Ignited by Passion, page 26
“Gotta get inside,” he whispered brokenly as his hand clutched her waist, his thighs held hers in place. Taking her arms from around his neck, he captured her wrists and placed them above her head. He looked down at her, met her gaze at the same time he pushed himself inside of her.
He gasped. The pleasure of being inside of her was al most too much. He tipped his head back and roared an animalistic sound that mirrored the raging need within him. Then he began moving, in and out, straining his muscles, flexing his pelvis, rolling his hips while holding her in a firm grip, rocking her world, just mere seconds away from tumbling his own.
The bed started to shake and the windows seemed to rattle, but the only storm that was raging out of control was him, pelting down torrents of pleasure instead of sheets of rain. He didn’t flinch when he felt her fingernails dig deeper into his flesh, but he did groan when he felt her inner muscles squeeze him, clench him, milk him. The woman was becoming a pro at knowing just what it took to splinter his mind and make him explode. No sooner had he thought the word, he felt her body do just that.
And while she toppled over into oblivion, he continued to move in and out, claiming her as his.
The thought of her belonging to him, and only to him, pushed him over the edge in a way he had never been pushed before. He thrust deep into her body, burying him self to the hilt, as his own release claimed him, ripped into him—not once, not twice, not even three times. The ongoing sensations that were taking over his body were more than he could stand.
And she was right there with him, lifting her hips off the bed, opening wider for him, moving with him, as they drove each other higher and higher on waves of excruciating pleasure.
The first light of dawn began slipping into the windows, fanning across the two naked bodies in bed. Jayla slowly awoke and took a long, deep breath of Storm and the lingering scent of their lovemaking.
It was there, in the air, the scent of her, of them—raw, primitive—the aftermath of her crying out in ecstasy, clutching his shoulders, pushing up her hips while he drove relentlessly into her, going as far as he could go, then tumbling them both over the edge as their releases came simultaneously.
She closed her eyes as panic seized her. What on earth had she done? All she had to do was open her eyes and glance over at Storm who was lying on his side facing her, still sleeping with a contented look on his face, to know what she had done. What she needed to really ask herself was how had it happened and why.
Storm had a reputation of not being a man who looked up a woman for a second helping. Once an affair ended, it was over. If that was the case, then why had he dropped by? What was there about her that had made him come back for more?
Jayla’s features slipped into a frown. Although most women would have been ecstatic that Storm had deemed them special enough to grace their bed a second time, to her he was a distraction. And a distraction was the last thing she needed now, especially with her upcoming appointment at the fertility clinic. If he were to find out about her plans, like Lisa he would probably try and talk her out of it. But unlike Lisa, he wouldn’t understand her decision, or support her anyway, even if he disagreed with her.
She took a quick glance at him and wondered why it mattered to her that he might not support what she planned to do. Jayla was pretty sure Storm would frown upon the idea of her having a baby by artificial insemination. Like her father, Storm was a traditionalist. He believed in doing things the old-fashioned way. She had to admit that at least in the bedroom she found Storm’s old-fashioned, always-remain-a-gentleman ways endearing. Being a gentleman didn’t mean he wouldn’t engage in some off-the-charts, blow-your-mind hot sex like they had definitely shared last night. It simply meant that he would never try anything that made her feel uncomfortable. Nor would he ever assume anything. The only reason he was still in her bed at the crack of dawn was because he had asked if it was okay for him to stay the night. He hadn’t just assumed that it was. If only she could shake his belief that a woman could not manage both a career and motherhood. How primitive was it for someone to think that way in this day and time?
She shook her head as she quietly slipped out of bed thinking Storm had definitely earned his rest. The man had energy that she wished she could bottle. No sooner had they completed one climax, he was going down for another, and somehow he always managed to take her with him. It was as if his orgasms—and the man had plenty—always triggered hers. Multiple orgasms were something she’d read about and at the time, the thought of it happening to anyone seemed too far-fetched to consider. But she was living witness that it was possible. She smiled thinking Storm had spoiled her. She wouldn’t know how to act if another man ever made love to her.
Her smile slowly died at the thought of making love to another man. Would she spend the rest of her life comparing every future lover to The Perfect Storm? She shook her head as she made her way into the bathroom for a shower. She was getting in deeper by the minute.
Storm woke slowly to the sound of running water and the scent of jasmine. He smiled, closing his eyes again as visions of what he and Jayla had done played through his mind like a finely tuned piano.
He reopened his eyes, thinking he was just as confused now as he’d been the night before. He wasn’t sure why he was here in Jayla’s bed instead of his own bed. Then he remembered. He’d had to be with her last night. He had been willing to say or do anything to get back into her bed. Even if it had meant begging.
He glanced at the clock on her nightstand. It was early, but time for him to go. He had to report to the station today to pull a twenty-four-hour shift. He thoroughly enjoyed his new position of fire captain. To move from the ranks of lieutenant had meant many nights and weekends of studying for the fire department’s promotional exam. During that time, he had given up a lot of things, including women. And even then, the thought of going without one hadn’t bothered him. There hadn’t been one single woman that he could name that he had missed making love to during all that time.
