Overheard, p.3
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       Overheard, p.3

         Part #2 of Unspoken series by Maya Banks
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  “Uh…okay. I mean if you really want to. Friday night is okay.”

  He smiled then, relaxing back into his seat. His blue eyes held a warm glow, a triumphant warm glow.

  “All right then. I’ll pick you up around five. We’ll go into Beaumont to eat.”

  She nodded, suddenly unable to taste the food she’d stuffed into her mouth. A date. With Luke Forsythe. Her best friend Luke Forsythe. Holy hell. Michelle was going to shit a brick when she heard this.

  A mental groan echoed in her head. They’d never hear the end of it from Wes and Jeremy.

  “He did what?”

  Gracie winced as Michelle nearly shrieked her ear off.

  “Holy cow, Gracie, you and Luke?”

  “Yeah, I know,” Gracie mumbled as she put the phone back to her ear. Hopefully Michelle’s scream fest was over. “Do me a favor. Don’t tell Jeremy about this. Or Wes.”

  “Well, of course I’m going to tell Jeremy. I tell him everything.”

  I tell him everything, Gracie silently mimicked. Hell.

  “And then Jeremy will tell Wes, because he tells Wes everything. And then Wes will tell everyone because that’s what he does,” Gracie gritted out.

  “Gracie, hon, I hate to tell you this, but within five minutes of you and Luke being seen out on a Friday night when everyone and their mama knows you both always come over here, everyone’s going to know anyway.”

  “Fuck me,” Gracie muttered. “I don’t know why the hell I agreed to this. He’s got to be out of his damn mind.”

  “Why, because he asked you out? I’d say that’s the first smart thing he’s done in a long time,” Michelle said loyally.

  “I just hope it doesn’t screw things up for everyone,” Gracie hedged. “We’ve got a good thing. No need for Luke and me to fuck it up.”

  “Oh, please. We’re big kids, Gracie. We can handle a little tension without freaking out and going our separate ways. Stop looking for reasons not to go out with him and just do it. You’ve got to admit he is one sexy beast.”

  “You are so not helping here,” Gracie grumbled.

  Michelle laughed. “Go. Enjoy yourself. You said yourself, you were tired of being with men who can’t satisfy you. I can’t imagine Luke disappointing a woman in bed. Not with his considerable equipment.”

  “Michelle!” Grace’s admonishment nearly strangled her. “What the hell do you know about his equipment?”

  “Oh, you are one lying bitch if you tell me you weren’t looking every bit as hard as I was when the men went skinny dipping two summers ago. That was before Jeremy and I got married, and I was staring every chance I got.”

  There was a long silence then Michelle burst into laughter. “You were watching. Admit it, Gracie.”

  “All right, all right, so I was watching. Hard not to when they were flopping around in the buff.”

  “Uh huh. Now tell me you didn’t get an eyeful of his equipment.”

  Gracie felt heat rush to her cheeks. She hadn’t thought about that time in a long while. But yeah, she remembered. She’d stared in pure feminine appreciation at the hard bodies and the gorgeous cocks. Watched while they got out and as the water ran down their bodies. Oh yeah, she’d looked. And looked. And lamented that she’d never had one that nice.

  A ripple of awareness skittered over her body. Her nipples hardened, and the rings twitched in response.

  “Yeah, I got an eyeful.”

  There was a long pause before Michelle said, “This is a good thing, Gracie. Maybe…maybe Luke is exactly what you need.”

  Gracie licked her lips and felt nervous jitters tickle her stomach. Maybe Michelle was right. After all, no man in her past could ever stack up next to Luke. Luke, well, he was in a class all by himself. So why wasn’t she looking forward to their date?

  “Yeah, maybe,” Gracie mumbled. “Look, Chelle, I gotta run. It’s getting late, and I’ve got a ton of shit to do at the office tomorrow.”

  They rang off, and Gracie sat there for a long time, thinking about her lunch with Luke. She felt edgy, unsatisfied. Horny as hell. Had Luke done that to her? Had the idea of going out with him in the capacity of something other than a buddy got her all hot and bothered?

