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Beautiful distraction, p.6
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       Beautiful Distraction, p.6

           J. C. Reed
 
“She’s upstairs,” Kellan says coolly. “I offered to let you both stay.”

  “We agreed on three hours. We’re leaving tonight.” Gosh, why does my voice sound so clipped and hoarse?

  “She told me your car broke down.”

  Damn my car.

  We’re stuck here. The realization makes me freeze in sudden panic. The fact that he’s looking at me with a strange glint in his eyes doesn’t ease the unnerving tension I feel in his presence.

  “I’ll be happy to send for a mechanic, but he won’t be here before tomorrow. You’re free to stay the night.”

  “Why the change?” I can’t help asking.

  Slowly, he lifts off the sofa, stretching up to his imposing height. “What do you mean?” He steps closer. I want to run, but instead, I find myself strangely enthralled by his green gaze, his stunning eyes keeping me captured on the spot.

  “You wanted us gone,” I say. “Why the sudden change?”

  “I’m still torn about this.” He shrugs. “But I know you’ll change my mind.”

  The abrupt shift in his tone doesn’t escape me. He’s gone from broody and serious to mischievous in the blink of an eye. I can’t figure him out. I can’t keep up with him.

  “I won’t do anything to change your mind,” I say.

  “Why’s that?” His fingers curl around mine and press them against his chest, right where his heart is. His pulse thuds rhythmically against my fingertips. “I’ve never disappointed.”

  His tone is so hoarse and erotic, I feel the urge to jump a step back.

  The double meaning in his words is subtle, but there’s no mistaking it.

  A few seconds alone and we’re drifting back onto dangerous territory. My heartbeat speeds up, and excitement courses through me.

  I don’t know the guy, but he has this knack of getting under my skin in a hundred possible ways, when all I want to be is the epitome of Zen.

  “So you say,” I mumble under my breath.

  “Try me.”

  I blink in succession. No one’s ever propositioned me like this.

  It’s so damn hot, I almost say yes.

  But only almost.

  A one-night stand is not my style. Not because I don’t enjoy casual sex. I just like all the other things that come with a steady relationship, like falling asleep in each other’s arms and waking up to a hot session of morning sex.

  For some reason, Mr. Sex On Legs doesn’t strike me as the guy who’d sleep over, and most certainly not someone who’d let you fall asleep cradled in his arms.

  “I wouldn’t try you if you were the last man on earth,” I hiss, but for some reason, my low voice doesn’t convey the disgust for cheaters and arrogant jerks I’m trying to go for.

  “You’re so ready for me, I could have you panting my name in seconds. I bet you’re soaked down there.”

  Who says things like that to a stranger?

  I yank my hand from his fingers and push him away, without much success. “I bet you think being obnoxious is part of your charm.”

  “So I’ve been told.”

  “There’s nothing charming about you.”

  “Obviously you haven’t seen me naked yet,” he says.

  He’s so arrogant I can’t bear his ego anymore.

  He inches just a little bit closer, until I can catch the tantalizing scent of his aftershave. He smells so good I want to wrap my arms around him, close my eyes and inhale his scent until it’s all that fills my mind…and anything else that needs to be filled.

  “Your bedroom’s upstairs. It’s the one with the animal print bedspread.” He leans forward, and for a moment I fear he’ll kiss me. My gaze is glued to his enticing mouth, and my lips part involuntarily, ready to grant him all the access he might want. His lips brush my cheek as they trail their way to my earlobe, his hot breath making my skin tingle. “It’s also conveniently situated next to mine. Tonight, when you switch off the lights, I want you to know that I’m going to be jerking off to your picture in my mind. It won’t be the first time.”

  F.U.C.K!

  My air supply is cut off as I stare at him like an idiot. He’s done it before? When? How?

  I wish I had the confidence to ask him to let me watch. Instead, I find myself muttering, “You’re such a creep.”

  “Don’t pretend like you didn’t do it after our brief meeting at Club 69.” He laughs at my horrified expression. “Come on, Ava. Stop the double standards.”

