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Authors: Sable Hunter

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BOOK: Pretty Face
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He reached for her mask, and she panicked. “No, no,” she backed away. “I need to leave it on. Please.”

“Why?” Hunter was at a loss. He didn’t understand.

“I just have to.” She felt him pulling away. Cody couldn’t let it happen, not since they’d come this far. Remembering Nana’s words, remembering her power, she pushed on Hunter’s chest until he yielded and came to rest against the door. “I’ll remove it on the third night. I just need this time to be more than I am.”

Hunter allowed her to hold him still, but he wouldn’t allow her to build unnecessary barriers. “I don’t want you to be more than you are. I just want you. I always have.”

“Hush, let me love you.” She tangled her fingers in his hair and pulled his head down to meet her mouth. Sage’s kiss sent him a message. She was giving herself and asking him to want her. Her lips slid over his, her tongue requesting entrance and when he responded by kissing her back, opening his mouth to accept her invasion, she ate at his mouth with a hunger that sent his senses reeling.

When she withdrew to catch her breath, he followed, kissing her again. “I’ll let you have your way about the mask, but you’re gonna owe me.”

“I’ll pay gladly,” she said between nips at his neck as she began working on his clothes, undoing his tie, unfastening the buttons on his shirt.

One popped off and Hunter didn’t care. He’d buy the damn tux if it meant she’d keep touching him. Her little mouth was hot and her tongue on his skin was like laps of fire. “You’re just as wild as I knew you’d be.”

Cody was delirious with need. She was making love to Hunter, the man she’d craved for years, the only man she’d ever truly wanted. And he was here…her lips were on his skin, his heartbeat beneath her fingertips. “Can’t help it, I wanted you so much, so long.”

“You’ve got me, baby. I’m right here.” She had kissed a trail down his chest and now she was on her knees at his feet. “God, you’re beautiful.”

Cody felt beautiful. “I want to show you what you mean to me.” She undid his pants. “Help me,” she begged, tugging on them.

Hunter pushed his pants down to his knees. His cock was hard and throbbing, the anticipation of her mouth on him was enough to make his knees weak.

“I think I can take it from here.” She looked up at him through her eyelashes, as she slipped her small hand inside his briefs to close her fingers around his throbbing erection, feeling the weight of him in her hand for the first time.

Hunter took the initiative and pushed the underwear down past his thighs as she placed openmouthed kisses on his abs, all the while stroking him up and down. “Can I take you in my mouth?”

“Fuck, baby,” was all he could say. Forgetting what she’d said about her hair, he wrapped it around his fist. In the bright overhead light, he could see the dark strands mixed with the auburn curls. She didn’t realize that he would cherish the reality of her much more than any false embellishment.

Taking the expletive as permission, Cody took the thick base of his cock in her hand. She had no talent at this, having only had a couple of awkward encounters with inexperienced boys before she’d been attacked. It had been years since she’d touched a man, so all she could do was follow her instincts. Leaning into him, she opened her mouth and sank down over the head of his cock. Hunter let out a strangled cry as she used her tongue, teeth, and lips to taste every inch of him. The barometer she used to determine her success was the increased rate of his breathing and the encouraging growls coming from deep in his throat. His grip on her hair guided her whether to savor or incite.

Cody couldn’t get enough, she licked his shaft, swirling her tongue around the head, taking him deep, sucking him until the sounds of pleasure he made kindled her own fires and caused liquid need to drip down the inside of her thigh. Flashing her eyes up to his, she saw that he was looking back at her. Wanting to make him feel good, Cody moved her tongue up and down his length, tracing a bold vein with her tongue. His lips parted and she knew he was unaware of the low grunts coming from his mouth. He was completely focused on her and the pleasure she was giving him.

Hunter was on the edge of losing his control. His thighs were jerking. Sage, his wet dream, was on her knees giving him head. Even on the brink of orgasm, he kept wanting to pinch himself to insure this was really happening.

But it was. The velvet heat of her mouth was heaven and soon he had to have more. He tightened his fingers on her scalp and clenched his hips as he thrust his cock repeatedly between her lips. “Feels so good, Sage.” When he praised her, she closed her eyes and groaned, and he came apart, the pure erotic miracle of being with the woman he’d longed for too good to comprehend. “Sage!” he cried out as he climaxed, his whole body tightening, thrusting helplessly as she held him between her lips, her tongue bathing the tip as it jetted down her throat. Just as he dreamed, she swallowed. Then, Sage proceeded to do to him as she’d promised over and over, she licked him clean, massaging his balls until he was hard as a rock again. “I want to be inside you.”

