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Authors: Noelle Adams

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BOOK: Chasing Jane
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My breath hitches.

I’m not sure why I’m surprised, after what he’s just told
me, but I am. I’ve never thought to feel Nate like this before. I used to
occasionally wonder what he’s like in bed, but I always cut the imaginings
short, since it felt wrong to think about him that way.

It doesn’t feel wrong now.

I shift again, and my surprise vanishes. The whole world is
dark and quiet and deep and urgent. If Nate is hard, it seems a natural part of
this strange and needy night. I rub myself against him, feeling a corresponding
tension tighten between my legs.

I want him too.

“Jane, don’t,” Nate gasps, although he pushes his hips into
mine. “Not unless . . . unless . . .”

I know what he’s saying. I don’t stop. The pressure at my
center is almost painful now, a deep arousal developing out of nowhere,
spurring me on. I kiss his shoulder, moaning at the feel of his erection
against my belly.

“God, Jane. Are you sure?” His hands are all over me now,
touching me in ways he never has before, caressing my back, my bottom, my
thighs, the curve at the side of my breast.

“I need you, Nate. Don’t leave.” I kiss my way up his neck
and lingered to mouth his jawline, where I always kiss him, my special spot.

“I’m never going to leave you.” He grunts as I wrap one of
my legs around his hip, aligning his erection with my arousal. “Jane, baby, are
you sure? Are you sure this is what you want?”

“Yes, this is what I want.” I couldn’t have stopped, even if
I wanted to. But I don’t want to. Some sort of desperate hunger has taken over
my body, and Nate is all that matters in the world.

I pull down his pants to free his hard length and take it in
my hands until he makes hoarse sounds of pleasure that just deepen my own need.
Then I let him slide off my pajamas and position himself between my legs.

“Jane?” His mouth is brushing lightly against mine, and he’s
holding himself with so much restraint that he shakes from it. His skin is damp
with perspiration. So is mine.

I pull him down on top of me, needing to feel him. All of
him. “Nate, please. Now.”

“Do we need—” He breaks off abruptly, as if he’s feeling too
much, too good.

I’m on birth control, and we’re both healthy. I know it for
sure. There’s no way I can stop at his point anyway. “Nate, now.”

The pressure as he enters me is intense. And it’s deep. And
it fills me in every way. I gasp out, arching beneath him. And I gasp again
when he takes his first thrust.

We don’t speak as we rock together, the covers pushed down
past Nate’s hips. I dig my fingernails into his back and his ass, marking him
in my desperation to get him even closer, feel him as deeply as I can.

His rhythmic huffs intensify as my motion becomes frantic
and rushed beneath him. I can hear myself making odd little sobbing sounds, but
I can’t help it. All the need, all the pressure, all the pleasure is coalescing
into a tension that is about to break.

I wrap my legs around him, squeezing him with my arms and my
thighs.

Nate lowers his face to give me a clumsy, hungry kiss.

I climax against his mouth, my cry of release muffled and my
body shaking helplessly.

Nate’s head jerks to the side and he chokes out, “God, Jane.
Yes.” He fall completely out of rhythm as he comes as hard as I do.

He buries his face in the hollow between my shoulder and throat,
and I cling to him with my arms and my legs. We’re both gasping loudly, hot and
exhausted and replete.

My body feels good. The weight of Nate on top of me feels
good, and natural, and safe. My body is still clinging to him internally,
occasionally spasming around the feel of him softening inside me.

The world is this room—a dark, deep, silent, primal place.
But even in this room, something at the back of my mind is wondering if this is
even right, if this is how we are supposed to be.

Nate is my best friend, my family, my security. He has never
been
this
.

I smother the thought as soon as it materializes. We need
each other tonight. We’ve loved each other all our lives. And nothing—not pain
or lies or betrayal or the motion of our bodies—will never be able to tear us apart.

I’ll worry about the rest of it tomorrow.

Five

 

Tomorrow comes sooner than I want it
to.

I wake up tangled up in Nate’s limbs—lying on one of his
arms, trapped beneath one of his legs. He’s still asleep as I try to process
where I am and what happened last night. Then I gently try to slide away from
him without waking him.

I pull on my pajama pants, which have been pushed under the
covers, and then I sit on the side of the bed and try to breathe.

It feels like the world is different than it was just
yesterday.

I hear the covers rustle and feel the mattress shift, and I
know that Nate has woken up. He doesn’t say anything. He just scoots over to my
side of the bed, pulling on his pajama pants as he straightens up to sit beside
me.

I watch him as he does so. He was sleeping naked, and I can
clearly see the hair on his legs, the flat skin of his abdomen, his penis and
balls before he pulls the waistband up to cover them. Last night, it was too
dark for me to see his body, and I can’t help but look now—in the light.

I’ve always loved how he looks and that hasn’t changed, now
that I can see him naked.

He sits beside me, as silent as I am.

