Authors: Karyn Gerrard,Gayl Taylor
When his gaze returned to her face, his eyes glistened with open desire. Resting his hand on her cheek, his thumb caressed the corner of her mouth. Nicci couldn’t help it—she drew his thumb into her mouth, still cool from the ice in her drink, and sucked. The sensation was erotic and Barrett responded with a ragged moan.
He leaned in and his warm breath feathered lightly against her flushed skin. “I can’t wait to feel your lips on my cock.”
As if his words weren’t enough, Nicci felt his hardened cock rub suggestively against her hip. She released his thumb and turned so they faced each other. Nicci wet her mouth and lips with the remainder of her drink, pressed her body against his, and slowly dropped to her knees. Remembering his earlier words, she dragged her tongue from base to tip and back down. She repeated the motion, swirled her cool tongue around the head of his cock, and pulled him into her mouth.
Barrett moaned again, a deep, rumbling sound, and placed his hands on either side of her head. His fingers flexed and worked through her hair as though he struggled to restrain the urge to thrust deeply or guide her motion. He was large, long, and thick—silk on hardened steel. She relished the way he filled her mouth.
“Baby, you feel incredible. Take all of me, as much as you can.”
Nicci’s left hand cradled his sack, gently squeezed, and then she wrapped her fingers around the base of his cock and mirrored the movement of her mouth. With her other hand, she explored the hard, ridged muscles of his thigh. She moved her hand to his hip, grabbed his firm ass cheek, and pressed her fingers into the hard flesh.
Barrett’s ragged breathing, coupled with his deep sexy voice as he encouraged her, washed over Nicci’s body. She felt her own need building with each swipe of her tongue. She moaned, grabbed his ass with both hands, and gamely attempted to take him deeper, further into her mouth.
“Hell yes, Nicci. Oh, baby, damn, I’m so close.” His hands tightened in her hair, fisted it as he angled her head for better penetration. “Relax your throat, Nicci. Take me all the way in.”
She tightened the suction and then relaxed to take him as deep as she could. When she gently raked her nails from ass to balls, she felt his sack tighten and his body shudder. He released an animalistic growl as his hot sperm shot down her throat. Nicci swallowed, held him in place, and inhaled his erotic scent. She swirled her tongue one last time around the ridge of his cock, pulled back and resting her head against him, sighed.
Barrett gently grasped her shoulders and eased her up until her body pressed firmly against his. Heat and sweat covered his astounding body and his breathing was still erratic. Nicci laid her head against his chest and felt the rapid pounding of his heart. She lifted her head until their eyes met. She was lost in the depths of unbridled desire she saw in his intense gaze.
She couldn’t look away—not even as his face dipped toward hers—not even when their lips met in a kiss so searing, so desperate, and so delicious she didn’t want to tear away. His essence mingled with hers, an erotic blend of sex and something more. A craving. A need. Nicci molded herself to Barrett, melted into him, and was lost. Barrett’s hand cupped the back of her head and he plunged deeper, his tongue would not let up. His hunger and passion like nothing she had ever tasted before. Nicci’s stomach dipped and her insides fluttered, this wasn’t just a kiss, it was an eye-opener. Barrett’s deep-throated moan caused her to reply with the same level of desire. Her tongue danced with his, curled, and caressed.
She wanted so much more.
When he finally ended the kiss, Nicci opened her eyes and gasped. Her world tilted and everything changed. Everything.
It was only a kiss.
But the yearning in Barrett’s eyes showed the kiss meant so much more. What passed between them was more than a mere kiss; it snapped and crackled with a potent life force all its own. This can’t be happening. She couldn’t allow it to happen. Her trembling fingers traced where his mouth had been, tears welled in her eyes, and her body shook.
“I can’t—I can’t—” She pulled away and stumbled into the other room, threw on her clothes and ran.
