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Authors: Shannon Stacey

Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary

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BOOK: Alone With You
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When she blushed again and shifted her weight from one foot to the other, and then back again, he realized she either wanted him to make a graceful exit with a promise to call her later or make his move. The problem was deciphering which she was looking for.

Then she stood on her tiptoes and leaned forward, so he took the hint and moved in for the kiss.

* * *

thoroughly kissed in her life. When Jake first touched his mouth to hers, he’d been tentative, maybe even a little shy. Now she was backed up to her fridge, her nails digging into his shirt as his tongue danced over hers.

His hands slid from her waist up to her breasts and she moaned when his thumbs brushed over the taut nipples. Just the lightest touch, but it ignited a need in her stronger than any she’d felt in a long time. And then his lips left her mouth and blazed a trail down her neck.

“All I thought about tonight was kissing you,” he said, his breath warm against her skin.

“And yet you still almost always knew the right answer.”

“Well, I tried to pay attention when it was our turn, but when it wasn’t, all I could do was think about touching you.”

Darcy took a deep breath and said the words. “I’d like for you to stay. You know, if you want to.”

He straightened and looked down into her face. “You’re sure?”

“Very sure.”

“Then I want to.” He kissed her and, when she curled her arms around his neck, he lifted her off the floor.

It startled her and she wrapped her legs around his waist, really hoping he wouldn’t drop her. But she wouldn’t have fallen, anyway, with her back against the fridge and Jake between her thighs, his denim-clad erection putting a little pressure in just the right spot.

Once he’d kissed her until she could barely breathe, she felt him shift his arms to hold her more securely and then they were crossing the living room. She’d never been carried before and she buried her face in his neck, hoping nothing mood-killing happened, like running into a wall or hitting her head on the doorjamb.

When he leaned forward, she clutched at his shoulders for a second, until she felt the mattress under her. He went down with her, kissing her and nibbling at her ear, with short interruptions to pull her shirt off, then his shirt and then her bra.

The feel of his warm, naked skin against hers sent shivers through Darcy and she wanted more. She reached for the fly of his jeans, but was momentarily distracted when his mouth closed over her nipple. Gentle suction, then a little bit harder, and when he slid his hand between her legs, she lifted her hips, desperate for the touch, even through the jeans she still wore.

“Remember how I told you I spent the whole night thinking about touching you?” She made an
noise. “It’s even better than I imagined.”

They lost the jeans and socks and underwear then, and he lifted her so he could lay her down higher on the bed. She heard the rustling of a condom packet and then he covered her body with his.

Closing her eyes, she moaned as he filled her, moving with slow, even strokes that felt so good, but weren’t enough at the same time. “Faster.”

“In a hurry?”

She opened her eyes to find him smiling down at her. “It’s been a while.”

“Good.” But he didn’t seem inclined to obey her demand. If anything, he slowed his pace, drawing almost completely out of her and then pushing deep. She moved her hips, trying to urge him on, but his fingers pressed into her thighs, holding her still. “Not yet.”

“Who made you the boss?”

He drove into her, and her back arched off the bed as she bit down on the side of her hand, trying not to scream and wake her neighbor. Again and again he did it until she was almost at the brink...and then he stopped moving.

“More,” she whispered. One small, lazy circle of his hips was all she got. “You’re making me crazy.”

“Good.” He bent to her breast, sucking one nipple just hard enough to make her squirm. “I want you to be crazy about me.”

Then he kissed her mouth while his hips moved faster and harder and she gasped against his lips. This time when she lifted her hips, he didn’t stop her. Each thrust came faster and deeper until the orgasm rocked her.

With her ankles crossed behind him, she used her legs to hold him to her as the tremors faded. He groaned her name against her neck as he pushed into her in the deep, jerky rhythm of his own orgasm.

Darcy ran her hands over his back, trying to catch her breath. After a minute, Jake disappeared to the bathroom for a minute, but then he slid back into bed and pulled the covers up over them.

