Love, Again, part three

Catch up on part one and part two!

“I feel like I’ve met you before, but I know that’s not possible.”

He simply watched her, waiting to see if she would figure out the truth about them. He’d hoped she would recognize him, but as he sat there waiting for her to discover who he was he almost hoped she wouldn’t remember. The longer he watched her the more uncertain she appeared about her declaration.

“Is it possible?”

“Anything is possible,” Keith answered, not revealing any more than she was asking.
“How have we met? You’ve never visited Ted. There’s no way we could have met.”

“Then I guess you have your answer,” he said, infuriating her.

“Why are you here?” she asked, changing tactics in an attempt to draw information out of him.

“You invited me.”

“You know what I mean. Why are you in town?”

“I came for you.”

Four simple words. Words that could mean anything. Words that turned her on more than she’d ever been in her life. She wanted him. Desperately. It’d been four long years alone, but no man had ever made her want the way Keith was sitting in her kitchen, eating her lasagna.

The heat in his eyes and the smooth sound of his voice was making her body tingle all over and she couldn’t think straight, let alone respond to what he said.

She collapsed in the chair across from him, waiting for him to explain. He didn’t seem to be in any hurry as he slowly ate the rest of the lasagna she’d served him. He looked comfortable in her house, something that left her belly feeling as unsettled as the rest of her.

When Keith finished his dinner he pushed the plate away gently and rubbed his stomach. “Thanks,” he muttered, meeting her gaze once more.

“Can I get you anything else?” she asked innocently. The second his eyes drifted from hers to scan the rest of her she felt the flush of embarrassment and excitement blend to give her the hottest of hot flashes.

“How about that drink?”

She nodded, unable to say anything with his eyes tracking her. She pulled out two bottles of beer and handed him one, twisting of the top of hers as she sat. The cool liquid chilled her heated body, until she saw him still looking at her.

“Where are you staying?” Andrea asked, desperate to find a conversation that wouldn’t leave her feeling like she’d stepped into the sun.

“I’ll get a hotel.”

“You don’t have one yet?” He shook his head and took a long pull of his beer. “Just stay here. I’d like the company.”

“You don’t want my kind of company.”

“Why not? I’d like to get to know you better.”

“Why?”

Andrea shrugged. The answers bouncing around in her head weren’t things she could say to him, but somehow she felt he would understand, and reciprocate, her desires. What she finally managed was, “You’re Ted’s best friend.”

“Try again, Andrea.”

“Excuse me?”

“I said, ‘try again.’ Ted has nothing to do with why I’m here. And I think you know that.”

“You don’t know anything about me.”

He shook his head as he drank his beer, draining the last of the bottle. He set it down on the table with a hard clunk and leaned toward her. “I know what your skin tastes like. I know the sounds you make when you come. I know what it feels like to have your body wrapped around mine. So you can argue, but I know more about you than you think.”

Andrea gasped at his words, at first not believing him, but seeing the unmistakeable truth in his eyes. She stared at him, wondering how in the world she didn’t remember him.

“How is that possible?” she asked, almost to herself.

“Spring break. Twelve years ago.”

All the blood drained from her face and Andrea wondered if she would pass out. She barely remembered the night, even the morning after. There was a guy, she knew that, and when she’d woken up next to him she was mortified that she’d slept with a complete stranger. The details of the night were fuzzy, but she always remembered throwing herself at him until he snapped and gave her what she demanded. Even through the fog of alcohol it was the best sexual experience of her life.

Instead of waking him up that morning, she took a mental picture of the sexy, naked, sleeping man with the tanned skin, tight ass, and broad back that she’d clutched in the throws of passion. His dark hair was a bit long at the time, but she couldn’t deny that it was the same hair she’d run her fingers through as his mouth settled between her legs and drove her crazy.

Staring at the same man, years later, in her kitchen and learning he was her husband’s best friend, was more than she could handle.

“I’m sorry. This was a mistake,” she said, running out of the room and away from the only man she’d ever fantasized about while she was with her husband.

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Love, Again, part two

Catch up on part one!