Barrett remained frozen in place. She ran out, he couldn’t believe it. Even hearing Nicci’s car pull out of the hotel parking lot, his brain still couldn’t register her quick flight. What just happened? Magic happened. Desire so potent it shook him to his core. The kiss was earth shattering and life changing and—he didn’t know how else to describe it. When Nicci’s lips first touched his cock—he closed his eyes and moaned aloud. No other woman made him come with such intensity and force. But the
… Barrett’s eyes snapped open. He had to go after her, but how? He looked around for his clothes.
“Looking for these, sugar?”
He turned and faced Connie, who stood before him fully dressed and dangled his boxer briefs on the tip of her manicured nail.
“Forgot I was even here, didn’t you?” she asked.
Yeah, he did, quite a while ago. He snatched his briefs off her finger and stepped into them, then moved to the bed to slip into his jeans.
Where in hell were his socks?
“Where do you think you’re going?”
Barrett swung around to glare at Connie. At this moment in time, she annoyed the shit out of him.
Connie crossed her arms. “No, you’re not, Barrett. This was a one-night stand, no strings, no last names. No further contact. That was the deal you agreed to.”
Barrett slipped his socks on, stood, and then reached for his crumpled T-shirt. “Yeah, well, things have changed.”
“Oh? How? Enlighten me.”
Barrett pulled the T-shirt over his head then stalked toward Connie. She didn’t flinch from his glare or his height bearing down on her. Her perfectly plucked eyebrow raised and her lips quirked. She waited for his answer. For shit’s sake, he wasn’t sure what he felt, and he didn’t want to share his emotions with Connie. He had no choice; he couldn’t get to Nicci without Connie’s help.
He ran his hand through his hair in frustration as he struggled to form his thoughts.
“I want her. I can’t explain it. Something—happened. I can’t let her get away.” Barrett strode back to the bed, sat on the edge, and exhaled. “It sounds lame, I know, but it’s how I feel.” He glanced up at Connie. “Tell me something about her, anything.”
Connie grabbed the nearby chair and pulled it toward him. She sat in front of him, crossing her long, shapely legs.
“I hate to tell you this, but you’re a stranger, I know nothing about you. We picked you up in a bar for meaningless sex and nothing else. If you want me to give up information about the dearest friend I have in the entire world, you’re going to have to answer my questions. What’s your full name?”
“Barrett Michaels. Age twenty-eight, never been arrested. Healthy. Is this going to be the Spanish Inquisition? Bring it on.”
“Michaels—are you a baseball player?”
The pain he managed to push to the back of his heart came back in full force. A dull ache began to throb behind his ribs.
“Yeah, for the Monterey Mustangs. I was cut yesterday so I guess you can say I am in-between careers at the moment.” His voice sounded clipped and annoyed and he didn’t care.
“Oh. That’s why you were drinking in the bar. Sorry. Nicci and I are both big baseball fans. We try to see a couple of Giants home games a month. I follow the minors more closely than Nicci though. You played left field? I’ve seen you play, you were good.”
Barrett gave a sharp laugh. “Not good enough, apparently. It’s over.”
“What will you do now?” Connie’s voice softened slightly, the hard edge not as apparent. He didn’t want sympathy. Barrett was about to snarl the thought aloud when he reined back his emotions. If he had any chance in hell to see Nicci again, he had to be honest with Connie.
“Not sure. I have a teaching degree so I suppose teach and coach. I’ll look for a position over the summer. Probably have to move back in with my parents until I find something else. How sad-assed is that? Not exactly stellar boyfriend material, am I?”
“Listen Barrett, Nicci and I have been around long enough to know the measure of a man is not his damned job. And before you ask how long, we’ve been BFF’s since high school and we graduated twenty-four years ago. Do the math.”
“So you’re both forty-two, what do I care? Age is just a number. Tell me about Nicci.”
Connie sat back and her eyes narrowed. “I like how fast you did the math. You’re not stupid, a definite plus. You really are interested, aren’t you? This is more than just sex to you. I felt the change happen, I thought I imagined it. I felt it from Nicci too.”
Barrett’s heart stuttered in his chest. He began to hope. Something he’d been missing in his life lately.