  My face catches fire. I can’t deny his statement. I’m too bad of a liar, and he’s too full of himself to believe me.

  Without waiting for a reply, Kellan turns and leaves, calling over his shoulder from the door, “If you need someone to help with your bags, you’ll find me upstairs. In my bedroom.”

  The invitation’s there. Unspoken but obvious.

  “Thanks, but no thanks,” I mutter, and then I head outside to grab my bags, my body hot against the chilly wind. At least, the rain has stopped.

  CHAPTER SIX

  Don’t ever let your guard down with a guy like him, unless you don’t mind him dirty-talking his way into your panties.

  I toss my pen on the bed, pondering if I should mention the jerk in my diary.

  Because that’s exactly what he’s been so far, and he’s proved it on numerous occasions.

  As I heaved my suitcase up the stairs, Kellan just stood there, watching me from the door with a smug grin. Even though he kept quiet for a change, I knew he was checking me out, his eyes as dark and hooded as the night we first met. I walked past holding my head high, making sure not to touch him, even though I could feel him with every inch of my body.

  My skin is still prickling from his gaze.

  God, I can’t get his name out of my head: Kellan, Kellan, Kellan—

  He’s in every thought. He’s officially occupied my entire brain space, and I don’t even know him.

  A knock sounds at my door. I sit up straight and push the diary under my pillow just before the door opens and Mandy’s head pops in.

  “Can I come in?” she asks.

  “Yeah.” I tuck my legs under me as I watch her close the door and then settle on my bed.

  The quizzical look from before is still etched on her face. “You okay?”

  “I’m tired,” I say, fighting the urge to ask where Kellan’s gone. This is the right time to talk about him, but for some reason, I can’t bring myself to. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe in the light of day he won’t look so damn hot and this stupid attraction will be gone.

  “We should get some rest. It’s been a long day. Kellan’s invited us to stay the night,” Mandy says, wriggling her brows meaningfully.

  I doubt ‘invited’ is the right word. He probably felt he couldn’t possibly throw us out, in case we wouldn’t make it through the night and he’d have to live with his conscience forever. Or maybe his big ego can’t take rejection and he’s still harboring the strange notion that I will bed him if he’s being obnoxious about it hard enough. But instead of sharing my thoughts with her, I just nod. “Where are you sleeping?” I ask, ready to change the subject.

  Mandy motions for me to follow her and leads us down the hall to a closed door. “The bathroom’s in here,” she says, as though she’s the host and I’m her visitor. “I’m next door.” She points to the adjacent door and opens it. Inside, I can see that her suitcase is already waiting to be unpacked.

  He must have shown her to her room and helped her with the luggage.

  The thought stings even though there’s no surprise there. She’s hot; she’s confident and a hell of a lot of fun. The word ‘rejection’ doesn’t feature in Mandy’s dictionary, and I doubt Kellan’s going to be the exception to the rule. He’ll see that he’s been going for the wrong friend in no time.

  Which makes my blatant physical attraction to him all the more annoying.

  “He’s making us dinner,” Mandy says casually as she unzips her bag.

  “Swell,” I mutter. “Can he also make us wine?” Pref
erably a whole keg so I can drink myself to sleep and don’t have to think about him anymore.

  “I don’t think grapes grow in Montana. The weather’s not ideal.”

  I shoot Mandy a sideways glance.

  “Oh,” she says. “You weren’t serious.” She nudges me with her elbow. “Come on, the hot guy’s obviously into you. What’s up with the angry face?”

  “The hot guy also has a girlfriend,” I retort and turn to take in Mandy’s room.

  Just like mine, the décor is rustic yet simple with a low-roofed ceiling, fitted only with a rugged bed, night table, and a large, solid wooden cupboard. A few scarce pictures of birds adorn the otherwise empty walls.

  “Honestly, I don’t know why we’re staying here,” I say. “We could just ask him to drive us to a hotel.”

  “Because.” Mandy waves her hand.

  “Because what?”

  She shrugs. “It’s cozy here.”

