Authors: Jayne Kingston
Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #Fiction
He also remembered that Terry hadn’t taken it well at all when she’d turned down Terry’s offer of a second go the following week.
Terry had been the last to leave the night Red had come in and done her very short, very effective striptease. He had, in fact, been drinking with Blondie that night, and the two of them had talked about going back to Blondie’s for one last drink. If he found out either one of them had done anything to her or her car, he was going to make them very, very sorry.
Just get back in the car and go home, Sarah
She could see the last of the night’s stragglers through the window of George’s bar. Her stomach turned sour at the sight. A big blond she’d picked up once was sitting with the dark-haired guy who’d been her first and then got her fired from her part-time job. The woman sitting between them was the one she saw talking to George all the time, the one who called him “Georgie” and leaned over as much as possible to show him her rack.
The server who was supposed to have been her last had been leaving with his friends when she first pulled up. He’d seen her through the windshield of her car, parked at the curb down the block from the bar, and waved even though she hadn’t used the phone number he’d programmed into her phone for her that night.
She’d picked the bar because it was far enough away from where she lived that she thought she would never see anyone she knew. She hadn’t counted on running into the same people over and over again, week after week. She knew she should just turn and walk away from the mess she’d made while she still had at least a shred of dignity left.
Then she caught sight of George, standing on his side of the bar, talking and laughing with the little group of last-minute stragglers. God, he was beautiful, with that thick, short curly hair and those green eyes that crinkled at the corners when he smiled his broad smile.
Her body warmed in the frigid winter night air as she remembered—for the millionth time since sneaking out of his apartment a month earlier—how it had felt to be in his arms. She knew he was older than her, but by how much she couldn’t tell. Nor did she care.
She watched the trio inside stand and start to pull on their coats as they continued to talk. She backed into the shadowy doorway of the business next door as they headed for the exit, but hiding didn’t do her any good. They turned as a group in her direction, heading for the parking lot around the corner of the building. The brunette and the woman were caught up in conversation and didn’t seem to notice her, but the blond’s face fell and turned bitter as he recognized her, standing there in the cold and dark.
She lowered her eyes and waited for them to pass.
“Just go home,” she whispered to herself when she was alone on the street again.
She’d made a huge mistake—seventeen of them, in fact—in a misguided act of revenge that hadn’t accomplished anything more than making her feel hugely ashamed of herself.
Although the last one, no matter what she tried to tell herself, hadn’t felt like a mistake. George had felt…good, right. She’d been trying for weeks to forget him and the night they’d spent together. She’d thrown herself into her work and finally made an effort to start putting the pieces of her life back together, thinking the busier she kept herself, the easier it would be to just leave well enough alone.
Then Stephanie had called and told her he’d shown up at the chocolate store looking for her.
Her hand closed around the car keys in her coat pocket. She’d just about talked her feet into carrying her away from the bar, and him, forever when the first of the neon signs went out.
Sarah hurried to the door, pulled it open.
“We’re closed,” he said, his expression unreadable.
“I’m not here for a drink.”
She didn’t go in, just stood in the doorway wondering if she’d made another bad choice, her heart hammering with an odd mixture of fear and happiness to see him again.
His eyebrows went up a fraction of an inch.
“Strike out wherever you’ve been since you stopped coming here?” he asked coolly.
Uncertainty washed over her like ice water.
She straightened her spine. “You’re an asshole.”
She turned to leave, but he caught her by the elbow and pulled her inside.
“Where have you been?” he demanded quietly, backing her against the closed door.
“Nowhere.” She glared up at him, her teeth on edge.
“Bullshit.” He was eerily calm. “Where have you been?”
Anger rushed through her. “I haven’t been anywhere,” she bit back. “Let me leave.”
He slapped his hands to the door on either side of her head and she flinched, surprised but not afraid. “Who else have you been with?” he asked, his expression still unnervingly placid.
Her face flushed hot and she looked away.
“Tell me, Red,” he whispered close to her ear. “Who?”
“No one,” she whispered back.
From the corner of her eye she saw his head move back slightly.
She looked him in the eye. “I haven’t been with anyone since you.”
She wasn’t sure he was going to say anything else, it took him so long to respond.
“What are you doing here?” he asked.
She was so confused, angry, unbelievably ashamed of herself for thinking seeing him again might be a good thing. “I heard you were looking for me,” she answered.
He shrugged. “So?”
How much worse could baring her soul be after baring her body to him the way she had?
“I can’t stop thinking about you, George.”
His gaze traveled over her face, her hair, rested on her mouth for a moment before meeting hers again. She braced herself against the fierce look in his eyes, and then he leaned in.
His kiss was hot, hungry and possessive. She felt herself opening from the core out, heat flooding her sex with the memory of what he felt like naked and the anticipation of what his kiss promised was yet to come. She moaned into his mouth when his hands dropped and pulled her jeans open roughly, breathed out a harsh “yes” when he bent long enough to shove them to the floor. She stepped out of those and her shoes, her body already starting to tremble, pleasure rippling through her at the sight of him freeing his thick cock from his jeans.
“Who else have you been with, Sarah?” he asked again, digging his fingers into the backs of her thighs as he picked her up and wrapped her legs around his waist. He pinned her body to the door with his, slipped his hand between them to position his cock and then rammed into her.
She gripped his shoulders tight, her head fell against the door and she groaned loud from the electric rush that zipped through her, hot as fire.
“Who?” he demanded, pushing into her again.
She could hardly think, let alone speak. Her orgasm was already starting to rage toward the surface, filling up her every sense the way it felt as though he was filling up every single inch of her body. She was going to come hard, and she was going to come fast.
“No one,” she gasped on another hard thrust.