He closed his eyes again, not ready to move, not sure that he could if he wanted to. But the thought of Jayla, naked, wet and standing beneath a shower of water suddenly made him go hard, as if his body could do anything else around her.
He sighed deeply and suddenly the features of that old woman, the one who had read his palm in New Orleans, flitted across his mind at the same time the words she had spoken rang through his ears: You are about to make unexpected changes in your life and although you yearn for peace, turbulence is in your future. Keep your sights high, be patient and let destiny take its course.
He opened his eyes, quickly sat up and glanced around the room. It was as if the old woman’s voice were right there. He shook his head, thinking he was definitely losing it.
He turned when he heard the sound of a door opening and glanced over his shoulder to see Jayla walk out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped tightly around her. She gave him a soft smile that immediately made him go hard…as if he wasn’t already. And no matter how much he thought he was crazy this morning, he didn’t have one single regret about last night.
“You should have woken me up and I would have joined you in the shower,” he said, standing and crossing the room to her.
He watched as her gaze took in his nakedness, as it left his face to slowly roam down his chest, down past his stomach to settle…yeah, right there. He felt his erection get larger, become harder and saw her eyes grow dark with desire and her cheeks become flushed.
“You like being in your natural state, don’t you?” she asked, lifting her gaze back to his.
He smiled. “Yes, and I like you being in your natural state, too.”
She shook her head and chuckled. “I think we need to talk.”
“I’d rather do something else.” His smile widened. All she had to do was drop her gaze back to his midsection to know what he had in mind.
She cleared her t
“You would have to remind me of that, wouldn’t you?” he asked, pulling her into his arms. “Have dinner with me at Anthony’s tomorrow night.”
She quickly pulled back. “Dinner?”
He dipped his head and captured an earlobe in his mouth. He’d heard the surprise in her voice. Hell, he was even surprised that he had suggested such a thing. “Yes, dinner. We can talk then, okay?” He knew what she wanted to talk about. She wanted to know why he was not adhering to their agreement. He hoped when he saw her again he would have some answers.
“Storm…I don’t think that we—”
He lifted her chin with the tip of his finger so their eyes could meet. “Like you said, we need to talk, Jayla, and we can’t do it here or at my place.”
She nodded, understanding. At least at Anthony’s, there wouldn’t be any bedrooms around. “Okay.”
Then Storm captured Jayla’s mouth in a kiss that he definitely needed. The taste of her was like a drug to which he was addicted. She was a problem that needed a solution, but for now…
Wednesdays had always been referred to as over-the-hump day and it wasn’t until today that Jayla actually understood what it meant…at least in terms of her and Storm.
It was almost lunchtime and Jayla was still besieged with constant memories of the night she’d spent with Storm. She glanced around to make sure no one noticed the blush that had to have appeared on her face, even with her dark skin tone.
She was in a room with, of all people, the vice president of the company, as well as the sales and advertising managers for Sala Industries. It was that time of the year when she needed to prepare the annual public relations report that the company distributed to the general public, interest groups and stockholders to make everyone aware of the company’s activities and accomplishments the previous year. One of Sala’s main goals for the year had been to increase their involvement in community affairs. Being a part of the charity benefit for Kids’ World was one of the many projects they had undertaken to do just that.
Jayla had worked for the company since college and up until recently, the job had been the single most important thing in her life outside of her relationship with her father. After his death, she had moved her job up to the number-one spot, which was why she had made a decision to have a baby. She had needed a life outside of work and some one to share that life with her. She smiled, thinking that she had only eight days to go before she went to the fertility clinic for her physical, the first step toward making her dream come true.
She glanced across the conference table and saw Lisa looking at her strangely. She lifted a brow and Lisa surreptitiously lifted one back. Jayla couldn’t help but smile. Evidently, Lisa had seen her blush a few times.
As soon as the meeting was over, Lisa pulled her back the moment she was about to walk out the room and whispered, “We need to talk.”
Playing dumb she smiled and asked, “What about?”
“Like the fact you sat through most of the meeting like you were zoned out. It’s a good thing Mr. McCray didn’t notice.”
Jayla sobered quickly as she came to her senses. Having erotic flashbacks on her time was one thing, but having them on her employer’s time was another. “Sorry.”
Lisa laughed. “Hey, girlfriend, don’t apologize. I’d trade places with you in a heartbeat. You’ve been with Storm Westmoreland again haven’t you?”
Wondering how Lisa could know such a thing, Jayla asked innocently, “What makes you think that?”
Lisa raised a dark brow. “It’s either that or you’re reliving some dynamite memories. My guess is that you’re reminiscing about the past twenty-four hours.”
Jayla sighed as she closed the door so that she and Lisa could have total privacy. She sat back down at the table and Lisa joined her. She met her best friend’s curious gaze. “Storm dropped by last night.”