  She felt a date with BOB coming on. And later, as she relaxed after a BOB-induced orgasm, she was irritated to note that she’d fantasized about Luke the entire time she’d gotten herself off. And his damn equipment.

  Chapter Five

  Gracie waited nervously for Luke to arrive at her house. She’d dressed meticulously, changing her mind a thousand times, and it pissed her off to no end. She, who never spent more than five minutes on dress, hair and makeup, had spent well over an hour angsting over every aspect.

  If that didn’t make her pathetic, she didn’t know what else would.

  She looked down one more time at the black sweater she’d chosen. She looked good in black. It went well with her auburn hair. And if she’d squeezed herself into a pair of jeans she hadn’t been able to wear in several months, it certainly wasn’t because she wanted to look hot for Luke. She just didn’t want to look like a fat ass.

  She blew a curl out of her face for the hundredth time and wished she’d used more hairspray. But then if they went anywhere with candles or little kerosene lamps on the tables, she’d go up in flames with as much shit as she had in her hair.

  Finally, she heard Luke’s truck and headed for the door. She met him halfway across the lawn, and he looked at her in surprise.

  “I would have come and gotten you, Gracie.”

  She shrugged. “I’m here.”

  He took a minute to look her over. “You look nice.”

  She smiled at him and willed herself not to shake. “Thanks.”

  He guided her back toward the truck and opened her door for her. He got in on his side and turned up the heat before backing out of her driveway.

  She studied him as he maneuvered. He must have gone home and shaved because he usually wore a shadow by now. He wore a short-

  sleeved polo shirt that stretched tightly across his biceps. He worked out regularly with Wes, Jeremy and Jake, something they’d started a year and half back, and the results were downright yummy. She couldn’t wait for the summer when they’d run around shirtless. She hadn’t seen Luke’s six pack since last summer, and it had looked pretty damn good then.

  “How does seafood sound?” he asked as he looked over at her.

  “Sounds great to me.”

  They lapsed into silence, and Gracie wondered if she were the only one who felt the awkwardness between them. If they were going over to Michelle’s, they’d be chatting it up, talking about the work week and the weekend ahead. But they were on a date. And that changed everything.

  She let out a small sigh and slouched down in her seat. To her surprise, Luke reached over and slid his hand over hers. He tucked his fingers against her palm and ran his thumb over the back of her hand.

  “Relax, Gracie. We can do this.”

  “But why are we doing this?” she blurted out.

  It just seemed so stupid to ruin the easy-going rapport between them. She snuck another glance at him to see him smiling. What the hell was so funny?

  He left his hand over hers as they drove into town. When they reached the restaurant, he hopped out of the truck and hurried around to open her door. He reached up to help her down, and she landed close to him. Close enough to smell his cologne and to feel his body heat.

  He tucked a curl behind her ear, his fingers glancing over her cheek. “You look beautiful.”

  Her face grew warm. Before she could respond, he wrapped an arm around her shoulders and guided her toward the entrance. A couple. They were acting just like a couple, and it was weirding her out.

  Once inside, Luke ordered fish and she ordered shrimp. They both ordered a beer and sat back to wait on the food.

  “So how are we doing so far?” Luke asked as he watched her across the table.

; “I don’t know, Luke. I feel like this is a test or something, only I don’t know the rules or what we’re supposed to be doing.”

  He leaned forward and stared intently at her, his blue eyes glowing in the dim light. “You’re a gorgeous woman, Gracie. Why do you find it so hard to believe that I’d want to go out with you?”

  Her eyebrows furrowed. “Maybe because we’ve been friends for years and you’ve never even hinted at it before now?”

  He shrugged. “I wasn’t ready.”

  “And you are now?”


  He took a long swallow of his beer and arched one brow at her. “If you’re so unconvinced then why did you agree to go out with me? What is it you want from this?”

  Busted. He’d turned the tables on her completely. She licked her lips and thought about what to say.

