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Hot buttered rum standal.., p.24
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       Hot Buttered Rum: Standalone Romance (Silk Stocking Inn Book 4), p.24

           Tess Oliver
 
He dropped one hand and moved it down between my legs, where he found my sweet spot, my tender clit. With a skillful touch, he coaxed me closer to climax while not letting up on anything. He still pushed deep and hard into me, knocking short cries of pleasure from me with each thrust.

  “Hold firm, Emmie. Keep this beautiful ass right where it is.” I had no idea what was happening. He kept one hand tucked between my legs while he moved the other back along my bottom. Before I could sense what was happening, his finger drew down between my ass cheeks and he pushed his finger inside the tight, puckered opening. I tightened against it at first.

  “Relax, baby, and move with it.” His deep voice was just soothing enough, and I followed his command. He was invading every part of me. That thought made my body shiver with sensations I’d never felt before. My legs trembled and my pussy tightened around his cock in pulsating waves.

  My orgasm seemed to be all Beck needed to reach his own climax. His cock surged inside of me as his hot seed spilled.

  The water was turning lukewarm. Beck’s big hand reached past me to turn the handle. I was still holding the wall for support as the steam slowly disintegrated to cool beads of moisture on the tile, glass and chrome.

  Beck turned me around and pulled me into his arms. “You are something else, Emmie.”

  Chapter 14

  Best shower of my life behind me, I was now ever more reluctant to cut short my weekend diversion. Beck had gone to his room to get dressed. Coco’s knock followed minutes later as I combed my wet hair.

  She popped her head inside. Her cheeks were young and smooth like a teenager’s. She’d tied a colorful scarf around her head, once again a fashion statement that made me miss my mom. I was determined to call her the moment I returned home. I might even tell her about my night at the Silk Stocking Inn. She’d probably squeal with glee that I’d done something out of the ordinary and against the rules of proper society.

  “How about peanut butter and banana? I’ve got some yummy crusty sourdough to smear it on,” Coco started in as if we were already in the middle of a conversation.

  “Oh, thank you, but I have to see to my car. Then I—” I cleared my throat and hoped the blush wasn’t too noticeable. “Beck promised to give me a ride on his motorcycle.”

  “Yes, I know.”

  “Of course you do,” I said with a laugh. I was no longer astonished by her clairvoyant talents. The entire place seemed to have a magical aura that was like no other place I’d ever been.

  “The sandwiches are for the picnic. Beckett mentioned that he was going to take you on a ride, and I suggested you ride up to the lake. That’s where the picnic needs come in. I’ll make things that will keep well in a backpack.”

  “Oh, that sounds wonderful. Was Beck all right with that? I thought he was just planning on a quick ride. I didn’t want to take up too much of his time.”

  Coco raised a dark, smooth brow at me, another Mom gesture. “Too much of his time?” She laughed, but I had no idea why. “He’s looking forward to it.”

  “But I need to take care of my car.”

  “Already taken care of. I had it towed to the mechanic’s. He’ll have it ready for you first thing Monday morning.”

  “Monday? But I was planning to head home.”

  “Emmie, it’s fine. If you need to let someone know where you are, you can use my laptop. I’m afraid the phone service at the inn is sporadic at best.”

  I thought about who might be missing me. Other than Julia, there really wasn’t anyone who might wonder why I hadn’t made it home. And that was only because Julia lived in the same apartment, and it had been my turn to do the dishes.

  “Thank you, but I won’t need the laptop. If the room is vacant, I’d like to rent the room for another night.”

  She waved her hand. “Yes, the room is vacant and yours if you want it. No rent. I’ll go get that picnic prepared.”

  Something occurred to me as she turned to walk out.

  “Coco.”

  She looked back at me. “Yes?”

  “What lake? We’re not far from the city, where I live. There aren’t any nearby lakes.”

  “Sure there is. Crystal Lake is just a few miles north of here.”

  With that she spun around and walked out.

