Stroked long, p.28
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       STROKED LONG, p.28

           Meghan Quinn

  I will neither confirm nor deny until I get the go ahead from Bodi, but that won’t stop me from cheering for my sweet man.

  He’s wearing his Team USA Fastskin shorts, which I’m not going to lie, make my mouth water. Not because they look like they’re painted on, but because they sit so damn low on his hips that I clearly see the deep V that rests at his waistline.

  Kale does my man well.

  Once the announcer finishes listing the swimmers, they all jump in the pool and position themselves against the wall, their hands gripping the poles on the diving blocks. Through a megaphone, one of the officials speaks as the stadium quiets down.

  “Take your mark.” The swimmers crouch toward the diving block. My eyes are only on Bodi.


  In unison, the swimmers do a backward dive into the water and dolphin kick to the surface. Bodi is one of the last to reach the top but his longer stint under the water puts him in the lead.

  I can’t believe they can go that fast.

  Arms fly backward, like human windmills, propelling their body through the water, striving to be the fastest in the world.

  Yeah, in the world.

  Sometimes I forget how monumental the Olympics are. It isn’t just about being good at what you do; it’s about being the best on the entire planet. Out of the billions of people who live here, there is only one person who can say they are the best at the 100m backstroke.

  I’m hoping that person today is Bodi.

  They hit the wall, flip turn like dolphins, and propel themselves up through the water to the other side. The last stretch, Bodi is in the lead by probably an inch or two. Monsieur French is giving him a tight race. So tight that I find myself rubbing the palms of my hands against my legs, hoping and praying my movement helps propel Bodi faster.

  They are at the final twenty-five. The stadium is blasting with screams and cheers. I can barely hear myself think. Water is flying everywhere, legs are kicking, arms are flailing, nerves are jumping. My mouth dries out, my anxiety is at an all-time high, butterflies sputter around in my stomach. Just a few more strokes . . .

  Bodi touches the wall and instantly looks up at the scoreboard.

  Representing the United States, Bodi’s name reigns on the top of the board, edging out the competition by milliseconds.

  Taking his swim cap and goggles off, he tosses them on the deck and observes the board some more, taking in all the times and names. Swimmers from both sides, even Monsieur French, congratulate him by shaking his hand and pulling him into a hug. From afar I can see how stiff he is and how uncomfortable it is for him. If I wasn’t so overjoyed my heart would reach out to him.

  But this is good for him, to interact with others, to celebrate with others.

  Bodi Banks, returning gold medalist of the 100-meter backstroke. Three years in a row. I could not be prouder.

  During congratulations, he looks up into the stands and I see him nod at someone. I look in his direction to see Lauren and Eva jumping up and down, American flags in their hands, decked out in red, white, and blue. What I wouldn’t give to be with them right about now, instead of listening to the pathetic sniffles of Bellini Chambers.

  I’m happy, but a little part of me can’t help but be jealous, maybe a little envious of Lauren and Eva, that they can celebrate that moment with Bodi by just a head nod. If he knew where I was sitting, would he want to celebrate with me too?

  I believe he would.

  Still doesn’t mean I’m not jealous over the fact that I can’t have that moment with him.

  We spend another hour in the stadium, watching heats and finals go by, none really interesting to me since Bodi is not in them, but they still are entertaining. My favorite part, watching the family members cheer on their loved ones. I caught myself multiple times watching the crowd rather than the actual race. Seeing the pure joy on the face of a supporter when their loved one accomplishes their dreams, yeah, that’s pretty freaking awesome.

  We are outside of the swimming venue, Jasper is reading off our schedule, and Bellini is barely listening as she plays around on her phone.

  “Ruby and Melony, you have the rest of the night off. Get some sleep, we’ll be up early.”

  “Rhubarb is going to work on sewing now,” Bellini snaps. I instantly deflate. I know that’s why I’m here, to sew stupid dog clothes, but I want nothing more than to congratulate Bodi.

  My phone beeps. Speak of the devil.

  Bodi: Outside the venue. Where are you?