Keith got into his truck and drove the streets he’d grown up on. As a child he and Ted had spent their time outside, shooting baskets in the driveway, playing hockey in the street, and throwing the football at the local park. Their lives had consisted of sports, sports, and more sports until high school when women came into the picture. Keith was always more popular than Ted, but they both had their fair share of women.

Spring break their junior year of college they went to Florida to party with other friends. The first day Keith spotted her, the conservative woman with the one piece bathing suit that did nothing to hide curves that made his mouth water. Ted had his own conquests, having accepted his short, skinny body and learned to use it to his advantage, and never saw Keith’s dream woman.

Keith tried to catch her attention but nothing he did ever seemed to matter. Then their last night in town he saw her out. She’d been drinking, something he knew from watching her all week she didn’t do. He rescued her from a overly friendly guy on the dance floor and offered to take her back to her hotel room.

She hung on him like curtains on a rod and tried to kiss him. He knew it was because of the alcohol and refused, but she was persistent. Halfway back to her hotel she ground herself against him and begged him to make her feel good, saying she’d find someone else if he wasn’t willing.

Keith tried to be good, but he was afraid of what she would do so he led her back to his hotel room. As soon as the door closed behind them she was on top of him, kissing him, rubbing against him, letting her hands wander over him. He resisted as long as he could, but something inside him snapped when he imagined her leaving his room to find another man to touch.

He kissed her back with an urgency he’d never felt before, or since. His lips blazed over her skin, tasting the sunscreen she’d religiously applied and the softness of her skin. She pulled her clothes off to reveal the curvy figure he’d been dreaming about all week and he didn’t have a prayer of holding back. He had to have her. And he did.

He tasted every inch of her skin, and when he plunged into her tight body he knew he’d found perfection. Her moans were the sweetest sounds he’d ever heard and when she came with him he knew he’d never be the same. He had to have her forever, or as long as she’d let him. She owned him, and he wanted nothing more than to own her as well.

But the next morning Keith woke up alone. The sheets next to him were cool and all her stuff was gone. He knew her name, but nothing else about her.

It was two years before he saw her again, and when the picture of his childhood best friend’s new girlfriend came across his email Keith couldn’t breathe. He spent two days drinking before he committed to letting her go, never telling either of them that they knew each other. That was why he skipped the wedding and never visited. If she remembered him it would crush Ted that he’d kept the secret. If she didn’t, it would crush Keith.

After Ted died, Keith couldn’t stay away. He grieved for his friend and wanted to let Andrea know she wasn’t alone. When he saw her again all the memories of their one night together flooded him, even though it’d been eight years. It took him four years to be able to face her again, to come back and have enough composure to talk to her.

At least, he thought so. Seeing her again, especially at Ted’s grave, knocked him harder than he’d expected. He wanted to take her up on the offer to stay, but he knew it would test every ounce of his decency to be under the same roof as her. Still, he had to see her again.

He pulled down the street he grew up on, noting how much the neighborhood had changed. His parents had long since retired and moved to warmer climates, but Keith stopped in front of their old house anyway.

Lost in his memories he didn’t notice her approaching from across the street. When Andrea knocked on his window he was startled. She held her hands up in a surrender type of pose and his mind flashed back to the way she looked beneath him, her hands in the same position, but pressed against his chest, her body welcoming him in.

Keith blew out a deep breath then rolled the window down. “Yeah?” he asked gruffly.

“I saw you sitting out here. I’ve got plenty of food left if you’d like to come in for dinner. Or a drink.”

“I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“Okay. I just didn’t want to be alone,” she half-whispered the sentence as she turned away.

Immediately feeling like an asshole he called, “Wait.” She paused in the middle of the road, not turning back to him, but not leaving either. “I’ll come in.”

“Okay,” she said softly, still not looking at him.

Keith got out of his truck and followed her across the street. Inside the house he’d spent too much time in as a kid, he stomped behind her to the kitchen he knew as well as his own mother’s. Ted’s parents treated Keith like their own child like his parents did to Ted. It helped that their mothers were close friends as well.

“I had lasagna if you’d like some, but I can make you something else instead.”

