MacNamarasLady, page 13
Missy clutched his shoulders and fought for breath. The sensation of his cock stretching her, her inner muscles closing tight around him, was unbelievably erotic. She could feel him pulsing hard inside her.
He buried his face in the curve of her neck and started to thrust. Missy arched her hips toward him on each inward stroke, welcoming him, needing him.
She moaned his name again as she worked her pelvis against his, wanting him deeper and harder. “More,” she gasped.
He nipped at her neck, the slight stinging pain making her lose her rhythm. He growled deep in his throat and began to piston his hips faster and faster. He angled his body with each thrust so her clit brushed against him. It was maddening. She was so close.
Missy hung on and tried to keep up with him. His fingers slipped between them and captured one of her breasts. He tweaked the nipple. Lightning shot from her breast to her core and back again.
She panted his name, her fingers digging into his shoulders. He drove deep and she felt his cock ripple inside her. Wet heat filled her, pushing her over the edge. She cried out, her body spasming, her inner muscles contracting hard around his shaft, milking it dry.
She slumped against the wall, thankful to have the support. T.S. had one hand pressed against the wall to prop himself up. His chest was still heaving when he pulled out of her. She missed him already.
The cool air wafted over her skin. She glanced down at her exposed skin. Her skirt was twisted around her waist, her panties hanging on by the waistband. Her bra was rucked up and her blouse was wide open.
The rasp of a zipper brought her attention to T.S. He was fully dressed once again, his jeans zipped and his T-shirt pulled down.
Missy hurriedly shoved her skirt down, ignoring the slick wetness between her thighs. He hadn’t worn a condom. Not that it really mattered. They’d talked about this. They were both free from disease and she was on the Pill. No wonder he’d felt ultra good inside her.
She pulled her bra back into place and was stymied by her blouse. There was only one button left on it. The rest were on the floor somewhere.
T.S. came to her and closed up that lone button, a half smile on his face. When he was done, he caught her chin in his hand and leaned down to brush a soft kiss against her lips. “You’re not icy at all. You’re hot.”
She frowned for a moment and then the bit of conversation she’d overheard between him and Lucas came back to her full force. Ice queen. She knew men had called her that before and worse. Had this been simply nothing more than him trying to prove he could thaw her? A matter of salvaging some pride?
Missy quickly thought back. He’d accepted her apology but had given no indication that he wanted anything more to do with her. In fact, he’d been on his way out the door before she’d stopped him.
A chill went down her spine. Had this been nothing but revenge?
Her coat, she needed her coat and purse. They were in a heap on the floor. She grabbed them both and pulled her coat on. “I have to go.”
“Missy?” T.S. was frowning now.
She held up her hand, holding him off. “You thawed the ice queen. I hope you’re happy.” She found her own pride deep inside her. It was slightly in tatters, much like her underwear, but it was still there. “And I really am sorry about before. I’m sorry I never gave us a chance.”
She hurried down the steps. Heavy boots fell behind her. He stopped her when she got to the outside door. “Missy, what’s wrong? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.” She tried to smile but knew she fell short. “I’ve got to get back to work.” She looked at his face one final time, knowing this was truly the end. She couldn’t simply have sex with T.S. Not without there being something more between them. He hadn’t offered that. He wasn’t responsible for her feelings. But she had to get away from here.
She hurried down the street to her car, feeling his eyes on her until she drove away.
“I don’t understand what the hell happened?” T.S. glared at Candy, who’d cornered him before he’d been able to leave the apartment. He’d sat on the floor for about an hour trying to understand what had gone wrong between him and Missy.
The sex had been out of control. She’d been with him all the way. He was certain of that. But then it had all changed. She’d pulled away from him both physically and mentally.
He’d accepted her apology even though he’d wanted much more than that. When she’d opened herself to him physically, he’d thought they’d had a chance. She still wanted him. And he sure as hell wanted her. It had all fallen apart after they made love. Had she changed her mind after all? Decided she didn’t want to be with an ex-con?
“You must have done something.” She poked him in the chest with her index finger. A frown marred her usually smiling face. “She called and said she wasn’t coming back to work. And she was upset. I could tell. Didn’t you two talk?”
“Some,” he admitted. Not as much as they probably should have, but he hadn’t been willing to open himself up if they were still finished as a couple. He’d wanted some guarantees this time before he spilled his guts about that part of his life. He wanted to forget it had ever happened. Why did women always want to pick things apart? Why couldn’t she just accept him as he was?
“You had sex, didn’t you?” Candy crossed her arms over her chest and glared at him.
Was she a mind reader or did he have “I just had sex with Missy” tattooed on his forehead? He wasn’t about to confirm or deny her accusation. Of course, being a woman, she took that for agreement.
“You did. How could you?”
In spite of the seriousness of the situation, he grinned. He couldn’t help himself. “I thought Lucas would have done a better job teaching you about sex.”
She punched him on the arm. It startled him more than it hurt. “Be serious. What did you say to her?”
