Skin Tight (Skin Deep #4)

BOOK: Skin Tight (Skin Deep #4)
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Skin Tight

By J.M. Stone

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Copyright ©2015 by J.M. Stone

Cover Design by J.M. Stone

Cover Image Copyright ©FXQuadro/Shutterstock.com

 

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Kindle Edition, License Notes

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment. Ebook copies may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share with a friend, please buy an extra copy, and thank you for respecting the author’s work.

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All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system without the prior written consent from the publisher, except in the instance of quotes for reviews. No part of this book may be scanned, uploaded, or distributed via the internet without the publisher’s permission and is a violation of the International Copyright Law, which subjects the violator to severe fines and imprisonment.

This is a work of fiction. The names, characters, incidents, and places are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or actual events are entirely coincidental. Any trademarks, service marks, product names, or named features are assumed to be the property of their respective owners, and are used only for reference. There is no implied endorsement if any of these terms are used.

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Dedication

To my Momma, who is my biggest fan. Thank you for everything you do, you’ve done, or will do. You mean the world to me and I love you to the moon and back, beyond the stars, and Always Ever.

Chapter 1

“Miss Jensen, I can’t find Gerry!”

I groaned and closed my eyes briefly. Briefly as in, like, two seconds. This was because I’m a teacher and I had a class of twenty kindergartners sitting in front of me and you can’t look away from them. You do, there’s no telling what would happen.

Case in point? Gerry, the classroom gerbil was now MIA. For the second time this week.

Remind me why I became a teacher? Oh. Yeah…because I wanted to shape the mini-minds of the future. And because I love kids.

Seriously, I do. Most days, anyway. Which is why I’d gone through cosmetology school, and worked my way through college by cutting hair. Last year was the first year I’d taught, so I felt pretty confident that I had my finger on the pulse and all that shit.

Turns out I was wrong. Namely, because I thought it would be a good idea to have a classroom pet, hence Gerry the Gerbil, aka Houdini. I shouldn’t give him all the credit for being an escape artist; it’s more that the kids giggle and twitch when they hold him and then set him down and…well, you get the idea.

I clapped my hands and raised my voice as I said, “Alright, kids. Settle down and sit down, please. Maybe then we’ll be able to see where…”

I sighed as a muffled scream sounded from the room next door. Guess we knew where Gerry went, huh?

That pretty much set the tone for the rest of my day. Thank God and every single star in the sky that it was Friday and, not to mention, a long weekend because of Labor Day. Which I had dearly been looking forward to, because I’d get to spend some time with my family.

I pulled into the garage attached to my house with a sigh, hitting the button to shut the world out behind me. I gathered my purse and my bag overflowing with lesson plans and all that good stuff and headed inside.

Dropping everything onto the kitchen table, I walked directly into the living room and plopped down on my couch, sprawling out less than gracefully, not caring that my skirt rode up and my panties were showing to anyone who wanted to see them.

The next thing I knew, I was being shaken awake, a voice like sinful velvet teasing my ears and pulling me from the arms of Morpheus.

“Leah,” Ian said, softly.

I blinked up at him, his gorgeous face shadowed in the dim light coming from the kitchen. I sat up quickly, making him jump back to avoid our heads colliding, looking out the window in shock.

“Holy shit, what time is it?” I asked, stretching and yawning as I noted the street lights popping on against the darkening sky.

Ian chuckled and moved up behind me, wrapping his arms around my shoulders and pulling me back against his chest. “Seriously? That’s all I get from you after I haven’t seen you all day? You try to break my nose and stare out the window, no hello kiss, no, ‘hey honey, I missed you like crazy and can’t wait to suck your face off all night long,’ nothing? Huh.”

I rolled my eyes and spun in his arms, jumping up so my legs were around his waist, my arms were laced around his neck, and my lips were level to his. He caught me gracefully, completely used to me doing this by now.

“Hmmm…” I murmured against his mouth. “Is this better?”

I parted my lips and traced the seam of his with the tip of my tongue, silently asking to be let inside. He complied immediately, a low groan breaking from him as I slipped it in to slide against his, our tongues tangling sinuously in a slow, sensual dance.

His hands squeezed convulsively on the taut cheeks of my ass where they held me, pulling me even closer to his body, letting me feel every inch of hardness hidden behind the denim of his jeans against the soft, giving flesh at the apex of my thighs.

I finally broke the kiss, leaving us both breathing hard, our foreheads pressed together, eyes locked. We stayed that way for a while, trying to catch our breath and…

“You blinked!” he hollered into the stillness suddenly, dropping my feet to the floor and doing a weird victory dance that was just Ian while I stood in front of him, hands on hips, shaking my head.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah…doesn’t matter. I’m still winning by like, what is it now? 16 to 4?”