  Ruby: Talking with Jasper and the camera crew outside as well.

  Bodi: I see you.

  Ruby: Don’t get too excited. I have to sew tonight.

  “Did you hear me? She has to sew for me.”

  Jasper looks up from his iPad. “Yes, I heard the dead carcass pop out of your mouth when you spoke and fortunately for Ruby, she already made five outfits this morning. She’s done for today. She can pick up where she left off tomorrow before the races.”

  Would Bodi get mad if I kissed Jasper right about now? Given his territorial streak, I would say yes.

  “You’re being so mean to me.” Bellini stomps her foot and crosses her arms over her chest.

  “Oh, you don’t like being pushed around?” Jasper has some real snark going on, and I love every second of it. “Let this be a lesson on how to treat people.”

  “Barbarian!” she screeches and takes off toward a waiting car.

  Shaking his head, Jasper says, “See you tomorrow, ladies.”

  “That was . . . enlightening,” Melony says with a laugh. “So, what are you going to do with your free night?” The way she wiggles her eyebrows makes me slightly uncomfortable.

  “Go to bed early?” I shrug.

  “No, you’re not.” I freeze from the deep familiar voice behind me. Before I can turn around, Bodi’s strong forearms wrap around my stomach and pull me in. He kisses the side of my head and says into my ear, “Hey gorgeous.”

  Guess we’re not keeping things secret. Fine by me.

  To anyone who’s keeping tabs, Bodi Banks and I are dating. He’s my boyfriend. By no means will he be accepting any of the lewd invitations I heard shouted through the stadium today. Nope, he’s mine. Sorry, ladies.

  “From the look of it, you have plans.” Melony winks.

  “She does.” Bodi squeezes me tight and I melt into him.

  “I knew it.” Melony wiggles her knowing finger at me. “It was written all over your face whenever Bodi’s name was mentioned.” From that proclamation, Bodi squeezes me a little tighter.

  “I would have told you but I didn’t know this was out in the open.”

  Speaking only to me, Bodi whispers, “I can’t hide it, Rubes.”

  Sweet Jesus. His voice. Pure velvet.

  It’s obvious Bodi is still a little awkward in social situations given he doesn’t speak to Melony and really only says things to me. That’s okay. He had a big day, you know, with winning a gold medal and all.

  “I will let you two have your moment.”

  “What are you going to do?” I ask Melony just as I see Hollis Knightly walk up to us. I’m a little in shock because I’ve only ever seen the man on TV. He’s taller than I expected and even more handsome wearing an American flag tank top and navy blue Bermuda shorts. How can he pull off such an outfit?

  “Well, if it isn’t my favorite person,” Hollis says, wrapping his arm around Melony. There is a gleam in his eye as he looks down at her, as if they are more than acquaintances. Melony, on the other hand, looks like she wants to be transported somewhere else. “Hey, Banks.” Hollis nods at Bodi and then looks at me and holds out his hand. “I don’t believe we’ve met. I’m Hollis Knightly, and you might be?”

  “Ruby Hearts,” I say a little too giddy like as I shake his hand. Bodi’s grip grows tighter on me.

  Down, boy, Hollis has nothing on you.

  “Nice to meet you. I see you’re romantically involved with Bodi Banks here. How’s that been?” He has a
light and breezy kind of way of talking that sucks you right in, as if we’ve known each other forever. It’s weird. I want to tell him everything.

  “No complaints.” I smile.

  “No complaints?” Bodi protests, speaking up.

  “What do you want me to say? That you’re a stallion in bed and the reason you keep winning gold is because of the extra fin in your pants?”

  A bark of a laugh escapes Hollis as he lets go of Melony and claps his hands. Bodi gives me a look. He’s not mad, more amused.

  “Oh fuck, she’s a keeper.” Hollis grabs Melony’s hand, who tries to shake it away but his grip must be tight because their connection doesn’t break. “Come on, hot sex, let’s get some dinner.” Nodding at Bodi, he says, “Good swim today, dude. Congratulations.” Turning to me, he smiles. “Nice meeting you, Ruby.”