“It’s fine,” he grumbled, forcing his eyes from her perfectly rounded ass and legs that he remembered wrapped around his hips.

Andrea worked through the kitchen mesmerizing Keith with her movements. When she slid a plate overloaded with lasagna in front of him he couldn’t deny the intoxicating scent of the food, or of the woman.

As he dug into the food, hungrier than he’d realized after driving all day, Andrea watched him. There was something about him that was more familiar than it ought to be. The only thing she knew for sure was that he disliked her, although she had no idea why.

“Is it okay?” she asked, his opinion mattering to her more than she wanted it to. There was something comforting about cooking for someone besides herself, and she wanted Keith to be happy.

He answered by way of a grunt and a nod, and she dove in.

“Why do you hate me?”

He choked on the bite he’d just shoveled into his mouth. After a minute of coughing, followed by more gulps of water than any normal person could handle, he turned his crystal blue eyes on her. She saw the naked desire in his gaze and her breath caught in her throat.

“I don’t hate you,” he growled, his eyes never leaving hers.

She knew he wasn’t lying.

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Love, Again, part one

How does one move on from losing the love of their life? That’s what Andrea wanted to know. Every year on the same day, she took off work and spent the day at the cemetery. She packed a picnic lunch and sat on his grave, talking to her late husband, Ted, who was taken from her too early.

Ted was the love of her life. A man who swept her off her feet when she’d just about given up on love. Andrea’s life changed the day she met him, and was destroyed the day he died. Ted was riding his bicycle to work one morning and someone spilled their coffee on their lap. The driver swerved, not paying attention to the road as the hot liquid burned through his clothes, and struck Ted, killing him instantly.

In that one moment, everything Andrea dreamed of vanished. Along with her hopes and her heart.

Four years later she was sitting on his grave, sharing her life with the man who wasn’t there to hold her hand through the hard days and kiss away her tears. She promised to love him forever and knew she’d never find another who would make her feel the way Ted had.

“I love you,” she said, kissing the headstone that marked his resting place. As Andrea turned to go she startled, shocked to find a man standing nearby, watching her. But more than his presence, what shocked her was that she recognized him.

“Keith?” she asked hesitantly. She’d only met the man once, at Ted’s funeral. Still, there was no mistaking his tall, muscular frame and piercing blue eyes. He was the polar opposite of his childhood best friend, where Ted was shorter, nearly Andrea’s height, and thin, Keith was big enough that people backed away as he approached. Even at the funeral Andrea noticed his chiseled good looks and air of confidence, but standing a few feet from the man, alone, he was even more overpowering.

“I didn’t mean to intrude,” he said, his deep, rich voice wrapping a soothing balm around her forever shattered heart.

“It’s okay. I was just going to get dinner.”

“How long have you been here?”

“After breakfast. I spend the day with him every year.”

Keith nodded as if it made perfect sense, something no one else in her life had ever understood. Her parents had pushed her into therapy after the first year passed and she still hadn’t moved on, but especially after they found out she spent the day with her dead husband.

“Do you remember me?” Andrea asked, unsure what to say to the man she’d never really spoken to. For as close as Ted and Keith had been as children, when Keith moved away from their hometown, and Ted’s life moved forward with Andrea, the two didn’t see each other. In the six years Andrea and Ted were together, Keith had never visited, not even for their wedding.

Keith nodded, not saying a word, just staring at her. His eyes seemed to drink her in, cataloguing each of her features as though he’d never get the chance to look at her again.

“Where are you staying?” Andrea asked, growing more nervous with each passing second they stood watching each other. No man besides Ted ever had the ability to make her nervous, but the butterflies were impossible to ignore as she looked over the impressive man before her. He’d always seemed familiar to her, but was sure it was because of all the stories she’d heard of their childhood, not to mention the pictures Ted had of the two of them.

“I got a place,” he said gruffly, not giving any more details than he had to.

“You’re welcome to stay with me if you need somewhere to stay.”

A single shake of his head betrayed his finely crafted indifference. “Not a good idea.”

“You’re Ted’s best friend. Why wouldn’t you stay?”

“Because you’re Ted’s wife,” he answered, as though it explained everything.

