Undone (the unexpected series book 2)

Undone

By

Amy Marie

Copyright © 2014 by Amy MarieSelf publishing[email protected]ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages for review purposes only.

This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is entirely coincidental. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

Cover Design: Louisa Maggio @ LM Creations

Editing by Kathy Krick

Formatting by Angel’s Indie Formatting

Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Epilogue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To my daughter, my sunshine, my light in the darkness. I hope you continue to be strong, independent, pushy, artistic, funny, inquisitive and always yourself. Know that you can do anything your big heart desires. I love you.

 

 

 

 

 

“You can close your eyes to the things you don't want to see, but you can't close your heart to the things you don't want to feel.”

– Johnny Depp

 

I really hate this song. I mean really and truly hate this damn song. Why do they play this kind of crap in a coffee house? Ugh! Come on, Starbucks lady. I’m all about you wiping that counter clean but I want to order my damn coffee!

Like a Virgin. Hey! Touched for the very first time, Like a VIIIIIIR…okay, that’s enough. COFFEE LADY!

I really need my caffeine fix after that brutal cycling class. My ass feels numb.

“Welcome to Starbucks. What can I get for you?” Shyanne, according to her name tag, asks looking bored out of her mind.

“Can I please have a grande white mocha?” I say trying to hide the annoyance in my voice, so she doesn’t spit in my drink.

“Name?” She barely looks at me as she places the tip of the marker on their trademark white cup.

“Noelle.”

After giving me my total, I pay for my coffee and shake my head irritated with the fact that she probably sharpie scribbled my name wrong. I fix my loose blonde ponytail looking around and tension immediately leaves my body when I’m graced with a vision greater than Ryan Reynolds’ naked scene in The Proposal. A hot piece of man candy is at my three o’clock, and I’m looking for a sugar rush…or a diabetic coma.

Yummy.

Wow! It just isn’t fair to look that amazing. I bet he rolled his toned ass out of bed, ruffled his short blonde hair, skipped the razor, and threw on the first thing he spotted. His dark wash jeans, gray t-shirt clinging to a chiseled and bulging chest, and wrap me up tight biceps. Not a wrinkle in the fabric. He looks like the kind of guy any woman would like to ride into the sunset…literally. I mean I’m restraining myself from doing it right now.

The Starbucks God catches me gawking. I can’t help it. You shouldn’t expect to walk around like that and not be undressed with my eyes. He flashes me his perfect white teeth and his smile scrunches up his face giving me a glimpse at his irises. He has some seriously sexy, smoldering green eyes.

Look away! Look away! He will trap you in his vortex of emeralds!

I pull out my phone trying to look anywhere but at him and shoot off a text to my best friend, Erin.

Me: Holy crap! Major hottie at Starbucks!

Erin: Did you take a pic?

Me: Uhm, no way! For my eyes only.

Erin: SHARE NOE!...never mind, you’re too chicken anyways.

 

Bitch!She knows I hate to be called chicken.

I can do this. It can’t be that hard.

I move my fingers across the screen giving off the vibe that I’m just texting with my BFF. I hit the button to turn the phone to vibrate so the sound of the shutter doesn’t give me away. Getting the perfect shot, I slightly point my cell his way andFLASH!

OH SHIT! Rule one of hottie picture taking: TURN OFF THE FLASH!

“Did you just take my picture?” Hottie McCoffee says directing his whole body towards me. He leans one of his elbows on the counter and clasps both calloused hands together.

I’d love to find out what those rough hands can do to my body.

“Uh, no. I don’t think so.” I try to compose myself, my face crimson like the color of the top I have on today.

Would it look weird to fan myself right now?

“Hmm.” He raises an eyebrow at me pointing at the offending cellphone in my hand. “Because I could have sworn I just saw a flash coming from your phone.”

“Well, it does that when I get a text.” I lie, or try to.

Really, Noelle?There is no way he is buying that crap.

“Oh, well, I just thought that you wanted something to remember me by since you were just eye humping me,” he says with a wink reaching into his pocket.

“First of all, I was not eye humping you and second of all…”

FLASH!Did he just take my picture?

“Did you just take my picture?” Anger blazes through me. I didn’t even get to smile for it!

“Nope! I got a text,” he says laughing and then directs a smile at me that could seriously incinerate my panties, since I decided to wear them today.

We stare at each other, neither of us speaking, and I can feel every cell in my body being turned on.

“JACE!” Shyanne, if that is her real name, yells interrupting our foreplay.

“That’s me. Gotta go,” Jace says as he casually strolls over and blasts Ms. Wait-Ten-Minutes-to-Take-Your-Order with MY panty melting smile and walks towards the door.

Oh hell no!

“Wait! Delete that picture!” I mean how rude is he not asking for permission. At least let me see if my hair looks okay. I did just workout.

He turns his back to push the door open and the light hits just right. He looks like an angel which contradicts me seeing as I’m going to Hell for the thoughts running through my dirty mind. “No thanks,” he says and walks out.

That just fucking happened? Okay, well at least I got a good picture of him to send to Erin. I plop down into the chair next to the window and send it to her.

 

Me: Here he is...enjoy because this was the most embarrassing experience of my life!

Erin: Damn!! Almost as hot as Walker. What happened? Forget to turn the flash off?

Me: SHUT IT!.. but yes :( But he took one of me too when I wasn’t looking.

Erin: Maybe for his spank bank?

Me: LOL. Probably! You know men spank it thinking of this body on a daily basis.

 

I put my phone in my back pocket just waiting to post it on Facebook with the status update “Meet the man of my wet dreams!” I’m sure all my aunts, uncles, cousins and oh yeah, parents would love that. I mean who accepts their parents’ friend requests? Dumbasses like me, that’s who.

“Janelle?”

“Noelle and I’m right here.” I pull a napkin from the dispenser and wipe down the counter. “Listen, Shyanne, is it? How can you not be drooling over all the hot guys that come in here?”

“Jace is pretty gorgeous isn’t he? He is in here all the time. Same time every day, even on weekends.” Well, I guess shecanbe useful.

“Gorgeous doesn’t even come close. I may have to come back tomorrow.” I smile to myself. “Maybe he’ll come in here shirtless and I can really get a good pic.”

She giggles but cuts it short when she looks past me. Knowing the luck I’m having today he must be behind me.

“Why wait when I can just take my shirt off for you now? You just have to ask nicely,” man candy whispers in my ear sending sexy chills down my body, and then I feel his hand on my ass.What the hell?“Here’s my number. You can use the picture you took as my contact photo,” he says slipping what I assume is his number into my back pocket.

“That was a text! You are so full of yourself. I don’t want your number and stop touching my ass,” I state as firmly as I can, but it comes out weak. His hands leave my body, and I’m left breathless.

Shyanne starts giggling once again and I turn to see he’s gone. I catch a glimpse of him outside getting into a sexy black sports car, a pretty blonde in the passenger seat scowling at him. She must be his girlfriend.

What an ass! Why would he give me his number if he has a girlfriend? Well, player your number is going in the trash, but that picture…that picture will stay safe on my phone.

Okay, so that wasn’t my most embarrassing moment in my twenty eight years of existence. There was this time when I was bowling with my ex-boyfriend and walked up behind him after arriving late. I slid my hands around his body and started to grope him only to find out it was another guy. His wife looked like she wanted to murder me, but I was happy. The man had an eight pack and I reached down far enough that I almost found the end of the V. That should have been my first clue. My boyfriend had a keg. I mean full on beer belly. You would think that being on the college football team he would’ve been in better shape. Apparently, beer trumped working out. But I digress.


Page 2

Deciding to get my red face and coffee out of there I step out into the Death Valley that’s Chicago in July. A year ago I was getting ready to head to Cozumel with Erin. I need another vacation.

Just as I get to my car my cell starts singingSexybackby JT, my future baby daddy.

“I hate you!” I answer.

“That’s not nice. You know you love me,” Erin counters.

I adore Erin. She is the best friend any girl could ask for but was handed a shitty deal last year when her ex cheated on her. Then she met Walker, one of the sexiest and sweetest men on the planet, and they just recently had a baby girl, Savannah. I get to be the maid of honor in their wedding this October, and I’m truly happy that she has found someone who treats her like a queen.

“I do but that was so embarrassing! I can’t believe you called me chicken. You know how I get.” Turning on the car, I blast the A/C and take a peek into the rearview mirror, fixing a smudge underneath my light blue eyes.

“I know.” She laughs. “What’s funny is that I knew what was going to happen. Either that or the shutter would click. As organized as you are you can be a total mess.”

“Is there something you needed? I’m busy looking for a new best friend.” I threaten though I would never replace Erin. She and I have been friends since freshman year in college when we were paired up as roommates. We continued to live together throughout college and bought a house together in the suburbs of Chicago after we graduated. We just couldn’t stay away from each other. This past December she moved into a dream home with her dream guy, and now I own our house alone. It’s nice not to have someone else there messing it up, but every so often I miss her being around.

“Yes, actually. First thing first, did you give him your number?” She asks.

“Nope. He gave me his though…groped my ass while he was at it. I know it’s a fine ass but at least ask for permission first. But I tossed it. It seems the hottie has a girlfriend. Her name is Bitch, and she’s blonde. I shall call her Blonde Bitch,” I state firmly.

“You’re a blonde!” She laughs. “Well, the girlfriend thing sucks. Anyways, besides that, the second reason I called is to ask if you want to go to a party at Trent’s tonight. Jason is visiting Alex’s parents for the night and Mom is watching Savannah so Walker and I can get a night out.”

Trent is Erin’s brother. Saying he is hot is like saying the sun is just a flame. The man is a walking lady hard on. His short brown hair and brown eyes set my body on fire anytime he is in a room, but he is just so temperamental anytime I am around. We’ve barely spoken since Thanksgiving. Jason is his two year old son whose mom, Alex, took off just after he was born. It’s heartbreaking because Jason is the cutest little boy ever. She is missing out.

“Uhm, Erin. Last time I went to one of Trent’s parties I ended up in his roommate’s bed.” I roll my eyes remembering that horrid night as I turn out of the parking lot.

“Come on, Noe! Mike moved out months ago, and it’s not like you had sex. He just wishes you did.” She laughs. “And Trent wasn’t there. I know for a fact, if he was, that wouldn’t have happened. Come on! I need this night out.”

“Okay. But you’re DD. If your brother is going to act like a total douche to me again then I’m going to need lots of alcohol.”

“Deal! We’ll pick you up at seven.”

~~

“I’m so excited you agreed to come tonight but why are you dressed like a hooker? My brother is going to go crazy!” Erin says taking in my outfit. I’m dressed in a skimpy black halter top with a jean skirt and fuck me boots.

“I do NOT look like a hooker. I look like I need a man. Which I do! What does it matter to your brother?” I snap back. “And anyways, I’d rather look like a hooker than a nun.”

Walker chuckles from the driver’s seat.

“This is Old Navy thank you very much!” She looks at her pink ruffle tank top and jeans. I notice how awesome her new cowboy boots look but don’t comment on them just to irritate her.

“And I ordered these boots from Country Outfitter,” she continues. “So shut your damn mouth. I look hot.”

“Okay, Erin. Sure,” I say adjusting my top as Walker speeds down Lake Street.

“You always look hot, baby.” Walker reaches over and grabs her hand kissing each knuckle. I’d gag at their display if I didn’t envy his love for her.

We pull up to Trent’s house, which is ten minutes from where I live. He owns his own construction company at age twenty six. He makes enough to live alone, but ever since he moved here he’s always had a roommate. That was until Mike, his friend from DePaul, stopped paying his portion of the mortgage and “accidentally” lost the money to pay the electric bill. He really was a winner. I think maybe Trent learned his lesson with the roommate situation and now just tries to focus on raising Jason.

His place is definitely a bachelor pad. A ranch brick house, two car garage, three bedrooms, three baths with an entire wall made up of windows that lead to a deck with a hot tub overlooking his enormous yard. With his building expertise, he also added an extra living space that has been turned into a game room. It has a pool table, a huge TV, every game system you can think of, and surround sound, which is currently blasting Bruno Mars, my other baby daddy.

Erin and Walker take off towards the kitchen, and I spot Trent talking to a few of his friends.

Trent is a handsome man. Okay, scratch that. The man is a walking billboard for hotness and has starred in quite a few of my fantasies during my sessions with BOB (Battery Operated Boyfriend, in case you were wondering.) He and Erin are two years apart and look almost identical with the exception of her huge boobs and his eleven to twelve inches over her five feet three frame. His brown hair is just long enough to grab onto, brown eyes the color of chocolate and with every inch of him cased in muscles he screams male. From what I can tell his dating life, or should I say sex life, is far from lacking. Construction does a body very good.

“Noe, where have you been? It’s been so long since I last saw you. I was having withdrawals,” Trent yells from across the room, apparently already drinking as he staggers towards me and throws his arm around my shoulders. He smells like cologne and looks sexy as hell in a red polo shirt and khaki shorts. I can’t help the rush of heat that spreads throughout my body when he touches me. He is seriously sizzling.

“Oh, you know, working corners, slappin’ hoes and binge drinking. The usual.” He rolls his eyes used to the crazy shit that comes out of my mouth.

Stepping back his eyes take in my very inappropriate attire, clearly unhappy. “Speaking of prostitutes, what the hell are you wearing?”

“Shut the hell up, Trent. I’m a grown ass woman and I make this outfit look good,” I angrily state. “Even a man like you can appreciate it.”

His eyes, looking hungry, run up and down my body. I feel exposed and turned on. A shudder runs up my spine.

“Noe. I’m serious. I really have missed you.” He places a hand on each shoulder and leans in so we are breathing the same air. Brushing my collarbone with his thumb, he whispers in my right ear, “You look fucking amazing.”

Uh, what?He is definitely drunk. In all the years I have known Trent he has never said anything like this because if he had I sure as hell would remember.

“Thanks. I think.”

“You’re welcome,” he says quietly and pulls back looking at me for a dangerously long time.

“SHOTS!” Erin announces as she brings three shot glasses from the kitchen all with what I can only assume is tequila. She loves tequila. Tequila, however, does not love me. Tequila makes my clothes fall off. Tequila makes me fall in roommates’ beds.

“I don’t think so, Erin. If you are taking shots I need to be able to drive home,” I say pushing away the glass she has shoved in my face.

“Live a little, Noelle!” She says shoving it back towards me. “One shot won’t kill you. Plus Walker offered to drive so I could unwind a bit.”

“I don’t mind, Noe,” Walker says appearing next to Erin kissing her jawline. “I love getting Erin drunk.”

I let out a sigh. “Okay, one shot. But then I’m done.”What can I say? I’m easy.

With a roll of her eyes she hands Trent and me a shot each. “To hot guys from Starbucks that grab Noelle’s ass!” She says a bit too loudly smirking over at Trent.

A weird look flashes quickly across his face and I give her a death glare. Damn Erin. I had almost forgotten about Jace. Almost.

“To hot guys from Starbucks.” I toast anyways lifting my glass. Trent rolls his eyes and takes the shot with Erin and me.

“To sexy girls who try taking sneaky pictures of hot guys at Starbucks.” My knees buckle when I feel his hot breath on the back of my neck mid-shot.

Oh, crap!

I turn and am met with the fierce green eyes that belong to Jace, the Starbucks God.

The tequila burns as I spit it out all over his face.

Trent looks between the two of us. “Noelle, this is my new neighbor, Jace,” he says hesitantly.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

“Spitters are quitters, Noe,” Walker says from next to me, grinning from ear to fucking ear. “You’re not a quitter are ya?”

“Shut up, Walker,” Trent says glaring at him with eyes full of anger.

“I warned you, Walker. I can still take you back to the pound.” I jab my finger at him before turning to Jace. “I’m so sorry, Jace! Let me get you a towel,” I say running off into Trent’s kitchen almost losing my footing along the way. Damn boots! If they didn’t pay for themselves in drinks bought for me, I’d toss them.

Despite my mortification, I can’t help the smile that breaks out. I know I shouldn’t be happy to see him since he has a girlfriend, but he looks hotter than this morning.

Khaki cargo shorts that make me want to just squeeze his ass and a tight black t-shirt. Nothing screams “MALE” like a t-shirt that can’t contain your muscles.

Stalking around his kitchen, I notice Trent has moved things around. I’m irritated. I don’t like change.

Where the hell are the towels?

“Want some help?” Jace’s rough voice asks scaring me before I start putting everything back to where it was the last time I was here.

I jump up as though I’m doing something wrong and slam my head on an open cabinet door.

“Ouch, damn it! You scared the hell out of me. Don’t you know better than to sneak up on someone?” I complain attempting to stand straight up. “Can this night get any worse?”

“It can’t be all that bad, can it?” He asks lowering his voice. “Though I can make it better for you…if you want.”

He stares me down and slowly stalks forward like I’m his prey. I instinctively lean back against the counter bracing myself for his attack with wide eyes. He traps my body, putting hands on either side of me and whispers, “Where does it hurt?”

I inhale his scent and almost orgasm. He smells of beer and raw male.

“Uhm,” I stutter like a moron dragging my hands through my hair feeling for the bump. “Right here.”

His face gets closer, and my knees get weak. When his lips pass my ear and find where my head is throbbing, he gives it a small kiss.

“All better?” He whispers pulling back just a fraction, so I can look into his pretty green eyes. He licks his lips, and I’m jealous of his tongue. I want to do that. He brings his mouth closer to mine, but I hesitate.

“Don’t you have a girl…”

“What the hell, dude?” Trent yells from the kitchen entryway breaking up my trance. “Back off!”

Trent’s chest rises and falls rapidly, and the vein in his neck is popped out. He’s furious, sexy.

I feel as though I’m in the middle of an alpha oreo.

“Trent, we were just looking for a towel.” I roll my eyes and gently push on Jace’s chest to get him off of me. “And ice. And Tylenol. I hit my head. I can’t find anything in this cluster fuck you call a kitchen.”

Stomping like a kid across the kitchen he pulls out a towel and throws it towards us. His brown eyes find mine, and I see the same look I saw on Thanksgiving when Chase showed up at my house. Hurt? Anger? Disappointment?

He reaches into the freezer for an ice pack and top cabinet for some Tylenol and starts tending to me.

“I got her,” Trent growls at Jace.


Page 3

“For now,” Jace retorts leaving us in the kitchen.

~~

It’s been a whole hour. One whole hour since I almost kissed a man with a girlfriend. It saddens me to think how easy it is to cheat. How one second can ruin someone like it did my best friend. Jace’s eyes haven’t left my body, and it almost makes me sick that he can be so brazen about it.

Out of the corner of my eye I spot him making his way over to me at the pool table. I give him the nastiest look I can muster up. “Well, well, look who’s decided to stop eye humping me.”

“I can do more than hump you with my eyes if you want, Noelle,” he says taking his right index finger and rubbing it down my jawline. I lift my palm and slap it away, furious.

“Don’t touch me, Jace. I’m not that kind of girl. I don’t know where you got the idea that I was, but I don’t like to be cheated on and I won’t help someone else cheat.”

“Huh?” His hand drops from my cheek in aggravation. “I’m a little confused here.”

“I know you have a girlfriend and I won’t help you break her heart. I’ve seen firsthand how that can destroy someone. But I’ll help her break something of yours.” I whip my hair around hoping he will finally leave me the hell alone.

He doesn’t, grabbing my arm and turning me back around to face him, eyes burning into mine.

“Noelle, I don’t have a girlfriend. What gave you the idea that I do?” His expression is confused, puzzled. He doesn’t look like he is trying to bullshit me.

“The blonde girl in your car? The one at Starbucks? She wasn’t your girlfriend?” I lace my voice with sarcasm.

His face straightens when he realizes who I’m talking about.

“Who? Valerie? No way!” His voice raises an octave. “She works with me. Her car was in the shop so I was on my way to take her to pick it up.”

Well, that explains it.

“So, no girlfriend?” I double check.

“No.”

“Then I guess I was wrong. I threw your number away for nothing.” I shrug like it’s no big deal but thankful that maybe I can put him into the rotation of suitors.

“You threw my number out? Jeez, woman! Nothing like jumping to conclusions.” He laughs and then offers, “Would you like it again?”

“Meh. I don’t know.” I shrug again internally giggling at how stunned he is. “I don’t think I do.”

Everything comes to a halt as he takes my hand in his and kisses the top of it, entwining our fingers. Pushing me back into the pool table, he lifts my chin up with his free hand, bringing his lips a breath away from mine and whispers, “Yes, you do, but now I’m going to make you earn it.”

My knees give way underneath me, and he has to catch me before I hit the ground.

What the hell is wrong with my knees today? It’s got to be the hooker boots.

“Are you okay?”

“Yea, I just…I don’t know. Yea, I’m fine.” I compose myself and take a deep breath. “So, earn it? How exactly do I earn your number back and what if I don’t even want it? You’re kinda full of yourself.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Would you rather it be you that’s full of me, Noelle?” He asks getting just a millimeter closer. If he moves just a fraction more his lips will be on mine.

I’ve never encountered such an insistent man. Usually, I am the aggressive one. I don’t like releasing control to someone else.

His eyes dart to my mouth, and I make a show of slowly running my tongue along my bottom lip. I can see how affected he is.

“All you have to do is play me at pool. If you win I will give you my number, again. But if I win you get my number and I get to kiss you…anywhere I want.”

He winks and raises his eyebrow in a challenge.

Time to counteroffer.

“Uhm, I have a better idea. You win you get my number, you call me and you ask me out on a date. I’ll even allow you the honor of kissing me on the cheek. If I win you have to streak through the party.”

His face drops. “Are you serious?”