He leaned in and kissed me once more, a brief peck, before he moved back to flop down on the couch. “Do you think we’re seriously bent? I mean, who else in the world plays the staring game in the middle of a heavy make-out session?”

I shrugged. “Nah. People are probably jealous because we’re cool like that.”

He nodded, puckering his lips out and giving me that ‘I’m cool’ look. Trying to, anyway.

“Duck-face says what?” I asked him, giggling when he scowled at me.

I moved to the couch and straddled him, sitting on his lap. He leaned his head back and watched me, his hands coming up to cradle my hips. I drank him in, the sight of his hardened, tattooed body stretched out beneath me. His beautiful eyes, heavy lidded with a combination of contentment and lust, stared back at me, the dark green of them, flecked with gold, warming as they watched me. His lips quirked into a smile, their fullness beckoning me closer until I couldn’t help but lean forward and touch them with mine.

He opened immediately, driving the kiss deeper until we were both moaning and arching into each other, the friction of our bodies pushing me dangerously close to the edge of shattering. My hips jerked against him as his fingers dug into me, pulling me harder and harder against him, urging me toward the finish line.

He moved his lips away just enough to whisper, “That’s it, baby…come for me…”

And that did it. I arched my back and closed my eyes, letting out a long, low moan as pleasure washed over me in waves, leaving me breathless and slumped against him when it was over.

“Hey!” I cried out in mock outrage as Ian’s hands came down on my ass cheeks, smacking them smartly.

He chuckled and squeezed them gently, kissing my forehead once more before he asked, “Wanna go get some food?”

I sat up and looked at him strangely. “Seriously? You get me off and suddenly you want nothing more than food?”

He pecked my lips and moved me off his lap onto the couch beside him. He got up and held his hand out to help me up as he winked and said, “Don’t worry. You’ll pay me back later.”

I laughed and let him help me up, shaking my head and muttering, “See? We’re seriously bent,” as I followed him to get ready to leave.

Chapter 2

Staring across the table at Ian an hour later at dinner, I had the fleeting thought that I should really thank my brother again for taking me to the UFC fight with him that night. Actually, I should thank the drunken bastard that started being a douche and set in motion the events that led to Ian carting me out of the fight over his shoulder. Just looking at him, drinking in all that was Ian, I still can’t help but feel amazement that he’s been mine since that night over a year ago.

Yeah, so I second guessed myself a few times in the beginning, especially when that whore-face started showing up everywhere we went, claiming to be his girlfriend. She almost earned herself a beat-down when Ian and I had gone to his house one night (one of the rare times we slept at his place instead of mine), and Victoria was in his bed. Naked. Did I mention that she was IN. HIS. BED. NAKED!?

I didn’t get a chance to show of my own personal UFC skills, because Ian had gone nuclear, but in that quiet way of his. The way that you can see the depths of fiery-pissed-off-ness blazing in his eyes, every inch of his body tight, almost vibrating with rage, but his voice is so deceptively calm and dark that it makes you unable to decide whether or not to run, piss your pants, or come all over yourself. Okay, so that was the way I felt about it, and, thank God, that anger has never been turned at me. Ever. But Victoria? She’s good at invoking that beast.

Thankfully, the Victoria pop-ups had dwindled, though she still lurks around the edges.

But, back to Ian. Jesus, he was so good looking. Dark green, gold flecked eyes, dark brown hair that he kept cut short, but was still unruly; it gave him that I-just-woke-up-but-how-sexy-am-I? look that was just…yummy. Take into account his tall (6’3”), lean but muscular frame, the delicious collage of premium ink winding up both of his arms and disappearing beneath the sleeves of his shirt, and his killer smile and you’ve got…well, Ian.

And Ian was just about perfect. He owned his own construction company and did very well for himself, a fact that, even though his parents love him dearly and support him (mostly), did not sit well overall with his family. That’s because his family is rich. Like uber rich. And they don’t think he needs to work himself so hard, you know, him being only 31 and all. (Insert eye roll here.)

I hated the fact that he came from money because the first time I met his parents, they acted like I was only with him to ride the gravy train to trophy wife town. They don’t know me well, obviously, but I’m working on changing that. And by working, I mean avoiding them at all costs unless I absolutely have to be around them and their uppity friends, especially the Jones family. Victoria is their daughter. Need I say more?

So, a lot has happened in the year since we met. For instance, Brandon and Chloe are planning their wedding, Liam (Allie and Jacks’ gorgeous baby boy) and Everly (Emma and Luke’s beautiful baby girl) both turned one, and I became an auntie again as my sister, Jenna, and her husband, Noah, had their third child, a sweet, even tempered little baby boy named Caleb Andrew, who was now almost three months old.

