Riding the edge, p.6
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       Riding the Edge, p.6

         Part #4 of Wild Riders series by Jaci Burton
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Page 5

  Author: Jaci Burton

  He laughed, the sound as dark as the room they were in. “Sorry. I left my resume in my other bike. ”

  What an asshole. She should leave, march downstairs and . . .

  And what? “Do you often bully women into having sex with you?”

  “I’ve never had to beg a woman to have sex with me, Ava. ”

  She believed that. Women probably fought each other for the right to get in bed with him. And why not? He was gorgeous, oozed sexuality. So what the hell was wrong with her? She wasn’t a virgin. God knows the man got her juices flowing.

  “If you have to think that hard about it, you should go. I promise not to chase you. ”

  “What if I wanted you to?”

  “Wanted me to what? Chase you?”

  “Yes. ”

  “I don’t chase women. I like them to be willing. ”

  She blew out a breath. He had a point.

  “Ava. ”

  “Yes. ”

  “What’s wrong with letting go and just enjoying yourself?”

  She didn’t have an answer to that because she rarely did it. “I don’t know. ”

  “Want me to show you what it’s like?”

  He was challenging her, daring her to let go. Could she? Her life was all planned out, so orderly, so controlled. This moment represented everything that wasn’t her. And everything that was Rick. He didn’t appear to be a threat to her, at least not that she could discern. Then again, what did she really know about him?

  What had she really known about any of the guys she’d had sex with in her lifetime?

  Not much other than what they’d told her. She hadn’t known them any better than she knew Rick. And she was way more turned on by him than she’d ever been by them. Just standing in this dark bedroom with him, listening to him talk to her, had her wet, her nipples puckering and begging to be touched, licked, sucked.

  The thrill of the forbidden, she supposed. Was that the lure that pulled Lacey in? The bad boy in leather offering the apple in the garden? Tempting, oh so tempting.

  Then again, what was so wrong about going a little wild? She was certainly overdue for it.

  She sat on the bed. And suddenly, he was right there, his chest against her back.

  And when he leaned in and pressed his lips to the side of her neck, she shivered at the contact, tilted her head back, and let him have access. She turned and he pulled her against him, her breasts pillowed against his chest.

  She laid her hands on his arms and felt the corded strength of his biceps flexing, and knew she wanted him naked, wanted to explore his body with her hands and her mouth.

  She wanted something she’d never had before.

  The chance to live a little bit on the edge.


  There were a hundred reasons why Rick shouldn’t be doing this, but one primary reason—Ava was his assignment, not some hot random babe to have a quick lay with.

  Yeah, right.

  Tell that to his dick, which rocked against his jeans, hard and eager to get things started. Tell that to his senses as he inhaled her clean, sultry scent while his lips were pressed against the soft column of her throat.

  He should have never brought her into this room, never closed and locked the door, never started teasing her with this cat-and-mouse game.

  But damn, she was fun to play with. And right now she wasn’t saying no. Oh, hell no, she wasn’t. Every sound she made, every movement of her body was screaming yes. Oh, hell yes. And she was touching him, grabbing onto him like a lifeline in the dark.

  In the back of his mind, this all spelled epic disaster. Unfortunately his libido had taken over and all logic was gone. He had a sweet-smelling and willing woman in his arms and he intended to take full advantage of that.

  He slid his tongue along her throat, felt the wild beat of her pulse in her neck, and he wanted to do anything and everything to drive that pulse up higher. He’d bet Ava could get really out of control, wondered if any man had done that to her before. Because what he’d seen of her so far led him to believe that she was oh so reserved, which made him want to tear away that reserve and find out just how wild she could be.

  And maybe he was assuming, but he’d guess that she was just waiting for some guy to strip down the walls around her and release the animal.

  He kissed along her neck, then her jaw, heard her inhale, then exhale as he neared her lips.

  He cupped her jaw between his fingers and pressed his lips to her mouth. Her lips were soft, trembling, and as he pressed more firmly, she opened for him.

  God, she was sweet. She tasted like innocence, something he hadn’t tasted much of in his lifetime. She wasn’t at all the type of woman he usually went for—he liked the wild, knew-exactly-what-they-wanted type. Ava was like forbidden fruit—which only made him want her more. He supposed he’d never quite gotten over wanting what he shouldn’t have, but damned if he was going to care about that right now. He gathered her close and slid his tongue inside to find hers, testing the waters.

  She wrapped her tongue around his and whimpered. She was hot, and he was getting hotter, especially when she wriggled her body against his, making his cock jerk against his jeans, reminding him of just how long it had been since he’d taken the time to be with a woman. Work had occupied him for too damn long.

  Now it was time to play. And he intended to play all night long with Ava. He swept one hand inside her open jacket, smoothed it along the curve of her hip and over, letting his fingers press in on the upper part of her ass. She moaned into his mouth and moved closer to him, jacking his pulse up yet another notch. He tilted his head so he could deepen the kiss, used his other hand to slide along her back so he could crush her breasts against his chest. Oh, yeah.

  He slid her jacket off, letting it drop to the floor. He grasped her wrists, held onto her, pulled her closer, and felt her full breasts bang against his chest. Damn she had nice breasts. He couldn’t wait to touch them, to bare them so he could lick and kiss them. Ava had one incredible body and he wanted to see it all. Maybe he’d turn the lights back on. It was way too dark in here.

