Authors: Farrah Rochon
“The last piece,” he ordered.
Phil lifted her hips again and pulled her panties down her legs, tossing them next to her bra. “You happy now?” she asked.
“You’ll know just how much in a minute,” he said.
Her eyes drifted to his lap, where the evidence of his happiness was gradually swelling. He knelt next to her and said, “Lie back.”
Dipping the brush in the paint, he trailed a line of sky blue down the valley between her breasts. It traveled along her stomach, causing her belly to tremble involuntarily. Jamal circled the tip of the brush around her belly button before continuing down, stopping at the neatly trimmed thatch of hair.
He pulled his lower lip between his teeth as he seemed to contemplate his next move. He added more paint to the brush and returned to her upper body, looping the brush around the base of her right breast.
Her eyes fluttered closed as Jamal lowered his head and pulled her puckered nipple into his mouth. Phil let out a soft moan, her back arching at the contact to her sensitized skin.
He repeated the process on the other breast, drawing a circle around the base before dipping his head and laving her with his tongue. His teeth grazed her nipple, then he sucked it into his mouth, tugging with a delicious pull that shot straight to the spot between her legs.
“More,” she said. She felt his rumble of laughter vibrate across her skin.
“You just love issuing orders, don’t you?”
“What?” Phil asked, her forehead creasing in a quizzical frown.
“More. Harder. Deeper. You were like a drill sergeant last night.”
Her entire body flushed with embarrassment. “Did I really say those things?”
He nodded. “I think it’s sexy.”
She smiled up at him. “Well, get to work,” she ordered.
Jamal set the brush and palette on the grass and climbed over her. Hovering above her on all fours, he returned his attention to her breasts, stroking the tips with his tongue. He brushed his lips down her right side, peppering her ribs with kisses, nipping her hip with a gentle love bite. He moved lower, capturing her knees and pushing them apart.
Phil’s stomach pulled tight as the spot between her legs pulsed with anticipation. Lifting herself up on her elbows, she peered down as Jamal’s head lowered between her legs. She let out a small cry at the first wet swipe of his tongue. With unforgiving relentlessness he worked his tongue up and down, pleasuring her with every decadent stroke. He swirled the tip around her clitoris, flicking in rapid succession before drawing it between his lips.
Phil clutched his head in her hands and cried up at the sky, lifting her lower body off the ground and giving herself over to his demanding tongue. Tremors racked her body as the orgasm that had been building erupted.
She fell limply back into the trampled grass, her limbs relaxing in satisfied relief. The butterflies in her belly started swarming again as Jamal traveled back up her body, dropping light kisses along her torso. He hovered over her, smears of blue paint tracking across his chest from where he’d rubbed against her.
“What does the drill sergeant want me to do next?” he asked.
Phil contemplated his question for a moment before saying, “Lie down.”
He complied, mirroring her pose in the grass. Phil summoned the strength to push herself up. She reached for the brush and palette, but Jamal caught her arm and shook his head.
“I think we’ve done enough painting for today,” he said.
“What is it you want me to do then?”
The gleam in his eye told her exactly what he wanted.
Nervous excitement trembled low in her belly. There were certain things she didn’t do with a man unless she trusted him implicitly. She wasn’t sure when she’d began to trust Jamal, but she did. And she wanted to do this for him.
He rose on one elbow and cradled her cheek in his palm. “You don’t have to if you don’t want to, Phylicia.”
She captured his hand and removed it from her face, brushing her lips across the back of his fingers. Then, with a hand to his chest, she ushered him back onto the grass.
Jamal’s eyelids lowered halfway and a slightly dazed look came over his face as she straddled his lower legs. Phil licked her lips before she bent over and pulled his thickening erection into her mouth. She heard his swift intake of breath, felt the shudder that quaked through him.
With unhurried movements, she worked her mouth up and down the length of him, running her tongue along the ridge of skin that rimmed the head, licking the spurt of precome that dripped from the tip. She relaxed her jaws so she could open wider, lowering her head until he hit the back of her throat, then sucking hard as she glided her mouth back up.
