Page 17

Author: Tara Sue Me


The suite was spacious and airy. Nathaniel pointed out my room and told me we had an hour before we met everyone for dinner. Our bags were delivered shortly after we arrived and I settled on a dress that Elaina must have given him for me to wear. Tasteful, sexy, and sophisticated all in one.


I met Nathaniel in the suite’s living room, right before we needed to leave.


“Very nice,” he said, looking over me. “But go back and remove the hose.”


Remove the hose? The dress hit right above the knee and it was cold outside.


“I want you totally bare beneath that dress,” he said. “I want you to go out knowing I can lift your skirt and take you any time I want.”


My brain worked hard to comprehend that. Worked hard and failed. I went back to my bedroom and took off my hose and panties. Slipped my shoes back on.


Nathaniel was waiting for me when I returned. “Lift the skirt.”


My face heated as I pulled the skirt up.


He held out his arm. “Now we’re ready.”


We met everyone at a steakhouse downtown. New York fans and photographers lined the windows and blocked the doorway. It took me a few seconds to realize they were waiting for Jackson.


“All these people,” Nathaniel murmured as a passer-by bumped us into each other. “No one even notices us. I can do anything I want and no one will notice.”


My knees threatened to give out from under me.


“Nathaniel!” Elaina called from inside the restaurant, pushing her way through the crowd. “Abby! Over here.”


Fortunately, the restaurant staff were doing an excellent job of keeping the crowd out. Even so, our table received numerous stares and nearly every eye was on us as we took our seats with the Clarks and Wellings.


“Can you believe this weather?” Elaina asked as Nathaniel pulled my chair out for me. “We must have brought it with us from New York.”


I laughed and sat down. “I think it was warmer at home.”


“Which would certainly explain why you would choose not to wear hose,” she said, nodding at my bare legs.


I looked over to Nathaniel, but he simply shrugged.


“Hate the damn things,” I said. “Always seem to find a way to poke a hole in them.”


“How are you feeling, Abby?” Linda asked, sparing me any more questions about my lack of hosiery. “After the accident?”


“I’m feeling great, Dr. Clark,” I said. “Thank you.”


“Hey, Abby,” Felicia said. “How was the flight?”


I blushed. I’m sure she noticed. “Fine, Felicia. It was just fine.”


“Fine?” Nathaniel whispered in my ear. “I poured hot wax over your n**ed body and it was fine? I’m rather insulted.”


I think he was teasing.


The waiter came by and poured Nathaniel and me a glass of wine while we looked over the menus. I felt a bit unsure of myself. This was not the type of restaurant I normally frequented. It was too high-class. Too intimidating.


“The lobster bisque is excellent,” Nathaniel said. “So is the house Caesar. I would also recommend either the filet or the strip steak.”


“Lobster bisque and filet, then.” I closed my menu. “So, Jackson. Ready for the game?”


He pulled his eyes away from Felicia. “You know it!”


He laughed and then launched into football talk. I had trouble following what he was saying, and it was an effort to feign polite interest, but I noticed Felicia was hooked on his every word. At one point, Jackson reached over and took her hand. I was so happy for her. She deserved a nice guy and, from what I could tell, Jackson treated her like a queen.


Elaina gave me a wink and pointedly asked me a question, drawing me away from all the football talk. She and Todd were very kind, asking me about my family and what school I’d been to, trying to set me at ease. As it turned out, Todd had attended medical school at Columbia, which was where I went for my undergraduate degree. We spoke for a while about our college days and discovered we had favored several of the same hangouts. Nathaniel had attended Dartmouth, but that didn’t stop him from joining in our conversation and adding in his favorite college memories. We all laughed when he described working the coin-operated washer and dryers for the first time.


There was a slight lull in the conversation as our appetizers were delivered. I placed my napkin in my lap, noticing for the first time just how close I was sitting to Nathaniel. I could feel his body heat if I tried hard enough.


I’d just taken a sip of soup when his hand started drawing circles on my knee.


Control.


Heaven help me.


CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE


“Abby,” Linda said across the table, totally clueless her nephew was making love to my kneecap. “I keep meaning to call you for lunch. This coming week isn’t good. How would the next Wednesday work for you?”


The hand on my knee continued stroking.


“Wednesdays aren’t good for me,” I said. “There’s a patron who comes in every Wednesday to see the Rare Books Collection—and we don’t let researchers in unaccompanied, so I have to be there with him.”


Nathaniel chuckled under his breath.


“That must be a bit tiresome,” Linda said. “But I suppose that’s what customer service is all about.”


“I don’t mind,” I said. “It’s refreshing to find someone so thorough.”


The hand stroked down my knee, brushed the underside.


“How would that Tuesday work?” she asked. “He doesn’t come on Tuesdays, does he?”


Not yet.


“Tuesday will be fine,” I said.


“It’s a date then,” she said, smiling at me.


Conversation flowed freely. At some point, Nathaniel and Todd started a debate over politics. Elaina looked at me and rolled her eyes. Perfectly normal dinner conversation. Nothing out of the ordinary.


Above the table, that is.


