I pulled the truck up to the lake and grabbed my towel and iPod. I intended to lay out for a couple hours and even take a swim. I didn’t want to go back into town today. There was nothing left for me to buy. Every movie they were playing at the theater I’d watched within the last forty-eight hours.
I straightened my towel out on the thickest patch of grass. I checked to make sure there were no snakes hiding out nearby. Growing up in the country I’d learned a long time ago that snakes could be anywhere. Once I was sure I was nice and safe, I stuck my earbuds in and put my “after Josh” playlist on. I didn’t actually title it my “after Josh” playlist. It was just how I thought of it. All the playlists I’d had before reminded me of him. So, I’d found songs by artists we’d never listened to together and made myself a compilation of songs that didn’t remind me of him at all. It was the only way I’d been able to start listening to music again.
I knew that Daddy and Jeremy both hoped I’d pick up my guitar again but I knew that would never happen. The day I’d finally brought it back out of the closet and stood it in the corner where I’d used to keep it Jeremy had been all smiles. Until, he realized I wasn’t actually going to play it. Every song I’d ever written had something to do with Josh. Even the ones that weren’t love songs, Josh was in there somewhere. He was always my inspiration. I couldn’t play it now. Not with him gone, it just never felt right.
At least I’d let music back into my life. That was a step I never thought I’d manage. Growing up with music as my second love, behind Josh of course, I’d always thought it would be my future. Somehow, I’d do something with my songs and ability. I knew now that I’d lost that love too. It was only a painful reminder now.
Rough fabric brushed my leg and I sat straight up ready to scream when my eyes locked on a very amused Cage. Reaching up I jerked my ear buds out and scowled at him. “You scared me! “
Cage tried to hold in his laughter but his eyes were twinkling with it. “Yeah, sorry about that. I tried talking to you but when you didn’t respond I figured you were either sleeping or that music was turned up real damn loud.”
“What are you doing here?” I snapped. I was irritated. Mostly at myself but he didn’t know that.
“Well, I was riding back here to take a swim because it’s hot and I come upon you laid out here in a tiny hot pink bikini. I’m a man, sugar and I couldn’t resist the view.”
I stared down at myself then back at him. He liked what he saw? I could not smile. I could not smile. I’d look like an idiot.
“Why don’t you go for a swim with me? I’ll even leave my boxers on.”
Swim with Cage. Um. This was probably a bad idea.
“I don’t know…”
Cage stood up and began lifting his shirt off over his head and all thought was lost. Was that a barbell in his nipple?
“What is that?” I asked, unable to take my eyes off the small silver bar that was definitely attached to his hard tanned pec.
“It’s a piercing, sweet Eva. Now get your sexy ass up and go swim with me. You gotta be hot.”
I shook my head still trying to figure out when he’d gotten a nipple piercing. “I’ve never seen it before,” I finally stated.
Cage let out a small sexy laugh, “Yeah, I know. I don’t figure your daddy would be real keen on me having a nipple piercing. I keep it out for the most part while I’m here. But I put it in last night and I just forgot to take it out this morning.”
Here I always thought a guy getting his nipple pierced was gross. This was so not gross.
Cage began unlacing his work boots and I watched as he slipped them off. When his hands went to his jeans I knew I should stand up and act like this wasn’t a striptease but tearing my eyes away from watching Cage York strip was just about impossible.
“You gonna get up and join me or am I gonna have to pick you up and throw you in?”
When Cage’s jeans slid down his h*ps and the dark blue of his boxers started to show I jumped up and swung my gaze away from Cage to look out at the water.
Cage found this funny. His low chuckle made me feel flush all over. I headed toward the water without looking back at his amused expression. Besides, I was pretty sure making eye contact with him would be difficult with that damn nipple piercing taunting me. One more reason to gawk at Cage’s chest.
“You gonna tell me why you’ve been avoiding me the past couple of days?”
I dipped my toes into the water testing the temperature. With the shade from the trees, our part of the lake remained cooler than other parts.
I tried to focus on the water and ignore his question. How was I supposed to answer that anyway? I didn’t want to tell him the truth: that I was embarrassed because I smelled horrible, slept in his bed and probably snored all night.
Shrugging, I stepped into the water and kept going until it reached my waist. Then I turned back to look at Cage. He was standing on the bank with his eyes focused on me. The dark blue boxers hung on his narrow h*ps and the dark hair that began just below his navel had me swallowing hard.
“You wouldn’t consider walking back out of the water and letting me stand here and watch, would ya?”
“What?” I asked and he just smiled and shook his head.