Jamal’s hand cupped her head as he guided her up and down. His eyes shut tight, he pitched his head back, his groans echoing around the vacant meadow.
“Phylicia,” he said with a strained whisper.
Phil drew him into her mouth over and over again, giving extra attention to the smooth head, wrapping her tongue around it. She sensed his balls drawing tight and, moments later, felt the rush of salty liquid hit the back of her throat as he erupted in her mouth.
“Damn,” Jamal breathed. He pulled in several deep breaths, his chest rising and falling. “That was a hell of a lot better than watching you paint.”
Phil grinned as she enclosed his softening erection in her palm. She glided her hand up and down his smooth length, a heady sense of power building within her as she felt it grow hard again.
She lowered her head to take him into her mouth once more, but Jamal stopped her.
“No,” he said. “In my pocket. There’s a condom in my wallet.”
Phil reached for the shorts he’d shucked off earlier and tore the wallet from the back pocket. She opened it and pulled out a condom. Tearing the packet open with her teeth, she rolled the latex down his now-stiff erection, her hands shaking. She straddled his hips, and like a woman desperate for her next breath, sank onto him.
Jamal cradled her waist, guiding her up and down. Phil splayed her palms flat over his muscled chest and gripped, trying to find purchase on top of him. With fevered pumping, she rode him hard, her entire being erupting in a swift, pleasure-soaked orgasm that tore a scream from her throat and sent her crashing down on top of him.
They lay in the grass completely spent, their ragged breathing the only sound around them.
* * *
Jamal trailed his finger in a gentle caress along Phylicia’s arm, starting from her shoulder and ending at her wrist. He couldn’t stop touching her, not as if he’d tried. If he had it his way, he’d take her back to his house and spend the next week gaining intimate knowledge of every delicious inch of her body.
“Which room was yours?” he asked her.
He’d spent the past hour learning more about her years growing up at Belle Maison. He’d never seen her more open and animated as she talked about her childhood there. But there was also a trace of sadness that lingered over her words, a forlornness that made him ache for her.
“I had the upstairs room that overlooks the front lawn, though I slept in the one with the balcony during the fall. I loved sleeping with the French doors open because of the breeze and the sound of the cicadas.”
“That’s why you wanted to make love out here. You like the sounds of nature.”
“May I remind you that
are the one who initiated that?” she asked.
“Because I could tell how much you wanted it,” he teased, nipping her shoulder.
“You are so cocky.” She laughed. “Anyway, I just want to make sure you appreciate that house. It was a special place to grow up.”
“What happened, Phylicia? Why did you sell it?” Jamal wasn’t surprised when he felt her stiffen against him. “I know you don’t want to talk about it,” he said. “But I’m asking you to anyway.”
She let out an audible breath and tilted her head to the side, resting it against his shoulder. “I put the house up as collateral for a loan I took out last year,” she said. “Me and...a business partner went in on a house-flipping venture. I bought three foreclosed houses in Maplesville for a pretty good deal and renovated them, but the housing market tanked and the houses have been on the market ever since.
“When I couldn’t make the payments on the construction loan, the bank repossessed Belle Maison.”
“Dammit,” Jamal said. “I figured you’d lost it, but I couldn’t figure out how.”
“Well, I haven’t really shared the details with anyone. Not even Mya.”
“What about this business partner?” he asked, though Jamal had a feeling he already knew who—and what—the business partner was to her.
“He’s a coward who I thought I was in love with,” she said matter-of-factly. “When the going got tough, he skipped town. The loan was in my name, so he got off scot-free.”
“What’s his name?” Jamal asked, his anger rising so swiftly it shocked him.
“Doesn’t even matter,” she said. “He’s inconsequential.”
“Did he talk you into buying the houses?”
“It was originally his idea, but I went along with it one hundred percent,” she said. “I allowed myself to fall into that situation. I’ve stopped blaming Kevin.”
“Kevin,” Jamal spat. “I never liked that name.”
She let out a sad laugh. “I certainly don’t like it now.”
“Have you been able to dig yourself out of the hole?” he asked.
