hole in the paneling or she called security and she wouldn’t have opened the door. He hadn’t needed his hand over the peephole or his rough “Housekeeping” statement.
“I wonder what
Scotburn would say if he heard that language coming out of his wife’s mouth and if he would condone your behavior of the last few days. Does he get a kick out of knowing what his wife’s up to?” Braam could hardly believe the vitriol spilling out of his mouth. Every nasty thought he’d had since seeing her name in the guest register bubbled up and demanded to be said.
“I wouldn’t think so.” Debra’s hazel eyes were almost black and as he glared at her, tears appeared and clouded them.
Ha, a woman’s wiles, what next?
“He’d be hard pressed to make any comment unless he can speak from the grave. And that would be difficult, he was cremated.” Deb sniffed and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. “Please take your foot out of the door. You’re hardly one to talk. What was it the waitress said? Oh, yes, I remember.
‘Have you bumped into Braam Van Meister yet? I hear he’s back in town. My god what a man and hot, hot, hot. Mind you, his reputation goes before him. Love ‘em and leave ‘em Van M we call him. A girl in every hotel’.
” She glared at him. Her voice rose to a shout. “Now move your bloody foot.”
“What? A what?” Braam blinked and shook his head. Where had she got that load of crap from? “I’ve had one partner—girlfriend, call it what you will—in three years. This bloody job is not good for cementing relationships,
Scotburn. And that one single one ground to a halt a while back, because she wanted commitment and I didn’t. Then I met you and fell hook, line and sinker and why the fuck am I having this conversation in a hotel corridor where anyone can hear?”
“Because I don’t want to invite a homicidal serial player into my room?” Debra stood back. “But you, I’ll give you the benefit of doubt. Come in, you’re making my doorway look untidy.”
Braam chuckled. She had a way with words that deflated his anger as fast as it had risen. The news about her husband had shocked him almost as much as his over the top jumping to conclusions had disgusted him. To say he’d been hurt because he was sure she was someone who was about to be important in his life was no excuse. He had a major apology to make and eating crow was never pleasant.
“Thank you,” he said sincerely. “I appreciate the chance to apologize and make amends.”
Debra closed the door behind him and sat back on the settee. She didn’t invite him to join her. “I hope I appreciate the apology. So?”
So, she wasn’t going to make it easy and why should she? He was in the wrong.
“I didn’t know your name, I looked at the guest register and saw you were registered as Mrs., and I was gutted. The first woman in ages—and I mean ages—I’ve felt more than a mild interest in was married. Yeah. If I had a punch bag handy, it’d be in bits. Luckily I stopped myself putting a hole in the wall with my fist. All I could think was why?”
Debra stood up and opened the fridge. “Wine?”
“Oh.” Braam brought his mind back to the present and thought about what she’d said.
She’s not married. Oh, hell, hope she’s not in mourning. Surely not?
“Yes, please, I’m now off for one day and two nights. Bliss.”
“Congratulations, now talk.”
So his lady wasn’t going to let him off lightly and why should she?
“May I sit down?” He kept his voice flat and unemotional. She stared at him steadily until he felt like a schoolboy called to the headmistress’s office. Did she give the cane? Seven strokes? He winced. He wasn’t into pain, and he well remembered the cane at school. He hadn’t been the best-behaved child.
Oh, starched and proper.
He could do the same. Braam smiled and inclined his head. “Thank you.” He hitched his suit trousers over his knees and crossed one leg over the other. An action he knew would stretch the expensive material over his groin. She looked down, toward his cock very briefly, colored and looked away. His cock had responded with predictable interest the minute he was near her. He was going to have to get that reaction under control, or it was going to cause a lot of embarrassment.
“Seriously, Deb, I know I overreacted, but damn it was a punch to the gut. I’ve never had such an immediate positive reaction to anyone.” He took a gamble. “Hell, I if ever I get within touching distance of you I get a hard-on that would break glass.”
That made her giggle and take his glass from him. “It’s as well the coffee table is veneer then, eh? Shall I get you a plastic tumbler for your wine?”
