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“Who are you?” Douchebag demanded.

“The guy tellin’ you to get the hell outta my room.”

The douchebag looked at Ava. “I thought you said this was your room.”

“Hey, fuckface, eyes on me, not her.” When douchebag turned, Chase stabbed his finger at the clothes by the bed. “You’re done. Grab your shit and get gone.”

“Nuh-uh.” Douchebag gestured to Ava. “I get gone when she tells me to, not you, little man.”

Ava said not one word.

Chase’s anger hit the boiling point. Instead of yelling, his voice dropped lethally low. “Get. The. Fuck. Out.”

“Or what? You gonna throw me out?” Douchebag sneered. “You’ll have to eat your spinach and grow some first.”

Faking calmness he didn’t feel, Chase scooped up the man’s belongings, opened the door and dumped the pile onto the walkway.

“What is wrong with you?” Douchebag loomed over Chase.

“You have fifteen seconds to get out of my room and out of my face or I will beat you bloody. You’re not the first asshole who’s tried to take me on, believing a short man is a weak man. But by all means, I’m more than willing to offer you proof that’s a mistake.” Chase locked his cold gaze to the man who had six inches and a good fifty pounds on him. “Get out. Right. Fucking. Now.”

Douchebag glared, but ultimately retreated. He sent Ava a dark look before he muttered, “No piece of ass is worth this bullshit,” and stormed out.

Chase slammed the door, locked it and engaged the safety chain before he faced Ava.

Immediately she started babbling. “Chase. I’m sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

“Oh, I know what you were thinking, sugar tits.” He shucked off his vest as he ambled toward the bed. “You don’t mind if I call you sugar tits, do you? Because, I gotta say, it’s a whole lot better than toots.”

“Very funny.”

“You were thinking you wanted to get laid.” Chase popped the buttons on his shirt. “But that douchebag was the best you could do? In an arena filled with real cowboys, you picked…him?”

“He wore a hat. And boots. And chaps.”

Chase laughed. “He wore a Toby Keith party hat. His boots were brand spankin’ new. And the chaps? Hell. Them I can’t even explain.” He toed off his boots. Unhooked his chaps and let them fall to the floor in a dusty whoosh. The fact Ava’s eyes never wavered from watching him strip prompted him to bare it all. He unbuckled his belt. Once the zipper loosened his jeans, he slipped them off along with his briefs. He grabbed the back strap of his chaps. Felt goddamn stupid putting them back on nekkid, but he did it anyway.

He thought about what his brother Ben said about being a man. Being in control. Reading what his lover wanted and acting on it. He felt almost as clueless as Ryan tonight.


Man up. “If you still want to get laid by a cowboy, just say the word. Say the word and I’ll give you a night you’ll never forget.”

“But what about your self-promise to abstain? I don’t want you blaming me afterward that I enticed you into fucking me.”

“You’ve been enticing me since the moment I laid eyes on you. I consider it a personal victory that I held out as long as I did with you, Ava, because you are something else. Beautiful. Smart. Funny. Sexy. And in case you haven’t looked at a calendar recently, the month is up.”

“Is that the only reason you’re doing this, Chase? Because I’m convenient and the calendar is giving you the all clear to revert to your love-’em-and-leave-’em ways?”

Chase climbed on the bed, straddling her hips. “Not even fucking close.” He bent his head, studying the turbulent emotions in her beautiful eyes before he pressed his mouth to hers. Lightly teasing her sweet, warm lips. Sucking in her rapidly expelled breaths deep into his lungs. Fueling the need, building the sexual buzz.

When Ava playfully sank her teeth into his bottom lip and tugged, Chase shuddered. He thrust his tongue inside her mouth and intensified the kiss until she thrashed beneath him, attempting to force full-body contact.

He ripped his mouth free, panting as if he’d just climbed off a bull. Resting his forehead to hers, he said, “Damn. A man could lose his head just kissin’ you.” Chase smooched her plump lips twice more before following the curve of her jaw up to the sweet spot in front of her ear. “You’re mine tonight, Hollywood. All night. Any way I want you. As many times as I want you. Make no mistake: I want you. And it doesn’t have a goddamned thing to do with you being convenient, or any fucking calendar, understand?”

Her rapid-fire, “Yes,” caused him to growl against the pulse beating wildly in her throat.

“You always smell so damn good.” He nuzzled below her earlobe. “Girly. Like summer flowers.” His tongue traced the shell of her ear. “And sugar.”

