Love story, p.13

Love Story, page 13

 

Love Story
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  I can’t even.

  I attack the page with the pen again, ranting on and on about how he wasn’t a summer fling then, but that’s all he is now. A hot guy who’s got nothing going for him other than the fact that he kisses really, really well…

  I groan in frustration and toss the notebook aside. I can’t remember the last time I felt so…mad.

  Mad at the way Reece makes me feel. Hopeful and wary and hot, all at the same time.

  I can still taste his kiss, but my entire body’s on edge with want. I just can’t decide if it’s the want to be naked beneath him, or to shove him into traffic.

  My head snaps up as I hear a knock on the door.

  My heart pounds, and I’m not sure if it’s out of fear that it’s the weird dude next door or if it’s Reece.

  I swallow. “Yeah?” I call.

  Nothing.

  I swing my legs off the bed, walk to the door, and look out the peephole.

  Reece.

  His arms are crossed, his shoulders tense, as he glares at my door.

  He’s breathing hard, and my stupid brain wonders if he’s maybe a little sweaty beneath the shirt. Wonder if his back would be slick against my palms, his chest damp as he presses me down on the bed, skin to skin…

  I rest my forehead on the door, tapping it lightly against the wood.

  Damn it, Lucy. Learn your lesson already.

  “Open the door.”

  His voice is quiet and commanding, and even as I open my mouth to tell him to screw off, my hand finds the chain lock.

  A second later, there’s no door between us. Nothing but tension and want separating our yearning bodies.

  He steps closer. “Damn it, Lucy,” he says gruffly, stopping a foot away from me. Close enough to feel his body heat, but not as close as I want. Need.

  “Why are you always mad at me,” I whisper. “I can’t do anything right.”

  “Mad,” he says with a laugh. “That’s what you think this is?” Reece reaches out a hand, slips it into my hair, palming my head as he tilts my face up. “I’m not mad.”

  I open my mouth, to say…I don’t even know what. Instead, I shake my head. We can’t do this—we shouldn’t do this.

  Reece’s fingers tighten. “Tell me, Lucy.”

  It’s a command.

  “Tell you what?” I ask, giving in to the heat of his gaze and everything it promises.

  “That you want this. That you want me.”

  His words are gruff, but his eyes are vulnerable and it nearly destroys me. The part of my heart that’s always been his opens just the tiniest bit.

  I meet his eyes. “I want this. I want you.”

  His eyes flash in victory, and his other arm wraps around me at the exact moment his mouth takes mine.

  Chapter 27

  Reece

  I’m no philosopher, but if my twenty-five years have taught me anything it’s that every guy hits a crossroads. That proverbial fork in the road.

  For me, the moment was when I’d looked down into the eyes of the girl who’d been my everything for ten years, knowing that kissing her would mean losing her. Of thinking that having her once would be less painful than having only a little bit of her forever.

  I was nineteen and dumb. And wrong. Dead wrong, about having her once being enough to buffer the pain of having her walk out of my life.

  Just a week ago, I would have sworn that I learned my lesson.

  And yet here I am, in a shitty motel in the middle of nowhere, making the whole mistake all over again.

  Trouble is? None of this feels like a mistake.

  Not the way her tongue shyly brushes against mine as her hands settle on my waist, tentative at first, then her fingers clenching the fabric in greedy handfuls, tugging me closer.

  She’s too late though. I’m already closer, one arm wrapped around her back, plastering her body to mine, seeming to promise that if I can just bring her near enough, she won’t be able to leave me lonely again.

  Just like with that kiss in the rain, her mouth is perfect. Familiar and new all at the same time. A part of me’s terrified kissing Lucy will always be this way—that strange sense of coming home for the first time, every time.

  When I’d knocked on her door, I’d intended only this. Just the kiss to punish her for being so damn gorgeous.

  Then Lucy’s nails dig into my sides, the shyness in her kiss replaced by a hunger to match my own, and I know I have a choice. Another crossroads.

