Stroked long, p.25
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       STROKED LONG, p.25

           Meghan Quinn
 

  Thinning my lips, I study her. She doesn’t seem like a person who would pay someone a compliment. I’ve watched enough of her show to know her favorite thing is to insult individuals rather than praise them.

  She praised me, was actually pleased with my work. I think I might have some leverage on her. Taking a chance, I get up from my seat, pack up my sewing supplies and turn to her. “It was nice meeting you, Bellini. I’m sorry we couldn’t work something out.”

  Her face falls flat and her shoulders slump.

  Bingo.

  Called her bluff. For some odd reason, my sewing talent matters to her and she needs me.

  Smiling brightly, I push past her to the entryway where Pocket scurries away, acting like she wasn’t spying the entire time. Such a weirdo.

  “You’re just going to leave?” Bellini storms after me, her impractical heels clacking against the tile of the entryway. Who in their right mind wears heels in their own house? Prima-donna bitches, that’s who.

  Keeping a professional façade about me, I turn around and smile. “Yes, I’m sorry but I can’t give in to your schedule.”

  “Fine, what kind of schedule are you looking for?”

  Yes, I have the upper hand. If only the cameras were rolling now. I can hear the faint cheer of America behind me.

  I spend the next half hour going over my schedule with Bellini and Mauve, aka Paisley. When Bellini left the room, she introduced herself properly. I like her. She’s sweet and seems to do her job well. I look forward to working with her. Bellini, not so much.

  I wound up upping my pay, decreasing my hours, and getting a free trip to Rio! Don’t ask me how I pulled that one off. It’s all a big blur. All I know is Bellini wants dog clothes made and made quickly. I used that to my advantage. The only thing that I had to succumb to? Sewing only when Bellini supervised me. Not a problem, I’ve become pretty awesome at tuning people out, thank you, kids art class.

  I can do this; I can work for the devil in exchange for some much-needed cash. Plus, I get to see Bodi in Brazil. Images of us on the beach together, rolling around in the sand, float through my mind all the way to his apartment. It’s been a long-ass day, and I plan on spending the rest of it soaking up my Bodi Bear.

  I’m so giddy. I have some news to tell my man.

  Chapter Nineteen

  BODI

  “Bodi, open up!” Ruby’s voice sounds from the hallway, her little fist banging on the door. I’m just finishing cleaning so I pack away everything quickly and head to the door.

  I told her about my OCD, but that doesn’t mean I want her to see it in action if she doesn’t have to.

  As for my other news? Yeah, I couldn’t fucking do it, despite Dr. Auburn’s recommendation. He told me an open and honest relationship is the best kind, but Ruby’s words keep floating around in my head . . .

  What does hold weight is the way you conduct yourself as a human being.

  I was going to tell her about my parents. It was on the tip of my tongue until she said that, until she let it be known that she holds me to a higher standard. My actions matter to her. Fuck, what would she do if she knew the truth? The notion of her finding out twists a knife straight into my stomach.

  “Bodi, open up,” her voice rings out impatiently.

  Taking a quick look around my apartment, everything is in order, so I go to the door. An excited ball of long, blonde hair pummels into me. She jumps into my arms and kisses me on the lips. I’m leveled by her enthusiasm, by her affection.

  I kick the door shut, lean over, and lock it quickly, before walking us both to the couch, her kisses peppering my face as I do.

  Flopping down on the couch, I grip her hips and say, “What’s going on?”

  “Guess what?” She pulls away and her eyes dance with excitement.

  “Umm, you found another yarn sale?” It’s the only thing I could think of. She was super fucking excited the first time.

  “Wouldn’t that be great, but no, that’s not it.”

  “Then what?” I lean into the couch and watch as she practically bounces on my lap.

  “I got the seamstress job—”

  “That’s awesome, Rubes.”

  She holds up her hand. “That’s not the best part. Since I impressed Bellini so much, I kind of had leverage to make my own demands for the job, and ended up convincing her to take me on an all-expense paid trip to Rio!” She throws up some jazz hands in the air and opens her mouth wide in a “surprise” kind of way.

  Is she fucking serious? “This better not be a joke,” I warn her.