“You seem so confident. I guess you aren’t that good of a player.” I quirk my eyebrow in curiosity. “Or are you?”

“Oh, I’m good…at everything and you’re about to find out. Deal!” He extends his thick hands out to shake mine before I push away and saunter over to the table to get ready to break. “Do you want me to do that?”

“No, I got it,” I say insulted. I hit the cue ball hard towards the rest of the balls. It goes flying off the side hitting Erin in the ass while her tongue is down Walker’s throat.

They don’t get out much.

“HEY! Noe, you hooker,” she says.

“No, Erin. I don’t get paid for it, but I know for sure men would max out their credit cards for one night with me,” I jab back.

She turns back around to continue her assault on her fiancé unaffected by my statement.

Jace’s mouth is wide open, and I walk past him to retrieve the ball pushing his chin up.

I laugh picking the ball up off the ground and hand it to him. “I’ll let you start.”

~~

I pocketed the eight ball on my second turn and Jace was gracious enough to give me a redo. Bending over the table and brushing up against him any chance I got, I used my body to try to distract him. It almost worked. At one point I “accidentally” rubbed my breasts across his back while he took a shot. He missed that one but ending up making the rest. The chemistry between the two of us is electric.

In the end, I lost. Terribly.

“Now for that kiss.” He looks down at me pulling my body to his by my hips. “Would you like to pay up now or at my place?”

“Hold that thought.” I place an index finger on his lips and reluctantly disconnect from his body.

Walking over to Trent’s kitchen island I grab a post it note and pen jotting down my phone number. Two can play at this game.

I turn giving him my bedroom eyes and stroll back over to him swaying my hips just a bit to get his attention as if I didn’t already have it.

Peering up I seductively place the piece of paper on his chest putting a little pressure on it and slowly lower it down over his abs. His breathing deepens, and I can feel his dick harden against me. The large bulge on my stomach has me tightening my thighs. I continue my journey south, with my number in hand, finding his hip and sliding the piece of paper into his side pocket.

Leaning up on my tiptoes, I lick the bottom of his ear repeating the same words he used this morning. “Here’s my number. Maybe you can use the picture you took this morning for your contact photo.”

Quickly pulling my hand back I turn and walk away spotting Trent watching our interaction. Taking a pull from his beer, he motions for me to come over.

“Wait!” Jace calls out before I reach Trent. ”You forgot the other part of our deal. I believe you owe me a kiss.”

I unhurriedly turn back around and tilt my cheek up to him waiting for his lips to find it, but they don’t. He grabs both sides of my face forcing me to look straight at him. I see lust and need evident in his eyes as he looks down at my mouth. I lick my lips as he rubs his thumbs along my jawline. My nipples tighten, and I’m sure he can see them through my shirt. Tilting my head up, I coax him to give me what I want. His lips collide with mine, and an involuntary moan slips out opening them up just a bit. Using it to his advantage, he slips his tongue in. Everything disappears around us. I’m lost. His kiss is like a drug, and I want to be so fucking high. I’m instantly hooked, and I want more. So much more. Both of my hands come up and grab his shirt tightly bringing his body closer to mine.

I forget where we are. Hell, I forget my name.

I almost allow him to lay me across the pool table when I hear a commotion and yelling.

“Trent. NO!” Erin screams.

Breaking our kiss I turn to see what’s going on.

It all happens in a flash. One minute I’m kissing what is probably the man who can bring me to my knees, and the next Trent’s fist is connecting with his jaw. He falls to the ground taking me with him. Our bodies turn so that I land on top of him, and his head hits the ground hard.

“Oh shit, Noelle! Are you okay?” Trent’s panicked face is the first thing I see when I open my eyes as he’s trying to help me up off of Jace.Did he just hit him?

“What the fuck, Trent! What the hell is wrong with you? Get off me,” I say smacking his hands away. Pulling myself up I glare at him. “Are you drunk? Jesus Christ! Why did you hit him?”

“Noe, oh my God,” Erin says rubbing my arm as Walker pushes Trent back.              “You fucking asshole! You almost hit Noelle!” Jace growls from next to me.Man, he got up quickly.

He pulls me around behind him and shoves Trent’s chest. “I don’t care who the hell you are, how the hell long you have known her, or if this is your fucking house. If you ever hit me again or come close to hitting her you better be prepared because I will fucking hurt you!”

Trent struggles against Walker’s hold and brings his chest to Jace’s. “I warned you, Jace! I told you to stay away from her.”

“Trent!” Erin yells.

What? Stay away from me? Who the hell does he think he is?

“That’s it,” I scream stepping in between the two Neanderthals. Next they’ll be dragging me by my hair to their cave. “I’ve had enough of this juvenile bullshit. What has gotten into you, Trent? I’m not someone’s property and I don’t need you to protect me! I don’t need this drama.”

The party has come to a screeching halt as everyone circles around us. Spotting my purse, phone and Walker’s keys on the end table I turn away from all of them. I collect my shit and head out the door.

“Noelle! Wait!” Erin calls out. She’s running towards me attempting not to fall on her ass. She’s had a few drinks tonight and her tolerance is low. I stop to make sure a trip to the ER is not in our future. “You can’t leave it like this.”

“Well, I’m not staying here, Erin. I don’t know why he did that but all we were doing was having a little fun and hehitsJace? He could have hurt me in the process. He almost did if it wasn’t for Jace.” I take a deep breath looking around. “Everyone has just had a bit too much to drink. I just want to go home now. Please.”

Angry tears start to blur my vision. I never cry. What a shitty night.

“Sure, Noe. We can go,” she says in a small voice leaving me to go inside and hopefully get Walker.

I didn’t realize how hard I was holding onto his keys until I saw the indention from his key chain. Walking over to the truck with my head down, I am shocked by what just happened. I don’t understand Trent. He is such a hot head.

“Noelle, hold up a second,” Jace calls from behind me. “Can I talk to you?”

“I don’t want to talk about this right now, Jace. I need to go home. I’m tired. I just want to go to bed.” I can’t look at him. I don’t want him to see me crying, but my shaky voice gives me away.

“Noelle, don’t cry. Hey, why don’t you come over to my house?” Both of his hands are rubbing my arms like he is trying to keep me warm despite the heated temperature. I shake my head no.

“Then take my number.” He grabs the phone from me types his number in and hands it back over. “You have my number again. Please use it. I don’t know what is going on here, but I do know that I want to see you again. I have to see you again.” His hands grab my chin gently forcing me to look into his eyes.

“Okay, Jace. Let me think about it. I need to get home now though. Thank you for not letting me get hurt. I’m so sorry,” I say in barely a whisper looking back down to the ground.

This is not me. I’m a strong woman and I don’t let men get to me, but this feels different. Like a huge shift in my life has occurred.

He grabs my chin lifting my head to look into his eyes. “You are not the one that should be apologizing. Trent should and I’ll make sure he does. And Noelle, please call me.”

Pulling myself away I slide into the back seat without responding.

Walker and Erin get in and I pass Walker the keys.

“Noe?” Erin’s voice is hesitant. I turn my head away from the window and notice a torn look on her face.

“Yea?”

“Nevermind.”

Walker puts the car in reverse without a word and pulls out of the driveway. Looking out the back window as we leave I can see Trent and almost feel his sad eyes watching. I couldn’t care less right now. Taking the turn to head home Erin turns up the volume on the radio, and I stare off into the distance.


Page 4

I walk up the sidewalk to the house I love after a quiet goodbye from Erin and Walker. This place has become my sanctuary. It’s clean, organized and everything is the way I like it. After Erin moved out this past December, I was free to do what I wanted with it, and I wanted it to be perfect. Not that she was messy, but it’s nice to live on my own after almost ten years of having a roommate.

As you walk in you’re welcomed with a large open spaced living room, dining room and kitchen area. The living room is filled with lavender, black and white accents with the most comfortable sofa you will ever lay on next to my very own La-Z girl recliner. I replaced our love seat because I had to have that chair. Every girl wants to grab a glass of wine and sit in one of those bad girls and read about hot ass book men on her kindle…when she isn’t banging a real life one.

The kitchen isn’t that big, but the island makes a great bar to sit at when you want to be casual. Erin and I have had plenty of late night chats at that bar. Heart to hearts, laughs and a lot of tears…and bottles upon bottles of tequila. We have been through some crazy shit.

Now she is engaged and has a beautiful daughter. I’m lucky enough to not only be her best friend but also her wedding planner. I’m not sure she knew what she was asking when she did. I’m a perfectionist and sometimes it drives Erin insane. She loves me though.

Smiling to myself, I head into my room, which is the best part of the whole house. It’s massive and has a bathroom bigger than my room growing up at my parents. The walk-in closet next to it is just as big. Half of it is taken up by my shoes alone.

I slip into my pajamas and walk into the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth. My thoughts wander back to what happened…what got into Trent. I’m too exhausted to think about it anymore. Dragging my tired body over to my queen bed, I crawl under the comforter letting its warmth suck me in. I never thought I would spend one hundred fifty dollars on a blanket, but with its large black flowers on a white down comforter of heaven it’s totally worth it. I love this fucking bed.

The slamming of my front door jolts me just as I’m about to fall into a blissful sleep.

Erin knocks quietly on the door and walks in sitting on the side of my bed. “Are you okay, Noe? I’ve never seen you that quiet before.”

She still has a key and uses it when she deems necessary. Apparently, this is one of those times.

Sighing I sit up pulling the blanket straight up around me. “I’m fine. Just frustrated. Jace seems like a nice guy but I’m trying to figure out why Trent would do something like that. He is always so hot and cold that I don’t know which way is up and which way is down with him. I just want to know what the hell he was thinking. Does he think Jace is a bad guy? He must be for Trent to do something so drastic, right?”

“I don’t think that’s it, Noelle,” she says looking away trying to avoid my eyes. A true sign that she is hiding something.

“Erin, do you know why?” I give her my “don’t mess with me” face. “If you do you better tell me.”

“Don’t look at me like that, Noe. It’s not my place to speak for Trent.” She shakes her head looking down and starts to twiddle her fingers.              “Tell me, Erin! I’m going crazy here. Trent used to be such a good friend and it just seems that we have drifted apart.” Tears start forming again, and I get up to grab a tissue from the bathroom. I hate crying like a bitch.

“Maybe that’s the problem,” she comments to my retreating back.

Huh?I walk back into the bedroom blowing my nose. “What’s the problem?” I ask confused as she stands from my bed and walks towards the door.

“That he’s just a friend.” She winks before closing the door behind her.

She cannot honestly believe Trent wants to be more than friends. Can she?

Does he?

I roll over and try to fall back to sleep. When I enter my dreams, it’s of Jace’s deep green eyes and sexy stubble.

~~

Five o’clock in the morning comes too quickly when you are in the middle of the greatest female wet dream of all time. I decide a go with my vibrator is out when last night’s events come crashing into my pre-dawn thoughts. This morning I really need my cycling class like I need oxygen to take my mind off of what happened. I decide on a hot pink tank top, black shorts and the new cycling shoes that I received yesterday. Hot pink usually isn’t my color, but today I’m feeling feisty. Grabbing my water bottle from the freezer, I get my iPhone from the charging station and notice I have five missed text messages.

 

Trent: Are you still up? Pls call me.

Trent: Noe. I’m so sorry. Call when you see this.

Sexy Jace: I had fun with you tonight...I would take 10 more punches for just 1 more kiss.

 

He put his number in as Sexy Jace, huh? I’ll need to change that. Or not. The message is sweet…a far cry from the aggressive guy I met yesterday.

 

Trent: I know you are mad at me but please don’t shut me out. I need to talk to you. Call me so we can meet up.

Sexy Jace: Thinking of you.

             

Jace’s texts have me smiling. The time on my phone reads 5:42 A.M., so I know it’s way too early to text back either one of them.

I decide to run to the gym today instead of driving the two miles. It’s a peaceful time of day where the world is quiet, and I can just breathe in the early morning air. I turn on my music and enjoy the scenery as I jog past it. I hear a text come through but decide to ignore it, needing my peace.

Arriving at the gym parking lot twenty five minutes later I spot Hadley. She is one of the funniest and craziest women you will ever meet, besides me. Erin has joined me at my cycling classes a few times, but Hadley goes to them religiously. She is awesome and is also my assistant at work. She has become like a sister to me almost as much as Erin. Since I have no siblings and my parents moved to Naperville, I see and talk to those girls more than I see my own family.

“Hey girl! I can hear Lady Gaga coming from your headphones. You only listen to her when you’re upset. Bad night?” She asks pulling her long, layered dark brown hair with chunky red highlights back into a ponytail and straightening out her black sports bra and shorts.

“You could say that. How about you? Date night with Braden last night?”

“Yea, and I’m fucking exhausted. That man can keep me up all night.” She winks pulling her arm across her chest to stretch.

“Do you even eat? Jeez, you’re so damn skinny! Eat a cheeseburger or something.” I laugh pulling my headphones out, rolling them so they fit perfectly into my side pocket.

“Shut up! I eat,” she says rubbing her hands over her flat stomach. “So what’s going on? Wanna talk about it?”

For the next sixty minutes between sprints and jumps I tell her what happened the previous night. Every sexy, sweet, and crazy moment.

“Hmm. Have you ever considered that Trent is jealous? That maybe he has feelings for you? Maybe he wants some of the Naughty Noelle,” she says completely serious while we stretch out afterwards.

“Trent? Erin hinted at that last night and I wouldn’t shut him down if he did. The man is a walking turn on.” I rub the sweat off my chest with a towel. “But he doesn’t see me that way and I guess I’m too close with his family to ruin anything. And anyways, I might want to see where this thing with Jace goes. I’m intrigued by my Starbucks God.”

Hadley and I part ways, and I check to see the text I ignored earlier.

 

Erin: CALL TRENT! He won’t stop texting me and I’m too damn tired for his shit. Turning my phone off.

 

Well, she seems pleasant. You would think with Savannah at her mom’s house, she would have gotten laid last night.

During my run back I respond to Trent’s messages.

 

Me: I went to bed when I got home so I didn’t see your texts until this morning. So angry with you T!

Trent: I know, pls see me today. I have to run to the office real quick but meet me for lunch.

Me: Only b/c I love you and I want an explanation. Where?

Trent: Lou’s? 12?

Me: Ok. Don’t be late.

 

Bastard. He knows I cannot pass up some of Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza. There go the calories I just burned. Shaking my head, I text Sexy Jace back.

 

Me: I had fun too. I could have done without the punching. I haven’t thought of you at all ;)

Sexy Jace: Oh, I know you did. Let’s meet up…beach?

Me: I don’t know. I need to meet with Trent and find out what happened. Unless you would like to enlighten me?

Sexy Jace: Oh, I have an idea. He just wants to get his ass kicked. Ditch him and come meet me.

Me: I can’t. I need to let him grovel and apologize. But we can hit the beach after.

Sexy Jace: Fine but u have til 2. Text me your address after and I’ll pick you up.

 

Pushy much? My calm Sunday has just turned into meeting up with two very hot guys. I’m definitely not complaining. I guess my work will have to be put off. Mrs. Blake’s venue comparisons write up is going to have to wait until tonight. Fixing this with Trent and a little fun in the sun trumps work on a Sunday anyways.

 

When I get back to the house all I want to do is lay in my nice soft bed. It’s neatly made, but I fall back onto it and sigh. What a weekend. I curl up into my pillow allowing my eyes to close, and I feel as though I could just crash for the day.

I raise my arms above my head to stretch.Man, I really stink!

Jumping up I hope I didn’t get too much sweat on my comforter and make my way to the bathroom.

After scrubbing the grime of two awesome runs and cycling class off in the shower, I grab a fluffy white towel and wrap it tightly around my body. I step off the tile and onto the plush carpet and am met with lust filled chocolate eyes filled with animalistic male hormones across my bedroom. He stalks towards me with determination stopping just short of my tingling body. He places both hands on my face, and a shiver runs down my spine.

Oh my God! Oh my God! What is he doing?             

“I just couldn’t wait,” he says pulling my face closer to his. “I had to see you. We need to talk but I have to do this first.”

Just as I’m about to open my mouth to ask what he wants to talk about he brings his lips the short distance to mine. They’re soft and smooth, the kiss so sweet and gentle. Our tongues don’t touch; just a few light brushes of our lips. A heated moan escapes my mouth, and he loses control taking the kiss deeper. His tongue still doesn’t break the barrier of mine but there is so much desire behind it. When his hands glide down my body and around my hips, goosebumps spread across my skin. Wrapping my hands around his neck for support, he picks me up bringing me back into the bathroom and placing me on the vanity. Never breaking the kiss. My towel starts to come apart and I scoot forward to ease it off me.

His hands slide up the inside of my thighs higher and higher until they meet my soaking wet core. His fingers tease me rubbing my juices up and down through the folds grazing my clit. Embarrassment takes over as I realize how quickly he is going to make me come undone.

“Trent…” I moan his name but it comes out more of a prayer.

I bite his upper lip and push myself harder onto his hands as the orgasm starts to take a hold of my body beginning at my toes.

My eyes fly open and a cold sweat breaks out. I look around and find I’m still lying down in my bed sweaty from my workout and now completely horny. Trent is gone, and I realize it was a dream. My text pings alerting me to a new message, and I sit up glancing at the screen trying to shake off the dream that put last nights to shame.

 

Trent: I’m picking you up. Tell me when you want me to come.

 

The first thought that runs through my dirty mind is “with me” and the second is to grab my waterproof vibrator and head for the shower.

 

Me: I’ll be ready in an hour.

I don’t lose control. I’m a man who can handle my shit but when it comes to Noelle Grant all rational reasoning goes straight out the window. I’ve never had such strong feelings for a woman even while I was with Alex.


Page 5

Last night gutted me. Like Thanksgiving, I lost my cool and this time someone got in the way. It’s not Jace’s fault but when I saw his fucking lips on her, I wanted to bust him up. And I followed through.

Now I get to go grovel to the woman who drives me insane.

Grabbing the keys off the hook I lock up the house behind me to head to the office before meeting Noelle for lunch.

Jace is outside his house washing his car.

Fuck.

“I heard you’re going to see my girl?” He calls out from across the street sponge in hand.

I shake at the thought that he’s talked to her today.

“Shut the fuck up, Jace, before I give you another black eye.” I don’t look at him. I just want to get in my damn truck and leave so I don’t punch him again.

“You hit like a pussy, Trent. Maybe you should come to my gym. I can give you some lessons on how to hit like a man.” His voice grows closer, and I unlock my truck hoping I keep my cool this time.

“Go to hell.” I slam my truck door closed, starting it, and rolling the windows down.

“You won’t win, you know?” He says from outside my window. It would be so easy to just reach my hand out and strangle his steroid grown neck.

“She’s not a prize to a game.”

Slamming it into reverse I leave him there as I pull out of the driveway disappointed I didn’t roll over his foot.

~~

I pull into Decker Construction fifteen minutes later finding Danny’s truck alone in the parking lot. Not only is he my best friend and old college roommate, but he is my right hand man in the business and knows way too much about me.

I find him on the phone, and I walk past his cluttered desk with a head nod hoping to escape his twenty questions. Plopping myself down into my leather chair, I open up my email. He comes strolling in with a fucking smirk on his face while I’m responding to a permit request.

I don’t look up from the computer. “Don’t you know how to fucking knock, Dan?”

“Oh, I’m sorry.” He walks back to the door, knocks and walks back in. “What the fuck happened last night? I leave the party for a beer run and I come back to chaos.”

“Nothing happened. Can you leave?” I pound the keys on the keyboard annoyed. I just wanted to run in for a few quiet minutes on a Sunday.

He’s silent and I finally look up. He’s just staring.

“What?”

“Man, you have it bad. I didn’t realize until now. I thought maybe you just needed to get her out of your system. Fuck her once and be over it, but I can see now that it wouldn’t be enough, huh?”

“Are you for real?” I yell trying to keep myself from throttling my best friend. “When did it ever come off to you that I just needed to FUCK her out of my system?”

Dan doesn’t understand the concept of being a ‘one woman’ man. His definition is one per night. Through the past few years I’ve followed the same motto, but in the back of my mind, I’ve always wanted Noelle to be my only one.

“Shit. Sorry, man.” He lifts his palms up in retreat turning to head out of the room.

“Where the hell are you going?” I ask getting back to my task on the computer.

“To buy you some tampons. You’re acting like a woman.” He laughs and I launch a stapler at him.

“Get the hell out, Danny! I have shit to do.” He throws the stapler back at me hitting my framed picture of Erin, Noelle and I at Lake Geneva just before I met Alex. I pick it up and stare at Noelle’s face.Damn, she’s beautiful.

Putting it back in its place I pick up my cellphone shooting off a text to Noelle.

~~

Swallowing the lump in my throat, I pull into Noelle’s driveway. Last summer, every day, I would get the same lovesick feeling whenever I would pick up Jason from Erin’s house and Noelle’s car was in the driveway. I lived for those days.

It didn’t start that way. I never really liked Noelle. She got on my last damn nerve with her crazy antics and smart mouth. Then one day I just couldn’t deny it anymore.

I was having another rough day with Alex’s parents. A month after Jason was born Alex disappeared leaving a note saying she just needed some time and the baby was too much for her. So between trying to start a company and taking care of an infant, I was stretched thin. I begged Alex’s parents to tell me where she was, but they wouldn’t budge. The look in their eyes told me they wanted to.

That day when I arrived at Erin’s, I found Noelle on the couch with a peacefully sleeping Jason on her chest. It hit me like a Mack truck. One day I hated her and the next day I wanted to take her to my bedroom and worship every inch of her body, but I couldn’t. I didn’t want Noe to be a rebound, and I didn’t want her to get hurt. I wasn’t sure if seeing her with Jason had me wanting her for the sake of him having a maternal influence. So, I’ve had my needs fulfilled elsewhere and unfortunately watched Noelle do the same.