He shrugged. It wasn’t really Candy’s business. But she was Missy’s best friend. Maybe she could help him decipher Missy’s actions. He sure as heck couldn’t on his own. “Things were going okay.” That was stretching the truth slightly. “She apologized. I accepted. Then things got heated.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Then what?”
“Then she left.” He was still stinging over that. She was sending out all kinds of mixed signals to him. It was driving him crazy.
“Think back. What exactly did you say?”
T.S. rubbed his hand over his face and thought back. “I told her she was hot. Not icy at all.”
Candy frowned. “Not icy? What does that mean?”
He shoved his hands in the back pockets of his jeans and rocked back on his heels. He’d never met another woman besides his mother who could make him feel this defensive. Scratch that. Missy was now at the top of that particular list. “Lucas was telling me what some of the guys have said about her. I think she overheard it when she first came in.”
Candy closed her eyes and, if he wasn’t mistaken, she sounded like she was praying. “God save me from men.”
“Hey, I didn’t call her that. Those guys are morons. Anyone can see there’s more to Missy than meets the eye.”
“No, not everyone can.” Candy glared at him. “Are you going to leave things like this?”
He’d had enough. It was time to head home. He wandered over to the kitchen counter and grabbed his jacket, sliding it on as Candy followed close at his heels. “Not my call.”
She put her hand on his arm. He stared down at where it rested on his jacket. “You once gave me some advice and a warning. Now I’m returning the favor. Don’t hurt Missy.”
He had to bite back his retort. What about Missy hurting him? He was the injured party here.
“Did you talk about where your relationship was headed from here?”
“No. We didn’t talk much after those first few minutes. She ran off after.” No way was he saying more than that. Not that he had to. Candy understood what “after” meant.
Could she really have thought that? Women were so different from men. And T.S. was the first to admit he didn’t have the first clue about male-female relations. He usually stuck to one-night stands or hooked up with a woman who only wanted sex and nothing more. Missy was his first woman he’d ever wanted more with.
He swallowed hard, the lump of emotion in his throat almost choking him. He wanted Missy in his life today, tomorrow and for all the days that followed. She wasn’t a one-night stand or a just-for-now woman. She was…everything.
Candy’s voice softened. “If she doesn’t mean anything to you, then let her go.” She paused and nibbled on her bottom lip before continuing. “If she does mean something to you…”
He went to her, leaned down and kissed her cheek. “Lucas is a lucky man.”
She smiled and her entire face lit up. “He is lucky, but so am I. I want you both to be happy.” Her sincerity rocked him to his core. Happy. He wasn’t sure he’d even known what that was until he met Missy.
In trying to protect himself from more hurt, he’d driven her away. If he truly wanted Missy, he’d have to man up and do what needed to be done. The question was did he truly want her in his life? And for how long?
He pictured the long years ahead, much like the ones that had come before. He’d been content. He enjoyed his work and his friends. But there was something missing. Deep in his heart, he was lonely, much as he’d been as a boy with an absent father, a violent older brother and a mother who tried her best but was working twelve hours a day, six days a week to put a roof over their heads.
“I gotta go.” He left and didn’t look back. He heard Candy closing up behind him. He hit the sidewalk and quickened his pace. Had Missy misunderstood what he’d meant? What had he meant? He’d been so sated after making love to her he hadn’t been thinking beyond the moment.
That was the problem. When it came to women, he rarely thought beyond the moment. All that mattered was the here and now. If a woman didn’t like it that was her prerogative. He adored women. He was good to the ones he’d dated, but they knew going in he wasn’t a forever kinda guy.
He reached his truck, climbed in and put the keys in the ignition. He sat there, staring blindly out the window at all the people rushing down the sidewalk. What if he wanted to be a forever guy?
He could easily picture himself and Missy ten years from now. Hell, twenty years from now. She’d still be hot and he’d still want her. He swallowed hard. He could reach for what he wanted or he could retreat behind his protective shell and stay safe. It was up to him.
But whatever he was going to do it had to be now. Tonight. He couldn’t let Missy think this afternoon hadn’t meant anything more to him then a quick score.
He turned the key and the engine roared to life. Checking traffic, he pulled out and started for home. He had work to do.
* * * * *
Missy closed her eyes and listened to the music softly seeping from her stereo. She’d tried classical, New Age and folk music. None of it calmed her. Finally she turned on a soft rock station. The music reminded her of T.S. He was rough around the edges but his appeal would always endure.
She couldn’t believe she’d reacted so swiftly, running like a coward from him. That comment about her being called “icy” by other guys had thrown her for a loop and she’d simply reacted. That was her only excuse.
It was one of her hot buttons. Her entire life, guys had accused her of that, going back to high school when she wouldn’t put out like other girls. They accused her of thinking she was better than them. They didn’t understand it was more a matter of her treating herself with self-respect.
Now she’d have to call T.S. and see if he still wanted to talk. “Better sooner than later,” she muttered.