“No thanks.” He took his glass back. “I think I can control myself enough not to succumb.” He hoped. “Can we start again?”
She shook her head.
Braam wouldn’t have believed the sense of gloom and doom that filled him. His skin crawled and tiny black dots danced across his eyes. Surely she didn’t mean it was the end?
“But we can move forward. The details in the hotel register are from my passport. I haven’t needed to renew it since Don died. It’s seven years into a ten year passport. Don died five years ago. It’s never mattered before.”
Braam took a deep breath. “And it does now?”
“You tell me.”
He wanted to high five and punch the air. “Not now it doesn’t. Not now that I know.”
How could she describe the intense relief that flowed through her? The tension that she hadn’t even perceived earlier in her deflated like a popped balloon.
“How can two supposedly intelligent adults screw up so badly?” she asked. “Too much too fast?”
“I guess we didn’t exactly do much talking, did we?” Braam said. “And I’m so bloody knackered I’d sound like a monkey on speed if I tried to do much talking now. How about we go out tomorrow? Have you been to Lamma?” He stood up and stretched and the hem of his shirt rose and gave Debra a much too brief glimpse of tanned bare flesh.
Debra promptly discarded her half-made plans. She’d heard of Lamma Island and the fabulous track that took you over the hills from one tiny port to another, but had regretfully accepted she didn’t want to do the trek alone. And who knew? If he wore shorts and a T-shirt, she could have a good lusting session.
“I haven’t but I’d love to,” she said honestly.
“Then can you be ready for ten?”
“Good. Wear trainers and bring a swimsuit and a towel. We’ll walk from east to north. Most people do it the other way, but I prefer to end up where there are more ferries back.” He stood up. “I’d better go and let you get some sleep.”
Debra bit her lip and took a deep breath. “I’d much prefer you to stay.” She looked at his face and hoped her anxiety didn’t show. The last thing she wanted to do was come across as pushy and needy. However, something told her if she didn’t say what she meant and show how she felt, Braam would be a perfect—and annoying—gentleman and leave after a chaste kiss on her cheek.
Why? They were both well past the age of consent, he wanted her, she wanted him and she’d gotten several packets of condoms to try out. Maybe not the licorice ones, though.
“If I stay, you won’t get much sleep,” Braam said and rolled his eyes. “Shit, I must be more tired than I thought. I sound like some hackneyed, clichéd, old roué in one of those books my mum read years ago. It’s true, though. I want to make love to you so much, I have aches of a different kind to the ones forced on me yesterday.”
“Yesterday’s I can’t do much about except offer you arnica. Today’s? Well, who knows? Maybe between us we can sort those out.” Debra couldn’t believe her temerity since she met him. When had she learned to be so direct?
When I realized Braam was being noble. I don’t want noble, I want nobbled. Argh.
Debra mentally shook her head. Enough already.
“Ah, Deb, I want that, boy do I want that. You know I made a visit to a certain shop today, but I don’t have the purchases with me. So…” His voice trailed off and he raised one shoulder in a half shrug.
“So.” She got up and opened the holdall she’d carried around all day, took out the gaudy paper bag and handed it to Braam.
“I went into a different branch.”
The smile that spread over his face as he looked inside the bag was all she could have hoped for.
“Well, who am I to make you have a wasted journey?” He pulled the packets out and laughed. “Ah, thank you for your assumptions about my prowess and staying power. I’m not that good, but I’ll give it my best shot.”
Debra grinned and giggled. “Well, it had been so long since I bought anything like that, way back then there was only one sort. So I hedged my bets.” She sniggered.
must look like a pair of loons, grinning like idiots.
Braam sobered. He put the package on the table and tugged Debra toward him and held her in the circle of his arms.
“Are you sure? I know I want to make love to you, bury myself inside you and feel you shatter around me. I want to explore what we could have. However, it’s a big decision and once we start, I’ll want to carry on and discover every little thing. Are you okay with that?”
