EPISODE FIFTEEN

Chapter Forty

Ashton

I close my eyes and pinch the bridge of my nose. I’m exhausted after the last week while I’ve been dividing my time between my mother, Lorelei and work. Work has kicked my ass while I attempt to finalise the deal with Marc Brentley and secure Aaron Steel’s investment in the New Zealand resort I’m building. Neither deal is any closer to being finalised.

“Ashton, you look like you could do with a weekend off,” Mum says as I hand her the cup of tea she requested.

She’s home now, recovering from her heart attack. I’ve been spending time with her each day so I can see her health improving for myself. The only downfall to this is seeing my father almost every day, too. It has surprised me to find him here each time I visit.

“Jessica is booking one in.” I omit the information that it’ll be half work, half play while I take Lorelei away to work on the resort we’re involved with.

“Good.”

I sit on the couch opposite her. “How are you feeling? Really feeling, I mean. Not the bullshit you tell Dad and the doctors.”

She purses her lips. “Why must you always insist on using that kind of language? I raised you better than that.”

“Stop changing the subject, Mother.”

Her shoulders rise as she takes a deep breath. Placing the teacup on the coffee table in front of us, she says, “I’m frustrated that I’m couped up in this house. I feel well enough to resume all my activities, but your father insists I rest. Little does he realise that all this resting is just making me tired.”

“No, your heart attack has caused that exhaustion. Your doctor said it can take three months or more for your heart to repair itself.”

“Pfft,” she mutters. My mother has always been stubborn. “Even so, I should be allowed to do more than sit on this couch and watch television and wait for people to visit me.”

We’re interrupted by Cassia who joins us. She smiles when she sees me. “Oh, I didn’t realise you had company, Kendall. I’m so sorry to intrude.”

She’s not, though. If she were, she’d offer to come back. Instead, she moves quickly to kiss Mum on the cheek before taking a seat next to me.

Placing her hand on my leg, she asks, “How are you, Ashton? We haven’t seen each other for a week, and I’ve been wondering how you’re doing.”

I move her hand from my leg. “I’m fine.”

“Well that tells me nothing.” Her tone is snappy, and I’m not in the mood for that today.

Standing, I turn cold eyes on her. “As far as I’m concerned, I don’t need to be sharing the finer details of my life with you anymore, Cassia.”

“Ashton,” my mother chastises. “That is no way to speak to Cassia.”

Keeping my gaze on Cassia, I say, “She understands perfectly well what I’m saying.”

Cassia crosses her legs and pouts. “I was just trying to be friendly.”

If there’s one quality I can’t stand in a woman it’s playing dumb. And pouting when they don’t get their own way? That is a sure-fire way to turn me off. Cassia didn’t engage in much of this while we were together, but she’s mastered it since. And it doesn’t suit her.

Dropping a kiss to my mother’s cheek, I say, “I’ve got work to do, but I’ll stop by after work again to see how your day was.”

She waves me away and shakes her head. “No, don’t. I won’t be here. I have actually managed to convince your father to take me to the movies tonight. I decided that was something he might agree to because it wouldn’t take much effort on my behalf.”

“Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow, then.” Glancing briefly at Cassia, I say, “Goodbye, Cassia.”

“Don’t worry about your mother, Ashton. I’ll make sure she has a good day,” Cassia calls out as I head towards the front door.

God fucking help us. Why the hell have my parents encouraged a relationship with my ex?

***

“How’s your mum doing?” Jack asks as he enters the kitchen where I’m checking on the dinner I had sent over for tonight. Lorelei’s on her way over to spend the night here. I decided rather than taking her out to dinner, I’d organise dinner here so I can have more time with her alone.

“She’s recovering well.” I eye the empty whisky glass he places on the kitchen counter and bite my tongue from mentioning it.

Jack still appears to be spiralling, and the more I say stuff about it to him, the further away I push him. That’s the last place our friendship needs to be, especially now because he’s going to need me more than ever when he finally crashes. But fuck, it’s hard to watch someone you love do this to themself.

He pulls an almost-empty bottle of whisky out of the cupboard and pours another drink. “Let me guess, she’s being her usual self, defying doctor’s orders and thinking she knows best?”

I chuckle. “Yeah, pretty much. Hey, have you got any plans for Saturday? I thought we could take the boat out for the day.”