  None of this was going to happen fast enough—too many clothes between them. It was time to start shedding some leather.

  Until someone opened and slammed a door in one of the rooms.

  Ava tensed, her whole body going rigid as if she expected someone to bust through the door. Not that they would since he’d locked it. But her response told him a lot of things, the main one that she wasn’t relaxed, wasn’t ready for this. That was enough. Rick knew right then this wasn’t going to happen. He let her slide off his lap and he stood, bending down to retrieve her jacket.

  “What are you doing?”

  “Let’s go see if we can find Bo and Lacey. ” He found the light, switched it on, and immediately wished he hadn’t. Her lips were puffy from his kisses, her hair messed up and out of its ponytail. She looked as wild as he’d imagined she’d been, her eyes a little glassy, her nipples tight points against whatever flimsy bra contained them.

  Damn. And his cock was in no mood to be contained.

  He cleared his throat and held out her jacket. “Ready to go?”

  She lifted her chin, looked hurt. “Yeah, sure. ” She stood, took the jacket, and put it on, wrapping it around herself like armor.

  He hadn’t meant to hurt her, but he knew better than to push a woman into something she wasn’t ready for, even if she thought she was.

  And God knows he shouldn’t have been doing this in the first place. It was probably a good thing something had happened to slap him back into reality.

  This was work time, not playtime, and he needed to remember that.

  They went back downstairs and found Bo and Lacey in the kitchen. Ava went to Lacey right away, huddled with her to talk. It was like she didn’t want anything to do with him.

d keep his distance for now. More watching, less touching. Safer that way and would make him less likely to get too deeply involved in this assignment. Or at least the woman of this assignment.

  Ava was mortified, hoped that her mortification didn’t show on her face.

  She’d all but thrown herself on Rick in the bedroom, which was totally unlike her. She just didn’t do things like that. She didn’t have sex—or almost have sex—with strange guys. But she would have, if Rick hadn’t been the one to put an abrupt halt on things.

  So while she’d been busy throwing herself at Rick, he’d obviously been busy wondering how he could politely change his mind and get himself out of the bedroom and away from her. God, how embarrassing.

  Lacey, on the other hand, had pink cheeks, mussed up hair, and looked like she might have had really great sex. And judging from the stupid smile on her face, there was no might about it.

  “You’re grinning like an idiot. ”

  Lacey’s smile widened. Then she giggled. “Really?”

  “Yes. ”

  “Sorry. I can’t help myself. I’m in love. ”

  Ava sat at the kitchen island with Lacey and shook her head. “You’re really gone over this guy, huh?”

  Lacey sighed. “Yeah. I am. He’s wonderful, Ava. ”

  Ava swiveled around on the barstool and caught sight of Bo and Rick drinking beers and engaged in conversation with a couple other guys in the living room. She turned back to Lacey. “Okay, so tell me what’s so wonderful about him. ” So wonderful that you quit school and completely changed your life.

  “Everything. He’s romantic, gorgeous, sexy . . . he really pays attention to me, Ava. It’s like I’m the only woman around when I’m with him. I’ve never met anyone like him before. ”

  “You hadn’t really dated a bunch of guys, either. ”

  “I dated enough. All losers more interested in themselves than in me. Believe me, Ava, I know the difference between someone who genuinely cares about me and someone who doesn’t. ”

  “Do you?” She hated saying it out loud, but it was important that Lacey knew Ava cared about her, worried about her. “You gave up school to chase this guy around. ”

  Lacey frowned. “I didn’t chase him. He came after me. We met at a party and he started calling me and we went out. We just clicked, Ava. There was nothing and no one but the two of us after that. ”

  Didn’t she know it. Lacey had all but fallen off the face of the earth after she’d met Bo. “But, Lacey . . . school. It was so important to you. To just walk away from getting your master’s when you were so close . . . ”

  Lacey waved her hand in the air. “I can still get my master’s. You make it sound like my whole life is over just because I’m taking some time off. ”

  “Are you though? Just taking some time off? You’ve changed so much, Lacey. ”

  “Have I? I think I’m still the same. Maybe I’m not the way you want me to be and you don’t like that. ”

  “No, that’s not it at all. ”

  “Isn’t it?” Lacey put her elbows on the countertop and leaned forward. “Look, Ava. I love you. We’ve been best friends forever—we’re so close we’re like sisters. But we both have to grow up. I know you like your life orderly, where nothing ever changes. But everything evolves—including relationships and people. Life comes along and we have to roll with it. I had a chance at adventure and I grabbed it. There’s nothing wrong with that. ”

  “Of course not. ” She made Ava sound selfish. Was she? She hadn’t thought so. She was just worried about her best friend.

  “And I’m thrilled you’re here and experiencing my new life with me. Maybe it’ll—I don’t know—take you out of your regimented lifestyle and teach you how to bend a little. ”

  “Excuse me?”

  Lacey laid her hand over Ava’s. “You like your life the way it is, the way it’s always been, where you follow the same pattern that’s been laid out for you your entire life. You’re very . . . controlled. ”
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