She shook her head. “I’m trying, but it’s not as if I get a steady paycheck, you know? And with the mortgage on my house, and the cost of my mom’s care facility going up—”
“What about your mom?”
She leaned her head back and closed her eyes. “Oh, gosh,” she said on a weary breath. “My mouth is like a faucet I can’t turn off.” She looked at him and shook her head. “Jamal, the last thing I want to do right now is unload all my problems on you.”
“I’m asking you to,” he said. “What about your mom?”
“My mother suffers from early-onset dementia. She lives in a facility in Slidell that specializes in dementia patients. It’s extremely expensive, but it’s one of the best. I foot the bill for what Medicaid and my dad’s life insurance policy don’t cover.”
“So you’re taking care of two households,” he said.
“Basically.” She nodded.
“And trying to pay off a loan and three additional mortgages?”
“Those other three houses don’t have mortgages, thank goodness. But they’re still not creating revenue, and I still have to pay property taxes on them. My finances are what Mya would call a hot mess.”
He hesitated for a moment, already anticipating what her reaction would be. But he couldn’t
make the suggestion. “Phylicia, don’t take this the wrong way, but I want—”
“Don’t even think of offering me money,” she said, pushing away from him and turning to face him. “I didn’t tell you any of this to get money out of you. I didn’t even
to tell you any of this.”
“I know you aren’t trying to get money out of me. I’m offering it.”
“No,” she said.
“Phylicia, I can afford it,” he said. “Even if you insist on paying me back, at least you can save on the interest.”
“Jamal, are you insane?” she asked. “
I insist on paying you back? Even if I were to accept money from you—which I would not—do you think I would just take it without paying it back?”
“I’m just putting it out there as an option, Phylicia.”
“We hardly know each other,” she reasoned.
His head reared back, her words knocking the air from his lungs.
“Okay, I know what we did just a little while ago contradicts that, but let’s be honest here, Jamal. The fact is we really
know each other all that well,” she reiterated. “My financial problems have nothing to do with you. I got myself into this mess, and I’ll eventually get myself out.” She shook her head again. “I can’t believe I even told you about this.”
“As you pointed out, you didn’t want to tell me. I asked,” he reminded her. He reached for her, rubbing her thigh. “Look, I don’t want this to ruin our afternoon together.”
Though, from the dour look on her face, it was evident that it already had. Dammit, why couldn’t he just leave well enough alone?
Because he knew something was troubling her, and he had needed to know what it was. He hated to see the distress clouding her eyes.
She looked up at him, those brown eyes filled with apology. “I’m sorry,” she said. “Leave it to me to bite someone’s head off for offering to help me out.”
“It’s okay, Phylicia.”
“No, it’s ungracious and totally goes against my southern roots,” she said with just enough Scarlett O’Hara twang to draw a smile from him. Her expression became serious once again as she caressed his cheek. “It really was sweet of you, but it’s not your problem, Jamal. It’s mine, and I’ll eventually find a way out of it. I’ll just overcharge you for the work I’m doing on the house.”
He grinned at her quip, but he ached to fix this for her. He knew that money was not a cure-all, but in this situation, it was. He could easily write her a check and take care of all the things causing her distress.
“This kind of put a downer on the day, didn’t it?” she said. She looked up at him, her eyes bright. “We could have sex again. It’ll lighten things up.”
He did laugh this time. “I only had that one condom with me.”
“I noticed that,” she said. “You weren’t feeling very confident in your powers of persuasion, were you?”
“I figured after using three last night, neither of us would be able to handle more than one time today.”
“It’s been a long time since I did this, buddy. I can handle a whole lot.”
“That’s all you had to say. We’ll stop in at the pharmacy on our way back. I’ll make sure to stock up.”
“You do that and talk of our torrid love affair will be all over town before sunset.”
“Is that what we’re having?” Jamal asked. “A torrid love affair?”
She leaned over him, her face hovering mere centimeters from his. “Actually, we’re having an
torrid love affair. I’m technically your employee. If we were working in Corporate America, I could file a sexual harassment lawsuit against you.”