A smile spreads across his face as he downs some whisky. “Sounds like a plan. I’m in.”

My phone sounds with a text.

Jessica: Sian just sent a notification that she has three Willow Street buildings ready for you to buy.

Me: Good. Tell her to find more.

Jessica: That was your cue to tell me how happy my text just made you.

Me: If you’d told me she had all of them, then I’d tell you your text made my fucking year.

Jessica: Well seems as though I’m not getting any praise tonight, I’ll take a coffee from that Willow St café tomorrow. You know how I like it.

Me: Have my assistant organise it.

She doesn’t reply to that, only sends me a gif showing me what she thinks of that idea.

“I’m taking that was good news by the way you’re smiling,” Jack says.

Glancing up at him, I shake my head. “Not really, but Jessica’s sense of humour is out in full force tonight.”

“That woman definitely knows how to make a man smile,” he murmurs, and I see the moment where he drifts back into old memories.

“Jack,” I warn him. “Don’t go there.”

He throws the rest of his drink down his throat. “So no good news, then?”

“She let me know my real estate has found three Willow Street properties to buy. The news would have been good if the number had been a lot larger. I’m battling my father for these properties, so I need to make this happen fast before he does.”

Jack frowns. “What does Lorelei think of all this? I would have thought she’d be against it.”

“This is business, Jack. It doesn’t have anything to do with Lorelei.”

He whistles low. “And now I understand why my best friend is still single even though women line up to date him. Your head is in the clouds if you think this doesn’t have anything to do with Lorelei.”

I reach for a whisky glass in the cupboard and pour myself a drink. “When she sees the results of a Willow Street development, she’ll understand why it was needed. The businesses on that street are dying while the rest of Sydney moves ahead, simply because no one has bothered to develop it.”

His brows arch. “And you really believe she’ll sell her building to you for this?”

“It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t. I can still go ahead without it. And that will only help her, so she will reap the rewards of that. There’s no way she won’t be good with it once I lay it all out for her.”

As a knock sounds on the front door, he says, “For the record, I believe this might just be the worst idea you’ve ever had. If you really want Lorelei in your life, that is. If you don’t want her, sure, go ahead because I believe you that it will be good for business. But sometimes, people have to come first, my friend.”

I frown. “I agree, and that’s why I’m doing this. It’ll be good financially for everyone.”

He shakes his head at me. “But sometimes other things are more important than cash.”

The knocking on my front door grows louder. “I need to get that. Are you joining us for dinner?”

“No, I’m going out for the night.”

That thought scares me. Jack out on the town with all the alcohol in the world available to him is a recipe for disaster.

Before I can protest, he says, “Don’t stress, Ashton, I’m going out with Sienna. She’ll keep me on the straight and narrow.”

“Good,” I mutter before heading to answer the door.

Finding Lorelei on the other side eases some of the tension from my body. She’s been by my side as much as she could be this past week, and has pretty much kept me going when the stress and exhaustion has gotten to me.

Snaking my arm around her waist, I pull her to me. “Do you have any idea how good it is to see you?”

Her eyes light up with pleasure as she loops her arms around my neck. After brushing a kiss across my lips, she says, “Don’t judge my outfit, okay? I was running late.”

I chuckle as I take another look at her body. “I’ve got no issue with this outfit. In fact, you should start wearing it more often for me. Have you just come from the gym?” She’s wearing the tightest multi-coloured tights and a fitted bra top thing under a jacket. The fact I can see skin makes me more than happy, not to mention that her legs in these tights look fucking amazing.

She grinds herself against me with a sexy smile. “You would say that. And yes I’ve just come from the gym, so you need to feed me. I’m starving.”

I bend my face to her ear. “No one’s going to be eating if you keep pressing yourself against my dick.”

Her arms tighten around my neck, and she pushes herself against me again. “I could wait to eat, I guess. Your mad skills more than make up for food.”

I run my hands down to her ass and smack her there. “No, I’m going to feed you first, because once I get started on this body, there is no way I’m being dragged from it.”

Twenty minutes later, we’re finishing up our dinner while chatting over a glass of wine. We’ve discussed our weekend away that we rescheduled after I had to cancel our last one and gone over what we want to achieve. Lorelei’s filled me in on her tenant issues and the fact she’s hopeful they may be resolved soon. And I’ve updated her on Mum’s health.

