“A little what?”
“Uch.” If he was going to be obtuse about it, I was giving up. “I don’t know.”
Braden put his mug down and stood up, coming towards me slowly. My eyes followed him half-warily, half-lustily, my gaze trailing up his six-pack to his throat. I really wanted to kiss his throat. He sat down, close, his arm reaching along the back of the couch so I was caged in. “I’ve never done this before. I’ll bet that you haven’t either. So, let’s play it by ear. No rules. No preconceived ideas of how this should be. Let’s just do what feels natural.”
“You’re wrong,” I muttered. “I have done this before.”
To my surprise, I watched Braden’s expression change instantly from soft to hard. The look he gave me was unfathomable as the muscle in his jaw ticked. I felt like he was trying to bore inside me, but I couldn’t look away despite how uncomfortable it felt. “Done this before?” he asked softly.
I shrugged. “There was nothing in the deal about sharing our sexual histories. Suffice to say I know what I’m talking about. And there is no spooning or coffee in the morning in these kinds of deals.”
“Done this before?” he repeated. “I thought you said you hadn’t had sex in four years. That would make you eighteen the last time you had sex.”
Oh, I saw where he was going with that. I narrowed my eyes. “So?”
“When I was eighteen, most of the girls I knew thought they were in love with whoever they were shagging.”
Braden shifted closer, trying to intimidate me. “So when have you done this before?”
“That’s none of your business.”
“Fucking hell, Jocelyn, can you not answer one personal question?”
Anger blazed through me. I knew it. I freaking knew it. “That’s it, we’re done. This was a complete mistake.” I moved to get up but found myself tackled back onto the couch, flat on my back with Braden lying over me. I stared up at him wide-eyed. “You are such a caveman!”
An all-too-familiar pissed off Braden breathed dragon fire on me, his face inches from mine. “We’re not done. We’ve barely even started.”
I shimmied under him but that only concluded in him pressing his h*ps deeper into mine, and that only led to him hardening against me, and that only led to my skin flushing as my panties grew damp. Shit! “Braden, this isn’t going to work. I’m not your girlfriend. You said no touchy feely emotional crap.”
He bowed his head, his shoulders shaking. He gazed down at me from under his long lashes, laughing incredulously. “You are not like other women.”
“No,” I answered honestly. “I’m not.” He shifted again, getting comfortable on top of me and I felt the brush of his hard c*ck teasing me between my legs, my thighs opening involuntarily. I bit my lip to stifle a gasp and Braden’s eyes flashed hungrily. “Stop it,” I breathed.
“Stop what?” he circled his h*ps again, rubbing against me and causing another spike of heat between my legs.
“Braden.” I pressed my hands against his chest. “Seriously.”
“We’re friends,” he whispered against my mouth. “Friends can ask questions. Now who did you let f**k you?”
Fine. If that’s what he wanted… “Quite a few guys. I don’t remember most of their names.”
He froze, pulling back to study me. I saw the tick in his jaw again. “What the hell does that mean?”
Whoa! Was he angry? I glared at him, my defenses up. “I don’t do relationships, Braden. I told you that. But I like sex and I used to like to party. Alcohol doesn’t make for a loving relationship.”
He was silent a moment as he processed this. In fact he was silent so long I knew what he was thinking. And I felt ugly and worthless. I pushed against his chest again. “You can get off me now.”
But he wouldn’t budge. He shook his head, his expression clearing as his eyes returned to mine. “Four years,” he replied quietly. “You hadn’t had sex for four years. Since you came here I’ll bet. What changed?”
“That’s another question.”
Braden’s expression darkened to something so scary I was finally, truly intimidated. I tensed underneath him, holding my breath as his pale eyes fired ice chips at me. “Did someone hurt you, Jocelyn?”
What? Oh my God… I relaxed as I realized what conclusion he’d drawn. “No.” I reached up and soothed a hand across his cheek, hoping it would erase that look in his eyes. “Braden, no. I don’t want to talk about it, okay,” I explained gently. “But no one hurt me. I was wild. And then I stopped being wild. However, I wasn’t lying last night. I’ve been checked and I’m clean. And anyway, I’m sure you’ve been with a lot more women than I’ve been with guys, and I’m not judging you.”
“I’m not judging you, Jocelyn.”
“Oh you were so judging me.”
He sat up, his arm banding around my waist to drag me up with him, and then his other arm came around my waist so I was smooshed up against his hot, nak*d chest. My palms fluttered uneasily onto his pecs, my eyes wide as he stared down at me with this intense look in his eyes. “I don’t like to share,” he murmured.
He’d said that before. Something twisted in my chest, a mixture of exaltation and unease. “Braden, I’m not yours.”
His arms tightened. “For the next three months you are. I mean it, Jocelyn. No one else touches you.”
