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Hot buttered rum standal.., p.6
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       Hot Buttered Rum: Standalone Romance (Silk Stocking Inn Book 4), p.6

           Tess Oliver

  “Thanks,” a deep voice said from behind.

  I spun around and had to work hard not to show how ridiculously thrilled I was to see Turner. He had cleaned up from his day at sea. His long, dark hair was still wet. He’d brushed it back behind his ears so that his gray metal plugs glittered under the kitchen lights. With the dark hair, suntanned skin, heavy black stubble on his chin and the crisp black t-shirt pulled tight over his muscular shoulders, he looked every bit the dangerous rogue. Especially standing in the center of Coco’s white marble and stainless steel kitchen.

  “If I didn’t already know you, I think I might have swooned with fright at the sight of you.”

  He walked around to my side of the counter. “Do I really look that scary?”

  “No,” I said too loudly for the amount of space between us, “not scary. Maybe just a touch menacing.”

  He stepped closer. I could smell the soap on his skin. “Menacing? Since you do know me, in fact, I’d say we’re way past ‘know’, maybe you like that idea. A touch of menace, I mean.” He reached for my hand and held it up. Then he twirled me around as if we were on a polished dance floor. “Just so you know, that dress works on you.”

  I felt my cheeks warm and could do nothing to stop the blush. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d blushed this often.

  He pulled me and I fell against him. Turner stared down at me with dark blue eyes. “That dress has got my mind reeling about just what kind of panties you’ve got on underneath.”

  I smiled up at him, my body already reacting to just being in his arms. “How do you know there are any panties at all?”

  “Fuck, woman, what are you trying to do, make me take you right here on the kitchen island?”

  I laughed. “Too bad you don’t know of a real island, preferably a deserted one. Then I might even be inclined to tell you exactly what I’m wearing under this dress.”

  “I don’t have that kind of patience.” He reached down and pushed his hand under my dress. His finger hooked around the band on my panties. He pulled it back, and I chirped in surprise as he let it snap back against me.

  “Disappointed that I’m wearing panties?” I marveled at how quickly I’d fallen into heavy sexual flirting. It was like Turner had found some invisible switch that only he knew how to turn on.

  “Nope. In fact I’m looking damn forward to taking them off.”

  “I might let you.” I motioned with my head toward the pot pies. “Should we eat first?”

  “We can try. Not completely sure how far we’ll get though.”

  I walked to the cupboard for two plates. Knowing full well that Turner was watching me, I made sure to lift my hands up extra high. The flirty hem of the dress slid up my thighs as I took hold of the plates. I turned around and met his hungry gaze.

  He was still staring down at my legs. “Yep, that dress works on you just fine.”

  I put a pot pie on each plate, and we carried our food out to the dining room. “There’s wine too.”

  “What? No barrel of rum?”

  “That reminds me? Where’s your winged friend?” I laughed. “I guess you really could call him your wingman.”

  Turner put down his plate and pulled out a chair for me.

  “Wingman, hell. He’s much better at stealing the hearts than I am. I left him on the boat. I didn’t need him trying to horn in, or should I say beak in, on my date.”

  “So this is a date?” I poured myself another glass of wine and filled a second glass too.

  “Good food, a beautiful woman and that dress? I’d categorize it as a date.” He picked up his glass and clinked it against mine. “And a damn fine one too. Especially considering what I have planned for dessert.”

  I took a sip of wine. “How did you know about the apple cobbler?” I teased.

  “Apple cobbler? Well, hell, why didn’t you say so? Forget the dress and the panties.”

  I couldn’t hold back a smile as I took my first bite of lobster pot pie. The buttery, flaky crust melted in my mouth. “Hmm, I’m having a food orgasm, and I’m only at the crust. Coco is nothing short of magical.”

  “You noticed that too?” he asked before filling his mouth with food.

  We enjoyed a few moments of silent eating, both of us lost in the incredible taste of the food.

  I followed a bite with another sip of wine and decided to find out a little something about Turner. It was all a little after the fact, considering the amorous afternoon we’d spent on his boat, but I was curious to know more about the man who had somehow turned me into a shameless flirt. Before I could get out my first question, he proved to be just as curious about me.

  “Coco mentioned that you are an engineer.” He swirled the remainder of wine in his glass before shooting it back.

  “I am. I work with a team designing cars.”

  “Very cool. I don’t think I’ve ever been with a woman engineer before.”

  “You don’t think? I guess it’s safe to assume you’ve been with so many women, you can’t keep the catalog straight in your head.” I tried to use an airy tone while teasing him, but the truth was, I was pretty miffed and frankly, a little, jealous. I quickly chided myself for being so silly. Jealousy wasn’t in my nature. Or at least it hadn’t been until I met Turner.

  He turned his chair to face me and leaned back casually. “Pirate, remember?”

  “You weren’t until I made you one,” I said with a chin lift. I took a massive bite of lobster pie that I soon regretted as it burned the top of my mouth.

  Without asking, Turner got up and walked to the sideboard where Coco had left a pitcher of cold water. He poured me a glass and returned. It helped cool my mouth and wash down the hot food.