  And free, which she doesn’t add, and neither do I. We left home early and would arrive at the luxury hotel early, meaning we’d have to pay for the extra days.

  “It is,” I agree as my gaze sweeps over the room one more time. Simple and cozy—such a strong contrast to the red Lamborghini and the expensive clothes. I sigh and turn around to regard her. “But we’re imposing. Give me another reason why we shouldn’t leave.”

  “Because he’s a Boyd,” Mandy says. “I still can’t believe you kept that fact from me for more than three months.”

  Oh, here we go again.

  “I didn’t know. Besides, what does it matter who he is when he’s obnoxious as fuck?” I groan and head for the door. “You know what? I’ll see you later. And if I hear his stupid name one more time, I’m leaving with or without you.”

  “Well, you can’t. We’re stuck, remember? The car’s broken down, and we’re not heading back home before we’ve seen Mile High. You might want to start to loosen up a bit and have some fun.”

  How could I forget the stupid tickets? They’re the reason why we’re here and I can’t escape the one guy I want to escape.

  “Whatever.”

  Mandy’s laughter rings as I close the door behind me.

  CHAPTER SEVEN

  The storm picks up again. The night’s one drawn-out opus of splattering rain and howling wind. I barely manage to get a few hours of sleep before a noise wakes me.

  I sit up straight, familiarizing myself with my surroundings, my ears straining to place the sounds.

  I’m still at Kellan’s place. So, that part’s not a dream.

  The sky is still dark and starless, with nothing but the moon lighting up the room. I’m surrounded by the sound of the wind, the swaying of branches, the soft spattering of rain.

  Pure, complete nature.

  It must be what woke me.

  Having lived in NYC all my life, I’m used to noise: the constant rumble of traffic, the honking, the hollow thudding of the music in nearby bars and shops, the shouting of the drunk on a Saturday night. I’m so used to my life in the city and the fumes that the complete absence of noise unnerves me.

  It’s supposed to be calming, and yet I find it peculiarly strange.

  I feel as if I’ve been sucked into a black hole and spat out on another planet.

  As if I’ve become the air itself, trapped somewhere between the earth and sky, and I don’t know which way I want to go.

  Somewhere in the distance, I hear the agitated chirping of birds, celebrating that soon a new dawn will break. Slowly, I sink back into the pillows and pull the covers up to my chin.

  As soon as I close my eyes, I hear it again.

  It’s the same sound that woke me.

  I cannot ignore it.

  It sounds like…

  I jump up, eyes wide open, my heart stopping, as I become aware of one fact.

  It’s coming from the adjacent room.

  That’s where Kellan’s sleeping.

  It’s unmistakably moaning, interrupted by heavy breathing. And then soft voices.

  Kellan has a woman in there.

  I reach out for my phone on the table. The clock says it’s four a.m. I left Mandy and Kellan barely two hours ago. My heart sinks as I recall the last few hours.

  During dinner, which consisted of medium rare steak and bread, Kellan was friendly, respectful, and formal. I expected more sexual advances, but to my surprise, none came. There were no double meanings. No lingering looks. No more mentions of Club 69. Not even an intimate encounter that would put my willpower to the test. No mention of his girlfriend either.

  The entire dinner focused mostly on our trip to Montana, Kellan’s house—it’s been in his family for generations—and a very long and heated conversation on the New York Yankees, Mandy’s team, and Boston Red Sox, Kellan’s favorite baseball team. Even Mandy, with her intense character and her big mouth, kept any snarky remarks to herself, for which I was very grateful. Except for a few glances Kellan and I exchanged, nothing happened—which both relieved and frustrated the hell out of me. At around two a.m., tiredness crept over me, and I excused myself, leaving Mandy and Kellan alone in the living room.

  Which, maybe I shouldn’t have, because now I have no idea what went down.

  What is still going down.

  I might have been so focused on avoiding him that the thought of him hitting on Mandy never occurred to me when it was a likely possibility. Their heated discussion could have easily turned into a heated situation with them ending up in his bed.

