Page 13

“Too bad. I’m not kicking you out of your own room,” I tell him, walking around him to the linen closet at the end of the hall. When he left to drop Ellie back off at her hotel a little while ago, I found that the closet was stocked with pillows and blankets for anyone who rented the place.

Filling up my arms with two blankets and two pillows, I close the door with my hip and walk past him. Austin shakes his head at me in frustration as I walk by.

“You are too damn stubborn for your own good,” he tells me as I turn the corner at the end of the hall and head over to the couch.

Emma is a bed hog and I know within ten minutes of getting into bed with her, I’ll be clinging to the edge trying not to fall off, so the couch it is.

I know I’m stubborn and I like to get my own way. I spent so long doing what everyone else demanded of me that it feels good to put my foot down and do what I want, even if it’s something as silly as sleeping on the couch when there’s a perfectly good bed right down the hall with a very attractive man in it.

* * *

At two in the morning, I’m sorely regretting the idea of sleeping on the couch. It’s hard and uncomfortable and I’ve been tossing and turning since I laid down, but I know that has nothing to do with why sleep is eluding me. The phone call from my father has been playing over and over in my head all night. I tried to block it out, to forget how hurtful his words were, but I couldn’t. Why do I always put my trust in the wrong people? Looking across the dark room and down the hallway, my eyes gradually adjust to the blackness and I see the outline of Austin’s door. Do I trust him? I know that he’ll do whatever he can to keep Emma and me safe. I trust him with our lives, but what about my heart? Every time I’m with him, I feel myself weakening where he’s concerned. I feel myself drawn to him, wanting more and it scares the hell out of me. I’ve grown accustomed to people in my life letting me down. Even Brady, who I trusted more than anyone else in the world, left me alone and he never looked back, never caring enough to find out about my life or the hell I was going through. I understand why he did it; he had to get away and make a clean break, leave before our parents turned him into someone he never wanted to be – them. Understanding it doesn’t lessen the hurt, but he’s done everything he could to make it up to me and I love him for that.

Austin is quickly worming his way into my heart and I don’t know what to do about it. I can’t stay away from him no matter how hard I try. The way he kissed me in the kitchen this morning was like nothing I’ve ever felt before. I know he’s not the type of man who would want to settle down with a single mom and I feel like a fool for even entertaining that thought. I don’t want or need another man in my life complicating things, but I’m a grown woman and I have needs that my own fingers just can’t fulfill anymore. I know he wants me; I can see it in his eyes every time he looks at me and I’ve felt the evidence of his need between my legs twice now. Just thinking about the night in Brady’s kitchen when Austin pushed me up against the fridge has a tingle of desire blooming between my legs. Rubbing my thighs together, I think back to just how close I was to coming.

Sliding my hand underneath the blanket, I press my fingers to my clit over the top of my underwear and close my eyes, remembering the push of his tongue through my mouth and the hardness in his jeans rubbing against me. I touch myself with thoughts of Austin’s hands and Austin’s mouth on me, but after a few minutes, I yank my hand away in frustration. It’s not the same and it’s just not doing it for me.

Without thinking about what I’m doing, I fling the blanket off of me and push myself up from the couch. I quickly pad barefoot down the hall wearing nothing but a tank top and my lacy boy shorts, leaving my drawstring yoga pants draped over the arm of the couch. When I get to Austin’s door, I hesitate with my hand on the knob. If I open this door it will change everything. Austin will either turn me down and it will be a huge mistake, or he’ll give me what I’m asking for… and it will still be a huge mistake.

Fuck it.

Chapter 17


I can’t sleep.

And it’s not because I know Gwen is just a few feet away sleeping on my couch, although that doesn’t help. Hanging around a kid lately has made me think about the past. It’s not something I ever willingly think about.