  I stared at the four paneled door. How on earth did I not know about a local lake? Just another question that I was sure would never be answered. For now, I was fine with that. I had bigger things to think about. I was going on a lakeside picnic with the hottest damn man on the planet, and I was getting there on the back of a motorcycle. Maybe following my heart to happiness had been the pearl of wisdom I needed to change my life. I must have read a dozen philosophy books in college looking for the truth in life and all I’d really needed to read was an embroidered, linen napkin.

  Chapter 15

  Just seconds after Coco had left, she’d returned with a new outfit, a pair of khaki shorts and a pink sleeveless tank for a warm day at the lake. She’d even given me suntan lotion and a band to tie up my hair for the motorcycle ride. I pulled on the ankle boots from the night before and marveled, once again, at how perfectly everything fit. I grabbed my sunglasses from my purse, about the only item of use I had brought with me, and stuck them on my head.

  I was positively giddy by the time I hopped down the stairs to the entryway.

  Beck was putting our food in the side pouches on his bike. He glanced up in his opaque black shades when he heard me shut the front door. He laughed. “You look like a kid coming down the stairs to the Christmas tree.”

  “I feel like one. The last time I was this excited was when my grandmother and I traveled on a bus to California to spend the day at Disneyland.” I grinned down at the motorcycle. It was a chrome and black beauty, and while I didn’t know much about bikes, this one looked fun . . . and fast. “This will be way better than Space Mountain, and I’ll bet I won’t walk off of it with a sore neck.”

  “Nope, and she’s all ready for you. I only have the one helmet.” He handed his black helmet to me. “I’ll have to adjust the straps.”

  “No, please. I wouldn’t feel right wearing it. Are we going far? Coco mentioned some lake?”

  “We’ll just be traveling along a quiet, back road. We’ll leave the helmet here, and I’ll go slow.”

  “No you won’t. Please.”

  “All right, Ms. Knieval, climb on and we’ll ride. I’ll try to make it at least as cool as Space Mountain.”

  He looked exactly right on the motorcycle, and the thunderous roar of the motor as he started up the bike, sounded exactly right too. There was nothing quiet or tame or conventional about Beck.

  I pulled my sunglasses down over my eyes and held his shoulders as I threw my leg over the seat and sat down behind him. I wrapped my arms around him. His hard stomach muscles rippled beneath my hands as he turned the bike and headed down the long driveway.

  I rested my chin on his shoulder and watched the road get closer. I couldn’t hold back a squeal as we rolled downhill.

  His hard stomach twitched with a laugh. “I haven’t even taken it out of first gear yet, Em.”

  “I know. That was just an anticipation squeal.” I squeezed my arms around him to get my mouth closer to his ear. “You know, like last night just before you—well, you remember. You were there.”

  “I sure as hell was.”

  I squeezed him harder, loving the excuse to hang on to him like he was mine. He stopped at the bottom of the driveway and looked both directions. Before taking off, he looked back over his shoulder at me. “Hold on there, wild one. We’re about to blast off.”

  ***

  The asphalt and thick green landscape rolled past in a blur. I stayed close to Beck. He wasn’t the type of man I ever wanted to be just near. I wanted to be close, real
ly close. Something about him made me feel safe and wanted. Appreciated. I’d never felt any of those things with David or any of my other questionable man choices, for that matter. The ironic thing about that was if you lined my past boyfriends up in a room and stuck Beck in the middle of them all, he’d be the last one anyone would pick out as the guy who would make you feel safe and appreciated. Yet, he had, far more than any of the other silly, dull men I’d wasted time with.

  A cool pine scent muddled the fresh breeze as the evergreens slowly grew taller with each curve we passed. The bike was too loud to have a decent conversation while riding, so I talked more with body language, hugging him tighter, kissing the back of his neck, pressing my face against his back, just to let him know how much fun I was having.