Before I can get out of the truck, she’s already out the door skipping towards me. For someone as structured as Noelle, she can be very carefree.

I get out heading to her side to open the door. She says nothing to me when she climbs in. As she steps up her short yellow sundress rides up, and I see no trace of her panties. I’ve suspected before that she doesn’t like to wear them.

“What ya looking at, Hotrod?” She asks over her shoulder when she catches me.

“Nothing,” I squeak out and then clear my throat. “Nothing.”

“Nothing is right, because I’m not wearing anything.” She winks and sits down pulling the door closed and almost catches my rock hard dick in it.

Running my hands down my face, I walk to my side and jump in and try to keep my nerves in check.

The ride to the pizza place is nothing short of torture. Not only has she confirmed that she doesn’t wear underwear but her dress keeps riding up her toned thighs every time she changes the radio station.

Her long blonde hair hitting just below her shoulder blades is wavy and sexy. I want to reach over and run my hands through it. Just as the thought hits she uses her own to glide through her locks and turns her brilliant blue eyes to me smiling when she catches me. Again.

The restaurant is packed when we arrive. Thankfully, a small table in the back is open for just the two of us. We order a deep dish sausage pizza right away knowing it takes a while and wait until the server is done putting our drinks down.

“So talk,” Noelle commands never one for beating around the bush.

“I’m sorry,” I blurt out. It’s a start.

“I know.” She takes a sip of her water and looks out the window. “What else do you have to say?”

I’ve gone back and forth between telling her and chickening out. Erin tells me she thinks Noelle might have feelings for me too, but I’m just not sure. I can’t keep going on wound up like I have. I’m yelling at everyone and everything.

Shit or get off the pot, right?

“I wanted to…”

“You know Trent,” she interrupts. “You can’t keep me from dating Jace.”

What the fuck?

“Noelle, I…”

“Is he a bad guy?” Her eyebrows raise opening up her eyes. They are the color of the ocean in a storm. Beautiful.

“Not that I know of.” I shake my head. She isn’t making this easy.

“So, why then?” She softly asks reaching over and grabbing my hands. The touch is electric. “Tell me so I understand.”

Her blue eyes seek answers in mine. She looks at me like she might already know them. I freeze up.

“I’m just protecting you,” I say chickening out.

I can’t tell her yet. What if I lose her? What if she doesn’t want the same and I end up never being able to see her again.

“I don’t need protection, Trent.” She throws my hands away seemingly disappointed and crosses her arms over her chest. “I’m a big girl.”

“I know that…”

“How’s Jason? I haven’t seen him in a while.” She changes the subject ending the conversation.

“He’s good. I have to pick him up from Alex’s parents tonight. I’ve missed him.”

Jason is my life. Who knew that a little tyke would steal my heart and make my world tilt on its axis…just the way Noelle has.

The rest of the lunch is quiet and when I try to bring up last night, she shoots the subject down. I decide to give up. I’ve never met someone who pisses me off and who I want to kiss all in the same minute. She frustrates me as much as she turns me on.

We pay the bill and leave.

“Can you take me to your house?” She asks while typing a text when we get back in the truck.

“Why?” I hesitantly ask. I’m not sure where this is headed.

“I’m supposed to go to the beach with Jace.” She lifts up the large bag she brought with her. “I told him I would be right over.”

I stare at her wondering if she has lost her damn mind.

“No.”

“What do you mean ‘no’?” She stops typing and looks over my way. “You want to go out of your way to take me home just to go back to yours when you can just save your gas and take me there.”

“Correct. I will be taking you home.” I turn onto the street in the direction of her house and she huffs as she rattles off another text.

She jumps out and slams the door shut before I can even put it in park in her driveway.

“Noelle, wait!” I yell, getting out to go after her.

She barely makes it to the door when I grab her upper arm and swing her around.”What the fuck, Trent? Let me go.”

“I don’t want to leave like this. Let’s just start over and talk this time.” I stand hovering over her. She’s almost a foot shorter than me but nothing less than intimidating.

“I gave you the chance to talk.” She looks up, and I watch as her blue eyes dilate.

I push closer and she retreats back. Something’s changed. Noelle doesn’t back down.

“You didn’t.” I lower my voice. “You kept interrupting me. If you would just shut that fucking mouth of yours for two seconds I could explain.”

“You can’t talk to me like that!” She yells pulling her arm from my grasp and shoving into my chest not moving me an inch.

“Noelle, shut your mouth for one damn minute.” I grab both wrists but she tries to pull away. “Stop and listen.”

“Go to hell. You can’t make me shut up, Trent. You’re not…”

I can’t take it anymore. My lips crash onto hers. Her feistiness is turning me on. Her pushing me, goading me, writhing against me. She is still at first and then turns her hands to interlock with mine and opens her mouth allowing my tongue to slip in and meet hers.

Years of wanting her fuel this one kiss. I bite down on her lip when she teasingly pulls her tongue away from me. She moans making my dick twitch. Needing the satisfying friction only she can give me, I push myself into her and bring her arms around my neck. I let them go and slide my hands down her body making contact with her hips and pull her roughly into me. She lets out a whimper and grabs the hair at the nape of my neck.

“Fuck,” I whisper against her lips, and she attempts to push herself up on her toes to deepen the kiss.

Someone honks from behind us yelling that we need to get a room, and I instantly pull away. Her body falls back against her door, and she touches her lips as she looks up at me. Her chest is heaving up and down, and I can see her hard nipples pushing on the fabric of her dress.

Her lips swollen from our kiss and her eyes wide she almost looks innocent.

I’m done being Mr. Nice Guy. It’s gotten me nowhere.

I step closer again not caring that we’re outside. Slipping my hand under her dress to the apex of her thighs, I push a finger inside her, making her moan, and find she is dripping wet.

She clamps down on my finger, and I pull it out looking at it glisten as her eyes widen even more.

“Explanation enough?” I ask slipping my digit into my mouth making a show of pulling it slowly out. Shock stretches across her face and I leave her there to walk back to my truck.

“Fuck you, Trent!” She yells towards my back. “I’m still going to go see Jace.”

“See him all you want, Noe, but remember who’s got your pussy on their tongue.”

 


Page 6

Holy shit! If I didn’t pinch myself multiple times after Trent left I would’ve thought that was another dream. The evidence of my arousal running down my leg should have been proof enough that it wasn’t.

I could see it in his eyes at lunch. He was going to tell me what Erin and Hadley thought was true. That he had feelings for me. When he said it was because he was protecting me, I knew he was lying, and then I freaked too. I got scared and didn’t know what to do. I needed time to think and decide if it’s worth pursuing. So I did the only thing I could. I deflected.

My cell pings in my purse. Digging it out on the front steps I glance down to see a text from Jace.

Sexy Jace: It’s 1:45. Ready?

Me: I am. Are you?

Sexy Jace: Ready to get you wet. Be there in fifteen.

 

Sighing I realize he won’t be the first one today to get me wet when another text pops up.

 

Erin: Sunday dinner at six tonight.

Me: Trent going?

Erin: Nope. He’s doing dinner with the bitch’s parents.

Me: I’m there

 

I’ll most likely have to leave from the beach to the Decker’s. I can’t have Jace pick me up now.

Me: I’ll meet you there.

Sexy Jace: Want your own getaway vehicle?

Me: No, I have dinner plans with Erin.

 

Running inside to slip on my bathing suit I try to calm my nerves before heading out.

~~

Our cars pull up at the same time and when he steps out he looks panty dropping hot in his navy blue board shorts and sandals. With no shirt on you have a clear view of his rippling abs. I pull out my phone from my bag and without embarrassment this time I take a picture of him as he walks towards me.

“I knew you would do that. You just couldn’t help it could you?” He says wrapping his hard biceps around my body. It’s like hugging a rock solid statue.

“I really couldn’t. Jeez, how much do you workout? You’ve got that whole V thing that makes smart girls go stupid going on.” I subconsciously take in his musky scent.

Did I just sniff him?

My heart rate picks up when he pulls away and sweetly grabs my hand directing us towards the stairway that leads down to the beach.

Glencoe Beach is absolutely amazing. The parking lot surrounds a beautiful park that has walkways crisscrossing around tall shade trees and benches that look down to the beach as well as a few tennis courts. I’ve had one or two nights of fun on those benches. The fifty or so stone steps leading down to the beach are a workout in itself but worth it when you get to the sand. The suburbs of Chicago don’t have very many nice places to enjoy the beach, but this one is my favorite. It’s peaceful and serene but for some reason, today it’s unusually crowded. Bodies take up almost every inch of sand, and I spot a large group of people playing beach volleyball.

He stops at the bottom of the steps allowing me to take in the lake and clear blue sky. “Where do you want to sit, Noelle?”

Looking around, I point to where there is a vacant area that is semi private just next to the water. “Over there is great,” I reply.

Claiming our secluded spot with our towels, I pull the sunscreen out of my bag and grab the hem of my sundress to lift it over my head. “Want me to help you with that?” He asks grabbing the bottom of it at the same time. I remove my hands giving him permission to continue.

He slowly pulls the dress up, and the back of his calloused hands run over the side of my body. Goosebumps invade my skin, and my heart skips a beat. When he successfully pulls it over my head, I hand him the bottle of lotion and hesitantly turn my back to him.

“You have beautiful skin, Noelle,” he says sweeping my hair off my neck.

“Thank you,” I say as he massages sunscreen onto my skin like it’s foreplay. Dragging the tips of his fingers along my shoulders he methodically rubs it into my back.

I can’t help but let out a whimper and heat immediately invades my cheeks.

“Oh, you like that huh?” I can’t speak so I nod my head, and he brings the front of his body flush to mine. Continuing the difficult task of getting every inch of my body protected, he reaches over my shoulders and starts to rub it into my chest. My head falls back against his broad sexy chest, and my eyes close. This. Feels. Amazing. His hands travel lower and his fingertips just barely break the barrier of my bikini top.

“Jace, you have to stop.” I unwillingly turn around and move away from him before I rip my top off and beg him to devour me.

“Okay, baby. What do you want to do?”

Baby?

“Uhm, let’s talk.” I adjust the straps of my bikini top to try to hide the fact that my nipples could cut glass and sit on my towel. He looks down at me shaking his head and does the same.

“Well, since we don’t know each other all that well how about you tell me a little about yourself besides how hot you are in a bikini?” He winks and pulls his legs in front of him resting his forearms on his knees.

“My name is Noelle Marie Grant. I’m twenty eight and my birthday is January twenty second. I don’t have any brothers or sisters. I am an event planner at Events Unlimited. Mostly corporate events but I do weddings as well. I try to work out four times a week. My friends say I’m borderline OCD but I think they just need to be more organized.” I laugh. “I feel like I just filled out my dating profile. What about you?”

“Well, my full name is Jace Michael Reynolds. I’m twenty nine years old and my birthday is May first.” His voice is monotone and seems to be making fun of me. “I have a twin brother named A.J.”              “Holy SHIT! There are two of you walking around looking that yummy?” I interrupt. I can’t believe there are two of them roaming this earth.

“Yes, there are two of us. Why? You looking for a threesome?” He wiggles his eyebrows up and down suggestively, and I wonder if they have ever done that.

“No. I only do one at a time. That way I can focus all my energy on them.” His mouth drops open, and I start to think that despite what I just said I wouldn’t mind one with him and Trent. Shaking my head to bring me back to my senses I try approaching a safer subject. “Alright, so what do you do Jace Michael?              “Well, I own my own gym in Des Plaines called JV Fitness. Actually I co-own it with Valerie. The blonde girl you saw in my car.” He looks at me as though I might get jealous. I don’t do jealous. When he doesn’t get it he continues. “J for Jace, V for Valerie.”

“I’m not surprised you own a gym looking the way you do.” I shrug.

We say nothing else as we look out towards the water. I think about how I have to tell him about Trent, but I don’t know where to start.

He effortlessly stands and reaches for my hand. “Do you want to go for a swim?”

I take it and allow him to pull me up like a rag doll. He captures me in his large hands, and his breathing becomes staggered. The front of his body presses against mine and I feel what I can only assume is either his rather large dick or an anaconda pressed up against my stomach. He lifts his hands to push back the hair that has fallen from behind my ear and slides the back of his fingers down my neck. Ducking his head down low he brings his mouth slowly closer to mine.

“Jace…” I whisper.

“Yea, baby?” His voice is hoarse, and I watch his Adams apple slide up and down his stubble covered throat as he swallows.

“Race you to the water?!” I squeak out, shoving away from him.

I decide it’s best not to kiss him until he knows what happened earlier today, and I’m not willing to tell him just yet.

I take off towards the water like I’m being chased.

I’m a fast runner but Jace is much faster. He runs up ahead of me, doubles back, and picks me up. I’m effortlessly thrown over his shoulders, and he continues his trek into Lake Michigan. I beg him not to throw me in, but he slaps my ass and launches us both into the cool water. It’s refreshing. However, the shock of the cold takes my breath away. I come up for air and quickly dive back down teasingly trying to get away from him. The water cascades over me and I try to imagine I’m back in the crystal clear waters of Cozumel and not the murky lake. When my lungs start to burn from lack of oxygen, I use both of my feet to push off the bottom and shoot up to break the surface. As I get to the top and take in some air I am greeted with paralyzing cramps in my calf muscles. My body freezes up as I grab the back of my legs and sink back under the water.

Struggling, all I can do is try to use my hands to swim back up. My legs are of no use and panic seizes me.

Where the hell is Jace?

Panic turns into sheer horror as I look and feel around finding him nowhere.

I’m going to die a virgin!

Just kidding. I’m way past that shit.

I guess the years of swim lessons didn’t do a damn thing for me. My lungs are burning, and I can’t hold my breath any longer. Just as I let go of the last bit of air in my lungs, I feel large hands wrap around my body. I’m finally brought back to the surface, and I gasp and choke sucking in the fresh air.

“Noelle! Are you okay?” His eyes are wide with fear and relief.

I shake my head no and he cradles me in his arms keeping me above the surface.

“No,” I finally say with the little breath I have. “I have fucking cramps in my calf muscles and I couldn’t get to surface. Crap they hurt!”              

Wading back into shallow waters, he swings my legs around him wrapping me around his waist. My arms automatically go around his neck and my head to his chest and I take in another breath. He slides his hands down my body and to my calves massaging the cramps out. I yell out in pain at first but after a few squeezes it subsides, and I start to get normal feeling back in my legs.

“Thank you, Jace. I thought I was going to drown,” I say pulling my head off his well-built pecs that I just want to nip at and look up into his concerned green eyes.

“No need to thank me. I thought you were just playing around. When I got close enough I could tell something was wrong. How do they feel now?” His ministrations get more aggressive.

“Better. That feels so good,” I say a little too orgasmically.

He gets this cocky look on his face and brings his hands higher to my knees and uses his thumbs to rub circles over them. “Does it now? What about this?”

“Oh my God, so good.” I know what he is trying to do but I don’t care.

“How about now, Noelle?” He brings his fingers underneath my thighs and pulls me a little tighter. I’m practically one with him and his thumbs are sliding up and down the tops of my thighs. I can’t speak. I can only just stare at the hunger in his eyes. He bites his lower lip and looks down at mine.

“I can’t stop thinking about you, Noelle.” I don’t have time to deflect him as his lips collide with mine. He lets go of one thigh bringing his free hand to the back of my neck to hold my lips to his. This kiss is strong. Aggressive. I yearn to ride him like the stallion he is. I’m still worked up from Trent and now Jace has my head spinning.

Oh, shit! Trent.

I push on his chest, so I can get a little space and catch my breath. “Jace, we need to talk.”

“What do we need to talk about, baby? I like kissing you. You don’t like it?” His lips are just a millimeter away, and I want to suck on them.

What is wrong with me? Kissing two guys in one day? Not my style.

“I need to tell you what happened with Trent today.” I look away, and his grip loosens its hold. Annoyance is all over his face as I risk another look at him, and I decide it’s best to take my arms from around his neck.

“What about it?” His green eyes have turned fierce, and I almost want to take it back.

“He kissed me.” The words rush out, and I bite the inside of my cheek.

He stares at me for a moment before asking, “How long have you known him, Noelle?” His face grows dark.              “Ten years,” I reply not even having to do the math.

“And he chose now to make a move? Convenient.” He shakes his head letting go of me completely and swims back to shore. My body shivers at the loss of his warmth.

“Jace. Let’s talk about this like adults. Please?” My sore calf muscles scream as I tread after him.

He makes it all the way to the shoreline and sits down letting the small waves crash into him. His knees are bent, and he has his head in his hands resting on them. “What do you want, Noelle? You can’t have us both.”

Sitting next to him, I place my hand on his forearm. “I know but right now I don’t know how I feel about either of you, and I owe it to myself and the both of you to figure that out.” He rips his arm from my grasp and stands up. I follow. “I don’t want to miss an opportunity with you either though, Jace.”

“Are you serious? So you’re asking to date us both? That’s not happening, Noelle.” He stalks towards the towels kicking sand up as he does.

“I don’t know what to do, Jace!” I yell to his back. “I really like you. I don’t know much about you but what I do know I really like and I want to get to know you more. I feel a connection with you but I just need you to bear with me while I figure it all out.”


Page 7

“So, he kisses you and then you come here and letmekiss you?” Picking up his towel he dries himself off and puts his sandals back on.

“I didn’t let you kiss me. You just did it and are you leaving?” I grab my towel and wrap it around my body feeling vulnerable and stupid.

“Yes. I’m leaving, but before I do help me get this straight. You’ve kissed both of us, is that right?”Oh jeez. I nod. “What about sex, Noelle? Does he get to have sex with you? Do I? Do we both? Maybe at the same time, huh?”

I snap my head up and give him a look that should strike him dead where he stands.

“Well, I get you don’t know me that well but let’s be very clear about something. I’m. Not. A. Slut.” I can’t believe what I just heard.

He throws his hand up and looks at me. “I would never say that. I really like you and he told me last night he wasn’t interested.”

“He did?” I question.

I don’t think a man who wasn’t interested would stick his finger inside me and suck it dry, but I think it’s best to keep that to myself right now.

“Yea, but I knew he was lying. Asshole.” He stares at me briefly, thinking. “I’ll give you time but you need to figure it out fast and I won’t stand for you sleeping with both of us. I don’t tolerate that shit well.”

“Okay.” I agree.

“Just okay? You don’t seem like the type of girl to give in so easily.” He steps closer gripping my towel covered upper arms.

“I’m not but I don’t want to risk not getting to know you over something I’m not even sure about.”

He grips the top of my towel and pulls me to him, seemingly ending our first fight.

“Can I kiss you again, please?” His palms slide up around my neck and without a response he gently places a chaste kiss on the side of my mouth. His tongue darts out gliding across my lips and meets the other side with a tender kiss.

“I’ll fight for you, Noelle,” he whispers just before that tongue invades mine.

Driving down Dundee Road, I pull out my chapstick and run it along my dry lips. Jace and I kissed for well over an hour. Our hands explored as much as our audience could handle. I felt like a teenager. My body was on fire and ready for release by the time I left, but until I could figure out what to do about Trent, I reluctantly had to decline Jace’s invitation to see what his bedroom looked like.

I arrive late to the Decker house and walk in without knocking. I didn’t grow up here but Erin’s parents always made me feel like a daughter. When her dad died two years ago I felt it as much as the rest of the family. He was an amazing man.

Savannah’s cooing comes from the living room and I call out to her. “Vannah! Your favorite auntie is here.”

“Don’t call her that, Noe!” Walker scolds from the recliner where little Savannah is playing with a neon colored teething ring.

Erin giggles. I think she secretly likes when I piss Walker off.

“Oh, Walker, you’re just jealous that Erin lets Savannah touch her tits more than you.” I gently wrestle her away and pepper her chunky cheeks with kisses.

“Noelle!” Erin’s mom sings coming out from the kitchen kissing me on the cheek. “You made it! I’m so happy. At least three of my four kids showed up.”

“Oh, I didn’t hear Nicole’s kids running around.” I look down the hall expecting the pack of wolves to come storming down at any minute.

“Nicole couldn’t make it.” The baritone voice makes my heart stop, and I watch Trent come out from the dining room. “Miss me, Noe?”

As his body gets closer to me my mouth drops open and my senses go on high alert. With mere inches between us he towers over me and leans down. My lips desperately want his back on mine, despite just having Jace’s there, but he bends down giving Savannah’s head a peck. Lifting back up, he gives me a knowing smirk.

“I can’t miss you if you don’t go away,” I growl tightlipped.

“Never,” he whispers so only I can hear. “I’ve had a taste and I want more.”

He walks away back towards the kitchen to tend to his mom. I look at Erin who is staring at me in disbelief.

“Oh, like you don’t know what that was about!” I loudly whisper to her tilting my head towards Trent.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” She laughs and reaches out to take Savannah from me.

“No way. You get her all the time. I haven’t seen her since Friday.” I spin around and make my way to the couch.

“So what happened?” Erin plops down next to me rubbing her finger along her daughters arm.

“None of your business,” I say in a baby voice towards Savannah. “Your mama is nosy! Yes, she is!”

“Noelle, come on. I know he is my brother but something must have happened.”

“I’m out!” Walker jumps up from the recliner to leave. “I’m not going to listen to girl crap right now.”

“What’s up his ass?” I look to Erin, who is watching him walk away.

“He wants to get married, like yesterday.” She sighs. “Stop changing the subject. Spill it. What did he say to you?”

