Authors: Lily Harper Hart
“Man, it’s really coming down,” Ally said, peering out the front window of Jake’s truck.
Jake was parked in front of her house, and the skies had opened up at almost the same moment he’d hit the driveway. “Yeah. I think it’s supposed to storm most of the night.”
“Well, I guess I should be getting inside.”
“Why don’t you wait for a minute,” Jake suggested. “Just to see if it lets up some. I don’t have an umbrella.”
Ally smirked. “No matter what my brothers say, I’m not a witch. I won’t melt if I get hit with a little bit of water.”
“That’s not what I said,” Jake said. “Just … give it a second.”
Ally sighed, leaning back in the black leather seat. “I really am sorry.”
“There’s no need to apologize,” Jake said. “Most men would be happy to be asked out by a beautiful woman.”
Ally made a face. “You’re not most men, though, are you?”
Jake killed the engine of the truck. “Ally … .”
“Don’t say anything,” Ally said. “I already feel like a complete and total moron. I’m … there are no words for how embarrassed I am. I don’t know what I was thinking. And, to do it in front of my brothers, that was just unfair to you.”
“Your brothers are … a trip,” Jake said. “Whatever you think, though, they love you.”
“I know they love me,” Ally said. “I also know I’m an adult.”
“You’re always going to see you as a little girl,” Jake said. “That’s how it works with brothers and sisters.”
“Do you see your sisters as little girls?”
“It’s different with my sisters,” Jake said. “I was the baby of the family, so they still see me as a little boy.”
“I bet they don’t tell you who you can date,” Ally said.
“No, it’s the opposite,” Jake said. “They’re desperate for me to bring someone home.”
“Oh, you haven’t brought your girlfriend back to meet your family?”
Jake bit the inside of his cheek. “No.”
Ally nodded, squaring her shoulders. “Well, you’ll know when it’s right. I should get inside.”
“Ally … .”
She didn’t give him a chance to finish the sentence, instead jumping out of the truck and stepping out into the rain. The minute the door slammed shut, Jake was out of the truck and moving toward her.
She didn’t turn around and acknowledge him, a fact that was driving Jake crazy.
She finally swiveled around, her brown hair clinging to her face. “What?”
“I was talking to you,” Jake said, pushing his own hair up his forehead. The rain was coming down in a sheet. He was already drenched. “You should recognize it when someone is talking, you’re familiar with the art.”
“Because I never shut up,” Ally finished for him.
Jake’s eyes moved down the front of her white blouse. The rain had plastered it to her skin, and her bra was poking out through the gauzy material. Even though the air was still warm, the rain was chilling, and Ally’s nipples had pebbled.
“You never do shut up,” Jake agreed, dragging his eyes up to her face.
“I should go inside,” Ally said.
“Just … wait a second,” Jake said, gathering his courage. “I want to talk to you.”
“Why? Haven’t we said everything there is to say? I told you how sorry I am. I can’t say it again. Tell your girlfriend I’m sorry, too.”
Ally turned back toward the house. As if it had a mind of its own, Jake’s hand shot out and grabbed her arm. He yanked her back to him, pressing her body against his.
“What are you doing?”
“I … .”
“Jake, what’s wrong?”
Jake couldn’t find the words. He often couldn’t. Instead, he found action. He pressed his mouth to Ally’s, wrapping his arm around her waist as his other hand tangled in her sopping hair.
Jake couldn’t breathe, but he found he didn’t need to. Ally’s mouth was like oxygen to him, and he continued to draw her life force inside as his mouth probed hers. He felt her tongue touch his, and he sighed.
When they finally parted, Ally’s face was awash with confusion. “What was that?”
“It was a kiss,” Jake said, not letting Ally move too far away from him. “You must not have had one in recent memory if you’ve forgotten what it is.”
“What about your girlfriend?”
“I don’t have a girlfriend,” Jake said.
“But you said … .”
“I didn’t say anything,” Jake said. “You assumed.”
“You didn’t deny it,” Ally challenged.
“I didn’t know what to do,” Jake said.
“Now I know what I want to do,” Jake said.
“And what is that?”