Andrea heard the pain in his voice but wasn’t sure what caused it. “I’ll go so you can spend time with him. It’s nice to see you again. If you need anything while you’re in town, you know where to find me.”

Keith nodded once and watched as Andrea brushed off her jeans and walked to the car parked in front of his. He hated feeling the way he did, which was why he’d gone to see his best friend, but he couldn’t stop the desire he felt for the man’s wife. When Andrea got in her car and pulled away Keith turned to the grave she’d been sitting at, facing his best friend for the first time in over a decade.

“I’m a miserable fucker, man. I want nothing more than to bring you back and here I am fantasizing about your wife. I hate myself, but God dammit, I’m in love with her. The moment I saw her again I knew I had to make her mine. And now, four years later, I still can’t get her out of my mind. I know she doesn’t know who I am, but I want a chance to tell her. That’s why I came back. I need to tell her who I am, Ted. I need to be with her. And I need to know you’re okay with it.”

Keith ran a hand through his silky, brown hair. He meant to get a trim before he moved back, but he never made the time. The edges of his hair brushed the collar of his black t-shirt, but he didn’t care anymore. The only thing he cared about was finding a way to tell Andrea that they knew each other, and to convince her to give him another chance.

“She’s still in love with you,” Keith told the headstone. “She’s as devoted as she ever was. I had her for a night, a night she doesn’t even remember, and you had her for a lifetime. I need her, man. You know I do. I pray you’re okay with this. I can’t stay away any longer. I won’t.”

Brains over Beauty, part three

Catch part one and part two first!

“I knew I couldn’t trust you,” Megan sneered at Becky. “For two hours I needed you to cover for me, and you weren’t capable of that.”

“Megan, I can explain,” Becky stammered, getting to her feet in front of the one person she most wanted to avoid.

“I’ll bet you can,” Megan said harshly with her arms crossed over her chest, pushing her already overflowing breasts further out of her shirt.

“Ladies, can we possibly do this another time?” the man said in a rough whisper, directing his attention at Megan.

“Oh, yes, of course. I look forward to hearing from you,” Megan charmed the man. She shook his hand firmly then turned to leave without another word or glance toward Becky.

“I’m so sorry,” Becky began. “Um, I should just go.”

“No, wait, please. Uh, I’m assuming you’re Rebecca? My next interview?” Becky nodded. “Then I think we need to get started.”

An hour later Becky walked out of the interview room, shaking hands with Tim. She felt good about the interview and was sure he was going to offer her the job.

“Uh, Becky, could I ask you something else?” Tim asked before she left the room.

“Sure,” Becky said, turning back to face him. The outfit from Rachel had given her confidence she usually struggled to find. She’d sensed a chemistry with Tim during the interview, making her wonder what he would be like on a date, or in bed.

“This has nothing to do with the interview,” Tim said, attempting to put her at ease. His statement had the opposite effect, and Becky’s heart raced with anticipation and anxiety. She nodded for Tim to continue, noting he suddenly looked nervous. “I, uh, I was wondering if you’d be interested in going to dinner. Maybe tomorrow night?”

Pleasure and unease coursed through her. Why did he want to go out with her? She never dated. Besides that, she was up for a job. If she said no would that mean she wouldn’t get the job? What if she said yes? Why did he ask her out?

“Um, I’m not sure that’s a good idea. With the interview and all that. I don’t want to have it interfere and, um, I just don’t think we should.”

“Yeah, sure. I understand,” Tim mumbled. “I shouldn’t have asked.”

Becky thanked him again and left, trying to piece together what the hell happened.

Three weeks later Becky started her new job. Megan was less than happy when Becky quit, especially after she tried to fire Becky and was told she didn’t have grounds. Still, Megan made Becky’s last few weeks miserable, doing everything she could to make Becky unhappy.

Her first day was long and boring, but she was looking forward to going out with Rachel for celebratory drinks afterward. She hadn’t seen Tim much during the day, but she’d met Rose, who was her new boss, a sweet person who didn’t resemble Megan at all. Becky was happy to find out Tim wasn’t her direct boss, especially after spending the last few weeks fantasizing about his strong hands, his soulful eyes, and his perfectly kissable lips.