“He didn’t say a damn word. He kissed me after we went to lunch and then shoved his finger inside me and proceeded to lick it clean.” I go for shock value.

It works.

“OH MY GOD, NOELLE! That’s my brother!” She yells.

“What happened?” Trent returns to the living room and Erin snatches Savannah from my arms practically running away and leaving the two of us alone.

“I told her how you man handled me outside my door this afternoon.” I try to look bored but my heart is racing with his proximity.

He takes the spot Erin was just in and his shorts rub against my thigh pushing my dress up a bit. Grabbing the hem, I attempt to pull it down but his hand covers mine to stop me.

“Don’t,” he whispers rubbing his pointer finger back and forth over my newly tanned skin.

Our eyes meet and like a game of chicken neither of us wants to pull away.

Until this afternoon, I never thought Trent Decker ever wanted me. Not that I am the sort of girl to have low self esteem. It’s just that we’ve bumped heads for years, and even though I felt turned on at times around him, I thought it couldn’t go any further than it did.

Two years ago after Alex left, Trent’s world erupted in chaos. Erin helped him over the summer with Jason, but he was sad, confused, and lonely despite the fact that his construction business was booming. I don’t blame him. He put his heart into that relationship with Alex. He, like Walker, jumped into fatherhood feet first, even though it wasn’t planned.

I don’t know at what point I started to see Trent as a good looking, successful, grown man and not my best friend’s little brother. However, the more time I spent with Jason and saw how much he looked like a mini Trent, the more I saw the man Trent really was. Strong, independent, and ready to do what he had to for his son. That makes him even sexier than the face of a thousand disintegrated panties.

“Noelle?” He breaks the silence looking at me desperate. “I…”

“DINNER’S READY!” Walker yells out interrupting Trent.

He lets out a growl and shoots up stalking away in frustration. I watch him leave; letting out the breath I didn’t know I was holding in.

~~

Erin’s mom makes the best roasted chicken and rice. She serves it with some mixed vegetables and dinner rolls. Sunday dinners are always amazing at the Decker house.

Little Savannah is sleeping, and Jason is still with Alex’s parents after they asked Trent for another day with him. That seems odd to me since from what I’ve heard, they are always ready to hand him back. They aren’t the best at being grandparents. Not like Mama Decker.

“So, Noelle. Erin tells me you met a handsome stranger at the coffee shop yesterday.” Mama Decker starts up the dinner conversation.

Silverware clangs onto a plate and I don’t have to look across the table to see it was Trent who dropped it.

“Yea.” I glare at Erin, who is conveniently looking down at her food. “I did.”

“So, tell me about him.” She presses on making me, and most likely everyone at the table besides her, uncomfortable.

“Well, he’s twenty nine and owns his own gym,” I say hoping she will stop asking.

Trent chimes in. “Douche.”

My eyes go wide.

“Trent!” His mom scolds.

“What Ma? It’s true. He lives across the street from me and he’s a total douchebag.”

A laugh slips between my lips when I see a bit of the green eyed monster appear.

“I think he’s nice…” I say turning my glare onto Trent. “And hot. We spent the day at the beach. It was a good day.”

“That sounds great, dear,” Erin’s mom says and changes the subject. “I hope everyone is enjoying dinner.”

We all agree it’s fantastic, and I can hear a quiet moan coming from over my water glass. Trent has put his piece of chicken down and is proceeding to stare directly at me as he licks the remnants of the meal off his fingers.

“So good.” He swirls his tongue around one finger, and I clench my legs together remembering him doing just that with a different kind of juice earlier in the day. From the look of pure lust and jealously in his eyes I know that’s what he is doing too.

If he wants to play, I can play too.

I slip off my sandal and glide my foot across the carpet towards his chair, lifting it to the middle of his parted legs. When my toes find their destination, I watch him jump and then smirk when he realizes what I’m trying to do. As the conversation goes on around us, Trent takes my foot in his hand and presses it into him, and he grows beneath it.

I think I’ve met my match.

He massages my arch and when he puts pressure on the inside, it makes the ball of my foot push further into him. The foot rub alone would turn me the hell on but feeling his dick grow harder by the second and the look of bliss in his eyes has my body in a tizzy. When I feel like I can’t take this beautiful torture anymore I quickly pull away.

“I need to use the restroom.” I slide back my chair and meet Erin’s questioning eyes. I shake my head to signal not to worry about it and leave them to finish their meal.

As I close the door I reach below my dress and graze my core finding that I might be able to release this built up tension myself with just a few rubs of my clit.

A quiet knock startles me, and I straighten out my dress, pulling myself together.

“I’m fine, Erin,” I say opening the door to beautiful brown irises, but they aren’t Erin’s. They’re Trent’s.

He pushes his way into the bathroom and grabs my face, kissing me like it’s the last time before he deploys for war. My tongue doesn’t hesitate to mingle with his. His hands drop from my face and start pushing the thin straps of my sundress down until it pools onto the floor leaving me in just my white and yellow polka dot bikini.

“Did you kiss him?” He pulls away pinning me with his stare. When I don’t answer he leans down and forcefully bites my bottom lip. “We’re his lips on you, Noelle?”

I nod yes and something snaps in him. His hands are all over my body, his tongue licking my neck, my shoulder and the top of my breasts. I don’t fight him. I want anything he is giving me right now.

“Did you tell him about me?” He asks just as his hand pulls on the string at my hip giving way to one side of my bottoms.

“Yes.” I breathe out.

His fingers find the strings on the other side. With one tug I am completely bare with the exception of my top.

Ghosting the tips of his hand across my pubic bone he continues his game of twenty questions. “What did he say?”

Standing on the tips of my toes I silently beg for his fingers to delve back into me and finish what he started this afternoon. “Trent, please.”

“Answer me…now!”

“He said he’ll fight for me and not to have sex with you. Okay? Please. Damn it.” I shamelessly push against his hand, but he moves them so quick grabbing me by my waist and picking me up so that I don’t have time to think.

He puts me down on the sink and ravishes my mouth with his. When his two fingers push into me, I quietly thank the heavens but as his thumb pushes down on my clit my appreciation gets much louder.


Page 8

“Shh. If you want me to keep going you’re going to have to be quiet, Noelle. Do you understand?”

I groan out a yes, and he takes his finger fucking to a feverish rate. With them pumping into me and his thumb circling on the outside I’m so close I can feel it starting in my toes. I reach out and unbutton his shorts without protest and grasp his rock hard erection sliding my fingers up and down.

“Shit, Noe. That feels incredible.” He growls and picks up his pace as I do.

“I’m going to come, Trent. Oh, God!” I whisper in his ear before biting it.

“I’ll make you come, Noe, but you just remember that I don’t share. If you want the piece of gold you are holding in your hands to fuck this sweet pussy all night long you get rid of that fucker and quick.”

“Oh, God!” I moan out and his thumb pushes down giving me the orgasm my body has been craving all day. A few more thrusts into my hands later he lays his head onto my shoulder and climaxes.

After we clean up and straighten out our clothes I’m hit with the realization that both of us have been absent from dinner for almost twenty minutes.

“Trent! They are going to know something is up.”

“Don’t worry,” he says placing a small kiss on my lips. “Just go to your car. I’ll be there in a minute.”

I walk out of the bathroom, out the door and to my car without question. Trent comes out a few minutes later with my bag and keys.

“What did you tell them?”

“That you weren’t feeling well and that you were going to drive me home.” He holds his hand out for my keys.

I hand them over and walk to the passenger side. “Erin will see right through that and where is your truck?”

“At home. Erin and Walker picked me up,” he informs me as we get into the car. “When Erin told me you were coming I figured you could just give me a ride.”

I look over at him thinking there is a double meaning behind it. He winks, confirming my suspicions.

I’m so distracted from Trent’s light touches to my knee that I forget he lives on the same street as Jace. When we finally arrive on Park Avenue I look around to see if I can find his house. When I spot Jace’s car my eyes go wide. He lives directly across the street from Trent. You could back out of Trent’s driveway and into Jace’s.

He eases my car behind his truck and turns off the engine. Neither of us moves. I don’t know what he expects, but I’m not making the decision.

“Noelle,” he speaks into the quiet night.

“Mmm hmm.” I look over but he is staring out the windshield.

“I want you to come in.” His hand reaches back over and grabs mine. “I just want to talk. We’ve spent the day touching and not talking. We need to talk.”

“Okay.” I agree and we silently go into the house.

I’m scared to look back to see if Jace is watching.

Upon entering I make myself comfortable on the couch noticing that the house is in immaculate condition just like it should be.

“Did you clean up from last night?” I ask and then think to myself that I can’t believe almost twenty four hours ago I was here, kissing Jace.

“I did.” He hands me a glass of wine sitting beside me. “Are you proud of me?”

“I am. You know how much I love things neat and clean.”

He looks over, taking me in and bites his lip.

“What?” I’m curious. “You seem to be holding something in.”

“I was just going to say that ‘unlike how you have sex’.” He laughs.

“Trent. I’d deny it but then I would be lying.” I chuckle with him and take a sip of my wine.

“So.” He leans back and crosses his arms behind his neck. “Let’s talk.”

“Okay.” I set my glass down on the table and turn my body so one leg is propped up on the cushion. “Talk.”

Letting out a long breath he leans forward placing his elbows on both knees and turns his head to look at me.

“Two years, Noe. It’s been almost two years since I realized I have feelings for you. Do you know how long that feels?” He asks.

I shake my head in complete astonishment. I never knew. If there had been a few hints I missed them. Obviously, there has been a sexual attraction, but feelings?

“It feels like fucking forever. I think it started even before then. Anytime you were with Erin I would watch you. Watch the way you move. Watch the way one side of your mouth tips up when you’re really interested in what someone is saying. The way you bite your lip, like right now, when you’re nervous.”

I release my bottom lip from my teeth and look down. He lifts my chin back up so he can look into my eyes.

“The way you walk with a small sway to your hips. More if you want to be noticed, which isn’t hard because I don’t think a man within a block of you doesn’t see you. When you smile, the entire room brightens up and most importantly how you treat Jason like he is your own. Showering him with kisses and rocking him until he falls asleep. God, Noelle!”

He jumps up throwing his arms to the side. “You used to make me crazy and then, all the sudden, I fell…and I fell so hard that I haven’t been able to stand, until this afternoon. When I kissed you it felt like a weight was lifted. I was showing you I wanted you and I know you want me. Just say you want me. You want this.”

His eyes are pleading as he sits back down, closer to me this time.

Do I want this?

What would it mean if we gave it a chance?

“Why now? Why after two years do you decide to tell me now?” I’m trying to figure it all out.

“I was planning on telling you last night, Noelle. I asked Erin to get you there and everything just went to shit and when I saw Jace kissing you I fucking lost it. I watched him watching you and I watched him pursue you. How could you be kissing some guy that you just met when you should be kissing me?” He leans over kissing my exposed shoulder.

“What if there’s no chemistry?” I joke.

“No chemistry? I know we have chemistry but if you’re unsure I can remind you.”

Trent props himself up and leans forward pushing my body down across the couch. Burrowing himself between my legs I can already feel how much chemistry we have. He rolls himself into me, and I whimper.

“You’re a beautiful, smart and sexy woman, Noe.” His kisses shower down my neck as his hands grip my hair. “Choose me. Choose this.”

I want to. I want to so badly, but I need time to think clearly.

“Trent.” I push on his chest, and he lifts his body off mine. “It’s my turn to talk.”

Stabilizing himself he grabs my hand and lifts me back up.

“Okay. Shoot.”

“You need to move back more. I can only think with my lady parts if you are that close.”

He lets out a full blown laugh but moves back.

“We don’t just have us to think about, Trent. If we get together and something happens it can affect my friendship with Erin, my dinners with your family, time with Jason and your nieces and nephews. What if this doesn’t work out?”

“Noelle, please stop with the ‘what ifs’?” His frustration is starting to surface. “Can you honestly tell me that you would regret it more if we tried and it didn’t work than if we didn’t see this through at all?”

“I don’t know and I think that’s what the problem is. I need to think this through and figure all that out.” Standing up I grab my glass of wine and empty it. “I need to go.”

He follows me towards the door but grabs me just before I reach it. “You promise to think about it? Do that entire ‘pro and con’ list shit that you like to do? Weigh all the options, Noe, because I have. I would rather you and I try it out and promise to stay friends if it doesn’t than the alternative.”

“I promise to give some serious thought to this. You know I don’t do long term and I know you don’t want the short term version so just let me think,” I plead.

“Go on a date with me then. Just one. You gave Jace today, I deserve the same don’t I?” He slides his hand down my arm and clasps my fingers around his.

“Okay. Call me tomorrow and we can make plans.” I agree standing as high as my toes will allow and kiss him on the cheek. “Bye, Trent. We’ll talk tomorrow.”

“Bye, Noe.” He opens the door and grabbing my face he places the gentlest of kisses on my forehead.

Pulling my bag off my shoulder, I dig around for my keys. I don’t notice that Jace is outside leaning on his car.

“You know the window is open?” He calls out pointing towards Trent’s house.

I turn around and find the blinds pushed to the side so you can see directly into the house.

“Listen, Jace. I know what that might have looked like but…”

“You don’t have to explain it to me, Noelle. I saw you push him away.” He shoves off from his car and meets me in the middle of the street. “But I also saw you two kiss and I have to say that hurt. I just don’t understand why I feel so territorial over you. I don’t want him touching you. I should take you inside my house and erase every touch of his.”

Looking down I feel guilty. If he only knew how he touched me earlier in the night.

“Do you want him?” He asks bringing me out of my daze.

“I still don’t know,” I say with conviction looking up because I don’t have a clue.

“Do you want me?”

“I don’t know that either.”

He’s the safer choice. If things don’t work out with Jace, or he is just another notch on my long belt full of notches, there is absolutely no collateral damage. There is no possibility of losing a friend or people that I call family, and I’m attracted to Jace. I normally don’t feel so connected to someone right away besides physically but there is something about him that makes me want to know him better.

But I can’t lose Trent.

There is no denying the sexual chemistry between the two of us, and I know that we would be explosive in the bedroom. Deep down inside I’ve always wanted something with him but until today I didn’t realize it was there.

Two weeks ago I was speed dialing Chase for our monthly screw and today I’m considering changing my casual sex dating life for one of two men who are offering me more.

With a quick goodbye and a promise to call later this week, I head home to try to rid myself of this horrendous headache that has slowly seeped its way in. After I pop some medicine and take a bath I pour myself into bed.

The light from my phone blinks with waiting text messages.

 

Erin: Lucy, you have some ‘splainin’ to do!

Sexy Jace: Sweet dreams, sweet thing.

Trent: Choose us.

 

I cry myself to sleep that night knowing that soon I’m going to have to break someone’s heart…and it might be my own.

I’ve never been so nervous in my life. My palms are sweating, and my knees are shaking. It’s like the first time I took a girl on a date but this is more important. I’m not only trying to win her over, I’m trying to win her away from another guy. But I’ve got one thing going for me…I’ve known her a hell of a lot longer. I know what makes her tick, what pisses her off, and I’m pretty sure I know how to turn her on.

The past week has been crazy with all the construction work that summer brings, and I haven’t had time to drink a beer let alone spend time with Noelle. She finally agreed to make plans today, and right now I’ve got her exactly where I want her…in my hands.


Page 9

“I can’t believe you’re taking me to Six Flags! I haven’t been there in forever. I’m so excited!” She giddily shrieks in the passenger seat, fingers locked with mine.

A blood curdling scream comes from the back as Jason excitedly mimics Noelle’s enthusiasm. He won’t be tagging along so that we can freely ride the coasters. I’m scared of heights, but I love the thrill of a roller coaster. I haven’t been there in a while either, and if I’m going to fight for Noelle she needs my full attention.

She spent most of the morning with us arriving just after breakfast. Every time I see her with Jason it takes my breath away. She loves him as much as I do, and I know her love for him is a big part of why she doesn’t know if we can give it a go. We’ve spoken on the phone or texted every night this week. She has expressed multiple times that she’s worried something will happen, and she won’t be welcome around Jason or our family. She has to know better, but I need to make her see that I’m in this for the long haul and not just a few months. That worrying about what happens after isn’t an issue when I know she is the one for me.

After Alex left I didn’t do relationships. Our world was perfect in my eyes and to know that someone I loved and trusted could just leave me like that right around the time my father passed away guts me. I have trust issues to say the least.

“You happy, baby boy?” She calls out to the back seat.

“No!” he yells. That’s his new favorite word.

I’d almost rather hear him say damn it all the time than no.

“Well then.” Noelle laughs his mini rant off and mutters. “Temperamental like his daddy.”

We both are silently enjoying the ride until Jason says, “Mama” as we get to his other grandparents house.

“I wish, buddy,” I quietly say back to him and jump out before telling Noelle I’ll be right back.

Bag and Jason in hand, I walk up to the house and ring the bell. Never once have I felt that I could walk right in, even after all these years I’ve spent coming here.

Alex’s mom answers the door looking flushed and snatches Jason out of my arms with just enough time for me to give him a kiss and hand over his bag.

Assholes.

~~

The park is huge. They added a water park next to the theme park a while back, and I wish I would have told Noelle to bring her bathing suit. From what I saw last weekend her cycling classes are doing her body some good.

My dick starts to come alive when I think about me pulling loose the strings of the bottoms and watching them fall to the floor.

“What are you thinking about?” She asks catching me mid dirty thought.

“Just about how good your body felt under my touch.” I reach up sliding a finger down her cheek, and she blushes.

Noelle isn’t a blusher, so I know she is remembering too.

Once in the park, we walk to the right heading for the first roller coaster we see. She is unusually quiet and is looking everywhere but at me.

“Noe.” I stop her from going into the turnstile. “What’s wrong? You were excited to come here and now you are so quiet.”

She looks behind me like the answer is there. Apparently finding it she shocks me with her response. “I want to kiss you.”

A smile crosses my lips as I grab the back of her neck and pull her svelte body towards mine as she closes her eyes. Patrons whistle walking around us, but I don’t give a shit. Our foreheads meet, and I can feel her jagged breathing caressing my skin but I don’t kiss her.

“Let’s play a game,” I suggest. Her eyelids fly open and she pulls away.

“A game?” She says looking disappointed. Maybe I should have kissed her first but this seems like a lot more fun.

“Yea. A game. Truth or Dare.” I shrug. This seems to irritate her more until I see a tiny light bulb go off in that crazy head of hers.

“Truth or dare?” She asks.

“Truth.” I laugh out and she mutters, “Fuck.”

“I wanted you to say dare! Ass!” Yelling she walks through the turnstile and stomps up the stairs.

She is a pistol, and I love it.

I catch up to her just as she gets to the top of the steps and push my front into her back making it flushed against the corner of the railing just out of sight.

Her hair glides through my fingers easily as I push it aside and give her the gentlest of kisses on her shoulder blade. She’s wearing a green tank top and tight jean shorts that barely cover the bottom of her ass. My hands grip her hips and I whisper, “Ask me your question and I’ll give you that kiss you’re begging for.”

Her head leans back exposing her neck to me and I take a tiny nip. “Ask me, Noe.”

“Do you think of me?” She finally gives in.

“All the fucking time.” I kiss just under her ear listening to her quiet moans escape.

“I mean do you think of me…when you’re alone? At night? In the shower?”

“When I stroke myself, Noelle? I told you. All. The. Fucking. Time.” I bite at the edge of her ear. “Now turn around.”

She obeys, and I can see her nipples peaking through her top as her breasts rise and fall rapidly. She wants me and if we were in my bed, I would have her surrendering herself to me.

“Do you want that kiss still?”

Gripping my t-shirt she aggressively brings her lips towards mine. “Desperately.”

“Truth or dare?” I stop her knowing that I could very well lose my nuts soon.

“Dare,” she whispers.

“Kiss me,” I command, and she doesn’t hesitate.

Her lips meet mine with such urgency that I’m not sure I won’t just fuck her right here, right now. I’m not a man of exhibition. I like for what’s mine to be seen by me only, but she has me so worked up, I’m not sure I could stop myself.

I pull away first causing her to let out the cutest huff. I have to. I don’t think I can stop if we keep going the way we are, so I grab her hand and we go on the first of many roller coasters of the day.

~~

“Truth or dare?” She asks as we walk past the games section of the park where dads try unsuccessfully to win oversized stuffed animals for their kids.

“Truth.”

“Okay,” she starts. “I know you hate heights. So how can you ride roller coasters?”

Noelle has seen firsthand how much I despise heights. She and Erin wanted to go parasailing in Wisconsin and I all but threw myself off the boat to avoid going up there. I’d rather drown than fall to my death.

I rub my chin between my thumb and pointer finger. “Well, I’m still nervous when we get in line but as long as I am strapped in I’m fine. I just love the thrill of the ride but the idea of not having something underneath you or the security of being tied down to something concrete freaks me out.”

She contemplates my answer and nods.

“Truth or dare, Noe?”

“Truth,” she answers not looking my way.

“Okay.” My body turns to her and she finally looks my way. “Have you ever had any interest in me before last weekend?”

Her eyes grow wide and her trademark smirk crosses her lips. “Trent Decker. Are you doubting your appeal? What girl wouldn’t be interested in you? You’re an amazing father, you’re successful and not to mention freaking sexy.”

“I’m not concerned about what other girls think about me. I couldn’t care less. I want to know what you think about me.”

Her body gets closer to mine sending shivers down my spine. Anytime she is in the vicinity my body is aware.

“Trent, ever since the first day you annoyed the shit out of me I have been attracted to you. I just never wanted to try to pursue anything. You’re my best friend’s brother.”