Lisa leaned back in her chair and grinned. “That’s a first. I heard that once an affair was ended, Storm Westmoreland never looked back. Booty calls are not exactly his style.”
Jayla shot her a frown and Lisa held up her hand apologetically. “Sorry. I was just making an observation.”
Jayla let out a breath. That was one observation she didn’t need. “He wants to take me out tomorrow night. To dinner. At Anthony’s.”
Lisa smiled. “Real classy place, so what’s the problem?”
Jayla returned the smile. Lisa could be so good for her at times. “The problem is what you indicated earlier. Storm is not a man who looks up women from his past. I knew that in New Orleans and he knew that, and it was under stood that when we returned to Atlanta we would have no reason to seek the other out.”
Lisa nodded. “And he’s seeking you out.”
“Yes, and I can’t let it happen.”
Lisa sat up and leaned in closer. “Is it okay for me to ask why?”
Jayla dragged a hand through her hair, and drew in a frustrating breath. “Because it’s lousy timing. My life is about to undergo some major changes, Lisa, for Pete’s sake. My physical is set for next Friday and soon after that, I plan to get inseminated. The last thing I need is Storm deciding, for whatever reason, that I’m a novelty to him.”
“Hey, Jayla, don’t sell yourself short. There might be an other reason that Storm Westmoreland finds you interesting, other than you being a novelty. The guy might actually like you. I mean really, really like you. There’s a chance that you’ve blown him away.”
Lisa’s comments gave Jayla pause. She thought about that possibility all of two seconds and shook her head. “Impossible. Even if there was a remote chance that was true, Storm and I could never get serious about each other.”
Lisa lifted a brow. “Why?”
Jayla frowned. “He’s too much like my father. He would want to keep a tight rein on me. He actually believes a woman should be a stay-at-home mom. I guess he thinks the ideal woman is one he can keep barefoot and pregnant.”
Lisa smiled. “Hey, I could do barefoot and pregnant with a man like him,” she said, wiggling her eyebrows.
“Well, I can’t. I have my life mapped out just the way I want, thank you. I’m having a baby without the complications of a man. The last thing I need is someone dictating how I should live my life and there’s no doubt in my mind that Storm would be very domineering.”
Lisa’s smile widened. “Yeah, but also very sexy.”
Jayla raised her gaze to the ceiling. “But I can’t think of sexy when all I can see is domineering.”
Lisa laughed. “Evidently you could last night if those blushes were any indication. But if you feel that way, you should let him know. It should be simple enough to tell him you aren’t interested and to stop coming around.”
Jayla nodded. Yes, that should be simple enough and she would tell him tomorrow night at dinner.
Storm walked into Coleman’s Florist Shop and glanced at the older woman who was standing behind the counter. Luanne Coleman was considered one of the town’s biggest gossips, but he still enjoyed doing business with her. And besides, none of the women he ever ordered flowers for lived in College Park, the suburb of Atlanta where he and the majority of his family resided and where his brother Dare was sheriff.
“Good morning, Ms. Luanne.”
She glanced up from looking at the small television screen that was sitting on the counter. Her soaps were on. “Oh, hello, Storm. You want to send the usual?”
He smiled. By the usual, she meant a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers. “No, I want to send something different this time.”
He knew that would grab her attention. She stared at him for a long moment, then raised her brow over curious eyes and asked, “Something different?”
She nodded. “All right, what do you have in mind?”
He glanced around. “What do you have that will last a while?”
“I have plenty of live plants and the
Storm nodded. He didn’t recall seeing a live plant in Jay la’s home and thought one would be perfect, especially in her bedroom for her to look at and remember. “Good. I want you to pick out the biggest and prettiest one, and this is the person I want it delivered to,” he said, handing her a slip of paper.
She took it and glanced at the name. She then looked at him and smiled. “How much do you want to spend?”
A huge grin touched his lips. “The cost isn’t important. Just add it to my account. And make sure it’s delivered this afternoon.”
She nodded and smiled as she quickly began writing up his order. “She must be very special.”
Storm sighed heavily. There. He had heard someone else say what he’d been thinking all day, so the only thing he could do was smile and agree. “Yes, she is.”
Jayla blinked at the man holding the huge potted plant in front of him. The plant was almost larger than he was. “Are you sure you’re at the right address, sir?”
“Yes, I’m positive,” the older man said, peeping from behind the bunch of healthy green leaves of a beautiful and lush-looking areca palm. “It’s for you.”
Jayla nodded as she stepped aside to let the man bring the plant inside, wondering who on earth could have sent it. When the man had placed it down, he turned to leave. “Wait, I need to give you a—”
“The tip’s been taken care of,” the man said. And then he was gone.
Jayla quickly pulled the card from the plant and read it.
Whenever you look at this, think of me.
Jayla’s heart skipped a beat. No it skipped two, possibly three. She blinked, then sank down on her sofa. Storm had sent her a plant, a beautiful, large, lush green plant and for the first time in a long time, she was at a loss for words.