I’ll give him this much, Nathaniel was a sneaky thing. He’d play with my knee for a few minutes and then pass the bread to Felicia or cut his salad, something requiring two hands. Later, without warning, his hand would be back. Stroking, squeezing, gently working higher. Retreating.


I was a complete mess of nerves.


I took a sip of bisque. Nathaniel had been right. It was incredible. Creamy. Rich. Just the right amount of chunky lobster. I crossed my legs out of habit. When Nathaniel’s hand came back, he pushed my left leg off my right and continued stroking. Going higher this time.


Lobsters, I told myself. Think about lobsters.


Lobsters. Lobsters were sea creatures. They had huge pincers and had to have their claws rubber-banded. They turned a red color when you boiled them.


Does the thought of me turning your backside red excite you?


I choked on a mouthful of bisque.


Fortunately, Nathaniel’s hands were both in plain view, above the table, at the time. He pounded me on the back. “Are you okay?”


“Fine. Sorry.”


The waiter came to take our bowls and plates away. Everyone at the table was chatting or laughing, caught up in conversation.


Nathaniel poured me more wine and started caressing my thigh over the dress. “What do you read besides poetry?”


He wanted to discuss my reading habits? “Just about anything,” I said, curious as to where this was going. “Classics are my favorite.”


“A classic,” he said, “is a book which people praise and don’t read. Mark Twain.”


I knew then I was in real trouble. To tease me with provocative caresses was one thing, to engage me in verbal sparring was quite another. Especially where literature was concerned. My body he had already mastered, was my mind next on his agenda? But I thought back to the library and knew I could give as well as he did.


“I cannot think well of a man who sports with any woman’s feelings,” I said. “Jane Austen.”


He smirked. “But when a young lady is to be a he**ine, the perverseness of forty surrounding families cannot prevent her.” His hand went up my skirt. “Jane Austen.”


“Truth is more of a stranger than fiction,” I said. “Mark Twain.”


He laughed and moved his hand. “I give up,” he said. “You win.” His eyes grew serious. “But only this round.”


I wondered how many rounds there might be.


Our entrees were delivered and once more Nathaniel didn’t disappoint—the filet was so tender, I could cut it with a fork.


“Hey, you two,” Elaina said to Felicia and me. “Linda and I are hitting the spa tomorrow for massages and facials and to get our nails done. We made you both appointments as well. Our treat. Will you come?”


Felicia looked over to Jackson. He picked up her hand and kissed it. “I’ll be busy tomorrow anyway. You go and have a good time.”


“How very thoughtful,” Nathaniel said, caressing my knee once more. “I suppose Todd and I can amuse ourselves with golf. Would you like to go with the girls, Abigail?”


“Sure,” I said. “I’d love to.”


Elaina beamed at me.


A spa day sounded delightful. But what about my collar? Wouldn’t it be odd to wear it to a spa? Nathaniel’s hand inched further up my skirt and rational thought was beyond me for several long minutes.


It wasn’t as easy for Nathaniel to keep up his under-the-table moves while we ate, but I was tense all the same. On the edge of my seat waiting for what he’d do next.


Which was probably exactly where he wanted me.


When the entrees were cleared away, we all sat back and waited for dessert. Two young teenagers came by our table for pictures and autographs from Jackson. He chatted with them for a bit, told them he’d see them Sunday. Like I said, totally normal dinner.


Right. Who was I kidding? There was nothing normal about dinner.


Nathaniel refilled my wineglass and I tried to remember how much I’d had to drink. Three glasses? Four? Surely not four.


His hand came back, but instead of reaching for my leg, he took my hand and, ever so subtly, placed it on his crotch. He was erect and straining against his pants. He thrust up into my palm. Barely moving. No one at the table suspected anything.


I could control myself, but feeling the evidence of his need just about did me in. I chewed my lip. How long until dinner was over? I glanced at my watch. Eight-thirty. Still early. It wouldn’t take much for me to beg for his c**k tonight. I was almost there as it was.


Soufflés were delivered to the table. Nathaniel’s hand went straight up my skirt, brushed right where I was wet and aching and then reappeared above the table. I bit the inside of my cheek.


Control.


I wasn’t tipsy, I told myself, I was just really relaxed. And happy. Couldn’t forget happy. And warm. Warm and tingly inside. Weightless.


Nathaniel continued his teasing in the car. It was easy. We were alone and there was no one to see. He flipped my skirt up with one hand.


“You’re going to mess up the interior of the rental,” he scolded, dipping a finger inside. “Wet as you are.”


I wanted to tell him to spank me. But we weren’t in the kitchen or my library. We were in a rental car, headed back to the hotel. Where there was a bed.


Nathaniel and a bed…


I’d even beg.


Now.


Please.


We made it back to the hotel and got into the elevator for the long ride up to our suite. Nathaniel squeezed my backside and I groaned.


“Not yet,” he said.


Someone had been busy while we were out. The lights were muted and Nathaniel’s bed had been turned down. He led me to the bed and fumbled with a duffle bag on the floor. He placed a tube of lube and a vibrator on the bed.


“I’ve been patient, Abigail,” he said. “And I’ll be as gentle as I can, but tonight’s the night. You’re ready.”


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