Connie took a breath and exhaled. “Nicci is a widow, her husband died over two years ago. She has been with no other man but Brad. Until you. She was devastated by his death; they loved each other very much. If you’re looking for hot sex with an older woman, find someone else. Regardless of what happened here, she’s not that type of woman.”
The conversation grew weary. A widow. No wonder she ran out. He wasn’t going to let any of this deter him from his goal. Barrett stood.
“Give me her address. I need to talk to her. I know you’re her friend, but what else I have to say, I say to Nicci, no offense.”
Connie glanced up at him. Her eyes scanned his face as if she studied him like a bug under a glass. “No, I won’t give you her address, but if you stay here, I’ll go by her place and see if she wants to talk to you. I’ll call you with the answer. You’re going to have to trust me on this, sugar.”
Barrett’s insides flamed with annoyance. What damned choice did he have? None. He had the sick feeling Connie would bolt and he wouldn’t hear from either of them again. Connie must have read the emotions on his face because she stood and briefly touched his arm.
“I’m not playing with you. I wouldn’t play those kinds of games, regardless of appearances. The electricity between you both was very noticeable. When Nicci dropped to her knees—well, I went in the bathroom and got dressed. But I came out in time to witness the kiss. Let me go talk to Nicci, and I promise I will call with her answer, one way, or the other.”
Barrett couldn’t speak, he merely nodded.
Connie’s hand left his arm and cupped his cheek briefly. “If you two become a couple, it’s going to make ‘Sunday dinners with Connie’ awkward as hell.” She smiled, tapped his cheek, and walked toward the door. “Wait for my call.”
Connie maneuvered her car through the winding turns of the street that boasted the fairy tale cottages of Carmel. Several yards ahead rested the stone and stucco cottage belonging to Nicci. She drove past the stake fence, which corralled an abundance of wild flowers and shrubs, and pulled her car into the cobbled driveway. Connie smiled as she recalled the day Brad surprised Nicci with her dream house. The romantic ambiance was not Connie’s cup of tea, but Nicci immediately fell in love with the place. With the rolled roof, rounded front door, and whimsical architecture, Connie imagined dwarves greeting her every time she visited.
The radio hummed in the background. Thinking of her conversation with Barrett the baseball hunk had her wondering about many things. She spoke the truth when she mentioned this could be awkward. Fact: She had Barrett’s cock in her mouth. The erotic image flickered through her mind.
And it would be on replay every time she was in his presence. How to move past it? Could they?
Connie squirmed uncomfortably in her seat. This encounter was not supposed to morph into anything meaningful at all. Lucky they never got to the actual sex. Now
would be seared and branded on her brain permanently. However, this wasn’t about her for once. Nicci’s happiness was paramount and for some reason her inner gut told her Barrett Michaels could be the man to bring joy and contentment back into her best friend’s life. She hoped her inner gut was right this time.
She turned off the ignition and looked for lights coming from the leaded windows. There was no way Nicci would be asleep, not after the events of the past few hours. During the time it took to drive from the hotel to Nicci’s, Connie realized exactly what made her dearest friend run. The electricity between Nicci and Barrett was palpable. Nicci feeling unworthy of love and happiness was a given considering the guilt she carried over Brad’s death. The time had come for her to move forward, and if the kiss she’d witnessed was any indication, Barrett could be the key to Nicci’s “happy ever after.”
Her heels clicked and echoed on the stone walkway as Connie sauntered to the front door. She drew a breath and prepared to knock when the door opened.
“I’ve been expecting you.” Nicci stepped aside and Connie entered.
Nicci led her friend into her living room and handed her a hot mug of tea. They sat in silence on the overstuffed couch until Connie spoke.
“You have to start living again, Nicci. We both do. Barrett wants to see you, to talk to you. He’s waiting for my call. At least hear him out.” Connie laid a hand on Nicci’s arm. “Regardless of the intimacy we all shared, he’s a stranger. It’s up to you if you want to go further with him. I will tell you, he impressed me in our brief conversation.” Connie gave her the highlights of the talk she had with Barrett.