  I can pull away now, save us both from the agony of tomorrow, or…

  Or, I can shut the door behind us, and give in to the ecstasy of tonight, tomorrow be damned.

  Lucy pulls away slightly, her lips grazing the underside of my jaw. Then her hips move against mine, not a lot, but just enough for her to know that I’m hard, and me to know that she wants this every bit as much as I do.

  Sorry, tomorrow. I need tonight too damned badly.

  Chapter 28

  LUCY, EIGHTEEN, REECE, NINETEEN

  Lucy’s hands trembled as they came up to frame Reece’s face above hers. “Why’d you stop?”

  Reece’s blue eyes blazed down into hers. “We shouldn’t do this, Lucy.”

  Her stomach flipped, the hurt tearing through her. “You’re telling me that now.”

  “Shh, no,” he whispered, silencing her with a kiss. “That’s not what I meant. I want this more than I’ve ever wanted anything. But like this? You deserve more….”

  Lucy bit her lips and parted her legs further, feeling the hard press of his erection against her naked body. “I have everything I want.”

  “Oh God,” he whispered, face dropping to her neck. “I can’t…I can’t resist you.”

  “So don’t,” she whispered.

  He kissed the column of her throat before lifting his head again, searching her face. “You’re sure? I need you to be sure, Lucy. All the way.”

  She met his gaze boldly, the nervousness of her first time edged out by the rightness of doing it with Reece. “You brought a condom, right?”

  Reece blew out a breath, then kissed her soft and deep before reaching down to his discarded jeans beside her bed.

  A moment later, she heard the tear of a wrapper, and she squeezed her eyes shut.

  “Hey,” he whispered, palms cupping her head as he waited for her to open her eyes. “You are the best thing to ever happen to me. You know that, right?”

  Lucy nodded, telling him with her eyes that he was the best thing that ever happened to her too, even as they both avoided the heartache that lay just a couple weeks away. When she would go away to college, leaving him behind, and there’d be none of this intimacy, no more of him sneaking into her bedroom.

  Tell him how you feel. Ask him to wait. Ask him to come with you. Tell him you love him enough to find a way to make this work.

  Lucy reached up, gripping his wrists. “Reece. Reece, I need to tell you. I think I—”

  His eyes flickered in panic. “Don’t, Lucy. Don’t think.”

  She knew what he was really saying. Don’t say it. Don’t tell me you love me.

  Her heart ached for the broken boy in him that hadn’t heard it nearly enough. But she could wait to say the words until he was ready. She’d waited for years.

  So instead of telling him the words of her heart, she smiled slow and hopefully sultry, tilting her hips up. “Please. Now.”

  Reece never broke eye contact as he nudged inside her, slow at first, giving her body time to adjust.

  It hurt. She’d known it would hurt. But it was also perfect.

  And when finally he was inside her all the way, his body joined with hers, his eyes flashed in vulnerability, and her heart soared because she knew what he was feeling, even if he didn’t yet understand.

  It was written all over Reece Sullivan’s face: he loved her too.

  Chapter 29

  Lucy

  Reece releases me with one hand, his other reaching out behind him and closing the motel room door
with a firm, decisive slam.

  The sound rolls through me. I know I’ve got exactly three seconds to come to my senses—to focus on the fact that once we see each other naked, tomorrow’s car ride is going to be excruciating.

  But then he kisses me again, swinging me around so I’m sandwiched between his hard body and the hard wall.

  His mouth is hot and possessive, and I’m lost. I want this. I want the second time with Reece that I should have had six years ago. I want—no, I need—to prove to myself that the perfection of that long-ago time was due to girlish romanticism. That he wasn’t actually that much better than every guy since.

  Reece’s hand slides down over my butt, down behind my thigh, lifting it so he can move between my spread thighs, and I moan. Suddenly not at all sure that my plan won’t backfire in a big way—that Reece won’t prove that he’s not only as good as I remember…but better.

  He pulls back slightly, his eyes dark and stormy as he slowly lifts his eyebrows. His expression holds both a dare and a promise. “Last chance.”