“So you didn’t see your dad today?” she asks as she finishes her glass of wine. My gaze is firmly fixed on her lips as she drinks. I’m imagining them wrapped around my dick later. “Ashton, did you hear what I said?”

I find her eyes again. “I was busy thinking about fucking you, but yes I did hear what you said. And no, I didn’t see him today.”

Heat flares in her eyes and a smile fills her face. “I like it when you think about fucking me, but before we do that, I want to tell you some exciting news.”

“You’ve decided to stop working so you can spend all your hours fucking me?”

She laughs and leans forward to place her hand on my leg. “Someone’s playful tonight.”

I lean forward and cup her breast through her shirt. “No, just ready to be inside you.”

“Let’s be real, you work too much. You wouldn’t have enough time for all that sex.”

I slide my hand into her top. “Who said anything about not working? I can multi-task. I would fuck you while I close deals over the phone. Hell, I’d probably be more productive because you make me feel so fucking good.”

She bites her lip and stands. A moment later, she’s straddling me and undoing the buttons on my shirt. “Okay, let’s be really real, then. You would be bored as hell with a woman who didn’t do something with her life. The sex-on-demand would grow old very fast for you.”

I reach a hand into her pants and find her clit. Rubbing it, I say, “This is why you’re the woman for me. Not only are you beautiful, you’re smart as hell.”

Her eyes flutter close and she bites her lip again as she moans softly. I could watch Lorelei experiencing pleasure for the rest of my life and I still wouldn’t get my fill.

When she opens her eyes again she hits me with a smile. “Guess what your woman did today?”

I return her smile. I fucking love her calling herself my woman. “What?”

“I agreed to invest in an apartment complex in Bondi.”

Alarm bells ring in my head, and I frown. “With Ryan Shandwick?”

She nods excitedly. “Yes! It’s an amazing deal. I can’t believe I was lucky enough to meet him at that party you took me to and have the opportunity to be involved in this.”

Fuck.

I’d meant to look into this, but I got sidetracked with everything else going on.

Before I can say anything, she asks, “Why are you frowning?”

I remove my hand from her pants and place them on her legs. “I don’t trust Shandwick.”

“Do you know him?”

“I know of him and his reputation.”

“What’s his reputation?” she demands.

“He’s been involved in some shady deals.”

Her lips press together. “That doesn’t mean this is a shady deal. I went through all the documentation today, and it all looks legit to me. Even the local council is supporting him.”

“Fuck, Lorelei, that doesn’t mean much. Politicians are as dishonest as your local criminal. Shandwick must be giving them a kickback of some sort to endorse it.”

She straightens, her body tense. “You don’t know that for sure. I’m telling you, I went over all the information with a fine toothcomb. I couldn’t find anything that concerned me.”

I rake my fingers through my hair. “Okay, leave it with me. I’ll look into it.”

Her eyes widen, and the angry expression on her face tells me I’ve said something wrong. Moving off me, she snaps, “I don’t need you to look into it. I’ve looked into it.”

I stand, too. “I know you have, but I’ve got a lot more experience with this than you, so I’ll look at it, too.”

She stares at me for a long few moments. Anger radiates off her, and I wonder why she’s so worked up about this. When she scoops her bag up and slings it over her shoulders, I’m even more confused.

Moving closer to her, I ask, “Where are you going?”

“I need a moment. Or fifty.”

“Where?” I’m hopeful she means somewhere else in this house.

“At my place.”

“So you’re going home? Because I offered to look into this for you? That makes no sense, Lorelei.”

Her eyes flash with wild energy. The kind that screams her fury. “Oh, it makes perfect sense to me. I’m so offended you would think that I’m not capable of this. I need some space to calm down.”

“Calm down here.”

She madly shakes her head. “No, I don’t want you anywhere near me at the moment, Ashton.”

I attempt to hook my arm around her waist and force her to stay, but she’s running on anger and smacks my hand away.

Those wild eyes of hers meet mine. “This is not the night for you to do your usual bossy shit. I’m telling you that I just need the night to calm down, and then we can discuss the way you take over without stopping to think about my feelings. I understand that you’ve got more experience, but you need to understand there are ways to say and do things.” She pauses to take a breath and then adds, “I can see myself out.”

With that, she stalks out of my house, and for the first time in my life, I resist the urge to go after what I want.