“I’m on the verge of cumming,” Cody confessed as he pulled her to her feet. “I can’t wait.” She was desperate, her whole body throbbing with arousal. “Let’s get your tux off before I completely ruin it.” Slipping his jacket from his shoulders, she hung it on the back of a chair, the same with his shirt. When she turned around, he was there, drawing her into his arms. He was naked and she wasn’t, but they couldn’t wait. He drew her down on the bed, astraddle him.

“I’m crazy for you.” Together they drew her skirt up high enough so he could reach her panties, pushing the crotch out of the way so he could fit the head of his cock to her small opening. “Sage, this is happening, isn’t it?”

“Oh, yea.” Cody held onto his shoulders as he held her body to his with a big hand on her back, his other reaching between them to part her wet folds. Fixing her eyes on his, they stared at one another behind the shield of their masks. “Hold me, Hunter.”

He was sitting up, she on his lap, joined to him in the most intimate way possible. At her request, he wrapped his arms around her. The pleasure he’d received by being in her mouth paled as she accepted him inside of her.

Cody wanted this so much. She held his shoulders, steadying herself. “You’re so big,” she whispered. He was thick, so much bigger than the dildo she was used to. She wasn’t a virgin, but this was her first time in years.

Hunter massaged her back through her dress, kissing her neck, relishing the feel of Sage working her way down his cock. “You’re so tight, God, you feel like a dream.”

Closing her eyes, Cody let herself luxuriate in the moment. She was with Hunter, in his arms. She turned her head and crashed her mouth against his, her body gradually relaxing enough to accommodate his cock.

Groaning, Hunter just let himself feel as he rocked his hips against her, kissing her, their tongues mating together. He didn’t have to do much of the work, Sage seemed insatiable, her hips tightening and rolling as she rubbed against him, riding his cock faster and faster. Breaking the kiss, he gasped for breath. “Feel good, baby?”

“Yes, yes,” she whimpered, her teeth scraping the cords of his neck. “I can’t stop, too excited.” She gasped as she came, her whole body convulsing, trembling. Hunter felt her pussy clamp down on his cock and he exploded again, filling her with his seed. Over and over, she clenched her muscles, milking every drop from his body.

They stayed in the same position for a few more long minutes, panting in one another’s arms. Hunter’s body was damp with sweat and he felt contented, complete. “Lie with me,” he muttered as he pulled her down with him, still joined. Sage kissed his throat and let him hold her. “I’ll shut my eyes, just for a second, and then we’ll do it again.”

Hunter knew no more till the morning light filtering through the curtains roused him. He reached for her and found the bed empty, no one beside him. Like so many times when he’d awoken from a dream, she was gone.

Chapter Eight

 

 

 

Friday was her day to clean house, but this was no normal Friday. Cody had no idea whether Hunter would show up to work or not. She’d left him lying in bed at the Southern Belle in the wee hours of the morning, driving herself home in a daze. When she’d arrived, the house had seemed lonely despite the welcoming committee her dogs and cats provided. Cody had tended to their needs before taking a shower where she’d washed the evidence of Hunter from her body.

Her dress was ruined and she could just imagine the state of his tux. What would he think when he woke up alone?

Ding!

The summons from her computer told her she’d soon find out.

Hunter
: Why did you leave me?

Sage
: I needed to think. I’ll see you tonight, if you still want to come.

Hunter
: I still want to cum.

She smiled at his joke.

Sage
: Same ole Hunter.

Hunter
: No, I’m not. I’m changed. I’ve been with you and I want to be with you again. I want to talk. I want to know who you are and where you are.

Sage
: You want a lot.

Hunter
: I want it all.

Sage
: What are you going to do today?

Hunter
: I have to work and I have to get a new tux, this one is a little worse for wear.

Cody laughed.

Sage
: I ravished you. Sorry.

Hunter
: It was worth it.

Sage
: I agree.

Hunter
: Tonight, it’s my turn.

Sage
: To what?

Hunter
: Ravish you. Can we skip the ball?

Cody laughed again.

Sage
: No, we can’t skip the ball.

Hunter
: Damn. Okay. I’ll suffer through to get to the good part.

Sage
: What’s the good part?

Hunter
: You.

Cody placed a hand over her heart.

Hunter
: Well, I have to go. I’ll see you tonight…where?

Sage
: The Riverbend Plantation. It’s north of

Cody froze, she’d almost said ‘north of my house.’

Hunter
: north of?

Sage
: It’s on the north part of the lake not far from the hotel we were in last night. I don’t know the address off the top of my head.

Hunter
: No worries, I’ll look it up. Can I pick you up?

Sage
: No, I’d rather meet you there.

Hunter
: Okay. And Sage…I can’t wait till tonight.

