Hard Time (Hard as Nails #1) (7 page)

BOOK: Hard Time (Hard as Nails #1)
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Chapter Nine





Rain clatters against the tall windows of the bookshop. The sound of rain is beautiful, a soothing lullaby capable of putting the manliest of men into a deep sleep. I let out a yawn and prepare to lie down.

Oh, wait. I can’t.

Being a responsible adult sucks sometimes. Okay, maybe all the time.

I lean my head against a bookcase I’ve just stocked from top to bottom with the newest releases—everything from the current sensation sweeping the thriller community to who fucking gives a shit.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Katie at the register. Her eyes gaze at the droplets of rain as they careen down the window. I stare at her as she watches the showers.

I’ve been working at the bookstore for about a week now, and in that time I haven’t made one sexual innuendo or pass at Katie. She’d been visibly confused by my change in attitude at first—even disappointed, I think with a smile—but within a day or two, she’d started to relax.

Exactly what I’d hoped for.

Because what I’d told her a week ago had actually been the truth. I do believe part of the reason she wants me working with her at the bookstore is because she’d bored with her life, and I know she’ll appreciate me keeping her off balance. Even more importantly, I like the idea of getting to know her in a way that hadn’t been possible when she’d worked at the prison. I like the idea that I have time now to discover who she is by small degrees. And everything I’ve discovered about her has made me want her all the more.

When she turns around and catches me looking (and lounging), I don’t flinch, even as she shakes her head in disgust. She does that a lot.

Acts like I annoy the crap out of her.

There’s a noticeable difference between a woman who is actually mad and a woman who is pretending to be upset. The difference is clear, but it’s difficult to describe in words. When a girl is actually upset, there’s much more weight in her step. Her frown and twisted lips are painted across her face even when she thinks no one can see.

Katie’s been practically gliding around all week. Even when she shakes her head in faux disgust, I can see the hint of her smile, as if she’s getting off on the idea that she can toy with me. She knows we’re playing some kind of game here, but she can’t possibly know that the winner of this game has been predetermined.

I’ve moved my rook into position to take my queen.

Check fucking mate.

From here on out, it’s just a matter of time before she surrenders.

A loud crack of thunder steals my attention as dark storm clouds roll across the sky. The street becomes shrouded in darkness as a torrential downpour begins to assault the city outside.

I step to the window, with a plan already forming inside my mind.

I’m not a high-maintenance kind of guy. Come on, what do I look like? A sheltered puppy? Fuck no. But when a man like me needs something from a woman like her, that’s when it’s vital to play the manipulation game, and to play it well.

I shake my head as I watch the storm drench the streets outside. “I really don’t want to walk in this shit,” I say under my breath, but loud enough so that it grabs her attention.

“Awe,” she coos. “Is Mister Bad Ass afraid of a little rain?”

She’s toying with me, and I’m torn between love and hate. On one hand, I’m drawn to the sass, and on the other, I wish she’d leave the smartassery to myself.

“I just don’t like getting wet,” I say and then turn my gaze to her. Intentionally. Seductively, and with a mischievous smile. “Unless you’re making me wet. I could make an exception for that.”

“You’re disgusting.”

“You’re a liar.”

“Is that so, Street?” She steps from around the counter.

I shrug my shoulders and plaster a cocky grin across my face. “How long are you going to pretend you don’t want to saddle up and take a ride?” I pause and scratch my finger across my nose. “Or are you more of a
bent over the bed
kind of girl?”

She takes a measured step toward me, with her posture as straight and secure as it could possibly be. “For someone who’s spent the past few years in prison, you seem to believe you still know what a girl wants. “

Shots fired—
not that I mind. The challenge turns me on.

I nod my head gently and point an accusing finger at her. “You’ve touched yourself, haven’t you? You’ve gotten off thinking about me.”

She freezes, and I know I’ve hit a nerve. My cock strains against my jeans and I can’t shake the smile off my face. I’ve had my suspicions for the longest of times, but her inability to refuse my accusation is the fucking cherry atop my cream pie. She wants me just as bad as I want her.

All that’s left is to get her to let her guard down.

Then she will be mine.

“I’m kidding,” I lie straight to her face. “But seriously, I could use a ride.”

“Why would I do you yet another favor?” she asks with a shake of her head. “What have you ever done for me?”

That’s a damn good question. “How about this? If you give me a ride, then I promise not to bother you with sexual innuendo any longer,” I say.

I know I’m lying and she knows I’m lying, so it throws me a little off balance when she so readily agrees.


* * *


The car ride over to my apartment is done in silence. Absolute silence. The kind of silence where the only thing you can hear is the wiping of the blades against the windshield.

Every few seconds, I look at Katie and we have the briefest moment of eye contact before she diverts her attention back to the near-flooded streets. She’s nowhere near as good at this game as she thinks she is.

At a quarter past six, fifteen minutes after we locked up the shop, we arrive at the run-down apartment complex I call home. I direct Katie to pull up to the last building on the left, and to hook a right turn to circle around the back.

She parks beside the Dumpster instead of right in front of the apartment. She’s back to playing games, and I know her well enough to know that she wants to see me run through the pouring rain to my apartment.

“Why didn’t you park up front?” I ask as I brace my elbow against the window and turn to face her.

“You really are high maintenance, you know that?” She smirks at me before remembering she’s supposed to be mad at me.


“See what?” she scoffs.

“How long are you going to keep pretending?”

“You are so full of yourself.”

“Whatever helps you sleep at night, Princess.”

Real anger contorts her pretty features. “What is your problem?”