  “It’s never safe to assume. And I’ve got the catalog straight. I’ll correct my statement. I’ve never been with an engineer . . . or a woman like you before. And the catalog isn’t quite a catalog. A pamphlet, maybe.”

  I put down my fork and turned toward him. “So now that we know about me—”

  “I’m not done.” Turner slid his foot across the floor. He pushed it between my feet, forcing me to part my knees slightly. “Do you have someone back home? I don’t see any ring, and I’m just wondering how the hell that could be.”

  His question caught me off guard. I shifted on my chair like a little kid who’d just been asked a question by the teacher that she had no good answer for. I went to my default response. “I’ve been too busy with my career to get tangled up in a relationship. And I just haven’t found the right man for my happy ending yet.”

  “Happy ending? Do those actually exist outside of books?”

  “I sure as hell hope so.” The words just fell from my mouth without me actually thinking about them. But it was how I felt. I badly wanted one of those novel worthy happy endings. I gazed at him, as he leaned back against the chair looking a little less menacing than he had standing in the kitchen but still totally out of place in a frilly Victorian dining room. “What about you? I know nothing about you except that you are a fisherman from a family of dentists and you have a talkative parrot. Oh, and you are quite skilled.”

  “I would say it’s from a lot of practice, but I think that might get me in trouble again. As you probably already figured, I’m not a notorious pirate. Although I got Dexter from a bird rescue and I can’t vouch for his past. Some of the things that come out of his beak lead me to believe it might have been a bit shady.”

  Turner tilted his head to the side. Then he reached across to push a strand of hair off my face. His touch was light, but it set my skin instantly ablaze. I took a quick sip of wine, hoping it might cool me down some. But it seemed to have the opposite effect.

  “If your parents are dentists, how did you end up on a fishing boat?”

  A wistful grin cross
ed his face as he seemed to be thinking back to a fond, distant memory.

  “My parents were always busy with their dental practice. I was an only child, so my grandpa stepped in to fill the loneliness gap.” His laugh was the kind I could easily get used to. It was deep and confident, like Turner. “Grandpa was a salty ole’ dog, and I have no doubt that if he’d lived in the days of piracy, he would have been standing right there on deck below his own black flag.”

  “He sounds fun. I love my grandpa, but his idea of adventure is getting green peppers on the pizza. So your grandfather is a fisherman?”

  “Was. He died of lung cancer five years ago. He left me the Pickled Pepper. We spent a lot of time together on her. I decided to continue his legacy.”

  “I’ll bet he’d be thrilled to know that you kept the boat and continued fishing.”

  “I hope so. I’m afraid that’s about all of my tale. Nothing to rival the life of a pirate but it is what it is. I do have a deserted island though. It’s actually a piece of real estate my dad bought years ago with the intention of eventually building an island retreat. But he lost his enthusiasm for the idea, so he gave it to me. I’ve been building a cottage out there. It’s taking a lot longer than I expected, but it’s coming along.”

  I sat forward with interest. “Is it far?”

  “It’s not far by boat.”

  “I would love to see it.”

  “Yeah? I guess that depends if you can afford the traveling fee.” He wiggled his foot between my feet encouraging me to spread my knees to a highly unladylike distance.

  “There’s a fee?”

  He leaned forward and pushed the hem of my dress up as high as it could go. “Lavender panties are a good start.” He drew his hands back slowly along my thighs.

  My pussy reacted instantly to his touch. I tried to control my breathing, but it was nearly impossible with the way he was gazing at me.

  “I’ll tell you what—” he looked at the table. “I’ll clean up. You head upstairs and wait for me.”

  Of course everything in my good girl conscience said to look shocked and to hesitate, but my good girl conscience was being ordered about by my newfound scandalously naughty girl conscience.

  Turner’s blue eyes followed me as I stood up.

  “Should I keep the dress on?”


  Chapter 10

  I paced the room, not so much from nerves but from an explosion of giddiness that had taken over me the second I got back to my room. I walked over and fluffed the pillows for the hundredth time and then decided there were just a few too many on the bed. They were taking up valuable activity space.

  I plucked off some of the frillier ones and then proceeded to pull back the top quilt. I stopped and remade the bed, deciding it was just a little too forward of me to turn down the bed. A laugh followed as I thought about how forward I’d been when I quickly dashed up to the bedroom to wait for him.

  I twirled the green fabric of the dress around my legs a few times as I looked at myself in the mirror. I usually wore much more severe and business-like clothes for work. Seeing myself in a flirty dress made me smile as I thought about how my team would react if I walked into the design room in a short dress and sandals.

  “Ginger?” My hands trembled at the sound of Turner’s voice outside.

  “Come on in, Turner.”

  He opened the door. His fingers went right to the light dimmer as he stepped inside. He lowered the amount of light just enough to give the room a pale yellow glow.

  I looked around. “I had no idea the lights did that. Maybe I should ask how you knew.”

  Turner shrugged. “Sometimes, if the weather is really rough on the water and the room is empty, Coco lets me stay here.” He kept one hand behind his back as he moved closer.

  “That’s nice of her,” I said weakly, and took a discrete step back, suddenly very aware that he was hiding something.