  Hot sex? The term makes me giggle a little too much.

  With that, he’s gone, Melony trailing behind him, reprimanding him about the little nickname. Pretty sure if she had the opportunity, she would put a bag over her head as she walks around with him. Makes no sense to me, it seems like any woman would be proud to be with him.

  What’s going on there?

  “Stallion in bed?” Bodi asks once we are alone.

  “Sure, is that not what you preferred to be called? Would you rather I say bulgy hulk dick?”

  He chuckles silently. “Stallion works.”

  “That’s what I thought.” I turn in his embrace and face him, grabbing hold of his shirt. “I’m so proud of you, Bodi.”

  His eyes soften and his chest fills with pride. “Thanks, Rubes.”

  “I can’t tell you how excited I was; I wish you knew where I was sitting.”

  “Me too.” He leans in and kisses my forehead. “All I wanted was to see your smiling face when I won gold.”


  “Really. You’re the one person I wanted to impress, that I wanted to swim for.”

  His words elate me. “What about Eva and Lauren?”

  He shrugs them off. “Is it cool they are here, yeah. But they’ve seen me win, they’ve been here before and no matter win or lose, they will always be there, waiting for me. I felt like I had something to prove this time, to make you proud to call me your man.”

  This man. He’s swimming for his family, for his country, for all those fans whose faith is in him, and he says that. I felt like I had something to prove . . . to make you proud to call me your man. Holy moly. My heart feels as though it will burst with love and adoration for the gorgeous man before me. So humbling. His need to prove anything is so unnecessary.

  Can this gentle soul break me anymore?

  I capture his face and look him in the eyes. “Bodi, when will you understand? It’s you. Just you. It’s what is in your heart that impresses me. Even if you lost, I would still be head-over-heels infatuated with you. Your heart is what has won me over, nothing else.”

  Moving forward, he kisses me in the middle of a bustling city. Olympic athletes walk around us with their friends and families but nothing stops him. The man who used to not even be able to look me in the eye is now claiming me in front of the entire world.

  He might not have said those three little words, but I feel it in the way he’s claiming me now. Who needs words when his actions are communicating all I need to know?

  Chapter Twenty-Two


  “I feel like an idiot.”

  “You don’t look like one.”

  “Well, I feel like one,” I say as medals cling around my chest.

  “Just give me one more pose, I want to take a picture.”

  “You’re not taking a picture of this.”

  “Why not?” Ruby complains. “I want to make it my wallpaper on my phone.”

  “And that’s exactly why you’re not taking a picture; everyone will see it.”

  “I promise, no one will see it.” She begs with those big brown eyes of hers.

  Nope, not going to happen.

  I’m standing in nothing but my Olympic medals around my neck, five gold medallions dangling and clanging together, my dick hard as a rock as I stare down at Ruby who is completely naked as well. When we got to our hotel room, the first thing she wanted to do was see my medals. I had other ideas, so we compromised: we got naked and then I put on my medals for her.

  Now, with my hand gripping my straining erection, I try to get her to direct her focus away from my medals and toward my aching cock. It’s been way too fucking long since I’ve been inside her and my patience is wearing thin.

  “Aren’t you proud of them? Five gold medals, Bodi. That’s incredible.”

  Five events. Five gold medals. She’s right. I am proud. More than that, Ruby was here to watch me. To cheer me on. I’m exhausted, but not feeling the normal post-games blues from previous games. Ruby. It’s because of her. And she wants to talk about my medals. All I want to do is taste her tits.

  “What’s more incredible are your tits. I’m done parading for you. You can either come over here and remove these medals yourself and start kissing me, or I can remove them myself and torture you over and over again, withholding your release until I’m damn well ready to let you go.”

  Her eyes widen and she sits up on the bed, her breasts swaying with her movements. Fuck, I can’t take it. I’m so beyond horny and turned on. It’s been way too long.

  “You’re no fun.” She pouts.

  “It’s not that I’m not fun, Rubes. I fucking need to be inside of you.”

