Riding the edge, p.15
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       Riding the Edge, p.15
 

         Part #4 of Wild Riders series by Jaci Burton
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Page 14

  Author: Jaci Burton

  She wasn’t that kind of woman. She knew where they stood—nowhere. He was a biker who traveled all over, was part of a gang. She was a graduate student trying to decide which college to attend for her Ph. D. She was nowhere near looking for a relationship, and she doubted he was, either.

  But if she was . . . oh, wow, it had been incredible last night. Rick knew his way around her body without instruction or a road map. He’d done it entirely by feel and by reading her responses.

  He was really damn good at it.

  Her body swelled with heat remembering his touch, his kisses, how he felt inside her. She slid her hand inside her sweatpants and cupped her sex, let her fingers dance around her clit, recalling how his mouth and tongue felt there last night. What an incredible orgasm he’d brought her to.

  When she heard a click in the door lock, she removed her hands from her pants and slid her feet over the side of the bed. Rick pushed the door open. He had two cups of coffee in a cardboard container.

  “Oh, hey, you’re up. ”

  Ava couldn’t resist a wide smile. He hadn’t left her. He’d gone for coffee.

  “Good morning,” she said, suddenly feeling giddy, and then felt stupid for feeling that way. It was just coffee.

  But he hadn’t run like hell to escape.

  “I wasn’t sure how long you’d sleep, but I hate in-room coffee, so thought you’d want the good stuff. ”

  “You’re right. Thank you. ”

  He handed her a cup and cream and sugar. “I wasn’t sure how you took it. ”

  “With cream and sugar. ” She added both, then put the lid back on, slid back against the pillows, and took a sip of the hot brew. “Oh, this is really good. ”

  Rick shrugged his jacket off and lifted the lid off his cup, took a swallow and sat in the chair across from the bed. “Sleep well?”

  “What little sleep I got was fine. You were gone when I got up. I thought maybe you wanted to avoid seeing me. ”

  Why had she blurted that out? She sounded needy.

  Way to be mature, Ava.

  He quirked a brow and propped his feet up on the edge of the bed. “Why would I want to do that?”

  She shrugged. “I don’t know. Avoid the morning after?”

  “The morning aft—oh. ” He laughed, then pinned her with a direct stare. “I’m not the type to fuck and run, Ava. ”

  She liked hearing that. She didn’t know why she cared, dammit, but she did.

  “You must have dated some miserable assholes. ”

  She lifted her gaze from her coffee to him. “Not really. Just none that were memorable enough to keep around. ”

  “Yeah? Tell me about them. ”

  She shifted and made herself more comfortable against the pillows. “My first was in college. ”

  “Late bloomer, huh?”

  “Yeah, you could say that. My parents overprotected me, kept me busy with school and social activities. ”

  He grinned. “All to preserve the sanctity of your virginity, no doubt. ”

  She sipped her coffee and nodded, remembering having to account for every second of her time back then. “No doubt. But once I hit college and wasn’t under their thumb every minute of every day, I had more freedom to go wild. ”

  “And did you?”

  “Go wild?” She let out a soft laugh. “No. ”

  “Why not?”

  She shrugged. “I didn’t know how. I was tentative. I’d been sheltered. Having all that freedom scared the hell out of me. ”

  “And you had guys beating down the door to get at you, I’d bet. ”

  She laughed. “Not really. I was painfully shy. Pretty much a wallflower. ”

  “I can’t see that. ”

  “Thanks. But I was. Fortunately, I had my best friend, Lacey, as my roommate and we stuck close together and weathered the first couple awkward years of college. And boys. And then men. ”

  “So your sexual awakening was in college, with the frat boys?”

  “Yes. ”

  “Did they treat you good?”

  What an odd question. Why would he even care about that? “I suppose. I wasn’t mistreated. I didn’t end up on a website or in a Girls Gone Wild video. But then again I was never a big drinker, so I always knew what I was doing. And I was selective in who I went out with. ”

  “Sounds practical. ”

  He made it sound like she was boring. Maybe she had been. She certainly couldn’t pinpoint anyone or anything remarkable from her undergrad days.

  “So how many?”

  “How many what?”

  “How many guys?”

  She lifted her chin. “That’s a bit personal, don’t you think?”

  “Okay. You don’t have to tell me. ”

  “Four. ”

  “That’s it? Four? You’ve only been with four guys? How old are you?”

  “Twenty-five. ”

  Rick dragged his fingers through his hair. “Damn. ”

  “How about you?”

  “Uh . . . ”

  “That many, huh?” And why did it irritate her so much that he couldn’t just pull a number out of his head right then? “Go ahead. Give it some thought. I’ll wait. ”

  And she did. Drank her coffee, twiddled her toes, glanced over at the clock, then back at him while he stared up at the ceiling and did mental math.

  “Are you kidding me? It’s that hard to count a few sex partners?”

  “Uh . . . ”

  Oh, for God’s sake. “Never mind. ”

  “Thirty-three. ”

  Her eyes widened. “What? Are you serious? Thirty-three?”

  “Give or take. ”

  “Jesus. Am I thirty-four, or thirty-three?”