  “Why, my beautiful captive, you look a little nervous.” His voice was low and smooth and sent a thrilled shiver through me. He dragged his arm out and produced a can of whipped cream. “I say, who needs apple cobbler for dessert.”

  He reached behind with his other hand and pulled out a long satiny scarf. “Found it downstairs in the hall closet, and I thought it might come in handy.”

  I hadn’t realized I’d been holding my breath until he stepped in front of me and kissed my neck. “Breathe, beautiful.”

  I pulled in some oxygen and the room spun for a second. He pressed his hand against my waist to keep me from falling.

  “Must have been the wine,” I said quickly.

  “Damn, I was hoping it was me.” He shoved the scarf back in his pocket and put the whipped cream on the dresser.

  Turner wrapped his arms around me and pulled me against him. He kissed me long and hard, until, once again, the room spun. It wasn’t from the wine at all. Turner made me feel so lightheaded, I was sure if he released me, I’d float to the ceiling like a helium balloon.

  “Do you want Turner or do you want Captain Turner tonight?” His low, hoarse whisper tickled my chin.

  “Since I have a choice, I think I’d like the captain, please.”

  “Aye aye, my perfectly tasty sea treasure.” His mouth pressed against my neck, and my head lolled back to enjoy the luxury of his kisses. “God, you taste like honey everywhere,” he growled. “I want all of you.”

  He stepped back. His eyes were glazed with a white hot hunger. The way he looked at me sent a shiver through my body and, again, the room seemed to be just a little off center. “Lift your dress for me, baby,” he commanded.

  My fingers still trembled as I clutched at the soft fabric and slowly scooted the dress up. I stopped just at the top my thighs and flashed him a teasing smile. “Would you like to see more, Captain?”

  “Teasing a pirate with a rock hard cock is a dangerous game, wench.”

  His voice had just enough of an edge on it to make me comply instantly. I raised the dress up above my panties. Something about standing in front of him, panties exposed, with his dark, ravenous gaze stroking me just like his strong callused fingers made a whimper fall from my mouth. I wanted him more than ever now.

  Turner stared down at the panties as if he planned on ripping them off. That thought sent streaks of delight through my body. My pussy tightened with tingles at the thought of it.

  “If you want these panties off,” I said, working hard to keep the excited tremor from my voice, “you’ll need to remove them yourself.”

  Turner reached for the scarf in his back pocket. “I intend to do just that.”

  He stepped closer, and without touching me, he leaned over to kiss me. It wasn’t just a passionate kiss, it was more. I couldn’t explain it, but something pressed against my chest to assure me we weren’t just two people having a sexy good time. We were forming a connection. His kiss was gentle and loving for those few blissful moments, and when he lifted his mouth from mine and gazed at me, it seemed he’d felt it too.

  It had all started as wild flirting, but suddenly, it seemed more than that. It might have been the memory of feeling his arm go around me when I was close to drowning or the way he’d stripped me naked and climbed in bed to keep me from the danger of hypothermia.

  “Ginger,” he said softly, almost as if he hadn’t meant to say it aloud at all. His throat moved with a swallow. “I’m glad you came to the inn.”

  “Me too.”

  He tossed the scarf onto the dresser next to the whipped cream. “For later. Right now I just need you naked in my arms.” He swept me up and we kissed as he carried me to the bed.

  Turner lowered me onto the mattress and knelt between my legs. He pulled the panties off and tossed them to the floor. I reached for the button on his fly as he reached
back and pulled off his shirt. He pulled a condom from his pocket and held it up with a smile.

  I laughed. “I believe we call that cocky confidence.”

  “I call it being prepared.” He shoved his pants down just low enough to set free his rock hard cock and rolled on the condom. Before I could take another breath he had me in his powerful grasp.

  “Oh, Turner,” I sighed as he pushed inside of me. I was still tender from the afternoon’s tryst, yet I wanted him just as badly. Even more.

  He pushed his hand beneath my ass and lifted me higher to meet his thrust. His body curled long and low, pushing his cock deeper inside of me, reaching my most intimate parts. The size of his cock made my pussy ache, but I wanted more. I reached up and grabbed the carved edge of the headboard and held it tightly as I lifted my bottom higher.

  “Fuck yeah,” he groaned as the new position let him go deeper.

  His forearms tightened as he braced his fists against the bed and stared down between us to watch his cock enter me over and over again. “Come for me, baby. I need you to come. You’re so fucking hot, I can’t keep it together long.”

  I held the bed but reached up with one hand and pressed it against his face. “No, this time is for you. I want to watch you come. This is just for you.”

  He turned his face beneath my hand and kissed my wrist. The clear blue heat in his eyes warmed me to my very core.

  Turner’s eyes closed, and he rocked hard and fast against me. The massive antique bed creaked with each movement.

  “You are sweet as fucking honey,” he growled as he slammed into me once more. His shoulders, arms and body stiffened and a low groan rolled up from his chest as he came.

  I held my hand up to his face and the beard stubble scraped my hand as he pressed it harder against my palm. He pulled out slowly and collapsed down next to me on the mattress.

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