I twirled a straw in my drink and tried to pretend everything was normal. Why wouldn’t it be? It wasn’t like I hadn’t had sex in over a year and was sitting there waiting for a stranger to show up so I could sleep with him.
Okay, fine, that’s exactly what it was like.
It would be fine. He wasn’t local, his screen name declared it, and I would never see him again. That was why I agreed to meet him. That and because I was desperate to end my solo-streak.
Every muscle in my body was tense and getting more tense with each second that passed. What if he didn’t show up? What if he showed up and didn’t say anything? What if he showed up and did say something?
I was a mess.
I blew out a breath and took another sip of my drink. I hadn’t been a virgin in seventeen years, but there was something about skipping a year that made me feel like one all over again.
“Are you MustLoveBooks?” a deep, smooth voice asked.
I drew a shaky breath and lifted my gaze to meet his. Dear God, the man was stunning. Dark brown eyes and skin, shaved head, and a white tee stretched across all those muscles.
My mouth watered, actually watered, at the man. Holy hell, I’d never seen a man as attractive as him.
He chuckled, the sound sending a thread of pleasure down my spine and between my thighs. “Is that a yes?”
I shook my head, and his brows drew together.
“No. Yes. I mean, yes, I’m MustLoveBooks. You’re NotALocal?”
The edge of his mouth lifted in a smile, and he nodded. “I am. I don’t live here.”
“You should think about it. You’re beautiful. I mean, it’s beautiful. Here. MacKellar Cove. I need to stop talking.”
He chuckled again. “It’s okay. If I was going to judge the town solely on the beauty of the woman I’m speaking to, I’d say it’s beautiful, too.”
My cheeks warmed at the compliment, and my thighs tingled at the sparkle in his eyes. He knew how hot he was, but he wasn’t making me feel like I owed him anything because of it, or like he was doing me a favor. There was no doubt he could leave with any of the women, or men, in O’Kelley’s if he wanted to, but he was talking to me. Book nerd, half-broke, local mommy porn distributor, Finley Jameson.
But he didn’t know any of those things. He just knew I liked to read and that I was sitting at the bar at O’Kelley’s wearing a blue dress and waiting for him.
“Hey, man,” Hudson Grant, owner of O’Kelley’s and a friend of mine, said to my impulse fling. “Can I get you a drink?”
NotALocal nodded at Hudson. “Just a beer.”
Hudson glanced at me, then back to my date. He didn’t say anything else, for which I was grateful. I didn’t want the guy to be able to find me afterward, even though I would not be disappointed if he did. I wasn’t in the right place for a relationship. Even with a man who looked like my future husband.
In my dreams.
“Is this your favorite spot?” NotALocal asked me.
I nodded and spun my straw. My drink was almost gone, and I was not ordering a second. It was my rule when I met with strangers. “I spend a lot of time here. I work close by.”
“Nice. I grew up in a small town, but I live in the city now.”
“I don’t think I could live in a city. Not full time. It’s nice to visit, but I like that I can sit here and know at least some of the people here. It gives me a sense of security.”
“Does that mean you want to stay here?” he asked.
“No!” I took a breath and slowed my racing heart. “I mean, I’m not opposed to going somewhere else, if you want.”
He met my gaze with his dark one and leaned closer. “Definitely.”
I couldn’t stop my smile as he tossed some cash on the bar and stood. Our drinks weren’t finished, but it was definitely time to go.
We walked out into the cool evening through the back of the bar. The path that snaked from one end of the Cove to the other was wide and mostly empty. As soon as the door to O’Kelley’s closed behind us, he grabbed my hand and pulled me against him.
The scent of the river mixed with the spicy scent of whatever cologne he wore. His eyes were wide and searching, his palm flat against the side of my face. He was asking a question, needing an answer. I respected the hell out of him for it and nodded.
In our next breath, his lips were on mine. My back hit the brick wall and his body slammed into my front. His beard was softer than I expected, the neatly trimmed hair gentle against my skin. Unlike his teeth as he nipped at me.
I opened for him with a growl. He snickered against my lips and smiled as he cupped my ass and pressed himself against me. He was hard, thick and heavy against my soft belly. I moaned unconsciously, needing him. It had been too long since sex was a partners game for me, and I was ready to break that streak.
“Do you live far?” he asked against my neck. His tongue was warm on my cooling skin.
I nodded, not thinking about what I was saying. “I have keys for the store right here. We can go there.”
He pulled back long enough to meet my gaze, then nodded sharply and took my hand. He tugged me toward my shop, searching the wall for the door he’d never had a need for before tonight.