I step closer. “I don’t understand why that matters, Noelle.”

“Truth or dare?” She asks ignoring my statement, while dragging me to a table outside the Superman roller coaster and taking another bite of cotton candy.

“Truth,” I reply licking off what didn’t make it into her mouth. That’s the third time and I’m beginning to think she’s doing it on purpose.

“Why me?” The blue of her eyes turn a vulnerable shade. She looks exposed, and I have to admit that freaks me out a little. Noelle is far from weak.

I contemplate my answer needing to tread lightly. After thinking for a moment I tell her my true feelings.

“Why not you? You are the perfect package.” I scoot closer and grab her legs, turning her so she can look at my face and see I’m not fucking around. “I searched, Noelle. I searched high and low for a distraction after Alex left and that’s all I found. Distractions. But damn if you didn’t grab my full attention. How could I not want someone who is strong willed and sassy, and who drives me fucking crazy with the shit that comes out of her mouth? Someone who can break me down with one sentence but lovingly rock my son to sleep? I’ve tried so hard to stay away from you, I just can’t. Not when all I can think about day and night is the way you smile or the way you walk into a room like you own it. I want you to be mine. After getting fucking cut to the core by Alex, I know I want you and only you not some one night hook up. There has GOT to be something here to fight for. You make me come undone, Noelle, and I know you can bring me back together if you just give us a chance.”

“Truth or dare?” She asks again not giving away what she thought of my speech.

“It’s my turn now.” I lean in and kiss her quickly tasting sweet sugar.

“Please, Trent. Truth or dare?” She asks flipping her leg over the bench and standing up.

“Dare,” I state.

The eyebrow above her left eye raises and her soft hand reaches out for mine. Taking it, she says the only thing that would make me cut a date with her short.

“I dare you to take me back to my place.”

~~

No one hates traffic more than I do, which is funny because my construction company causes a lot of it. This time it’s keeping me from having my hands on Noelle.

I can see she is fidgety and my normally feisty girl is, again, quiet. She never looks my way and seems deep in thought.

By the time we arrive to her house, we both practically jump out of my truck.

“Where you going?” She asks when I follow her to the door hitting the lock button on my truck key.

Maybe I read into this wrong. “To make sure you get to your door okay,” I say confused. As much as I would love to dive into her I am more than willing to wait.

She slips her key in the door opening it and turns around, her tank top showing the top swell of her breasts.

Leaning up on her toes, her mouth meets mine while her arms circle around my neck. Instinctively, my hands go to her waist pulling her into me. I love the way her kiss feels. Her tongue glides over mine never taking over but letting me direct them.

Perfect.

When she pulls away I almost feel sad knowing I am leaving her. This happens every time she is around; as she walks away to leave I feel empty and all I want is to be close to her again.

Both of our hands clasped around one another. We pull at each of them until we can no longer hold on. The crunching of the gravel seems loud underneath my feet as I walk backwards away from her, our eyes never turning away. That empty feeling comes crashing back in.

“Trent,” she calls to me bracing herself in the doorway.

“Yea.”

A slow smirk spreads across her gorgeous face. “Can you make sure I get to my bed okay too?”

I run as fast as I can pushing her into her house and slamming the door behind us. Flipping her around, I shove her against the wall and pick her up by her thighs, reaching higher so my palms cover her firm ass.

“Don’t fuck with me, Noelle. If you want this I’ll give it to you,” I promise her.

“I was kinda hoping I could fuck with you.” Her hands come up and grab the hair on top of my head so tight that I’m sure she’s creating a bald spot. “Now kiss me.”

I tilt my head down to her and brush my nose across her jawline whispering, “That’s not how this will go. I’ll give you all the sappy shit you want and deserve outside the bedroom…but inside I call the shots. Understand?”

Slightly pulling back she looks around as though she is looking for something and directs her attention back to me, blue eyes blazing. “Looks like we’re not in the bedroom. I think you should rectify that.”

“So fucking bossy.” I aggressively pull her away from the wall and make it to her bedroom in record time.

My muscles strain as I lift her off of me and throw her onto the bed. Reaching back I pull my t-shirt up over my head. “Shorts off, now!” I command.

Her eyes glaze over staring at my chest. “Holy shit, Trent. I can’t wait to scratch up that beautiful chest.”

She slides up off the bed unbuttoning and discarding her shorts. When her hands reach for my belt, I shake her off and rip her huge comforter off the bed.

“You’re going to make the bed after we’re done,” she seriously tells me.

Not giving a shit I tell her to lay down.

She complies, and it turns me the fuck on knowing she is giving me control.

My eyes never leave her as I slide my belt off. She looks as though her mouth is watering. “I’ve waited so long for this, Noelle.”


Page 10

Looking down at her beautiful body I take it into memory. How many times have I imagined her in this exact position? How many nights have I wanted to be inside her? I watched guy after guy come in and out of her life, and now it’s my turn to show her what she has been missing.

I crawl up her body, spreading her legs open with my knee and purposefully pushing against her wet pussy. I can see how turned on she is as it soaks her thong.

“Arms over your head.”

When she does as she is told I wrap my belt around her wrists, bringing them towards the headboard. “Though I know you can, don’t move these. Keep them above your head.”

One hand holding her bound hands down, the other glides down her body until I reach the apex of her thighs. Pushing the soft material aside I drive my fingers through her folds, spreading her juices. Bringing them to my mouth her eyes get wide when she sees me suck them. “So fucking good, Noelle. If I would have known how amazing you tasted I would have been sucking on your clit months ago.”

Her body bows off the bed with anticipation trying to get some friction against my knee. I drag it away.

“You’re a fucking tease!” she pants pulling on her held down wrists to free herself. “Let me up. I’m going to show you what a dick tease I can be.”

She pushes harder, but I don’t relent.

Her golden hair is fanned out across her pillow. She would look like an angel except for the look of pure frustration and lust evident in her eyes.

“I’ll give you what you want but you can’t move. Do you understand?” My eyebrow quirks up showing her I’m serious.

“Trent. I understand that we’ve never had sex with each other but I’m pretty straight forward. Fuck the shit out of me and I’ll be happy. This teasing bullshit is pissing me off!” She struggles again and this time I let her go.

She doesn’t move.

She loves handing the control over to me.

My little control freak loves to be submissive, huh?

“You move and I’ll take my dick home and you can pull one of your vibrators out of the drawer.” I warn unzipping my shorts and pulling them down along with my boxer briefs.

“I won’t have to. I’m sure there is someone else who can take care of it…maybe better.” She snaps back making me stop midway down with just the top of my cock hanging out.

I look down at her with a ‘was that a challenge’ look but she isn’t looking at me. She is staring at the top of the boxers.

“Keep talking shit like that and you won’t get to see the present wrapped inside.”

This time I pull them all the way down, doing the same with her panties. She is bare from the waist down, and I’ve never seen anything sexier.

Her body is perfect.

I reach down sticking one finger inside her. “You’re so beautiful and I’d love to take my time with you but I don’t think I can wait a minute longer knowing how wet you are for me.”

“I want you, Trent. So bad.” Her hands move but I lean over pushing them back down.

My finger slips out of her and at this angle my dick is centimeters from her sweet pussy. I can feel warmth radiating from her.

“Are you on the pill?” I ask hoping she says yes.

In the past two years, I have slept with many women never risking bare sex but with her, I need to feel all of her.

“Yes.” She breathes out as I glide my dick up and down from her clit to her entrance.

“I want to feel you, Noelle. All of you.”

She pushes her body down the bed and my tip slides in, but I stop. She feels way too good. “Jesus, Noe. Even two inches inside you and I’m about to lose it.”

“I’ve thought of you too. I thought about you taking me from behind, smacking my ass and pulling my hair. I want you and I want you to give it to me. I need you to fuck me, Trent.”

That’s all I needed to hear for me to slam into her so hard that I launch her further up the bed.

“Oh, God!” She screams when my pace starts up and I pound into her.

She’s clamping down on me so hard that it almost feels like a pull. I slow my pace and grab the bottom of her shirt pulling it over and hooking it on the back of her head and unclasping the front of her bra. She looks like a fucking goddess with my belt around her wrists, tank top around her shoulders and her tits bouncing up and down with each thrust.

She braces herself on the headboard and when I lean down and suck on her tight nipple, she begs me to take it between my teeth and pull.

This woman is perfect.

“I want to be on top,” she states just as I feel she is about to let go.

I entertain her request and pull out of her to lie on the bed.

“Sit up,” she orders.

Giving her a look she smirks and I do what she says.

As I sit up she swings her legs over and straddles me, bringing her bound hands behind my neck, grabbing the headboard.

Her breasts are level with my mouth, and I take the opportunity to clamp on as she slowly slides down onto me.

“I told you not to tease me, Trent. I told you to fuck me. I’ll show you how to fuck,” she calls out before pushing her hips down on mine fast and hard.

“Fuck, Noelle,” I yell. “FUCK!”

She is riding me like a fucking cowgirl, and I’m about to lose my load. Her tits hit me in the face with each thrust, and my hands reach around and grab the globes of her ass, pushing and pulling as she grinds into me.

Her tied up hands lift over my head and brace themselves on my shoulder.

“I’m going to come, Noelle. You need to slow down.”

“No! I’m coming…come inside of me, Trent.” Her pussy gets tighter and my dick gets harder. Her nails dig into my chest, and I’m almost positive they are drawing blood.

Our bodies feeding off one another, we come together so loud I’m sure the people next door could hear.

Our breathing slows and she looks into my eyes. “Don’t ever tease me again.”

She pulls me out of her, stands up and walks to the bathroom while tossing my belt to the floor.

That woman will be the death of me.

The next morning I feel like Erin does after a cycling class. My vagina is throbbing with soreness, and it feels incredible.

Turning over in bed, I find Trent sleeping soundly. My heart flutters. All of this is new to me. I’ve dated before but never has a man told me the things Trent did. The way he watches me, knows how I smile, how I move. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it and the more I sat there the more I wanted him.

I sigh, unintentionally waking him up. His eyelids flutter open and the shit eating grin on his face brightens his beautiful browns.

“Hi,” he whispers reaching out to me pulling my body close to his.

“Hi.”

I’ve never been one for cuddling. I’m a hit it and quit it type of gal but when he wraps me in his arms, I feel as though I can just lay in bed like this all day, only coming up for air every once in a while.

“UGH! FINALLY!” A loud screech scares me, and I find Erin standing in my bedroom doorway holding Savannah.

“You really need to give me my key back. Pronto biotch!” I yell completely mortified by the situation.

Trent chuckles.

“Language,” Erin chastises putting her free hand over Savannah’s ear like she actually understands.

“Get out, get out, get out!” I throw a pillow hitting the wall beside her head and bracing myself for retaliation.

“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” She mocks and closes the door behind her.

Trent turns me around and pulls me to his naked torso running his nose along my shoulder and up my neck. I slightly shake as my skin prickles and feel his morning wood grow harder brushing against my ass.

“Someone’s wide awake and ready to go,” I whisper rolling my hips back onto him.

“I’ve waited so long. Way too long, Noelle, to be between your legs and now I want it morning, noon and night,” he says reaching down and lifting my top leg up and back over his body exposing me to him.

His fingers explore my stomach brushing lightly over hips and in between my legs.

“Damn, Trent, that feels good.”

“I can always make you feel good, Noe. All you have to do is let me.” His fingers continue to claim my body, and we both forget all about our visitors waiting in the living room.

~~

I leave Trent on the bed and the further my heated body is away from his, the clearer I begin to think. By the time I step into the shower I’m racked with guilt.

How could I let my hormones take over like that without thinking it through?

Despite asking him to take me home, I got nervous in the car and tried to talk myself out of inviting him in but as he was walking away I just couldn’t stand to watch him go.

But now that he isn’t within arm’s reach I don’t know if taking it to that level was the right thing to do just yet.

“Noelle,” Trent calls into the shower. “Do you want some company?”

His voice is mischievous and as soon as the vision of his naked body, water cascading down every ripple of muscle, enters my thoughts the nerve endings in my body go haywire.

“I’m almost done,” I squeak out hoping he doesn’t notice how nervous I sound.

“Stop, Noe,” his voice is louder as he pulls the curtains back slightly and speaks into the steam.

I turn, loofah in hand, giving him a questioning look.

“Don’t over think this,” he says pulling the curtain all the way back and stepping into the shower. The large space now seems very small.

“I wasn’t over thinking any…”

“Shh,” he whispers pushing the wet strands behind my ears. “I know you are second guessing what happened and I know that you are scared. I am too but I also know what I want, and you don’t seem like you do. Even after the mind blowing sex I gave you…”

“I gave it to you,” I correct.

“Do I need to give that mouth something to do so you’ll stop talking to me like that?” He looks towards the floor, and I can see his dick dipping up and down, and it’s hard.

“No. I’m good and anyways, I’d still have plenty of room to talk with that in my mouth,” I retort internally giggling. I turn around and continue my shower like Trent didn’t just offer to shut me up by shoving his cock in my mouth.

“So, that little limp you had walking from the bed to the bathroom wasn’t from mysmallcock making you sore?”

“Maybe.”

A hiss comes from beside my ear stopping me mid loofah. “I’m going to give you time, Noelle. I’m going to let you figure it out and if that means you seeing Jace one last time so you can realize how much of an ignorant asshole he is then so be it.”

~~

I didn’t know what to say to Trent after our shower episode and surprisingly we made it the whole time without any body part going in another one. I will say that it was the sexiest shower I’ve ever had.

Since today is Sunday I have a lot on my plate. Last Sunday I was busy fucking around between two men, and I wasted my “clean the house and get my schedule ready for the week” day. So, today I’m supposed to be focusing on my responsibilities but my mind is on overload.

Trent left me breathless in my room with a sexy kiss promising to call me later after he picked up Jason. I took my time getting dressed knowing what I was about to face in the living room.

“There she is!” Erin calls out bouncing Savannah up and down on her lap.

“Shut up, slutbag. I don’t want to talk about it,” I say walking past her to the kitchen to insert my IV of caffeine.

She should know better than to mess with me before I get my coffee.

“Are you joking, Noe? I’ve kept this damn secret for what seems like forever and now that it’s out we can’t talk about it?” Her mouth drops as does her knee, halting Savannah’s joy.

“Okay.” I take a sip, burning my tongue a little, and face her. “Did you know your brother’s dick is HUGE! I mean, damn, I was scared it wouldn’t fit.”

Silence.

She says nothing as she stares at me for a moment then mutters. “You’re right. Let’s not talk about the, uhm, sexy times but what this means. Are you a couple?”


Page 11

Sighing, I set my coffee down and watch Savannah twist and turn in her mommy’s arms. Walker’s words about falling hard and having kids from months before echo in my head.

I know I could have that with Trent. I just don’t know if I’m ready to risk it all. I’ve done that before.

“I don’t know, Er. You have to know that this is eerily similar to what happened in high school. I can’t risk losing you too.”

Placing Savannah on the floor with a few toys because she knows my floor is pristine, she enters the kitchen to make herself a cup.

Turning her body towards me she starts in on one of her famous “you are beautiful” speeches.

“You know what happened back then was juvenile bullshit. We’re all grown adults now and Trent is nothing like that asshole you dated.”

She looks up curiously, probably thinking about how I gave her that speech last year about Walker.

The juvenile asshole she is referring to is my ex-boyfriend, Will. He was the brother of my ex-best friend.

Sound familiar?

Will pursued me for all of fifteen minutes before I jumped into his bed. He was older and sexy. My best friend at the time, Sarah, dropped me as soon as it didn’t work out, which was about a week since he was a total loser and lousy in bed. I don’t think I came once.

Just like Erin’s family, Sarah’s was my own as well. I vacationed with them and had my own room in their house. Then all of the sudden I didn’t. I felt empty, abandoned.

I don’t understand sibling love except for what I feel for Erin, and I would never want to lose that.

After I kicked Erin out and many kisses to my little niece, the high wore off and I had to seriously consider what I was doing with Trent.

Not that I could take the sex back, and let’s face it, I’ve never had such amazing sex in my entire thirteen years since I lost my virginity. I just needed to be sure that I was ready to risk everything for something I wasn’t one hundred percent sure would work out, even if I desperately wanted it to. I love Erin’s family and they would be collateral damage if something went wrong.

Trent said he was okay with me trying to figure it out. He knows what he wants and maybe he could see it in my eyes that I was rethinking everything. I’m sure he doesn’t want me to second guess my decision. But if I based it on the kiss he left me with, I would be his.

My lady parts are still convulsing.

As I sit here contemplating between sulking or cleaning my cellphone rings.

I see “Sexy Jace” pop up, and I reluctantly slide the screen to answer.

“Hello.”

“Hey, sexy girl. What are you doing?” His deep, throaty voice vibrates through my phone.

“Thinking about cleaning up a bit, you?”

“I was calling to see if you wanted to go out tonight. Say seven o’clock?”

I hesitate. He specifically asked me not to sleep with Trent, but it’s not like he owns me. I can do whatever, and whoever, I want. But it’s not in me to lie so if I go out with him I’ll need to tell him.

“Yea. We should talk anyways. What did you have in mind?” I put the phone on speaker, placing it on the coffee table and wrap my wet hair into a tight bun hoping when it dried I would have some sexy curls.

“It’s a surprise.” I can feel the smirk over the phone and see his green eyes twinkling.

“I don’t like surprises.”

“Hmm. Well, then I guess when we get there I’ll have to make up for not telling you where we were going but I promise you’ll like it.”

“Okay. Give me the address and I’ll meet you there.” I attempt to find out the location of the date. I really hate surprises.

“Nope. I’ll pick you up at seven.”

~~

Hot. Fucking. Damn.

If a woman could cry over how hot a man is I would be a blubbering baby right now. Draped in a turquoise sundress and my hair down in waves I open the door and find Jace in a white collared button up t-shirt and khaki cargo shorts. The sleeves hug his biceps and the grin adorning his face has my panties wound up.

I decided to wear them today since I don’t want to tempt myself. I knew our physical connection could start a forest fire and despite my many partners I never sleep with different men in the same month. I’m on birth control but if a little “Savannah” happens I want to know for sure who the unfortunate man is that will have to deal with me when I do become pregnant.

“You look edible, Noelle. Damn.” He compliments while bringing his gaze up to my eyes.

“I was just thinking the same thing.” I smirk as our hands meet and the tingling sensation shoots through me.

He draws my body to his and places a sweet kiss on my temple before bringing me to his car and escorting me in.

What a gentleman?

“So, where are we off to?” I ask as he jumps into his car.

He chuckles reaching over for my hand. “You’ll see.”

The drive is familiar. I’ve taken this way a million times before but when he pulls onto his street, Trent’s street, dread takes over, and I realize how much I really do hate surprises.

I normally don’t ask dumb questions but I am hoping we’re just passing by. “Jace! Where are we going?”

“I wanted no distractions so I decided to make you dinner at my house.” He continues driving, not glancing my way.

Luckily, Trent’s truck isn’t in his driveway.

It’s one thing for Trent to tell me to see Jace and figure it out. It’s another to witness it.

The lights are dim when we walk in as if Jace set it up before he left. The dining room table looks like it’s from a romance novel. A clean white cloth draped over the small square table, beautiful plates and silverware atop it with two large candles on either side of a purple and blue flower centerpiece.

“It’s beautiful.” I compliment walking over and placing my hands on one of the chairs.

I briefly tense up as Jace walks up behind me placing both hands on each shoulder. His lips brush over my shoulder relaxing me. “You’re beautiful, Noelle.”

He reaches in front of me pulling the chair out, and I take a seat.

“No one has ever cooked for me before.” I inhale the rich aroma of marinara sauce.

“Well.” Embarrassment clouds his face. “Technically, I didn’t cook it as much as I paid someone to cook it.”

Laughing, I reach onto the table and grab the napkin to place it on my lap. “What is the delicious smell?”

“It’s from my favorite restaurant,” he calls out over his shoulder from the kitchen. “Chicken Parmesan from Romano’s.”

“Well, it smells amazing.” I inhale again as my stomach quietly growls.

“I promise it’s as good as it smells,” he says walking over and placing the plate in front of me.

His fingertips brush my hair aside. Running his nose along my temple he places a quick kiss there. “I’m so happy you’re here.”

When he pulls away my hair falls back into place I can’t hide my smile.

“Me too.”

The meal tastes heavenly and Jace has me laughing with all his old college stories. There are no awkward pauses and the way his body moves definitely has my attention. I can’t help but notice we’re in the getting to know each other phase. It’s refreshing to sit here and talk rather than jumping each other. It’s new territory, and I have two men wanting the position to explore it with me.

Jace’s light touches across the table have me tingling and almost forgetting about the news I have to break to him.

“What do you want to do next, baby?” The dishes clang around in the kitchen as he cleans up later in the evening.

“I think we should talk.”

“Okay.” The word long and drawn out, he places the dish he is holding down and slowly walks my way.

The edging of my dress seems to hold my attention as I don’t want to look up at him.

Since when do I not say what I need to say?

Since I realized that I have feelings for two men and no clue what to do with them.

“Go ahead. You can tell me.” He sits beside me and places a soft touch to my bare leg. I look up and his green eyes sparkle from the light of the ceiling fan but his smile falters when he sees what’s in mine.

Guilt.

“You slept with him,” he whispers but it fills my ears so loud I feel like I need to clamp my hands over them.

“Yes.”

His hand flies away from my thigh like it burned him, and he jumps up with fury written all over his face.

“I’m taking you home,” he states stalking over to the door throwing it open.

Collecting my things I follow him outside only to find Trent arriving home.

Perfect. Fucking. Timing.