  I reach up, my hand sliding around his neck and pulling his mouth down to mine and kissing him with all the want and heartache of the past few years.

  Thunder crashes, and it occurs to me that although the weather couldn’t be worse, the motel room couldn’t be grosser, the moment’s pretty darn close to perfect. It’s only us, and a bed and a boatload of bittersweet memories.

  He kisses me on and on, and slowly I feel my doubts disappear. I let myself believe, just for a second, that he wants me the way I want him.

  Reece cups my face as he steps even closer, his kiss fierce and hungry. I kiss him back, my hands everywhere. He’s bigger than I remember, his shoulders broad and hard. He’s still lean but with the hardened shape of a man instead of the lithe frame of a boy.

  My hands slip under his shirt, and the second my fingers touch hot skin, I hate every other girl who’s touched him here, loathe every woman who’s known him like this.

  He doesn’t let my mind linger there though. His mouth leaves no room for regrets as his tongue tangles wickedly with mine, making dirty promises about what’s to come.

  My fingers pull at his damp shirt, wanting it off.

  Reece steps back and gives me a slight smile before reaching behind his head and grabbing a fistful of the T-shirt, jerking it over his head and tossing it aside.

  His cologne is even more potent now, drowning my senses. At least, I tell myself it’s the cologne. I’m half-terrified that it’s essence of Reece that’s making it impossible for me to think.

  I expect him to tug my shirt up over my head, but instead he bends his head toward me, kissing me again, softly this time. His lips brush teasingly over mine, his mouth sweet and coaxing.

  Like it was back then.

  “You don’t have to be gentle with me,” I whisper against his mouth. “I’m not a virgin anymore.”

  He lets out a startled laugh. “I know. I was there.”

  I nearly smile at the memory, but something else is creeping in around my heated lust…fear. Fear that by repeating the magic of that one night, I’ll be setting myself up for the pain that followed.

  His smile slips away as he searches my face. “You always deserve gentle, Lucy.”

  I hear the question there, and the promise. Were the other guys gentle? I’ll kill them if not.

  I don’t know how to tell him that it’s not about gentle or rough; it’s about the guy. It’s all about that elusive connection between two people that takes sex from being okay to epic.

  And it’s not that I don’t like the slow buildup of dreamy, romantic sex. It’s that I can’t handle it. Not tonight. Not with Reece.

  So I don’t tell him anything. I show him. I show him what I want. A hard, hot coupling to scratch the itch. Something rough and impersonal that will leave our hearts intact at the end.

  Reece is startled at first when I launch myself at him. I can feel it in the way he tenses against me, the way he hesitates just a second before returning my desperate kiss.

  It’s not until I rake my nails down the center of his chest that he gives me what I want, his mouth slamming down hard on mine, taking control. His arms wrap around me, his hands possessive as he cups my butt, pulling me tighter to him as he tilts his head and deepens the kiss.

  I nip his lip and he growls, nudging my head back so his mouth can devour my neck, his hands slipping down under my dress, his fingertips tracing teasingly along the line of my underwear.

  “You want this?” he asks, his breath hot against my neck. “You want my hands all over you?”

  I’m breathing too hard to speak, but I manage to nod and he rewards me by slowly pulling the dress over my head. It catches on my earring, and I let out a panicked squeak.

  Reece stills, and the gentle way his fingers carefully untangle the fabric from the small silver hoop contradicts the ferocity of the moment before, showing a different side of him—a different side of us—that nearly undoes me.

  Then the dress is gone, and his hands are back on me, his palms gliding along my sides before he lifts them to my breasts.

  My bra is light blue and plain, hardly the lingerie I’d have picked if I’d known the evening was going to go here, but Reece doesn’t seem to mind or even notice. The bra is gone before I can give it another thought.

  Reece’s gaze locks on mine at the exact moment the rough pads of his thumbs brush over my nipples. I gasp with pleasure, and his teeth flash in a wolfish smile before capturing my mouth once more, kissing me thoroughly as his fingers relearn the shape of me.