  Just as Coco had promised, an azure blue lake suddenly appeared through the trees. I never traveled much past the city, or the library, for that matter, and I never would have imagined such a bucolic, lush landscape just a few miles north of town. I was almost not convinced it was real . . . any of it. Including the incredible man.

  Beck slowed the bike and turned off the highway along an unpaved road. My bottom slipped sideways as the bike tottered along on the uneven path.

  He glanced back, the lines of a grin edging his mouth. “Sorry about that. It’s a little rough.”

  “That’s all right. Gives me an excuse to hold you tighter.” I squeezed my arms around his hard waist.

  “I’m all for tighter.” He steered the bike to a shady piece of flat land and parked it. “It’s just a short hike down to the water.”

  I climbed off. My legs wobbled before I got them securely beneath me.

  Beck caught my moment of instability. “Whoa there, little cowboy, guess you’ve never ridden a hog before.”

  “I haven’t, which you could no doubt tell by the intermittent bursts of joy as we zoomed along. But I think the wobble in my legs is more due to another activity than riding a hog.” I winked at him and realized I’d never flirted so much with anyone as I had with him.

  He climbed off the bike and rose up to full height, a sight that always stole my breath. As if he read my thoughts, he pulled me into his big, powerful arms. “Is that right? Guess we need to work on building a little stamina then, because I’m not nearly finished with those activities.”

  “Good thing,” I smiled up at him. “Because I hear practice makes perfect.”

  “Yeah? And here I was thinking we were pretty damn close to perfect already.”

  I laughed. “And if we’re done talking in this nebulous form of sexy doublespeak, then I think we should walk down to the lake.”

  “See, that’s why I like being with a bookish woman. Not many women make the word ‘nebulous’ sound so fucking hot. And I don’t even know what the hell it means.”

  I opened my mouth to explain, but he pressed his finger against my lips.

  “Don’t ruin the dirty meaning I’m gathering in my mind with the real definition. Just let me enjoy the vision of you and me doing nebulous things together. Preferably naked.”

  “What kind of librarian would I be to ruin an erotic fantasy with definitions?” I hopped up on my toes and threw my arms around his neck and kissed him.

  Beck stopped to pull a bag out of his saddle pack.

  “My mouth is watering for one of Coco’s sandwiches,” I said as we headed to the narrow trail leading down to the water. “Not sure what she puts into her food or into everything she does, but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with magic.”

  “Coco is hard to explain, that’s for damn sure. But sometimes, when something is awesome, you just don’t try to figure it out.”

  “Well said.” And, as I trekked down to the glassy lake in the center of the serene, evergreen setting with a man I could only ever dream of, I seconded that notion in my mind. No sense in trying to unravel something that was seemingly awesome.

  We found the ideal grassy knoll that was warmed by the sun and provided an unimpeded view of the oval lake.

  I sat down and gazed out at the scenery. “It’s like we fell into an oil painting. There’s no one else here today. How is that possible on such a beautiful day? It’s like we went through some portal that took us away from civilization and dropped us in the middle of paradise.”

  Beck sat down next to me, knee up and forearm resting on top of it. “I can’t get enough of the way you phrase things, Emmie. Like a walking picture book.”

  “I’d think someone like you wouldn’t appreciate my wordiness. That’s what I like about you. Nothing about you makes sense.”

  “Someone like me? Not sure how to take that. I actually appreciate the artful side of life.”

  “Sorry, did not mean to cast you into a certain role.” I laughed. “I guess that’s exactly what I did. It’s just, you don’t look like the ‘artful type’. I know so little about you, except that you like beer, motorcycles and—well, you know how to please a woman. And trust me, pleased is an extremely underwhelming word for what I’ve been feeling when I’m with you. What is it you do when you’re not roaming around on your motorcycle and hanging out in pool halls defending the honor of a hustler?”

  “I’m a welder. I work mostly in ports and shipyards.” He stopped and stared down at the ground for a moment as if a piece of his past had come back to him. “I married right out of high school.”