Jake captured Ally’s mouth with his. This time the kiss was sweeter, softer. The need was still there, but Jake didn’t want to consume her as much as he wanted to take joy in her. Jake didn’t move his mouth from Ally’s as he directed her toward the house, only pulling away so she could unlock the door.
Once they were both inside, they were on each other again. Ally’s hands roamed Jake’s firm chest, tugging at his wet shirt. She pulled it over his head, dropping it onto the carpet.
She knew Jake was built, but seeing it up close was something else entirely. Jake’s torso was cut, every muscle defined and an entity all of its own. Ally lowered her lips to his chest, pressing her warm mouth against it.
Jake unbuttoned his jeans, but the denim was so damp he had trouble pulling them down. The effort knocked him off kilter, and he took Ally down to the floor with him as he tumbled.
“Are you okay?”
Ally burst into laughter. “Smooth.”
“Hey, you try getting out of wet jeans. It’s not as easy as it looks.”
Ally sent him a heated look. “Well, we’ll just see about that, won’t we?”
Ally pushed Jake down on the floor, moving down to his feet so she could tug on the jeans. The task was harder than Ally envisioned, and when she finally managed to tug them free, they rose up and struck her in the face with a wet smack.
Jake barked out a laugh. “Now who’s smooth?”
Ally rolled his wet socks off and threw them at his face. Only his boxers remained, and Ally was leaving them where they were for now. Ally moved her hands to the buttons on her blouse, and Jake’s eyes dropped as she did.
Ally stripped the shirt off, revealing her white bra. Her skirt followed, and when Jake caught sight of her tiny white thong he almost lost it right there. “Come here,” he rasped.
Ally climbed over him, dropping her body against his, spreading her thighs on either side of his waist. Their mouths found each other again, and without the clothes as a barrier, the heat ratcheted up a notch in the room.
Ally moved her mouth to Jake’s neck, sucking his earlobe and causing him to groan. His hard length jumped within his boxers, and Ally could feel it as she ground herself against him.
“Let’s go into the bedroom,” she suggested.
Jake moved into a sitting position, keeping his arms around Ally and her pelvis pressed tight to his excited core. He rolled to his side, refusing to let Ally fall out of his arms. He managed to get his footing, and he staggered down the hallway, his mouth fused with hers.
He kicked open the bedroom door, carrying her to the bed. He knelt on the mattress, Ally’s body still wrapped around his, and he gently laid her down. He pulled back so he could look at her, taking in the damp hair still clinging to her forehead, and sighed. “You really are beautiful.”
“You’re not so bad yourself,” Ally teased, reaching for him.
He batted her hand away. “Just let me look at you for a second.”
Ally bit her bottom lip. “I had other ideas.”
“Come on,” she whined. “I want to touch you.”
“Now you’re just torturing me.”
“Angel, I’ve only begun to torture you,” Jake said, leaning down again. “And when I tell you to be quiet, for the love of all that’s holy, please be quiet.” He kissed her again, slipping his tongue into her mouth.
Ally felt his hands as they ran down her sides and slipped underneath her. Within seconds, her bra sprang free and he pulled it from her body. The sound that escaped his body when he caught sight of her firm, round mounds, the pale brown nipples at attention, was one of wanton desire.
He lowered his mouth, sucking in a nipple and rolling his tongue over it. Ally gasped at the tactile sensation, trying to absorb everything, even as her body was overloaded with tingling tremors.
Jake shifted to her other breast, laving it with the same attention. Ally tangled her fingers in his hair, arching back to encourage him. Jake moved lower, his mouth leaving a trail of warm kisses down her flat abdomen. He licked the length of her lower stomach, finally slipping his fingers under the white bands of her panties and shimmying them down her thighs.
Now she was completely bare, welcoming, and utterly open to him. He pushed her thighs apart, rubbing their inner softness and exhaling deeply onto her mound. “Oh,” Ally sighed. “Oh.”
Jake kissed her most secret region, extending his tongue and causing her to cry out. He held her thighs steady, refusing to move his head until he felt her stiffen. The sounds escaping from her throat were driving him wild. Once her tremors subsided, he crawled back up her body, pulling his own boxer shorts down as he went.