Fifteen foster homes by the time I was eighteen and could get the fuck out. Never once did anyone read me a bedtime story, play with me or treat me with anything other than indifference. I look at Emma and think about what Gwen went through and I’m so fucking amazed. Emma is happy and sweet… for a kid. Gwen made sure none of the horrors she went through touched Emma and she got her out of that house before it could.

I wish someone would have given two shits about me growing up and done something similar. Having Emma sleeping in my spare room and Gwen wandering through the house today makes me want things I never thought I would. It makes me tired of always being alone and never having anyone to come home to after a tiring mission. Gwen would never be satisfied with a man who came and went all the time; she deserves a man who will cherish her and be there for her every step of the way. I’m a fucking idiot for even entertaining these thoughts.

The click of my bedroom door pulls me away from my pity party and the moonlight streaming in from my bedroom window illuminates the room just enough that I can make out Gwen standing in the doorway. Her legs are bare and the white tank top she’s wearing practically glows in the dark. I can see it hugging tightly to her chest as my eyes take her in from head-to-toe.

I hold my breath and don’t move, watching her as she quietly closes the door behind her and comes over to the bed. She hesitates for a moment at the edge and I wonder if she’s going to turn and run out of the room. I have no idea what the fuck she’s doing in here, but I can’t form any words to ask her. My tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth and my dick throbs as I stare at her standing next to my bed wearing practically nothing. I hear her take a deep breath and watch her bite her bottom lip. Slowly, so as not to freak her out, I lift up the edge of the blankets – a silent invitation for her to join me.

Gwen quickly slides into bed and turns away from me as I pull the covers up over her. I roll over to my side and slide my arm around her waist, my palm grazing the bare skin of her stomach where her tank top has ridden up.

She scoots backwards until her ass is nestled right against my dick and her back is pressed up against my front. We lie there like this for several quiet minutes. Right when I start to ask her what’s going on, she presses her palm to the top of my hand and begins pushing it down. I hold my breath as she guides my hand down her taut stomach and stops when I’m cupping the lace and heat between her legs.

I squeeze my eyes closed and bend my head down until it’s buried in Gwen’s hair. I hold my hand completely still even though it’s killing me not to touch her more, to move her underwear to the side and feel her bare.

“What are you doing?” I finally whisper.

She shifts her hips and presses down harder on my hand. “I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore. I just need to feel something other than scared. I just want to forget about everything for a little while.”

As much as it pains me, I remove my hand from between her legs and move it to her hip. “We’re not doing anything just so you can forget what’s going on. When it’s all said and done, all that shit will still be waiting for you to deal with and taking whatever this is between us further is just going to complicate things more.”

She turns her head on the pillow to look back at me over her shoulder. “Stop being so fucking stubborn, Austin.”

Gwen throws my words back at me and I’d laugh if I weren’t suddenly overcome with the need to hear her say my name again.

I’m such a fucking pussy when it comes to this woman.

“I married William right out of college. I’d never had sex with anyone before or after him. I forgot what it’s like to have a man touch me without being afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing.”

Her quiet admission guts me. How in the fuck can I ever deny her anything? She’s been through hell and back and right now, she just wants me to take it all away. I may not be husband or father material, and I know I’m absolutely not the guy for Gwen, but I can do this. I can give her what she needs right here, right now. I can do this for her and it doesn’t have to mean anything… it can’t.

Not taking my eyes off of her, I slide my hand back down between her legs, this time, inching my fingers under the lace waistband of her underwear. I watch as her mouth falls open with a gasp when my hand travels lower and my fingers slide through the lips of her pussy. I let out a groan when I feel how wet she is. Sliding my hand back, I let the tips of my fingers circle her clit slowly. Gwen closes her eyes and starts to turn her head away from me and I still my fingers.

“Open your eyes and look at me.”

Gwen blinks her eyes back open and stares at my mouth as I start moving my fingers again. “Keep your eyes on me. When you come, I want you to know it’s me doing this to you.”