I want nothing more than to stop her, throw her over my shoulder and drag her back inside.

I do not want to let her walk out of here tonight. But I’m coming to understand that when Lorelei is angry, she needs a moment. And if I’ve got any shot at keeping her in my life, I need to step the fuck back and give her that. What she’ll need to understand very quickly, though, is that after she’s had that moment, I’ll be coming for her and no fucking way will I be leaving without what I came for.

 

Chapter Forty-One

Lorelei

Sienna whistles low when I walk into our shared office the next morning. “Babe, you look like you partied all night, got no sleep, and tried to cover your exhaustion with concealer. Tell me you did party. With Ashton.”

I dump my bag on the table and slump into a chair. After taking a long gulp of the coffee I picked up on the way to work, I grumble, “There was absolutely no partying with Ashton last night. Instead, he upset me, and I left his place early so I could put some space between us. I spent the night thinking about what happened, and only got about an hour of sleep.”

Her eyes widen, and she sits next to me. “What did he do? It’s not like you to get upset for no reason.”

I rake my fingers through my hair, still felling annoyed and unable to shake it. I fill her in on the conversation that took place between Ashton and me and then ask her, “Do you think I overreacted?”

“No, I don’t think so. Ashton can be super arrogant, and it sounds like you reacted to that more than anything else. You work hard on your business, and I’m sure you did your due diligence on this deal, so it would have been like a slap in the face for him to insinuate you didn’t.”

I sigh. “See that’s where I did overreact. He didn’t really insinuate that. It was more like he said he’d look into it because he has more experience, and he’s right, he does. I got my back up at the way he just kinda took over and said he’d do it. It made me feel inadequate, which meant my ability to think logically flew out the window.” I take another gulp of coffee and then groan. “I hate overreacting like this. He probably thinks I’m an idi—”

Sienna cuts me off. “There is no way Ashton thinks anything bad about you. And while it would have been good to be logical, it’s not always possible when our emotions take over, so don’t beat yourself up. Just reach out to him today and talk it over.”

I realise that I’m more annoyed at myself now than Ashton. And it’s ten times worse being annoyed at yourself than someone else.

A text comes through, and I check my phone.

Boston: I’m doing some work today with Crave. You should come meet them.

Crave is one of my favourite bands, but there’s no way in hell I’m going to go meet them. That would send the wrong signal to Boston. I decide to ignore his text, hoping he might take me more seriously.

“Why are you suddenly looking stressed?” Sienna asks.

I hold up my phone. “Boston. He invited me to meet Crave today. I just wish he’d get the message that we’re over.”

“Crave! Holy shit! I’ll go. I wanna get my Jett on.” Jett’s the lead singer, and Sienna’s had a slight infatuation with him for years.

“Settle down, Jett’s getting married. You’re out of luck there, babe. What about Van?”

“Ugh, that’s right. I keep reading all about the plans they’re making for their wedding. Presley this, and Presley that. I wanna vomit at how perfect they seem for each other. But I don’t think Van’s my type. If I couldn’t have Jett, I think I’d have to choose Hunter.”

I laugh. “You do know that the shit you read in those magazines is rubbish, right?”

“Don’t burst my bubble, Lorelei. According to what I read yesterday, Hunter is looking for a woman, and he has this thing for blondes. I could totally be who he’s looking for. You know I’ve always had a thing for drummers.”

Before I can respond to that, a delivery guy knocks on our door. He’s holding a huge bunch of red roses. Glancing between us, he asks, “Either of you Lorelei Winters?”

“Wow,” Sienna murmurs. “The man doesn’t muck around when he sends flowers.”

I take the flowers from the guy. “Thanks.”

As he leaves, Sienna says, “There has to be at least 100 roses in that bouquet.”

I pull the card out of the envelope.

Lorelei, I’m sorry for being an asshole. Please forgive me.

My tummy does somersaults. No man has ever sent me flowers after an argument. It’s not so much the flowers that mean so much to me, but rather the fact he’s making an effort.

I grab a vase out of the cupboard and arrange them in it. “I’m going to call him now and talk this through.” I don’t want to wait for him to reach out. If I could, I’d go to him so we could discuss it in person, but I have an appointment in an hour that I need to finish preparing for.

“No need. I’m here.” Ashton’s deep voice sounds from the doorway.