Once she regained herself, Ally accepted Jake’s mouth. She had part of him, now she wanted all of him. She moved her hand down, gripping his hard length, gasping when she realized just how big he really was.
Jake moaned when he felt Ally’s hand on him, his hips jumping in anticipation. He couldn’t wait much longer, and if she kept stroking him that way, it would be over before it began.
He rolled on top of her, pinning her hands to the mattress beside her head. He sucked her bottom lip into his mouth, sliding himself against her, nudging her thigh to the side.
Suddenly, a thought occurred to him. “Please tell me you have protection.”
“I have an implant,” Ally said, her voice breathy. “That’s taken care of.”
Jake nodded, relieved. “Thank, God,” he said. “There was no way I could stop now.”
“Then don’t stop,” Ally said.
Jake met her gaze head on. “Are you sure?”
“Oh, now you want to talk?”
“I’m just teasing you, angel,” Jake said, surging inside of her.
Ally gripped his back, her fingers digging into the soft flesh and finding hard muscle as he started to move. “Oh.”
Jake found her mouth again, their tongues intertwining as their ardent cries melded. Jake kept his body tight with hers as he pistoned his hips, allowing only enough distance between them for his hand to travel down so he could rub her most sensitive spot as they moved together.
Ally was on the edge of an abyss, and two more rubs of Jake’s thumb sent her over the edge. When Jake was sure she’d gotten there, he followed her, stiffening on top of her and crying out his euphoria at their joining.
He collapsed on top of her, their sweaty bodies colliding. After a few moments, he rolled to his side, shifting her at the same time so her head could rest on his chest. They were both still coming down from the high, their fervent hearts returning to a normal rhythm.
“That was amazing,” Ally said.
Jake chuckled, rubbing the back of her head as he rested his eyes. “You just couldn’t be quiet, could you? Not even now.”
“Whatever,” Ally grumbled.
They drifted off to sleep, Ally wrapped in Jake’s arms. Sometime in the night, they woke at the same time. This time when they made love, it wasn’t fueled by desire, just necessity. It was sweeter, their hands spending more time exploring, but their release was just as magical.
They weren’t two people anymore. They were two hearts, and two minds, but their bodies were united as one. And, for now, nothing could come between them.
James woke to find Mandy sprawled on top of him, her blonde hair spread across his chest in a golden halo. They often slept like this these days, her small body completely supported by his strong frame. This was the way he preferred it, her so close it almost felt as if she’d managed to crawl inside of him.
The truth was, she was inside of him. Every part of her gave strength to every part of him. He’d never known it was possible to love someone so completely, but he did. She was his everything, even if she drove him crazy on a daily basis.
The phone on the nightstand rang, causing James to curse. He was hoping they would have a few minutes just to be together before the day separated them. James reached over, pressing the phone to his ear.
Mandy stirred, brushing a kiss against James’ jaw, waiting until he was done with his conversation. “Who was it?”
“It was Carnival Towing,” James said. “They said they’d found something important on Ally’s car and they wanted to talk to me about it.”
Mandy stiffened. “Oh, that.”
“I’m not going to get angry,” James said.
“That’s good,” Mandy said. “I would hate to start the morning after one of the best nights of my life with an argument.”
“That’s why I’m not going to get angry,” James said.
“I can’t help but think that you’re angry.”
“I’m … why didn’t you tell me Ally’s car broke down?”
“Because I called the tow truck and I sent Jake to pick her up,” Mandy said. “I knew you would be pissed off, and I … I just wanted some time before then.”
James sighed, rubbing his hand down Mandy’s bare back. “I know you want Jake and Ally to be together.”
“It’s not that I want Jake and Ally to specifically be together,” Mandy said. “I want Ally to be happy.”
“And you think Jake can make her happy?”
“I don’t know,” Mandy said. “I think Ally has earned the right to try and find out on her own. I don’t want her to be miserable.”
James pulled back, focusing on Mandy’s clear blue eyes. “Why do you think she’s miserable?”
“I don’t think she’s miserable,” Mandy corrected. “I think she’s lonely.”