  There it was—the shoe that hadn’t dropped yet. “So, you’re married?” The question nearly caught in my throat.

  He shook his head as he lifted his face to me. “Not for a long time. We knew almost the moment we said ‘I do’ that we’d made a big mistake. We both had crummy home lives, and we were looking for something better. But we didn’t find it with each other. She’s moved on and is remarried with two kids. I moved on too, but I never remarried. Never found the right person.”

  “And when you’re not working or riding?” I asked.

  “In my spare time, I paint and create metal sculptures.”

  I blinked at him in surprise.

  “What? You don’t believe a guy like me can create art with these hands?”

  “Uh, you mean hands that look as if they could bend a steel bar? It’s a little hard to picture you holding a paint brush or sketching pencil.”

  “I drew the patterns for a lot of my tattoos, including, this snake.” He hopped up, and I worried that I’d insulted him. But he smiled down at me. “I’ll prove it, and I just found my model. And since I’m the artist, I get to pose my newest subject exactly the way I want.” He walked down the grassy hill.

  “Where are you going?”

  “Be right back.”

  While I waited, I pulled a foil wrapped sandwich from the bag. Coco had even packed two cold thermoses. I untwisted the top of one. It was filled with fresh lemonade. I took a bite of the gooey peanut butter sandwich and washed it down with the cold drink and got lost in a few blissful moments with the delicious lunch and the heavenly setting. Then Beck’s tall, dark figure appeared again, and it was hard to concentrate on the food. He not only stopped my breath every time I saw him, but he made my heart bounce around in my chest like a rubber ball.

  I was so busy gawking at Beck, I hadn’t noticed that he had a pad of paper dangling from his hand. As he got closer, I saw that he had a pencil box too.”

  “You weren’t kidding. You are actually considering drawing me.”

  “Not just considering. This is the perfect setting for it.” He stopped and glanced around. “Found the place.” He lowered his free hand to me, and I readily took it. He lifted me to my feet and twisted his mouth in thought, sliding his beard back and forth like a pendulum as he stared down at my body. “First of all, I need you to perform that Houdini trick and lose the bra.”

  I covered my chest, pretending to be shocked but secretly feeling the thr
ill of his request all the way down to my pussy.

  “Come on, Em, while the light is just right.”

  I shook my head. “Never heard it called the Houdini trick,” I muttered as I reached beneath the tank top and unlatched my bra and then proceed to slide the straps down and off over my hands. I yanked the bra out from under my shirt with a flourish and took a bow.

  “Never seen that trick done better,” he quipped.

  “I’m pretty sure I don’t want you to elaborate on that comment.”

  “Good.” He grabbed my hand. “The sun is at a perfect angle right now.” He led me down the grass covered hill, and we walked toward a stone wall. Most of whatever the wall had been attached to had been eroded away by time and inclement weather.

  I patted the wall. The large gray stones had been grouted together with a dark gray material, clay or some other type of earthen glue. The surface of the stones had been worn smooth, almost glossy.

  “What do you think this was?” I asked.

  “I’ve heard it was part of a shelter for hunters in the winter, back in the day when people traveled through here on foot. But that could just be a story. All I know is it’s the perfect backdrop.” He moved closer, and the warmth from his body immediately made me feel lightheaded.

  Beck put a firm hand on my waist and kissed me long and deep enough to conjure up a flurry of erotic thoughts and feelings. He lifted his mouth, after leaving me nearly breathless, and gazed down at me. “I’m going to put you in the pose I want. Are you game?”

  “Uh, game? Yes?” I said, completely unsure where this was leading.

  He placed his pad of paper and pencils on a nearby fallen tree. Then he returned. It seemed his mind was dashing about like an artist’s as he took in his model and her surroundings. He took my hand and turned me so my back was against the wall. Then, without warning, he rolled my shirt up. I reached for it, but he stopped my hand.

  “Nope. You said you were game.”

 
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