  “It’s not, Bodi. I’m going to Rio.”

  I study her for a second and I realize Ruby would never joke with me on something like that. “What about the Boys’ and Girls’ Club?”

  “I already talked to Rita. There is a college student looking for an internship opportunity. She’s going to cover for the time I’ll be away, and with the money I will earn with Bellini, I won’t have to worry about not paying my bills.”

  “I would have paid them if it was an issue,” I say, completely serious. I would take care of her. I want to take care of her. I want to be the one she leans on.

  A warm smile greets me as she touches my cheek. “You’re so sweet, but I will be okay. Everything is working out. I’m going to Rio. And . . .” she pauses to do a little drum roll on my chest, making me laugh, “I got Bellini to agree to let me stay two days after your events are done so we can explore the city together.”

  I’m in shock. When I was cleaning my apartment earlier, the last thing I expected to hear was that Ruby has a ticket to Rio and will be there.

  “Does that mean you will be at the swimming competition?”

  She bites her bottom lip and nods. “Bellini said I will be attached to her hip when I’m not sewing. I have to share a room with this creeper she calls Pocket, but that’s fine, it’s just for sleeping. I was hoping we could get a hotel room for those two days after.”

  “I can’t believe this.” I rub my face, totally in awe.

  “Are you happy? I didn’t overstep my boundaries, did I?”

  “Are you kidding? Rubes, I’m fucking ecstatic. Come here.” She easily falls into my chest and I breathe in her sweet scent, loving the way her presence eases the tension constantly rolling through me. “My girl is going to see me swim in the Olympics. I couldn’t be happier.”

  “I’m going to see you swim.” She says this as if she can’t believe it herself. “I can’t wait, but I will tell you this, if I see some ho with a sign that says Marry me, Bodi Banks, I’m going to have to unleash my karate chop.”

  “Understandable.” I chuckle, lowering to the couch and hovering over her. “My Rubes is going to watch me swim.”

  “Your Rubes,” she sighs.

  Fuck if I don’t feel like I just hit the jackpot. Fuck if I don’t feel terrified I’ll lose her.

  ***

  “It’s so fucking hot here,” Reese says next to me, fanning himself with his baseball hat.

  We just arrived in San Antonio for training camp, and it could not be hotter. The pool isn’t even fun to swim in because the sun has made it feel like a lukewarm bath.

  The team is bouncing with excitement, especially the newbies, but Reese and me? We know the drill; we’ve done this already. We know to conserve energy, stay off our feet, drinks lots of water, and that’s what we’re doing.

  “Unbearable,” I add, not really sure what else to say. I might be able to open up to Ruby, but other people? Not so much. Still awkward as fuck.

  “Are you going to do the song and dance thing the girls have been planning?”

  Since we are all part of Team USA, we practice, travel, and participate in everything with the girls, meaning, whatever stupid shit they come up with, we are asked to join in. Last Olympics they put together lip-sync music videos. You can imagine: my worst fucking nightmare. They caught me on camera looking out the window of the airplane while everyone else danced beside me, and that was t
he best they were going to get from me.

  Rumor has it, the girls have been planning to put together another video. This time to that new Justin Timberlake song he did for the movie Trolls. You know, the one overplayed on the radio already.

  “No. Does it look like I want to participate in that?”

  Reese’s shoulders shake as he laughs. “Didn’t think you would be interested.”

  “Are you going to do it?” Reese is a pretty good guy, and for some reason the media has pinned our relationship as rivalry, when in fact, we’re cool with each other. They also have sourly named him The Silver Stroke since he always earns silver at the games. If that were me, that would fuck with my head. I don’t know how he keeps coming back for more.

  “Who me? That bad boy of the pool? The guy with the shitty reputation for not being a team player? Of course not.” Sarcasm drips from his voice. Another misgiving.

  “Didn’t think so.”

  “Reese, can we get you for an interview?” someone calls from the side.

  Exhaling a long breath, Reese flicks my knee with his hat and says, “Duty calls. Catch you later, Banks.”

  Slowly he gets up and hobbles over to where the interview is being conducted. The man is getting old. That will hopefully be me in four years. I’m hoping to go for one more after this. We’ll see how that goes.