James took in Mandy’s words, rolling them through his mind to test their truth. “What makes you say that?”
“You’re angry,” Mandy said, sighing.
“I’m not angry, baby,” James said, pressing his lips to her forehead. “Ally’s car broke down. She wasn’t in danger. I know you can’t help yourself from meddling. I just want to understand why you think she’s lonely.”
“Haven’t you ever watched her when we’re all together?” Mandy asked. “She smiles, and she pretends she’s having a good time, but part of her is empty. She wants someone to make her happy, like you make me happy, and Grady makes Sophie happy, and Emma makes Finn happy. She’s the odd woman out here.”
“But why Jake?”
“James, please be honest with yourself and me, is there anyone who you do think is good enough for your sister?”
Mandy laughed, burying her face in the hollow between James’ neck and chest. “I’ll get on that.”
“Baby, I need you to know that I love you no matter what,” he said.
“But … .”
“But, please don’t lie to me.”
“I didn’t … well, I did lie,” Mandy admitted.
“It wasn’t a big lie, so let’s not have some melancholy freak out about it,” James said. “I know that you always have Ally’s best interests at heart. Always. And I think you have perspective that I, as her brother, don’t have.
“You put me in my place to protect her, and although I find it irritating, I get it,” he continued. “She’s still my sister, and I have to protect her the best way I know how.”
“I think you take it too far sometimes.”
“I probably do,” James agreed. “I can’t help it. You’re the most important woman in my life. You always will be. She’s still my sister.”
“And even though I get mad and yell, I will always love you more than anything,” James said. “I never mean to hurt your feelings, and I don’t mean to upset you. Sometimes I just can’t help it, like you can’t help meddling.”
“So, you’re really not mad?”
“I’m not mad,” James said, shifting underneath her. “I might need some consoling before you go to work, though.”
Mandy reached down, brushing her hand over his morning erection. “Ah. Well, I wouldn’t be a very good girlfriend if I didn’t take care of your needs, would I?”
“You’re the best person I know,” James said, rolling over and resting his weight on her. “Now show me, baby.”
woke up to the feeling of warm breath on her neck. She stretched, relishing the feeling of Jake’s body as it pressed against hers.
“Morning,” he murmured, kissing her neck.
“How did you sleep?”
“Good. How about you?”
“I don’t remember the last time I slept this well,” Jake said, cupping her breast in his hand.
“We didn’t just sleep,” Ally said.
“That was pretty good, too.”
Ally arched an eyebrow. “Pretty good?”
“Okay, really good,” Jake said, slipping his tongue into her mouth as he engulfed her in a sultry morning kiss.
Ally shifted in his arms, nuzzling her mouth against his neck and flicking out her tongue. Jake groaned, tightening his arms around her. “What are you doing?”
Ally’s fingers wrapped around his length, tugging. “Ugh, seriously, what are you doing?”
“You just can’t be quiet, can you?” Ally teased.
Jake moved his hands down her silken back, cupping her rounded rear in his hands, pressing her flush against him. “Do you want me to be quiet?”
“No, I want you to scream,” Ally said, shifting her thigh so it was hanging over Jake’s hips. “Now, why don’t we see if we can find a way to scream together?”
Jake slid inside Ally, finding no resistance as her warmth sheathed him. “God, you feel so good.”
Ally tangled her fingers in Jake’s disheveled hair, moving her hips in unison with his thrusts. “Make me scream,” she whispered.
“I’ll do my best.”
parked in front of Ally’s house, frowning when he saw that Jake’s truck was sitting in the driveway. Why would he stay the night? Maybe Ally was more shaken by than he thought.
James let himself into the house, although he wasn’t sure why. He knew he should knock. He was constantly yelling at Ally for doing exactly the same thing at his place. If Jake was asleep on the couch again, he wanted to talk to him, and he thought the best way was to approach him was while Ally was still sleeping.
Mandy’s words were echoing in James’ mind, and if Ally was in need of something Jake could give her, well, maybe he should take a step back and give Jake his blessing. James was finally beginning to see the light.
