Read Taking Care Of Leah Online

Authors: Charlotte Howard

Tags: #Erotic Romance Fiction

Taking Care Of Leah (2 page)

“Ooh,” cooed Miss Smith, the drama teacher. “Are you planning to go out on the pull tonight?”

Leah couldn’t help but smirk at the way she had said ‘on the pull’. It wasn’t a phrase that suited Miss Smith. She was a short woman who always wore cardigans buttoned up to the neck and a pair of glasses that should have been put to retirement in the eighties. Her mousy-brown hair was always left to hang to her shoulders, with two sides pinned back and a fringe that was a centimeter too short. Despite her conservative appearance, Leah placed her only a few years older than herself.

“I’m meeting a friend after.”

“You look amazing. I wish I could wear a dress that tight.”

Leah smoothed a hand over her stomach and forced a smile. She was grateful when the menu appeared, and headed straight for the back page, scouring over the various cheap wines. She could have at least one glass, and she needed it.

She spent most of the evening feeling uncomfortable, either under the watchful glare of Mrs. Davis and her little sidekick, Phillip Rendell—although Phillip was far from little, and would have been better described as rotund—or because of the lack of elasticity in her Spanx.

Her ear had been thoroughly chewed by Miss Smith, whose first name escaped Leah. She was sure it began with an

“I’m sure you’ll have no problem finding a man,” Miss Smith continued. For the past hour, she had done nothing but talk about the lack of prospects in the school. All the men were either married or ‘out of her league’—another phrase that didn’t seem right coming from her lips. “I think I’m going for ‘Crazy Cat Lady’,” she said with a chuckle and slight wobble of her head. “I have four now…” And she reeled off their names.

By half nine, her colleagues were beginning to make their excuses. Looking at her watch, Leah announced that it was time she left too. As she stood up, she felt an arm hook on to hers. Miss Smith was attached to her. “Are you getting a taxi? I haven’t been clubbing in…” She paused and screwed her lips up. “A long time. Don’t suppose you fancy some company, do you?”

“I’m driving in.”

“Oh? Don’t you drink? I love a good drink. Have you tried chili-flavored vodka? I made some of my own last year, blew my head clean off!” she waffled with wild hand gestures.

“I was going to leave my car in town,” Leah said, amused at the thought of a drunken Miss Smith.

The journey into Bristol was no less quiet than the meal had been, with Miss Smith droning on about one thing or another. Several times she asked whether it was a good idea to leave the car in the city. As Leah pulled into a small car park, Miss Smith’s panic was palpable.

“I can take you home if you’d prefer?”

“No, no. I’m looking forward to this. It’s been a long time since I went out. Do I look okay? I’m not really dressed for this, am I? Is there a dress code? Perhaps I should go home and get changed…”

“You’re fine.” Leah put a reassuring hand on her arm.

As they waited in the long queue, black night rolling over them, broken by the bright lights of a waking city, Leah wished she’d worn tights and something that had longer sleeves. She rubbed at the tops of her arms and looked at Miss Smith, who had struck up a conversation with a fellow club-goer. The cold clearly didn’t bother her, with her pink cardigan and long beige skirt protecting her from the elements.


Leah poked her head from the line of people and saw Ty Sinclair striding in their direction. He looked very different, dressed in a pair of dark trousers and a white shirt with the top two buttons left undone. She gave herself a mental slap as she took a deep breath and blew out the word “Wow.”

“Come on,” he said, beckoning her with his arm. “You don’t have to wait here.”

“Oh, are we queue-jumping?” Miss Smith piped up, taking Leah’s arm in hers.

“Rainie.” Ty beamed. “Yes, we are.” He stepped between the two women and allowed Rainie to take his arm. Leah smiled and trod in their shadows.


Chapter Two




They followed Ty through the crowd of drunken dancers inside Kiss-Kiss. Hot music pumped through the speakers, mingling with the fog that billowed out from a machine and into the room. Leah watched as Rainie Smith laughed and giggled at Ty’s compliments.

Something inside her had tightened when he’d offered his arm. She had been almost afraid to touch him in case she melted into a small pool of lust. He looked even hotter dressed up than he did flexing his muscles and wearing shredded jeans.

She was too busy watching him to notice the guy holding a pint of beer stumbling closer to her. The cool liquid soaked her front, ruining her favorite dress.