“Why?” He ground the question out through clenched teeth, pounded his hips, his cock, into her, staking his claim.
“Because there is no one else,” she said, meeting his eyes with a matching ferocity, challenging and submitting at the same time. “There never has been,” she breathed, closing her eyes against the tears that threatened to rise. It wasn’t technically true—God and George both knew well how much that wasn’t true—but it wasn’t a lie either. Not the way she meant it.
No one had ever made her feel the way George made her feel. She knew it was absolutely foolish to think he would ever see her as anything but the little bar slut who’d fucked him at the end of a long line of one-night stands, but something in her had been begging for her to try from the moment he’d taken her up to his apartment instead of just letting her leave that first night.
His response was a tightening of the arm that had her around the waist, a kiss that stole the last of her breath and a slight slowing of the rapid pace he’d started until they were banging into the door in a steady rhythm. She clung to him with everything she had, both of them crying out on each upward thrust as the pressure built to the point she thought she was going to catch on fire from the inside out.
At the very moment she needed him to, he plunged deep. A primal growl rolled up from deep within his chest and over her as his body came to a glorious, shuddering finish. She could feel him throbbing inside her as her body pulled up tight, and then cried out long and loud as her answering orgasm rocked her down to the very foundation of her being.
He’d been so happy to see her standing in the doorway, and then mad as hell that she was in one piece after he’d spent so much time worrying something bad had happened to her. When he thought he could move without dropping her, he got his weight under her and lifted so he was no longer crushing her small body to the door with his.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, ashamed of himself for pretty much assaulting her.
“No,” she whispered back, lacing her fingers in his hair and moving his head back so she could look at him. “No,” she repeated, face flushed and eyes looking a little unfocused.
Before she could say anything else the unmistakable sound of a car window being smashed in made them both jump high. George set her on her feet gently, found her jeans and helped her into them as quickly as he could. He picked up her shoes, shoved them at her and told her to stay put while he tucked his blissfully spent cock back into his pants. She looked up at him, wide-eyed and clearly frightened, and nodded then gasped as an enormous thump resonated against one of the front windows, rattling the neons against the pane but not breaking the glass.
“What the fuck?” George clutched Red protectively against him when an ear-splitting crack sounded against the door behind her, pulled her farther into the room and set her on a bar stool as far from the windows as possible. He got an old and well-worn bat from behind the bar, handed her the phone. “Call 911 and stay inside,” he instructed, shielding her body with his when a third blow sounded against the other window.
He crossed the floor and stepped outside. A younger man lay unconscious in a pool of light from the street lamp, an aluminum bat on the sidewalk a few feet away. As George moved closer, he recognized the kid as the server Red had left with the week before she’d shown up and come after him. There was a huge welt starting to form on his forehead.
He bent and pressed his fingers to the kid’s throat cautiously, afraid of finding nothing. When he felt a strong pulse he breathed out a huge sigh of relief, and then he started to laugh.
The dumbass must have knocked himself out when his bat ricocheted off the window.
He was still trying to pull himself together when Red joined him outside. She must have gone up to his apartment because she had his coat with her.
“I think we’re going to need an ambulance too,” she said, obviously talking to 911, handing him his coat. She finished the call and came to his side. “That’s the guy from…”
“I know.” He nodded, still trying to compose himself as he pulled on his jacket.
“No, I didn’t. He did that to himself.” George gestured to the bat that must have rolled out of the guy’s hand when he fell, and then to the window. “Bulletproof glass.”
She looked at him.
“I had it installed years ago after one of my regular’s wife came by and shot out all the windows with a twelve-gauge shotgun,” he explained. “She thought he was coming here every night after work to meet another woman. It turned out he just liked to have a couple of beers before he went home because she was batshit crazy, and him being a little buzzed was the only way he could handle being around her.”
She was looking at the kid on the ground, who appeared for all the world as if he was merely sleeping.
“Any ideas on why this guy would’ve wanted to blow my house down?”
She tucked her hands into her coat pockets and hunched her shoulders so her collar came up higher around her neck.
“I couldn’t go through with it after we got to the motel room that night,” she said, giving him a shy glance. “He was really angry at first, then he calmed down and got…” She shook her head like she was trying to come up with the right word. “He was almost too nice about it. His reaction was just strange.”
”Strange enough that he might’ve seen you coming in here the next week and taken out your car window, then tried mine when he saw you back tonight?”
Her lips pressed into a tight line and she nodded, proving his hunch about the glass he’d found on the street that morning was right.
“Go on upstairs,” he said gently. “I’ll wait here to make sure he doesn’t get up and try to leave before an ambulance comes to look him over.”
She shook her head. “This is my fault,” she said quietly. “I’ll wait with you.”
He got a handful of fake sheepskin from the lapel of her coat and pulled her close. He touched a finger under her chin and tilted her face up to his. “This is not your fault.”
“Of course it is,” she said. She moved backward ever so slightly and he let go.
“At least go inside and get out of the cold until the police get here. There’s a fairly fresh pot of coffee behind the bar.” He caught her by the lapel once more when she moved to do as he’d suggested and said, “Thanks.”
She frowned. “For what?”
“For bringing me my coat.” He smiled. “It’s cold as hell out here.” He held tight when she tried to move again, clearly not amused. “Hey.” He gave her the smallest of shakes, then kissed her, her mouth soft and still a little swollen from earlier, when she looked up again. “Stick around later and let me beg your forgiveness for what I just did to you.”
That prompted a smile from her.
The police cruiser that pulled up to the curb—no lights or sirens, meaning it was probably George’s old friend Anthony—kept her from saying whatever it was she’d wanted to say. The ambulance showed up not too long after that. They gave their statements, watched the EMTs first rouse the kid and then get him onto a gurney and take him off to the hospital.