I turn to find him coming my way. His eyes burn with determination. I can’t deny it—as much as it sometimes pushes me to places I’m not sure I want to be pushed, this fierce drive of his is one of the things I like about him the most.

“I’m just going to pop out for a bit and leave you two alone,” Sienna calls out, but neither Ashton nor I respond. He’s on a mission, and I’m held captive by it.

“Thank you for the roses,” I say softly, suddenly feeling unsure of this conversation.

He comes all the way to me. “I didn’t come to discuss flowers, Lorelei. I came to apologise in person. I won’t make the mistake of taking over and not thinking about your feelings again.” He closes the tiny distance between us and snakes his arm around my waist to hold me close. “But you need to understand that the best way to deal with a disagreement like this is not to run from me.”

His commanding tone and bossy words snap me out of the spell I’m under. Pressing against his chest, I say, “I appreciate the apology, but not the directive that went along with it. If I need a time-out, I need it, so don’t come here telling me how to deal with a situation.”

God, can the man be any more arrogant?

He refuses to budge, not allowing even a small gap between us. His hold on me tightens. “I’m not telling you that you can’t have your space. What I am telling you, though, is that I don’t like leaving a disagreement hanging between us when we’re apart from each other. Next time this kind of thing happens, have your time-out, but do it under the same roof. And when you’ve calmed down, come to me so we can fix it then rather than waiting the night.”

It’s in moments like this that I wonder about my mental state. One minute I’m irritated with him because of his arrogance, the next, my irritation is completely gone. I often swing between emotions with Ashton, and that’s not something I’ve experienced with a man before. My emotions have pretty much always remained steady when I’m with someone.

Steady and a little boring.

Not a moment with Ashton is steady or boring.

Grasping his shirt, I say, “How do you always get away with being arrogant and bossy?”

His brows lift. “You think I got away with it last night?”

“Well, no, but—”

Ashton cuts me off by backing me up against the wall and gripping my waist with both hands. “No buts, Lorelei,” he growls. “I fucked up last night, and I didn’t get away with it. I respect you standing up for yourself, but just so you’re aware, it was the longest fucking night of my life. I’ve never wanted anyone like I want you. To not know where your head was at, fucked with my head, and I never want to go through that again. Promise me we won’t.”

My legs go weak at the passion blaring from him. And at his honesty and willingness to lay himself bare like this. Taking hold of his face, I nod. “I promise I won’t do that to us again.”

His eyes search mine for what feels like forever before he finally lets out a breath that sounds like it’s been trapped for a long time. “Thank fuck.”

 

Chapter Forty-Two

Ashton

“You’re in a better mood tonight than you were this morning,” Jack says over a drink that night.

He called and asked me to meet him at this bar after work. I could hear in his voice that this was important to him, so instead of arguing about his drinking, I agreed.

I take a drink of the whisky sitting in front of me. “That’s because I fixed things with Lorelei.”

He lifts a brow. “Does that mean you told her how concerned you are about the Shandwick deal?”

“No, it means I’m still looking into that. For now, I’ve apologised and just left it, but I’m certain I’ll need to bring it up again soon.”

“You really think it’s a shady deal?”

“I do.”

“I hope you’re wrong for Lorelei’s sake.”

“I’m not wrong, Jack. All I can hope now is that she can get out of it by the time I make her see what’s going on.”

He throws some whisky down his throat. “I saw Cassia at the café near your work today. Couldn’t get away from her. She went on and on about how good your parents are to her. Are they that close now?”

I squeeze my whisky glass. “Apparently so. She’s there every time I visit Mum.”

“What’s going on with her?”

“I don’t know, and I don’t want to know.”

“Did I ever tell you I don’t like that woman?”

I chuckle. “Only every opportunity you got.”

He grins. “And you chose never to listen to me. Maybe when it comes to Lorelei you’ll listen to me.”

I narrow my eyes at him. “I thought you liked Lorelei.”

“Oh, I do, and that’s why you need to listen to me. I’m concerned you’re going to fuck it up with her otherwise.”

“How would I fuck it up?”

“Let me count the ways. The Willow Street plans you have. Your need to take control of her and everything she does. There’s probably a hundred other things you’ll do, but these are the main ones.”