James heard a noise from Ally’s bedroom as soon as the door shut. If he didn’t know better, it sounded like a scream, like Ally was in distress. Jake wasn’t on the couch, and James didn’t take a moment to think about what he was doing. He strode down the hall, throwing open Ally’s bedroom door and immediately wishing he’d taken a second to think before acting.
“James,” Ally screeched, tugging the sheet up to cover herself and rolling off of Jake.
Jake’s face was red. “Oh, crap.”
“I … I … I … .”
“What are you doing here?” Ally howled.
“I … .”
“Get out!” Ally screamed. “Just get out!”
James turned, moving back down the hallway, wondering how he was ever going to remove the sight of his sister on top of Jake from his mind. He wanted to hit something, or rather someone. Apparently, Jake did have something to give his sister – and James felt filthy for bearing witness to it.
James was pacing in the living room when he heard the bedroom door open. Jake was the first to walk down the hallway. He was wearing a pair of boxer shorts and nothing else, and his face was filled with contrition.
“Listen,” he said.
“Where are your clothes?”
Jake made a face, moving toward the front door and scooping them from the carpet. They were still wet, and he laid them out on the back of the couch as he considered them. There was no way he was going to be able to get those jeans back on before they dried.
James had missed the clothes. Of course, he hadn’t really been looking. “I don’t even know what to say.”
“You could try knocking,” Ally said, scalding James with a look as she walked into the room. She had managed to wrap herself in a silk robe, but her hair was standing on end, and the remnants of yesterday’s makeup was smeared under her eyes.
“Well, forgive me,” James said. “I had no idea what I would be walking in on.”
“Really? The clothes by the front door didn’t give you a hint,” Ally shot back.
“I didn’t … I didn’t notice them,” James said.
“Wow, you’re a great investigator,” Ally said, her tone dripping with sarcasm.
“Hey, I was coming to check on you,” James said. “Mandy told me about your car.”
“That happened last night.”
“Yeah, well, she distracted me.”
Ally snorted. “I bet she did.”
“I think we need to talk about this,” James said, fighting for control. “Let’s sit down, like adults, and have a talk.”
“My sex life is not up for discussion,” Ally said. “Especially with you. By the way, who taught you how to enter someone else’s house? Have you ever heard of knocking?”
“You never knock.”
“Well, that’s me,” Ally said. “And now I’ll always knock.”
“Well, great, at least something good came out of this … nightmare,” James said.
“You can go now,” Ally said. “We were about to have breakfast.”
Jake rubbed the back of his neck. “Maybe I should go. You two obviously have some things to talk about.”
“What?” Ally was incensed.
“I want to talk to you, too,” James said.
“You better not even think of firing him for this,” Ally exploded.
“I’m not going to fire him,” James said. “Jeez, Ally, get a grip. I just … .”
“I’m sorry,” Jake said. “Seeing your sister like that was probably … surprising.”
“Surprising isn’t the word I’d use,” James said. “Horrific is a better fit.”
“Thanks,” Ally said.
“I just, how did this even happen?”
“It was raining,” Jake said. “She wouldn’t shut up. I just … it was a lapse in judgment.”
Ally’s heart sank. “A lapse in judgment?”
“I didn’t mean it like that,” Jake said. “It was just … it just all happened so fast.”
“Well, maybe you should take some time to think about it next time,” James said. “I don’t like to think of my sister as a lapse in anyone’s judgment.”
Something broke inside of Ally. They were standing there talking about her like she wasn’t even in the room, like she wasn’t a real person.
“I think that came out wrong,” Jake said.
“I should hope so,” James said.
James glanced over at Ally, taking in her pale and drawn features. “What?”
“Get out,” she repeated.
“Ally, let’s take a moment and calm down,” James said. “This morning has been a shock for all of us.”
“I told you to get out.”
“Ally, just give him a second,” Jake prodded.
She moved her gaze from her brother to the man who had spent the night holding her. “You get out, too.”
Jake was taken aback. “What?”
“Ally … .”
“You can take your lapse in judgment, and your lame apologies to my brother, and your regret, and you can get out of my house.”
Jake took a step toward her. “Ally … .”