I hesitated, not physically but emotionally. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to sleep with a complete stranger, but I was sick of waiting for my life to start. I’d spent so many years building my business. I convinced myself I would have time for a relationship and kids and all those things I wanted after the business was secure, but seeing my brother and my best friend fall in love, get married, and try to start a family made me realize I had to live my life now if I was going to actually enjoy it.
Which was exactly why I unlocked the door to my store with his hands firmly cupping my breasts. His erection throbbed against me from behind. I was done waiting. It was one night with a man I’d never see again, but I was going to enjoy every damn minute of it.
“Let me see you,” he growled against my ear.
I reached for the light in the back. Customers couldn’t see us around all the shelves, and even if they saw a light on, it wasn’t likely anyone would knock. The sign on the front door said my store was closed, and the back door was solid and only used by employees.
He turned me in his arms and sealed his lips over mine the instant I was facing him once again. He lifted my leg, the thought of marking him as my territory nearly making me chuckle. I didn’t even know his name. He was the furthest thing from mine as a guy could be. But he was exactly what I wanted in that moment. What I needed.
His fingers made quick work of my skirt, lifting it up to expose my cotton panties. If there was ever proof that this whole thing was not premeditated, it was the presence of my least attractive underwear. He rubbed his finger along the edge of them, silently asking for permission to do exactly what we both knew we were there for. Guess my granny panties didn’t put him off.
I nudged my hips toward him, hoping he took the hint and made his way inside. I groaned when he did, his palm flat against my not-so-flat belly. When his fingertips brushed over my clit, I groaned again and bucked against his hand.
He slid a thick finger into me and tore his lips away to swear. “Jesus, you’re wet. And so damn tight.”
“It’s been a while,” I admitted.
“I’ll make sure you’re ready,” he said, his voice raspy with desire.
Before I could respond, he pressed a second finger into me. I cried out at the painful pleasure of it and spread my thighs wider to accommodate him. He felt good. So damn good. Sex with a stranger wasn’t supposed to be so good. It should be awkward and fumbling, but he was… It was like he knew me. Like he didn’t have to think about what I would like, he just knew.
I pulled him back down for a kiss, needing the connection before I spouted something dumb. I wasn’t always known for keeping my mouth shut, but this man made me feel even less in control of my faculties than usual.
He nipped at my lips and teased me with his short beard. The gentle scrape of it on my sensitive cheek made my thighs tremble. If this wasn’t just a one-night stand, maybe I could find out just how good that beard would feel on my thighs. Maybe…
Nope. No sense thinking about any of that. No sense thinking at all when he pressed the heel of his hand against my clit and curled his fingers inside me and sent me flying.
I cried out and clutched his shoulders. My head fell back, breaking our kiss. Heat flashed over my entire body. I’d never come that fast in my life. Not even alone. But this man, this stranger, had me up and over the edge without even taking off my panties.
“You’re beautiful,” he whispered. His voice was reverent, hushed in the quiet building. “Again.”
It wasn’t a request. Oh, no. Not from him. It was a demand that he followed up with the press of his thumb to my clit and a quick rub exactly how I needed it. My insides thumped with the rhythm he set on the outside. I held onto him, unable to do anything besides ride the wave he pushed me onto and pray I didn’t crash on the way down.
“Oh, God,” I moaned. “So good.”
My core locked around his fingers, holding them in. He pumped his hand, still pressing all the right buttons inside and out. It was the best sex of my life, and we hadn’t even gotten to the sex part.
He stroked my inner thighs as my body came down from the high and released the hold on his fingers. His hand was buried beneath my skirt to his forearm, the muscles rippling as he kept stroking my skin like he couldn’t get enough either.
“I’m definitely ready now,” I murmured.
I looked up at him, his eyes almost black with desire. A muscle twitched in his jaw. His gaze flickered to my lips, then back to mine.
“I need a minute, or I’ll be done before we really get started.”
I grinned. It wasn’t often I could make a man lose control. Hell, it had been a while since I’d made a man do anything. But making a man like him, a man who was not only beautiful but confident and generous with his hands, lose control was more than a little intoxicating.
“Is there a couch or something in here?” he asked.
I nodded. “Over there. We won’t be seen. It’s blocked by shelves.”
“Good.” He leaned down and kissed me, bringing his hand out of my skirt. He put both on my hips and guided me toward where I indicated. When we got to the small sitting area, he sat on the largest couch and brought me down on top of him.
His erection was thick and firm between my thighs. I ached to rock against it, but it was definitely his turn.