“I’m not trying to control her. I’m trying to help her. There’s a difference.” I ignore the reference to the Willow Street development. We’ve already discussed that, and as far as I’m concerned, he’s wrong.

“We’re going to have to agree to disagree, Ashton. But just don’t screw things up. I like that woman.”

I drink some more whisky. The bar is getting busy as all the suits head out for a drink on their way home from work. I want to discuss whatever Jack brought me here for before it gets too noisy.

“What’s going on, Jack? What did you want to talk with me about?”

He eyes me over the rim of his glass and takes his time drinking before he replies. “I’m going back to the States.”

Worry hits my gut. “Why?” That’s the last place he needs to be now.

“I’ve found a new manager, and she wants me back there. She’s got some scripts for me to read. She also wants me to fix my public image, so I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. I need to get back there and start on that.”

“What kind of work?” I know exactly what kind of work he means, but I want him to say it so I can bring up my reservations.

“Fuck, Ashton, you know how this goes. Don’t give me hell over it.”

“Yeah, I know exactly how this goes, Jack. You make appearances everywhere and schmooze with as many of the players as you can. Parties, events, premiers, anywhere you can go. And eventually that leads to drugs and alcohol, and you’re right back where you are now, only worse, because you never finished the work you’ve started here. Why would you do that to yourself?”

Anger flashes across his face. “Because it’s my career.”

“And here I was thinking you wanted a break from that career. What’s changed?” I’m angry, too. But even more than that, I’m worried as hell for my friend. This is the absolute worst move he could make right now, and I’m fairly certain he’s not going to listen to my concerns.

“It’s what I live for, Ashton. If anyone can understand that drive, I would think it should be you. You live for your work just as much as I do.”

“I do understand that, but why can’t you take the time to get your health under control before heading back to work?”

He shoves his fingers through his hair, and I notice how shaky his hands are. Fuck, he’s worse than I thought.

“I need this. I’m going crazy not working.”

I lean forward. “You mean you need the attention? Is that it, Jack?” I know I’m being a bastard, but I’m struggling to keep my calm.

He finishes his drink and slowly places his empty glass down as he stands. The hurt in his eyes is clear to see, and I regret my choice of words. “So I like the attention. I wouldn’t be able to do my job if I didn’t. But besides that, I want to be back working. I’m lost without it. And fuck you.”

He walks out of the bar, and I resist the urge to follow him. It’s the last thing our friendship needs right now. Jack might be in desperate need of help where his health and addictions are concerned, but at some point I have to let him realise that himself. I think we’ve reached that point, and it fucking kills me to watch him harm himself in the way he is. All I can do now is pray that his fall isn’t as hard as I suspect it might be.

***

“You’re so tense,” Lorelei says an hour later while she massages my shoulders.

I arrived ten minutes ago, and once she saw how tense I was, she dragged me into her lounge room and ordered me to sit on the floor while she sat on the couch and massaged me.

“Jack’s going home.”

Her hands stop moving for a moment before she resumes working on my knots. “Why?”

I fill her in on everything he told me. I’m wound even tighter than I was when I spoke with him, and the words fall out of my mouth. It’s unusual for that to happen, and I’ve never dated a woman I’ve shared such personal stuff with.

When I finish, she leans forward against me and glides her hands down over my chest. Her head rests on my shoulder, and she says, “I’m sorry this is so hard for you.”

I wrap my hands around her wrists and turn my face so I can catch her lips in a kiss. When I end it, I say, “You should come and sit on my lap and let me work my stress out with you.”

She smiles. “That didn’t even sound bossy.”

I return her smile. “I’m trying.”

“You know, I think there are definitely times when bossy suits you better.”

“You want me to be bossy, Lorelei?”

“I’m not sure. I’m still deciding. I mean, I don’t want to encourage bad behaviour.”

Fuck, I love this banter with her. “I’m giving you five seconds to decide. After that, it’s bad behaviour all the way.”

Her smile turns cheeky, and she moves her mouth to my ear. “Five, four, three, two, one—”

Before she knows what’s happening, I move so that she’s on her back on the couch, and I’m on top of her. Reaching under her skirt, I find her panties and slide my hand inside. Meeting her gaze, I say, “Is this the kind of bad behaviour you were trying to avoid? I can stop anytime you want. You just say the word.”

Her eyes flutter shut as I push two fingers inside her. “Oh God, don’t you dare stop.”