She’d rolled onto her left side when he got up because that was how she lay in bed and she was going to turn to face him, but Jake curled his body around hers before she got the chance. With his right arm thrown over her, he pulled her tight against him and kissed the top of her head.

“That was incredible,” he whispered, and she could already feel the relaxing of his muscles as he started nodding off.

The next thing Darcy knew, sunlight was streaming through her bedroom window and her trivia partner was leaning against the doorjamb, cursing and rubbing his toe. She winced, having kicked the cedar hope chest at the foot of her bed more than once herself.

“Sorry,” he said when he realized she was awake. “I was trying to be quiet.”

“Were you going to sneak out without saying goodbye?”

“No, I was going to let you sleep until the last possible second and then kiss you goodbye on my way out so you could maybe nod back off.”

Sweet, if it was true. He already had his jeans on, sadly, but she watched him pull on the rest of his clothes. He had an amazing body and it was such a shame to cover it up.

When he was done, he disappeared into the other room and then came back holding the paper with her name and number on it. He folded it before shoving it into his pocket, and then he leaned over the bed.

“I have a full day today, with a lot of travel and a meeting with a contractor, but I’ll call you tomorrow.”

Lounging in bed—her body happy and lazy from a night of lovemaking—and looking up into his dark eyes, she almost believed him. “I have tomorrow off, so whenever you get the chance is good.”

He kissed her goodbye and then got halfway across the bedroom before he came back and kissed her again. She laughed and wrapped her arms around his neck, but didn’t miss the fact that he was sneaking a peek at his watch.

“If I didn’t have a meeting with a contractor, I’d crawl back into bed with you,” he muttered against her lips. “And I already called a cab.”

“When will you be back in the city?”

“As soon as I can.” He kissed her one more time and then made it to the bedroom door. “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

She heard the front door close and then snuggled under her covers, grinning like an idiot. Jake just might be the keeper she’d been looking for.


cab drop him at Kevin’s house since that was where he’d left the business card with the phone number for the garage he’d handed his truck over to the day before. He wanted the oil changed and a maintenance check done before he headed up to the northern part of the state.

He paused for a few seconds outside the gate of the white picket fence surrounding the pretty, maroon-shuttered Cape that had a blue minivan in the driveway, looking at his friend’s world. Kevin Kowalski was a pretty lucky guy.

A pretty lucky guy whose wife, Beth, pinned Jake with a hard look the second he let himself in through the side door into the kitchen. She was sitting at the table, drinking coffee, and judging from the silence, Lily wasn’t up yet. Their daughter was a great kid but, man, was she loud.

“I’m sorry,” he said immediately. “I should have called.”

“Did you at least leave her a note, whoever she is?”

“I kissed her goodbye this morning and promised to call her tomorrow. And I will.”

Beth looked surprised, as did Kevin, who appeared in the doorway from the living room wearing flannel pajama pants and a Bruins T-shirt. “Did you tell her you’re not sticking around?”

“I told her I was leaving town, but that I want to see her whenever I’m down here.”

“Which won’t be often,” Kevin said.

“Don’t kill my buzz, man. She’s pretty and fun and wicked smart and I like her.”

That raised both their eyebrows, but he ignored them and helped himself to the coffeepot before calling to check on his truck. It was ready, so once his cup was empty, he went to gather his things out of the guest room he’d spent the night before last in while Kevin got dressed. He would have liked to stay until Lily woke up so he could say goodbye, but he settled for kissing Beth on the cheek and climbing into the Jeep parked in the shadow of Beth’s mom-mobile.

“So, where did you meet this pretty, fun, wicked-smart woman?” Kevin asked when they were on the road.

“At a bar.”

“Which bar?”

“Not your bar.” He’d been to Jasper’s Bar & Grille a few times to talk about the new offshoot pub they were opening together, but always while they were closed. It was hard keeping Kevin’s attention when the place was busy. “They were hosting an event and I went to check it out. See if it’s an idea worth running with.”

“I want to start advertising the launch soon. You’re sure we’ll hit the February mark?”