  Back to crossing off my list of people who still need to paint their pictures. Ruby is going to lose her mind when she sees all the artwork. I can’t wait to see the look on her face.

  Fuck, I just can’t wait to see her face. It’s been three days. Too fucking long.

  Chapter Twenty

  BODI

  Ruby: Did you know that for every human on earth, there are 1.6 million ants?

  Bodi: No way.

  Ruby: It’s true. Could you imagine if ants actually had the smarts to take us humans down?

  Bodi: Maybe that’s what they’re doing.

  Ruby: What do you mean?

  Bodi: Maybe that’s why there are so many ants. They are trying to overpopulate so one day, they can overtake human civilization.

  Ruby: . . .

  Ruby: I can’t . . .

  Ruby: You have completely ruined my night of ice cream, Double Stuf Oreos, and watching America’s Got Talent.

  Bodi: How so?

  Ruby: Because, I’m slipping on my sandals and running to the nearest store. I need ant repellant, stat. To hell if I’m going to be unprepared when the ant-apocalypse occurs.

  Bodi: I don’t feel bad. You shouldn’t be eating Double Stuf Oreos without me.

  Ruby: You got me hooked! You can’t just ask me to quit cold turkey.

  ***

  Bodi: The San Juan Airport has no food options whatsoever.

  Ruby: No food options or no organically grown kale available for you to nibble on like a rabbit?

  Bodi: I eat more than kale, like that delicious pussy of yours.

  Ruby: *fans face* You want to sext? Okay. Take a picture of you benching your penis, as you know how much I want to see that.

  Bodi: Never going to happen, get that out of your head.

  Ruby: But it’s a penis on a bench, that’s funny stuff.

  Bodi: It’s fucking weird, Rubes.

  Ruby: Might be nice, that cold wood on the underside of your diddly doodle.

  Bodi: Might get me put in jail.

  Ruby: Just lock the doors.

  Bodi: Not going to happen, Rubes.

  Ruby: I’ll withhold my nipple from you until you do it.

  Bodi: No you won’t. You like nipple play way too damn much. That’s an empty threat, Rubes.

  Ruby: Damn it.

  ***

  Ruby: I miss you.

  Bodi: I miss you, too.

  Ruby: I need to be in your arms.

  Bodi: One more week, baby.

  Ruby: But I miss you.

  Bodi: I fucking miss you more.

  ***

  Bodi: Are you all packed?

  Ruby: Yes, just finishing up ironing your face on my shirt.

  Bodi: Want to repeat that?

  Ruby: I made a shirt with your face on it. I know how much you like to be pressed up against my boobs.

  Bodi: That is very true.

  Ruby: Have you been dreaming about my boobs?

  Bodi: Every damn night. I’ve also been dreaming about your sweet smile, your mesmerizing eyes, and your beautiful heart.

  Ruby: *swoon*

  Bodi: It’s the truth. I fucking need you so bad right now.

  I set my phone down and take a deep breath, looking up at the ceiling of my shit-tastic dorm room. Thanks, Rio, you really made us feel welcome with your exposed wiring, poor plumbing, and rooms without air-conditioning. Luckily, the United States Olympic Committee stepped up and made the majority of our rooms livable. Some of the athletes are staying off campus, and I don’t blame them.

  Not me though, I always stay in the athlete dorms, despite the conditions. It’s a ritual I won’t break. The only good thing about it? I don’t have to share a room with someone. I get to listen to water run through the walls—not pipes—all by myself. So fucking lucky. I’m also able to avoid anyone noticing the three times I ensure my door is locked.

  Ruby is flying out tomorrow with Bellini—a total nightmare, so I’ve heard—Paisley, Bellini’s assistant, Melony, Bellini’s hair and makeup person, and Pocket, Bellini’s . . . well, Ruby isn’t quite certain what Pocket is, or what her real name is. All she knows is Pocket follows Bellini around like some deranged, masochistic dog.

  I can’t wait to see her in person. FaceTime, phone calls, and texts has kept me going, but what I wouldn’t give to smell her sweet hair, feel her soft lips against mine, be buried balls deep in that tight pussy of hers. Fuck, just thinking about it is getting me hard.