My parents love Ian, so there’s that, and Calland, my brother, gets along with him very well, too. Everyone does. And I love that. I love that he already had history with Brandon and Luke (a fact that I found out the night we met; I mean, what a coincidence that they were the ones who did all his tattoos?), and now he’s grown pretty close to T.J., the new tattoo artist that Brandon met in L.A. when he went with Chloe. Did I mention that even Allie’s family loves Ian? Especially Nanny…

Everyone was happy, but, in my opinion, no one was happier than me.

“Leah Nicole Jensen!”

I shook my head, jarred from my reverie by Ian’s voice, smiling automatically at the warm mirth I heard in his tone.

“Well, hello, stranger. Are you going to join me for dinner instead of staring at me all night? Not that I mind…I
am
a rather fetching fellow,” he said jokingly.

I shrugged and grinned at him as I grabbed my fork and speared a nice, creamy bite of chicken alfredo.

“Where the hell were you, love? You seemed a million miles away.”

I chewed and swallowed, taking a sip of my wine before I answered. “No where, really. Just kind of thinking about you and the last year. And maybe thanking my brother and the douchebag at the UFC fight mentally for basically dropping you in my lap.” I winked at him and shot him a saucy little smile when his eyes lit up.

The corners of his mouth turned up in his endearing little grin and he winked back. “I think you were the one dropping in people’s laps, love.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I muttered. He wasn’t wrong. I literally had launched myself at the drunken asshat after he’d dumped his whole beer down Chloe’s back, and then when she looked at him, he’d said some pretty nasty stuff. I’m kinda little and I’m quick on my feet, so before Calland could do anything, I did. I tried, anyway. Ian came out of nowhere and caught me in his arms, throwing me over his shoulder and whisking me away to the lobby.

We’d all missed the rest of the fight but I can’t say that we much cared.

I pulled myself back to the present and Ian and I finished dinner before making a quick run through the store so I could pick up a couple things I needed to make double-dipped strawberries for the party. I had to make two batches; one that the kids and “good” adults could eat, and another for me and the other “bad” adults. Those were the special ones, injected with hundred proof vodka. So freakin’ delicious and addictive.

It was around ten at night by the time we got back home and settled in. I took a few minutes to wash and prep the strawberries so they’d be ready to inject and dip in the morning and then have time to chill before the party, which would start at two.

When everything was cleaned up and put away, I walked in and plopped down in Ian’s lap, reveling in the way he accepted my presence with no complaint, his arms coming up to embrace me, pulling me closer into his chest.

“Ready for bed?” he asked me, his voice rumbling through me.

I scoffed. “At almost eleven at night on a Friday?” I looked at him like he had two heads and then finished, “Hell, yeah, I’m ready for bed!”

Sad part is that I was and not only because I was ready to jump him, but because I was seriously tired.

He smacked my thigh gently and commanded, “Up,” getting to his feet and pulling me down the hall once I’d vacated his lap.

Without a word, I stripped down and crawled into bed, Ian following me close behind. He hit the bed and stretched out, his arms already reaching for me. He dragged me into his arms, my head pillowed on his chest, one of my thighs draped over his, my arm around his stomach. I sighed as we settled into our familiar night-time pose, and then laughed as Ian whispered into the silent darkness.

“So…you remember when I said you’d pay me back later? Well, it’s later.”

I smacked his chest lightly with my hand, my lips smiling against his warm skin. I faked (sort of) a big, jaw-cracking yawn, and snuggled tighter into him before whispering back, “I’m soooo sleepy…”

He just chuckled and squeezed me tight.

So I did what any woman who was so over-the-moon, happy in love with her man would do- I kissed down his chest, moved lower, and paid him back. In full.

***

“EMMA MARIE CRIMSHAW!”

I winced as I carefully kicked the door to Ian’s truck shut, balancing the trays of strawberries as I looked at Ian over the hood.

His face was lit with amusement, even as he shook his head, muttering, “That bodes well for the party, already, eh?”

I sighed, opened my mouth to say something but didn’t get a word out as the shrieking started back up again.

“EMMA! Seriously! Get your Godforsaken dogs OUT!” Allie was screaming.

“It’s not MY FAULT that YOUR DOG taught mine how to swim!” Emma shrieked back in defense, her voice overriding the now audible barking of multiple canines.

“Well, so what! Who cares about that? Get them OUT OF THE HOUSE!” Allie yelled in reply.

I winced again as a crash sounded and then heard, “There! They’re out, are you happy?”

“They just took out my screen door; do you THINK I’m happy?”

