If Ethan whispered in her ear one more time, I was going to throw his ass off the damn boat. The only reason he’d managed to stay on it this long was because Lana didn’t look all that happy about his attempt at flirting. She wasn’t laughing and smiling at him like she had been at the restaurant. Instead, she appeared a little uptight about something. Had she decided in the light of day that Ethan wasn’t all that interesting? God, I hoped so. I didn’t want her for the right reasons and that was making it very hard to be selfish and calculating. Lana was so freaking sweet and in no way did I want to hurt her. If Ethan made her happy, I wasn’t sure I could stand in the way just to get Ash all worked up.
“Should I warn E to step back?” Jake’s voice broke into my thoughts and I jerked my gaze off Lana and Ethan and focused on driving the boat.
“From what?” I asked in a bored voice.
Jake let out a snort, “From the murderous glare you’re shooting his way.”
Since when did Jake decide to start paying attention to the world around him? Shaking my head, I turned back and checked on Kayla and Toby. They’d been out there trying to out-do each other for over twenty minutes. If I didn’t make a sharp unexpected turn they’d both stay up for another twenty minutes. I needed a distraction.
“Hold on, I’m about to sling them,” I called out loudly. My eyes immediately found Lana and she had a tight grip on the side of the boat watching Kayla and Toby with a worried frown.
Jerking the wheel hard to the left sent Kayla and Toby flying through the air. I could hear her squeal and Toby yell out something very close to “Motherfu—” before they hit the water with a loud slap.
“OHMYGOD! Are they okay?” Lana asked, gaping back at me with a horrified expression. They were fine. I knew the correct way and place to sling someone off their wakeboard. We’d all been doing this since we were kids. Those two knew how to safely land after a good slinging.
I pointed out at the water where Kayla and Toby had landed. Lana spun back around in her seat to see they had both resurfaced and were fine. Kayla was holding her board and Toby was kissing her as she giggled loudly.
I saw Lana’s shoulders relax.
“That’s the way Saw likes to tell someone their time is up,” Ethan said, smiling at her with a ridiculous googly-eyed expression on his face. I would be doing the boy a favor taking her away from him. He was making an ass of himself.
Lana turned to look back at me with those big green eyes. I had to swallow hard because her eyes were so much like Ashton’s. “I don’t think I want a turn.”
Chuckling, I nudged Jake, “Take it.”
“I’m not going to drive you. I’m going to go out there with you,” I informed her.
Lana shifted her fearful gaze from me to Jake who was now at the wheel. She didn’t trust him any more than she did me.
“Um, I don’t know. Maybe… maybe Ethan could drive,” she suggested.
The frustrated frown he was wearing because I was the one about to go out with Lana was replaced with a pleased grin. She trusted him and he liked it—of course, he did.
“Whatever,” Jake said, grabbing his drink and plopping back down on the bench where he’d been sprawled out before I’d given him the wheel.
Ethan went over, took the wheel, and cut the engine so that Toby and Kayla could climb back on.
I reached over and grabbed the wakeboard Toby was handing me. “You could’ve just motioned for us to let go,” Toby grumbled as he reached for Kayla and helped her crawl up on the dive board.
“But that was so much more fun to watch,” I replied, taking Kayla’s life vest and handing it to Lana. “This one is the only one that’ll fit you. The rest are all too big.”
Lana took it and shivered as the cold water dripped off the jacket and onto her warm skin.
“Actually, that’s not true. He has a much better one tucked away under the seats but it’s Ash’s. He gave it to her for her birthday one year along with the better wakeboard, at least for girls. But he won’t let anyone else use it, even though—”
“Don’t, babe,” Toby interrupted as he gently pushed Kayla toward the back of the boat.