“You idiot!” Leah yelled, holding her hands and clutch bag away from the bitter stench. She stared down at her drenched clothes. The stickiness had begun to take hold, forcing her dress against her skin, clinging to her like an inebriated limpet.

“There’s no need to be a bitch about it.” The man laughed. “I’m the one who’s lost my drink.”

She looked up and saw his back moving away from her. Searching the club, there was no sign of Ty or Rainie. They had disappeared into the grinding throng. Anger and embarrassment welled inside her, threatening to come out in either a barrage of insults or a flood of tears. “Bastard,” she hissed, turning on her heel and heading to the sign that illuminated the way to the Ladies.

It was still early, but there was already the sound of someone wrenching her guts into a toilet. Leah glared at her reflection. The light was flattering, giving her a premature golden glow. She grabbed a handful of paper towels and began dabbing at her neck, arms and dress. Stripping out of her shrug, she dumped it next to the sink and rummaged through her bag to find the compact she knew she’d put in there along with the other essentials of a night out.

No matter how much she sprayed herself with body spray, the stale odor remained, lingering and breaking through the floral scents. With a frustrated sigh, she shoved everything back into her bag and took out her phone. A message from Yvonne, the friend she was supposed to meet, informed her that she’d gotten a stomach bug and was crying off. Leah growled in frustration, dropping her phone back into her bag.

A young girl stumbled from the stalls, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. Leah wanted to feel unsympathetic, but considering she smelled just as bad, she found herself pitying the pathetic creature.

“Here.” Leah passed her a wet wipe from a packet in her bag.

“Thanks,” the girl mumbled, smearing away her tear-streaked mascara and eyeliner. “They’re all bastards, aren’t they?”

Leah gave her a half-smile.

Stepping back into the club, she looked over the crowd, but still couldn’t spot either Ty or Rainie.

“There you are…”

Leah turned to see Ty, looking concerned.

“What happened?”

“Some idiot spilt his pint over me,” she said, waving her hands down her dress. “I’m going to go home.”

“No, you’re not.” He took her hand in his. The effect was immediate—her skin tingled as his fingers wrapped around hers. Her core clenched when he tugged her a bit closer. She could feel her throat tightening with anticipation.

“I’m sticky and stink of beer. Where’s Miss Smith?”

“In the VIP booth.” He let out a small laugh, stepping closer so that she could feel his breath against her ear. “I don’t want you to go home. Stay for a few drinks and then…” He stood in front of her, slipping a hand to the small of her back. “I’ll find you a shower.”

She swallowed, keeping her eyes on his as he dropped his glance to her mouth. It was going to happen and there wasn’t one bit of her that wanted to stop him. Her lips parted, drawing him in. He tasted better than she could ever have imagined, of warm whiskey and honey, blending together with the subtle scent of his aftershave.

Ty swiped his tongue over hers. Letting go of her hand, he lifted his palm to her cheek, his fingers tickling her ears, teasing the strands of hair that fell down her face. Their mouths moved in unison and for a moment Leah was oblivious to the noise and crowds around them.

“I have wanted to do that all year,” Ty said, pulling away. “Please stay.”

Breathless, her lips still parted and swollen, Leah nodded.

Rainie was drunk. She sat in one of the VIP booths, a line of empty test tubes lying on the table in front of her. She clutched a jug filled with a variety of alcohols, the straw between her pursed lips. Two laughing men flanked her. The one wearing a too-tight T-shirt leaned back and swept his arm around Rainie’s shoulders. Her clips had been lost, and her hair tumbled down in its natural state.

“Leah!” she called out, and stood up, wobbling until Tight T-shirt Man planted his hand on her backside, holding her up. “Whoop! Later…” She tossed him a wink and shifted from behind the table to give Leah a drunken hug.

“Okay, steady.” Ty took her arm and helped her back into the booth, where Tight T-shirt Man shuffled closer. Ty bent down and whispered something in his ear. Leah couldn’t hear what he had said, but whatever it was caused the man to inch away.

“I’ll give it an hour and then call her a taxi,” he said when he was back by Leah’s side. Snapping his fingers, he beckoned over a bouncer.

Leah stepped back and studied him. She was still stone-cold sober, and her mind worked with quick, precise thoughts to piece it all together. “You own this place, don’t you?” she asked, her eyebrows rising in surprise.