I don’t look his way. I just climb into Jace’s car hoping to keep from witnessing another fight.

When he backs out I see Trent’s eyes looking shattered as he pulls a sleeping Jason out of the car.

“I may not know you all that well but I do know that he played you. He has the advantage and he used it,” Jace says stopping at a red light.

“Jace, I…”

“No, let me finish.” His head shakes from side to side like he is trying to erase a visual memory. “I don’t have the advantage here at all, Noelle, but I’m not going to sit here and try to catch up. You need to decide who you are going to give yourself to and then let me know. I’m not for playing games and I didn’t think you were either.”

The rest of the ride is silent and as I walk myself to the door I finally make a decision.

I won’t see either of them until I choose.

Every Wednesday Erin meets me for lunch while Walker gets one on one time with baby Savannah. They both have summers off being school teachers and it’s tough to spend quality girl time with her when Thunder Tongue is always around trying to impregnate her again. Today we met at a local diner since the burgers are fantastic.

I still have yet to speak with either man since Sunday. I’ve made no attempt, and I don’t blame them for not trying either.

“I just cannot believe you have two men fighting for you, Noelle. That’s hot,” Erin says biting into her sandwich. “Not that I’m surprised. If I was a guy I would do you.”

“Yea, I guess but how can you think that’s hot if one of them is your brother?”

“Well, the idea of it is hot and you said Jace has a twin so I’ll just pretend it’s two hot as hell Jace’s.” She shrugs.

“You have Walker! He is living and breathing bathroom material. If he weren’t like a brother to me I would be flicking myself off to his sexy as fuck face,” I say taking a bite of my mozzarella burger.

“Hey, Noe, you got some white stuff.” She laughs pointing to the side of my mouth, ignoring my comment about her fiancé.

“Mmmm. Tastes good,” I say licking my lips and winking at her. “I’m sorry. I can usually swallow it before it comes pouring out of my mouth.”

“Gross!” She shakes her head at me.

I love spending time with Erin. No matter what is going on in my life she can always put me in the best mood.

“Erin, why didn’t you tell me about Trent? I know he’s your brother but I’m your best friend. I thought hoes before bros thing?” I wave my hand around like it’s not a big deal but it kind of is.

“It wasn’t my place to tell, Noe. He made me promise and I knew it was only a matter of time before he told you. I know he has it bad though. I’ve never seen him like this before.”

“Me either.” I sigh into my burger.

“What are you going to do? Date them both?” She asks.

I shake my head no. Since the dates I have tried to just give myself time to think. I just am so torn between what I want and what I know I should do.

Jace is a fresh start…a chance to build a relationship and not take it too seriously. And Trent is always on my mind now but he comes with a shit ton of baggage. Our relationship would be serious from the start.

“Uh, Noelle,” Erin says so quietly I almost don’t hear her. “Jace is here but I’m not sure you want to look.”

“Why?” I ask but a flashback of another time and another restaurant comes into play. That night my friend got hurt thinking another boyfriend of hers was cheating.

When my eyes follow hers, I see Jace is standing at the hostess desk with Valerie, who is laughing beside him rubbing his arm. He doesn’t see me yet, and I’m thankful. I just don’t want to face him right now since I still have no idea what to do. Plus, I have no interest in meeting Valerie either.


Page 12

“Can you just wrap this up and meet me outside? I’m going to go to the bathroom before he sees me.” I stand up and grab my purse to head to the back. My heart is beating out of my chest. I feel like a damn teenager sneaking out of the house.

As I’m washing my hands the door flies open and Valerie steps into the bathroom not even taking a second look at me, leading me to believe she has no clue who I am.

I hate to admit it but she is really pretty. She has long blonde hair that’s pulled into a ponytail and a tight white tank top with “JV Fitness” on her massive, and probably fake, rack. Her outfit is paired with some black capri workout pants and gym shoes. I’m jealous of how fit she is. Makes you want to cut a bitch.

Walking out of the bathroom I peek around the corner to see where Jace is sitting. Not finding him I plan my escape but halfway down the hall I am instantly pulled backwards by strong hands. I can hear his breathing in my ear and his hard chiseled chest rising and falling against my back. He reaches down and grabs both my hips and whispers in my ear. “I can’t stay away from you, Noelle. I waited too long to tell you how I feel.”

“Trent?” I turn my head to the side, and he captures my mouth with his bringing his right hand up slightly so it’s touching the bare skin between my black dress pants and red floral shirt. I’m lost in him. This kiss is aggressive, and I love it. I try to pull my mouth from his, but he brings his left hand to my face desperate to continue claiming my lips. My body is on fire, and I long to be closer. I turn to face him not daring to break this kiss. His hands are now on my back and neck gripping my hair. I grab the pockets of his jeans and pull him flush against me. I feel how much he wants me and let a little sigh out as I remember how good that felt inside me. Someone clears their throat and he reluctantly pulls his lips away from mine but not his eyes.

“What the fuck, Erin? I told you to stay outside!” He growls and lifts his face to glare at her.

“Not. Erin.” A harsh tone pierces through my body and I quickly spin around.

It’s Jace.

In that very awkward moment Valerie chooses to walk out of the bathroom. Her face goes from confused to uncomfortable as she looks at Jace just staring at us in each other’s arms.

I push Trent’s hands off my waist and step away from him. “Jace, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for you to see that.”

“Are you kidding me, Noelle? You couldn’t just tell me you chose him? I thought maybe you were taking some time but I can see you didn’t need it!” The venom in his voice cuts me.

“J. What’s going on?” Valerie asks getting as close to Jace as possible. Her eyes look up to him.

“Absolutely nothing, Val. Let’s go eat.” He puts his hand on the small of her back and walks away.

“Trent, how did you know I was here?” I gasp. “Did you know Jace was going to see that?”

“Okay, Noe. Relax. Erin told me where you were having lunch but Jace seeing that fucking kiss was just the icing on the cake.” He brings his hand up and plays with a piece of my hair. “I needed to see you. I’ve missed you.”

“Did you know he would see us, Trent?” I ask again smacking his hand away.

“I saw him walking towards this way when I pulled you back, yes. I’m sorry.” He smirks not looking the least bit sorry. “Okay, I’m not sorry.”

I push myself off the wall I didn’t realize I was leaning on and leave Trent in the hallway.

“Noelle, wait just a minute!” He grabs my wrist and brings me around to face him.

“No. I need to go. What you did…it was hurtful and you used me. I need to go talk to Jace.”

“You don’t owe him anything, Noelle!” His roar echoes through the dark hallway.

“How would you feel if that was you? I know I’ve got us all in a fucking shit situation but this constant caveman bullshit has to stop. I’m hurting people, Trent, and I hate it!”

“Please don’t be mad.” He pleads pulling me closer.

“Oh, I’m not mad. I’m furious. Let. Me. Go!” He releases me, and I leave him to make my way over to Jace’s booth by the window. Valerie’s eyes go wide when she sees me coming and mumbles something to Jace.

“I can’t talk, Noelle. I’m having a business meeting.” He turns to look at Valerie completely brushing me off.

“I need to apologize. I feel like I owe you an explanation.” I look at Valerie. “Can I have a minute, please?”

She starts to stand up but Jace stops her. “No. Stay. If she has something to say you can hear it as well.” He turns to me again looking as though I’m going to back down. I guess he doesn’t know me that well.

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t know either of you were going to be here. I saw you walk in and just felt like I still needed a bit more time before I faced either one of you so I ran into the bathroom. When I came out he was there…kissing me. I’m sorry you had to see that. I know I’m not a saint. I’m human. I make mistakes. I swear this is the first time I’ve seen either one of you since this weekend. He isn’t the reason I didn’t call and he isn’t the reason I didn’t text. I just need some time to think all of this through.”

Jace gets up from the table so fast making both Valerie and I jump. Grabbing the back of my neck with both hands he drops his face to mine. It’s too fast for me to stop. His lips are on me.

My body reacts to his touch instantly. I feel the fire throughout my body.

This is different than Trent’s kiss but feels just as effective.

I’ve kissed two men in the same day again.

Maybe I really am the slutbag.

I push his chest, heaving, and pull away.

“Noelle.” Erin’s quiet voice calls out and I find a seething Trent standing next to her.

He throws his hands in the air, and she is shaking her head not sure what to do with the display in front of her.

“I’m outta here,” Trent says while heading to the door. “Call me later, Erin.”

I rush out after him, Jace yelling my name, hoping to somehow fix this. I’m in the middle of chaos and I feel torn between two directions. I grab the back of his shirt because he won’t slow his pace.

“Trent, stop! I need to…” He whips around and his shirt slips from my grip.

“NO, NOELLE! I won’t stop! I’m done! If you want to fuck around with him then go ahead. I’m not going to be waiting at home while you go out with him and I’m damn sure done competing. Date him. I’m done! I’m DONE. I can’t do this. I love you too much.” He shakes his head and walks away towards his truck leaving me dumbfounded.             He loves me?

My blood is boiling. My heart is racing so fast it’s digging its way out of my chest.

I pull off the curb leaving tire tracks into traffic narrowly missing a small red car, and a dumbfounded Noelle on the sidewalk.

My life has been ten shades of fucked up since Sunday morning. I thought giving Noelle the opportunity to see that fucker one last time was a brilliant idea. She would see that her body and heart belonged to me, but I was wrong. Seeing his lips on hers again…I just couldn’t take it. I had to leave.

She has consumed my thoughts for the past two years and lately I’ve become worthless. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I can’t work. Danny would have me fired if I didn’t own the damn company.

If she could so easily put her lips on his after having hers on mine then maybe it’s for the best that I walk away before I get my heart broken.

Who the fuck am I kidding? If she showed up at my door and begged me to make her a one man woman I would wrap those thighs around me and make it so that she could never be anyone else’s.

My mind starts replaying the entire afternoon as I pull into work. I told her I loved her. I didn’t mean to but in the heat of the moment, it came out. I don’t regret it, but I was pissed. Still am.

“Yo, Trent, I need you to sign off on this shit,” Danny bellows out as I unsuccessfully avoid a conversation with him trying to stomp past his desk.

I sign my name so hard the paper starts to rip and he pulls them out from under the pen.

“What the hell, dude? You’re murdering the form. Now I’m going to have to reprint it.” The vein in his head pops out like it does when he’s frustrated.

“I told her I was done.” I throw the pen down and the unemotional tone in my voice catches me off guard. I feel defeated.

“You what?” He stops mid task.

Dragging my hands down my face I fall back into the chair across from his desk.

“Yea. I went to see her while she was having lunch with Erin. It had been four fucking days, and I hadn’t heard a word. I needed to touch her. I needed to and he was there, and he fucking kissed her in front of me...again. I’m tired of competing for someone who, if she would just push aside how scared she is to lose my family if this goes wrong, should be mine.”

A loud bang reverberates in the room when he slams his hands on the desk, the vein reappearing.

“You’re kidding me right, Trent? You’ve been pining over that chick for two years and you just give up?” A look of disbelief is almost overshadowed by his annoyance.

“You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, Dan. She…”

“…Is the reason you can’t focus and not because she won’t let you claim her like a fucking caveman. Because I can see that you love her written all over your face.”

“Now who needs tampons?” I stand up to walk away but his hand reaches over grabbing my arm.

“Think about this, Trent. I’m serious. As a friend listen to what I am about to ask you. Do you want Noelle dating him?” He looks straight at me gauging my reaction. “Hell, marrying him?”

“No!” I yell snatching my arm away.

The thought of her in a wedding dress walking down the aisle to someone else guts me. I want her to be walking down towards me.

“Then fight for her!” He shouts back.

“I’m tired of fighting for something that shouldn’t be a fight, Dan.”

“Oh, so you give up because it’s not easy. I see. Just like this company you built from the ground up. You didn’t give that up because it was hard. As your best friend I should tell you that you’re a real pussy.”

The door hits the wall when he flings it open leaving me alone with my thoughts again.

More defeated than before I decide that I’ll take the rest of the day off and go pick up my son, the one constant in my life.

~~

Alex’s parents have asked to keep Jason a lot more. I don’t know if one of them is dying or they pulled their heads out of their ass and decided it was time to become the grandparents that they should be, but things have changed recently.

They ask for him constantly, and even though I enjoy not having to pay a sitter or bother Erin with watching him I still hate going over there to drop him off or pick him up. I don’t feel welcome.

It’s three o’clock when I pull up to their house after numerous calls with no answer. I figure that Jason is napping and they have the ringer off.

Her dad must have run an errand since the driveway is empty but I can see the front door cracked open.

My stomach drops a little as I near the door, an uneasy feeling coming over me. Regardless of the open door I still feel as though I need to knock. When no one responds after a few minutes I make the decision to go in anyway.

The house is quiet, too quiet, but there’s soft music playing from the extra room off the dining area where Jason usually naps.

A woman’s humming filters through the air and my heart stops when I hit the threshold.

“Alex!?”

~~

Piss. Ass. Drunk. That’s where I’m at right now. After seeing Alex holding my son, MY SON, in her arms rocking him to sleep, I fucking lost it.

How dare she think it’s okay to touch him? Hold him?

He’s MINE!

Where the hell has she been? Where was she when I was in the ER with him for a one hundred four degree temperature? When he was teething and needed my shirt to chew on? When he needed a goddamn MOTHER for Christ’s sake?

I don’t know and I don’t care. I didn’t give her the chance to tell me. I snatched up my son and walked out the door meeting her parents as they pulled in.

Her mother begged and pleaded for me to stay and talk things through. To explain. Fuck that.

They’ll never see him again. EVER.


Page 13

I drove Jason to my moms and came home. I don’t want any of those assholes to show up here and think they can see him.

So Jack Daniel’s and I have become better acquainted over the past few hours and now my vision is blurred, my body is weak and I’ve almost forgotten the heartache of this afternoon with Noelle.

Almost.

Alex showing up is not even a blip on my radar compared to my trouble with Noelle.

God I love her, but I won’t share her.

The doorbell rings and I silently hope it’s Noe.

Anger boils through me when I find Alex’s brown eyes and not Noelle’s blue ones on the other side of the door. Alex’s ratty brown hair, instead of Noelle’s soft, flowing blonde.

“Go away, Alex,” I yell slamming the door in her face.

“Trent, please let me in,” her soft voice is barely a whisper through the door.

“Fuck you, Alex,” I say ignoring her request and making myself another Jack and Coke.

I fall back onto my couch and after a few silent moments later Alex is standing in front of me, hands on her hips, clothes dripping wet from the downpour that started an hour ago.

“Trent, please listen to me. I need to explain. I owe you that much.” She sits on the coffee table next to my propped up legs.

Noelle would beat her ass if she saw Alex sitting soaking wet on my coffee table.

Drunken thoughts of Noelle and how much I love her force my eyes to shut. The way her body felt under my fingertips.

“Where’s Jason?” Alex’s shrill voice invades my daydream.

My eyes fly open and meet hers. “None of your damn business. Get the hell out of my house!”

“No!”

“No? This is my fucking house! It would’ve been yours if you stuck around but you took off you selfish bitch! Then you come back around and you don’t have the decency to let me know?” I jump up making her flinch. “Spend time with my, yes MY son, and then you want to come here looking for him and you won’t leave. Get the hell out before I physically throw you out!”

“You wouldn’t hurt a woman, Trent.” Her hand taps the side of my leg.

I jerk away from her and stalk to the kitchen. “Don’t touch me, Alex. You lost that privilege a long time ago.”

The day she left is still fresh in my mind. My heart broke. As soon as I realized she wasn’t coming back Jason started to cry hysterically, and he couldn’t be soothed for hours. It was like he knew he was abandoned.

Sighing she stands and walks slowly my way but keeps her distance. “I was sick, Trent. I needed help.”

“You would’ve had to be sick to walk away from him. From the biggest blessing in your LIFE.” I take a long sip of my drink letting the coolness calm down the rage I have. I need to relax before I throw something.

It’s too much in one day. I can’t handle anymore.

“Trent, can you please just sit down. Let me tell you what I have to say and then you can kick me out if you want.”

Fine. If I let her explain she can leave, and I don’t have to see her fucking face ever again. I nod, and she turns to walk back into the living room. I follow but make sure to sit as far from her as possible.

It’s silent for what feels like an eternity, neither of us looking at the other.

“I was scared,” she says breaking the silence.

I’m in disbelief. She’s lying.

“That’s bullshit.” I call her out.

“It’s not bullshit.” She starts crying then stands up and starts pacing back and forth.

“I was stressed, Trent. You were trying to start your business and I was home alone with a baby. I know it’s not an excuse but I felt trapped and the thoughts that ran through my head were scary thoughts. Thoughts of harming Jason every time he cried. I found out after I left that I suffered from post partum depression.”

Her body crumbles to the ground and it takes everything in me not to go comfort her. The anger of her leaving me and not telling me what was really going on keep me in my place. I have no sympathy.

As the shaking takes over she continues, “After I left I started using drugs. It started off as pot but then it progressed and eventually it was cocaine. Then one night everything changed. I didn’t know what I was doing, I promise. I had so much cocaine in my system that night and I felt out of control. There were all these people there and the last thing I remember was being in the bedroom with two men.”

My eyebrow rises wondering where this is going.

“I woke up the next morning scared and alone in the bed. My life had spiraled and I knew I needed to change. I was embarrassed and so I called my parents and they sent me to a facility that dealt with drug use. They wanted me clean before I could even consider seeing Jason again.”

“I didn’t know all that happened and please forgive me but that was almost two years ago. It took you this long to go through rehab? Why did it take so long to come back?”

She starts to tremble as her sobs get louder. I reach over placing a comforting hand on her, not sure what else there could be, but it’s not helping.

Thirty minutes pass by before she calms down and I’m now sobered up. The mother of my child is broken down.

She pushes away from me, grabs a tissue off the table, and blows her nose. Then she grabs another dabbing away the tears and mascara.

Her brown eyes have turned a dark shade of green. I remember they do that when she is upset.

“If you check into a place like that they give you a physical. When they did mine they found a lump in my breast.” She looks down as though she doesn’t want to continue.

I see dread. The look splayed across her face tells me the rest she has to say isn’t good.

I’m right.

When she wasn’t sobbing into my shirt she told her story of the past two years. The lump they found, the tests they did, finding out she had breast cancer and the surgery that didn’t get it all. Numerous treatments and surgeries have all been unsuccessful.

“I came home to spend time with Jason. I wanted to come see you but I didn’t know if you would let me explain. I guess I should have called or written you. I’ve been staying with Mom and Dad for just over a month.”

“Alex, is there anything else they can do?”

She looks down into her entwined fingers.

“No. I have six months. At most,” she says her face void.

Six months? No!

The doorbell rings and even though I don’t want to get up, I know that if I sit there I’m going to break down completely.

The mother of my child is going to die. I thought it was bad before not knowing where she was. However, finding out that in six months time we will have to bury her hurts my heart like nothing I have ever felt before.

“That might be my mom,” Alex says grabbing another tissue. “She is probably worried about me and I left her cell in the car.”

“It’s okay. I’ll get it.”

When I open the door I find what my heart was hoping for earlier. Noelle. Her blue eyes show through the darkness that the rain clouds have brought.

“Trent.” She breathes out looking helpless. “Can we talk?”

“Who is it?” Alex asks from behind me and Noelle’s face drops.

“Not right now, Noelle.”

She steps back, shocked, and I slowly close the door. I can’t deal with her right now. I have to focus on the bomb that Alex has dropped on me. If Noelle wants me, and if it’s meant to be, she will wait. She will understand.

 

He loves me?

“Noe.” Erin’s soft voice startles me as I watch Trent’s truck take off from the restaurant, and I wipe the lone tear sliding down my cheek. “Come back inside. He’ll cool off.”

Looking up to the crystal clear blue sky I silently pray for clarity.

“I’m hurting people, Erin. Not just me but others too. I can’t keep doing this.” All the air leaves my lungs, and I feel her arms wrap around me from behind.

Her breath is hot through my shirt as she speaks. “I know he is my brother and you are my best friend but I want you both to be happy. I know you’ll end up where you’re supposed to be.”

I was spouting off that same shit to her last year when Robert screwed around on her. Why is it so easy to say those things to someone else but not believe them yourself? What my heart wants has changed. I want love. I need to find it but this isn’t how to go about it. I’ve got to get my shit straight.

“I have to go. I’ll see you and Walker at two o’clock at my office, okay?” I turn around to show her I am fine but I can see she wouldn’t believe me if I said it aloud.

“Okay.” Her perfectly manicured hand comes up and slides another renegade tear off my face. “I love you and nothing that happens will change that. I know that you aren’t hurting anyone on purpose. You’re just in a crappy situation.”

“I know. I love you too, Er.”

I don’t bother going back inside to fix things with Jace. I would probably just end up screwing that up too. How can my usually standard life be so fucked up and chaotic now?

Two men and no clue which one I want.

Maybe I don’t deserve either.

~~

“Well, don’t you look craptastic?” Hadley’s hoarse voice calls out.

“Shut up, bitch.” My normally sarcastic greeting borders on serious. I don’t want to put up with her right now.

I love Hadley but sometimes she doesn’t know when to stop.

“Yes, ma’am.” She salutes me and spins in her chair back to her computer. “Messages are on your desk.”

“Thank you.” I haphazardly fall into the leather chair behind my desk that’s directly in front of hers.

I grab the messages and as I’m reading them I can feel her eyes burning into my skin. Looking up I can see she wants to ask but is trying with all her might not to.

“What?” I snap.

Nosy bitch.

“Erin called.”

My eyebrows rise. “I don’t see that message here?”