I have no intention of stopping. Watching Lorelei come is the only thing on my agenda tonight.

Dropping my face to hers, I kiss her while I work to bring her to orgasm. She loops her arms around my neck and grips me there while she kisses me with an urgency I’ve not known from her.

Fuck.

Her need for me almost pushes me over the edge. I want nothing more than to drive my dick inside her, but I hold myself back so I can make her come first.

Her back arches up off the couch, and she moans as her fingers dig into my neck. My dick grows harder while I watch her head press back against the couch, and when her pussy pulses around my fingers, I almost come too.

“Fuck,” I growl. “I love watching you lose yourself.”

Her eyes open, and she hits me with a sexy smile. Reaching for the top button of my shirt, she undoes it and says, “I love watching you fuck me. I think you should hurry up and do that.”

I scoop my arm under her waist and take her with me as I move to a sitting position with her straddling me. “You know what I think you should do?”

Her gaze is firmly on mine, heat blazing from those beautiful eyes of hers. She undoes the next couple of buttons on my shirt. “What?”

I run my hands up her thighs and push her skirt up. “I want to watch you strip for me.”

She stops what she’s doing with my buttons as her eyes widen. “I’ve never stripped for a man before.”

I hate the hesitation I hear in her voice. Lorelei is a goddess. She shouldn’t have any confidence issues. “Good. I’ll be your first.” I bring my lips to hers and kiss her before adding, “And your only.”

She stills as I say those three words. It was my intention to say them, and I’m interested to see her reaction. Taking hold of my face with both hands, she kisses me again. “Your only,” she says softly. It’s not a question, but I hear the uncertainty.

“Yes, Lorelei, your only,” I say firmly. I don’t want there to be any misunderstanding here. I’m not ready to say the other three words that would clear any confusion, but there’s no doubt in my mind that I want Lorelei in my life forever.

She holds my gaze for a long few moments, not saying anything, just watching. And then she slowly moves to stand in front of me.

I run my eyes down her body, always blown away by her beauty. That she’s mine, is everything. I’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that never changes.

She finds my gaze and locks onto it as she slowly slides her top over her head. It hits the floor, but neither of us notice because we’re both too engrossed in what she’s doing.

Her skirt is next to go. The way she turns her back to me and shimmies out of it while bending over is enough to make me reach for my zip. A moment later, my hand is wrapped around my cock, and I stroke it while watching her.

My breath slows when she faces me again and seductively runs a finger down between her breasts to her panties. She places her other hand to the back of her head and threads her fingers in her hair. At the same time, she begins swaying her hips.

“Fuck, baby,” I rasp, gripping my dick harder. “You’re a natural at this.”

A smile spreads across her face, and she reaches inside her panties. Her hand is hidden from me, but I can see she’s rubbing her clit. “Do you want to see my tits next or my pussy?”

Filthy words have never sounded better than on Lorelei’s lips. I want nothing more than to drag this out, but I’ve reached the point where I need her now.

Reaching forward, I curl a hand around her thigh and pull her to me. “I want you sitting on my dick so I can fuck you.” I yank her panties down and grip her ass while she straddles me, slowly lowering her pussy onto my dick.

I close my eyes for a moment while she takes me in. “Goddam you are fucking wet,” I say when I reopen them.

She grasps my arms. “That’s because I’ve been thinking about you all day. I may have even used my vibrator when I got home from work because I couldn’t stop thinking about you.”

I’m fucking done at those words. I can’t restrain myself any longer. Flicking her bra open, I pull it off and then take hold of her waist. Moving my mouth to her ear, I growl, “Fuck me, baby. And after you’ve done that, be ready for me to fuck you in ways you’ve never dreamt of.”

She doesn’t hesitate; she fucks the hell out of me. It’s hard and it’s fast, and I can’t get enough of what she’s giving me.

We’re all fingers digging into skin.

Frantically clawing for release.

Desperately needing each other.

When we come, our bodies are pressed together tightly, arms wrapped around the other, and mouths crushed together in a kiss that goes on forever.

I never want to let her go.

Lorelei is becoming my everything.

My lover.

My confidant.

My weakness.

Time with her is the only thing I crave.

And if I’m truly honest, I am in love with her.

 

If you’d like the ebook version delivered to your inbox, sign up here.