After a minute, he reaches over and picks up my hand, which
is resting on the bed between us. He holds it in both of his.

I don’t pull my hand away—partly because it would hurt him
and I don’t want to do that, and partly because I like how it feels.

Eventually, I decide someone should say something, but I
have no idea what to say. I have no idea what to think. I don’t know if things
are hopelessly wrong between us now…or finally, finally right.

The lingering, urgent question in my mind upsets me so much
I take a loud, shaky breath.

Apparently, that’s what breaks through Nate’s reserve. He
speaks in a voice that’s intentionally gentle, intentionally composed. “I
joined that dating site because you were raving about it so much. I was
curious, and I wanted to do it and then tell you afterwards, just to tease you
or whatever.”

I take another deep breath, this one a little less shaky.
His words make sense and sound true.

“I named myself Rochester…well, it was just to be funny and
ironic. You’re Jane and I’m Rochester. I thought you would get a kick out of
it.”

For the first time since he got dressed, I look over at him.
His vivid blue eyes are focused unwaveringly on my face.

“I didn’t go looking for you. I promise I didn’t. But I
guess there were enough similarities in our profiles that they matched us up. I
knew it was you. I knew it from the beginning. I was going to…going to write
you one note and then spill the beans. I thought it would be funny.” He clears
his throat. “But then you wrote back to me, and you were so…so
you
. And
you told Rochester things you’d never told me before—about how you always felt
like you were searching for something deep, something that would change you. I
had to respond to it. I had to make sure you were heard. And then I couldn’t
seem to stop.”

He’s still holding my hand, stroking the back of it with
both of his thumbs, and my heart is jumping around wildly as I breathlessly
wait for him to finish.

“It’s like I said last night. I suddenly had the opportunity
for you to see me in a different way, hear what I think about things, take me
seriously in a way you never have.”

I make a strangled noise. “I always take you seriously. You’re
the one who always tries to lighten up deep conversations.”

“I know. I know I do that. I always have. It’s hard for me
to…to go deep—even with you. But, as Rochester, I was able to do it because
there was this layer of distance between us. But all of it was really me. None
of it was a lie or an act. I might have started because I thought it would be
funny, but it stopped being funny a long time ago.”

“So when…” I’m so overcome with emotion that I have to pause
and restart. “So when were you planning to tell me.”

“I’ve been wanting to for weeks now, but then…” He gives a
rueful huff of laughter. “But then I started to get jealous. Of
Rochester
.
How ridiculous is that? But I started to worry that you were only interested in
that one part of me and not all the rest. So I kept stalling. I knew if I told
you, I’d have to tell you everything…about how I feel about you, I mean. And I
was so scared that it would change everything between us. It was just too much
to risk.”

“And…and how do you feel?” I’m holding my breath now. I have
no idea why.

His face softens, and his eyes are very tender. “I told you
last night. I love you—in every way a man can love a woman.”

“We were…” I pause to swallow hard. “We were always best friends.”

“I’m still your friend. I’m still your best friend.”

“How long have you…” I can’t quite finish the question.

He gives a little shrug. “I don’t know. I have no idea. For
a while. For a few years. I’ve always been attracted to you, even though I wasn’t
supposed to be. But eventually it just came together that I wanted even more
from you. But you were always dating someone else, and then your mom…your mom
died. So it never seemed like the right time to make a move.” He sighs.
“Besides, if you didn’t feel the same way, then it was just too much to risk.”

“Yeah,” I breathe, understanding completely. More and more
often, I’ve been getting little flickers of interest and feeling for him—but
pushing them away immediately since they would unavoidably change things
between us, potentially come between us.

 We sit without speaking for a few minutes, the silence
broken only by the sound of our breathing.

“So do you…” Nate’s raspy voice finally cuts through the
quiet. “Do you understand?”

“Yeah. I understand.”

“Are you still mad at me?”

“A little.”

“Do you…” He clears his throat. “Do you think you might feel
the same way I do?”

I’ve been staring down at my lap, but now I suddenly look up
to see his face. “I love you.”

“I know you do.”

“I…I’m really attracted to you. I never admitted it before,
but I am.”

His expression softens with something strong—maybe relief.
“Good.”

“I really liked what we did last night.”

He leans forward slightly, his eyes holding mine. “Me too.”

“I’m scared.”

His lips are just a breath away from mine. “Me too.”

He presses his mouth against mine, and my lips soften and
then open for him. The kiss deepens as he pushes forward, taking my head in
both of his hands. Pleasure and excitement and absolute trust rush through my
body with my blood.

Because this is Nate. And he’s everything he’s ever been to
me. And so much more that I’ve never dreamed of.

After a few minutes, we end up lying on the bed together.
He’s still kissing me gently, and I’m running my hands over his back. I love
the feel of it—firm and smooth and lean and strong.

He’s smiling as he rolls off me. I’m on my back, and he’s on
his side. I’m not really ready for the embrace to end, so I turn my head and
lean forward so I can kiss him again.