Her sass and attitude have always been a turn on to me, and that’s no different in this particular moment. But there’s venom in her voice, and the contrast between her sweetness and sass breaks my restraint.

I lunge toward her and plant my lips against hers. I expect a slap in the face, but she drops the façade and kisses me back. I want to pull away and ask what the hell is wrong with her, but that would be like taking a wrecking ball to a house that’s only halfway through construction.

I kiss her longer and deeper, relishing every bite of her lips against mine. It’s a dream. It has to be. I plead with myself to wake up before this can progress any further. With every lap of her tongue, she pulls me into my own personal fantasy. I’ve been waiting for this moment since I first laid eyes on her, and the longer it takes to wake up, the harder it’s going to eat away at my soul that it was all a lie created by the figments of my own mind.

I finally muster the strength to pull away, and my cock stiffens when I see her panting, and her breasts heaving through her thin blouse. “Is this a dream?” I ask out loud, but it’s more of a rhetorical question.

“It doesn’t mean anything,” she says. “Now are you just going to sit there and stare, or are you going to fuck me?”

I freeze in my seat for a second.

Maybe I shouldn’t take this any further. Maybe I should jump out of her damn car and run for the safety of my apartment.

Who the fuck am I kidding?

I reach across the gear shift and palm the back of her head, pulling her into my wanting kiss. I’m usually not much of a kisser, but her lips are glorious. Beautiful. Fuckable. I’ve dreamed about her lips every day for years, and now they’re mine, even if it’s only temporary.

She pushes against my chest then slides her hand between my legs and I think she’s going in for the kill, but instead she hooks her fingers along the hidden rail under the seat and slides it away from the steering wheel. Then she throws one leg over my hips until she’s straddling me. The weight of her body, though light and petite, crushes against my erection in my jeans, and inside, I’m screaming for release.

Her hair falls over her face, and the street lamp outside glows behind her, casting her beautiful grace in a silhouette figure. So fucking angelic. So fucking perfect. So fucking mine.

Our eyes do the tango as we each wait for the other to make the next move. I’m at a loss for words and what to do next. This has never been a problem for me, but she’s not just an ordinary girl.

Her hand falls to the side of the seat and she pulls the lever. The seat reclines until it can’t go any further. I grunt as I fall back and her body presses against mine. Automatically, my arms wrap around her. Finally, I think.


“This doesn’t mean anything,” she repeats.

“Are you just going to sit there and stare, or are you going to fuck me?” I question, throwing her own words back at her. Just like I did, she hesitates for a few seconds, then she presses her lips against mine. At the same time, her hand slips under my shirt, caressing the skin of my abdomen.

My heart palpitates as she assaults my body with her palm, and my mouth with her tongue. Our passion ignites a warmth within the car until all of the windows are stained with fog. The storm around us continues to beat upon the roof, but somehow all I can hear is her fight to continue breathing combined with my own heaving gulps for air.

My hands glide to the curves of her ass and I groan into her mouth. She does the same, taking the shortest of breaks from kissing me to let out a soft moan as my fingers dig into her jeans. Frantically, I pull at the button and zipper before wrestling her jeans and panties down the mound of her ass, exposing her bare flesh.

Her skin is soft perfection, but the position I’m in makes actually seeing her ass impossible so I reach my hand up to flip open the visor and angle the mirror so I can get a perfect view.

Her cheeks are round and firm, drawn taut with the faintest glow of a cherry accent. I squeeze her ass firmly in my hands, and whisper against her lips, “I told you this ass would be mine someday.”

“Really?” She pulls her head back and grins. “I don’t remember that conversation.”

Maybe that was only in my fantasies.
I chuckle before wrapping my arm around her back. She squeals and I awkwardly maneuver our bodies until she she lies on her stomach and I’m crouched behind her with my knees balanced precariously on the seat.

I push myself against her body, and nuzzle my lips against her ear. With short, small bites, I make my way down her neck and then back again, reveling in her muffled moans against the fabric of the seat.

It takes every bit of willpower I have not to come in my jeans as I shift my erection against the crack of her ass.

“To answer your question, I’m going to fuck you, Princess,” I whisper against her ear, and reach my hand down to pull her jeans further down her thighs. “I’m going to start with fucking you like this. From behind. Where you can’t see me. You can’t guess what I’m going to do next. All you can do is feel what I’m doing to you. All you can do is scream with pleasure.”

She doesn’t respond with words, just a rough pattern of shallow breaths. Her silence—her lack of a refusal—tells me all I need to know. I brace one hand above her head, and reach down with my free hand to unzip my jeans and pull them down.

My erection springs to life and smacks against her. She lets out a light whimper and it drives me absolutely fucking insane. I pull backwards into an almost standing position in the cramped front seat.

I grab my cock at the base and line it up with the opening of her pussy, but I have no intention of driving in. At least not yet. I want to tease her. I want her to be the one that makes the final call. I want to hear her beg for me to fill her. Only then will I fuck her until she sees stars. Only then will I fuck her until she has no other choice but to call herself mine. I know it’s what she wants.

I just need her to fucking say it.

“Tell me you want me,” I demand and push the head of my cock against her opening, threatening to stretch her wide, but never fulfilling the promise. “Tell me you want this.”

“Just shut up and—”

“No,” I cut her off and tap my cock against her. It’s leaking with precum now. Goddamn, the things she has the power to do to me. The sound of her voice drives me insane when she’s under the weight of my body. It’s so much better than I ever imagined, and I don’t want this to be over before it even began. I’ve spent too long thinking about her and about this. “Tell me you want me to fuck you, Katie.”

BOOK: Hard Time (Hard as Nails #1)
5.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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