“We’ll soft-launch the first and have all the kinks worked out by the big Valentine’s Day shebang.” He wasn’t sure what that shebang was going to be yet, other than an opportunity for the guys to convince their wives snowmobiling was a great way to spend the holiday because they could have a romantic evening together at Jasper’s Pub.

“I emailed you the logo design. Did you see it?”

“Not yet.” He’d been busy.

“I think it’s good. Close enough to the bar’s for branding purposes.”

Even though Jasper’s Bar & Grille was a sports bar, they’d decided to keep the name and branding because a lot of the guys who loved nothing more than kicking back with a beer and watching a game at Kevin’s place were the same guys who were going up north to sled. They were banking on familiarity and maybe even some customer loyalty before they even opened.

Kevin pulled into the garage’s parking lot and left the motor running. He’d be going to the bar while Jake would be hitting the highway. “I’ll give you a head start before I send somebody up to work on the menu development and hiring servers and that shit.”

“Not a problem.”

“Do me a favor, though. If it’s a woman, swear to me you’ll keep it professional.”

Jake recoiled as if Kevin had popped him one. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“It means hands off the help.”

“You think I don’t know that? I’ve managed to be professional a long time without you slapping my hand.”

“Sorry.” Kevin sighed and shoved his hand through his hair. “I’m just overworrying. I believe the pub’s going to be a hit, but sometimes I realize just how much I’ve got on the line and I start thinking about every little thing that could go wrong.”

“Scratch me screwing the help off the list.” He had a feeling he might be off the market soon. He hoped, anyway.

Almost three hours later, Jake was lost, his GPS was confused and he was bouncing down a dirt road he wasn’t sure was even on the map. And it was raining. Hard.

He was looking for a place to turn around when he saw the car. The rain must have softened the shoulder because the car had slid down into the ditch. And, as he got closer, he saw a flash of what looked like a pink sweater in the driver’s-side window. Of course, it had to be a woman.

Saying every curse word he knew, just to get it out of his system, Jake hit the button for his four-way flashers and put his truck in Park. He unclipped the useless phone with no service from his pocket and tossed it in the center console, then climbed out. By the time he reached the car, he was soaked through.

He had to knock on the window to get the woman’s attention away from the squabbling kids strapped in the backseat, but when she saw him, he could almost feel her relief. “I’m stuck.”

“I can see that. I don’t think you’re very stuck, though.”

“Can you pull me out?”

“I don’t have a tow strap with me. I’m guessing you don’t, either.” She shook her head. “I should be able to push you out. You’re not far off. Put it in Drive and when I say, ‘Let off the brake and give it some gas,’ don’t gun it. Just nice and steady.”

It wasn’t much of a ditch, but the rain runoff had built up steam and it washed over the tops of his boots as he took his place behind the little car. After a quick check of the wheel positions, he placed his hands a little right of center on the trunk and braced himself.

“Give it gas,” he yelled.

The first attempt, she was nervous and didn’t give it enough gas. The second, she overcompensated for the first and spun the tires. On the third, she got it right and he was able to push her back onto the road. Of course, once the car drove out from under his hands, he slid in the loose gravel and ended up laid out in the ditch, but he was already so wet and filthy he didn’t bother wasting a good expletive on the fall.

Once he’d accepted her thanks and refused her offer of a grocery bag to put over his truck seat, he asked her for directions to the building the old hardware and feed store had been in and got his truck turned around.

He pulled up to the future Jasper’s Pub, feeling like a muddy, wet rat, just in time to see a guy climbing into a truck that read Peterson Construction. Jake laid on the horn, getting his attention.

After getting out, he jogged over to the other truck and the guy, who had to be Derek Peterson, lowered the window. “I’m sorry I’m late. Got lost. Dirt road. Woman and kids in a car slid off into the ditch. If you can wait five minutes, we can go over the plans.”

“Not a problem,” Peterson said, which didn’t surprise Jake. The kind of work he and Kevin were having done was scarce in the northern part of the state, and Peterson wasn’t going to walk away from it because he was half an hour late.

BOOK: Alone With You
7.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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