Sage
: It’s gonna be hard.

Hunter
: It already is.

Cody laughed as she shut the computer. Before she could make it from the bedroom to the dining room where she had her coffee pot set up on the buffet, her phone rang. “Hello?”

It was Marnie. Cody sank down on a chair, the events of the night before rushing back. “It was surreal. We met. He didn’t recognize me, as Cody, I mean.”

“Well, I’m sort of surprised,” she admitted. “You were beautiful. But to me, you still looked like you.”

Cody paused. “Hmmm, well, I don’t think so. But he has this whole image built up in his head about Sage. And the only photos he’s seen of me are almost ten years old. I was a different person back then.”

“You’re the same person, Cody. That scar on your face doesn’t change who you are.”

She bent over, placing her head on her knees. “Yes, it does. My eye doesn’t even close all the way, Marnie.”

“Listen to me. I’m well aware of that. I see you often. I probably look you in the face more often than you do.”

Cody groaned. “You’re right. I’ve learned how to look in the mirror without seeing myself and I avoid looking at all when I don’t have to.”

“Well, see. You don’t really even know what you look like. You see what you expect to see instead of what’s really there.”

Marnie was trying to make her feel better. “You might be right. I’m just so scared. This is so important to me and I’ve made so many bad decisions.”

“Stop it. You are with Hunter. You have the opportunity to show him who you are, to make him really see you.”

“I know. I know.”

“Listen, I have news. Hunter has the job at Starlight if he wants it. They still want to talk to him, but if he’s as good as you say he is, it’s a done deal.”

“Good, I’ll tell him.” A knock at the door caused her to flinch. “I’ve got to go. I think he’s here.”

“Okay, okay, go to him. I’ll call Trinity and report in and check with you later.”

“Okay, bye.” She hung up and stood about the time Hunter walked through the door. His knock just announced, he’d grown into the habit of just walking in. Cody was glad he felt at home.

“Hey, good morning.”

Hunter smiled, and she had to hold on to the couch to keep from running into his arms. “Good morning. How was your evening?”

“My evening was incredible. Perfect. Sage was everything I ever dreamed she’d be.” His happiness was contagious. He looked so handsome, his face seemed more relaxed.

Cody pushed her hair behind her ears. She seemed nervous. “What’s wrong? Did something happen?” Hunter wondered if there was something about his work that was bothering her. Or was it the kiss from yesterday? He hadn’t forgotten it, he’d just pushed it to the back of his mind because of Sage.

Hunter had no desire to hurt Cody, he’d rather cut off his hand.

“No.” Cody shook her head. “Everything’s fine. In fact, I have good news.” She walked to her desk. “I know you haven’t decided what you’re going to do. And I’m thrilled about…Sage. So, I wanted to give you something.” Cody took a slip of paper and wrote down an address. “The Pevetos, who own Starlight Plantation, are looking for someone to restore it. If you’re interested, the job is yours. They want to talk to you, but once they see your work, they’ll offer you the job in a heartbeat.”

Hunter was shocked. “You did this for me?” He stepped closer and took the paper. When he looked down into her face, he got the oddest feeling. He was drawn to her. “Thank you.” Hunter backed up so fast, he almost tripped.

Cody winced at his rush to get away from her. “It was no big deal. Marnie, my friend, knows them.” She offered no further explanation. “Okay, while you work, I’m going to take the dogs for a walk. There’s chicken and dumplings in the slow cooker when you get hungry.” Actually, she just needed to get away from him before she did something stupid.

“Thank you, you’re too good to me.” And she was, Hunter had never met anyone like Cody before. Quickly, he retreated to the kitchen, burying himself in work. He couldn’t wait to see Sage again. When he was with her everything was clear.

 

*  *  *

 

He didn’t see Cody anymore that day. She was either busy or avoiding him, and he tried not to think about it too much. When he started to leave, he left a note on the counter, asking her to inspect the work he’d done that day and let him know if anything was amiss. Usually he would’ve been upset at a clients’ missing the end of the day sign-off, but today he was grateful for the reprieve. He didn’t need any distractions. Sage had to be his focus. He wanted her to be his future.

The man at the formal-wear shop had come through, finding him another tux in his size. He’d paid for the extra cleaning and repairs that needed to be done. Hunter halfway enjoyed the knowing smirk the clerk gave him.
Yea, I’ve gotten some and it’s been damn good
.

“Hey, is this yours?” The man held up a small pouch.

