I nodded, my heart spluttering a little.
My panties were gone, whipped down my legs and I stepped out of them, kicking them to the side. The heat of him at my back, the sound of the zipper on his pants sliding down, sent a bolt of pure lust through my sex and my nails dug into the cabinet with anticipation
He splayed a hand on my belly, tugging me back and upwards so I was bent over, my arms flat on the unit, and bent at the elbow. He slid a finger inside me. “Babe…” he murmured smugly, “You’re soaked.”
I made a guttural ‘get on with it’ sound and he chuckled in response an instant before he slammed his c*ck inside me. I cried out at the deep invasion, my back bowing, but Braden gave me no time for reprieve. He slid out a couple of inches and thrust back inside, the cabinet solid beneath my weight as I relaxed into it. The apartment filled with the sound of our heavy breathing, our groans and grunts, the wet slap of flesh as he f**ked me hard into oblivion. His fingers dug into my h*ps as he pounded into me from behind, groaning as I pushed back into him in perfect, but rough, rhythm. My panting got louder, spurring him on and he reached up to pinch my n**ples as his h*ps continued to jerk against me. That was the trigger.
“Braden!” I screamed, an orgasm to beat all others exploding through me, my sex squeezing and pulsing around his c*ck as he continued to ride me to his own cli**x.
He came with a deep groan, his mouth on my shoulder, his hands gripping my h*ps even tighter to his as he rocked up into me, shuddering as he came.
My limbs were no longer working. The only thing holding me up was Braden.
After a while, he slipped out of me carefully, but still I winced. He hadn’t taken it easy on me. As if he sensed that, he held me tight. “Are you okay?”
No. I was freaking awesome. “That was amazing,” I breathed, falling against him.
His laugh was low, almost a purr. “You’re telling me.”
I found myself turned around to face him and gently lifted onto the cabinet, Braden hitching my legs up around his hips, my hands resting on his chest as he locked eyes with me. I felt something shift in his expression as he looked at me, something that made my breath catch. He caught the sound with his mouth as he dipped his head to kiss me slowly, languorously. Tenderly.
Sometimes words aren’t needed for you to know a change has come upon you. You can share a look with a friend that cements a deeper understanding between you, and thus a stronger bond. A touch with a sister or brother or parent that says ‘I’m here, no matter what’ and suddenly someone who was just a relative, a person you love, turns out also to be one of your best friends.
Something happened there with Braden when he looked at me, when we kissed.
It wasn’t just sex.
I needed to get out of there.
He pulled back, his lip quirked up at the corner as he brushed my hair back from my face. “I’m not done with you yet.” And then he kissed me again.
I stayed there, wrapped around him, as we made out. It was a real, honest-to-goodness make-out and, like teenagers, we were at for at least ten minutes. My body warred with my emotions. I didn’t want to give up what was between us. It was addictive, seductive. But I didn’t want anything more than what we were able to give each other physically. I should leave.
I couldn’t leave.
I understood now what people meant when they referred to someone as their drug.
That meant I’d just have to redefine the night. Sex.
Decision made, I pulled back and licked my swollen lips before I scooted off the cabinet and kicked off my heels. “I have an apology to make,” I reminded him, lowering myself to my knees.
Eyes lidded, Braden gazed down at me. “For what?” he murmured as his semi-hard c*ck rose into full-blown hard-on.
I grinned. “For calling you an a**hole.”
He laughed, thick laughter that choked off into a groan as I wrapped my mouth around him.
Even though Braden had pressed a remote that drew blinds across the windows that took up most of the wall in his bedroom, the morning sun still shone brightly into the room, waking me. I turned my head on his pillow and saw the clock said seven thirty. I knew Braden wasn’t beside me because usually his heat woke me, plus I could hear the shower running in his en-suite.
The rest of last night flashed back. The restaurant. Finding out about his wife. Aching for him. Coming here. The wild sex against the cabinet. Me going down on Braden, him returning the favor. A nak*d tour of his duplex that ended in his bedroom. Still feeling weird, I’d shoved him onto his back on the bed and kissed and licked my way up his amazing body, before taking him inside me. The plan was to ride him back a few hours to where we had been before.
Braden had other plans.
As I came, he’d flipped us over and drove into me over and over, his eyes gazing down into mine. I wanted to close them like last time. But I couldn’t.
I closed them now with a soft groan.
This was so getting complicated, and cowardly it might be, but I just couldn’t face Braden in the light of day after the intensity of the previous evening. I slipped out of the huge oriental style bed and scurried quietly from the room, jogging downstairs to my clothes. I hurried into my underwear and dress, stuck my feet into the shoes, even though they hurt, and grabbed my clutch. I let myself out, my heart thumping hard against my chest as I guiltily made my way out into the fresh air. Not really in the mood to do the walk of shame, I hailed a cab at the top of the Quartermile and didn’t relax until we were pulling into Dublin Street.