She whimpers as I push my middle finger inside of her and use my thumb to rub her clit. The feel of her coating my fingers and the breathy sounds she makes as I pump my finger in and out of her makes me want to bury myself inside of her. I want to feel that heat wrapped around my cock. I want to feel her pussy throb around me when she loses control.

Gwen’s arm comes back behind her and she wraps her hand around my neck, pulling me down to her mouth. I add a second finger to the first and easily slide in and out of her, my tongue swirling through her mouth in a matching rhythm.

Her hips start to move against my hand, pushing me deeper as she rides my fingers and helps me give her pleasure. Right when her breathing picks up and I know she’s seconds away from coming, she pulls her mouth away from me and her free hand clutches onto mine, halting my movements.

“Stop. I don’t want to come without you inside me,” she mumbles, staring up into my eyes.

Her words shoot right to my dick and I’m so hard right now I feel like I could break fucking glass. This was supposed to be just about her – giving her pleasure and ignoring whatever fucking needs I might have. She shifts her hips, pushing both of our fingers through her wetness and I’m lost.

I quickly pull my hand out from under hers and shove my boxer briefs down as far as I can reach, immediately reaching for her lacy underwear and yanking them down her thighs so she can kick them the rest of the way off.

Gwen brings one of her legs up and hooks it back over my knee, opening herself up to me. I wrap my hand around my cock and guide it between her legs from behind, sliding the tip through her wetness until I find her entrance. I bring my arm back around her waist until my fingers find her clit again, working my fingertips in a circle, around and around and slowly inch my way inside of her.

She opens her leg wider, her body stretching to fit me while she pants softly as I work my way inside. I take my time, sliding in a little and then pulling back out before pushing in a little further than before, over and over until I’m as deep as I can go.

“Jesus Christ you feel good,” I mutter, bringing my head down to the side of her neck and nipping at her skin.

She answers me by pulling her hips forward until my cock almost slips out of her and then she quickly pushes her ass back against me until I’m buried deep again, both of us moaning in unison.

I hold still, knowing if I don’t keep this slow, I’m going to hurt her with the force of my need for her. She’s too hot, too wet and so tight I want to weep like a fucking baby.

“Are you okay?” I breathe against her neck as my cock throbs inside of her.

She turns her head back towards me and kisses me, her tongue darting out to skim across my bottom lip before she whispers against my mouth. “I’d be better if you started moving.”

Jesus Christ, I love her smart mouth.

Pushing myself up on my elbow so I can look down at her, I pull my hips back and quickly slam inside her, unable to control myself any longer. My fingers start moving over her clit again as I pump myself in and out of her, over and over until her body is sliding up and down the bed with the force of my thrusts. I know I should slow down; savor this moment and take my time with her, but I can’t.

I knew fucking her would be the death of me. I want to stay inside of her forever and never come up for air. I want to pound away all of the bullshit baggage we both have until nothing else matters but what we’re doing right now.

Her hips move against my hand and I use two fingers to rub her clit. I thrust into her body over and over until there’s nothing left of my thoughts but how good it feels to be inside of her. The sounds of our bodies slapping together and Gwen’s low, throaty moans fill the room and turn me on even more. She’s so small and for a moment I’m afraid I’m going to break her in half with the force of my need for her, but her hips move with me, taking everything I have to give.

Her breath is coming out in gasps and I know she’s close to coming. I thank God for that because I’m not going to be able to hold off much longer. I move my fingers faster and fuck her harder.

“Oh fuck… fuck I’m coming. Austin… oh my God…”

Her whispered curses against mouth and the way she moans my name pushes me over the edge. She comes against my hand and I start thrusting harder until I explode, my orgasm barreling out of me with the force of a freight train. I come inside of her while her body shakes against me.

I thrust my hips a few more times, prolonging my release until I collapse behind her, both of us sweaty and panting heavily. When I’m finally able to catch my breath, I pull out of her with a wince, wrapping my arms around her and pulling her back against me.

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