I couldn’t bring myself to look back at Lana. I’d really rather she didn’t know about Ash’s stuff. I did still have it tucked away under the bench seat. I wasn’t ready to let someone else use it. Seeing someone else put it on would be another door closed. This had been something Ash and I did together. She’d been so excited when I got her the new board. We’d even laid out on the water and floated on it that night while she rained kisses over my face and told me how wonderful I was. Back when she’d still been mine.
“Here’s your vest,” Jake called out as he threw my nice dry life vest at me. Catching it as it slammed into my chest, I quickly put it on and threw my board out into the water.
“Do I just jump in?” Lana asked from the dive board, staring down at me with a worried frown.
I swam over to her, “Sit down,” I said. She did so quickly, not taking her eyes off me. I reached for her waist and eased her into the water.
“Eeeep, it’s cold,” she squealed and her hands squeezed my arms tightly. Her full bottom lip quivered a little and I couldn’t stop myself. I’d made her wear a cold wet life vest because I was too much of a baby to pull out Ashton’s. The least I could do was warm her lips up.
She tensed the moment my mouth touched hers but only briefly. Both her hands slid slowly up my arms and into my hair as I held her waist pulling her closer to me. Pressing small innocent kisses on the corner of her mouth only wetted my appetite. I took a small taste of her bottom lip, her mouth opened in a small gasp, I plunged ahead. I needed to feel the soft pressure of her lips against mine. I tangled my tongue with hers as she pressed against me fisting her hands in my wet locks. Yeah, this was good. This was real good. Sliding my hand down her hip I pulled a leg up to wrap around my waist. A soft little moan escaped her as the vee between her legs was opened to me and pressed against the proof that I was enjoying this just a little too much. Ah, hell this was better than good.
“Could you stop mauling her in public?” Jake’s annoyed tone reminded me that we had a boat full of people behind us getting an up-close view. I pulled back and the small, frustrated groan from Lana had me thinking I didn’t really give a damn who saw us. But her eyes focused and she glanced over my shoulder to see our curious audience.
Her cheeks turned bright pink as she ducked her head. Curled tendrils of her hair had gotten loose from the sloppy bun she’d put her hair in once we’d gotten on the boat. She swallowed nervously, her throat muscles move behind the smooth pale skin of her neck.
“I wanna kiss that spot… right there,” I murmured as I ran the pad of my thumb over the place where her pulse beat heavily. It was as sexy as it was delicate.
“Oh,” she replied breathlessly.
“Are you gonna board or not?” Toby called from behind us. I scowled at the nosy bunch of people I’d brought with us.
His question didn’t warrant a reply. I reached for the board he’d thrown overboard and moved it beside Lana, “You remember how this works?”
Taking a deep breath Lana nodded and unwrapped her legs from my waist eliciting a groan from me. I’d been enjoying the forbidden warmth.
The flicker of surprise in her eyes made it very hard for me not to pull her back.
“Yeah, I think so,” she replied.
I turned to grab my board and lifted my eyes to see Ethan glaring at me. I gave him an apologetic shrug and headed out to make sure Lana was strapped onto the board correctly before Ethan started up the boat.
“He looks angry,” Lana said, studying Ethan as I swam over to check her position.
“Yeah, he does.”
“Do you think he’ll sling us?”
I shook my head. Ethan was pissed but he wasn’t stupid. Lana had trusted him. He wouldn’t screw that up. Also, beat the shit out of him if he scared her. I was pretty sure he knew that too.
“Is the fit tight? You feel locked in?”
She nodded and gave me a nervous smile.
What the heck had just happened? My body was still tingling and I couldn’t even think about the strange sensations going on in my um… private area. Dear God, I’d been about to hump Sawyer right there in the water in front of everyone.
“You ready?” Sawyer asked from beside me. I nodded and hoped I was. It had been awhile but I knew how it felt when I was pulling back on the rope just the right amount.
The motor on the boat roared to life and Ethan gunned it, which I’d also been expecting. When Kayla and Toby had gone first I had been sure to pay attention to everything they did. Kayla jumping the wake and flying up in the air wasn’t something I was going to give a go but I still watched carefully.