“She told me what happened.” She waits for my response, but I give her nothing. What is so hard to understand that I don’t want to talk about it?

“Noelle.” She sighs so heavy I can smell her afternoon coffee from here.

“Drop it, Had. I don’t want to talk about it. And since when do you and Erin co-conspire? Do I need to find new friends? I swear I’ll log onto match.com and find some new friends.” My fingers pound onto the keyboard. “Or some lesbians. Maybe I’ll find new lesbian friends and then I wouldn’t have fucking guy problems!”

“Don’t be so dramatic.” She launches a hair tie my way hitting me dead between the eyes and stands up prancing around. “Oh, woe is me. My name is Noelle and two guys are pining after me but yet I walk around like I have a stick up my ass.” Her eyes zero in on mine. “Knock it the fuck off and get yourself together. The Prescott wedding appointment will be here soon.”

I gawk at her like she has two heads. “I know that, dipshit. She’s my best friend unless you want me to step aside and let you be the maid of honor since you two are so buddy-buddy lately.”

Hadley ignores me for the next hour except when I have a task for her to complete, to which she grunts a response. At least I know my work life is in order unlike the mess I have created in my personal life.

When Walker and Erin show up, Savannah in tow, I jump up from my seat happy to have something to take my mind off of the repeated sound of Trent saying he loves me and the vision of him leaving.

“Vannah! Come here, sweet baby!” I rip her out of Erin’s hands and dart my eyes at Walker, waiting.

“Don’t call her that, Noelle, or I swear I will go to your house and move things around in your fridge.” Walker teases.

My eyes go wide. “You wouldn’t!”

“Don’t think for a second I would hesitate. She doesn’t turn letters on a dumbass game show. Don’t call her that.”

Erin laughs as she throws the diaper bag on the chair next to Hadley’s desk.

“Walker.” My finger jabs into the hard muscle cased chest as I swing Savannah around to my hip. “If you so much as go near my fridge I will give you a vasectomy the “Noelle Grant” way. No more babies.”

I drag my finger across my neck in a cutting motion to get my point across.


Page 14

It hits him where it counts. He most likely knows I’m kidding but he wants more kids and he wants them yesterday.

“Baby,” he says bringing his attention to Erin. “I want another little one.”

I can’t help but laugh. I know Erin wants more but she is in full blown wedding planning mode and has slapped a rubber on Walker every time they’ve had sex. Poor guy, although Savannah was a broken condom baby.

“Let’s get married first and then we can start trying.” Erin’s eyes roll in the back of her head and then she shoots daggers at me with them.

“Speaking of, did you two lovebirds decide on a date?”

Walker says, “Tomorrow.” The same time Erin says, “October eighth.”

“You’re really going to make me wait that long?” The over six foot tall baby whines. “I want you to join the Prescott club with Savannah and me. I want to give her siblings. Erin, I don’t want to wait that long.”

“Too bad. We’ve talked about this. We’ll get married in October. That’s that. You always push to get your way. This time it’s my choice.” She crosses her arms in a sign to end the conversation.

“Fine, but we’re practicing until then.”

“Practicing what, Walker?” She asks the sulking man baby.

“Making babies.”

At that moment, Hadley spits out her coffee all over her desk and Walker starts laughing all over again.

“Seriously?” he starts. “Do you have to be a spitter to work here?”

Walker was reluctant to hire me as their wedding coordinator. He thought I would drive Erin crazy. Turns out he is the one driving everyone else nuts. If he wanted to get married tomorrow then trying to book the Chicago Botanical Gardens would be difficult to do in a day. Not to mention it costs more than one hundred fifty dollars per person there.

I’m taking this on with no commission and he is spending money like it is going out of style. If he weren’t marrying my best friend I might make him my sugar daddy.

Not that I need a third man in the mix.

Ugh.

Erin only has a few stipulations. She wants Savannah to be pulled in a wagon as a flower girl by her older cousins and for Trent to walk her down the aisle.

The thought makes me smile. I can see Papa Decker looking down at his children and beaming with pride. Nicole, Erin’s older sister, had been going through some tough times. After separating from her husband and getting a full time job where daycare is a major perk, she is now thriving. Trent’s construction business has been taking off, and Erin has got more than she ever dreamed of.

I wish I could say the same for me. Until recently I wasn’t looking for anything permanent. Just the usual booty calls. Never has any one of them wanted more than that. Well, if you count Chase hanging around a lot during the holidays but even then we both knew nothing more would come out of it.

Now, I want more. The turmoil with Trent and Jace sucks but it’s showing me that maybe I can eventually have what Erin has. I just don’t know with whom or if either one will accept me after the way this has all gone down.

At five o’clock I collect my things and mutter a goodbye to a still annoyed Hadley.

“Noelle,” she calls my name just before I hit the door.

I stop pivoting my feet around to face her. “Yea, Hadley.”

“What does your heart say?” She shrugs like the answer is easy and right there in front of me. Like I should know.

Well, I don’t. I have no fucking clue.

Completely drained I drag myself back to my chair and sit.

“I don’t know what it says. I’ve never had to talk to it. I feel like a cold hearted bitch. How can I not know what I want?”

“Okay,” she says planting her hands down on the desk and stands up. “Close your eyes.”

“Hadley, I don’t think that is going to help.”

“Just shut the hell up and do it. I did this when I was going through something with Braden.”

I comply only because at this moment, I want nothing more than to shut my lids and relax.

“I just want you to talk. Talk it through. Tell me anything that comes to mind.” She orders her voice closer than before.

“The first thing that comes to mind is that I hate hurting people. I don’t know what I want and it’s affecting everyone’s lives. Sure, everyone is thinking the obvious choice. Trent. But they don’t see it the way I do. He makes me feel amazing but what happens when it goes to shit. When the walls come tumbling down like they always do and I’m left standing in the rubble with no Trent, no Erin, no extended family. Plus, he has a baby with a woman who took off. That’s enough baggage to push any woman away but I love Jason so much that it wouldn’t matter. And Jace.” I take a deep breath. “Oh God Jace is so fantastic. I’ve never felt a connection with someone so fast that it made my head spin. He’s sexy, smart and successful. But so is Trent.”

My eyes flicker open finding Hadley standing in front of me, and I can feel my blood coursing through my veins.

“This is getting me nowhere,” I say looking up at her. “Even when I just blurt all my crazy shit out I’m still left going back and forth between the two of them.”

“Didn’t Trent say he was done, Noelle?” Her foot taps and the sound echoes off the wall.

My head falls back in defeat. He did say that. He’s done. I’ve hurt him too much.

“Yes, and he told me he loves me.”

Fatigue over the whole thing takes over, and I can feel my body giving into how exhausted I am.

“He WHAT?” She screams causing me to jolt my head upright. “He said he loves you?”

“Yes. No.” I shake my head with uncertainty. “Maybe he said it like an ‘I’ve known you forever and I love you kind of thing.’”

“Tell me everything that happened. I’ll go grab the bottle of wine hidden in the employee fridge.” She scurries off into the kitchen and I risk a glance at my phone.

No messages.

Not from Jace.

Not from Trent.

Maybe all my problems are solved. Maybe both of them have given up and I can go about my normal life of booty calls and the other nights filled with the vibrating persuasion.

But do I want a life like that?

I have to figure this out. I keep saying that like the answer will just magically appear. Three choices are laid out in front of me and it’s up to me to take action. Do I go for Trent and all the baggage he comes with? Our connection is both physically and mentally way beyond what I’ve ever felt before.

Or do I go for Jace? A fresh start. Someone who doesn’t know me and we can share in the newness that is a starting relationship. One where I already see we mesh so well and I can see us finishing each other’s sentence.

Or do I go with option three. Neither and continue on my journey to become a cat lady.

A few minutes later she enters the office with two solo cups and the bottle of wine.

Raising the red plastic she laughs. “Not classy, but effective.”

When they are filled almost to the brim she leans back in her chair ready for my tale of two men. “Spill it!”

~~

Despite my embarrassment over the way the previous weeks have gone, I still need to talk to Trent and Jace. Just to know that we are okay. I don’t want to lose Trent as a friend or either of them a potential boyfriend.

So, after a few hours of reliving the entire few days over and over again to Hadley, I knew I needed to make things right with Trent and apologize to Jace for not going back into the restaurant.

The drive to Trent’s house is long and quiet with the exception of the rain. No radio. Just my thoughts and me. I race to the door sans umbrella, my nerves are shot when I knock, not wanting to ring the bell in case Jason is already asleep. Muffled sounds come from inside but he doesn’t answer.

He probably looked outside and saw my car and doesn’t want to deal with me. I don’t blame him.

I turn to walk away but hesitate and decide to ring the bell anyways.

More sounds and then footsteps. As they become louder, I can feel my heart beating out of my chest. My breath is short, and my knees feel like Jell-O. I don’t know what to say but there’s no turning back now. The door swings open and I am faced with someone who looks like he is grieving.

He appears drunk and sad. Black bags under his eyes as well as some unshed tears.

I did this to him.

“Trent. Can we talk?” I ask hoping he isn’t too far gone to get this conversation going.

“Who is it?” A hushed female voice comes from behind him.

Who the hell is that?

“Not right now, Noelle.” He looks down, defeated.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that he is drowning his sorrows inside another woman but this wounds me. The sting of hurt deepens when he closes the door.

I feel like an asshole standing on the stoop with a wood door to my nose.

I pound on the door with my fists as hard as I can and ring the bell a few times. I have no right to be pissed. I don’t own him but don’t tell me you love me and then fuck someone else.

The door flies open again and in grieving Trent’s place is furious Trent. I step back intimidated.

“Noelle. I told you I can’t do this right now. We’ll talk later.” His hand rests high up on the door exposing the skin between his belt and bottom of his shirt. I can almost feel his abs underneath my touch again.

I shake my head getting the thoughts out since his next abs feeler is in his house.

“I just wanted to say fuck you, Trent. Enjoy your night with whatever hooker you have in there.” I stand up taller so I am closer to him and whisper, “But just remember whose pussy tastes better on your tongue.”

“It’s not like that, Noelle, and I don’t have to explain it to you anyways!” He yells at my retreating back.

I stalk away as I hear the door slam behind me and finally notice the car parked on the curb in front of his house. Looking across the way I find Jace’s light on and sprint across the street trying to keep from getting too wet.

He answers the door with a grin brighter than the sun and brings me in for a hug. His embrace instantly comforts me. His smell is invigorating.

“Hey, baby. Do you want to come in?” He asks kissing the top of my head.

“Yea,” I mumble into his chest not wanting to let him go. “We should talk.”

Releasing me, he holds me away from his body looking into my eyes and then at Trent’s house. His smile disappears. He must see my car in Trent’s driveway.

“Okay, come on in.” He steps aside allowing me to pass by and closes the door behind him.

Tears start to fall as I realize that maybe I’ve lost Trent.

“Don’t cry. You’re way too beautiful to cry.”

“I’m sorry.” I sniffle.

“Don’t apologize.” He brings me in for another comforting hug. “You came to tell me you chose him, didn’t you?”

His hold on me stiffens a bit changing the feel of the room.

“No,” I say pulling away. “I didn’t. I came to apologize for earlier today.”

“Well, good. That means I still have a chance.” He smiles again and leans down, his lips meeting mine.

They’re soft and aggressive at the same time. My emotions take over, and I throw my hands around his neck and deepen the kiss, letting all the anger, hurt and stress out.

Never disconnecting he pushes me back until my knees hit the couch, and I stumble backwards. He falls to his knees in front of me, gripping behind my legs and pulling me to him.

“I’ve decided I’m not going to pressure you anymore, Noelle. We can be and do whatever you choose. Just let me try to win you over.”

The pupils of his eyes dilate and he leans in again just barely a centimeter from my parted mouth. Trent made my decision easy for me. Confusion is replaced by clarity. My hot breath hits his as I whisper, “Okay.”

“Hey, baby. Can you grab my phone off the counter?” Jace asks as we are scrambling to get out the door and head to Walker and Erin’s engagement party.

Yes, they waited a whole seven months to have an engagement party. With the proposal right before the baby shower, they wanted to wait until the summertime to celebrate it with friends and family so they could have it at an outdoor venue.


Page 15

So, today, two weeks after Trent basically slammed the door in my face, will be the first time I’ll see him since then. And, most likely, Alex.

Alex.

I was shocked when I found out the girl inside the house was her. Trent has been really secretive on why he is allowing her to move in with him. Even Erin has no clue why he would let that abandoning whore back into their lives, but he has.

After all she did to him; I just can’t see why he would take her back.

I would say I am heartbroken, but I’m not. He’s a grown man making the choice to get his heart shattered again. I just don’t want to watch it happen, but today it seems I have no choice. We’re both in the wedding party, and we’re both required to attend.

“Sure.” I call back to Jace stopping mid-stride as he comes into view.

He looks delectable. From head to toe.

Damn.

As his body shifts towards mine, I watch the fabric of his khaki pants rub across is toned thighs and with just enough tightness to them that I can just make out the outline of his dick. His pecs are screaming against the material of his green polo shirt that makes his eyes the shade of the most beautiful of emeralds. He’s smiling at me with a smirk that says ‘I’ve been caught’.

“Keep looking at me like that, Noelle, and we won’t leave,” he declares and wraps his gentle hands around my waist, backing me up to the counter.

His nose dips down to just below my ear and trails an invisible line down to the crease of my neck. He knows it drives me crazy. I lean my head back to give him more access.

“Tell me, Noelle.” Jace halts all physical contact and bores his eyes into mine, the dark green shade showing me he’s determined. “Tell me you want me.”

“Jace.” I sigh. “I want you, but I don’t want our first time to be a quickie.”

“There are other things we could do, baby,” he says nipping at my ear lobe.

A spark shoots through my body. I push his hands away and unzip his pants. I reach down and grab his girth, and I’m taken back at just how big he is.

“Move to the couch, this might get messy.” I wink at him and slowly progress to the living room.

Before he can sit I pull his pants and boxers down around his ankles and playfully push him onto the couch. Lowering myself to my knees I watch as his eyes go wide with desire. I brace myself and stroke him again licking the top of it then I take all of him into my mouth. It’s soft and smooth, and I can taste the precum seeping out.

His hands grip my hair and as they tighten the ringing of the door bell kills the moment.

Jace mutters a ‘fuck’ and I take my mouth off of him and stand up.

“Expecting someone?” He asks as I throw his boxers at him to cover up.

I shake my head no but then say, “Just a package of blue balls.”

He shoots me a dirty look. “Very funny.”

I answer the door, finding the UPS guy and get rid of the interruption quickly.

When I turn around he is standing, motioning for me to go back on my knees. I kneel down and stroke him a few times.

Most women see this as a position of submission. I see it as a position of power. I hold his pleasure in my hands…and my mouth.

“Want to finish what you started, Noelle? You can’t leave me like this,” he says grabbing the bottom of my chin and lifting my face up. I nod, and he takes that as his cue to pull my bottom lip down and slip his cock back into my mouth.

I grab the back of his ass as he grasps my hair in one of his hands and starts to move in and out slowly. My grip on him tightens as I look up at his face and find he’s watching. I make a humming noise, and he lets out a moan. His rough voice causes something to snap and I go into a frenzy. I can’t get enough of him, and I love having the power. I can tell he won’t last long, and I’m going to make sure of it.

My grip on his ass tightens, and I push him into my mouth setting a faster pace.

“Noelle, don’t do that. I’m going to cum in your mouth if you keep that up,” he says but the grip on my hair wound so tight it almost hurts, tells me he doesn’t want me to stop.

I pull him into me faster, using my tongue everywhere, until he’s fucking my mouth. An unearthly moan comes out of him and I can feel he’s on the edge. He tries to pull away but my hands keep his ass firmly in place.

“Noelle, stop! Shit! I’m coming,” he exclaims…and then does. He explodes inside my mouth and fills it, hitting the back of my throat. I take it like a woman and swallow every single drop. I climb up onto his lap straddling him. He looks satisfied and his green eyes are now calm and sedated.

“I was nervous about today and seeing all of your friends, but you’ve managed to calm me down,” he says rubbing my thighs up and down.

“You have nothing to worry about.” I reassure him.

He stands, and I am brought back up to my feet as he walks me sideways past the coffee table. He grabs his clothes off the floor, and I can’t help but check out his absolutely fantastic ass. I think he realizes what position he is in because he stands straight up and turns quickly. I start to laugh at the fact that I just gave him a blow job, and he’s a little embarrassed by me seeing his naked ass.

“A man really doesn’t want to hear his girl laughing at him while he’s naked.” Jace jokes while pulling his boxers and pants on.

“I’m not laughing at your body, I’m laughing at your embarrassment,” I say walking towards his half dressed body and glide my hands up his abs and chest bringing them to rest on his shoulders.

He grabs my right hand and entwines his fingers with mine bringing them up to his lips while his eyes stay on me.

“Stand in front of the couch,” he commands and I hesitantly do it. I’m not one for being told what to do.

He kneels in front of me and takes off one of my shoes and then the other. “Lift your dress up.”

“Jace, I don’t…” I try to argue.

“Trust me, baby. I just want to return the favor. Lift. It. Up. Please.”

When I do he takes one of my legs and places it on top of his shoulder exposing my turquoise lace boy shorts and I have to put my hands on top of his head to hold me in place. He brings mouth close to the apex of my thigh and lightly kisses it.

I can feel his hot breath through the fabric, and it sets my body on fire. I grab onto the little bit of hair he has and throw my head back as he licks the thin material between his tongue and my now soaking wet core.

“Oh, God. Jace.” I moan as he puts more pressure on me.

“I’d like to move this tiny scrap here,” he says running his finger up and down the lace between my legs. “Only if you beg.”

I’m not begging.

He continues his torture of breathing and licking and now suctioning, and it’s almost painful how good it feels. It’s a big tease, and I can feel myself ready to come but there just isn’t enough friction. I shamelessly push myself into his mouth to get myself closer, and he moves away. He knows what he is doing, and he wants me to beg.

I need to stop this. I should stop this. There is no way in HELL I’m stopping this.

“Damn! Jace!” I yell out in frustration.

“Yes, baby.” I can feel the grin on his mouth.

“MOVE IT! Move it over and make me come,” I yell out realizing I have zero willpower right now.

“Yes ma’am.” He growls and lightly pushes me on the couch so my ass is at the edge.

In a frantic pace he is ripping my panties off and spreading my legs wide open. He slides his hands up from my knees to the crease between my legs and uses his thumbs to spread my lips apart. I can’t look anymore, and I squeeze my eyes shut.

“Oh, Noelle. You are so fucking wet.” He blows on me and then I feel him lick from the opening up to my clit. My body jolts up off the couch and he puts one of his thumbs inside me. It feels like pure heaven and just when I think I can get off on just his thumb he latches onto my clit like a vacuum.

“Holy fucking shit, Jace!” I scream.

He continues his suction and inserts a second thumb. No one has ever done that to me, and it feels amazing. He pulses them in and out and sucks on me at the same pace, and it’s not long before I feel the buildup.

I think he can tell because that fucker slows the pace.

“Will you fucking move? I need to come,” I yell again and he laughs.

This shit is not funny!

“Noelle, you…” And he doesn’t finish. What he does is send my horny ass over the edge. Taking his thumbs out, he places three fingers in and bites down lightly on my clit. I have no time to warn him. I sit straight up and push his face harder into me and scream out his name while riding out a fantastic, fucking orgasm.

He pulls back to look at my sedated body. “Please, Noe,” he begs, and I’m instantly annoyed knowing where this is going…again.

I draw out a sigh, and I push on his chest. He backs up a little defeated, and I flatten my turquoise halter dress down my thighs.

“Please, don’t start this again, Jace. Not right now.” My eyes won’t leave the wall behind him.

I have no reason to deny his request; that we be exclusive.

It’s been only him now for two weeks, though I have to wait at least one more before I let him do the other things to me he keeps promising.

Like making love to my body in every position possible.

He thinks it’s because I want to take things slow, not that what we just did was slow.

I know better. My one man per month rule is keeping me from going any further than third base with him and that month is about to come to a close. I don’t dare tell him my real reason. I know Trent didn’t plant a seed but it’s better to be safe than on Maury.

“I’m sorry. I know it’s been a while since you’ve had an exclusive boyfriend. I just want to make sure that you are mine and only mine.” His fingers gently lift my chin up and his soft lips brush against mine. “I told you no pressure and I’m not breaking that promise. I won’t push anymore.”

“Okay,” I whisper and place another kiss on his pouting lips. They are so soft and warm.

Every now and then, like right at this moment, I start to feel guilty. Those times where I’m with Jace but Trent pops into my head. The times where I’m kissing Jace and Trent’s brown eyes appear out of nowhere.

I know Trent still affects me and maybe that’s the real reason I can’t let Jace all the way in. Mentally and physically.

We’ve had a great couple of weeks together and it’s been drama free. Deciding to let him in was an easy choice since Trent made his decision and Jace and I just click really well together.

Jace slaps the side of my ass playfully. “Okay, let’s go, I’ll drive.”

I push away from him standing up and leaving my shredded panties on the floor, and we head out.

Walker and Erin paid for the attendees of the engagement party to enjoy a Cubs game from the rooftop seats in a building across from Wrigley Field. You aren’t in the stadium but you can walk around, get a drink from the bar in the back, and watch the game at leisure without the drunks in the bleachers.

Unfortunately, instead of getting to wear our sports attire we have to wear dress up casual. It is an engagement party after all.

We’re one of the first to arrive, and I’m thankful for the glass of wine Jace immediately brings me. Moscato, my favorite. We’re starting to become as close to a real couple as we can without the title. He knows what I like, what I don’t and most of my quirks. As I take the last sip, the hair on my neck stands up and my body freezes. I don’t have to see him to know that he arrived.