He held my gaze as he walked down into the cool water. I wanted to stare at his nipple again but I wouldn’t let myself. It would just give him one more thing to tease me about.
“Ah, sweet relief. My invisible fairy has left me high and dry the past two days. I’ve had to fend for myself with my water and all I’ve had to cool off with was the lake. Wonder what it was I did to piss her off?”
The laugh that bubbled up inside me surprised me. I hadn’t laughed in so long, until Cage. He always knew how to make me laugh. How to make me forget.
“The invisible fairy was embarrassed by her behavior,” I muttered and sank deeper into the water.
“Why? What did she do?” he asked, following me out deeper into the water.
“She drank a little too much,” I admitted.
Cage’s eyes went wide in surprise, “Really? Fairies drink? I’ll be damned. I had no idea. Would you mind letting her know I don’t hold it against her? I happen to have made some bad choices where tequila was involved.”
His acceptance of my stupidity made something in me melt. Had I ever known anyone like him before? He made mistakes and fessed up to them. He didn’t make excuses for the things he did wrong. He just dealt with it and went on. I wanted to be that strong. I wanted that kind of determination to just live.
“I wish I were more like you,” I said before I could think about it.
Cage’s eyes really did go wide with shock this time. “What?” he asked.
Shrugging, I dipped my head back to wet my hair and slick it back out of my face. “You heard me. You accept life and your mistakes and you go on. I don’t do that well.”
“Don’t say that Eva. You don’t want to be anything like me. I’ve done some f**ked-up stuff. Made some really bad decisions. If I hadn’t had Low there to keep me grounded, who knows? I’d probably be in jail by now.”
Low? As in Willow the redhead? So, she was his girlfriend? If Low had been the one to keep him from completely screwing up his life then why the heck was he flirting with Becca Lynn and me? The old me would have stormed off in a huff. I didn’t want to do that now. Josh would have run after me and tried to fix whatever was wrong. Cage wouldn’t do that. He would expect me to tell him what was wrong with me. He wouldn’t run after me. Cage York didn’t run after women.
“Does Low know that you flirt with every attractive female you come in contact with?” I asked, trying hard not to sound jealous. Because I was not jealous. I was not.
“Hell yeah, she knows.” He replied. The confused look in his pretty pale blue eyes changed to understanding. “Oh wait, you think Low and I have a thing?” He let out a loud amused laugh, “Not even close. Low is engaged and it ain’t to me.”
What was an engaged woman doing changing his sheets and bringing him towels? “She’s awfully helpful when you need her. Does her fiancé know this?”
Cage smirked, “Yeah, he knows. When he got Low he got her best friend too. Low and I grew up together. We both had shitty families in an even shittier part of town. We watched out for each other. We were each other’s family. She’s the only family I got.”
My heart ached a little at the picture he’d just painted with so few words. Two kids who only had each other. No parents or siblings to love them. I remembered Low’s sweet smile and confused expression when I’d been so rude about the sheets. She probably thought I was a complete bitch.
“Oh,” I replied. “I didn’t realize that. I thought she was one of your many beck-and-call girls.”
Cage roared with laughter, “Please don’t ever let Low hear you say that. She’d go all redhead spitting mad.” He took a step toward me and his cocky smirk returned. “You think I got beck-and-all girls?” he asked
I raised one eyebrow and returned his stupid smirk, “I know you have beck-and-call girls. Guys like you have them lined up and waiting.”
Cage took another step toward me, “You think you have me all figured out, don’t ya?”
I nodded and clenched my fist to keep from reaching out and touching his nipple barbell now that it was so close to me. So very tempting.
“There’s a lot you don’t know.”
“Like what?’ I asked, needing to get my mind off his nipple and abs so very close to my hands.
“Like the fact I think you’ve got the prettiest damn eyes I’ve ever seen. I think about them way too often. Or that I told Low about you. I never tell Low about girls. They’ve never been important enough. And that Sunday night was the best f**king night of my life even if your drunk ass probably can’t remember it.”
“Oh,” was the only response I had. My heart was beating so hard in my chest I wondered if he could hear it.
“Speaking of engaged females,” Cage picked up my left hand where my ring finger was now bare. I’d taken it off when I was drunk and tucked it away in my purse. Wearing Josh’s ring while I drank tequila shots and danced in a bar just felt wrong. I hadn’t put it back on.
“There’s a lot you don’t know about me too,” I murmured.
Most guys would press for more. But not Cage. He just accepted what I wanted to tell him and didn’t ask for what I wasn’t ready to give.