After hours of orientation and more paperwork than it took to buy a house, Becky was ready for a drink, or two, with Megan. They met down the street at a new bar they’d never tried before, agreeing on a new start to go with Becky’s new job.

Becky walked into the crowded bar and immediately felt out of place. The other people there were beautiful in their classic suits and stylish hair. Becky, on the other hand, was dowdy in her oversized clothes and limp, unkept hair. She managed a bistro table in the corner where she could watch for Rachel and be out of the way, invisible to the others there.

A minute after she sat down a waitress came over with a tall glass of a colorful drink for Becky. “I didn’t order this.”

“Yeah, the man at the bar paid for it.” The waitress pointed toward the end of the bar. Becky looked to find Tim watching her. He raised his glass in a silent toast and smiled. Becky waved him over, not willing to give up her table but wanting to thank him.

“How was your first day?” he asked as he took the seat next to Becky. His long leg brushed against hers when he sat, sending a thrill of heat through her body. That close Becky noticed flecks of green swimming in his golden brown eyes and a dusting of auburn in his otherwise brown hair. A shock of unexpected desire pierced her, sweeping her breath away and making her long for something she could never have.

Struggling to compose herself, Becky managed, “Fine.”

“Fine? That’s all? I’m going to have to talk to whoever is in charge of orientation,” his eyes sparkled with mischievousness as he spoke, letting Becky knew he expected the answer and knew exactly how boring her day had been. “It gets better, I promise.”

“Why did you hire me instead of Megan?” Becky blurted out before she could think about the words. She immediately clapped a hand over her lips and her eyes went wide as she realized what she said. “I shouldn’t have asked you that, I’m so sorry,” she mumbled around her hand.

Tim laughed at her obvious embarrassment and pulled her hand away from her face. “Please don’t hide that beautiful face of yours. And don’t ever feel like you can’t ask me something. Honestly, I shouldn’t tell you anything, but I know you won’t tell Megan. The truth is Megan had good qualifications, but I don’t like women who put themselves on display. Megan made me uncomfortable during her interview and even hit on me. But you,” he paused to tuck a strand of her hair behind her ear, “you, Becky, I wanted to be closer to you from the moment I laid eyes on you.”

Becky sucked in a breath, surprised and a little uneasy about his confession. “Did you hire me because you wanted to go out with me?”

Tim shook his head, his fingers lingering over Becky’s chin. “No. I’d never do that, although I won’t deny that I’ve been thinking of you since the day my dog tripped you and you fell into my arms. Your qualifications were as good as Megan’s and better than the other candidates. I shouldn’t have hired you because of how much I want you, but I couldn’t pass up the best candidate and a chance to get to know you.”

Becky head was tipped up, watching him as he spoke. His hand cupped her jaw and slid to the back of her neck. She saw how much he wanted her in his eyes and knew hers reflected the same. As she leaned forward Tim met her halfway, their lips brushing together in a soft kiss that was both passionate and chaste. Tim angled his head, taking control of her and his hand held her in place as his tongue asked for entry.

Their tongues swept each other’s mouths before settled together in the middle, tasting and learning each other. Becky’s hands came up to rest against his chest, fisting lightly in the fabric and pulling him closer. Tim slid off his chair and hovered over her, never breaking the contact of their lips. He stepped between her legs, letting her feel how much he effected her. He pulled back slightly, enough to whisper, “Let’s get out of here.”

Becky nodded then remembered she was meeting Rachel. “I can’t. My friend is supposed to be meeting me here.”

Tim nodded. “After then. We’ll meet your friend, then you’re all mine.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re the smartest woman I’ve met, and I’m drawn to your brains, even more than I’m drawn to your beauty.”

Hoe could she say no to that?

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Brains over Beauty, part two

Catch part one first!

Arguing with Megan was futile. The woman didn’t listen so it didn’t matter that Becky had to leave early herself. Well, not really early, just on time for once. Which, in Megan’s eyes, meant early.

As Megan stalked away on her teetering high heels, Becky rolled her eyes and headed for her office. Her friend, and only ally, Rachel, was already in the cubicle next to hers, too ready to unload her own angst with Megan.