I was just putting my key in the door when I got the text.
Whatever the f**k that was, don’t do it again. We’ll talk.
I exhaled heavily, exhausted at the prospect.
Judy Garland was singing at me, telling me the sun was shining and to come on get happy. There was nothing wrong with a little Judy Garland, but right then I wanted Gene Kelly to come back on the screen and dance for me. I’d showered the sweat and sex from last night off, changed into jeans and a hoodie and curled up on the couch to watch old movies. If I’d tried to sit down at my laptop and write I would only have gotten lost in my very confused and messed up thoughts. So I was numbing my mind with musicals and my big Old Hollywood crush, Gene Kelly.
I had just made myself a sandwich when I heard the front door open. My heart stopped for a second until I heard the light footsteps. Ellie. I breathed a sigh of relief.
“Hey.” Ellie smiled down at me as she strolled into the room. “Back from the opticians.”
I put Judy on mute. “How’d it go?”
“Apparently, I need glasses for reading and watching the TV.” She wrinkled her nose. “I don’t really suit glasses.”
I doubted that. Ellie could wear a trash bag and still look cute. “When do you pick them up?”
“Next week.” She grinned suddenly. “So? How was dinner?”
“Your brother tricked me. It was just us two.”
Ellie snorted. “Typical Braden. Did you have fun though?”
“Other than meeting an obviously ex-girlfriend of Braden’s, who seemed perfectly pleasant if a little clueless as she inadvertently told me about Braden’s ex-wife, then yeah.” I shrugged nonchalantly. “We had fun.”
Ellie gasped, drawing my gaze back to her. Anxiety clouded her pale eyes as she stood up and walked over cautiously to sit next to me. “I would have told you, Jocelyn, but Braden wanted to tell you himself. And it’s personal for him. I wish I could explain but it really is his business.”
I waved her off. “It’s okay. He told me about Analise. How she cheated on him.”
Ellie’s eyebrows drew together. “He told you?”
Was he not supposed to? “Yeah.”
She sat there for a moment seeming frozen and then something in her eyes softened as she smiled at me. “He told you.”
Oh God, she was getting romantic ideas in her head again. “Stop.”
“What?” Her eyes grew huge with pretend innocence.
I made a face. “You know what.”
Before Ellie could respond our front door opened and slammed shut. Heavy footsteps tread down the hall towards us.
“Oh crap,” I muttered, ignoring Ellie’s questioning eyes.
The door to the sitting room swung open and there he was in his suit, leaning against the doorjamb, expression blank.
“Hey, Braden,” Ellie greeted weakly, sensing the sudden danger in the air.
“Afternoon, Els.” He nodded at her and then pinned me to the couch with his lethal blue gaze. “Bedroom. Now.” He turned on his heel and left me to follow.
I gaped open-mouthed.
“What did you do?” Ellie whispered worriedly.
I shot her a look. “I snuck out of his place this morning.”
Her eyes widened. “Why?”
Already feeling inexplicably guilty, my guilt transformed quickly into anger. “Because that’s what f**k buddies do,” I snapped, jumping off the couch. “And he needs to stop ordering me around.” I stomped—yes, stomped—into my bedroom and slammed the door shut behind me, chest heaving with indignation. “You need stop ordering me around.” I pointed my finger at him.
The blank expression he’d been wearing as he stood at the bottom of my bed was quickly replaced by displeasure. That was putting it nicely. He was pissed. “You need to stop acting like a f**king headcase.”
I drew in a sharp breath. “What the hell did I do?”
He looked incredulous, throwing his hands up in disbelief. “You snuck out of my flat like I was some drunken lay you were ashamed of.”
He couldn’t have been more wrong. I crossed my arms over my chest, a protective measure, as I shook my head and refused to meet his gaze.
“You want to disabuse me of that notion and tell me exactly why I got out of the shower this morning to find you’d buggered off?”
“I-I had stuff to do.”
Braden grew scarily quiet. “You had stuff to do?”
“You know until this moment, you’ve never really acted your age. I thought you were more mature than this, Jocelyn. I guess I was wrong.”
“Oh don’t pull that crap,” I replied irritably. “I’m not the one getting my knickers in a twist because my f**k buddy didn’t stick around for a cuddle in the morning.”
At the flash of something in his eyes, I felt my stomach drop. The look was gone as fast as it appeared and his features hardened against me. “Fine. It’s done. Forget about it. I need you to get Saturday, two weeks from now, off. I’ve got DJ Intrepid, a famous DJ from London, playing at Fire for Freshers week,” his rumbling voice sounded detached, empty, and all that distance was directed at me. I didn’t like it. “I want you there.”
I nodded numbly. “Okay.”
“Okay then. I’ll text you later.” He strode toward me and I waited tensely for his next move. He didn’t even look at me. Just reached for the door and brushed past me.
He didn’t kiss me goodbye.
I felt sick. Now who was making things complicated?