“It’s my lotion. Orange blossoms.”

“Mmm. Good enough to eat.” Chase let his lips drift down the center of her body between the deep swell of her cleavage. But he didn’t stop to tongue those tempting nipples, or rub his mouth all over her succulent curves, he kept moving south. He felt her thighs clench between his when the very tip of his tongue circled her belly button. He swept openmouthed kisses from hipbone to hipbone. Then he brushed his goatee across the damp path his mouth had made, using his warm breath and the rough texture of his facial hair to make that delicate flesh quiver.

But he stopped mere inches from the rise of her mound. Her completely bare mound. “I like you so silky-smooth.” He placed a tender kiss on the section of skin right above where her sex parted like a flower.

“Chase. Please. It’s been so long…”

His gaze snapped back to hers. “So long since a guy went down on you?”

Ava nodded.

“How long?” he demanded.

“Since right after Jake and I started dating. He did it once and…” Her laugh resembled a groan. “Didn’t like it.”

Chase scooted back until he was between her thighs. “That shoulda been your first sign the man was gay.” His tongue trailed down the seam of her sex and he licked back up to her clit.

Ava whispered, “Thank you.”

That response did him in. No teasing her endlessly this time. A primitive growl rumbled free and he roughly pushed her legs apart, baring every glistening pink inch of her sex. He lowered his head and inhaled the aroma of pure Ava before he plunged his tongue inside her pussy. Hot and wet. Spicy sweet.

She bucked, but his grip on her legs held her steady, keeping her in place as he tasted her thoroughly. He flattened his tongue, lapping the honey from every hidden fold. As he sucked her pussy lips into his mouth, the tip of his tongue sought her clit. Flicking that little nub over and over until it plumped.

“Oh. Yes. Like that.”

Chase narrowed his oral worship to just her clit, suckling softly but firmly until she arched against his mouth. Ava’s fingernails dug into his scalp as her orgasm overtook her. Her sexy, low-throated groan escalated into gasps. Her entire body trembled and Chase didn’t relent.

As soon as she finished coming, she attempted to scramble back, attempted to close her legs, attempted to regain control.

But Chase wanted her wild. Writhing beneath him as he made her come again. He grabbed her hips and jerked her back down where he wanted her. “Don’t move.”

“But I—”

“I’m not done with you. Come on, baby, one more,” he murmured against the rise of her mound as he nuzzled her satiny skin.

“I can’t. I never have…”

“Then you will with me.”

After a tiny beat of hesitation, Ava rolled back onto the mattress, giving herself—her pleasure—over to him completely.

With that small act of surrender, Chase finally understood what Ben had meant. In that single defining moment, he shed his habitual sexual selfishness and became the lover Ava needed.

Mindful of the sensitivity of her clit, Chase used teasing breaths, fleeting kisses and soothing caresses. On her belly. On her hipbones. On the tops of her thighs. Everywhere but on her pussy. When Ava began to shift restlessly, he slipped two fingers into her, wiggling the digits, but not sliding them in and out. He continued the randomness of his kisses, memorizing her body’s response to every lick, nibble and gentle bite.

Before Ava could beg, Chase let his mouth wander to where she wanted it most. Lapping at her clit instead of concentrated sucking, while his fingers fucked in and out of her wet heat. He couldn’t wait to plunge his cock in and feel that hot velvet clamping around his shaft, but he didn’t want to hurry this.

“More,” she panted. “I need your mouth…”

Chase firmed his lips, pulling at the throbbing flesh and pushed another finger deep into her clenching channel, trying not to grind his aching cock against the sheet. That’d be damn embarrassing, spilling his seed before he even got inside her.

Ava released a wail as she came again.

Her sweet juices coated his mouth and he licked his lips before pressing openmouthed kisses on the inside of each thigh. While she caught her breath, he ripped open the box of condoms.

She lifted up to rest on her elbows and watched as he slipped one on.

God. She looked even more beautiful flushed with color, her eyes heavy with pleasure, her lips fuller from his kisses. He couldn’t wait another second to have her. He said gruffly, “Roll over.”

Something resembling wariness flashed in her eyes, but she didn’t argue.

Chase hiked her hips and moved in behind her. He placed a single, tender kiss between the dimples above her ass. Then he took a taut cheek in each hand, aligned his cock and surged inside her.

Oh fuck yeah. Every goddamned bit as good as he’d imagined.

He was too far gone with need to take this first time slow. That’d come later. Much later. After he’d dulled this sharp edge of lust.