My body completely ignored my mind as it screamed ‘run, run, run!’, and I felt my br**sts swell, and my n**ples harden at that growl of warning. “You’re being an ass,” I told him hoarsely, my eyes betraying me as they dipped to his mouth.
“I wasn’t judging you,” he continued as though I hadn’t said anything, skimming soft, teasing kisses along my jaw to my ear, where his voice rumbled sexily, “In public, you’re Joss Butler. Cool, self-possessed. In bed, you’re Jocelyn Butler—you’re hot, babe. Uncontrolled. Needy. Sweet,” he breathed. “I like that I know that. I don’t like the fact that other men do too.”
Maybe I was just so turned on I forgot who we were and what this was supposed to be, but I found myself in an unusual moment of honesty. I leaned down and kissed his throat, loving the way he arched his neck to let me. My hand slid up his chest, across his shoulder and curled around his neck. I nipped and licked and kissed my way back up to his mouth, and then I pulled back, so ready to have him inside me it wasn’t funny. “They were boys, not men. And just so you know… they never got what you got last night from me. They never got it because they never gave me what you gave me. Not even close.” I brushed my lips across his, and glanced up to meet his eyes, smirking at him. “There. That’s a little more air you can blow into your ego.” My grip tightened around his neck. “But it is the truth.”
I waited for him to say something, anything. Instead the color in his eyes grew dark with desire and I was crushed to him. His lips demanded I open my mouth and I did, allowing the deep, possessive kiss, trying to steal breath from him since he held me so tightly that mine was gone. In less than a minute I was under him. In less than another minute I was nak*d, and in less than another he was moving inside me and proving once again that sometimes I really could be needy and sweet.
I strolled into the bedroom, dressed in the tank and shorts again, and I watched as Braden buttoned up his shirt. He grinned at me over his shoulder. “Making sure I’m really going?”
I shrugged, feeling a lot more relaxed now that he’d given me two spectacular orgasms. “We’ll play this by ear.”
His grin deepened. “This is going to be easy if all it takes is sex to change your mind.”
I gave him an exasperated look. “Braden. I’m serious. We’ll play this by ear, and while we’re sleeping with each other, we agree not to be sleeping with other people. But we also agree, no pressing each other for answers to questions we don’t want to answer.”
After a while of just gazing at me, Braden finally nodded. “Agreed.”
“I better get back to my flat, shower, change.” He pressed a quick kiss to my lips, his hand coming to rest on my waist. “I’ll see you tonight.”
I frowned. “No. I’m working tonight.”
“Yeah. Adam, Ellie and I will stop by.”
“No, you won’t.” I shook my head. Not after last time. And truthfully I needed some space from him.
Braden’s brow furrowed. “Why not?”
“I’ll be working. No distractions.”
“You working with Craig?”
I grimaced. “Yes.”
His grip on my waist tightened. “He kisses you and-”
“You’ll knock his teeth out.” I nodded, rolling my eyes. “Yeah, yeah, I already got the macho Scotsman memo. Nothing will happen. I promise. But you’re not coming tonight.”
“Fine.” He shrugged in overly casual agreement. “Then I’ll be here when you get back.”
Okay, I almost nodded my agreement before my brain went, wait! No! No, no, no! “No!” I replied a little more loudly than I meant to.
Braden did not look amused. “Not even twenty four hours in and this arrangement is already exhausting the f**k out of me.”
“Well you’ve given me four orgasms. That oughta take it out of a guy.” I grinned saucily.
My deflection didn’t work. “I’ll be here, tonight.”
“Braden, seriously don’t. This is all really new. I need some space.”
“Babe.” He leaned down and pressed a tender kiss to my forehead and I relaxed. See, he could be agreeable and willing to compromise sometimes. “We’ve only got three months. There’s no time for space.”
“I’ll be tired after my shift.”
“Not in the morning, you won’t be.”
“Then come over in the morning.”
With a weary sigh, Braden nodded. “Fine.” He pulled me to him, lifting me off my feet so he could give me a searing, wet kiss he knew I wouldn’t forget in a hurry. And once he’d settled me back on my dazed feet, he left the apartment without even a goodbye.
“Do you think I’m nuts?” I made a face, bracing myself for Dr. Pritchard’s answer.
“Because you’ve agreed to make yourself sexually available to Braden?”
“Joss, you’re a grown woman. These decisions are yours to make. Do you think you’re nuts?” She smiled softly as she asked.
I laughed humorlessly, as I thought about Braden and everything he made me feel. “I think it’s the best way to deal with the attraction between us. This way it doesn’t become a huge mess that concludes with me having to move out. Neither of us wants a relationship. We’re both consenting adults. We both know the rules. I would never agree to anything more, so it works out well. We use each other until we get bored. No hard feelings. No mess. No moving.”