  “I don’t know,” she finally said. “Something about it intrigued me. Maybe a part of me lit up at the idea. I’m confused.”

  “That’s what I love so much about you, Gracie,” Luke said.

  She laughed. “What, that I’m a confused numb nut?”

  “No, that you’re honest. You’re direct. There’s no pretense about you. It’s sexy as hell.”

  She blinked in surprise. She hadn’t exactly expected him to say that.

  The waitress delivered their food and Gracie dug in, glad to have a distraction from the current conversation. Luke was attracted to her, and she was damn well attracted to him, but it wasn’t as easy as going home and having sex. This was Luke. One of her best friends on earth. His respect meant a lot to her. So did his friendship. She didn’t want to do anything to fuck up either one.

  If they had sex and things didn’t work out, how would it affect them? Could they really pick up and go on like it hadn’t happened? Continue to spend as much time together as they did? Go hunting and fishing and hang out at Jeremy and Michelle’s?

  “You’re putting way too much thought into this,” Luke said mildly.

  She looked up guiltily to see him watching her. “I’m sorry. I’m doing my best to ruin the evening before it even starts.”

  “Just relax. We always have a good time together.”

  She smiled. “Yeah, we do.”

  “Eat up. We’ll take a drive. Go out by the lake and watch the stars.”

  “That sounds great,” she said.

  The moon was rising when they pulled up and parked at the overlook.

  “Want to get out?” Luke asked as he cut the engine.

  “And freeze to death?” Gracie asked in mock horror.

  “I’ll keep you warm.”

  She stared at him, shivering slightly at his promise. Well, she was no wimp, and she was willing to see where this took them. She opened the door and stepped into the crisp night air.

  She breathed in deep and stared out over the water. It was a crystal clear night and the stars shone brightly in the sky.

  Luke walked around the front of the truck and leaned against the hood. She moved to stand beside him. Damn it, she was already cold. No way she was going to stand out here for long.

  He reached for her, wrapping an arm around her and pulling her to stand in front of him. Then he wrapped both arms around her body until her back was firmly melded to his chest. He tucked her head underneath his chin.

  “Better?” he asked.

  She was warm from head to toe. There wasn’t an inch of her skin that didn’t feel like someone had taken a blowtorch to it. She nodded her head.

  “So tell me something about you I don’t already know,” he said against her hair.

  She laughed. “But you already know everything about me.”

  “Not true. I think there’s quite a bit I don’t know about you,” he said softly. “I want to know what makes you tick, Gracie. What your dreams are. Your fantasies.”

  “My fantasies?” she squeaked.

  She closed her eyes. No way was she going there. She’d tried that with Keith and it had led to their immediate breakup.

  “Hmmm, I can feel you blushing. You must have some juicy fantasies.”

  She stiffened in his arms. She didn’t want to waste her time or his. No, she didn’t really want to go into it, but if he were going to scare off, she’d rather it be now than later. If he couldn’t handle hearing about the real Gracie, then he certainly wasn’t worth her time.

  Luke felt the rioting emotions in her. Knew she was waging a battle with herself over whether to share that part of herself with him. He held his breath, hoping she’d trust him.

  She turned in his arms, the light of battle in her eyes. She looked at him almost defiantly. “I’ll tell you mine but you have to tell me yours.”

  She was testing him. He could tell. She thought he’d tuck tail and run just like her last pussy boyfriend. She was afraid to share that intimate part for fear of rejection, and who could blame her with the way dipshit had responded.

  “Oh, I’ll tell you mine,” he said calmly.

  “I like sex,” she blurted. “Good sex. Or I should say I’d love good sex.”

  Luke raised an eyebrow. “Boyfriends not satisfying you in that department?”

  She ducked her head. “No,” she mumbled.

  “Go on,” he urged.

  She stepped back a bit and took a deep breath. “I want a man who doesn’t feel like he has to stop and ask permission every step of the way. I want someone who can take control and make it good for both of us. I want someone who is creative and doesn’t have to be coached.”

  “You don’t want someone who has to be told how to satisfy you,” Luke spoke up.