“Yes.” She’d never been more certain. “Mind you, I’ll warn you now, you do
touch my feet. I hate that and I have been known to kick out without any thought of what’s in the way.”
Braam rubbed his chin over the top of her head. “I’ll consider myself warned.”
They stood like that for several minutes. Then he moved closer until their bodies were touching. Even through both of their clothes, Debra felt his chest move up and down with each breath he took and his cock stir as her tummy rested over it. If she was a few inches taller and it was her pussy that teased it, that would be perfect.
What about stripping and stuff? Oh, God, this is a minefield. I’m on the wrong side of forty and my wobbly bits sure do wobble. Would he mind if I went into the bathroom to get undressed? But then what do I wear? My Dr Who jammies aren’t exactly seduction central and my posh undies are in the wash. Will the hotel robe do like last night? But then he fell sleep and was it…?
“I can see those cogs going round a hundred to the dozen. Whatever it is that’s worrying you, please tell me. Please?” He tipped her head up by putting his hand under her chin. Debra had no option but to look him in the eyes.
“My wobbly bits,” she said in a rush before she lost courage. “I’m mid-forties, had two kids, eaten a lot of chocolate and drunk far too much wine. My idea of exercise is to open another bottle. You’re younger, fitter and, well, I guess I’m scared you won’t like what you see.”
“Aw, honey.” Braam rubbed his hands over her shoulders and back. “It works both ways, you know. What if my running has made my calves too big, or my stomach is hanging over my belt? What if my cock is too big, small, thick, thin, or doesn’t fill you like you want it to? The world is full of a lot of ifs. So what if we say sod the lot of them? I’ll take my shirt off, you do yours.” He flicked open his shirt buttons one by one.
The sight of his chest as it was slowly uncovered made Debra clench her vagina muscles. It was that or squirm as her juices gathered and reminded her she was a woman. One who so appreciated the sight of a tanned and sculpted man’s chest.
“I, er.” She cleared her throat. “I’m not wearing a shirt. I’ve got a dress on.”
He leered and waved one hand in the air in a ‘so what’? gesture. “That’s a heads-up to me then. Off… Off… Off…” The chant made her smile.
In for a penny.
She grabbed the hem of her dress and pulled it over her head before she chickened out. The cool air conditioning made her shiver.
Braam dipped his head. “My pleasure.” He undid the button at the top of his trousers and slid the zip down as far as it would go.
Oh, no. You’re wrong. It’s
He glanced up and his eyes twinkled as he watched her circle her lips with her tongue. Debra’s mouth was dry. She picked up her wine and took a hefty swig, as he pushed his trousers over his hips.
Either he’d gone commando or snagged his boxers with his thumbs and done what she’d heard call a doubler.
His cock sprang out of its confines like a lure from a trap. She wasn’t a greyhound and it wasn’t a race. However, she could appreciate and drool over what she saw.
“Back to you.” Braam toed off his trousers and stood with not one whit of self-consciousness as far as Debra could tell.
Probably had plenty of practice.
It was a snide thought and not one she was proud of.
She bit her lip and put her hands behind her back to unclasp her bra. The hooks jammed and she fiddled with them, as she got hotter, for all the wrong reasons.
“Here, let me.” Braam twirled her around so her back was facing him. Typically, the hooks slid out of the fasteners as if they’d never been stuck and the cups of her bra fell away from her body. He slipped the straps down over her elbows and her bra hung awkwardly over her ribs. Or where she thought her ribs should be. It was a few years since she’d felt them easily.
“Arms out.” Braam gave one of her elbows a nudge, and Debra did as he’d asked. He took one, then the other strap over her hands and wrists and dropped her bra on top of his clothes.
“No, don’t turn round, not yet.” He drew her nearer, until his cock rubbed her ass through the lacy but not overly sexy undies she wore. How he managed to line it up, she didn’t know and didn’t much care, as long as he didn’t discontinue his slow, sensual movements.
He stroked her nipples at the same time as he nuzzled the nape of her neck. Nipped her skin and pinched those rapidly hardening nubs.