He shifted beneath me and held my hips firm, rubbing himself against my hot center. He growled and captured my lips, plunging his tongue inside with no finesse but lots of pleasure.
“Need you,” he whispered, pushing me off him. “Take off your panties.”
I reached under my skirt to do as he demanded and watched him unbutton and unzip his jeans. He shoved them down his hips, letting his cock spring free. He dug into his pocket for a condom and rolled it on, tossing the wrapper to the side. Then he reached for me.
The darkness of the room didn’t give me a good enough look at his cock, but the moment I sank onto his lap, I knew there was no way in hell he was going in without a little effort. Okay, a lot of effort. He already put in the effort, and he was still too big for me.
He held my hips and let me guide him inside. He gritted his teeth and held back, every muscle of his body tense. I lifted tiny bits, then spread my thighs and eased down more with each stroke. God bless him, he didn’t push for me to go faster or thrust up into me. It was like being a virgin again, except more painful because I wanted it so badly. I wanted him. I knew exactly what I was missing out on, and waiting for it was not easy.
His fingers tightened on my hips. My hands were on his shoulders, using him for leverage. Then all of a sudden, he was inside. We both groaned loudly, our bodies meeting as mine adjusted to his side and he… well, I didn’t know what he was doing.
“God damn, you feel good. So fucking good.”
“You, too,” I pushed out. I didn’t think I’d ever had anything so deep inside me before. He stretched my body and filled me in a way no one ever had. Not that I’d slept with a ton of guys, but none came close to him. He twitched deep inside me, and I moaned greedily, almost coming just from the feel of him.
“I guess I’m not the only one who’s on the edge,” he said with a snicker.
“Definitely not. I don’t usually come during sex, but I don’t usually sleep with guys who are—” I cut myself off and rolled my lips in.
“Who are what?” he asked. I could feel his smile as much as I could hear it. I wanted to see it, but the darkness around us hid most of his face from my view.
“So big, okay? Is that what you wanted to hear?”
“Is that what you were going to say?”
“Yes,” I breathed. He twitched again.
“Then that’s what I wanted to hear.” His hand slid up my sides, his thumbs rubbing the underside of my breasts, then went back to my hips. “Hold on, beautiful.”
He shifted beneath me and thrust back in, stealing my breath and sanity and replacing both with a soul deep desire for this man to own me. To claim me. To have me as his own.
I gripped his shoulders as best as I could and accepted that I was just along for the ride. And what a ride it was. Holy hell, the man knew how to work. He thrust and bucked and fucked until I couldn’t stop the orgasm his cock wrenched out of me. My toes went numb. My hands ached. My entire body felt like it was on fire. I flopped on him, grateful I was still dressed and all my flabby parts weren’t flapping in the breeze.
And then I let go.
My body squeezed him so hard he let out a string of curse words. He fucked me harder, his thrusts almost punishing as he chased me toward orgasm.
When he came, he slammed my body down hard onto his cock and roared. He twitched and throbbed inside of me, almost setting off another orgasm for me. He held me close against his body, both of us panting and barely hanging on.
I didn’t ever want to move. I wanted to stay right there and do that again and again. Do him again and again. I wanted to kiss him and taste him and touch his entire body. Hell, I wanted to see his body.
But it wasn’t meant to be that way. And it wasn’t what I really wanted anyway. Not if I was truly honest with myself. He was a way to blow off steam. A cannonball back into dating after a long time away. A big, beautiful, orgasm-producing cannonball.
His hands slid up my spine and back down, and I knew it was time to go. I carefully lifted myself off of him, trying desperately not to groan at the feel of him sliding out of my body for the last time. He held the condom while I got up, then immediately stood.
“In the hallway where we came in,” I told him.
He nodded, holding his jeans up with one hand while keeping the other on the condom.
I grabbed my panties from under the coffee table and slid them back on. I smoothed my dress down, then checked for any wet spots on the couch. All good.
The bathroom door opened, and I moved toward the back of the store. He was waiting for me, his eyes devouring me as I moved closer to him.
“Thank you,” he said.
I smiled. “The thanks is very mutual.”
He grinned back. “I know we said don’t know each other, but I come here every so often. Would it be okay if I reached out again?”
He shrugged. “Yeah. In case you didn’t notice, that was really damn good.”
I smirked. “I noticed.”
I nodded. “Yes, I’d really like it if you reached out again.”
“Good.” He moved toward the door and waited for me to turn off the lights. We stepped outside together, then he kissed me hard and fast and walked off into the night.
I watched him until he turned the corner and headed toward the square, then I turned around and walked home. With a memory that would definitely hold me until my stranger returned.