“Yea, it is.” The bracelet, he’d forgotten all about the bracelet. In fact, when Hunter looked back at his evening with Sage, he realized he’d forgotten a lot of things. He’d always prided himself on being a considerate and unselfish lover. Yet, he hadn’t removed her dress, kissed her breasts. He’d barely touched her below the waist with anything but his cock. What she must think? He knew she’d cum. She’d cum so hard that she’d damn near squeezed his cock in two. But he still needed to make it up to her, to show her how he felt. Last night, he’d been too excited to do everything he wanted to do. If she’d stayed instead of escaping like Cinderella, he would’ve made it up to her this morning.

All of these thoughts ran through his brain as he drove to the motel and dressed for the second ball. He’d laid the bracelet on the dresser alongside the information Cody had given him for the restoration job. Whether or not he stayed would depend on Sage.

As he locked the motel room behind him, Hunter smiled, wondering what the evening would hold.

Over at Riverbend Planation, Cody waited…

The evening was pleasant, the day had been warm for February. Cody stood outside the large white columned building, her eyes on the lake at the bottom of the hill. People were gathering, she could hear their voices calling out to one another in greeting. She’d spoken to several people, trying to be a bit more social than she was the night before. No one recognized her as Dr. Napier and for that she was grateful. Of course, she hadn’t really expected them to.

The old plantation had been transformed into a wonderland. Huge oak trees were bedazzling with tiny colored lights, mostly white, but with a smattering of green, gold, and purple. The atmosphere was festive. This ball wouldn’t be as formal as the one from the night before. Tonight was the celebration of the Mardi Gras Indians, so the decorations held a distinct Native American influence. Many of the revelers were here, not only in masks, but also in feathered costumes.

Not Cody. She’d worn the magical green gown that Marnie and Trinity had chosen for her. This one was strapless with a full skirt and a filmy wrap. She felt like a fairy princess. As she turned to walk down the tree lined lane, a movement from the corner of her eye drew her attention. A flash of white caused her to gasp. Had she seen a ghost? Cody moved closer to the trees where she’d seen the movement. She’d been to Riverbend several times and the legend of the place always made her sad. One of the daughters of the original owners back in the late 1700s had fallen in love with the son of another local plantation owner. Her mother forbade the relationship. She only wanted her daughter to marry a French nobleman. The daughter bent to her mother’s will, her heart broken. But the day of the wedding, she’d snapped. Running from the house, down the lane of trees, she’d thrown herself against the trunk of a giant oak, shattering her skull. Now, on evenings such as this, her ghost would appear, fleeing the arms of a man she didn’t love, incapable of living another day without the one who owned her heart.

Cody understood her devotion. When Hunter found out her lies, he was going to leave her and she didn’t know if she’d want to survive. Two more days to be with him was all she had, so Cody was determined to make the best of them.

Another flash of white caused Cody to freeze in her tracks. But then the rush of wings made her realize it was only a bird, not a spirit.

“Sage?” When he called her name, she spun around, her full skirt billowing out around her. Hunter thought she was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen.

“Oh, Hunter, you startled me. I was out here scaring myself, remembering ghost tales and chasing night birds.”

Going to her, he placed an arm around her. “I’m here to protect you now.”

“I need you.” Her admission was about more than safety. She leaned into his chest, and he put a finger beneath her chin and raised her face for his kiss.

Delicately, he caressed her lips with his, letting his tongue tease the seam until she parted her own and welcomed him in. An indrawn breath and the pressing of her body to his own gave him assurance that she was glad to see him. “I missed you today.”

Cody cuddled against him. “I still can’t believe we’re together. No more just talking on the phone or texting, I have you here near enough to touch.” As they embraced, strains of
Iko Iko
floated out among the trees, the iconic Mardi Gras tune made famous by the movie
The Skeleton Key
.

“I want to touch. I can’t wait to take this mask off.” He let his finger trace over her face, dipping beneath the feather that lay across her scar.

Cody jerked back as if he’d burned her. “Not till tomorrow.”

Hunter didn’t understand. “Okay, baby. We’ll wait.” He took her hand. “Don’t be upset.”

A voice came over the speaker, introducing the band and the entertainment for the evening. “Let’s go inside.” She started walking. Torches had been lit all along the front of the house, giving the party an untamed feeling. “The lights are called flambeaux and the night parades are lit by men carrying these torches.” A woman greeted them at the door, offering strands of beads. Cody and Hunter bowed their heads and accepted the familiar tokens.

When they were guided into the ballroom, Hunter was amazed at how different it looked from the night before. There were some similarities—the colors, feathers, beads—but the resemblance ended there. Instead of a formal affair, this gathering had more of a carnival flair. Men flanked two bedecked thrones. Their costumes were elaborate, covered in feathers and beads from head to toe.

BOOK: Pretty Face
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