“Allie, I’m not sure if you realize this, but that was YOUR DOG who just took out the screen door…NOT MINE!” Emma screeched.

Mumbling under my breath, I headed up the stairs onto the porch, Ian following behind me, his eyes sparkling with mirth as he reached for the knob to open the front door of Allie and Jacks’ house.

Before he could open it, though, it swung wide and Jacks was there in front of us, Liam on his hip. “Run. Get out while you still can…it’s not safe in here!” he mock-whispered. Then he rolled his eyes and said, “And I swear to God, I’m not replacing that screen one more time. This is the fourth time Grady has run through it this month.”

I shook my head at him and kissed his cheek when he bent and presented it to me, then kissed Liam’s rosy little cheek in passing, cooing to him that I’d be back to give him more lovin’ as soon as my hands were empty.

I braced myself and headed into the war zone, leaving Ian behind, talking with Jacks. As soon as I stepped foot in the kitchen, I saw Luke standing against the wall, holding Everly, both of them wide-eyed but grinning. I smiled and said hello as I sat the strawberries down on the counter.

“I see I didn’t miss the fireworks,” I quipped, winking at my brother-in-law.

“Nope,” he replied, drolly.

“How long has this been going on?” I asked him, moving across the kitchen to peek outside, but not seeing either of the crazies.

“Oh, you know. Since Grady decided to show Doug and DJ that the pool is a great toy and then break down the screen door to let them all run wild and wet through Allie’s house last week. And again today.”

“Yeah, but they have a gate, so how’re Doug and DJ getting into the pool area?” I asked Luke, moving back across the kitchen to take my niece from him.

I kissed her cheeks and cuddled her as Luke replied, “Grady has figured out how to knock the latch just right with his nose, so he swings it open and leaves it wide so his friends can come through. Pretty smart if you ask me…but it’s not my house they’re trashing.”

I winced, pulling air through my teeth as I thought about three large dogs, each roughly a hundred pounds plus, running wet through my nice, well kept house. I’d probably kill them…which is, I’m guessing, what Allie was wanting to do right about then.

Jackson and Ian came into the kitchen, Ian now holding Liam, just as Allie and Emma came back inside, each still glowering at the other.

“Aww, fight nice, kids,” I called out to them, grinning mischievously and then laughing as they both transferred their glares to me.

Emma’s broke first, but that had more to do with the fact that I was holding her daughter, whose face had lit up when her mom had walked into the room.

Emma crossed the kitchen and reached for her daughter, just as Everly yelled out, “Mama!” in her sweet little voice, thus breaking the tension in the room.

I looked over at Allie but she just shook her head at me and moved to take her son from his father. Jackson left the room briefly, coming back with a stack of towels, and then he and Luke went off to clean up the mess. They’re pretty good husbands, eh?

As they left the room, Allie walked over by Emma, both of them holding their kids, and we watched in amusement as Emma leaned her head on Allie’s shoulder and whispered, “I still love you and I’m sorry my dogs are jerks.”

Allie leaned her head against Emma’s and whispered back, “I still love you, too. And I’m used to it. After all, Grady gets it honestly-he is definitely his father’s son.”

Emma nodded and whispered back, “Damn dogs.”

Everyone else started arriving then, and it was a whirlwind to get things set up, but it didn’t take long before everyone was seated wherever they could find a place, eating food, and enjoying the sunshine and company.

Ian was sitting on the lounger beside me, his plate heaped high with food. I was sharing a lounger with my now 6 year old niece, Hayden, who was telling me, so very kindly as I ate, about her baby brother’s latest diaper blow-out.

“Auntie Leah, it was
everywhere
! Like, Mommy had to change the bed and his clothes and her clothes and it was all down his legs and…”

“Alright, kiddo, I think Auntie Leah and Uncle Ian have heard enough about that,” Jenna called from the porch. “Come on up here and get something to eat.”

“But, Mom, I already ate-” Hayden started to whine, but Jenna cut her off quickly with a stern look.

“Uh-oh, better go on, Hayden-girl. Your momma’s got that Mother-stink-eye look going,” Calland called out, laughing, winking at Hayden as she grinned his way and nodded. 

“Calland!” Jenna yelled exasperatedly. “Can you ever just keep your mouth shut and not teach my children bad habits?”

“Nope!” he replied sweetly, then gave an exaggerated wince as our mother smacked his shoulder when she walked by.

I just shook my head and looked over at Ian, who was, as usual, silently laughing through the whole exchange, and then continued eating.

I’d finished eating when a gravelly old voice broke in loudly and looked up to see Allie’s grandma, Nanny, standing beside Ian.

BOOK: Skin Tight (Skin Deep #4)
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