“She’s already been down her twice this morning looking for you. She acted like it was my fault you weren’t here yet. And you’re not even late!”

Becky’s neck stiffened and her desire for a tub of double fudge ice cream increased. God knew if she had a freezer in her office she’d never have lost those 50 pounds. “I already saw her. She wants me to work late tomorrow because she has something going on. The shitty part is I have an interview. Or I did. I’m going to have to reschedule, if they’re willing.”

“Eeek,” Rachel squealed quietly to avoid drawing attention to them. “You can’t back out of the interview. I’ll cover for you.”

Becky shook her head as her computer booted up. She knew Megan would flip if she found out Becky had left and Rachel was filling in, without permission. It wouldn’t work.

“No. Don’t even go there. I see those wheels turning in your head. You’re not going to let her win this one. You’re going to that interview, even if I have to drive you myself.”

“Then who would cover?” Becky teased her friend, knowing she would do it too. Rachel narrowed her eyes at Becky and she relented. “Okay, I’ll go. But if she finds out I’m toast.”

“She won’t find out. She’ll be gone. It’ll be fine.”

The next afternoon Becky watched Megan walk out of the office an hour before Becky planned to leave. She’d worn her one and only outfit that sort of fit her, a pair of black slacks that were only two sizes too big, but didn’t look that bad once she added a belt, and a pink button down shirt that hung to her knees but was okay when it was tucked in.

Or as okay as she was going to get.

“Dragon lady’s gone. Let’s get you prettied up,” Rachel said from behind her. When Becky turned, Rachel was holding a bag that could have held the secrets of the universe for all Becky knew. Rachel grabbed her hand without waiting for an answer and dragged her off to the women’s bathroom.

Twenty minutes later they emerged with Becky looking more beautiful than she’d ever felt in her life. Rachel perfectly applied the right touch of make-up to give Becky a confident, but natural, feel. She also talked her out of the shirt that was still too baggy, even though Becky said it would be fine, and put her in a pool blue poplin dress shirt with French cuffs. A simple knot in her hair and a pair of drop earrings and Becky looked the part.

She hugged her friend and thanked her for the transformation. “This was all you, Bex. I just helped it to come out. Now go show those people how smart you are and how much you deserve this job. Then steal me away from here!”

Becky laughed on her way down the elevator and was still smiling when she walked into the doors for her interview. After giving her name to the receptionist, Becky was asked to wait in the lobby until they were finished with the current interview they were conducting.

Nerves swamped Becky as she waited, wondering if she could handle the responsibility that came with the promotion and job change. She’d wanted a job like that for a while, one that was similar in nature to Megan’s, but one she promised herself she wouldn’t abuse. She knew how to treat people fairly and had every intention of doing just that.

Voices drew her attention and had her turning toward the interior of the building. Becky hadn’t looked up the people she would be interviewing since the names hadn’t been provided to her. She had reviewed the company website though, and was familiar enough with what they did to be able to speak intelligently about their work. She just wished she knew more about the people she’d be meeting. Although it appeared she would learn soon enough.

Keeping her seat until she was called, Becky watched as a man and woman walked toward her. There was something familiar about both of them, but he was shielding most of the woman from her sight. Still, her voice was familiar, but Becky was struggling to place it.

The man turned to smile at her and she was met with the same startling blue eyes she’d seen the morning before, on the man who’d saved her and groped her all at the same time.

Not to mention turned her on with the slightest innocent touch and the depth and warmth of his voice.

“You!” slipped out before she could stop it.

He froze where he stood, appearing equally stunned to see her sitting in the lobby. Unfortunately, the woman beside him didn’t freeze. She kept walking. And when she realized he wasn’t beside her, she turned and pressed her overflowing breasts to his arm in an effort to get his attention back. When she realized it didn’t work, she turned toward the offending creature who’d captured more of his attention than she’d managed in the last hour.

“Slipping out of work early, I see,” she snarled at Becky. Her eyes snapped to the left where the voice finally snapped into place, along with the end of her current career.

“Megan,” she sighed defeatedly.