  His lips curled. “I didn’t count you. ”

  “Why the hell not? Because you only counted the memorable ones?” Which meant she’d been utterly forgettable. Great. Just great.

  “No, that’s not what I meant at all. ”

  And he was laughing. Asshole. She put down her coffee and stood. “Get out. ”

  “What?”

  “You heard me. Get out. ”

  “You’re serious. ”

  She pointed to the door. “Get. Out. ”

  “You are serious. ” He stood. “You’re really going to toss me out of here because of the number of women I’ve had sex with. ”

  Men were so clueless sometimes. “I need to take a shower. And I need some time alone. ”

  “I could wash your back. ” He lifted his brows.

  “Oh,” she muttered a sound of disgust. “Just get out, Rick. ”

  “Okay. Jesus. Sorry. ” He went to the door, turned, and looked at her. “Call me when you’re over being grumpy. ”

  She slammed the door in his face, double locked it, and flopped back on the bed to stare up at the ceiling.

  Her heart was pounding and her face was hot, flushed with the heat of anger and embarrassment.

  Thirty-three. What a man whore. Damn good thing he’d worn a condom, since his cock had been so well used before he’d been with her.

  But as the minutes ticked by and she continued to gaze up at the monotonous white ceiling, she didn’t know what she was more upset about—that Rick had had so much sex, or she’d had so little.

  Maybe it was the combination of Rick’s experience and what she’d seen with Lacey last night. It seemed like everyone was so adept at broadening their horizons—except her.

  Though she’d certainly gotten a good start last night with Rick, as well as the night before. Phone sex, and a night of awesome in-person sex. She couldn’t recall ever climaxing like she had with Rick. He brought out a wild, uninhibited side to her she never knew existed, and she had a feeling they’d only scratched the surface of what she was capable of—what they were capable of doing together.

  So what the he
ll was she doing throwing a tantrum and tossing him out of her room, when instead she could be tapping into his wealth of experience while she had the chance?

  Dumbass.

  If she’d spent less time holed up with books and more time with men, she’d have known how to handle this—how to handle him. Instead, she’d acted like a fourteen-year-old with a bruised ego when, really, his prior sex partners had nothing to do with her—with them.

  She jumped up and took a shower, dried her hair, and got dressed, then grabbed her jacket and bag and marched down to Rick’s room, raised her hand, then paused before knocking, feeling every bit of two inches tall for her ridiculous outburst earlier.

  She knocked, her pulse pounding, not sure what she was going to say when he opened the door.

  If he was even still in there.

  He pulled open the door and her breath caught.

  He was wearing jeans, unbuttoned. No shirt. Bare feet. His hair was still wet like he’d just gotten out of the shower and pulled on the jeans to answer the door.

  “Sorry,” she said. “Did I catch you at a bad time?”

  “No. I was just getting out of the shower. Come on in. ”

  She did. He closed the door and she stepped into his room.

  He was a typical guy—clothes tossed everywhere. She resisted the urge to straighten up.

  “Sorry. I just toss shit around. Let me move that. ”

  “It’s fine. ” She moved his discarded shirt so she could sit in the chair.

  “You want some coffee? I brewed the in-room stuff. It tastes rank, but it’s better than nothing. ”

  “No. Thank you. ”

  “Okay. ” He turned around and reached into his bag to grab a white T-shirt and lifted his arms to put it on. While his back was turned, Ava had an unrestricted view of the way his muscles stretched across his back and shoulders.

  So much she hadn’t seen last night, hadn’t touched. He had a few scars, too, white lines that stood out against his darkly tanned torso. She itched to run her fingers, her tongue, across those scars, and ask how and where he’d gotten them.

  Too personal, too intimate. She didn’t want to know. She’d already told him too much about herself and look where that conversation had led. It was best to keep things impersonal between them. What they had wasn’t going anywhere beyond this week, anyway.

  “I’m sorry about earlier. I behaved badly and I had no reason. ”

  He turned around and smiled at her. “It’s not your fault, darlin’. I was a dick. ”

  “No you weren’t. ”

  He squatted down in front of her and laid his hands on her knees. “Yeah, I was. I was teasing you and you hated it. ”

  “I didn’t hate it. Much. ” She looked down.

  He tipped her chin up with his fingers, forcing her to meet his gaze. “You hated it. I’m sorry. ”

  He spread her knees apart and moved between her thighs, cradled her face in his hands and kissed her. It was soft, the touch of his lips so light she could barely feel it. And because of that, she held her breath, absorbed the utter sweetness of his apology. For a man who looked and acted so hard, the lightness of this kiss rocked her.

  When he pulled back, she felt shaken, disoriented, like she was drugged.

  “Thank you,” she managed.

  He swept his hand along her hair. “For what?”

  “I don’t know. I just like being with you. You do something to me, Rick. I can’t explain it. ”

  His hand stilled and she studied the expression on his face. She’d almost call it shock or surprise, but she certainly hadn’t said anything shockworthy.

  “You hungry?”

  She nodded. “Starving. ”

  He pushed off the arms of the chair and stood. “Me, too. Let’s go get some breakfast. ”

  Rick ate his breakfast, inhaled a few more cups of coffee, and pondered what Ava had said earlier.

  She’d surprised him, and women generally didn’t. That alone made her unique.
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