She opened her eyes and grabbed her cell phone, plugging in his number. It rang twice before he answered. “Missy?”
“Yeah, it’s me.” She cleared her throat, which was suddenly tight. “Sorry about running out on you this afternoon.”
“Did I do something to hurt you?” She could hear the concern in his voice. Missy sat up on the sofa and curled her legs beneath her, thankful she’d changed into her comfortable sweats. “I never meant to hurt you, babe.”
“I know. It wasn’t you as much as it was a reaction to a word, to the past.” She ran her hand over the soft fabric covering her legs, wondering if she should turn up the heat.
“Yeah. It’s stupid, I know. I came to talk to you and then I practically ran away.”
“I think we’ve both done our fair share of running.” His deep voice raised goose bumps on her arms. His words help alleviate some of the guilt she was feeling.
“Listen. How would you like to come over to talk?” If they hoped to have a chance at making their relationship work, they had to lay their pasts out in the open. Otherwise it was like tiptoeing through a minefield. You never knew what was going to cause an explosion.
A knock came on her front door. She thought about ignoring it, but it came again. “Listen, can you hold on for a second. There’s someone at the door.”
Missy pushed off the sofa and padded to the door in stocking feet, keeping the phone in her hand. She wasn’t willing to relinquish the tenuous link between them. She looked through the peephole. All she could see was a bouquet of flowers. She opened the door, but kept the safety chain on.
T.S. stood in her hallway. But it was a T.S. she hadn’t seen since the night of the wedding. He was wearing a suit and tie and carrying a dozen red roses in one hand, his phone in the other. “Hey.”
She blinked and blinked again.
“You gonna let me in?” She clicked off her phone and dumped it on the entryway table. It only took her a few seconds and a fumble or two to undo the chain and open the door.
T.S. stepped inside and kicked the door shut behind him. “For you.” He thrust the roses toward her.
“They’re beautiful.” She buried her face in them and inhaled their rich, seductive scent.
“They reminded me of you—dark, beautiful and classy.”
This T.S. was much different from the man she’d dealt with earlier today. That man had been earthy and raw. This man was sleeker, more of the man she’d always imagined herself with.
While he was still sexy as sin, she wasn’t sure she liked the change.
“Thank you. I’ll put them in water.” She hurried to the kitchen and got a crystal vase out of the cupboard. T.S. followed her, watching as she filled the vase and arranged the roses.
“Let’s go sit down.” It was her home but it was T.S. who guided her back into the other room. She felt very underdressed in her lounging sweats. He looked handsome as sin and good enough to eat. The shoulder seams of the suit were straining to keep him contained. He was so muscular, so strong.
She settled on the sofa, turning sideways so she could face him as he took the other end. He motioned to the stereo. “Classic rock. I figured it would be classical.”
She shrugged. “I wasn’t in the mood for classical.”
His black hair was brushed away from his face, giving her a perfect view of his face. Those golden-brown eyes, strong nose, firm lips and olive complexion. Her body started humming. She ignored it. They had to talk.
“My mother did her best for us when we were kids. Me and my older brother, Cameron.” Missy stilled as she realized T.S. was telling her about his past. Her heart rate quickened.
“You don’t have to do this.” She reached out, capturing his hand in hers. Her skin was much darker than his, soft where his was hard. “You don’t have to spill your past to me. I want you, Theo. The man you’ve become. The man you are—honest, loy
She loved him. She had to trust him if their relationship was going to have a chance to work. She did trust him. She knew the man he was today. That was all that mattered.
T.S. swallowed the lump in his throat. Here was what he’d always wanted. Acceptance. Unconditional and unreserved. He could tell from the look in Missy’s eyes that she meant what she said. She was willing to put this aside and take him as he was.
Strangely enough, that made it easier to tell her. Made him want to tell her. He wanted a clean slate between them. No more secrets. He was no longer a frightened, insecure teenage boy. He was a man who loved a woman. That meant being courageous enough to open up all the wounds from his past.
“My father left when we were kids. I don’t remember him much. He was a big, brawny Scot who’d come over to America to work and hooked up with my mom, a third generation Greek. Cam took after him and I favored Mama’s side of the family. Anyway, when she got pregnant, they got married. Tried to make it work. Her family didn’t like him and it drove a wedge between them. He left just after my fourth birthday. Cam was eight.”
“Your poor mother.” She lifted his hand from her heart and kissed the center of his palm. He closed his hand around hers.
“Yeah. She did her best, but she worked two jobs, sometimes three.” He raked his fingers through his hair, realized what he was doing and made himself stop. He didn’t like thinking about the past, about the poverty and hardships. But they’d shaped his childhood and made him into the man he was today.
“We lived in the projects and grew up fast and hard. I did my best to stay out of trouble, but Cam…” He shook his head. “Cam drew trouble like a magnet.”
“There was a girl I liked. I’d been trying to get up the nerve to ask her out on a date for months.”
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