He keeps smiling as he kisses me back.

“Stop smiling,” I say, for no good reason, since I feel like
smiling too.

“I can’t.”

“You’re making me self-conscious.”

His hand has been resting on my hip, and now it slides up,
stroking over my belly until he’s cupping one breast over my thin top. “I’m
sure you’ll work through it.”

He’s confident now, and I realize it’s because he’s assured
himself that our changing feelings aren’t going to end up tearing us apart.

That’s given me confidence too.

I gasp as he gently thumbs my nipple.

His smile widens, and his eyes crawl hungrily over my body
and flushed face. “You have no idea how much and how long I’ve wanted to do
this.”

“Touch my boob?”

He chokes on a laugh and leans forward to capture my lips
again. Just before he does, he murmurs, “That and many more things.”

So then the kiss deepens—a lot. He slowly undresses me, and
I pull back down his pants, and he’s hard and I’m pliant as he enters me again.
This time, we’re as slow as we were urgent and rushed last night, and we rock
together rhythmically, leisurely, and we’re kissing each other the whole time.

I don’t come this time. Our motion is too slow and soft, but
nothing has ever felt better than being with Nate like this, touching him,
stroking him, kissing him, giving myself to him completely, knowing he’s loving
me with everything that’s in him to love.

It feels real this time—more real than it did last night.

I wrap my legs around him as his motion finally speeds up,
becoming jerky and uneven. He’s panting against my neck as I feel his body
tighten deliciously and then feel the tension release in waves that make him
moan.

We hug each other for a long time afterward, and the last of
my doubts fades away.

When he finally rolls off me, I’m smiling.

He slants me a questioningly look. “What?” he asks.

I shake my head, unable to stop smiling.

“You’re making me self-conscious now.”

“Good,” I say, giving him a soft, playful swat on the chest.
“Now you know how I felt earlier.” After a moment then, I admit, “I’m just
happy.”

He smiles then too, warmth and joy and understanding
palpable in his eyes. “I’m glad to hear it. I plan to keep making you happy—for
as long as you’ll let me.”

A shiver of delight overwhelms me, but I manage to say in an
impressively dry voice, “But I don’t want you to think we’ll be spending the day
in bed together.”

He arches his eyebrows. “We won’t?”

“No. We only have a few more days here, and we’ve got a lot
to see. So today we’ll need to go to Chawton to see all the Jane Austen stuff
there, and tomorrow we’ll go to Bath.”

He laughs, low and warm. “Sounds like a plan. But maybe
you’ll let me change our reservations in Haworth and take one room instead of
two.”

I think about this for a moment, the hesitation entirely for
show. “I guess that would be all right—although I don’t know if the Janes would
approve of such scandalous behavior.”

He pulls me into his arms again and says against my lips,
“As long as this Jane approves, then I can live with it.”

“But this whole trip was about chasing the Janes.”

“Well, I chased
my
Jane. And I caught her.”

He didn’t really chase me. We both just stumbled along
together until we landed in the same bed.

But I figure this isn’t the time to be literal about such
things.

***

Later that day, after visiting the
Jane Austen house and sites in the village of Chawton, we end up at The Vyne, a
gorgeous 16
th
century country house and estate, where Jane Austen
went to dances.

I’m having one of the best days of my life, as all the
tangled pieces of my life come together with that perfect unity that only
occurs occasionally. After we tour the house, we walk around the grounds, and I
gush over the gardens and the ornamental lake.

Nate might not care as much about Jane Austen as I do, but I
know he’s having a good time too.

My mom would have loved to be here, but she always adored
Nate, and I know she would be happy that we’ve finally gotten together this
way.

It’s getting late in the day when I stare at the beautifully
kept grounds and impressive historic house. “I feel like I’m Elizabeth Bennet
at Pemberley, when she first starts to see Mr. Darcy differently.”

Nate is holding my hand, and he squeezes it lightly, even as
he gives me an exaggerated frown. “I hope you’re not going to compare me to
Darcy.”

I laugh softly and stretch up to kiss him on the jaw. “I
thought you wanted me to see you as a hero.”

“I guess. But can we find someone a little more appropriate
than him?”

“Captain Wentworth?”

“God, no.”

I try to smother a giggle. “Mr. Knightley?”

He makes a face. “I guess that’s a little better.”

I wrap my arms around his neck. “How about…Rochester?”

He smiles and kisses me. “That will have to do.”

***

And that’s really about all there is
to say about me and Nate and the long-awaited Jane journey. Except one last
thing, mostly because they’re words I’ve always wanted to write.

Reader, I married him.

But that’s another story.

***

If
you enjoyed Chasing Jane, you might check out the excerpt from another of my
friends-to-lovers romances, Married for Christmas, that can be found on the
following pages.

If you’d like to keep up with my new releases and
sales, you can sign up for my low-volume
newsletter
.

 

BOOK: Chasing Jane
13.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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