She ripped her mouth away from the endless plundering of mine, tossing her head back so hard that it hit the door behind her with a thud. I leaned forward so that my forehead was resting on the arm that was still bent over her head, and told myself I could do this. I could get tangled up, wound up in her wild, and go back to my own carefully constructed simulation of a life lived well with the best of everything including very little warmth.
It was a lie.
She felt like life. The way she moved on my thrusting fingers, the way her hands pulled at me, the way her body trickled pleasure and gushed satisfaction, uninhibited and unashamed.
She was real.
She was genuine.
She was truth.
She was all the things I hadn’t been in a very long time, and I couldn’t get enough of it. I wanted to wring all of it from her body, where I had it pinned and held captive by my own. She said my name on a strangled breath as I used my thumb to press down on her clit. The little nub pulsed under my touch and her entire body seemed like it was going to levitate off the ground.
Her eyelids fluttered as she wrenched her eyes open and her tongue danced out to slick across her kiss-plumped lower lip. The wild was there in her eyes as she dared me to keep going, to push her over the edge. The sweet was there, in the way she moved forward to press her lips to the pulse that was hammering at the side of my throat.
She was so close. I could feel her body softening, loosening up around my fingers. I circled her clit with hard strokes of my thumb and pushed off the door so I could put my other hand on the side of her face, holding her still while I kissed her and ate up every single part of her coming apart for me. It was the most decadent and delicious thing that had ever crossed my tongue. She tasted like she felt, turned on and ready to explode.
After she broke and quaked in delicate spasms all across my hand, we panted softly into one another as she fell back down to her normal height. She looked up at me with a million different questions I had no answers to shining out of her eyes and let her hands fall from my shoulders to my waist.
She stiffened when her fingertips landed on the hard metal of the gun I had forgotten I hooked there when I rushed out of my loft. I trailed my wet fingers over the curve of her belly and curled them around her ribs. The weapon added even more questions to her bewildered and startled gaze.
“You have a gun.” The bottom of my leather jacket had kept the firearm covered up so her surprise at the deadly discovery was justifiable.
I stepped away from her and reached for the flap on her overalls that I had loosened moments ago. I rubbed the pad of my thumb over the flushed arch of her cheek and shifted so that her hands were no longer near the weapon or near me.
“I have a few. I got used to having one on hand when I was in the service. Your good buddy Google told you all about it, remember?”
She huffed out a breath and crossed her arms over her chest. She was still propped up against the door and I took an inordinate amount of pleasure in thinking that she needed the stability that the door provided because I had done an excellent job of making her knees weak.
“Google told me you were in the Army, not that you were going to show up at my house in the middle of the night, armed and riding a motorcycle. Google apparently doesn’t know any of the good shit. You’re full of surprises, aren’t you, Counselor?”
I grunted and lifted my hands to push back my hair, which was hopelessly tangled, unkempt from sleep, being shoved in my helmet, and her demanding hands.
“I learned how to load and fire a shotgun before I learned my ABCs. I learned how to hunt about two minutes after I took my first steps. When you said you might be in trouble, my instinct was to grab a weapon on my way out of the loft. The motorcycle spends most of the year in storage, but lately it’s been calling to me.” I lifted my eyebrows at her. “Something has been hounding me to remember what it’s like to let go and be uncivilized occasionally.”
She snorted and finally pushed away from the door. My ego practically howled in satisfaction when I noticed she was indeed a little bit wobbly.
“That rocket is as far from uncivilized as any one machine can get. And you are as far from uncivilized as any one man can get, so the idea of you as a toddler in diapers with a shotgun in your hand is pretty hard to imagine.” She touched her fingers to her mouth and put a hand flat on her chest. “Exactly who are you, Quaid Jackson?”
I snorted. “Nobody. I’m nobody.” And that had been the problem I struggled with all along. That was why I set out to be somebody. Why I had left everything I knew behind and created something that looked so perfect, so desirable, from the outside. I never wanted to be nobody again, but with her I also didn’t want to be the slick and scheming lawyer, the guy that knew every move I made with her was leading nowhere. I forced myself to grin at her. “Who exactly are you, Avett Walker?”
She laughed and threw her hands out at her sides. “I’m exactly who you think I am—Daddy’s girl, college dropout, broke and unemployed, a liar and a petty criminal. I’m the girl that can’t make the right choice, even when it’s the only choice, and I’m the girl that will fall for the wrong guy every single time. There is nothing surprising about who I am, Quaid, so don’t try and spin some kind of pretty tale about the woman you had your hands all over. I’m just me. There is no heart of gold or tender soul hidden here. What you see is what you get, and when you’re ready for my story, you’ll realize that who I am is someone that deserves every single mess I’ve managed to make along the way.”
That was why I couldn’t stay away from her or keep her off of my mind. Her authenticity was addicting and so fucking invigorating after decades spent not only living in the lie that was my current life, but also the lie that was my previous life, and the major charade that was my marriage.
I smirked at her and lifted my hand to my mouth—the hand that had played with her, touched her, stroked her, the hand that had coaxed a sharp and piercing orgasm out of her. I licked the side of my thumb and watched the way the action made her eyes bulge huge in her face.
“I like what I see when it comes to you, Avett. I also like what I get and what you give.” She made a strangled noise low in her throat and lifted a hand to hold the slender column, like she could prevent the noise from escaping. “And I do want your story, if you want to give it to me. Tell me why you’re rushing after the wrong kinds of things, time and time again, when the right kinds of things would die for a shot at getting a taste of all that wild and sweet you have inside of you.” By things, I meant men, but she was smart enough to figure that out on her own.