  Normally sex wouldn’t cross my mind before races, but after being with Ruby and being ambushed by over four hundred thousand condoms in the athlete dorms—thank you, International Olympic Committee—I’m so fucking hard up. I need my girl. I crave her.

  I settle into bed just as my phone rings.

  Ruby.

  Laying my head on the pillow, I put the call on speaker phone. “Hey, Rubes.”

  “Bodi Bear,” she responds in her chipper voice, “are you getting ready for bed?”

  “Already in it,” I respond, hating the four-hour time difference between us.

  “Oh, do you want me to go so you can get your sleep?”

  “No,” I say quickly, unable to mask my feelings. “I want to hear your voice.”

  “Don’t you know how to make a girl blush? Who knew Mr. Shy Pants was actually going to be Mr. Romantic? I got your little package by the way.”

  I smile, knowing exactly what she received. “Did you like it?” It’s the first time I’ve ever sent a girl something. I spent a long time online trying to figure out the perfect “I miss you” gift. Fuck, I hope she likes it.

  “Love it. I had no idea someone could partake in an Oreo bar, but you proved me wrong. I ate half a box. I’m going to have to roll myself around the airports tomorrow. Next time you see me, you won’t recognize me with my Oreo love handles.”

  “Stop,” I say sternly. “You’re fucking perfect, Oreo consumption and all.” I hear her sigh on the other end of the phone, and it brings a smile to my face. “So tell me, which was your favorite?”

  The minute the idea hit me, I kind of went a little crazy with purchasing items, but in the end, I think I did a good job. I decided on giving her an Oreo bar—to satisfy her recent cravings, and mine. I purchased multiple packs of Double Stuf Oreos and paired them with all different kinds of toppings and dips ranging from peanut butter, to icing, to marshmallow fluff.

  “You’re not going to judge me when I tell you?”

  “Never, Rubes.”

  “Okay, I uh, really liked combining Fluff with peanut butter and adding a slice of banana on top. I call it my ode to Elvis, minus the bacon.”

  My stom
ach gurgles. “Shit, that sounds good, Rubes.”

  “Really? I thought I was being a little psychotic when I was putting it altogether, but maybe I was also feeling that way because I was shaking uncontrollably, frothing at the mouth with excitement. My brain was on overdrive.”

  “Too many options?” I ask, a chuckle to my voice.

  “Way too many but it’s amazing. I’m bringing the can of coconut pecan frosting and a bag of Oreos on the plane with me so I can make my very own German Chocolate Cake Oreo, and if TSA tries to take my can of icing, I will start a riot.”

  “Not recommended.” Why can I see Ruby on the TSA conveyor belt, a shoe in one hand as a weapon and her icing in the other, barking and yipping at people to stay away? “Maybe put some in a small three-ounce, approved container just to be safe.”

  “You really think they would take it away?”

  “Rubes, I’ve seen them take away baby food before. They will have no problem confiscating your icing tub.”

  “Rat bastards!”

  “They’re just doing their job.” I try to bring her rage back down.

  “I know, but frosting? Can’t a girl live out her fantasy of eating an Oreo German Chocolate Cake concoction while flying thousands of miles up in the air?”

  “Wow, what a fantasy. You’ve had that for what? Three minutes?”

  “Maybe.” The way she says that, I can picture her in my head lifting her chin in defiance. “Still a terrific fantasy.”

  “I can think of better ones,” I say in a husky tone, thinking of her perfectly pebbled nipples pressed against my tongue.

  “Oh yeah? Do they involve me naked?”

  “My fantasies always involve you being naked. Your tits bouncing up and down, your mouth open in ecstasy, and your pussy clenched so tightly around my cock I nearly black out.”

  She clears her throat. “Well, that’s quite the little picture you’ve painted.” She pauses for a second and her vice grows quiet. “Do you really envision me like that?”

  “All the fucking time. Why? Does it freak you out?” Shit, am I being a creeper? Picturing her naked, riding my cock. I sure as fuck hope not.

  “No,” she whispers. “What other fantasies do you have?”

 
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