  Upon our arrival, when Mandy hinted not so subtly that she’d go after him I didn’t take her seriously. How could I have been so wrong? A pang of pain, raw and sharp, hits me in the chest. I can’t help but feel betrayed.

  I rise to my feet and tiptoe to the door, my heart beating in a frenzy. Fear chokes my throat as I head for Kellan’s room and linger in front of the door.

  It’s cracked open. Caught in the throes of passion, they probably forgot to close it.

  My heart lurches. I feel faint.

  Every part of my brain tells me that Kellan can fuck whomever he wants.

  But every fiber of my being screams that Mandy knows I’m into him. That even though I told her she could fuck him, I didn’t mean it.

  Maybe she wants him for herself.

  I have to know what’s happening in there, if only to know where I’m standing.

  I close my eyes, sickness washing over me as I picture the worst-case scenario.

  I promise myself not to be angry at Mandy, but I know that’s not a promise I can keep.

  By fucking him, she’s betraying every friendship code.

  Should I make my presence known? Should I confront them? I have no plan. I just need to know.

  Opening my eyes, I take a deep breath to prepare myself for what I’m about to see. As I crack the door a little bit wider so I can scan the room through the gap, nothing could have prepared me for what I see.

  The truth hits me like thunder.

  The bed is on the east side, facing the wall to my room. Kellan’s alone, naked on the bed, his eyes shut. He’s propped up against the pillows; the sheets are gathered around his ankles. A radio station is running in the background, voices chatting, but the volume’s too low to make out the words.

  There is no woman, no girl, no Mandy in sight.

  He is all alone with his cock. His enormous, hard cock, which he now holds in his hand.

  Holy shit.

  I stare at his erection, the blood rising to my face. I know I should head back to my room, but I can’t. I’m too mesmerized by what I see.

  The picture in front of me is hot. Too hot. It’s so much better than anything I’ve ever seen. And so intimate. I hold my breath as I take him in.

  All of him.

  He looks like a god engaged in his favorite activity, his beautiful face drawn in concentration.

  One hand is wrapped around his cock, moving up and down in hard, determined strokes, the other pressed down on his balls, forcing back the org
asm he’s chasing. His lips are slightly parted as another sexy moan ripples through his chest.

  I stare at the engorged head glistening with wet arousal, and something twitches between my legs.

  He’s so caught up in his own pleasure that he doesn’t hear me, even though I’m pretty sure my own heartbeat’s so loud that even Mandy can hear it from her bedroom on the far side of the hall.

  This is too personal. I shouldn’t be watching him, particularly when I don’t even have a good excuse or the right to be in his room. But there’s something about him, about the way he seems so caught up in his arousal, that makes me want to stay, to break the rules.

  Maybe it’s the fact that it’s night and I can be someone I’m not.

  Shit.

  I’m probably turning into a peeping Tom. I’m a voyeur.

  I’ll probably burn in Hell.

  But I can’t move. The movements of his hand speed up. His chest rises and falls. I can tell from the sound of him pleasuring himself—pumping up and down—that he’s getting closer to orgasm.

  I want to share that orgasm with him.

  My own arousal grows with every move, every shaking breath he takes, every swipe of his tongue across his lips, and the deep groans of pleasure escaping his chest.

  I bite hard on my lip until I can taste blood.

  I want to touch him, taste him, feel him inside me.

  I ache to replace his hand with mine as he strokes over the rim of his head. Suck his tongue into my mouth as he wets his lower lip.

  I want to kiss him. To cup his heavy balls. To take him into my mouth, if only to release the throbbing inside me.

  I feel lightheaded.

  He has captured my breath.

  The air I’m holding—I have to let it out of my chest, but I can’t out of fear that he could hear me.

  I know he would.

  But I have to breathe—fast.

  Without blinking, I turn away, not bothering to close his door, and quickly walk back to my room. As soon as I’ve locked myself inside, the air comes out of me with a swishing sound.

  I sink onto the bed, my heart beating against my ribcage, my head swirling, painful regret and trembling desire sloshing through me. My whole body is shaking, on fire.

 
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