“I suppose you could say I have a vested interest.”

“You make no sense. You own a nightclub, but you work as a glorified caretaker at a secondary school.”

Ty placed a kiss on her cheek, holding on to her hips. “I said I have an interest, not ownership. Anyway, if I didn’t work at the school, I would never have met you.” He moved his mouth over hers, placing soft kisses along her bottom lip. “Would you like a drink?”

“Vodka, double, with a splash of Coke,” she said. “No ice.” If she was going to jump into bed with Ty Sinclair, she would need alcohol to boost her confidence.

She slipped onto the sweeping sofa next to another man, this one wearing a smart shirt. Tight T-shirt Man left her feeling uneasy. Rainie leaned over Smart Shirt Man. “This is…” She searched for names, but came up empty.

“Lance,” Shirt offered. “And this is Jerry.”

“Hi,” Leah smiled, although her voice couldn’t be heard over the cheers as Bryan Adams started singing about the summer of sixty-nine.

Ty returned holding a short tumbler. Leah knocked the drink back with two gulps. The warmth of the vodka slipped down her throat with ease, aiding her bravery. She stood up, heading for Ty. Hands clasped around his face, she pressed her lips to his.

“I need to get out of this dress,” she said against him.

“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t!” Rainie called as they left her with Lance and Jerry.


Chapter Three




Ty took her hand and walked her toward a door at the back of the building. The corridor was short but dark, with only two small wall lights illuminating their way. It wasn’t eerie, though.

Reaching a door at the far end, Ty took a plastic card from his back pocket and swiped it over a metal box on the wall. The door clicked and opened, showing them a small office. Ty rushed to the desk and cleared a space before turning around and beckoning her over to him.

Leah took a deep breath. Her thighs tightened together as her knickers dampened at the mere sight of him standing by the bare wooden desktop. She stood in front of him, and he surveyed her with dark green eyes. He ran his hand down her curves, stopping when he reached her hips.

“I was hoping that our first time would be over that desk of yours in the classroom,” he said, sweeping his palms around to grab her backside. “But this will do just as well.”

Bracing herself against him, she let him kiss her, parting her lips and inviting his tongue inside. The taste of his desire, his need, flooded her, seeping into her veins, and she was left wanting more. He toyed with the skirt of her dress, hitching it up until his palms were flattened against the fabric of her knickers. She hoped that he couldn’t feel the quaking of her legs.

“I had you down for a thong girl,” he said, lifting the dress up. Instantly Leah’s cheeks started to heat as she remembered what underwear she had on. “Arms,” he ordered, unabashed by the Spanx, and without any hesitation Leah stretched her fingers up to the ceiling, letting him peel her out of the outfit. Dropping it to the floor, Ty moved his hands to her breasts, massaging over the satin of her strapless bra. “I don’t like this,” he said, reaching behind her and unclipping it with one experienced hand. “That’s better.”

Dipping his head to her cleavage, he kissed the mound of her right breast, kneading the left as he swiped his tongue at her nipple. She sparked and responded with pride, her back arching, forcing her into his mouth. He grazed his teeth over the erect flesh before he went to the other, his hands groping her ass.

“Shit,” she exhaled as he lifted her onto her toes, which wasn’t an easy feat considering the heels she was still wearing, and the vodka that flowed in her bloodstream, mixing with sheer adrenaline.

Ty slipped his fingers into the band of her knickers, moving them down and over her hips. “I really don’t like these.” His voice was low and throaty. Shifting between her legs, he dropped to his knees. He pulled the knickers down to the ground and she lifted each foot without being asked, stepping out of them.

Before she could think about covering herself up, his mouth was on her, sucking at her clitoris while his palms and fingers pressed into her buttocks. Her knees buckled, but he held her up. His tongue swiped over her slit, tasting her as if she were a delicious meal. She let her own hands tangle with his ash-brown hair, fisting bunches and tugging on the roots. He moaned, the sound of his voice vibrating over her, sending shivers down her spine.

A fleeting thought of someone walking in broke the buildup. She was sure he noticed, since he stopped mouthing her. Standing up, he turned them so that she was resting against the desk, thighs still parted by his legs. He pressed a hand to where his mouth had been. His fingers exposed her, stroking at the wetness that had gathered.

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