  “Exactly! And…and…I want to experiment, do something different, and I’d love to have a partner who could make that happen without making me feel like a freak.”

  They were getting somewhere now.

  “What would you like to do, Gracie?” he prompted.

  She wrinkled her nose and grinned. “I have a kinky streak in me a mile wide. I’d love to be tied up, spanked and my brains fucked out. And…I’d really love to have a threesome.”

  “Another woman?” Luke asked, pretending ignorance.

  She shook her head adamantly. “No, me and two men.”


  “What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked defensively.

  He put his hands out to her shoulders. “Gracie, it doesn’t mean anything. You’re not a freak. Lots of women have these fantasies. They’re healthy, normal fantasies.”

  She relaxed a little. “You don’t think I’m weird?”

  He chuckled. “Yeah, I think you’re weird, but not because you have kinky sex fantasies.”

  She surprised him by throwing her arms around him and hugging tight. He eased his arms around her and held her, running a hand through her curls. He probably shouldn’t push things yet, but he’d been dying to taste her all night.

  He tugged gently at her hair until her head fell back. He cupped a hand to her cheek and gently ran his thumb down her jaw. Her lips fell open in silent invitation and it was all he needed.

  His lips found hers, hot, flushed and needy. She tasted sweet, and she felt incredibly soft against his hard body. He loved that, loved the way she fit so perfectly against him.

  Her mouth opened wider against his kiss and the tip of her tongue feathered over his. He caught it and sucked it further into his mouth. Their tongues rolled and tangled as the sounds of their breathing echoed into the night.

  If they were anywhere but at the lake on a cold night, Luke would lay her down and strip her naked. He’d get between her thighs and slide so deep into her pussy that she wouldn’t know where he began and she ended.

  With more willpower than he thought he possessed, he pulled away from her.

  “Wow,” she whispered.

  “Yeah, wow,” he agreed. “I had a feeling we’d be like an inferno if we ever got together.”

  She stuck her hands in her pockets and looked away for a minute. Then she glanced back at him, her eyes s
till echoing her need. He reached out a thumb to glide over her swollen lips. Lips he wanted to devour again.

  “Want to go out again tomorrow night?” she asked. “I pick the place this time.”

  Luke looked at her in surprise. Was this another test?

  “Okay. Sounds good to me. What time should I pick you up and what should I wear?”

  “Eight o’clock and jeans and a T-shirt are fine. Don’t overdress. You’ll be getting hot.”

  His body surged to attention at her words. Innocent or not, they were full of innuendo. But she didn’t elaborate, so clearly she was going to let him ponder just what it was they were doing.

  Chapter Six

  Gracie waited inside the door for Luke to come to the steps. He’d seemed bent on coming to get her last night, so she’d waited tonight.

  He mounted the steps and knocked lightly. She opened the door and bit back a smile of satisfaction at his double take.

  “You look…fantastic,” he murmured.

  She reached for her jacket and noted his disappointed grimace when she slid it on. “Ready?” she asked.

  She grinned smugly all the way to the truck. The top she’d chosen was more suited for warmer weather. The thin straps looped over her shoulders and the built-in shelf made wearing a bra unnecessary. The material molded and cupped her breasts like a lover. Every curve was outlined in vivid detail. She liked to call it her bitch in heat shirt. And where they were going, she planned to work up a sweat.

  “So where we going?” Luke asked when they got into the truck.

  “Downtown,” she said vaguely.

  He looked curiously at her but started the engine and drove out of her driveway. Fifteen minutes later, they got off the freeway and headed toward the downtown section.

  “Take the next left,” she directed.

  They turned onto a smaller street and she pointed toward a stop sign.

  “Take a right.”

  She leaned forward in anticipation as she spotted the club. “Here, turn into the parking lot,” she directed.

  Luke pulled in and parked then cut the engine. He looked over at her. “Rave? We’re going to Rave?”

  “You don’t dance?” she asked innocently.

  “I’ve been known to dance,” he said slowly.

  “Then let’s go.”

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