Cage’s chest was so close to me now it brushed up against my breast. I gave in. I couldn’t help it. He’d just said I had the prettiest eyes he’d ever seen and that sleeping with me was the best night of his life. Reaching up I brushed my thumb over the small silver bar. Cage’s pec muscle jumped. I took that as encouragement. I ran my fingertip around it slowly. His chest began rising faster with each quick intake of breath. Knowing that I was affecting Cage gave me an odd sense of power. His touch was the one that always sent me into a tizzy. It was nice to reverse the roles.
“You really like that nipple piercing, don’t you?” he said in something close to a growl.
“Mmmhmmm, I’ve never seen one before. I like it a lot.”
“I’m not complaining. If it fascinates you that much, I’ll go get the other one done too.” His breathing was jagged.
The naughty girl inside me, that I honestly didn’t know existed, bent my head down and looked up at him through my lashes as I flicked it with my tongue.
“Ah, shit,” he whispered but it almost sounded like a moan.
Encouraged by his response I flattened my tongue and ran it up and over his hard nipple.
Nothing. Absolutely nothing I’d ever experienced was as hot as Eva licking my nipple like it was a damn lollipop. She had my dick so hard there was no way I was going to be able to get rid of this thing without some relief. Cold water wasn’t going to be enough this time. I was going to need some serious private time real f**king soon.
“Can I watch you get the other one?” she asked, staring up at me with those eyes of hers through heavily lidded lashes. Damn. What had she just said? I couldn’t keep my train of thought straight.
“Huh?” I managed to ask.
She began placing small kisses around my pec. “Can I go with you when you get the other one done?” she asked with her lips against my chest.
“Baby, I’ll let you sit in my damn lap if you want to,” I replied.
She giggled and her sexy little tongue went right back to flicking the barbell. I deserved a damn award for not having her perky titties out of that bikini top and giving her n**ples the same attention she was giving mine.
“I’d like that,” she whispered.
“I’m real glad you like it, but I don’t think I can take much more.”
She stopped and raised her eyes to meet mine, “Does it hurt?”
Fuck, she was innocent. “No, sweetheart it feels amazing. But I want your pretty little n**ples in my mouth real damn bad right about now.”
She froze. I waited for her to back away and run for the shore, back to safety.
If she left me here I was jacking off right here in this damn water. I wouldn’t be able to get far with the insane throbbing between my legs.
“Okay,” she said, so softly I wondered if I’d heard her right. She reached back and undid the strings holding her top up as I watched afraid I was going to wake up any minute alone in my bed and horny as hell.
She pulled the small piece of fabric covering her tits away and laid it over my shoulder. They were perfect: round and soft, just a little more than a handful. I covered each one and held their weight in my hands. This might never happen again and if this was all I was going to get of Eva Brooks then I was going to savor every damn minute.
Eva gasped as my hands squeezed gently then softly pinched the round cherry n**ples on each tip. “I’m gonna put them in my mouth now, Eva,” I warned as I lowered my head to the right breast and pulled her nipple into my mouth. Fuck, it was like candy. Her fingers ran through my hair and grasped handfuls holding onto my head firmly as I sucked and kneaded each breast.
“Ahhh,” she moaned, pressing closer. The handfuls of my hair she had tightly in her fist were being pulled just enough to make it feel good. I trailed kisses across her breastbone and licked hungrily at the dip between her br**sts. I could do this all damn day and not get enough.
Eva’s leg lifted up to wrap around my waist and she pressed up against my incredibly eager cock. Ah, hell no, she couldn’t do that.
“Eva, what’re you doing sweetheart?” I asked as I closed my eyes tightly, trying hard to press my needy dick tighter against the warm V of her legs.
“I wanna feel more,” she moaned as she lifted her other leg and locked her legs behind my back. Her heat pressed firmly against me now and my knees buckled at the intensity.
“Ohfuck,” I muttered as Eva began rocking her h*ps gently. The moment she found the right fit she cried out and rocked harder.
Motherf**kinghell. Her tits began bouncing as she rode me. I’d heard of dry humping but I’d never experienced it. Hell, it felt good. With each slide up and down of her crotch against my dick I trembled. Her head was thrown back and she was completely lost. I wanted those sweet tits in my mouth again but watching her was amazing. Her swollen mouth was slightly open and the expression on her face was one of pure ecstasy.
“Ohgodohgodohgod,” she began to chant as she lifted her head and heavy lidded eyes met mine. I needed that mouth. Leaning forward I covered her lips with mine thrusting my tongue between their plump softness and began making love to her mouth the way I wanted to make love to her body.