  “You’re just like I remember,” he whispers softly against my mouth. “Better.”

  He dips his head, his tongue flicking playfully across the tip of one breast before he wraps his mouth around my nipple, sucking hard.

  My hands are on his shoulders, holding on for balance as his wet mouth shifts back and forth between my breasts. It’s delicious torture.

  My hands run down his chest until they find the waistband of his pants.

  I get the button undone, but he grabs my wrists before my fingers find the zipper, wrapping his hand around both my wrists and easily maneuvering me to the bed.

  I’m still in my high heels, and I sit on the edge of the bed, trying to tug my hands free so that I can remove them, but he doesn’t relent.

  I scowl up at him, and his grin is playful. He releases me, but points a warning finger in my face. “Stay.”

  The bossy command should piss me off, but instead I’m turned on, so I do as he says, sitting still as he lowers himself to his knees before me. His mouth finds the inside of my knee, kissing it softly as he removes one shoe. He repeats the process on the other side.

  I think I feel him whisper my name against my skin, and my eyes close. Hands glide up my outer thighs, and my eyes fly open when I feel his fingers hook into the waistband of my underwear.

  His gaze holds mine as he drags the embarrassingly girlish polka-dot panties back down over my legs, my face burning with embarrassment as I remember they’re not quite so different from the underwear I wore the night I gave him everything.

  I’ve never really given much thought to the fact that I seem to gravitate toward polka-dot panties, but it’s not how I wanted him to see me if he ever did for the second time. I wanted to be in black satin or, or pink lace, or something to make him see that I’m not the same idiotic girl who—

  I gasp as Reece’s head moves between my legs, the sweet swipe of his tongue banishing all insecurities. Falling back on the bed, my hands come down to his head, wishing his hair was longer so I could tangle my fingers in it, hold him close.

  Not that I need to—he’s not going anywhere. He’s unapologetic in his tasting of me, his hands going to my thighs, spreading me wide as he alternates between long licks, soft kisses, and searing sucks.

  My body is tightening, my entire awareness zeroing in on the center of my body at the exact spot where his tongue moves in relentless circles. I can’t br
eathe. I can’t think. I’ve never felt anything like this before, never been so desperate for release and terrified that I won’t survive it.

  “Reece—”

  He slides a finger inside me at the exact moment his tongue speeds up, and I shatter beneath him, hips bucking as I claw at the bedding in a futile attempt to grind myself against the almost unbearable shudders of pleasure.

  I open my eyes just as Reece pulls away, standing and kicking off his shoes and pants before stepping between my legs once more, this time beautifully naked and hugely Reece.

  I try to sit up, but he quietly shakes his head, nodding for me to back up toward the center of the bed. When I obey, he crawls over me and takes my mouth in an open-mouthed kiss, unapologetic about the fact that I can taste myself on his lips.

  I place both hands on his chest, pushing him back slightly. “That was…”

  He lifts his eyebrows, and I realize I don’t want to answer.

  “Lucy?” he prods.

  I swallow. “I was going to say it was better than before, but I find I don’t like thinking about where you got all the practice.” His expression clouds, and he starts to pull away, but my arms wrap around him. “I’m sorry I’m jealous, I’m sorry I was wearing stupid polka-dot panties.”

  He frowns and he lowers to me once more, framing my face with his hands. “Shove your apologies, Hawkins. I like that you’re jealous. And those damn panties have been making appearances in my daydreams for years. Only fair I got to see them in person one more time. I like them.”

  I laugh and try to buck him off. “You’re such a liar. You do not.”

  He doesn’t let me go, instead moving his lower body so that he nudges against me. “Does this feel like I’m a liar? Does this feel like a man who doesn’t adore every damn thing about you?”

  My eyes go wide at the unexpected sweetness of his words. I search his face, but he doesn’t meet my eyes, instead going to nuzzle my neck.

  “Do I need a condom?” he asks gruffly, circling his hips again so that the velvety tip of him nudges my soft folds.

 
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