  “Oh.” She gives me a sexy smile and takes my medals off, one by one. It’s torture as her fingers run against my skin. The minute the last one is off, I grab her legs and pull them out from under her, sending her on her back. Startled, she gazes up at me, but I don’t give her a chance to say anything because my mouth is on hers in seconds.

  Her legs clamp around my waist, and she pushes forward. I can feel her arousal against my cock, which deepens my kiss. I’m frantic, trying to get as close as possible, and from the way her fingernails are scratching down my back, clawing at my shoulders, she feels the same way.

  “This is going to be fast,” I mutter, kissing her jaw.

  “I need it to be. I can’t take slow right now.”


  My hands travel up her body and hastily squeeze her breasts, taking a moment to revel in their weight, their ample roundness. Fuck, is it possible to miss a pair of tits? Her nipples go instantly hard from my touch as goosebumps spread across her body.

  Her reaction is priceless, the way her body moves against mine, her little moans, how aroused she becomes just from the slight trail of my fingers across her stomach. Fuck, it’s addicting. If I could, I would spend every hour of my day turning Ruby on, just to see the look of contentment on her face, the look of total satisfaction.

  It’s the one thing that truly makes me feel like a man.

  “Bodi, I want you inside me.” Her speech is breathless. I have her right where I want her, teetering on the edge.

  Gripping my cock at the base, I pose it at her entrance and then straddle her body, the head of my cock kissing her entrance. “I’m going to be rough, Rubes.”

  “I want nothing more.”

  With her hair fanned out along the bed, her lust-filled eyes sparkling, and her hands wrapped around my neck as an anchor, I plunge into her to the hilt. She cries out with pleasure, her hold growing tighter. I pull out to the tip of my cock only to repeat the same thrust.

  Like a jackhammer, I continue the relentless invasion, filling her to capacity. With each thrust she cries out, her eyes closing, her grip never loosening.

  The friction building between us consumes me, my balls tighten, and my impending orgasm begins to take over.

  “I’m going to come,” I say just as Ruby says the same thing.

  In sync, we spiral out of control, our hips clashing together trying to ride our orgasms until we are completely sated. I pass out on top of her, unable to feel a
nything in my body besides my throbbing cock and beating heart.

  Aftershocks of pleasure hit me. It’s never been like this for me. My connection with Ruby is so powerful it terrifies me.

  Fuck, I will never get tired of this. Having her tight little body wrapped around me, hearing her call out my name and bite her lip in ecstasy. I will never get tired of coming inside of her, of feeling like I’m not alone in this world, that this woman is with me.

  This feeling I have for her can change everything in my life. I can go from my normal routine, to sharing a life with another human, a life that won’t be normal to them. Will she be able to handle everything I throw at her? Will she be able to see me for who I am, or will she see the little boy who made the biggest mistake of his life?

  Will she want to be dragged down with me? Can she take the demons that lurk below my surface?


  “Hey, are you okay?” Ruby asks, sensing something wrong.

  I run my hand over my face and pull out of her. “Yeah, let me get a washcloth.”

  In the bathroom, I wet a washcloth and stare in the mirror. Despite being inside Ruby in the most intimate way possible, I look like crap. The pressure to be perfect for Ruby, to show her I can be a man she may want to be with has become tiring, and it shows in the dark circles under my eyes.

  When I return, Ruby is sprawled across the bed in all her naked glory. She is so open and honest with me. Does she hate that I’m not as open with her?

  As I hand her the washcloth the alarm on my phone goes off. Eight thirty. Time to call Eva.

  My need to check on my sister is something I haven’t spoken to Ruby about, so I put on a pair of shorts, grab my phone and say, “I need to make a call. I’ll be right back.”

  She sits up on her elbows, her face deeply concerned. “Did I do anything wrong?”

  “No,” my brow creases, “why would you think that?”

  “It just seems like you’re retreating. I know you, Bodi, and you normally spoon me right after.”

  Hating the look on her face, I walk over to her and place a kiss on her lips. “I will be right back, give me a second, Rubes.”

  “Okay.” She still seems uneasy, but I can’t reassure her now, I have to call Eva.

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