Once I was safely up and not about to pitch forward into the water I chanced a peek at Sawyer. He was grinning at me with approval and my chest tightened. He was so beautiful. He closed the space between us and I focused on not losing my balance reminding myself he knew what he was doing. I just needed to focus on not moving to the left or right.
“You got this,” Sawyer smiled at me and then he was gone. I watched as he swung out, jumping the wake and flying even higher in the air than Kayla had done before coming back down and grinning like a little boy as the group on the boat whooped and hollered. I didn’t even swing out to the right. I had no doubt I’d wipe out if I gave it a go. I took quick peeks over at Sawyer as he continued to do tricks on his side of the boat.
My arms were burning and holding on was becoming increasingly harder. Biting down on my bottom lip, I tried to deal with the pain.
“Your arms burning?” Sawyer called out to me as he pulled in beside me.
I nodded, hating to end his fun.
“Let go of the rope on three,” he replied and began counting.
We both let go of our ropes when he said three and sank down slowly into the water.
“Take your board off,” Sawyer called out as he stayed in position. He was going to go again without me. I didn’t feel as bad now for needing to stop.
The boat got back to us about the time I had the board unstrapped from my feet.
“Give Toby the board, then come here,” Sawyer instructed and I did as I was told. Maybe he needed help with something.
“You going again?” Jake yelled from his spot on the boat.
Sawyer nodded “Yep, her arms were burning.”
Toby got the board from my hands and once he had it safely on the boat, I swam over to Sawyer.
“Sit in my lap and straddle me. Wrap your legs around my waist and hold on real tight,” Sawyer said with a wicked grin in his eyes.
“What? Why?” I stuttered confused.
He let go of the rope with one hand and motioned me to come closer, “Come on, Lana. Wrap those long legs around my waist. I won’t let you get hurt. Trust me.”
A squeal and clapping distracted me and I turned to look back at the boat. Kayla was extremely pleased.
“Do it Lana! I’ve seen Sawyer do this with Ash many times.” Kayla called out.
I turned back to Sawyer, “But Ash can do tricks. I can’t.”
“All you have to do is hold on tight to me. Wrap your legs and arms around me and I got the rest of this.”
Excitement and fear battled each other as I gave in and slipped my legs around his waist and wrapped my arms around his neck.
“Hmmm… that’s nice,” Sawyer whispered into the curve of my neck. My heart began racing for a completely different reason when the boat fired up. I tightened my hold on him and buried my face in his shoulder. A warm sexy chuckle vibrated within his chest.
We were up and going before I could think about anything else. My legs clamped down on his waist so tightly the hard arousal I’d felt earlier was now firmly pressed against me.
“Ah, hell,” he whispered in my ear and I shifted wondering if I weighed too much or was holding on too tight.
“Please Lana, don’t move. I can’t concentrate when you do that.”
I sucked in a breath and pulled back to peer up at him.
The smoldering gleam in his eyes sent my body into a warm frenzy.
“Am I hurting you?” I managed to croak out.
Sawyer shook his head and pressed a kiss to my forehead, “Not the way you think. Hang on, I’m going to give you a little bit of a ride.”
I pressed back up against him and forced myself to keep my eyes open as he swung out to the left. The moment we went air-born I gasped in delight. It was so freeing. Then we were back on the water with such ease it wasn’t frightening at all.
“You like that?” he asked with his mouth close to my ear so he didn’t have to yell.
“That was fun,” I assured him.
“Good, cause we’re going higher this time,” he replied and we were flying out to the right and in the air so quickly my stomach fluttered wildly.
“Oh wow,” I breathed as he landed the board.
“It’s awesome, isn’t it?”
Then we were slowing down and sinking into the water.
“Thank you for trusting me,” he said, as we settled down in the water to wait on the boat to come back and get us.
“Thank you for the ride.”