Trent.

Jace stiffens next to me, and I know he sees him too. Both of us have successfully managed to avoid him recently.

“Do you want another glass?” Jace asks lovingly placing his hand on the small of my back. A territorial move. At this moment, it feels foreign though our numerous dates and physical contact should make it routine.

I nod, and he lets go walking towards the bar, leaving me feeling like a deer in the woods during hunting season. I swiftly walk to catch up with him not wanting to be left alone but am ambushed by Erin, who looks stunning in her white, spaghetti strap sundress. She’s glowing.

“Noelle, thank you for your help putting this together. I would have never thought we could have an entire party up here.” She leans in to hug me, and I can’t help but mimic her contagious smile.


Page 16

“Of course. Anything for you.” I pull out of her embrace, holding her at arm’s length to get a look at her. “You look beautiful, Erin, and you are going to be the most beautiful bride ever.”

“That is until you get married.” She winks and looks over my shoulder and then her head tilts up as a shadow crosses over the back of me.

“Ladies.” Trent’s rough voice sends an electric shock down my body directly between my legs.

Erin releases me and pulls him in for a hug, his arms around her, but his piercing brown eyes on me. I can see the stubble gracing his chiseled face, and it makes him look more rugged and fucking sexy.

“Get something to drink, bar is in the back, and bathroom around the corner,” she tells him when they break apart.

Walker picks Erin up from behind and whispers loudly, “Not the same Wrigley bathroom but just as effective.”

Her face turns a lovely shade of red, and she laughs as he drags her away leaving Trent and me alone.

My muscles ache from the tension. I can’t relax with him around. I’ve thought about the first time I would see him since I went to his house. How I would react to him allowing that woman back into his life but in the end he is Erin’s brother and I need to play nice. I still don’t want to lose him.

“Trent, I…” Before I can finish I find Jace, wine glass in hand, watching us as he strides our way.

Without hesitation, Trent leans down to my ear, pulling one finger, one amazing finger, up the back of my arm and whispers, “You look beautiful, Noe.”

My skin prickles as my breathing picks up. I watch the two men pass each other and Trent finds Alex. She looks up at him, then over at me with a look that borders on an apology.

Why should she be sorry?

“Do you still want him?” Jace abruptly asks, handing me my glass, looking their way.

I tell him no. It’s an automatic response because a week ago, when I told Jace I didn’t I thought I meant it. But now that Trent is within feet of me, and his touch is still burning my skin; I’m just not so sure. It made me come alive for a brief moment, more than what Jace and I shared an hour ago.

“Positive?” His hand catches my face, turning me away from Trent and Alex.

“Yea. Let’s go find our seats.” I lie to him for the first time because I am far from being certain, and I allow him to lead me towards our destination.

~~

As the drinks flowed, runs scored (by the other team), and the night fell I became tipsy and brave. Watching Trent and Alex out of the corner of my eye I started to get angry. He never showed her much affection but he is being very attentive. I waited until Alex walked into the bathroom and excused myself from our group. Taking my time I remained just outside the door until I knew she would be close to done and then I storm in.

Her eyes went wide with fear. “Noelle,” she croaks out her voice shaky.

“I’m not going to hurt you, Alex, though you deserve it for leaving those boys without as much as a backward glance. No call. No email. NOTHING!”

“I didn’t think you would hurt me. I just feel like you are looking for answers I can’t give you right now.” She grabs a paper towel from the dispenser wetting it and wipes it across her mouth. Until now, I didn’t see how weak she looked. “He loves you, you know?”

“I don’t care. What I want to know is why you are here?” I point my finger at the door and towards the family she tore apart two years ago. “Did you come back just to leave them all over again? Devastate the family until there is no rebuilding again?”

A tear rolls down her cheek, and she seems to be gasping. “I told you, I’m not ready to give you those answers.” She looks directly at me, and I see pain and heartbreak. “He told me everything, Noelle.”

“So, what? I’m with Jace now. I don’t care.” But I do. I desperately do because deep down I realize I’m still fucked up and confused.

“Don’t you? I know he does but he’s too stubborn. You’re both stubborn.” She tosses her towel in the trashcan and brushes past me but doubles back. “Don’t give up on him. You might not understand what he is doing, but unfortunately for me, soon you will. I promise.”

“It might be too late.” I sneer at her.

Looking down she whispers. “It’s never too late to fight for what you want.”

She leaves me standing in the middle of the floor more confused than ever before. I shouldn’t care. He’s with her now. I’m with Jace.

I say it again so I believe it.

I’m with Jace.

After I use the bathroom and wash my hands, the door flies open and a rather large man barrels in. I immediately back up against the wall and Trent is hovering over me. I’ve never been scared of him, but right now I wish I had my mace.

“What the fuck did you say to her, Noelle?” His teeth are ground so tight but I can see his breath escaping between them.

“I didn’t say anything.” I shake my head like it’s going to convince him as much as myself. “Did she go out there and tell on me?”

His hand slams above my head and his nose meets mine. “Don’t talk to her again. Not without me there. She is off limits to you, do you understand?”

What the fuck?

My anger rises with his warning.

“Unless you pay me or fuck me you don’t dictate what I do!” Exaggerating every word I let him know what currently is a fact. “You. Don’t. Own. Me.”

A slow, mischievous smile passes over his lips and if possible he gets closer. His body flushed with mine. The hand he hit the wall with comes down and slides up the side of my thigh, lifting the bottom of my dress until he reaches my hip bone.

I can’t believe I’m not stopping this.

“I know you haven’t fucked him, Noelle. So, right now, this…” he pushes his hard dick into me, “this is still the last thing to have owned you.”

His tongue darts out and flicks over my lips and abruptly he walks away. I melt into the wall behind me.

“Oh, and put some panties on when you know you’re going to see me, Noelle, otherwise I might not be so…” he turns to look at me, contemplating his next word, “nice.”

My fingers ball up into fists. “I didn’t go without panties for you, Trent. I had some on…someone just ripped them off!”

It’s childish to try to make him jealous but it works.

He doubles back around and meets me body to body. “I’ve never had to take them off, Noe. You just are so greedy for my touch that you don’t even bother giving me a barrier.”

“Fuck. You!” I spew out.

He takes a step back and asks before walking out. “Begging again?”

It takes a few minutes to get myself composed before I walk out there but when I do I find Jace waiting for me.

“You okay,” he asks leaning in to kiss me. “Because I saw Decker come out of there a few minutes ago and leave with a very upset Alex.”

“I’m fine,” I say looking up at him. “I just told her she better not pull another disappearing act again.”

He eyes me suspiciously. “So, why was Trent in there?”

Huffing out a breath I look past him and see Erin watching us. “He told me not to talk to Alex.”

I leave him there and walk to a wide eyed Erin. “How does Trent know I haven’t slept with Jace?” I harshly whisper.

“I don’t know.” She shakes her head side to side guiltily.

“My personal life is not Trent’s business. If you don’t want to tell me what’s going on with him then please don’t give him information on me.” I try to keep my voice low not to cause a scene.

“I didn’t and still don’t know why Alex is around. You know I would tell you, Noelle.” Her eyes don’t give her away. She’s telling the truth.

“I did,” Walker states putting a protective arm around Erin. “I heard you two hens clucking about it and when he asked I told him.”

“Why would he do that? It’s not his business,” I ask.

“Oh, but you do know. He’s fucking in love with you,” Walker states confidently.

I’m ticklish nowhere else except just above my knee and somehow Jace has found that spot, constantly using it to his advantage, like right now, when I’m in a shitty mood from a bad day at work.

Squealing I jump up off his couch avoiding another torturous touch and sit in the recliner. “Jace, you have to stop. I’m going to piss myself.”

“I’m sorry, baby,” he says lowering down onto his hands and knees, crawling towards me. I brace myself for another attack. “I just want to make you smile.”

His big grin is infectious and I follow suit. When he finally reaches me his hands slide up my legs and he comes to a rest, comfortably burrowing his hips between them.

“You could make me smile by filling this.” I reach to the end table and pick up my wine glass but his eyes dart between my legs.

“You want me to fill that, Noelle.” His lashes flutter slightly and his eyes fiercely meet mine.

My temperature instantly rises when I understand the meaning of his words and think of how it will feel when Jace is inside me. This still has yet to happen. He’s true to his personality, sweet and gentle, when we fool around. Sometimes I just want to shove his face between my legs and tell him to quit screwing around and make me come already.

I’ve been teased by his slow and methodical touches. I need to feel him and today is the day. I had an epiphany.

Jace and I have been mutually exclusive for five weeks now. No boyfriend/girlfriend label but also only seeing each other. Every time we come close to having sex I pull back, claiming I want to take it slow. He’s been so patient, but aside from his innuendo, I was planning on seducing him tonight. I even brought my favorite purple lingerie.

During lunch today Hadley asked if Jace and I had “done the deed” and when I said no she lost it. Asking why I have a jaguar if I won’t take it out of the garage. I, of course, said he would rather put it in the garage.

After we returned to work I couldn’t get her question out of my mind. What was keeping me from giving myself to him?

Trent.

Why was I letting Trent get in the way of what can truly be an amazing relationship when he clearly has moved on?

Because as many times as I’ve thought about Jace, I’ve thought about Trent a hundred times more. When I’m with Jace, he is all I can see, all I can feel, but when we’re apart I can’t stop thinking about Trent, and it’s killing me.

I decide that today I’m done waiting for Trent, because it’s what I’m doing. Noelle Grant waits for no man. Tonight, I will give myself to Jace. Maybe not the title of girlfriend but I will let him fulfill his promise to make love to me.

“Jace,” I whisper and he looks up. “Take me.”

“Are you sure?” His head tilts to the side as though he doesn’t believe me, but the tight grip on my thighs tells me he wouldn’t try to stop me.

My chest leads me up off the back of the chair and meets with his. Tenderly, I trace the ripple of his biceps with my index finger and drag it past his shoulder, pulling him tighter against me. Our lips meet, and I show him with my tongue how sure I am. Pushing, pulling and tugging. Biting.

My body grows hungry for his. It’s as though deciding to give myself to him has given permission for a starving animal to eat.

Our lips part and he looks my face over. “I want you to be sure, Noe.”

Frustrated, I stand up making him fall onto the floor and head to his room. “Meet me in there in five minutes. You’ll know then if I’m certain or not.”

Seven minutes pass before I hear the knob turn in his room. I brought an overnight bag this time, planning on staying until the morning. So, I slipped on my lace purple thong and see through camisole. My nipples are rock hard as a breeze passes in the room from the air conditioner. I’m on my haunches on his bed. My legs spread open and my hair wild.

The light cascades from the hallway into his dimly lit room and he comes to a standstill just inside.

“God, Noe. You look delicious,” his voice cracks showing just how my presentation has affected him.

I tug at the strap of my cami and pull it down over my shoulder. “Come and have a taste then.”

I’m flat on my back in no time. I’ve never seen Jace move that fast. His tight body is over mine and he hitches my leg up, caressing the back of my knee. His other hand pulls my top down a few more inches, enough to bare my right breast and allow him access to pull my taut nipple between his teeth. I hiss at the sensation of the gentle licking but aggressive nips.


Page 17

His hips roll into mine hitting just the right spot. Both legs now drawn up, I let them shamelessly fall to the side. When his hands reach down to the lace covered center and pushes it aside he growls. “You definitely feel sure.”

His large fingers dive into me and I yell out in surprise with how much just two of them fill me. He moves them in and out with such precision he has me over the edge in mere seconds.

“We need less clothing, Jace,” I plead, after the high subsides, pulling on the hem of his shirt. I’ve gone crazed and my body hungers for him again in the most intense way.

Pushing himself up off me his eyes grow fierce, hungry. Reaching down he grabs the edge of my panties and pulls all the way down stepping off the bed. His arms go behind his head pulling his shirt over and I can see sweat showcasing his rippling abs. With no bashfulness, he rips his shorts down exposing the python that he had nicely tucked into my mouth again yesterday. I need it inside me.

He reaches down and strokes himself a few times before he grabs my ankles and hauls me to the edge as he stands. Slowly, he lowers his mouth between my legs and I almost buck him off me. It feels incredible. Every nerve ending is getting its fair share of his fantastic tongue. Just as I’m about to scream out in repeated pleasure, he stops.

“Keep going, damn it!” I yell. I don’t like teasing.

“I’m sorry, baby. I just remembered I don’t have condoms. This is all we can do tonight. I’m so sorry.”

He lowers his mouth again, and I place my hand on the top of his head. “My bag. There’s a condom in my bag. Top pocket. Please hurry.”

He laughs. “Greedy, huh?”

“Fucking hurry up before I change my mind, Jace.” I joke pointing towards the bag and propping myself up on my elbows.

“I love when you sweet talk me, baby.” He jokes back but retrieves the bag and hands it to me.

“Come here.” After I’m done digging for the protection, I reach out to him as I sit up. He stills at the edge of the bed as I roll the condom on completely and pull him closer so not even a breath could pass between the two of us. “I want this. Now. Here. With you. Just you.”

“Just me.” A moan slips out from between his lips as he slides into me.

I open my legs wider to accept all of him and throw my head back pushing my breasts up to his waiting tongue. His pace is slow, sensual and I feel like I’m about to explode. Every push, every pull, I can feel each inch gliding against my inner walls. It’s like Heaven and Hell all rolled into one. He peppers kisses up my chest and finds my mouth. His tongue invades mine, matching each thrust inside me. It’s more than my body can handle.

I’m used to the aggressive fucking. I don’t know if I like this slow shit.

“Jace, you need to move faster. You’re teasing me.” I push myself into him, goading him to pick up the pace.

“You want it fast, baby?” He complies, gripping me on my ass and plunging harder into me. He’s thrusting deeper but his pace remains the same.

“Faster, Jace. Please,” I beg. I’ve turned into a beggar.

“If I go faster, Noe, I’m going to come.” His head falls into my shoulder and I can feel his restraint.

“If you go faster I’m going to come, Jace.” I bite his ear hoping to spark a fire.

He stops and leans away, lightly pushing at me. “Lay down,” he commands and I immediately fall down to my back, my ass still at the edge of the bed. “Hold on.”

Sweet and gentle Jace has been replaced with Holy Fucking Shit Jace as he grabs the back of my knees and starts pounding into me like a jackhammer. That familiar tingle rising inside me where our bodies are connected.

His neck is strained, his face red. “Look at those tits bouncing up and down.” He breathes out. “Fucking perfect.”

My moans grow louder. I can’t think of anything else except the pleasure that has taken over as his body gives me what I crave. Release. I call out his name in ecstasy. He reaches down and swirls my clit around between his fingers extending the mind blowing orgasm. It’s euphoric and then a third, and equally exhilarating, orgasm rips through me.

He slows and waits for me to come down from my high before he orders me to flip over.

Entering me from behind, he grips my hips and warns me, yet again, to hold on. I grab the comforter as tight as I can and lay my cheek down onto the bed. He starts up his punishing pace and another orgasm starts to rise to the surface.

There’s no way I can come a fourth time.

“Fuck, Noelle,” he cries out, and I’m immediately thrown back five weeks when Trent said those same words.

Trent.

As soon as his face invades my thoughts I come again. Hard.

~~

I now associate sex with guilt. I felt guilty with Trent when I thought I was letting my hormones control my thoughts and feelings. Now, I feel guilty that I imagined another man while with Jace, and I came the hardest I have in my entire life.

“I think that’s a record for me.” Jace’s motionless body lies next to me as we stare up at the ceiling.

“Hmm?” I ask, looking to get my head on straight.

“Four orgasms. Damn.” He rolls over halfway covering my body with his, one finger trailing up my body from hip to shoulder. “Your body is very receptive to me.”

My lips curve up in a smile. “That was a record for me too.”

“There’s that smile. You know whenever you frown you are more than welcome to come over here and let me do that again.” His lashes, long and thick, come down in a wink and I can’t help but grin.

“I’ll keep that in mind.” I laugh nipping his lip between my teeth.

“HELLO!” A female voice booms through the house with a slam of the front door.

“Shit,” Jace says sitting straight up. “I forgot Valerie was coming over to go over our accounts. Do you mind?”

I don’t think at this point I have a choice since she is already here and he is halfway dressed.

“No, go ahead. I’ll be out in a few.” Before my sentence is finished he has exited the room and I hear him greeting her.

Quickly, I run myself through the shower and throw on some comfortable shorts and a t-shirt. Walking out of the room I find both of them in his makeshift office. Valerie is barely dressed in a black sports bra and bike shorts. Her breasts are inches away from Jace’s face as they look at some papers on his desk.

“I’m sorry, baby. I didn’t know this would take this long.” He notices me standing there and then looks at Valerie. “Can we look over this tomorrow?”

“Sure.” She adjusts her sports bra so her nipples are covered and stands straight, mumbling a goodbye and eyeing me just a bit.

I normally don’t get jealous but right now it consumes me. If she gets any closer to him I’m going to punch her so hard in her snot box her g-spot will feel it.

After she’s gone I cross my arms over my chest and just stare at him. When he still doesn’t acknowledge me, I stomp my way to the living room like a toddler.

“What the hell is wrong with you, Noelle?” Jace asks storming up behind me.

“What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with ME? I didn’t have some girl’s tits in my face for the past half an hour!” I yell bringing myself back around to face him.

“Valerie? Are you kidding?” He asks astonished.

“Yes, Valerie! She had her boobs so close to your face you could have checked the number on her implants!”

“So, you get mad over Valerie showing me bank statements in her workout clothes but it’s perfectly okay for Trent to feel you up in a bathroom at a fucking baseball game?” His face is challenging. Begging me to deny it.

I don’t. I just stay silent.

“Noelle.” He walks to me grabbing me around the waist. “I know what we have is unconventional. You’re not chained to me, but please, I’m pleading with you, don’t ruin the fantastic night we just had.”

“Okay,” I agree placing my cheek on his chest. “I’m sorry.”

I have no right to be jealous. None. He wasn’t doing anything wrong. I’m the one imagining someone else during sex.

~~

It’s past 9:00 A.M., and I’m late. I’m never late, and Hadley is going to kill me. I told her I would open up the office this morning so she could sleep in after a concert last night. So, with my luck, I would be adjusting all my clothing as I leave Jace’s house and Trent is at his truck with Alex placing Jason in the car seat.

I can see the disappointment and hurt all the way on this side of the street.

There goes that guilt shit again.

 

Have you ever driven your car, cracked your windshield and a tiny chip in the glass appears? Then the more you drive it, put it out there to weather the storm, the bigger that chip gets. The crack spreads out like spider veins, obstructing your view.

Well, my heart chipped the day I told Noelle I loved her. And now cracks radiate throughout my heart as I watch her running out of Jace’s house dressing herself, knowing they were together last night.

Her eyes look guilty. Even from this far I can see that. I can’t move. My feet are planted firmly where I stand

“Trent?” Alex calls through the cab of my four door truck. Her skin tight on her thinning face, eyes slightly sunken in.

She hasn’t been eating much. It’s scary to watch her deteriorate but her face could light up a city when Jason is around. I’m sad she missed so much of his life and won’t be in it after a few more months.

I could’ve loved her if she’d stayed. Taken care of her. Been there during all her struggles. She didn’t afford me that opportunity and now my heart belongs to someone else. I can’t hold a grudge for it. Life is way too short to hold things against others. I want to make the last months of her life memorable for not only her but for Jason. He is the most important person in our lives, and he deserves the precious few moments with her.

Lately we have been working on her bucket list. If I’m not at a jobsite, I am helping her achieve some of the things she always dreamed of and some things she wants to experience again. Today, she wants to ride on the ferris wheel at Navy Pier, and I’m terrified.

“Yea, I’m sorry. Just thinking about how high we’re going to be.” I laugh though my knees go a bit weak at the thought.

“Funny, but don’t you work on skyscrapers?” She asks buckling Jason in and jumping in the passenger seat.

“I make my employees do that.” I try to joke but my words come out sad.

“Trent.” Alex’s hand comes over the console and grips mine weakly. “You need to tell her about me. I’m fine with it. I promise.”

“No, and that’s the end of it. I won’t lose focus of what’s important right now and I won’t use you to make her choose me. As much as I love her I need to do this right now. For you. For Jason.” I drop her hold and place both hands on the steering wheel.

She sighs in defeat, dropping the subject.

Alex has been trying to convince me to go for what my heart wants since I broke down and told her everything. She wants me to be happy. She wants to leave this world knowing I’m with who I want to be with and she wants Jason to have a mom. A female to hug him and spoil him like a mother should. I would love nothing more than to make Noelle my wife, Jason’s stepmom. In a perfect world, Alex would be that mother to him and Noelle would adore him right along with her. But it’s not a perfect world. Alex is going to die and Noelle belongs to Jace. I just don’t have time for that battle.

~~

My feet drag along the concrete as I twist and turn through the line to get on the ferris wheel. It’s one hundred fifty feet of pure terror and if I wasn’t holding onto the railing I would most likely collapse, but Alex wants to do it and I won’t deny her that.

“I want to feel on top of the world,” she explained earlier today. “I want to look around and see as far as my eyes will allow and know that after I’m gone that beautiful world will give my son endless possibilities.”

So, here I am, bribing the attendant to stop our car at the top for a few extra minutes.

“Come on, little man, we’re up!” Alex calls out to an awe struck Jason. His eyes are wide with excitement and when we step into our red cage of doom he bolts right for the bench on the left and jumps up.

Alex takes the spot next to him and I am left on the other side gripping the edge like it will save me if this damn thing falls.

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