As she rocked against my dick, I slipped my hands under her bottom and pulled her in tighter against me. The moment I felt her tense under my hands I knew she was close. Pulling back just enough to see her eyes as she shattered, I pressed one more kiss to her mouth.
And she came apart in my hands.
I slid down Cage’s body but he kept his hands firmly on my waist. He thought I was going to try and escape. Part of me wanted to go run and hide but the biggest part wanted to stay right here and enjoy the tremors still running through my body.
Cage bent his head and rested his forehead against mine. We didn’t say anything. It wasn’t an awkward silence; it was nice. No words were really needed.
He reached for the bikini top he had tied around his arm at some point and began putting it back on me.
“I need to cover you back up,” he whispered. I started to help him but he pushed my hands away, “No. I want to do this.”
Reminding myself that Cage was just good with females because he had been with a lot of them was hard. I wanted to believe he was just this sweet and romantic with me. For now, I could pretend.
Once he had it tied behind my back he adjusted the cups over my br**sts and brushed his thumbs over the tops of them before dropping his hands to his side.
“I gotta get back to work before your daddy comes looking for me.” I could hear the regret in Cage’s voice and it made me smile. He didn’t want to leave me.
“Okay, that’s probably a good idea,” I agreed and started toward the shore.
When Cage didn’t move I turned back around to see him standing there watching me. “You coming?”
A wicked grin touched his lips, “Not yet.”
Shaking my head in confusion, I smiled and headed back toward the shore. I no longer needed to hide out so I picked up my towel and headed for my truck. When I climbed inside I saw Cage still standing out in the water watching me. What was he doing? A sexy smirk touched his lips and he saluted me as I backed up and drove away.
I pulled the frozen towel out of the freezer and picked up the fresh thermos of lemonade I’d prepared for Cage. He had returned an hour ago and I’d waited until he was busy to take his things out to him. It wasn’t that I wanted to avoid him as much as it was I liked the game it had turned into. He wanted to catch me leaving him the towel and fresh drink. I preferred to remain the invisible fairy. Smiling I headed for the door when it swung open and Daddy walked inside.
“You bringing that to me?” he asked, staring down at the ice towel like the ones he kept in the freezer for himself. I never took things out to Daddy. He always came inside when he was hot and thirsty. Cage didn’t do that. He just stayed outside in the heat.
“Um…” I wasn’t sure how to answer this. I didn’t want to lie to him because I was pretty sure he’d see right through me and it would make a bigger deal out of this than it was.
Daddy stood there frowning at me and I knew I needed to answer him before he came up with the worst possible scenario.
“Cage won’t come inside when he gets thirsty or hot. I haven’t been real welcoming. So, when he is busy I go leave him a towel and a drink so I don’t have to talk to him.”
That was the truth or at least it was up until about an hour ago in the lake.
Daddy let out a sigh and nodded his head. “You’re a good girl, Eva. That boy probably ain’t had a whole lot, if any, extra care taken with him. He’s a hard worker though. That’s for sure. Guess I should’ve been worrying about him over-heating and dehydrating.” He stepped around me and patted me on the back.
He wasn’t going to get mad about this. Relaxing, I let out a quiet sigh of relief and took a step toward the door.
“Don’t mean he’s good enough for you. Keeping your distance is what you need to do. Just ‘cause he’s a good worker don’t mean he ain’t dangerous to a pretty young girl. Especially an innocent.”
I couldn’t agree with him. I knew better. Cage wasn’t dangerous at all. He was nothing like Daddy assumed. Nodding my head was the best I could do. I stepped outside into the heat and headed down to the barn.
Cage rounded the truck shirtless and carrying a shovel. I almost tripped over myself. His nipple was bare again. As much as I liked looking at the piercing I was thankful. He was right about Daddy. He wouldn’t like it much. He stopped walking when he saw me coming and a grin instantly lit up his face. Reminding myself that Daddy was probably watching from the window of the kitchen I knew we would have to play this cool.
“What’s this? Eva Brooks bringing me an ice towel and a thermos of water? Better watch it, my invisible fairy will get jealous. She’s the possessive sort.”
I had to bit my lip hard to keep from smiling. “She’ll get over it and it isn’t water. It’s lemonade,” I said, setting it down on the tailgate of the truck.
His eyes left me and scanned the yard. He was looking for Daddy.
“He’s watching us from the kitchen window. Just take it. I’ll see you later.” I gave him a small smile and then turned and headed right back to the house. I just hoped he wasn’t watching me walk away. Daddy wouldn’t like that at all.
“Thanks!” he called from behind me and I kept on walking.